“See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.”
This post has kept me up late at night shaking—literally. I know the Lord has called me to blog about my prayer life, about the boundaries He is patiently helping me learn to set (I’m an extremely slow learner in this area) and about the life difficulties and traumas I have experienced. The subjects tend to be downers; heavy and sometimes dark instead of fun, witty and uplifting. I’m a girl who wants to have fun. I want to quit writing about the subject content of a sex offender’s recent trial I waited, for what seemed a life time, to be successfully prosecuted and I wanted last week’s post to be the end of the subject, but I had no peace about my decision.
This week a statement kept surfacing in my mind, “The church; my people who are called by my name, are not protecting or believing the little children.” I wanted to know if this was my discernment or words from the Lord. The statement wasn’t during my quiet time or during any prayer time. I’m good at reminding the Lord I am made from dust and fully capable of making mistakes, misreading Him or disobeying. I don’t want to be guilty of any of these things and I needed to confirm His heart and will in the matter and make sure my frustrations weren’t taking over my thought life.
I was awake at 2:30 a.m. Tuesday morning wondering if I was really supposed to continue with the ‘trial’ subject. I prayed about it—a lot. There was no instant answer so I asked questions, gave thanks and told the Lord I would skip it for this week, maybe forever, unless He specifically spoke to me on the subject in any way of His choosing.
I woke up Tuesday morning opened a workbook I studied years ago and which I am now taking my boys through for morning Bible study. The study is, Jesus the One and Only by Beth Moore. We began week 8, Day 1, Causing Others to Sin. Please read Luke 17:1-5 to familiarize yourself with the passage.
Then at lunch my boys and I listened to Eric Metaxas on YouTube speak about Bonhoeffer. My boys enjoy listening to Eric Metaxas so I pulled up YouTube, searched his name, and clicked on Bonhoeffer so we could count it as part of a history lesson. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a man who did the right thing, a hard thing, despite the resistance and social climate of the day. He was a Nazi resister who defied the evil and false biblical teachings surrounding him to the point of death by execution in a concentration camp.
Great heroes of the faith who have gone before me climbed to much braver, more difficult, impossible, and courageous callings—unto death.
I received an easy assignment: Share what the Lord is teaching me through typing. I can do this.
Back to Beth’s lesson: In Luke 17:1-5 Christ was addressing his disciples about things that can cause people; more specifically, little children to sin. Jesus said, “Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come.” Luke 17:1
I will not attempt to re-teach something Beth Moore has taught. Here are a few excerpts from week 8, day 1. I will refer to the sex offender as the trapper and defendant but the message is to the people who attempted to shield the trapper:
The Greek word for offenses, skandalon, means, “the trigger of a trap on which the bait is placed, and which, when touched by the animal, springs and causes it to close causing entrapment… .Skandalon always denotes an enticement to conduct which could ruin the person in question.” [i]
It is obvious the trapper is the defendant but I believe the defendant’s supporters (those who attempted to shield the trapper/defendant) should ask God to show them why they so easily and foolishly were vulnerable to the defendant. Then they should be resolved, that if ever another situation like this comes to light, they will demonstrate due diligence in performing a background check to the best of their ability—and believe the children. Young children rarely lie about sexual abuse.
“Christ issued a woe to anyone who causes another person to sin. But look at the pronounced indictment against anyone who causes one of these little ones to sin. Who are these little ones? The original word is mikros. Study the following definition: ‘of age meaning small, young, not grown up; in the comparative degree meaning less, younger…figuratively, of dignity, authority, meaning low, humble.’ We certainly know Christ’s reference to little ones includes literal children because in Matthew’s version He actually ‘called a little child and had him stand among them’ before He issued these statements in Matthew 18:2.”[ii]
“Christ’s reference to little ones spotlights children,” those young in age, “…or inferior to the trapper in knowledge, experience, authority, or power—anyone of whom it might be easy to take advantage. That Christ holds the trapper greatly responsible is a gross understatement! He appears to be saying, if you have entrapped a weaker, more vulnerable person in sin,” a child, “you’re going to wish you had drowned in the deepest sea rather than deal with me.”[iii]
“A day of reckoning is coming. No trapper gets away with entrapment—of human kind or spirit kind.”[iv]
Let’s go back to who Christ was addressing; His disciples. “Christ wasn’t just issuing an assurance of horrible consequences for the trapper. He was also issuing a warning that His disciples better not be among them.” Shielders. “If Christ’s temperature rises over the godless trapper, can you even imagine how His temperature would rise over the trapper who bears His name?” (Or those who help or shield the trapper.) “God forbid!”[v]
“If God would judge those outside His own household, I think we can rest assured He would discipline His own…by all means let’s be on our guard never to cause another person to sin. The Word is clear we have that potential.”[vi]
“So watch yourselves. If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.” Luke 17:3-4 (NIV)
“If we are functioning as a healthy body, ideally we should be able to bring issues that affect us to the table with one another and dialogue and, when appropriate, even rebuke or receive a rebuke. This type of approach demands the maturity expressed in Ephesians 4:14-15 (NIV)” [vii] “Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.”
Thank you for reading this introduction. I will continue on this theme the next 2-3 weeks of Toxic Tuesday posts. I’ll call them ‘Sticky Posts’ because they are about to become stickier.
[i] Beth Moore, Jesus the One and Only, (Nashville, TN, LifeWay Press, 2000), 171
[ii] Moore, Jesus the One and Only, 172
[iii] Moore, Jesus the One and Only, 173
[iv] Moore, Jesus the One and Only, 173
[v] Moore, Jesus the One and Only, 173
[vi] Moore, Jesus the One and Only, 174
[vii] Moore, Jesus the One and Only, 174