“The “weaker brother” argument often serves as a justification for self-imposed (and institutionally…”

2016/03/04 § Leave a comment

“The “weaker brother” argument often serves as a justification for self-imposed (and institutionally mandated) teetotalism. And for good reason. It is a scriptural admonition that must be prayerfully considered. However, as pastor Chuck Swindoll has said, “Be careful, there are some people out there who are professional weaker brethren.” Likewise, we should be leery of professional weaker brother arguments that would rein in all Christian liberty because of the abstract concern that innocuous behavior might cause someone, somewhere, somehow, to stumble.

Although I tend to refrain from consuming alcohol—I have a difficult enough time getting people to take me seriously when I’m stone cold sober—my own view on the issue is similar to that held by theologian D.A. Carson:

“[I]f I’m in one of those parts [of the United States] and everyone’s going to be all upset if I drink alcohol, then—I don’t drink alcohol, it’s not worth the fight and so on. But if somebody says to me, “You cannot be a Christian and drink alcohol,” I will say, “pass the Bourgogne’!” Do you see? Because you do not ever allow anything to jeopardize the absolute sufficiency of Christ. Not anything!”

[…]

Where does Christian liberty end and institutional authority over matters of conscience begin? Obviously there are times when we need to delineate such boundaries, especially for young Christians. But we should be careful about where we mark those lines—especially when they put Jesus on the wrong side.”

Joe Carter, “What Would Jesus Drink?

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