Romans 14

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Clint Kritzer, Jun 21, 2002.

  1. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Romans 14

    I have been pondering this passage for a few days now. Where do we draw the line on not offending our brother? This passage was written by Paul and as an example of his point, he cites the eating of certain foods being offensive to "weaker" believers.

    Now, the interesting point of this matter is that in Acts 10:9-16, it was revealed to Peter through a vision that ALL foods were acceptable and this point is reiterated in Galatians 2:11-21 when Paul himself jumps all over Peter for falling back into Jewish dietary law.

    So which is it? If it is to be both and we need to find congruency and consistency in Scripture, there has to be a line drawn somewhere. How do we proclaim what we know to be true from the Scriptures without causing offense to anyone? Is Romans 14 the Biblical equivalent to "political correctness?"

    When does "respect" become "coddling?" How do we "rebuke with all authority" (Titus 2:15) and how do we reconcile that "all Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, correcting, and training in righteousness" (2Timothy 3:16) when there are some passages that obviously offend some believers?
     
  2. Pastor Larry

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    Unfortunately, "offending" has taken a far different meaning in today's society than in the first century church. To offend was to cause to sin. It was not merely talking about or doing something that someone else found distasteful. Today, people are "offended" by certain things but if they are not lead to sin, then it doesn't fit into the "weaker brother" category of Rom 14 and 1 Cor 8.
     
  3. rlvaughn

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    Clint, rather than make an extended post at this time on Romans 14, I am referring you to my topic, All Things to All. It is about I Corinthians 8-10, but I think that in those passages Paul is asserting the same basic principles.

    We can give up our own rights for the sake of others and for the gospel's sake, but there is no compromise of convictions as they relate to biblical issues and doctrines.
     
  4. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    It's a good sermon, Robert (in fact, if all your sermons are that short would you consider answering the call to an SBC church when my pastor retires? ;) ). However, Paul is speaking of food sacrificed to idols so I can see where one who is not strong in the faith could interpret that as pagan or blasphemous through their ignorance.

    Do we wait for someone to discover the Truths of the Scripture through their own study before we can discuss those particular principles? Do we just always assume that weaker bretheren are around and thus avoid anything that could be construed as sinful?

    I think about Passages in the Gospels where Christ went against what the teachers of the law said was right. The first example that comes to mind is the Lord of the Sabbath story in Luke 6, or even the passage immediately proceeding that on the question of fasting. Christ taught what was right. He didn't sweep the issue under the carpet. He could have easily said to his Disciples, "Don't eat right now while John's people are around. It may offend them." Nor did He say to the man with the shriveled hand, "Let's go outside and we'll take care of that for you. I may gain a follower or two if we do this in private." Instead He boldly did His teachings right in the face of those whom it could offend.

     
  5. pinoybaptist

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    Clint:
    Just a few points of clarification. There are others who point out that the vision in Acts wasn't really declaring that all food is now acceptable but rather that to the Jew he may now freely intermingle with the Gentile and that all the restrictions of God to that regard has been set aside.
    Completely in accord with the motive of Paul in getting in Peter's face because of Peter's refusal to eat with the Gentiles in the sight of other Jews.
    Also completely in line with the phrase Paul often uses : To the Jew first, and also to the Gentile.
    I believe the dietary laws have not been negated, and that the animals that God prohibited to the Jews are still as unclean in our time as they are in Moses' time.
    The swine, for example. No argument as to how "cleanly" they are fed and kept can contradict the fact that they are naturally, to a certain level, toxic.
    For what it's worth.
     
  6. HankD

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    So it is with all animal flesh which always contains some blood. Blood imbedded in the flesh which contains waste and toxins yet to be cleansed by the internal organs (kidneys, liver).

    HankD

    [ June 22, 2002, 10:43 AM: Message edited by: HankD ]
     
  7. rlvaughn

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    That "sermon" has a somewhat interesting history (to me, at least). Maybe I'll find time sometime to tell you the story. But no matter how short I could cut my sermons, your church would have to leave the SBC to get me. :D
    If I understand your question(s) correctly, I would have to say that it would be a misapplication of what Paul is teaching in I Cor. 8-10 and Rom. 14. Even in I Cor. 8 itself, you will note that Paul did not refrain from teaching that it is not wrong to eat that particular meat. He just chose to modify his actions (to not eat something he was free to eat). Paul never advocated leaving off teaching the whole counsel of God just because someone might not like it.

