occasions of sin
"Therefore, if food causes my brother to sin I will never eat meat again, so that I may not be an occasion of sin to him." —1 Corinthians 8:13
Eating meat that had been offered to idols was an occasion of sin for many Corinthian and Roman Christians (Rm 14:20). Nothing was wrong with this practice of itself, but it wounded the consciences of some Christians. Therefore, Paul said he would never eat meat again.
Today, alcohol is an occasion of sin to many people. Therefore, out of love for them we give up our right to drink alcohol where there is even the possibility of being an occasion of sin. This is especially true in the case of the public sale and consumption of alcohol, which is popular with many churches.
Gambling is also an occasion of sin in our society. Therefore, love of neighbor can move us not to buy another lottery ticket, or promote bingo, raffles, or games of chance where there is even the possibility of being an occasion of sin.
Sins of sexual fantasies, masturbation, fornication, and adultery are pandemic in our world. Therefore, we should be careful to dress modestly and never mention sexual impurity in our conversation (Eph 5:3-4).
Paul stated emphatically: "When you sin thus against your brothers and wound their weak consciences, you are sinning against Christ" (1 Cor 8:12).
Prayer: Father, may I be more concerned about holiness than pleasure.
Promise: "Love your enemy and do good; lend without expecting repayment. Then will your recompense be great." —Lk 6:35
Praise: Peter and Paula did not offer alcohol at their wedding reception, but instead prayed for the Holy Spirit to bless all present.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our tape Effects of Sin on audio AV 81-3 or video V-81.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 25, 2008
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