Have you ever disagreed with another believer about whether or not something was allowable behavior? Your disagreement might have been about whether Christians may, or should not, watch sports on Sundays, watch R-rated movies, or hold jobs where serving alcohol is required. Christians on the “may” side of such disagreements usually argue that these types of activities are not specifically forbidden in the Bible. Christians on the “should not” side either point to a passage of Scripture they believe does settle the dispute, or they contend that the activity is prohibited by biblical principle. Often (if not usually), these types of disagreements are resolved either by “agreeing to disagree,” or classifying the argument as a “Romans 14 issue.”
AND EVERY TONGUE SHALL GIVE PRAISE TO GOD."
What Romans 14 Does Say
- Refrain from judging or condemning believers whose opinions differ from your own (14:1-12).
- Refrain from exercising your freedom in ways that would pressure, embolden, or encourage another believer to sin by going against his own conscience (14:13-23).
What Romans 14 Does Not Say
1. Romans 14 does not say that all opinions regarding matters of conscience are equally valid.
2. Romans 14 does not say that Christians should go against their own conscience in order to accommodate believers who disagree.
3. Romans 14 does not say that moral strictness classifies a believer as “weak,” or that an unburdened conscience proves that a believer is “strong.”
4. Romans 14 does not say that Christians should refrain from judging a believer who is engaging in obvious sin.
5. Romans 14 does not say that the convictions of the weakest brother or sister should determine the acceptable exercise of liberty in a local church.
- if the weaker brother or sister became judgmental or divisive by insisting that the whole church adopt his or her minority view.
- if the weaker member were marginalized by the stronger members, ridiculed for his or her restrictive views, or otherwise pressured to go against his or her conscience and conform to the majority view.