Stumbling blocks can take many forms. What is a stumbling block? Anytime we behave in such a way as to hinder another’s faith in Jesus, we are casting stumbling blocks.
I have done this.
I might not use the word of God to justify sinful living, at least not knowingly, but I have done my share of casting stumbling blocks.
I mentioned this in my previous article about the church of Pergamos in Revelation. I think this is the best recent example I have. I recently became irritated with how irreverent some modern Christian music is towards God but on the other hand people who listen to secular music are accused as being sinful. So, I wrote a provocative post about it.
In my liberty, I could do this. However, if I were considering my brethren who might stumble at my post because of the nature of this music, which was rather dark, then I would not have made the post. It was a stumbling block. I realized this after reading a blog article that a Christian wrote about stumbling blocks, and my heart was immediately convicted. I deleted the post, and I don’t typically delete posts.
I try to be careful that the things I write do not create stumbling blocks. I also try to be careful that my life is not a stumbling block. I don’t want someone to look at me and think, “if this is what being a Christian is about, then I don’t want any part of it.” I want my life in Christ to inspire people to wonder about “the hope that is in me” or in some other way inspire people to seek Jesus.
I have used the word, “ministry” to speak about doing public works for the brethren like teaching, pastoring, and so on. However, the most important ministry is our lives—and we all have this ministry. We are all ministering Christ, so we should try to be aware of the ways in which we cast stumbling blocks at people.
There are so many ways we can do this. It’s almost overwhelming to think about, but I trust that the Lord will help us. If we ask Him to search our hearts and reveal our stumbling blocks so that we can repent, He will.
Jesus said that it impossible to prevent offenses from coming, and in some way they must come. However, woe unto them by who offenses come. It is better for that man that he had never been born.
Offense in this sense is not offense as we use it in modern English. Offense in this sense is referring to casting stumbling blocks. If we lead the “little ones” that believe in Jesus astray with our stumbling blocks, Jesus says it is better for a mill stone to be hung around our neck and ourselves cast into the sea.
So, I want to take this more seriously and consider how I might be casting stumbling blocks. How do I hinder the faith and faithfulness of by brethren? How do I hinder unbelievers from coming to Christ? Not just in how I use the word of God, which I believe was the focus for Pergamos, but in all things.
This is important to consider in this time. Especially as we take a stand against evil and wickedness, both inside the church and outside the church. Take care that your stance isn’t built upon stumbling blocks.
I have seen so much of this lately and I have done this too. We can make things worse. If we are not correcting people in the right way, we only harden them further, we draw the enemy in towards the weaker members of the sheepfold, and we do not convince anyone to repent. We might feel puffed up or cause others to feel puffed up in self-righteous indignation, but what good are we doing? We bring forth hot air, not children of God.
If this is you and the Lord loves you, He might take a hammer to your stumbling blocks so that you can fall to the ground and humble yourself for His Name’s sake and for your soul’s sake. I might help Him do it.
There are particular stumbling blocks right now that I hate. Chief among those are people who use scripture to justify creating stumbling blocks. One of the most common today I see involve Moses and Elijah. So many want to be as Moses and Elijah—the end-times superstars. I believe that the two-witnesses are many, not two, and not Moses and Elijah—but of the Holy Spirit of God. We are to be putting on Christ, not Moses or Elijah. “This is my Son. Hear Him.”
In-fact, the false prophet in Revelation “calls down fire from heaven to the earth in the sight of man” as he causes people to worship the beast and his image. Sounds a lot like Elijah. I would not be surprised if he claimed to be Elijah.
How did Jezebel die? Wasn’t she hurled out a window then left in the street as the dogs licked her blood? How do the two witnesses in Revelation die? They are left in the street because no one will bury them. Coincidence? Maybe. Maybe not. I’ve faced Jezebel accusations already for my stance against false prophets, particularly false Elijah’s.
There is an Elijah ministry of “turning the hearts of the fathers to the sons and sons to the fathers,” but many do this among the Christian faith and many always have. We are called to turn hearts to God the Father in particular. We are also called to encourage peace and love among the household of the faith.
There are also many who lead people in the wilderness as we “come out of her my people that you partake not of her sins and receive of her plagues” as Moses. This too is something that has always occurred because there has always been corruption in the church.
I think many of the faithful remnant will do both, just as the faithful have always done, and if it comes down to facing the false prophet, I would not be surprised if they were accused of being Jezebel.
So, I really do not like those who use the OT scripture to justify the works of the flesh or to make themselves appear as something great. I will fight these stones of stumbling to my death if I have to. Call me Jezebel if you want. I’ll take a hammer to your stumbling blocks anyway—the hammer of the Word of God—wielded by the Holy Spirit of God and not the froward tongue of man who want to be seen as Moses or Elijah. Lord willing.
However, I must first make sure that I remove all “beams from my own eyes” as I consider my own stumbling blocks more fully. I encourage all of us to do the same.
**Jesus was a source of stumbling and a rock of offense. If we fall on Him we are broken, but if He falls on us we are ground to powder. Let us not stumble at the teachings of Jesus that fly in the face of man’s foolish wisdom that is as many stumbling stones–and don’t you dare use Christ’s stumbling stone to justify your own stumbling stones of man. If we reject Jesus, He is a stumbling stone to us as we accept the stumbling stones of those who cause many to be “broken and snared and taken” by the enemy. Don’t you dare use the stumbling stone of Jesus wrongly. He will not have it. He will crush you to powder.
(Inserted as an after-thought about 30 minutes after original post. Sorry if the tone of some of this latter bit is harsh. It’s not personal against those who read because they like what I say. There are some hangers on who really enjoy twisting my words, trying to one-up me by creating passive-aggressive jabs at my expense, and so on. I can see them bringing up the stumbling stone of Christ as a way to undermine me in their own mind while justifying themselves.)**