In a day and age when a growing number of professing Christians are exercising their freedom of choice to drink, go to the club, wear provocative clothing, and act out on social media, gospel singer Jonathan McReynolds is urging them to reconsider.
In a new blog post, the 27-year-old pleads with believers to think beyond themselves and take into account how their behaviors impact others who may be watching. That way, their liberty won’t lead someone else into bondage.
“I don’t know where we got this idea that our actions, clothes, tweets and Periscopes can be right even when they look all wrong,” wrote the “Pressure” singer on his LifeRoom Talk blog, as he encouraged readers not to be a stumblingblock, or hindrance to others.
In the latest entry titled “Smarts That Could Kill,” McReynolds uses 1 Corinthians 8:9-13 as his foundation.
In that passage, the Apostle Paul tells Christians to avoid certain actions—specifically eating meat offered to idols, even though eating such meat was allowable. This directive was given for the benefit of believers who were weaker and felt that this action was wrong.
Paul did not want them to be confused and bewildered by seeing another brother or sister in Christ indulging in what they viewed as a forbidden delicacy.
Paul’s point is this: even if you don’t feel convicted for behaving a certain way, if a specific action will lead someone else astray, avoid doing it.
That’s selfless Christianity at its best. Yet, it’s a biblical principle that many who are said to be followers of Jesus don’t embrace. And it’s something the Dove Award-winning musician wants the Church to get back to.
Though the young singer admits he doesn’t always personally get it right, he’s trying.
“I have made decisions, bold ones, some significant and some minor, that I have been quite sure about. I could find validation in the Scriptures and I could probably ‘wow’ someone with the explanation,” explained McReynolds, adding, “But I worry that some of those decisions, while intellectually justified, may have had a negative affect on my sphere of influence.”
Keeping in mind your ability to influence others, the associate professor at Columbia College in Chicago said, “Let your pictures be carefully chosen so someone isn’t led back into the bars because of your one night of ‘holy’ social drinking.”
He also writes, “Let your clothes be modest so that a new convert doesn’t equate the ‘saved and sexy’ to the ‘saved with sex.’ That is, if you care about anyone but yourself.”
As a witness for Christ, perhaps your life is the only Bible some non-believer may read. The question to ask yourself is, what will they come away with?
“Don’t be a stumbling block, so puffed up by your own knowledge and salvation, that you cause others to fall,” wrote McReynolds.