Bowing down in the temple of Rimmon, may the LORD forgive your servant for this.

2Kgs 5:18: “May the LORD forgive your servant for this one thing: When my master enters the temple of Rimmon to worship, and he leans on my arm and I bow down in the temple of Rimmon, may the LORD forgive your servant for this.””

Whether we can equate Naaman’s idol problem to correspond exactly with anything today in the West or not, it still shows a remarkable degree of latitude from both Elijah and God. The same with Cornelius keeping his job as a colonial occupier (a far worse job for a Christadelphian than a modern police captain). Or Hezekiah holding the Passover in the wrong month. Or David eating the shewbread. Or any of the many fast ones pulled by Jacob.

The fact is that God, basically, isn’t always as fussy as we might be… We all live in the Temple of Rimmon daily (certainly Monday through Friday), making compromises and failing to live up to the letter, let alone the Spirit, of the Word of life.
Therefore, we have to be so, so careful not to be busy putting burdens on the shoulders of others when we will not, or cannot lift a finger to help bear them. And there is such a thing a millstone; it is not the stumbled who wear the millstones, instead it is people like me who take them on ourselves when we decide for others the terms by which that person has to approach Christ.

The narrow path to the kingdom is, unfortunately, littered with the bodies of those who have fallen and not been picked up. And the side of the road is dotted with pits for lost sheep to fall into.

We can put faces and names to these people — and some of the faces and names we know today are going to be the casualties of the next 10, 20, 30 years if the lord remains away. Some of the things that cause people to fall by the wayside are indeed gnats not camels (to mix parables), and yes we could say,

‘It’s their own stupid fault — they strained out a gnat (or hat, or skirt, or whatever else) and swallowed a camel (the broad way which leads to destruction).’

What I’m trying to say is this:

Woe betide the person who serves up the gnat the breaks the camel’s back”

Peter Collins

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