My grandfather understood St. Paul. He always said, "People who argue about religion don't have any." DL in ME
Your grandfather was a wise man!
Sometimes it's not so easy to determine what's "not important" and what's "important." We all are convinced of one thing or another. Can we sometimes be convinced of the "wrong thing." Some firmly believe that the bible firmly condemns homosexuality while others belive the bible has very little to say concerning love relationships between 2 consenting adults.
I do believe in "charity in all things" but still have the tension.
Mark in Virginia
We talked about "Trivial Pursuits" in last week's reading of Romans in our lectionary group. But it appears that this week there is more of the same. What are we living for? More importantly, what are we dying for? In our faith, and in our churches I fear that we are pursuing the "trivial" temporal things rather than the things (the mission and universal ministry) of God. If we each had the mind of Christ, we would mind His business and not everyone elses. --Mary in NC
Arguing religion and judging another are two different things. I've always been impressed by Jewish tradition, and in that tradition sitting around and discussing Torah is one of the best ways a person can spend his/her time. The Jewish sages had some wonderful arguments!
Our problem is that we haven't learned how to argue without condemning (judging). Just read the posts at this site.
Mark, where we draw the line is indeed $64,000 question.
Mary, nice thought.
Here's a story from the Desert Fathers:
One day Abba Isaac went to a monastery. He saw a brother committing a sin he condemned him. When he returned to the desert, an angel of the Lord came and stood in front of the door of his cell, and said, 'I will not let you enter.' But, he persisted saying, 'What is the matter?' and the angel replied, 'God has sent me to ask you where you want to throw the guilty brother whom you have condemned.' Immediately he repented and said, 'I have sinned, forgive me.' The angel said, 'Get up, God has forgiven you. But from now on be careful not to judge someone before God has done so.'
The sayings of the Desert Fathers. Trans. by Benedicta Ward. Cistercian Press. 1975
I'm remembering the hullabalu last year with the Clinton-Lewinski scandal. I kept hearing people respond with, "Who am I to judge?" Perhaps a discussion on who, what, when, where, and why to judge or not to judge might be interesting. Is there a difference with Paul stating in Romans 14:10 Why do you pass judgement on your brother or sister and I Cor.5:12,13 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13 God will judge those outside. "Expel the wicked man from among you."
It seems to me that there is a difference between judging (i.e. usurping God's position) and church discipline.
John near Pitts.
11 of the 23 verses in Chapter 14 center on either food (including drink) or the sabbath. Paul seems, as he writes to the church in Rome, to be limiting his admonition against judgment on these ritualistic themes, those things that distract from the proclamation of good news found in Christ and the bad news found in rejecting Him and His substitionary sacrifice for our sinful condition.
Which I believe would fit in nicely with John's (in Pittsburgh) references in Corinthians where Paul is seemingly pleading for judgement.
It is convenient for those unwilling to set aside or leave behind a sinful life, to claim the "no judgement" clause of Scripture, to quiet those who seek to live up to and encourage holier living.
I believe it was C.S.Lewis who said of the liberal worldview he once embraced, that it had a quality analogous to a "nothing to fear -- better yet, nothing to obey" mind-set. Many today continue to attempt to minimize sin, minimize it's consequences, and especially to minimize the discernment needed in the church for proper judgment and discipline.
Or minimize the need to obey God.
Rick in Va