Biblical basis for a "slippery slope"
In several discussions lately, especially on the deaconess issue, the idea of avoiding a "slippery slope" from debatable behavior to clear sin has been advocated by multiple PBers. In the deaconess discussions, people have made the case that women should not be deaconesses in order to avoid going the way of the PCUSA and eventually ordaining women as elders and pastors. In the recent nudity thread, people said that if we accepted viewing nudity in an anthropological context, it could lead down a slippery slope to outright pornography.
While I understand why these arguments are made, I'm not sure there is a clear biblical basis for shunning certain behaviors to avoid a slippery slope. Some might say Jesus hinted at a slippery slope in the Sermon on the Mount when He said to cut off your right hand or pluck out your eye to avoid sin, and Scriptures are filled with admonitions to avoid temptation at all cost. But I'm not sure this is a true slippery slope, and if it is, it certainly can't be generalized to everyone: what may be a temptation for one person may not be a temptation for his neighbor. Jesus dined with tax collectors and sinners and did not sin, yet for others this might have proven to be a major temptation to sin and would have started a slippery slope to sinful actions with those people.
In addition, one could argue that avoiding certain permissible behaviors to avoid a slippery slope is the start of a slippery slope in the opposite direction that leads to legalism. I have argued in the past (not on here - many years ago) that a single sip of alcohol could be the first step to a life of drunkenness, debauchery, and addiction. Yet few on the PB would argue that we should abstain from alcohol entirely to avoid a slippery slope to sin, and would likely accuse those who do advocate abstinence as legalistic or at least fundamentalist (in the BJU sense).
So, I suppose the discussion topics of this thread are twofold:
1. Is the idea of avoiding certain permissible actions in order to prevent a slippery slope to sin biblical? and,
2. By avoiding a slippery slope to sin, don't we run the risk of starting down a slippery slope to legalism?
Member, Redeemer Presbyterian Church (PCA) - though transferring soon to a church in FL
"Come now, and let us reason together," says the Lord, "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool." - Isaiah 1:18