    Maybe you need the "long version," since it seems I may not have gotten my point across in the "short sermon" version. ;)
     
  8. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    No, you're definitely adding clarity and reaffirming the position I already held.

    Now if I'm reading your post right, you are saying "Preach it, but don't practice what you preach." This is something with which I would personally struggle. I know that Paul was usually respectful of other cultures when he would enter them. "Everything is permissible, but not all is beneficial." Breaking a cultural practice is not beneficial to the witness we wish to present. However, teaching everything IS beneficial. The teachings of the Scripture should eventually influence the culture of the weaker brother.
    So, you would leave Texas if I could talk my church into breaking from the SBC? Hmmmm, sounds like one of the tasks of Hercules to me (getting you to leave Texas, that is). :D
     
  9. rsr

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    Enjoyed the exposition, rlvaughn.

    A similar situation is at Acts 21, where Paul, to satisfy concerns of Jewish Christians, agrees to take a vow and pay expenses for others doing so to prove he is still an observant Jew. At the same time, the Jerusalem Council agreed not to require full observance of Jewish law for Gentiles.

    But how do you determine the difference between a weaker brother and a judgmental one? For example, in Galatians Paul upbraids Peter for acting differently among Gentiles when James' emissaries are around.

    Was Peter was trying to satisfy the beliefs of the folks from Jerusalem, and if so, would that not be having concern for a weaker brother? Or at least a judgmental one?

    Clint: He wouldn't really have to move; Texas could just annex Virginia, which it is sure it has claims to anyway. ;)

    [ June 23, 2002, 12:16 AM: Message edited by: rsr ]
     
  10. rlvaughn

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    Yes, Virginia is already on our eastern border, so I think we can probably just condemn it and seize the property. :eek: :D
    What I am saying is that the "eating meat offered to idols" argument ONLY applies to our Christian liberty - things that we are free to do in Christ, not things I am bound to do for Christ. Paul showed that he conformed to that practice when he labored with his own hands that he not be chargeable to others and thereby hinder the gospel. He had as much right or liberty to be supported as any of the other apostles, but because in his circumstances he felt it would hinder the gospel, he chose to labor in making tents, et. al. to not only support himself, but also others that went with him. Receiving support for his ministry in the gospel was something Paul had a right to expect, but because it concerned him personally, he did not have to receive anything. Going back to the meat example - there is nothing that says I have to eat meat. So if it causes a problem, why not just leave it off? But we cannot parallel this to, for example, preaching the gospel. We are commanded to do that. So even if someone doesn't like it, we do it anyway. We are commanded to baptize. If someone doesn't like it, do we just stop? No, we obey. We are commanded to teach the whole counsel of God. We ought to obey God rather than men. When it is a question of obedience, there is no question. When it is a question of something we are at liberty to do (but not commanded to do), we can take it or leave it, according to which option is expedient.
     
  11. Clint Kritzer

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    That's mighty brave talk coming from an Okie! :D

    Your last post was quite clear, Robert, thanks!
     
  12. rlvaughn

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    BTW, Oklahoma is just a county in north Texas. Some of the folks up there just don't realize it yet. [​IMG]

    rsr, I believe the situation with Peter was one of compromise rather than concern for others. Peter was concerned about himself and how he would look.

    Clint, at the risk of muddying up the waters - while I believe the application of Rom. 14 and I Cor. 8 is fairly singular in nature (and therefore not applicable to the host of situations to which some would bend it), I do nevertheless think that when we offend people with the gospel, for example, we should be sure that it is the gospel that they find offensive and not our habits, personalities, peculiarities, etc.. I say this because there are some people that are obnoxious and yet so dense that they think it is the gospel that is offending people when it's mainly just the way they act! They usually also develop a martyr complex. :rolleyes:
     

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