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mikebr
Apr 24th 2008, 07:20 PM
Let no one, then, judge you in eating or in drinking, or in respect of a feast, or of a new moon, or of sabbaths,


I understand the eating part, but what drinks were being judged?

amazzin
Apr 24th 2008, 07:24 PM
Let no one, then, judge you in eating or in drinking, or in respect of a feast, or of a new moon, or of sabbaths,


I understand the eating part, but what drinks were being judged?

Drinking is both social and habitual. This means that in social settings to be careful how your drinking influences your witness. Is it defiling or causing you to sin

Usually social drinking was with wine so anything that causs you to get drunk would be judged.

Likewise, habitual refers to who is watching you in your own home. Like children who would want to imitate and not be able to resist going to excess. This too will be judged

mikebr
Apr 24th 2008, 07:32 PM
Drinking is both social and habitual. This means that in social settings to be careful how your drinking influences your witness. Is it defiling or causing you to sin

Usually social drinking was with wine so anything that causs you to get drunk would be judged.

Likewise, habitual refers to who is watching you in your own home. Like children who would want to imitate and not be able to resist going to excess. This too will be judged


But Paul is saying not to let anyone judge you.

amazzin
Apr 24th 2008, 07:35 PM
But Paul is saying not to let anyone judge you.

No, he is sayng let no one have/give a reason to judge you based on the criteria in that verse

mikebr
Apr 24th 2008, 07:41 PM
No, he is sayng let no one have/give a reason to judge you based on the criteria in that verse



13And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 14Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
15And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
16Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:
17Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.
18Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,
19And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.
20Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,
21(Touch not; taste not; handle not;
22Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?
23Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body: not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.


Care to exegete this passage.

Slug1
Apr 24th 2008, 07:44 PM
No, he is sayng let no one have/give a reason to judge you based on the criteria in that verseOn this note cause I have always thought of this verse this way...

I drink beer, I'll have one sometimes at night or on the weekend. I enjoy a beer waiting for dinner sometimes while I go out to eat.

Now, "if" a Christian or even non-Christians see me drinking "a" beer as I wait for my meal... am I placing myself in a situation covered by this scripture. I ask because it is not a sin to drink a beer but some Christian's feel it is. I am not doing anything sinful between myself and God.

:hmm:

amazzin
Apr 24th 2008, 07:44 PM
Care to exegete this passage.

With pleasure ,...what passage is it. I avoid biblical versions I don't recognize and I don't recognize the language here

:lol:

amazzin
Apr 24th 2008, 07:46 PM
On this note cause I have always thought of this verse this way...

I drink beer, I'll have one sometimes at night or on the weekend. I enjoy a beer waiting for dinner sometimes while I go out to eat.

Now, "if" a Christian or even non-Christians see me drinking "a" beer as I wait for my meal... am I placing myself in a situation covered by this scripture. I ask because it is not a sin to drink a beer but some Christian's feel it is. I am not doing anything sinful between myself and Go

:hmm:

Short answer is don't do anything that causes your brother to stumble. Carry the cross for the benefit of your brother who may be weaker

mikebr
Apr 25th 2008, 12:31 AM
With pleasure ,...what passage is it. I avoid biblical versions I don't recognize and I don't recognize the language here

:lol:


Please feel free to pick the version that suits you. Happens to be Young's literal translation.

mikebr
Apr 25th 2008, 12:34 AM
16-17So don't put up with anyone pressuring you in details of diet, worship services, or holy days. All those things are mere shadows cast before what was to come; the substance is Christ.

18-19Don't tolerate people who try to run your life, ordering you to bow and scrape, insisting that you join their obsession with angels and that you seek out visions. They're a lot of hot air, that's all they are. They're completely out of touch with the source of life, Christ, who puts us together in one piece, whose very breath and blood flow through us. He is the Head and we are the body. We can grow up healthy in God only as he nourishes us.



Of course I'm sure Mr Eugene Peterson is wrong as well.

Equipped_4_Love
Apr 25th 2008, 02:12 AM
Short answer is don't do anything that causes your brother to stumble. Carry the cross for the benefit of your brother who may be weaker


I don't see this as the nature of that text at all.

I believe the word "judge" here refers to someone who makes assumptions of the condition of another man's heart, and walk with the Lord, based upon what that person assumes is/isn't lawful. It is not the same thing as discernment, by which we use Scriptural criteria to determine the validity of a person's testimony; rather, it is determining the condition of a person's heart based on actions that are questionable.

