Don’t Pass Judgment With Those Whom You Disagree

Paul spent a lot of time in his letter to the Romans addressing issues that the church was facing. Rome had gone through a dark period when Emperor Claudius expelled Jews from the city. When the Jews were finally able to return, there appears to have been a rift between Gentile and Jewish Christians. It’s easy for division to happen when people feel excluded. This is magnified when we make people feel bad for their differing opinions on how we please God and keep a clean conscience.

Paul said, “As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him” (Romans 14:1-3 ESV).

Paul goes on to give other examples but concludes that, no matter what we decide on these issues, nobody should pass judgment on the other. The reason is that we all live and die to God, not ourselves. God judges us. Paul said that we should place no stumbling block in front of others because the kingdom of God is “of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (vs. 17). Finally, Paul says, “So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding” (vs. 19).