In Romans 14, the Scriptures speak to what seems to be a minor issue, but one that has always had huge implications in the body of Christ. The official title might by “church unity,” but the issue goes deeper than that. Paul actually addressed the issue in Romans 14.1-15.7, but I will only quote a portion of it here.
1As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. 2One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. 3Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. 4Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand. 5One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. (Romans 14.1-5 ESV)
The situation in the church in Rome seems to be that Christians within the church had come to different convictions about how to best honor the Lord in a given situation. The particular situation at hand was whether it was “right” to eat only vegetables or whether it was allowed for Christians to eat meat. Paul hinted at other situations that might have been causing conflict, too, like esteeming one day as better than another (Romans 14.5) and the consumption of wine (Romans 14.21). Continue reading