If Christians followed Paul the apostle’s commands, much of the relationship problems within the Body of Christ, including their homes, friendships, and congregation, would be solved.
First, let me make it absolutely clear that in Romans 14, the overall subject is not GOD’s explicit commands or essential doctrines, but rather doubtful matters of conscience and discernment. This perspective is essential to Romans 14. Therefore, having said this, Romans 14 gives us four basic commands:
1) Don’t judge another brother on doubtful matters.
2) Don’t be offensive to another’s conscience over doubtful matters.
3) Don’t argue over doubtful matters.
4) Don’t do anything that you believe is a doubtful matter
We are not to do anything we believe is doubtful, because to doubt in one’s conscience will result in your condemnation, because whatever is not of faith is sinful for us to do.
The following issues might be considered by some to be matters that could create doubtful disputes:
- Appearances or dress that assimilates paganism
- Music that assimilates paganism
- Biblical version arguments by unlearned men
- Holidays that GOD doesn’t command us to observe
- Holy things that are associated with unholy things
- Moderate alcoholic consumption in social settings
- Other such matters
Our response on matters that are doubtful should be to never participate unless we can prove that Scripture allows us to participate. Even then, we are to never offend others by embracing what they may still see as ‘doubtful’ or wrong. Also, we should never argue and never judge or shun others who disagree but instead embrace other believers with loving-kindness, humility and grace into our fellowship. I realize that 1 Corinthians 5 and other such passages command us to refrain from fellowship with others on certain matters that are not doubtful.
I realize that the four Biblical principles listed above are probably not being practiced by ninety-five percent of American congregations who prefer to retain their liberty to follow their preferences regarding embracing certain holidays, dress, music, dietary liberties, associations, and appearance regardless of who it offends. However, that’s why America is in such danger at this hour. Be thankful if you are a believer in another country who does not have such problems of evil, rebellion, and spiritual immaturity in your congregation, but please pray for the American Christians who refuse to repent – they have almost lost their nation and many still think that voting for the ‘right’ politician will prevent judgment from continuing in their land.
“But if that evil servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming, and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” – Matthew 24:48-51
Pray that Americans see the real problem is the greed, divisiveness, selfishness, and offensive behavior displayed within their own congregational walls, their own homes, and in their community. We need to look out for those who are weak. We need to love each other and respect each others’ consciences. We need revival in America and throughout the world! May we follow Paul’s exhortations in our congregations to find GOD’s blessings once again!
“Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.” – Matthew 5:9