Title: "Is This Web Site A Stumbling Block?" Author: Unknown
Recently someone accused this site of being a stumbling block to those who might use it to lust. His reasoning was that in Romans 14, the apostle Paul said he would not do anything to cause a brother to stumble. After emailing him the reasoning below, I was pleased by his response that indicated he agreed with my Biblical reasoning.
And so I felt this might also be a concern that others might have. And so I'd like to share with you my Biblical justification for our site.
This person said that in Romans 14, Paul said that he would not do anything that might cause someone to stumble. And so this person asked me, how do I justify having the site when it might cause someone to stumble.
Below is Romans 14. You might like to read it and then come back and continue reading here. Basically Paul is saying, brothers in Christ should not judge and condemn each other when they disagree on disputable matters.
And Paul says that if you are with another brother in Christ, don't offend the other brother by doing something that he thinks is wrong. One example Paul uses is eating meat. Some Christians thought it was sinful to eat meat. Other Christians liked to eat meat. So Paul teaches that you shouldn't invite your friend over for a steak dinner, when you know your friend thinks eating meat is sinful.
Applying Romans 14 to our web site would be something like this. If you know your friends at church think the stories on this web site are sinful, then don't invite them over for a reading of MarriageRomance.com erotic stories.
Paul also says in Romans 14 verse 22, So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves. Here Paul says it's ok to do things that offend your brother as long as you don't do them in front of your brother as long as you keep them between yourself and God.
Then Paul goes on to say in Romans 14 verse 22b, that the man is blessed, if he has the freedom to not condemn himself for what he does. In other words, Paul says, "blessed is the man who can eat meat and not feel guilty." Applying this verse to our web site would be something like this, "blessed is the married couple who can use moral erotic materials to help their marriage and not feel guilty."
But notice, just because Paul was accommodating to not offend people when he was with them, this did not stop Paul from proclaiming the truth about those same issues. For example, in Romans 14 verse 14 Paul says it is ok to eat meat. Even though Paul might not eat meat when around someone who thinks it is wrong to eat meat, Paul still would proclaim that it is ok to eat meat. And notice, this might upset those same folks who thought it was sinful to eat meat. Paul did this in Romans 14 verse 14 which reads, "As one who is in the Lord Jesus, I am fully convinced that no food is unclean in itself."
In 1 Corinthians 9 21-23 Paul says something very similar to Romans 14. Paul says, 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God's law but am under Christ's law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.
So Paul says he became all things to all men to win them to Christ. So when he is around Jews he acted like a Jew. When he was around Gentiles he acted like one of them.
The implication is that Paul did eat meat when he was with people who ate meat. Paul just didn't eat meat when he was with people who thought meat was unclean or sinful.
Likewise our web site tries to be all things to all people. Our web site has flavors or ratings so that married couples can pick the level of intimacy they feel comfortable with.
The purpose of this web site is to provide a place where married couples can share intimate stories and ideas and struggles and in so doing be a light to the world, proclaiming that Christian marriages are happy and vibrant and that Christians do have good sex lives. And at the same time the purpose of the web site is to teach couples what God says about sexual issues and try and provide moral resources couples can use to help them have good sex lives.
So should we shut the site down because someone might read a story and lust? Let's draw an analogy.
What if you owned an Aspirin factory. Should you shut down your Aspirin factory because someone might buy a bottle of Aspirin and use the bottle to commit suicide by taking the whole bottle at once?
To answer this question lets look at the life of Christ.
Remember when Jesus made wine for the wedding? Most likely some people got drunk from drinking the wine. The benefit of providing the wine outweighed the risk of someone stumbling.
Over and over in the life of Christ, Jesus did things that offended the religious elite and caused the religious elite to stumble, because they judged Jesus.
As an example, do you remember when the religious elite thought it was wrong to do work on the Sabbath and Jesus healed on the Sabbath. Or when the Pharisees thought you should wash your hands and Jesus disciples did not wash their hands. Or when the self-righteous thought you should not glean grain on the Sabbath and Jesus let his disciples glean grain. Or remember when Jesus was called a "drunkard" and a "glutton" by some who thought he should not hang out with the sinners. All these examples show that it is ok to cause some to stumble if there is a more important reason for doing what you are doing.
And so the answer is this - the purpose of the web site is to help married couples and the benefit to married couples far outweighs the risk that some might stumble reading the stories.
1 Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters.
2 One man's faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables.
3 The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has
4 Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.
5 One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.
6 He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the
Lord and gives thanks to God.
7 For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone.
8 If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.
9 For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.
10 You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God's judgment seat.
11 It is written:
" 'As surely as I live,' says the Lord,
'every knee will bow before me;
every tongue will confess to God.' "
12 So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.
13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother's way.
14 As one who is in the Lord Jesus, I am fully convinced that no food is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for him it is
15 If your brother is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy your brother for whom Christ died.
16 Do not allow what you consider good to be spoken of as evil.
17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, 18 because anyone who serves Christ
in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men.
19 Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.
20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a man to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble.
21 It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother to fall.
22 So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves.
23 But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.