For example, Paul stated:

all things are lawful, but not all things edify (1 Cor. 6:12)

and Jesus said

Not what goes into the mouth that defiles a man, but what comes out of the mouth (Mt. 15:11)

In the above passage, Paul listed things such as rituals, days, and food and drink...things that people were not required to abstain from, or adhere to. Whether or not a person worshipped on a certain day, or ate a certain kind of food, or drank alcohol or not did not validate his faith, and it appears that people were using these issues as means by which to judge their fellow Christians, and Paul was saying not to let anyone judge you based on things that were rather insignificant.

The point Paul is making here is saying not to let other people, in their own interpretation, dictate to you what is right/wrong, or invalidate your faith according to their own hang-ups...and don't let them judge you, because ultimately they are not accountable for your salvation...only God is.

Basically, if I see a fellow Christian enjoying a beer, or a glass of wine, or what not, I believe it is my Christian duty to not judge him, so I don't. I'm not going to say whether or not he is a true Christian based upon this, because only God knows the heart, and it is not my place.
I also believe that this makes me a stronger Christian, because I am not allowing my brother to make me stumble, by judging him.

I believe what Paul is inferring to here is not allow what others say to dictate your Christian behaviour...only what is explicitly forbidden in Scripture.

As far as "not doing anything to make your brother stumble," this is important...but also notice that the verse talks about the weaker brother. If you are drinking a glass of wine, and another Christian sees you, and judges you for it, then that person is sinning just as much as the person who does something to lead a weaker brother to fall into sin.

I have pretty much come to the conclusion that in today's world, for some reason, so many Christians have such a problem with people drinking that it's best not to do it at all, even if it is okay...just because a weaker brother could see you, and judge you for it, because many Christians cannot accept the fact that drinking is not prohibited in Scripture!!!!

mikebr
Apr 25th 2008, 12:56 PM
I guess we can assume that the drink involved was alcoholic. :rolleyes:

Slug1
Apr 25th 2008, 01:04 PM
I guess we can assume that the drink involved was alcoholic. :rolleyes:I have never experienced any other "drink" come under discussion except those that are alcoholic so I would assume the same as you.

Equipped_4_Love
Apr 25th 2008, 05:32 PM
It just irritates me when Christians use Romans 14:21 to justify their own sin of judging their brethren.

mikebr
Apr 25th 2008, 05:41 PM
It just irritates me when Christians use Romans 14:21 to justify their own sin of judging their brethren.



21 It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother to fall.

22 So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves.
23 But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.



Yes, it seems there those who say "I can tell you what you should or should not be doing because I think it will cause a weaker brother to stumble."

If it causes someone to believe the truth instead of the lie that they have believed is it causing them to stumble?:confused

Brother Mark
Apr 25th 2008, 05:44 PM
There is a difference between a weaker brother and a controlling brother. Jesus didn't avoid gathering food on the sabbath because it would offend the pharisees or because he was afraid it would hurt his witness. He did that which was right before God as a testimony. On the other hand, if our freedom causes our brother to sin against his conscience and do that which he feels is prevented, then we should give up our freedom.

mikebr
Apr 25th 2008, 05:48 PM
Give it up or keep it between us and God?

Brother Mark
Apr 25th 2008, 05:53 PM
Give it up or keep it between us and God?

Paul said he would give it up.

Rom 14:14-17
14 I know and am convinced in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but to him who thinks anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. 15 For if because of food your brother is hurt, you are no longer walking according to love. Do not destroy with your food him for whom Christ died. 16 Therefore do not let what is for you a good thing be spoken of as evil; 17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
NASB


But more clearly...

1 Cor 8:13
13 Therefore, if food causes my brother to stumble, I will never eat meat again, that I might not cause my brother to stumble.
NASB


The idea is, how can you have a close relationship with your brother and for him to know you intimately, and not be tempted by what you do spiritually? So, with those that are close to us that are weaker, we give up our freedoms for their sake. We do not want our food or drink to hurt that for which Christ died.

Slug1
Apr 25th 2008, 05:56 PM
Paul said he would give it up.

Rom 14:14-17
14 I know and am convinced in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but to him who thinks anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. 15 For if because of food your brother is hurt, you are no longer walking according to love. Do not destroy with your food him for whom Christ died. 16 Therefore do not let what is for you a good thing be spoken of as evil; 17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
NASB


But more clearly...

