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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Conscience Problems

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Joined: 2006/10/10
Posts: 57
Oeiras, Portugal

 Conscience Problems

Romans 14:22 So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves. 23But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.

Any thoughts about this?

João Tiago

 2007/10/26 8:31Profile

Joined: 2005/10/28
Posts: 246
Logan City, Queensland, Australia

 Re: Conscience Problems

Romans 14 seems to be about not leading people to stumble. What I get from v20-23 is that Paul is addressing the same problem(s) encountered in Galatians, that is, the role of the law in the life of believers under grace. The Galatians were being led back into legalism and the adoption of Jewish traditions as being part of the christian life.

Hence, in Romans 14, there seems to be the possibility of the same issue. Paul takes extra care to ensure that those who would have formerly adhered to dietry law would not have their faith stumbled by either legalism or licentiousness on the part of those who a) knew that under grace such were no longer applicable, and b) those would have never known such traditions. While being only a "small" problem initially, it had the potential of damaging another person's faith if allowed to escalate.

Relevant applications for us today: One thing we can ask is, what are the things in our christian fellowship that we count as being absolutely mandatory in terms of defining ourselves? How do they compare, with non-essentials that don't define what "christianity" is and are thus preferential if not methodical in nature?

Benjamin Valentine

 2007/10/26 8:57Profile

Joined: 2005/10/28
Posts: 246
Logan City, Queensland, Australia

 Re: Conscience Problems

Double post. My bad.

Benjamin Valentine

 2007/10/26 8:59Profile

Joined: 2007/10/25
Posts: 7

 Re: Conscience Problems

Dear brother blinx.

For you to get an idea of what Paul is talking about here, just go back to the three first verses.

Romans 14:1-3 Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things. 2 For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables. 3 Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him.

To me these three verses are the basis of the whole chapter.

they clearly identify what Paul is trying to prevent here. People where arguing about eating or not eating meat.

Is it good to be a vegetarian? yes. why?

here is my answer.

Daniel 1:11-12 So Daniel said to the steward whom the chief of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, 12 "Please test your servants for ten days, and let them give us vegetables to eat and water to drink.

Now, is it wrong to eat meat? no. why?

Genesis 9:3-4 "Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs. 4 "But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.

but later we know that God declared some animals unclean to be eaten.

the list in Leviticus 11.

Now, in my understanding. there were people causing arguments about eating meat and not eating meat, and Paul had to tell them that this was a matter of conscience and that we should not judge each other.

To finish Paul writes:

Romans 14:21-23 It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak. 22 Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. 23 But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin.

You can see that Paul started the chapter talking about eating and not eating meat, and He finishes the chapter still talking about the same thing.

Now we have to be very careful here because if you take this out of context, specially the part that says:

"""""Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves."""""

One could read this and say: I can do anything and it wont be wrong as long as I don't condemn myself.

this is not what Paul is talking about. You have to read this in the context that Paul is talking about or else, you can get the wrong side of the stick.

God bless.

 2007/10/26 18:48Profile

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