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Discussion Forum : Articles and Sermons : The tyranny of the weaker brother - RC Sproul

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Joined: 2007/5/22
Posts: 295

 The tyranny of the weaker brother - RC Sproul


 2010/10/22 18:08Profile

Joined: 2010/8/30
Posts: 449
Paradise, California

 Re: The tyranny of the weaker brother - RC Sproul

Galatians 5:14

For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, "YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF."

We have great liberty in Christ. But lets be aware of the weaker brother as to not cause him to stumble as a result of our Liberty. Please God give us wisdom in this matter so we know how to love our brother as we ought to.


 2010/10/22 18:25Profile

Joined: 2007/2/3
Posts: 814
Alberta, Canada


And please give us wisdom-- and courage-- to speak forthrightly to the weaker brother who is trying to make his scruples the rule of the church... and thereby undercuts our Christian liberty. That's the point of this message.

It's a good message.

Allan Halton

 2010/10/22 20:18Profile

Joined: 2007/2/10
Posts: 72
A Little Town In Iowa


Ryan G.

 2010/10/22 21:25Profile


I see what he is trying to say, but I think he is going about it the wrong way. Because, the "weaker brother" in Romans 14 is not associated with legalism.

It should have been titled "The Tyranny of the Legalist".

The Legalist is deceived. The Weaker Brother is not deceived, but just does not have the faith to "enjoy" some liberties that other Christians enjoy. There is a big difference. And our liberties never involve sin.

Let's not look on weaker brothers as tyrannical.

My daughter went to a Bible Study at her college where the "leader" of the Bible Study was proudly a 5 point Calvinist. He said that he liked country and rock music and that his friend, a Christian who is not Calvinist, asked him to turn it off. His friend objected to the lyrics in the song and the Calvinist says he only listens because he likes the music.

So, during the bible study, the Calvinist was using this example (that took place in his car between he and his friend), to show that his friend was the weaker brother because he could not listen to rock music. It seemed tyrannical to him that his brother was grieved with the music. And he calls him "Weaker", in front of many of the students.

My daughter did not say anything but she thought that the self-avowed 5 pointer was the weaker brother.

As you can see the whole thing is ridiculous, thinking that the Christian who did not like the words of the music, which did not glorify God, was the weaker brother.

So, tyrannical and weaker are not synonymous and RC Sproul seems to be creating a whole new theology and using the "weaker brother" term, which he is not properly using.

I see what he is trying to say, but I think he was trying to be a little to cute just to make a nice sermon. It missed it's mark to those who know the difference between legalism (tyranny) and weaker brothers.

We are supposed to think on good things. These songs glorigy cheating on spouses, getting drunk, etc. The weaker brother is supposed to be "considered" by the spiritually mature and we are not to make them stumble.

 2010/10/23 9:16


Gal 2:4 And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:
Gal 2:5 To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.

The legalists in this example are called false brothers, who despise the liberty that is to be found in Christ. Typically it is legalists that start shouting about ' antinominism" which means " a flagrant disregard for Gods commands." Its an old charge made against anyone who talks about liberty, true liberty in Christ. Does the genuine Christian who walks in liberty have a license to sin? As Paul says " God forbid." This accuation can only be made by someone who has no " knowledge,' of Christ. The last thing, the very last thing that any genuine new creature in Christ wants to do is sin. The freedom found in Christ is exhilarating, once tasted, will never, not even for an hour, be given up. To be imprisoned all one's life, then to find freedom in Christ is beyond imagination and will never be given up, not even at the point of death, hence the martyrs down through the centuries. This is something the legalists (typically the torturers and killers of the martyrs) could never Frank

 2010/10/23 10:02

Joined: 2010/6/26
Posts: 434

 Two pitfalls: Legalism and Lawlessness

 2010/10/23 11:39Profile

 Re: Two pitfalls: Legalism and Lawlessness

I agree with you Renoncer. It is easy for our flesh to fall on either side. Hence, we must walk in the Spirit so that we do not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.

The only thing God allows us to judge is what is produced. Fruit (Matt 7). We do not have to eat bad fruit or associate with bad fruit. But we are not to judge the eternal destination of anyone.

You can judge what you hear and what you see. Not what someone tells you. Out of the abundance of one's mouth the heart speaks. You can hear what has captured someone's heart by listening to their words. If Jesus has their heart you will hear that in their words. If something else has their heart, you will hear that.

Luke 6:45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

Mat 12:33 Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.

Mat 12:34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

 2010/10/23 20:24

Joined: 2010/6/26
Posts: 434


 2010/10/23 22:13Profile


Yes, you provide scriptures that show the balance and always humility is the key. I would say we all need to work on that. :-)

We are not to go around self-righteously exposing everyone and everything that does not line up with Scriptures (Mt 13). Who would or could survive that? You would crush everyone's spirit.

An earthly father does not correct his child (who is growing and maturing) on each and every little thing that they say or do wrong. Yet, they will provide wisdom about what will hurt them. "My son, heed my words". They will also protect them from strangers.

We do not always know who an unbeliever is. Every believer has sometimes acted as an unbeliever. Just like every child throws fits and fights with their siblings. Discernment and love is needed to know how to assess (judge) what is happening and counsel and restore a brother or expose/run from a wolf. That's why they come in sheep's clothing; they look like sheep but they are here to devour prey.

John 4:1-2 is spoken to all believers. We are all to learn how to try the spirits. False bretren, teachers, preachers make a name for themselves and take advantage of sheep. Their name is always a bit higher than Jesus. Their flesh uses Jesus to draw people to themselves instead of to Jesus. Their root is pride and greed and they never repented of that. Those who used pride and greed in the world to take advantage of people and never repent of it, just pick up where they left off (in the world), except now they are in the church exploiting people with their selfish ambition and covetousness. They were in the world trying to get to the top and step on anyone that was in their way and now they just do the same thing in the church. They flatter the sheep and draw men unto themselves. They are man-pleasers and not God-pleasers. They won't teach the part of the Bible that would conform you to the image of Christ else they step on toes and lose money. Man-pleasers will not teach the whole counsel of God.

And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness. And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not. Ezekiel 33:31-32

We are in a war, and sadly, the Church has not shown up for it. And because of it, many are easy prey, especially to the flatterer who "praises" Jesus.

Each time the Lord gives us more wisdom to try spirits, we need double the wisdom in humility.

Blessings Renoncer, Pilgrim

 2010/10/23 23:14

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