We should be able to distinguish between someone who is weak and someone who is rebellious, “Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations” Romans 14:1. Do not make spiritual maturity a requirement for fellowship – love the brotherhood unconditionally. One who is weak in the faith receive ye! Accept him in the faith, or fellowship.
“…but not to doubtful disputations.”
Christians, we like humiliating others don’t we? We carry on debating until the other has given up the ghost, and sadly we argue over doubtful things.
Doubtful disputations are things we argue about but we’re not sure of,
- one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs, Romans 14:2
- one man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike, Romans 14:5
- one believes in tithes: another doesn’t, etc.
But Paul said, “Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind” Romans 14:5. On questions of this kind everyone must decide for himself; but never to make your brother stumble, offended, or made weak. “Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.” Romans 14:19. Don’t make it an issue of judging, however also, don’t use your liberty to stumble another brother.
“Let not then your good be evil spoken of: For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” Romans 14:16-17
Who are you to judge another’s servant?
“But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.” Romans 14:10
It isn’t our place to pass judgment on any fellow Christian. They stand or fall before their own Master, even God.
At the end of the day; “every one of us shall give account of himself to God” Romans 14:12. Judging our brother is inappropriate because one day we will all face judgment before Jesus.
Paul says to Timothy, “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears.” 2 Timothy 4:1-3
Now, when we admonish or rebuke, we do it over clear Scriptural principles, not over doubtful things. We may offer advice to others about doubtful things, but should never judge them. “And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.” Romans 15:14. Concerning those you shouldn’t receive Paul says, “But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat….Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.” 1 Corinthians 5:11, 13.