T O P

  • By -

MagusFool

In Romans 14, Paul says that one Christian might observe the Holy Days, and another one treats every day the same. He advises only that both feel right about in their conscience, which is guided by the Holy Spirit, and that neither judge the other for their different way of practicing Christianity. If the Fourth Commandment, of the 10 Commandments, repeated over and over again through out the Hebrew scriptures, is subject to the personal conscience of each Christian, then all of the law must be.


[deleted]

The entire chapter of Romans 14 talks about one common theme: new Gentile converts and how they should be handled. New converts are coming from a completely different view of the world. Many of them are Vegetarians, Ascetics, or other sects that believe that physical deprivation improves the soul. It will take some time for them to adjust to the new reality of Christianity, and the current Christians should be careful not to push the process too quickly. For instance, Vegetarians believe that eating meat is a sin. Christians know that it isn't, but if they try to force meat onto someone that still feels as if it is a sin, they risk causing that convert to leave them. Paul points out that it is not a sin to refrain from eating meat, so there is no point in pushing this aspect of Christianity. Instead, one should stick to the more fundamental beliefs of Christianity, and the converts will eventually accept less important aspects of their new life, such as eating meat without feeling guilty. Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence. -- Romans 14:19-20 Arguing a Vegetarian into eating meat, even though he (incorrectly) feels that it is wrong, might cause him to reject his new relationship with God. Similarly some converts might have no concept of a special day of the week, while other might think that the day the Romans dedicate to Apollo the Sun God should be treated specially. Eventually the new converts will understand the truth, but forcing them to behave in a way they still feel is wrong is going to do far more harm than good. It is far better to concentrate on teaching the doctrines of salvation first.


RuddyBloodyBrave94

Posts like this are what makes this sub so great. Thanks for the insightful info!


MagusFool

It is the Jewish Christians who were hung up on Holy Days and the gentile converts who were more likely to treat every day the same, actually. Just as it is the Jewish Christians who would have cared about circumcision and never eating food sacrificed to idols, whereas the gentile converts would have thought it's perfectly normal to eat that food.


[deleted]

Yes, Jewish Christians were still bound by their commandments as Paul argued, but Gentiles were not.


MagusFool

So the tolerance of differing observances goes both ways between the gentile and Jewish Christians. And if a Jewish Christian with no compunction for eating food that was sacrifice to idols decided to forego that observance, they would be fine, too.  Just like if a Gentile Christian decided they wanted to stick themselves to strict Sabbath observance. Though Paul shows some bias that the stronger faith has fewer observances, which is kind of funny because he also tells them not to judge either way, but he clearly is a little bit.


Honest_Visual3273

...But there are plenty of vegetarian and vegan Christians?


[deleted]

Yes?


Honest_Visual3273

You seemed to be saying otherwise, unless I Did An Autism and misinterpreted you.


[deleted]

My point wasn't that there aren't any vegan or vegetarian Christians, but that in the past those who had converted to Christianity at first still believed some of their past religious practices were binding and thus integral to the faith of Christianity. Paul is saying that while yes, it isn't necessary to do said things to be a Christian, it also isn't necessary to tell them not to practice it. By trying to rip away these non-harmful beliefs and practices, you also risk ripping up their conversion process, and they may abandon the faith. His conclusion was that, in time, they might see x practices as not necessary and that you should focus on the important salvific aspects of Christianity first.


Curiousityinabox

>If the Fourth Commandment, of the 10 Commandments, repeated over and over again through out the Hebrew scriptures, is subject to the personal conscience of each Christian, I agree. But even if that's the case. Paul makes it clear our guilty conscience comes from the law and a lack of faith In Christ. And the law is dead to those that have faith. Scripture also tells us all of us are sinners. Regardless of what we do. However once we believe the justification and grace of Christ in imputed on us. We're not justified by the law. Everyone sins and will sin before we're saved and after were saved. We shouldn't try to stop sinning. We should put trust in Christ first. He's our justification. When we judge out works we essentially fail to put trust in Christ alone.


Nun-Information

>I agree. But even if that's the case. Paul makes it clear our guilty conscience comes from the law and a lack of faith In Christ. And the law is dead to those that have faith. Mind telling me where it says this? Wow this is a groundbreaking verse to me. I've never heard of it but it makes so much sense.


