The Regulation of Moses accommodates the next regulation: “You shall not curse a deaf man, nor place a stumbling block earlier than the blind, however you shall revere your God; I am the LORD” (Leviticus 19:14, NASB). This refers to a quite obvious act of cruelty in putting something in the path of a blind person who he/she can’t see to avoid. Here we have now a metaphor that’s referred to in a number of places in the New Testament. Jesus referred to it in Matthew 18:5–6, when He stated, “And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me; but whoever causes one in all these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it will be higher for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea” (NASB). James makes use of the same metaphor in James 3:2, when he writes, “For all of us stumble in lots of ways. And if anyone doesn’t stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able additionally to bridle his complete body.”
Maybe probably the most in depth uses of the metaphor within the New Testament is by Paul in Romans 14 and 1 Corinthians 8. In 1 Corinthians 8:9, Paul wrote, “However take care that this proper of yours doesn’t by some means grow to be a stumbling block to the weak.” He explains the metaphor in Romans 14. Here he’s writing about differences in levels of maturity amongst Christians. As we mature in our Christian stroll, we find that there are things that had been previously flawed for us to try this we gain the freedom to do. Earlier in our stroll, these things interfered with our relationship with Christ and so had been unsuitable to do. As we mature, they not cause our relationshipship with Christ to suffer and due to this fact are no longer improper for us to do. The specific instance Paul referred to was consuming meat that had been consecrated to idols. To young, immature Christians, consuming meat that they oknew had been consecrated to idols was participating in idol worship. To a mature Christian, it was just eating meals and had no impact on the Christian walk. If a mature Christian, to whom consuming this meat was not improper, encouraged an immature Christian, to whom eating the meat was fallacious, to eat anyway, the mature Christian can be placing a stumbling block within the immature Christian’s path—encouraging him/her to do something that would negatively impact his/her relationship with Christ. Instead of being a stumbling block to another, we should show love. As Paul stated in 1 Corinthians 8:13, “Due to this fact, if meals makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.” This is to not say that we should cater to the least mature of the brethren, however relatively than encourage them to do not be a stumbling block what they consider sin, we should help them mature so that they acknowledge it for what it’s—something with no spiritual consequences.
This doesn’t apply to anything that the Scripture specifically states is sin. For example, Christian maturity by no means provides us the freedom to hate others. However when there’s ambiguity in the Scripture about whether something is correct or improper, such as in playing cards with a normal poker deck (which some see as fallacious because of the origins of the symbols on the cards), not changing into a stumbling block to a fellow Christian is an issue. We should be very careful not to cause another’s relationship with Christ to suffer.