A somewhat recurrent them is that those young in the faith need protection. This seems to be backed up by Mark 9:42 where Jesus talks about not causing a little one to stumble and the millstone around the neck deal Many have used such a verse to such to foster indoctrination and/or sheltering from the beliefs of others. In some cases, such has even been used to justify the creation of falsehoods about others.
I’m of the opinion Mark 9;42 is connected to the rest of the chapter where in we have Jesus referencing body parts as to the cause of stumbling. I find it exceedingly interesting that the tongue is clearly absent from the adjacent text. Rather the adjacent text indicates body parts are key, the stumbling bit seems to be much more a physical thing… ie, using the eyes to lust or covet, and the foot and hands to run off and steal, kidnap or rape.
Likewise, the predecessor verses seem to indicate even others who are outside the group are not a threat… ie dudes were casting out demons in Jesus name, even though they were not “one of us”, and Jesus was cool with it, even though the disciples were not.
Going back a bit further back in the chapter, we run into Jesus coming down on the disciples for pride and arrogance as to who would be the greatest. To some extent, I wonder if ideological protectionism, sheltering, and indoctrination may be more of a power play than a anti-stumbling methodology?
Going beyond just scripture into reason and experience, it seems the practices of falsehoods, sheltering, and indoctrination more often than not does eventually cause little ones to stumble… the exact opposite of what such was intended to protect against. Such plays out every year to folks peril when overly sheltered, and indoctrinated young folks go off to college, followed there after by the casting away of their beliefs, where as other young students more often than not tend to stay the course they were taught.
I think only the bit that could be used to justify sheltering is where Jesus talks about salt loosing its saltiness in Mark 9:50 but such would be a substantial mis-interpretation. Salt in and of itself doesnt loose its saltiness. Bulk salt properties otoh are subject to change, with the greatest rates of change occurring when 99.999% sale is removed from its hermetic packaging. For background info, consider the bulk osmotic pressure differences between 99.999% NaCl and NaCl based road salt.
Granted a discussion of osmotic pressure differentials is far outside the scope of this article… but considering that we are not to put our light under a lampstand, and that hermetic seals are not forever… long term protectionism does not appear a wise course of action.