Kelly, I think I'm gonna have to place my chips on Erik's side of the table as well. Submitting to the weakest among us is important, though I really want to affirm your desire to be genuine alongside that and clarify what I interpret submission to then mean. When I was a sophmore in college and had just become a Christian, I couldn't stand it when I had my Christian and non-Christian friends in the same room with me, because I was two different people with each crowd. I would feel torn, or panicked, and would plot ways to make one groupl leave. I want to say this is in part what James means when he talks of being "double-minded". The Greek word literally means "divided soul or conscience". It was a huge act of faith for me to begin trying to live a consistent lifestyle. I had to aim myself at God, not either group, and realize in the process that some of each of those two groups would stop calling me a 'friend'. And that's exactly what happened. So I really respect your commitment to being genuine! May God bless that... I still sometimes have difficulty knowing how to interpret what submitting to the weaker brother/ sister means, but I think of it on two levels now: there is a difference between on the one hand a weaker brother/ sister who is less mature than us and therefore unable to discern our actions well, and on the other hand the weaker brother/ sister who has perverted the areas we are comfortable with and may be currently struggling with discipline there. While this may be a bit more than what you're asking, let me give you an example. When I worked at the Salvation Army, people going through rehab from drugs or alcoholism often relapsed because of an "uncontrollable" urge that hit them in association to something they associated with an older lifestyle that involved their chemical dependencies. So a beer commercial or a type of conversation with people could trigger issues in them they were still struggling with. That may be an extreme example, but it's relevant for understanding the power of association... I interpret submitting to the weaker brother to mean ALWAYS in cases of perversion and struggle; however, I think for the sake of being genuine and not double-minded, there are case by case bases for modeling what you know to be responsible and mature actions before God in front of lesser mature brothers/ sisters who may not have fully dealt with the issues yet. That's something though that you'll have to sort out in community as you aim toward God and walk. Not sure if that helps, but it's where I go with your and Erik's thoughts...


Post a Comment

<< Home