It Can Be Sin To Do Something That Is Not Inherently Sinful

The Apostle Paul warns us in the book of I Corinthians, that Christians need to be very careful not to do things that are damaging to other people. There are some things that are not inherently sinful for us to do, but they might be wrong anyway insofar as we know ahead of time that they will be misinterpreted by others around us. Therefore there are times when we must use caution and refrain from exercising our Christian liberty for the sake of other Christians:

Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak. 10 For if someone with a weak conscience sees you, with all your knowledge, eating in an idol’s temple, won’t that person be emboldened to eat what is sacrificed to idols? 11 So this weak brother or sister, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. 12 When you sin against them in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall. (I Corinthians 8:9-13 NIV)

Paul, in this passage, is specifically addressing the issue of eating food that is offered to idols. Paul has already said that there is nothing inherently wrong with eating food that has been offered to idols, because we, as mature Christians, know that false gods do not exist, and as such, the food that is offered to them is not contaminated by them (see verse 8). Nevertheless, we still have to be careful not to eat this kind of food in public if there is a chance that it will undermine the faith of others. Another brother, who is still a little superstitious, might see you eating this food, and do it also in order to copy you, but in doing so he may be defiling his conscience. It is better, therefore, not to engage in an act publicly that other Christians think is questionable, since you may be undermining their faith. As Paul fittingly concludes: “therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall.

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This entry was posted in Christianity, church, Culture, Faith, God, Random, Random Thoughts, sheboygan, Thoughts. Bookmark the permalink.

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