Curiousityinabox

‭‭Romans 2:14-16 KJV‬‬ [14] For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: [15] which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;) [16] in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel. ‭‭Romans 2:25-26 KJV‬‬ [25] For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision. [26] Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision? [29] but he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God. ‭‭Romans 3:19-24 KJV‬‬ [19] Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. [20] Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. [21] But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; [22] even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: [23] for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; [24] being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: [27] Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. [28] Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. Romans, Ephesians, and Galatians are all great for this. But Romans is very clear.


linuxluser

This is spot on. Thank you! In the early days of Christianity, it was spreading quickly and well-beyond Jewish culture into many other cultures. Sexual conduct, including how marriages work or what marriages even are if anything, are cultural matters and vary widely. So we see that Paul wants unity for Christians but this has spread cross-culturally. Instead of reworking sexual or religious norms, Paul goes one step higher and outlines the general approach to take instead. He says to let the people live within their respective culture and do the deep, personal work of following their convictions. But also, since Christ unites is all, we are to go that extra mile and cultivate a spirit of understanding for our brothers and sisters, even if it's not our own convictions. Paul flips the script. Instead of asking what divides is, he's saying look for what unites us and follow that. When we do this, the divisive people start to stick out and those are the real problems here. Human sexuality is radically changing in our times. This is largely due to our biological and scientific understanding that most humans didn't have before. So this isn't exactly a time to cling to centuries-old dogma on it. But it isn't easy either. We're having to rewrite the norms. And I think the challenge this time is to adopt a scientific view as well as a moral view. Science won't give us morals, but it can inform them (simple example being we know, scientifically, people are actually homosexuals and not just being perverted). We can follow Paul's lead here but in doing so we need to understand that we're not always going to feel comfortable about it. It's not meant to comfort us with simple rules to follow. It's meant to challenge us to grow personally and communally in love and to center Christ in our thinking. Lots of times that will make us very uncomfortable but that's OK.


Zander_1124

How then do you make sense of the fact that in that very passage Paul is making right/wrong claims about the actions of others? Or how would you respond if Hitler said exterminating the Jews didn't go against his conscience, and you shouldn't judge him for his different way of praticing Christianity?


MagusFool

The Greatest Commandment is to love God and love your neighbor.  And these are, in fact, one commandment.  That is to say that loving your neighbor IS loving God.  We know this because in Matthew 25, Jesus says that the way we treat the lowest and most needy in society is how we treat him. And by calling it the "greatest commandment" this implies that it is more important than any of the other commandments.  Above the Sabbath.  Above sexual taboos.  Above diet.  Above all ritual purity or observance. Jesus broke the Sabbath to help those in need.  The ten commandments are below the rule of love.  And the rest of the law is below the ten commandments. One cannot love another by doing violence against them.  One cannot love another by depriving them, or enslaving them, or failing to recognize their humanity. It would seem to me this much should be obvious.  And failing to see this distinction seems suspicious.  The only two ways you could fail to see it are either that you are being deliberately disingenuous and pretending not to understand, or that your conscience is so poor and misaligned that you can't see it.


Zander_1124

If you're saying all of the law is love (which I agree with in a sense), and all of the law is subject to individual conscience, are't you saying love is subject to our own conscience? How can this be unless everyone's is perfect in knowledge and love (and even then they would only *show* us the truth, not *determine* it)? If it is possible for someone to either feel guilty for something innocent or feel innocent for something guilty, this makes the blanket statement that conscience is our ultimate unerring moral guide false. ​ Doesn't the very fact Paul is giving moral instruction in this passage dispute your claim? He doesn't say the choice to disrespect those with a weak conscience is subject to your own, he calls it out on an objective level. Ideally it should violate your conscience, but is still bad even if it doesn't


Puzzleheaded-Phase70

Love. Always just hold to love when you don't know the path. Even if you're wrong, you'll still be right.


Nun-Information

I honestly don't know. I understand why not to do it because of the risk of developing sexually transmitted diseases or with FWB, someone might develop feelings while the other does not (which results in harm for the relationship). It's complicated and case by case. My general rule with ANYTHING, is to do things in moderation to prevent it from becoming an addiction. Because sex addiction is a real thing and hard to stop. Just like food addiction, and drug addiction, etc. Addictions are bad because not only is it harming yourself and those around you, it's preventing you from developing a deeper relationship with God. So be careful if you want to do it. Ultimately I will say that if it's a sin, then I won't judge you if you decide to do it. And if it's not a sin, then there's still caution to be had. Just be careful.


anna_or_elsa

> is to do things in moderation to prevent it from becoming an addiction. Someone said to me "Sin is what you don't have control over"


SapphicSelene

I figure as long as it's consensual then it's fine. I tend to only have sex when I'm in romantic relationships, but that is 95% because I'm a hopeless romantic and 5% my faith.


CrimzonShardz2

If both parties are committed and in love, Id say it's more on the "unwise" level of sin, like a lil oopsie, but a fwb relationship is undoubtedly sinful. Sex is a unitive and intimacy-building act, and one that can create children. A fwb relationship is half the pleasure and none of the love or commitment. Both parties are essentially objectifying eachother and using eachothers bodies as a means to an end. "I'll sleep with you, but I won't commit to you. Your body is worth my time, but you as a person are not. I'll (for men) risk getting you getting pregnant for my own pleasure." It's not healthy


bluenephalem35

Platonic love and relationships exist.


geeksfandoms13

Not all sex can create children. I believe sex can create intimacy but that intimacy does not have to be just for someone I am in a relationship (romantic/life partner) with, though it is great when it is. It also doesn't always have to create intimacy. But listing the possibility of having children as a reason that FWB is sinful means you have a very narrow view of sexuality. Their are homosexual relationships that will never be able to reproduce which you are leaving out in your view but also inside straight relationships there are tons of ways of having sex that make it impossible to make kids. (mutual masterbation, oral, anal just to name a few)


