Some Christians believe that it is wrong for them to eat certain foods. Perhaps their belief is wrong, and with a better knowledge of the Bible, their opinions may change. However, while they still have that belief, they should not eat that food.
People do not always do what they believe to be right. For example, a Christian with such a belief might accept that food simply because he wants to avoid an argument. He eats it because he is too afraid to refuse it.
In such circumstances, the Christian is not acting in faith (belief and trust in God). Instead, he eats that food with an attitude of doubt and fear. Christians should eat their food with grateful hearts, and with thanks to God (14:6). Instead, this poor, weak Christian is in a situation where he can expect to receive nothing from God (James 1:6-7). God does wonderful things when his people act in faith (Mark 11:22-24; Hebrews 11:6). However, an attitude of doubt and unbelief places people in great danger (Hebrews 3:12-19).
Paul tells us this, not to frighten that weak Christian, but to warn stronger Christians (15:1). Christians must not act in whatever manner pleases them. Instead, Christians need to think about the effect of their actions upon weaker Christians (Mark 9:42; Romans 14:15; 1 Corinthians 8:9). It is so easy for a weak Christian to copy the actions of another Christian, but to act against his own conscience. All Christians should help, and show love towards, other Christians (1 John 3:11-18). Stronger Christians, who often teach other Christians, have an even greater responsibility in this matter (James 3:1).
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© 2018, Keith Simons.