Omitting your daily exercise regime is not as serious as encouraging Believers to live from a gospel of works or promoting a revisionist gospel that takes Believers to the wrong side of the cross. Not weeding your garden in not on the same level as denying Believers their status as sons and daughters of God by capturing them in a try-harder mentality.
“It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble” Little ones are those who could have known better if they had not been misled by those more literate and more able than they.
Recently I began a post by asserting that all sin is not the same in God's eyes. There is sin that is just sin and sin that leads to death. The latter, I believe is found in the denial of God; in vitiating the achievements of Jesus and adulterating the power of the cross with gospels of our own. It is a serious thing to promote a false gospel and a false christ because it allies us with anti-christ and retards the advance of the new creation.
The old testament reveals God's hatred of injustice. In the new testament Jesus warns about despising and offending 'these little ones.' Little ones can mean children or innocent and naive people whose intelligence and powers of comprehension are less than those born to teach. If it is bad to pervert the gospel of the Kingdom out of ignorance, it is worse to rob people of life for the advancement of one's career or the perpetuation of the vested interests of the Christian Industry.
'Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly' James 3.1 NIV.
Christian teachers are responsible to nurture sons for God. The worst kind of betrayal is to promote teaching that blinds the eyes, numbs the spirit and deafens the ears of those Jesus died for. If the real Christ unveils the eyes, a false christ blinds them. It is iniquitous to promote death in the name of life. 'Not despising little ones' is a warning about disseminating cunningly devised fables in the name of God. Don't promote earning your life with God when Jesus is our life.
There is the Father of life and the father of lies. One gives his life for His children. The other eats them. I read once that Satan is the father who eats his own sons. That’s a nice literary figure and its true in reality. It is a serious thing to attempt to get life off the backs of those we are meant to serve. But a beautiful thing to lay down our life for Jesus and His people. There are time when lying down our life can mean laying down the ideas to which we are married.
'You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock' Ezek 31.3 NIV. Taking care of the flock involves a commitment to truth because it is the truth. There is nothing to fear in truth. Fear is always associated with deception. Truth liberates and is personal. Jesus is the truth and imparts the Spirit of Truth to those who will receive it.
We multiply iniquity when false doctrine is promoted to sustain the empires of a few at the expense of the the many. Or when we are fixated and chuffed by some status we imagine we have in a denominational identity. Or when the security we think we have in such an identity is of more value to us than the infinitely empowering identity that is ours in Jesus. The worst kind of iniquity is self-deception. It kills our spirit, blinds. Our eyes and is in the same category as suicide. It makes us dead men walking.
Iniquity is the multiplication of death in society as though it is life. It is a serious thing to so conduct oneself, that little ones are left to stumble about, shriveled in spirit and crippled in being when they are a really sons and daughters of God; a serious thing indeed to insinuate otherwise when the salvation of little ones is assured and their place in the Father guaranteed in Jesus. To teach that people are workers and slaves when they are sons and priests is a form of abuse.
'It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble' Luke 17.2 NIV.