Summary: I looked topically at what being a stumbling-block is, and the implications. Didn’t answer a lot of questions, but it makes a listener think anyway.
Have a Nice Trip? Being Stumbling Blocks
Example: 2 youth ministers giving out Bibles at a porn retailers convention
Example: my buying booze or fishing on Sunday
What is a stumbling block?
LEV 19:14 - " `Do not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block in front of the blind, but fear your God. I am the LORD.
MT 16:23 - Jesus turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men."
Literally: scandalon, the metal bar that catches something in a trap
2CO 6:3 - We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited.
Each time the NT mentions one brother causing another to stumble, the issue is food (except 2 Cor.6:3, where no particular issue is mentioned.) The gospel is mentioned as a stumbling block, and so is Christ, but these are not of us. The issue of eating food sacrificed to idols was obviously a hotbed of contention. Now, it isn’t even a concern. I wonder how many other hotbed issues today won’t matter 100 years from now…
Some thoughts about stumblong-block issues…
- some issues are not black and white
- we are all on different stages of our journeys; some are weak – Rom.14:2, 1 Cor.8-12
- so we will come to different conclusions
So what do we do about it?
- refrain from passing judgement on the weaker ones – Romans 14:1
- sort things out for yourself – Romans 14:5
- it should all be done in love – Rom.14:15
- sometimes keep your convictions to yourself – Romans 14:22
- just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should – 1 Cor.10:23
- freedom doesn’t mean you can do what you want, but rather serving others – Gal.5:13-14
don’t be a stumbling block for 3 reasons:
1) because sinning against others is sinning against Christ – 1 Cor.8:12
2) for others’ preservation – 1 Cor.8:11
3) for others’ salvation – 1 Cor.10:33