Romans 14 – 1. Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgement on his opinions.
Paul seems intent here on “smooth sailing” for the church, in making it plain that minor differences or variations in doctrinal beliefs should not be allowed to upset the main object of the cohesiveness of the group. v19 “So then let us pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.”
In calling them, “opinions”, he seems to be acknowledging that the “new convert” (to quote other scripture), may have a belief structure that is not quite in accordance with the Spirit of truth. He says v20 “…All things indeed are clean, but they are evil for the man who eats and gives offense.”
The regard for the “weak who eats only vegetables” should take precedence over the desire for doctrinal “purity”?
And likewise the one who does not eat meat should not condemn the one who does. In other words, no one should judge anyone else who is under the “umbrella” of Christ, on what must surely then, be considered as “trivial” for the purpose. 22 “The faith that you have, have as your own conviction before God”.
To let everything be from whatever faith the person has, so as not to cause a brother to “stumble”, by challenging what his faith is based on.
19 “So then, let us pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.”
This must have its limits, as Paul is fairly much down on those who truly promote that which is seen as an enemy of the faith. But these usually are those outside the faith.
This represents quite a challenge when you consider the wide-ranging doctrinal variations that occur with the various groups, and the amount of damage to people’s lives that they can, and do, cause.
However, he is talking about one’s own particular group, within which are those considered as brothers and sisters, and who are the direct object of his instruction. The situation of correct teaching must still fall on those who are given that task within the group, to represent the truth as they believe it is.
17 “For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit”.
5 “One man regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. [sabbaths]. Let each man be fully convinced in his own mind.”
6 “He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord, and he who eats, does so for the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who eats not, for the Lord he does not eat, and gives thanks to God”. It appears the major thing is to allow the person to serve God with a clear conscience, because it is only from a clear conscience that he can successfully serve God. The main point must be for the building up of the body in the Spirit.
ADDITIONAL TO “”. Some years ago, two sisters were at a meeting in a church which is commonly known as a sect, and when it came to the taking of communion, the sister whose home church it was, prevented the other one from partaking in the bread and wine, because she did not hold to their doctrine.
This describes the problem of exclusiveness instead of inclusiveness, and proclaims to all and sundry that you cannot accept Christ’s invitation to life without firstly complying in some other form or another. It says that one cannot simply say to the other, “Isn’t it wonderful that we have been forgiven, that Jesus died for our sins?”.
Instantly there arises all manner of questions as to whether one’s doctrine or belief is the “right” one, and that associating with you cannot be done on simple faith in Christ, without you undergoing some scrutiny as to what you believe. Instead of simply replying “yes it is!”.
And there are all these groups that do this, IE proclaim you are excluded because they have “got it right” and you haven’t.
Csabbath Cconscience Csect