1. The professional weaker brother / sister – A legalist by nature, they are characterized by 1) a simplistic view of spirituality, 2) a belief that spirituality is defined by adherence to a list of dos and don’ts, 3) the opinion that all others should conform to such a list, and 4) they tend to be a “mature” saint who will not actually stumble over the actions of others – they just don’t like what you do.
2. The genuine weaker brother / sister – People who are still babes and are susceptible to stumble in the area of doubtful things.
3. The mature, nonparticipating brother / sister – They limit their liberty for 1 of 2 reasons: 1) They don’t have freedom for a certain area or 2) They refrain because wisdom has taught them that it is not necessary.
4. The immature, participating brother / sister – They are not necessarily immature in knowledge but in their injudicious practice and proclamation of freedom. They harm the body by causing genuine weaker members to stumble.
5. The mature, participating brother / sister – Mature in their wisdom and consistent in applying their liberty in a quiet, non-threatening manner which attempts to avoid unnecessary offense.
(From: “Gentle Persuasion” by Joseph Aldrich) _________________________________________
See my four part series on handling debatable matters
- Understanding legalism (part 1)
- Understanding legalism (part 2)
- Understanding legalism (part 3)
- Understanding legalism (part 4)