bq. (Whether their points are valid or not is often irrelevant, as their approach to criticizing the generalization usually stonewalls further discussion.) “#”:http://open-dialogue.com/blog/index.php/archives/65/trackback/
“Professional weaker brothers”:http://www.rmcrob.com/?p=2459 are those Christians who are not so weak in their faith as they would have everyone believe, but who fake and exaggerate their weakness and claim offense against other Christians. We’ve all seen and experienced it to some degree, I’m sure. “iMonk”:http://www.internetmonk.com, aka Michael Spencer, “writes”:http://www.internetmonk.com/index.php/archives/the-tyranny-of-the-offended at length on the subject of how to deal with such individuals and how we as Christians are to live and express our faith in the face of those who are easily offended by just about everything.
Christian Diatribists are, I think, in the same camp as the Professional Weaker Brothers. These are those “individuals”:http://dyinginchrist.blogspot.com/ who twist their faith and their beliefs so that they allow them to fuel their own personal “hatred”:http://scatteredwords.com/d/2005/12/feeling_i_dont.php#c22638. Often, these are the same people who hold such a narrow view of Biblical truth that they, 1) misunderstand the truth of their ‘pet’ Scripture passages, the ones they quote regularly as proof for their anger, hatred, and animosity; 2) rail against any who believe differently, using abusive, bitter language; and 3) “complain and rage”:http://scatteredwords.com/d/2005/12/nostalgia.php all the more and claim offense when they are called onto the carpet for their actions (even when the confrontation is peacable).
Both the ‘brothers’ and the ‘diatribists’ share this in common — they are easily offended, often use strong, abusive language when making their arguments, are driven by personal anger, and destroy any valid points they _might_ hold in their offensive approaches to confrontation. Perhaps it is merely human weakness, to see something that frustrates and aggravates you so much that you let your anger take over and control everything you say and do. Yet, for Christians, even this benefit-of-the-doubt excuse fails to justify such behavior. As Christians we are called to a higher standard of peace and love. Christ Himself says that we are to love all men, demonstrating this so well by associating with the worst of society’s sinners. Always His tone and His manner expressed grace and love. There is no place within the Christian faith for the level of hatred, anger, and animosity that we see proceeding out from the Professional Weaker Brother and the Christian Diatribist. No dialogue or discourse can take place with such individuals, either, because they are unwilling to listen and learn. The most we can do is present them with the errors of their ideologies, love them and respond to them in grace, pray for them, and continue to encourage them to think and to change their aggressive behaviors. Unfortunately, most of us would probably rather respond in kind (and sometimes do), which makes ministering to these individuals and helping them grow in their faith that much more difficult. Yet, it is our responsibility to come alongside these people (if they will let us), teaching with patience and grace, striving to help them open their hearts to the work of the Holy Spirit, rather than letting them continue on in their anger and their ignorance.
Oh, that grace would abound!