1 Cor 8:13
13 Therefore, if food causes my brother to stumble, I will never eat meat again, that I might not cause my brother to stumble.
NASB


The idea is, how can you have a close relationship with your brother and for him to know you intimately, and not be tempted by what you do spiritually? So, with those that are close to us that are weaker, we give up our freedoms for their sake. We do not want our food or drink to hurt that for which Christ died.Hey Mark, do you feel this is a permanent giving up of something or that you just do it privately, away from weaker brothers/sisters?

Brother Mark
Apr 25th 2008, 06:05 PM
Hey Mark, do you feel this is a permanent giving up of something or that you just do it privately, away from weaker brothers/sisters?

I think it depends on the level of relationship Slug. Here Paul clearly wrote he completely gave it up.

1 Cor 8:13
13 Therefore, if food causes my brother to stumble, I will never eat meat again, that I might not cause my brother to stumble.
NASB

The idea was that if the food caused his brother to stumble, he was willing to forsake that kind of food on a permanent basis. We must be willing to give up anything that might cause our brother to stumble. As we minister to someone, how can we minister in power if we do not have the cross. But one who gives up permanently something that keeps his brother from stumbling can minister in power to this brother!

But what of one who is not so close? I will not cause them to stumble but when the meeting is over, I will enjoy my freedom again. I just think the willingness to forsake and the proximity of the relationship are to be considered. As an example, if your son was an alcoholic, would you be willing to forsake alcohol for his sake? In the spirit, a weaker brother is often a son. Paul spoke of many that he had labored over in birth and how he was a father. When we look at the natural example the Lord gave us (i.e. sons and fathers) it is easier to understand Paul's passion concerning the giving up of meat.

Also, I think we need to understand the difference between the weaker brother and the controlling brother. There are those that will never drink alcohol and want me to give it up too. For them, I will not budge. They will not drink that which they think is sinful. While they may be offended as a pharisee is offended, they are not the weaker brother in the sense they will sin against their conscience.

mikebr
Apr 25th 2008, 06:07 PM
Paul said he would give it up.

Rom 14:14-17
14 I know and am convinced in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but to him who thinks anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. 15 For if because of food your brother is hurt, you are no longer walking according to love. Do not destroy with your food him for whom Christ died. 16 Therefore do not let what is for you a good thing be spoken of as evil; 17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
NASB


But more clearly...

1 Cor 8:13
13 Therefore, if food causes my brother to stumble, I will never eat meat again, that I might not cause my brother to stumble.
NASB


The idea is, how can you have a close relationship with your brother and for him to know you intimately, and not be tempted by what you do spiritually? So, with those that are close to us that are weaker, we give up our freedoms for their sake. We do not want our food or drink to hurt that for which Christ died.

This seems to contradict the passage in Romans. Can you reconcile the two?

You do realize how deep this rabbit hole can go don't you?

mikebr
Apr 25th 2008, 06:09 PM
I think you just did.:)

Slug1
Apr 25th 2008, 06:12 PM
I think it depends on the level of relationship Slug. Here Paul clearly wrote he completely gave it up.


I see what you're saying and since I've been a leader in a Biblical Recovery program the fact that any possible leader has been healed by God of an addiction has much more worth in ministering to another with the same problem. If I was controlled by alcohol and through God was able to oversome this addiction (sin) then another brother would possibly listen to me more then a brother who has never drank alcohol. Falls in that "been there/done that" type situation.

mikebr
Apr 25th 2008, 06:38 PM
Should we stop having this discussion because Amazzin' had a different interpretation of the scripture?

Equipped_4_Love
Apr 25th 2008, 07:36 PM
Should we stop having this discussion because Amazzin' had a different interpretation of the scripture?

Absolutely not....and I don't think Amazzin was encouraging us to, either. :note:

I appreciate everyone's input, although I don't have to agree with it.

Equipped_4_Love
Apr 25th 2008, 07:53 PM
Paul said he would give it up.

The idea is, how can you have a close relationship with your brother and for him to know you intimately, and not be tempted by what you do spiritually? So, with those that are close to us that are weaker, we give up our freedoms for their sake. We do not want our food or drink to hurt that for which Christ died.

That's one thing that I've pretty much come to accept, but don't fully understand, because it appears that we do have freedom in Christ, but only insofar as it doesn't affect another brother.

I'm thinking that it has to do with us having freedom, but being accountable for that freedom, in how we use it to benefit the Kingdom of God.

Before I came to Christ, I had what I thought was the freedom to drink, but it wasn't really freedom, because I was merely acting within the bondage of my own lusts.
Now that I am a new creature in Christ, I am free from that bondage, and no longer need to act on it in order to have fulfillment...but with this comes another bondage, that being the bondage of judgement by other Christians.
So, I've just pretty much concluded that, even though I have the personal freedom to drink, and God will not hold it against me if I do, I really cannot exercise this freedom, because it may stumble another brother.

