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Coptic Orthodox Church
edited December 1969
Can someone please give me some insight on the sins on what one does to make others stumble?I am really confused on this specific sin?
Thank you for all the input in advantage.
Please pray for me.
My goodness! There are a lot, it would be remarkably hard to list all of them. In the verse where the Lord tells us about stumbling blocks, He says quite simply that they are inevitable but watch out when they do because God is very severe to people who hinder the salvation of others. This commandment was given to us by the Lord with 2 examples, one with new converts and the other was children.
In one case Christ rebuked the pharisees for going to any lengths to convert someone only to load them with impossible burdens and transforming them into twice the wicked person that they themselves were. The example given related to Children given to us by Christ related that it is better for someone to take their own life by drowning themselves in the ocean than to do something that hinders the faith of a child.
The reason stumbling blocks occur is because in this life our teachers, instructors and guides are human and the care and guidance which they offer us can sometimes be not quite what the Lord intended, either because of negligence or even worse when abouna or the bishop really goes astray and does something really wrong.
One famous Biblical example is the consumption of meat offered to idols as discussed by St Paul in II Corinthians (iirc). There was a dispute where some Christians considered it morally okay to eat meat offered to idols. Their rationale was that since we now knew there is no such thing as an idol, there is no such thing as idol worship so the meat they offered would be okay to eat. Some newer Christians found this something challenging to understand and accept, there was a fear that if one of the newer Christians saw a more experienced Christian eating meat they might take it the wrong way and think that it was okay to participate in something immoral when really the older Christian just thought that there was no issue with eating the meat because there isn't really such a thing as idol worship.
To prevent the older Christians from causing the younger Christians to stumble, St Paul said that the stonger Christians ought to not eat the meat for the sake of the younger Christians just so that there was nothing preventing them from remaining true to the Christian faith. The epistle doesn't mention what impact this dispute had had over the Corinthian Church but one can image that perhaps some of the more immature Christians may have gone astray and required help to come back to the Church.
The point of the teaching of Christ is that if one of these younger Christians had eaten the meat and fallen away then the blame for that may have ended up on the person eating the meat and maybe the abouna if he didn't do a good job instructing them.
St Paul has such a beautiful care for his congregations he goes on to say in the epistle that if anything should happen to one of these younger Christians he 'burns with indignation' and cannot remain in peace without working to right the wrong they have suffered.
Any sin can lead into this spiraling effect.
Scenario A: Well, I work in a restaurant.Therefore, if someone orders an alcoholic beverage ,I serve it.Is this the sin of being a stumbling block for that person.
Scenario B:If anyone talks to me ,and complains about another person,am I being a stumbling block for remaining quiet?
Scenario C:Lastly, whenever anyone makes a rude/inappropriate joke about me I just smile ,and walk away.It does not bother me.However, again is remaining quiet and not saying anything a sin?
You know the answers.