~ Why God sides with conservatives over liberals ~

Posted: November 2, 2011 in Uncategorized

I have observed with great sadness, among the Christian circles (especially in social media and other forms of broadcast media), that Christian liberty or freedom has been grossly misinterpreted and misapplied. Nobody, I included, seems to care about the weaker brother anymore. Nobody seems to have the time to slow down and wait for those who are slow in understanding. We now regard weaker brothers as stumbling blocks, forgetting that it is the stronger brother who is referred to as the stumbling block by God (Romans 14:13). We now regard the weaker brother as a nuisance that should be ignored in our attempts to flex our spiritual muscles and exercise our freedoms. The weaker brother is treated like the slow student in classroom who is slowing everyone down and should be ignored for class to continue.

This I have observed both in my own interactions with those I would consider weaker brothers, along with those I would consider stronger brothers.

First of all, let me explain what I mean by a weaker or a stronger brother. A stronger brother, according to Romans 14, is (allegorically) the person who understands that it is inconsequential whether you go to church on Sunday or Saturday. A weaker brother in this case is one who thinks that people should only go to Church on Sunday (or only on Saturday) and that anyone going to church on any other day is blaspheming against God. I hope you get the drift. The difference between a stronger and a weaker brother in this note is a LIBERTY one, not a TRUTH vs HERESY one.

I have interacted with several stronger brothers and disagreed with them on various issues. For instance, a stronger brother might think that it is ok to play secular music in church. He believes that all music, just like food, belongs to God. But I, as the weaker brother, am not comfortable with this. I still think that some music is a form of sacrifice to the devil. I still think that playing that music (even after refining the lyrics) in church is still blasphemous and offensive to God. I believe that doing such a thing is a sin and offering a sacrifice to the devil. So, how is the stronger brother supposed to address me? The Bible provides a rather straight-forward answer:

“If your brother or sister is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy someone for whom Christ died.” Romans 14:15

The Bible clearly states that the stronger brother should stop doing what he is doing because it is distressing his weaker brother. God gives priority to the weaker brother, not because the weaker brother is right, but because he is weak, and God wants to strengthen his faith rather than shatter the little faith he has. But this isn’t always what happens in the church today. This isn’t what happened to me. The stronger brother in this case told me that I should “stop listening to the music” if I know it will stumble me. That’s not right. The Bible says the opposite! You stop playing the music because it will stumble me! If a weaker brother believes that listening to secular music is a sin, you, the stronger brother should stop listening to secular music for his sake.

“No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.” (1 Cor 10:24)

Apart from the aforementioned example, I have also interacted with brothers that I may consider weaker than me. One example is the fact that this weaker brother believes that it is not OK to have cross-gendered mentor-ships. i.e. A man cannot be a woman’s mentor or “Spiritual father” and vice versa, and yet the two are not married. However, I believe that this is possible, and I have even gone ahead and tried to convince this weaker brother why I believe that cross-gendered mentor-ships are possible. I even give examples from my own life and experiences whereby such mentor-ships have been successful. But the weaker brother does not understand. He is not convinced. He still believes that mentor-ship or “Spiritual Fatherhood” should be restricted to same-gender relationships. I view this weak brother as weak because of his conservative nature. He does not understand the liberty I have in choosing to have cross-gendered mentor-ship. So I dismiss him as foolish and carry on with my cross-gendered mentor-ship agendas. I tell him that he needs to read the Bible and understand that there is nowhere the Bible explicitly condemns this.

But this is wrong. I am creating a stumbling block for my brother. He now thinks and believes that in exercising my liberty (due to some higher knowledge that he doesn’t have), I am sinning before God. He thinks that I am no longer acting in love or as a Christian because I am doing something that is blasphemous. But I dismiss him as young and foolish. Yet God demands the opposite. He demands that, for the sake of this weaker brother, I should stop having cross-gendered mentor-ships or “spiritual fatherhoods”. So, how am I supposed to address this weaker brother? The Bible provides a rather straight-forward answer:

“If your brother or sister is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy someone for whom Christ died.” Romans 14:15

The Bible clearly states that the stronger brother should stop doing what he is doing because it is distressing his weaker brother. God gives priority to the weaker brother, not because the weaker brother is right, but because he is weak, and God wants to strengthen his faith rather than shatter the little faith he has. But this isn’t always what happens in the church today. This isn’t what happened to my weaker brother. I told the weaker brother that he should “leave me and my cross-gendered mentor-ships alone” if he knows I am stumbling him. That’s not right. The Bible says the opposite! I should stop my cross-gendered mentor-ships because I know it will stumble him! If a weaker brother believes that cross-gendered mentor-ships are wrong, I, the stronger brother should stop cross-gendered mentor-ships for his sake.

“No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.” (1 Cor 10:24)

Until we realize this, we will always be ineffective and unloving Christians. The issue is not whether playing secular music in church is wrong or right (who knows for sure?). The issue is not whether cross-gendered mentor-ships are right or wrong (who knows for sure?). The issue is that;

“The kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 14:17)

You will realize, after reading this note, that it doesn’t matter what the correct interpretation of the Bible is, regarding the issues of Christian liberty specifically mentioned in this note, what matters is whether or not love takes precedence over this knowledge.

“Knowledge puffs up, but loves builds up.” (1 Corinthians 8:1)

Without love, our PERFECT knowledge and ACCURATE revelations are just Clanging cymbals. MAKARATASI.

The right answer coming from the wrong heart is still a wrong answer.

“Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.” Romans 14:19

Grace & Peace

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Comments
  1. ARI says:

    this is a really good read Bro!Enlightened…
    I hear you…:)

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