But not everyone possesses this knowledge. Some people still so accustomed to idols that when they eat sacrificial food they think of it as having been sacrificed to a god, and since their conscience is weak, it is defiled. Be careful however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak. For if someone with a weak conscience sees you, with all your knowledge, eating in an idol’s temple, won’t that person be emboldened to eat what is sacrificed to idols? So, this weak brother or sister, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. – 1 Cor 8:7 & 9-11
Christ has freed us from many restrictions in the old covenant. There is neither clean or unclean, for food does not draw us near to God but in our hearts lies the truth of our motivations. Some, especially those young in Christ, must restrict themselves because they do not understand the freedom they have in Christ. They have not come to full Spiritual maturity. It is our job, as the mature then to train them and not by doing what is wrong in their eyes, but by loving them and doing what is right in God’s eyes.
Therefore, I must know my brothers and sisters. Only when I know them can I understand where they are weak and where they are strong. If I don’t take the time to know them, then I do not truly love them. So, I will know my brothers and sisters and will not sin against Christ by causing one of these to stubble by my actions.
I have a great friend of mine, who is a Christian, who doesn’t believe in drinking at all. He believes it to be a tool of the Devil, a trap. I understand his position because he was found and rescued from that trap. I have another friend who can sit down at night and have a beverage without going to access, it does not control him nor does he get drunk. Which man is found in righteousness? Both, because they scripture does not forbid drinking but drunkenness. However, the one who does not drink is righteous in his own right because he does not fall into the Devil’s trap.
This is why it is important for Pastors most of all to understand their people and not to cause them to stumble by their own actions. We have to listen to our flock and know them so that we can grow them to spiritual maturity in whatever the case. This is how we love those around us. This does not just apply to pastors either, but to all of the Church, love you brothers and sisters enough to know what causes them to stumble and then instead of being a block, be the one that removes these chains from them so they grow to maturity.
May the Lord Lead,