I’ve been engaged in an email correspondence with a non-denominational coworker of mine, and have been making fair progress. He’s an intelligent, prayerful seeker for God and Truth, and that counts for a lot. In our recent discussion on Authority, he summed up his feelings by quoting a particular anti-Catholic site which has some reasoned (and some ridiculous) arguments against the Catholic faith. (I won’t mention it here, as it has come up before, and it’s not relevant to the discussion, which I’d like to be as concise as possible.)
One part I’m having trouble addressing is his quoting of Romans 14, especially 1-6, as an example of Catholic authority contradicting the Bible.
“NOW him that is weak in faith, take unto you: not in disputes about thoughts.
For one believeth that he may eat all things: but he that is weak, let him eat herbs.
Let not him that eateth, despise him that eateth not: and he that eateth not, let him not judge him that eateth. For God hath taken him to him.
Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? To his own lord he standeth or falleth. And he shall stand: for God is able to make him stand.
For one judgeth between day and day: and another judgeth every day: let every man abound in his own sense.
He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord. And he that eateth, eateth to the Lord: for he giveth thanks to God. And he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth thanks to God.” (From the DR)
On the one hand, this certainly says that no one should condemn a Catholic for CHOOSING to celebrate a day or abstain from meat, but it certainly seems to deny the ability of the Church to dictate that someone MUST abstain on a certain day or MUST attend Mass on a certain day.
So how do I answer this? Any examples from the Bible? ECF? Logic? Something that indicates that the Catholic Church is NOT in this case contradicting the Bible. I generally like to do my own research, but I’ve been looking around for the better part of the evening without finding anything I would call definitive.
Thank you for your input!