I have had a few drinks after coming to Christ, but not very often, mostly because I don't feel spending money on booze is being a very good steward with it, since I don't have much of it. The last time I bought liquor, I did feel rather convicted about it, so I pretty much decided that this was something that I just couldn't do...not because I don't have that freedom, but because I need to be considerate to a fellow Christian who might see me.

I still don't quite understand it fully, but that's the best explanation I can give :confused We do have freedom in Christ, but that is because Christ is not weak, nothing we do can cause Him to stumble, and He does not judge as man judges.
In the body of believers, we do not have such freedoms, because of the incredible amount of struggle that goes on, whether with the lusts of the flesh, or with pride/judgementalism.

It's a catch-22, because although we have freedom in Christ, we have restrictions on how we can exercise that freedom...which brings about the question, do we actually have true freedom?

I personally don't understand why Paul just didn't come out and say that we can't drink!!

Brother Mark
Apr 25th 2008, 08:00 PM
That's one thing that I've pretty much come to accept, but don't fully understand, because it appears that we do have freedom in Christ, but only insofar as it doesn't affect another brother.

I'm thinking that it has to do with us having freedom, but being accountable for that freedom, in how we use it to benefit the Kingdom of God.

Before I came to Christ, I had what I thought was the freedom to drink, but it wasn;t really freedom, because I was merely acting within the bondage of my own lusts.
Now that I am a new creature in Christ, I am free from that bondage, and no longer need to act on it in order to have fulfillment...but with this comes another bondage, that being the bondage of judgement by other Christians.

The weaker brother is not one who judges, though that can be a sign of weakness. It is the one whom sins against his own conscience. In other words, if you drank in front of one who felt it was wrong to drink, and that one became emboldened by your actions, and drank too, then he has fallen into sin and so have you. That is the weaker brother. One who thinks it is wrong to drink and may drink if temptation comes. He is weak both in his conviction and in his ability to follow his conviction. But if a controlling brother judges you for it, that is nothing and no reason to give it up. Jesus did not stop healing on the sabbath day because he was judged. Nor did he stop gathering food in a field on the sabbath because he was judged. He wasn't concerned with his "testimony" with those that would judge him as he was in showing mercy to those that were hungry or needed healing. I will not give up my freedom for the brother that wishes to judge me. That is between him and God. But neither will I use my freedom when I may cause one of the little ones to stumble in his faith.


It's a catch-22, because although we have freedom in Christ, we have restrictions on how we can exercise that freedom.


Correct. But when one truly understands freedom, we know that Paul too was exercising his freedom in a way. He was free from the control of his flesh and was able to walk away from that which was not sin for his brother's sake. One who is addicted or loves something more than his brother is not "free" to live in such a way.

I hope I have been clear on the difference between the controlling/judgmental brother and the weaker one.

Equipped_4_Love
Apr 25th 2008, 08:05 PM
Paul said he would give it up.

Rom 14:14-17
14 I know and am convinced in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but to him who thinks anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. 15 For if because of food your brother is hurt, you are no longer walking according to love. Do not destroy with your food him for whom Christ died. 16 Therefore do not let what is for you a good thing be spoken of as evil; 17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
NASB


But more clearly...

1 Cor 8:13
13 Therefore, if food causes my brother to stumble, I will never eat meat again, that I might not cause my brother to stumble.
NASB


The idea is, how can you have a close relationship with your brother and for him to know you intimately, and not be tempted by what you do spiritually? So, with those that are close to us that are weaker, we give up our freedoms for their sake. We do not want our food or drink to hurt that for which Christ died.


.....but not all Christians are weak, and it appears the ones that are not are merely using this as an excuse to point the finger. I'm sorry, but making a brother feel guilty for something that is not condemned in Scripture is making a brother to stumble, IMO. Where's the love in that?!

Phariseeism 101 rears it's ugly head!!!

Brother Mark
Apr 25th 2008, 08:08 PM
.....but not all Christians are weak, and it appears the ones that are not are merely using this as an excuse to point the finger. I'm sorry, but making someone feel guilty for something that is permitted is making a brother to stumble, IMO.

Making someone feel guilty can be manipulation. However, Jesus didn't feel guilty though the pharisees judged him. If one feels guilty, then perhaps one's conviction is not as clear as they think it is. When we have settled the issue in our hearts, the pharisees won't be able to control us. We do not have to give up drinking because of the pharisee that says it is wrong. Scripture doesn't teach that.

