Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.
There are two ways by which to examine this question. First it is possible for one to be a stumbling block by standing in the way of a person receiving the truth of God's word so that he is drawn into error or apostasy. This can arise from false teachers who lead unsuspecting followers into believing that they are receiving Biblical truth when in fact they are fed with distortions, and outright error so that their spiritual worldview does not conform to sound doctrine. A leading Kenyan prophetic teacher is famed for literally locking up his followers from the rest of Christianity. They are not permitted to attend any independent congregations. The preacher's word is law to them, never mind that his teachings are heretical. These class of leaders control their followers psychologically through manipulation and false doctrines. They keep their subjects "trapped" so that only the will of their master or leader is fulfilled. Every other denomination is then depicted as a false religion and only their master or cult leader is believed to know "the way". The second dimension by which stumbling arises is where a believer is to led into sin by an false teacher who cunningly lures them into disobedience. In Matthew 18:6-9 Jesus condemns those who mislead or stumble innocent believers to sin. Jesus is resolute that the false teachers deserved no mercy. In this context, the Pharisees were guilty of both dimensions of stumbling sin.. They saddled burdensome regulations upon their followers that they on their part were unable to fulfill so that the people were drawn into legalism rather than a fulfilling relationship with God. These laws smacked of irrelevancy and absurdity. Matthew 23:23-29 is a classic case that identifies this legalism. The Pharisees insisted on empty rituals that did not address the genuine spiritual needs of their followers. Jesus used the metaphor of a cup that is washed in the outside but was internally unclean. These acts of legalism blinded the eyes of their followers into self justification yet their hearts were far from God. They contradicted the law and prophets. They could not discern that the law pointed at Christ as the coming Messiah, causing the people to operate under doubt and unbelief even after witnessing the power and authority that Jesus commanded. Matthew 12 records one of the most captivating discourses between Jesus and the Jewish religious leaders. This passage reveals the hollow piety, intransigence, ignorance and the evil hearts of the Pharisees who abused their religious authority to shield the Jewish community from discovering God's truth in the Person of Christ and His gospel message. We believers too often stumble or offend one another. The Greek word for stumble is "skandalizo" from which comes the English word scandalize! We ought to watch lest we offend one other by our speech, conduct and manner of life or obstruct one other in the service of God. A separate Greek word "ptaio" is used in James 3:1-2 with regard to Bible teachers who James says are held on a higher level of accountability for their handling of the word of God. Bible teachers should consistently wrestle with the Scriptures in order to bring out its divine principles and feed their congregations on a healthy spiritual diet.
Hebrews 10:24 “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” As true Christians, it is our responsibility to walk in righteousness with diligence and obedience so that we do not cause our brethren to stumble into constant temptation and sin. Many years ago, I owned and operated a nightclub that was inherited through marriage. I remember feeling as though the nightclub business was not conducive to the purpose that God had purposed for my life. Even though there were red flags popping up at every turn, I chose to ignore them in order to profit from selling alcoholic beverages for years to come. Finally, the excuses and lies that I told myself no longer justified my actions of contributing to the sinful desires of others by feeding their drunken appetites. It is interesting in the manner that we are able to excuse our unjust acts as a futile attempt to ease our conscience as we knowingly moving forward in sin. However, in my particular case, ignoring the conviction of the Holy Spirit would become one of the biggest errors of my entire life. My negligence and disobedience of following God’s path, according to Biblical scripture, literally almost caused me to lose my life and soul forever. I began trying to escape guilt by subjecting myself to a pattern of daily alcohol abuse. I would not only guzzle that poisonous libation into my own blood stream, but would also purchase drinks for my VIP customers. There was one fateful night when something inside my spirit snapped; leaving me paralyzed by a shadow of darkness which led me to carve a sliver of broken glass deep into my wrist. I was constantly haunted by the turmoil of committing a revolving door of sin in a world which contradicted my Christian walk. God eventually pulled me out of a fire pit of darkness by His loving grace; but not before allowing my own self destruction to pave the way of returning to live in His light. It took hospitalizations, therapy, abstinence of drinking alcoholic beverages, but most of all it took passionate daily prayers to restore my spirit to wholesome existence. God stepped in and destroyed the very catalyst that had caused my downfall so that I could rise up from the brink of eternal damnation and death; He orchestrated ruin and bankruptcy over that hell hole of a nightclub. My life is far from perfect as we all are existing in a world of sin; but my focus is geared towards serving God to the point of teaching Bible Study to children and loving my neighbors as myself. I love Jesus Christ with my entire being and hope to spread His gospel with as many people as possible. My new life consists of peace and harmony in all that I do; but most importantly, it allows me to use my gift of writing to lead others closer to Christ instead of causing them to stumble into a perpetuating cycle of sin. Romans 12:2~“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” We are here to lift one another up by the glorious truth of God; to dispel all lies and deceit of the devil who tricks the weak minded into staying in sin. Satan has already been defeated and is powerless to all who call upon God through the mighty name of our savior, Jesus Christ. Even though we are dwelling in a world of wickedness, we need to understand and accept the fact that God has overcome this world, and so can we by living according to His righteousness through unwavering faith. John 16:33~“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” May peace, love and faith fill your hearts and souls in this journey called life…God bless~
Simply put, stumbling someone means our words or actions lead to a seed of doubt being planted instead of allowing faith in God to be nurtured. We may think that we have the right to do anything, but as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 10:23, not all things are beneficial or edifying. JO For instance, let’s say you have “freedom of choice” and that’s why you don’t want to get the COVID vaccine. (One of my coworkers told me this). But your choice may very well lead you, asymptomatically or otherwise, to cause others to get sick or die with COVID. You might get very sick (or die) in the process, yourself. So, if you’re a Christian, you by your example, don’t want to cause other Christians to stumble (by following your bad example). Again Paul says, "Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak."
All answers are REVIEWED and MODERATED.
Please ensure your answer MEETS all our guidelines.
A good answer provides new insight and perspective. Here are guidelines to help facilitate a meaningful learning experience for everyone.