Today I read a number of blogs that labored over things that happen during worship that might be distracting to the worshiper.
Worrying about whether or not our worship offering to God is distracting just seems silly. What is the Biblical precedence for this kind of thinking? I can't think of anything - sure there are passages that warn us about doing things for our own gain - but that isn't the same as worrying about being distracting.
When it comes to our worship offering we need to be concerned with excellence. Not whether or not person A or B is going to be distracted by something that is going on during the service. I have said this a thousand times: if somebody is distracted from giving God his due during our corporate worship offering, then the problem isn't the thing that distracted him in the first place, the problem is the individual's lack of discipline when it comes to worshiping God.
Back when I was learning to fly planes, I had an instructor who would jab me and throw things at me while I was working out particularly complicated problems. He did this while we were on the ground, he would do this while we were in the air. He would make me put on a hood and then make me put my head between my legs (as much as you can do in a little plane) then completely disorient the plane. Then he would say "OK, fix it. You have 10 seconds". So while I'm assessing and fixing, he would complicate things by hitting me in the head with the Snickers bar that he had in his pocket (this is probably why I don't like Snickers anymore).
While it was annoying, and even angering, it really helped me learn to focus in tight situations. Seems to me that if we want to make worshipers less distracted, the goal should be to allow more distractions during worship service (though, I'm not sure how to do this and accomplish excellence).
Looking out for your brother also means telling them to put their petty concerns aside and concern themselves with important issues. Seriously, if somebody is concerned with their neighbor's texting habits, the problem doesn't lie with the neighbor and the person with the concern needs to mature in this area.
Paul's point is to not intentionally cause your brother to stumble. Yet, our brothers have become very adept at finding petty issues to stumble over. Paul, it should be pointed out, was great at causing people to stumble. He angered many and set off huge arguments in the church. His solution wasn't to stop. It was to keep preaching the truth, to keep telling people, time and time again, keep your mind on what is really important and avoid the petty.
wow......my suggestion is to back up your statements with scripture.
no where in the bible does it tell me to tell my brother to essentially get over their issues. no where. and if you think it does say something like that, you need to find it.
and you really need to know your bible better, because when paul angered people, it was for the sake of the Gospel.....by spreading the good news of Jesus. never is there an example of paul angering people for his own desires. he also told people to look out for your brother, bear one anothers burdens. never, never, never, never, never, never does he tell people that they need to get over their issues and let him do his own thing. Jesus tells us (US) that we are to serve others. not have them serve us.
Phi 2:3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.
Mat 20:28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.
1Co 8:12 But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ.
Rom 14:13 Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother's way.
Rom 14:21 It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything (texting in church) by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak
Rom 14:15 Yet if your brother is grieved because of your food, you are no longer walking in love. Do not destroy with your food the one for whom Christ died. (this principle also applies to texting, because of the context from where this comes from in romans)
Gal 6:10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith. (in other words, do good to others...dont wait for them to do good to you......i.e., expect them to get over their issue of texting in church. just put your dumb phone away)
im sorry man, but this part of your doctrine is completely messed up. you truly need to rethink what youre saying and compare it to the bible. because at this point, you have no doctrine to back you up. which means youre making this stuff up in your head.
First of all, I never said anything about Paul angering people for his own desires, I actually said the exact opposite ("Paul's point is to not intentionally cause your brother to stumble."). The idea that I'm suggesting that Paul angered people for his own desires is something that you just created on your own.
I am saying that Paul wasn't afraid to piss people off - and you are right - his motivation was for the sake of the Gospel. And that is all that I'm endorsing here. If by sharing the Gospel via text during the sermon, I anger some of the institution, oh well - those people have selfish sinful issues that they need to get past. There is only sin in my heart IF I'm doing it to anger or disturb my neighbor. Which is never my intention.
"There is only sin in my heart IF I'm doing it to anger or disturb my neighbor."
you need to broaden your understanding about what it means when we offend one another.because what youre not understanding, is that if you dont care whether or not you are offending, then youre in sin. that is the law of love (romans 14). and that is what you need to understand.
"Paul's point is to not intentionally cause your brother to stumble. Yet, our brothers have become very adept at finding petty issues to stumble over."
I can buy this statement. There are some who seem to make a habit of being offended at various things at one time or another to get others to conform to what they think is accepted behavior.
"Paul, it should be pointed out, was great at causing people to stumble. He angered many and set off huge arguments in the church."
Could you clarify this a bit? The argumkants I remember that involved Paul were with Jewish leaders and local artisans (like the idolmakers in Ephesis) and not with fellow followers of 'The Way'. He did have to chastise fellow believers, most notably the Corinthians, but I wouldn't put that in the same boat as causing people to stumble. On the contrary, some of his chastising (see some of Aaron's examples) were for willingly causing fellow believers to stumble.
There is a huge difference between willing and desiring. We need to be willing, as church leaders, to offend the believers for the sake of the truth. For that matter, the same goes for non-believers. However, this should not be our desire.
The Church is full of people who water down the gospel so that they can appease people and not offend (in their mind, for Biblical reasons as noted above). However, in the end, they avoid preaching the truth and giving God's people any real meat.
Paul said a lot of hard things to a lot of people. Many were made to be quite upset by it. Even to this day, people are incensed by his words.
If a church has the ability to hang up on whether or not texting is appropriate during the worship service, the church has completely missed out on what is really important when it comes to our worship offering to God - which is serve and share. We cannot let the Pharisee tell us when it is and is not appropriate and what methods are and are not appropriate. God gave us these things, we need to use them for his glory!
its NOT about whether texting is appropriate during worship....that is NOT the issue here. who cares if someone feels the need to text during church.
the point REMAINS, if something (anything, including texting) is distracting to someone, then it needs to stop. ive already given you plenty of scripture to prove that point.
this has also become about youre understanding of the way we are to respond to those who are stumbled by us. that if we stumble someone, we should do all we can to not stumble them again. the bible clearly says this. im not sure why youre not getting it.
it also sounds like you need to learn wisdom in your actions as well. to grow and mature in your tact in dealing with others. proverbs is a great book for that.
actually, youre incorrect in agreeing with him. please refer to the comment replying to the one you replied to. because if we are stumbling someone, then i need to check my own heart. its not up to me to decide whether they are being petty or not.
Rom 14:4 Who are you to judge another's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.
its our job to worry about ourselves, not others (non sinful) actions.
You seem to be a very 'cut and dry' person. I've a few questions for you if you don't mind. Was it me who caused the brother to stumble by playing a saxophone in church? He told me he was offfended by the instrument, so must i stop? What about the brother at easter who was put off because the worship team was not wearing suits, ties, and dresses despite the fact that nobody has, to my mind, ever worn a suit in the congregation? Must we wear that clothing so he won't stumble? If so--where does it stop?
stumbling isn't about complaints or being offended, it's about tempting a weaker brother to sin by violating his own conscience. being put off because you're not wearing coat and tie isn't even remotely related to stumbling.