Him that is weak in the faith receive you, but not to doubtful disputations.…
This chapter is written to dissuade men from acting the part of religious critics. It cannot be said that men are indifferent to religion in other folks. It is only to religion in themselves that they are comparatively indifferent. Men are so accustomed to criticise each other's church service, etc., that they lose the very spirit of religion. The apostle dissuades everybody from it. A little spring comes out from the side of a mountain, pure and cool. Two men are determined that that spring shall be kept perfectly pure and drinkable. One wants it to be done in one way, and the other in another way; and they are so zealous to keep the spring pure that they get to quarrelling about it, and tramp through it, and make it muddy. They defile it in their very zeal to keep it pure; and the water flows down turbid and unfit to drink. Now, men are so determined to glorify God that they act like the devil. They are so determined that charity shall prevail that they slay men. They are so determined that a kind spirit shall exist that they will not have a word to say to a man who does not believe in their catechism. They are so determined that the world shall be generous that they stir up all manner of corrupting appetites and passions. They condemn their fellow-men, saying, "Well, they are not orthodox. They are not true believers. They do not belong to the true Church. There are no covenants for them." So, under one pretence and another, the great Christian brotherhood, through the ages past, has been turmoiled and distracted; and the world has seen the spectacle of anything but what God meant to establish in the world. The Church by which He meant to make known His manifold wisdom, has made manifest narrowness, sectarianism, selfishness, unjust partialities, and all manner of irritable jealousies. It has not made manifest the beauty of God, the sweetness of Christ Jesus, nor the love of the Spirit. It is a fact which I think can be stated without fear of contradiction, that the general aspect of religion, as presented by churches throughout Christendom, is not winning and attractive, and that the "beauty of holiness," of which the Scriptures speak, has not yet blossomed out in the world.
(H. W. Beecher.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.