As I read Romans today it’s clear that Paul is addressing some quarrels among the believers in Rome. They must have had disagreements as a church about what was proper to eat and drink. Not much has changed in 2000 years. The church today has some of those same arguments. Paul spends all of chapter 14 and part of 15 teaching the people to put less emphasis on the created thing (food/drink) and more emphasis on the Creator and unity in His church.
“Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a person to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble.”
Paul isn’t trying to answer every specific question or give a yes or no food list. His heart is to see the people be unified for the cause of Christ. He wants them to realize there is a bigger picture – the spread of the gospel and growth of The Kingdom of God.
Do you ever find yourself struggling in this area? I know I do. I catch myself noticing the failures of others and overlooking my own sin. Though we are to hold our fellow believers accountable to following Christ together – I think too often we let that slip into judgement rather than love and accountability. May we live today more like Paul urges us to live in Romans 15:
“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” – Romans 15:5-7