Romans 14:2-3 and weak faith

Can someone help me with Romans where Paul speaks of those who eat vegetables for God have weak faith?

This seems to say that those who are fasting or abstaining for God have a weak faith, and I’ve had a protestant friend point to this verse as a way to say that we can eat anything but those who do these practices (such as fasting or anything related to the Law of Moses) have a weaker faith.

What is Paul getting at here? Again: Romans 14

Thank you!

http://www.usccb.org/bible/romans/14

  • [14:115:6] Since Christ spells termination of the law, which included observance of specific days and festivals as well as dietary instruction, the jettisoning of long-practiced customs was traumatic for many Christians brought up under the Mosaic code. Although Paul acknowledges that in principle no food is a source of moral contamination (Rom 14:14), he recommends that the consciences of Christians who are scrupulous in this regard be respected by other Christians (Rom 14:21). On the other hand, those who have scruples are not to sit in judgment on those who know that the gospel has liberated them from such ordinances (Rom 14:10). See 1 Cor 8; 10.

Holy Bible (Douay Rheims)
Rom 14:2‘For one believeth that he may eat all things: but he that is weak, let him eat herbs.’

Commentary:

Ver. 2. Eat all things. Viz. without observing the distinction between clean and unclean meats, prescribed by the law of Moses: which was now no longer obligatory. Some weak Christians, converted from among the Jews, as we here gather from the apostle, made a scruple of eating such meats as were deemed unclean by the law: such as swine’s flesh, &c. which the stronger sort of Christians did eat without scruple. Now the apostle, to reconcile them together, exhorts the former not to judge or condemn the latter, using their Christian liberty; and the latter to take care not to despise, or scandalize their weaker brethren, either by bringing them to eat what in their conscience they think they should not: or by giving them such offence, as to endanger the driving them thereby from the Christian religion. Ch.

For one that is not so weak, but well instructed, believeth, is persuaded, that he may eat all things, the distinction of clean and unclean meats being no longer obligatory under the new law of Christ. He that is weak, and not convinced of this Christian liberty, let him eat herbs, or such things as he esteems not forbidden. It is likely some of them abstained many times from all manner of flesh, lest they should meet with what had been offered to idols, or lest something forbidden by the law might be mixed. Wi.

Rom 14:3‘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.’

Commentary:

Ver. 3-4. God hath taken him to him, that eats of any meats; he accounts him his servant, and will reward him as such.

God is able to make him stand, and will justify him before his tribunal. Wi.

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People do not fast because they are weak. Argh. Why did Jesus fast for 40 days, if fasting is for the weak? Sheesh.

Paul is saying that if you aren’t going to worry about meat provenance, and you can just buy and eat meat from the market without obsessing over it possibly having been offered to idols along the way, then eat meat.

But if you are going to worry about market meat production and idols, then it is a lot simpler and better to go with foods that nobody offered to idols.

This is not usually a modern concern, although it might become so. (Halal slaughter, etc.)

Romans 14 King James Version (KJV)
1 Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.

Accept people who know little about the Faith of Jesus Christ (i.e. weak in the faith), but don’t argue with them about their silly beliefs.

2 For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs.

Because some of them understand that all things are legal to eat, but some eat only herbs because they believe it is wrong to eat meat.

3 Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.

Don’t judge each other over these silly ideas.

4 Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.

God alone is our Judge.

5 One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.

One man thinks this day is holy, and another thinks all days are holy. Don’t be double minded. Act according to your conscience.

6 He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.

He that believes the day is holy, regards the day holy unto the Lord. He who does not, does not believe the Lord holds the day holy. And he that eats, eats unto the Lord because he thanks the Lord for wht he eats. And he that doesn’t eat, thanks the Lord, also.

7 For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.

8 For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.

Because we all live and die unto the Lord.

9 For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.

Because Christ is Lord over the dead and the living.

10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

Remember that we all will be judged by Christ, therefore do not judge anyone before time.

11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.

12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

Because we will all be subject to God’s judgment.

cont’d

13 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.

So don’t judge one another and don’t put an obstacle in a man’s faith.

14 I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.

I have learned from God that there is nothing which is naturally bad. But to those who regard it so, it is so.

15 But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.

But, if your brother considers that eating meat is sinful, don’t grieve him by eating meat in his presence.

16 Let not then your good be evil spoken of:

So that he will have no occasion to commit sin by falsely accusing you.

17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

Because the Kingdom of God is not about eating and drinking but about being at peace with one another and loving one another.

18 For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.

Because the person that serves Jesus Christ in peace is loved of God and men.

19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.

So, let’s support one another in peace and love.

20 For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence.

So, don’t force your dietary preferences on others.

21 It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.

Don’t offend your brother with your diet.

22 Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.

Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he permits.

23 And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

And he that condemns others for what they eat, is condemned if he begins to eat what he condemns.

Whatever you do which violates your conscience, is sin.

I hope that helps.

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