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Unleavened Bread Ministries with David Eells

Weak to the Weak

Brethren, I was once questioned by a dear sister as to why I dealt so gently with a brother who was in an apostate "Christian" religion. My answer may help you on how to deal with someone who is caught up in a false doctrine, yet appears to desire truth. Anyone can judge, but love will build up and help the one who lacks.


Dear Sister,

I can assure you that few know as I do how evil that false religion is. I was a member of it until I was old enough to walk away. I assume my chat with XXXX bothered you. Every time I talk with him though, he learns more about the scriptures and gets hungrier for "The Word". If I would have spoken against his religion immediately, his defenses would have gone up and I would not be speaking to him at all. This is not God's way of grace. We must be "wise as serpents and harmless as doves". Even a "smoldering wick we should not put out". Jesus confronted the self righteous Pharisees directly without mercy, but He had mercy on the ignorant and erring who wanted truth. Jesus said "since you say you know, your sin remains" and "if I had not spoken to them they had not had sin". This man was born again, but he is an infant and knows so little. He needs milk. Soon I will be able to tell him clearly and he will be able to hear.

Many people have made their mind up with comfortable ideas and don't change easily. If you tell them the big picture up front they will close you out and/or leave you. Jesus said in {Jn.16:12} I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. (Eccl 10:10) If the iron be blunt, and one do not whet the edge, then must he put to more strength: but wisdom is profitable to direct. A dull axe bounces out of hard wood, but if you sharpen it so that it enters by a very narrow front and then wider and wider, the wood will receive it. (10:11) If the serpent bite before it is charmed, then is there no advantage in the charmer. The serpent (flesh) bites when the charmer is not graceful. We have to enable people to overcome their own flesh so they can receive the bigger picture. We have to be "Wise as serpents and harmless as doves". Paul called it "as deceivers and yet true" because we are calming and deceiving their old flesh so that we can get truth in their spirit, gracefully.

God's advice for charming is (1Cor 9:19) For though I was free from all [men,] I brought myself under bondage to all, that I might gain the more. (9:20) And to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, not being myself under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; (9:21) to them that are without law, as without law, not being without law to God, but under law to Christ, that I might gain them that are without law. (9:22) To the weak I became weak, that I might gain the weak: I am become all things to all men, that I may by all means save some. (9:23) And I do all things for the gospel's sake, that I may be a joint partaker thereof.

Self righteousness demands that we be strong to the weak and impulsive. This same Paul shaved his head and took a vow and circumcised Timothy in order to be acceptable to the Jews so he could share the Gospel with them. However, all of these were things he preached against to the knowledgeable. He would have been a lousy charmer any other way. (Jas 3:17) But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without variance, without hypocrisy. (3:18) And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace for them that make peace.

I hope you will understand or at least not judge me in this. I wonder if we would permit as much difference in doctrine in our assemblies as God commands in Romans in order that the young may grow up and that we may learn the ways of peace. (Rom 14:1) But him that is weak in faith receive ye, [yet] not for decision of scruples. (Note: not to argue with them, but to teach them with grace). (14:2) One man hath faith to eat all things: but he that is weak eateth herbs. (14:3) Let not him that eateth set at nought him that eateth not; and let not him that eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him. (14:4) Who art thou that judgest the servant of another? to his own lord he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be made to stand; for the Lord hath power to make him stand. (14:5) One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day [alike]. Let each man be fully assured in his own mind. (14:6) He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord: and he that eateth, eateth unto the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, unto the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks. (14:7) For none of us liveth to himself, and none dieth to himself. (14:8) For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; or whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's. (14:9) For to this end Christ died and lived [again], that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living. (14:10) But thou, why dost thou judge thy brother? or thou again, why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment-seat of God. (14:11) For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, to me every knee shall bow, And every tongue shall confess to God. (14:12) So then each one of us shall give account of himself to God. (14:13) Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge ye this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock in his brother's way, or an occasion of falling. (14:14) I know, and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean of itself: save that to him who accounteth anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. (Note: this makes room for the conscience and grace). (14:15) For if because of meat thy brother is grieved, thou walkest no longer in love. Destroy not with thy meat him for whom Christ died. (14:16) Let not then your good be evil spoken of: (14:17) for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. (14:18) For he that herein serveth Christ is well-pleasing to God, and approved of men. (14:19) So then let us follow after things which make for peace, and things whereby we may edify one another. (14:20) Overthrow not for meat's sake the work of God. All things indeed are clean; howbeit it is evil for that man who eateth with offence. (14:21) It is good not to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor [to do anything] whereby thy brother stumbleth. (14:22) The faith which thou hast, have thou to thyself before God. Happy is he that judgeth not himself in that which he approveth. (14:23) But he that doubteth is condemned if he eat, because [he eateth] not of faith; and whatsoever is not of faith is sin. (15:1) Now we that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. (15:2) Let each one of us please his neighbor for that which is good, unto edifying. (15:3) For Christ also pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell upon me.

The little brother or sister should be able to fellowship in peace with the elder brother or sister long enough to grow up in the knowledge of God. Many in these days who consider themselves mature in doctrine do not permit those weak in the faith into their fellowship. Give God time to reveal Himself to them. Take them under your wing and be patient with them. The self righteous and proud do not permit differences of opinion. We need to remember that we did not get where we are or learn what we learned overnight. We are not talking about immorality or heresy here. That has to be dealt with as Paul taught in (1Cor 5:11) but as it is, I wrote unto you not to keep company, if any man that is named a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such a one no, not to eat.

Your Servant,

PS: The brother spoken of above is now delivered and spirit-filled. Glory to God!

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