Weaker Brother: Word Of The Week

Weaker Brother:

Simple-minded, ignorant and young Christians that are not able to grasp the meaning of the freedom given in faith—even if they wished to do so. These are the ones we must take care not to offend. We ought to defer to their weakness until they have had the opportunity to become more fully instructed in the faith. They act the way they do only because their faith is weak. Therefore, fasts and other ceremonies they might think are necessary should be observed in order to avoid upsetting them. In this way we follow the command of love, which seeks not to harm but to serve. After all, they are not to be blamed for their weakness. It is their pastors who have used tradition to take them captive. (According to this principle, Paul circumcised Timothy, in Acts 16:3.)

Source: Martin Luther, The Freedom of a Christian