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Stumbling Blocks Become Stepping Stones With Jesus
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Stumbling block or a stepping stone? Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. Romans 3. I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died. So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Turning Stumbling Blocks Into Stepping Stones - The Warrior's Journey®
Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding. Romans 4. Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for anyone to make another stumble by what he eats. It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble.
The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God.
Blessed is the one who has no reason to pass judgment on himself for what he approves. But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin. Romans 5. Sublime, transcendent—yes—but also potentially grandiose, pompous, and—heaven forbid—precious.
Which reminds me of a story. My mother was not an Episcopalian. During her lifetime she was associated mainly with Southern Baptist and nondenominational evangelical churches of both the megachurch and fundamentalist ilk. I myself was brought up in the Independent Fundamental Churches of America, where my father was the pastor. By a twist of fate, however, when I was in college, my mother moved to an apartment across the street from an Episcopal Church, and when I was home visiting her the following summer, having just been confirmed in the Episcopal Church, I went there on Sundays.
Thank God, it was a high church with an excellent choir that sang year-round, in many ways like this parish. Nearly every Sunday, Mom would drive across town to the newly-built megachurch, Trinity Evangelical Free, while I would go across the street to my church, Trinity Episcopal, which had been around for nearly a hundred years. One Sunday, however, I enticed my mother to come to my Trinity Church by informing her that there would be bagpipers.
For some of us, this would be a reason to stay out of church, but Mom liked that sort of thing. She timidly slipped into the pew with me, and looked like a deer in headlights as we all stood, knelt, stood, crossed ourselves, genuflected, and drank real wine out of a common cup.
Jesus: Stepping stone to Heaven or stumbling block to Hell?
True to herself, she sat through the mass and decided not to go forward at communion. I had never heard such a pejorative word! And then I realized: what had been for me a foretaste of heaven and an entrance into the kingdom of God had for her been a show of worldly pomp and meaningless ritual. Why did I need all these trappings?
Why did I read my prayers out of a book?
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