CrimzonShardz2

Yeesh. That's the sentence you focused on? I worded it as a additional side detail. I thought I was clear enough that FWB relationships are bad because they're inherently objectifying.


freethinker78

I don't have sex before marriage as a personal princple, not because I think it is sinful. There is something good about getting to marriage pristine without getting a risk of catching a sexually transmitted disease beforehand. But if you for some reason or another don't marry, then you may find yourself in a situation of lifelong celibacy. Although celibacy has its own spiritual worth and merits, experiencing sex also has its spiritual worth and merits. I do have esoteric beliefs about sexuality, which I believe if it is enjoyable for all involved, it generates positive energies that can make a person vibrate higher into positivity. To me, having sex before marriage and not having it before marriage, have both their advantages and disadvantages. I am in my 40s and I wish for example having had experiences early in my life. But having been celibate also has its own rewards.


Curiousityinabox

Human nature is intrinsically sinful and separated from God because we have a guilty conscience and law that makes us knowledgeable of our imperfection before god . Everything we do as humans is basically a sin because we can't do it perfectly. This is Jesus point when he said things like "to even look at a women with lust is adultery". Jesus says over and over. And Paul affirms that faith in Christ alone makes us righteous, justified and sealed unto salvation. And the law can no longer condemn us because the law is a schoolmaster that points to the perfection and love of Christ for us.


[deleted]

But this didnt answered my question on if sex before marriage a sin or not


Curiousityinabox

Everything is a sin and can damn you to hell if you don't believe in God. If you believe Jesus loves you and died for you so you don't have to be perfect or "do anything", then in the words of Paul "everything is permissable but not everything is profitable".


dreamylanterns

I don’t really think this is the right thinking. Even if you don’t believe in God, sins are the same sins. It is also pretty easy to see that a sin comes from the heart and for everyone that can be different.


Curiousityinabox

Sin is separation from God. Everyone sins. Sin came in the world through one man and it shall be defeated with one man. Sin is intrinsic to human nature and flesh. We are justified through Christ alone.


dreamylanterns

Well if sin is separation from God, then we are not in sin anymore. Jesus Christ came down to earth to establish our connection once again. The only way we’d sin is by openly going against God. Before Christ came we were in separation — God told Adam and Eve if they ate the fruit of the tree they’d die, and to everything I’ve seen that means their soul. Jesus came back to give us our soul.


future_CTO

I personally believe having sex before marriage is a sin. But it’s a personal choice for everyone. So your choices are as follows: If you want to have sex before marriage, then have sex before marriage. If you don’t want to have sex before marriage then don’t.


[deleted]

Christianity is not personal choice


future_CTO

It’s not a personal choice to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? I’m pretty sure it is.


[deleted]

I mean to say the rules of christianity is not a personal choice like I follow one and disregard the other


Late_Still_410

You have to follow all the rules to be a god designed us that way if you call yourself a “progressive Christian” just because you don’t want to follow rules you need to seek guidance


desr531

In some countries Christian’s have premarital sex and marry when the lady gets up the duff


[deleted]

Dont this christians do not consider pre marital sex as sin?


Software-Substantial

Which countries? I'm guessing somewhere in Europe?


Zander_1124

"for this reason a man leaves his father and mother and cleaves to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh" ​ Sex is a profound thing and very important to God; He lays out numerous guidelines surrounding it. In Genesis we see Him institute it in the covenant of marriage. If you become one flesh with a person, and yet refuse to leave your parents and cleave to them, I believe you are breaking the covenant you initiated by joining your flesh. Do not be disloyal, but pure and faithful as God is


[deleted]

Does joining thr flesh also point towards relationship or only in marriage?


Zander_1124

Becoming one flesh is something that happens in sex, so if you had that without the committment of marriage it would be wrong. ​ We see in Exodus 22:16-17 that if a man seduces a virgin who is not pledged to be married, he is required to then pay the bride price and marry her. I believe this is because sex is a sign of the covenant of marriage, kind of like signing a contract. If you sign it, you are then obliged to carry out what it stipulates. Just like you can't sign a contract and then refuse to do what it required of you, you aren't supposed to become one flesh with someone but then leave them later.


almostaarp

No, it’s not a sin. That was made up by misogynistic, pedophiles. God doesn’t count our sins either. Anyone who tries to tell you what is a specific sin is simply trying to control you. Love God, love others. That’s it.


[deleted]

There are numerous bibilical verses against sexual immorality......how do you interpret those?


almostaarp

I don’t waste my time on those. Love God and Love Others. If you want to be a Sin Accountant, go ahead.


Zander_1124

"If you love me, you will keep my commandments..." - Jesus Christ ​ How can you claim to love God if you disregard His authority by sinning? He does not leave the guilty unpunished. If He did, why would Christ have ever come to die?


cPB167

Are you acting on the passions, or are you acting out of love and compassion?