Equipped_4_Love
Apr 25th 2008, 08:18 PM
I think it depends on the level of relationship Slug. Here Paul clearly wrote he completely gave it up.

1 Cor 8:13
13 Therefore, if food causes my brother to stumble, I will never eat meat again, that I might not cause my brother to stumble.
NASB

Paul was also a leader in the church, though, and many people were watching his behaviour, no doubt. He probably couldn't do much without facing scrutiny, and his actions were no doubt on public display.



The idea was that if the food caused his brother to stumble, he was willing to forsake that kind of food on a permanent basis. We must be willing to give up anything that might cause our brother to stumble. As we minister to someone, how can we minister in power if we do not have the cross. But one who gives up permanently something that keeps his brother from stumbling can minister in power to this brother!

What of the person who occasionally enjoys wine or a beer, and is not stumbling his brother?
It just seems to me that if a person enjoys a drink occasionally with no problem, and no personal conviction, but has to give it up because other people are condemning him, then that person is not truly free in Christ, because that person's actions are being dictated by another bondage...judgementalism.


But what of one who is not so close? I will not cause them to stumble but when the meeting is over, I will enjoy my freedom again. I just think the willingness to forsake and the proximity of the relationship are to be considered. As an example, if your son was an alcoholic, would you be willing to forsake alcohol for his sake? In the spirit, a weaker brother is often a son.

I agree...you should give it up because you love that person.

I really think that we can simplify this. If it's not causing a brother to stumble, then you have the freedom to do it. If it's causing a brother to stumble, then it's best if you forego that freedom.
With freedom comes responsibility.


Also, I think we need to understand the difference between the weaker brother and the controlling brother. There are those that will never drink alcohol and want me to give it up too. For them, I will not budge. They will not drink that which they think is sinful. While they may be offended as a pharisee is offended, they are not the weaker brother in the sense they will sin against their conscience.

I think you're absolutely right. Amen!!! :)

Equipped_4_Love
Apr 25th 2008, 08:22 PM
I hope I have been clear on the difference between the controlling/judgmental brother and the weaker one.

Yes, you have, and we are in agreement. Thank you.

Brother Mark
Apr 25th 2008, 08:24 PM
Paul was also a leader in the church, though, and many people were watching his behaviour, no doubt. He probably couldn't do much without facing scrutiny, and his actions were no doubt on public display.

It is for this reason that Jesus would not bend when healing on the sabbath. He wanted people to see what God was really like. If one gives up freedom because others are judging, then our witness of who God is, really is impacted! Because now we are communicating something about God that is not true! Yet, if we give up our freedom for the brother who is truly weak, then we are demonstrating what God is really like. The difference in these two situations is very important.


What of the person who occasionally enjoys wine or a beer, and is not stumbling his brother?

It just seems to me that if a person enjoys a drink occasionally with no problem, and no personal conviction, but has to give it up because other people are condemning him, then that person is not truly free in Christ, because that person's actions are being dictated by another bondage...judgementalism.

Exactly!!! We do not have to consider another persons condemnation or judgments when we decide what is or is not OK.


I really think that we can simplify this. If it's not causing a brother to stumble, then you have the freedom to do it. If it's causing a brother to stumble, then it's best if you forego that freedom.
With freedom comes responsibility.

Correct. As long as we understand to stumble, means to sin against one's conscience. To stumble in this case, would mean that a brother took a drink who thought such a thing was wrong. While the pharisees indeed stumbled, or sinned, when they judged Christ, that did not keep Jesus from doing those things they would judge him for. In other words, me taking a drink in front of someone that thought drinking was sinful does not classify me as being a stumbling block to them... unless it would cause them to sin against their conscience and take a drink as well.

Equipped_4_Love
Apr 25th 2008, 08:42 PM
Correct. As long as we understand to stumble, means to sin against one's conscience. To stumble in this case, would mean that a brother took a drink who thought such a thing was wrong. While the pharisees indeed stumbled, or sinned, when they judged Christ, that did not keep Jesus from doing those things they would judge him for. In other words, me taking a drink in front of someone that thought drinking was sinful does not classify me as being a stumbling block to them... unless it would cause them to sin against their conscience and take a drink as well.


