We had a fine Bible study last night during Wednesday night prayer meeting, and I wanted to share the nuggets of what we uncovered.
Christians may have heard of the problem of the "weaker" brother, but can sometimes misunderstand who that is. Paul, in 1st Corinthians 8, clarifies the relationship responsibilities of the strong Christian to the weak Christian:
Chapter 8 is different from when a weak believer judges another believer. Romans 14 speaks to that sort of person. It says to stop judging (14:13), and keep their convictions to yourself (v. 22). Chuck Swindoll once warned of the "professional weaker brother" -- the Christian who demands that everyone else comply with his personal hang-ups.
The main idea of 1st Corinthians 8 is that the good of our fellow Christian takes priority over the exercise of liberty. This doesn't mean that we give in to every Christian's personal opinions. There are some Christians who need to be kindly told, "Brother, you need to respect my liberty." This also doesn't relate to life in the congregation. Paul is addressing our conduct out in non-Christian society.
But, if I know that a fellow Christian is being tempted by my influence to engage in something they feel in their heart is wrong, then I should stop doing whatever it is that's influencing them.
Jack is the teaching elder of Ironworks Pike Community Church. He is a graduate of Columbia Biblical Seminary http://www.ciu.edu.