Unintended Roadblocks

January 21, 2013

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I’ve followed a number of dialogues over social media in the last year. Many hot button items get debated and strong opinions come out.

Gun Control

I have to admit, many of the comments from Christians have been shocking. While I know it is not the intention of the people, we can inadvertently put roadblocks in the path of those potentially coming to Christ. 

This is not limited to America.

I am constantly shocked at the liberality which with alcohol consumption is spoken of from the pulpit of my church in South Africa. Granted this is a part of the culture for a portion of the people, but surely there are recovering alcoholics in the room. This discussion limits the demographics of the church as well. 70% or more of South Africans come from cultures where Christian drinking is taboo. Will those people groups ever feel comfortable in this church?

No one intends this. We want to share our opinions with passion. This is our right. We might even be “Biblical” in our view.

But, do we place unintended roadblocks in the way of someone coming to Christ, or even attending church. Maybe their views on homosexuality are incorrect, but would they ever enter a church to hear a different perspective?

How many of these people have been put off from the “witness” we give them on Facebook or Twitter?

Think about it.
Would any of the following people ever darken the door of our churches based on our representation on the internet?

Someone who is from an immigrant’s family or with an illegal status.
A pacifist or veteran who has seen the horrors of war.
A Democrat or someone who has slightly different ways of being pro-life.
A person who has a homosexual past, but is seeking a new way of life.
People who need government assistance to make ends meet, but are afraid they will be called lazy.

We never intend this.

But in our zeal, many people have roadblocks placed in the way of them coming to faith or even beginning to hear a different perspective on life.

How often are we, as Christians, the ones who are supposed to share our faith, but with our strong opinions in other areas are simultaneously driving pre-Christians further away?

Scripture speaks strongly against putting stumbling blocks in the path of others.

Mark 9:42 “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.”

1 Corinthian 8:13 “Therefore, if food (or my opinion -my insertion) makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.”

Again, this does not mean we cannot have our views, or even express them.

Sometimes the way we do it, inadvertently communicates, “Unless you think like me, you are not even a Christian.”

True unity is not all people having the same thoughts, but being able to accept and love when we disagree.

But even more, please, lets consider the impact our words will have on those who do not yet know Christ. I am sure we would never want to put a stumbling block in the path of a pre-believer.

Let’s just make sure we are not laying down unintended roadblocks.

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A missionary teacher for 24 years currently living in South Africa. I am a recovering superhero, daily in need of the grace of God