I'm glad that the conversation veered in this direction, because I think it's so important that we clarify the difference between the weak brother, and the controlling (or Pharasaical) brother....but what of someone who has been a Christian for a while, but once struggled with alcoholism, and because of this, condemns other Christians, who do not have a problem, for drinking? Would you define this as a predominantly weak, or predominantly controlling, brother? How would you handle someone like this?

I ask this, because I was talking to a pastor about this very situation a few months ago. This dear brother had been an alcoholic for many years before coming to Christ, and he proceeded to lecture me on just why it isn't lawful for me to drink. In the middle of the conversation, I asked him what his history was, and he basically told me that alcohol ruined his life. I explained to him that not everyone has a problem, and he assured me that if I even touched alcohol, that I would be doing something unscriptural.

I pointed out that the Scripture in Romans where Paul says all things are lawful...., but he assured me that I would become addicted if I drank, even occasionally.

So, then, I ask you, was this gentleman weak, or was he controlling, or both? How are we to handle situations like this? It is my opinion that how long one has been a Christian is not a good indicator of one's maturity level. I also think that some people judge because they have weaknesses themselves...so how should we, as Christians, handle this dillemma?

It's not just alcohol, either. Another example...an attractive woman comes to church, dressed nice, but not scantily, but other women who have low self-esteem condemn her for the way she dresses...not because it's sinful, but because there is that competition. Would you consider this judgementalism by the other sisters, or would you advise the attractive woman to dress down for the sake of the other ladies?

Brother Mark
Apr 25th 2008, 08:54 PM
I'm glad that the conversation veered in this direction, because I think it's so important that we clarify the difference between the weak brother, and the controlling (or Pharasaical) brother....but what of someone who has been a Christian for a while, but once struggled with alcoholism, and because of this, condemns other Christians, who do not have a problem, for drinking? Would you define this as a predominantly weak, or predominantly controlling, brother? How would you handle someone like this?

If I thought they might take a drink because of me, I would give it up forever. If they were on their soap box, I would simply ignore what they were saying concerning drinking.


I ask this, because I was talking to a pastor about this very situation a few months ago. This dear brother had been an alcoholic for many years before coming to Christ, and he proceeded to lecture me on just why it isn't lawful for me to drink. In the middle of the conversation, I asked him what his history was, and he basically told me that alcohol ruined his life. I explained to him that not everyone has a problem, and he assured me that if I even touched alcohol, that I would be doing something unscriptural.

If he's that strong, then perhaps he isn't tempted by your drinking in private or public. I probably wouldn't drink in front of him so as to avoid any potential temptation for him. Use your discernment. If he is speaking HARD against it because he can't handle others drinking, then it might be time to give it up.


I pointed out that the Scripture in Romans where Paul says all things are lawful...., but he assured me that I would become addicted if I drank, even occasionally.

Yet Jesus drank and didn't become an addict. He is preaching his experience. Sometimes our experiences are so strong, we think they apply to everyone when they do not.


So, then, I ask you, was this gentleman weak, or was he controlling, or both? How are we to handle situations like this? It is my opinion that how long one has been a Christian is not a good indicator of one's maturity level. I also think that some people judge because they have weaknesses themselves...so how should we, as Christians, handle this dillemma?

He may be both weak and controlling. Certainly, the fact he things it is wrong at all times would make him a weaker brother. For in the conversation in Corinthians it is clear that the stronger brother understands his freedom. If he is tempted to drink by another's freedom, then he is weak. Time and discernment and further discussion with him will reveal the issue more. But you may never know completely. You may want to be safe and just not drink around him.


It's not just alcohol, either. Another example...an attractive woman comes to church, dressed nice, but not scantily, but other women who have low self-esteem condemn her for the way she dresses...not because it's sinful, but because there is that competition. Would you consider this judgementalism by the other sisters, or would you advise the attractive woman to dress down for the sake of the other ladies?

It is controlling anytime I try to force a conviction of mine on another where scripture is not clear. For instance, I can take a strong stand on premarital sex because scripture takes a strong stand on it. God says we are to dress modestly so I can preach that. But to preach a dress code is extra-biblical. I preach modesty and leave it to the Lord and the person to make a decision on that. But we must keep in mind that what is modest to one may be modest to another. And also, that the older women are to teach the younger. If their is agreement about her dress not being modest, then perhaps there is something there. But who knows their hearts? If the woman is not convicted about her dress, and the leadership of the church doesn't see a problem, then there may not be an issue.

In an issue like that, I would think of this verse and steer clear.

Prov 26:17
17 Like one who takes a dog by the ears
Is he who passes by and meddles with strife not belonging to him.
NASB