Causing someone to stumble



Beloved in the Lord, you must not cause any brother to stumble, for it is written: “Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way” (Romans 14:13 - NKJV). Someone may ask: ‘How can I put a cause to fall in my brother’s way?’ Here is my answer. You may cause a brother to fall in this way. He considers something to be unclean, and even though there is nothing unclean of itself, you must not grieve him because of his opinion, otherwise, as Paul says, “if your brother is grieved because of your food, you are no longer walking in love. Do not destroy with your food the one for whom Christ died” (Romans 14:15 – NKJV). Therefore, we must see that we don’t destroy with a food or a drink (for instance, wine) the work of God in the life of our brother. Is it not written that “the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17 - NKJV)? So we ought to abstain from any food or drink which makes our brother stumble. Therefore, if you invite a brother to your house or you have to stay with a brother for some time, and you know that he doesn’t eat rabbit or pork or he does not drink wine because he considers these things to be unclean, you must not grieve him by setting before him that kind of meat he does not eat or that kind of drink he does not drink nor by eating or drinking those things he considers to be unclean, lest you lose him and destroy the work of God in him because of things that the Lord one day will destroy together with the stomach (1 Corinthians 6:13). And love does not seek its own profit, but the profit of the others that they may be saved. However, it is good not only to abstain from eating a certain kind of meat or drinking wine (if these things make our brother stumble), but also to abstain from doing anything by which our brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak (Romans 14:21). Therefore, be careful how you behave toward those brothers who are weak in the faith, lest you lose them and sin against Christ (1 Corinthians 8:7-13).

Bear in mind also that you must not cause any unbeliever to stumble either, for Paul says: “Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God” (1 Corinthians 10:32 – NIV). Therefore, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the Gospel you announce to the lost, because if you evangelize them and in the meantime you give offense to them, as some do, your scandals will be stumbling blocks to them and thus you will hinder them from turning to Christ and they won’t feel attracted to the congregation of the righteous, because they will think that you are a bunch of hypocrites, who love to sing Christian songs with a loud voice and play and listen to Christian music but don’t put into practice the precepts of the Gospel. Remember that many people pay more attention to your facts than to your words.