We do not all see things the same way. Some practice certain practices which others believe to be inappropriate or wrong. So how do we get along when we’re all living under the same faith roof, so to speak?
Paul gives some excellent guidance in Romans 14. There are three sections: how God views your brother, how you should conduct yourself, and how we should not treat each other poorly.
There are weaker brothers (Rom. 14:1) and stronger brothers (Rom. 15:1). God loves your brother, that is, the one who doesn’t see things as you do. Furthermore, God has welcomed him into the household of faith -and- that very brother answers to God for his faith practice, not you! All of this is to so position the conversation that we get out of the way. Your brother answers to God, who loves him.
The next section deals with how you walk your road. Whether you practice or abstain, do so unto the Lord, not other people. The Lord is the one you will answer to so let’s behave rightly before him. Let’s be clear in our minds as to why we do or do not do certain things because we want to be firmly convinced, not wishy washy in our positions.
The last section speaks to how we treat each other. Jesus died for your brother. Yes, the one with whom you disagree, he matters to Jesus. If your behavior grieves him, stop. Stop before you destroy him. We do not put stumbling blocks in front of each other. When someone stumbles, he commits sin and this is no way to “practice liberty.” In view here is confrontational, high-handed practices in your brother’s presence.
The issues that may bother our congregation are possibly: alcohol, tobacco, tattoos, political leanings, and the matters. How will you walk this out? Can you love your brother enough to not judge or dismiss him, when he disagrees with you? Can you move him?
This message comes from Romans 14:1-12. Want to listen? Here’s the online sermon archive.