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Welcome those who are weak in faith, but not for the purpose of quarreling over opinions. Some believe in eating anything, while the weak eat only vegetables. Those who eat must not despise those who abstain, and those who abstain must not pass judgment on those who eat; for God has welcomed them. Who are you to pass judgment on servants of another? It is before their own lord that they stand or fall. And they will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make them stand.
Some judge one day to be better than another, while others judge all days to be alike. Let all be fully convinced in their own minds. Those who observe the day, observe it in honor of the Lord. Also those who eat, eat in honor of the Lord, since they give thanks to God; while those who abstain, abstain in honor of the Lord and give thanks to God.
We do not live to ourselves, and we do not die to ourselves. If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, so that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living.
Why do you pass judgment on your brother or sister? Or you, why do you despise your brother or sister? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. For it is written,
“As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me,
and every tongue shall give praise to God.”
So then, each of us will be accountable to God.
An Alternative to Judging and Despising
But this issue is certainly not new to us. It must have been happening in the Roman church that received Paul’s letter, because in the passage we read, the apostle wrote about not judging or despising one another. And even though he didn’t mention it, I think we have an alternative that we can claim. You see, instead of indulging our particular version of faith, we can decide to listen. In other words, those who focus on obedience can listen to the freedom we enjoy in Christ. And those who believe they’re free in Christ, they can listen to why some believers feel that laws and rules enhance their faith. You see, regardless of which direction we drift, we can always claim this alternative.