Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters. (Rom. 14:1)
THE MAJORITY OF THE CHURCH in Rome consisted of Gentile Christians, who were theologically content to consume meat and not observe the Jewish holy festivals. The minority of Roman Christians who were Jewish begged to differ. They insisted that certain Jewish abstinences and observances were still required, or at the very least, strongly recommended. The apostle Paul urged both sides to look beyond these differences, as well as the judgment and ridicule that often resulted from them, to the greater thing they had in common. He pointed to their mutual desire to dedicate their lives to the God who gave them that life and then redeemed it.
Our contemporary issues may differ, but the church continues to struggle with differences among believers. Denominational distinctions are rich and extensive, but they exhaust their value when they become points of contention and hostility among fellow believers. What matters is that each of us be fully convinced that we are following the Lord’s leading. Regardless of how we take the Lord’s Supper, we do it in remembrance of the same Lord. No matter what mode of baptism we use, we do it in the name of the one Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. However, wherever, and whenever we worship, we joyfully worship the same Savior. May the things that unite us never be overshadowed by the few things on which we disagree.
Start a conversation with a Christian having different convictions from yours.
Ruthie Marie Anderson is a junior majoring in biblical and theological studies at Oklahoma Wesleyan University. She enjoys doing yoga, reading science fiction, and making homemade bread while watching Downton Abbey.
© 2018 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.