No singular Christian group needs to rule the whole ekklesia, ethics pt. 10
Again, Paul is establishing an ethically normative principle.
Refrain from judging the judgment/discernment of other Christians too quickly.
For a brief on conviction:
One never knows what a fellow Believer is picking up on.
As we delve into an ethical concern facing the Romans, we pause again to define where the issue lies with the Judaizers, in order to attempt to provide clarity.
who are the Judaizers?
To the best of my knowledge, the aNE Judiazer sect found within the NT does not reflect the opinions of the nation at all.
Bear in mind, Christians are still considered a legit sect of Israel throughout most, if not all of the time frame of the NT writings.
The aNE Judaizers, who seem to have disappeared in the sands of time, were coercing members of the Primitive Church to adhere to the norms of Judaism in the era; in effect to become Christian Jews.
Certainly their protesting voice is heard [even if stated implicitly] and overruled at the Jerusalem Council in Acts xv.
The Judaizers want to gain mastery over the growing Christian community as if the Judaizers consider them to be some type of flowering bourgeoisie. Please forgive the historically controversial term. However, if people look back at the NT ekklesia this way, as the Judaizers did thinking they were sitting on a gold mine, then the historically controversial term sadly fits for those people.
The Great Commission, Paul’s writings, and even the historico-critical status of Christians as a sect within the nation even after Antioch . . .
all stand in stark contrast to the desire of the Judaizers to rule the ekklesia.
Paul is an Evangelist extraordinaire.
He consistently heads to the metro to set up shop.
From there world changers are launched out into the surrounding regions to share Christ, disciple, and to fulfil the Great Commission.
His zeal from his other life is replaced with his focused ability to remain on-mission over the decades, with no indication he ever endorses the coercive activities of the heretical sect of the Judaizers.
“Some believe in eating anything, while the weak eat only vegetables.”
One, “may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs” (Romans xiv.2; NRSV, KJV).
Once again, the one who seems stronger in conviction [perhaps like an aNE vegetarian] is actually called the weaker one [see above article].
The issue is also broader in scope.
Meat sold in the marketplace is often the leftovers of meat sacrificed to idols.
In all fairness, sacrificial meat is a staple for Israel’s religious leaders as well.
The difference is meat sacrificed to idols around the Mediterranean is sometimes offered at a discounted rate to everyone.
Once again, the reader may think I am implying this since the chapter does not mention idols. However, this is a hot topic, no pun intended.
See a mirror Passage in 1 Corinthians viii.
See also the later decision of the Jerusalem Council, as noted above.
for an interesting read, consider the Didake
Some believe the Didake is written as late as AD 120.
However, others believe the Didake is written as early as AD 60, which would certainly make it a writing as early as the narrative written by the great Evangelist Mark or any of Paul’s Epistles, and that is what I believe.
Paul is certainly speaking to greater dietary issues in Romans xiv than vegan guidelines. At this early point in Christian history, in effect Paul says there is some leeway, which is in keeping with the principle of conviction he is teaching.
No singular Christian group needs to rule the whole ekklesia by establishing hard and fast norms! Ironically, Paul is making this teaching a normative principle, along with the other writings mentioned.
These early writings of Paul [Rom xiv; 1 Cor viii; as well as Acts xv] do not disagree with the Didake, which merely offers a note of caution about meat sacrificed to idols, depending upon the transliteration one can find. Again, bear in mind the Didake could be written as early as AD 60 [not AD 120] so there may be various ways of looking at everything.