Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The weaker brother

Over and over again I've heard the argument of the "weaker brother" from 1 Corinthians 8. Honestly, most of the time it has been in the context of drinking. It takes some kind of form like, "I never drink because a weaker brother (read 'recovering alcoholic or alcoholic-in-waiting') may see me and think it is okay for them to drink too."

BTW, calling (out loud or in your head) someone who is fighting through recovery 'weaker' is foolish and disrespectful. You probably couldn't lift their shoes, nevertheless walk 12 steps in them.

Where does the weaker brother argument fall in terms of relational discipleship? If we take Jesus' command to make disciples seriously, shouldn't we be strengthening these brothers instead of sheltering them? It is our job to walk with them, engage them, help them move toward being a mature disciple who makes disciples. This doesn't mean that there are never times to protect them, but it should only be for a season, not a lifetime.

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