Romans 14:1–13 (NKJV)
1 Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things. 2 For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables. 3 Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him. 4 Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.Romans 14:1-13
5 One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks. 7 For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. 8 For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. 9 For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living. 10 But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. 11 For it is written: “As I live, says the LORD, Every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall confess to God.” 12 So then each of us shall give account of himself to God. 13 Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way.
There are some things that are live-or-die doctrines. Is Jesus the Son of God? Yes! Was Jesus born of a virgin? Yes! Did He rise from the dead? Yes! However, there are personal convictions that may not be so cut-and-dried. Should one eat meat or not? Not sure which way to go with that. Some say yes and some say no. This is not so much of a discussion today as it was in the days when worshippers of false gods offered meats to their false gods, and then Christians felt as if they should not eat such meat. This passage of Scripture from Romans demonstrates that one should follow their own convictions concerning such things, but should not divide with another brother or sister over a difference of opinion on such things. Whichever way one believes on non-doctrinal convictions, it should never separate believers. Unfortunately, this is exactly what has created many denominations in many cases. Groups disagreed over certain issues and then decided to part company and form a new movement. This Scripture shows that such division should not happen. Doctrinal differences or heretical distinctions are worthy of parting ways, but opinions are not a valid reason to not keep fellowship. We will all one day bow before God. What will we answer when we are asked why we parted company with a brother or sister? Be sure that your contention with another is worthy of such spiritual and emotional energy. Sometimes the things we give huge credence are not huge. They just seem that way.
Artwork from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8kJnwNNlp0