(From Guardian of Truth, September 2, 1993, page 3)Editorial Left-Overs
Connie W. Adams
P. O. Box 69 - Brooks, Kentucky 40109-0069
Comments On Romans 14
The January 1993 edition of The Spiritual Sword contains a very good article by my friend and former school-mate, Roy H. Lanier, Jr., entitles "Faith and Opinion: A Study of Romans 14." While brother Lanier works among those we generally refer to as "institutional," he is far more conservative than most of those I would count in that camp. His article on Romans 14 is clear, thorough and pointed. In view of what some among us have been writing and preaching on Romans 14, especially as it relates to the marriage, divorce and remarriage issue, I thought our readers would appreciate and profit from the following section from this good article.
This Context Clearly Does Not Cover Some Things
"1. This context does not concern unacceptable practices. Paul said esteeming a day or eating meats were both acceptable (vv. 5-6, 14). For someone today to argue for the use of instrumental music in worship and cite this chapter as proof, he must first show that instrumental music in worship is acceptable to God! Paul clearly argues that the different practices he was considering were both acceptable to God. Does the Lord teach anywhere that instrumental music is worship is acceptable?
"2. The context does not concern matters other than person choice. All things mentioned here refer to desirable choices in ones daily life. In this area God has left many of the choices up to the sanctified common sense of knowledgeable Christians.
"3. The context does not concern congregational matters. Nothing is said In this context about congregational work or worship. For someone to include matters of church activities or worship in this context is to be untrue to accurate hermeneutics.
"4. Differences discussed here are not matters which make us the kingdom. Paul pointed out clearly that these matters were not as important as those which make up the kingdom of God (vv. 16-17).
"5. These liberties of differing opinions must not cause disruption among brethren. Fellowship should be maintained in these cases.
"6. These different practices cannot violate any other instruction of the Lord. Paul could not intend this fellowship be maintained when other teachings would be contradicted. One could not fellowship the doctrines of Balaam (Rev. 2:14), the false teachings of Hymanaeus, Alexander and Philetus (1 Tim. 1:20; 2 Tim. 2:17), nor the idolatry and sexual immorality of that woman Jezebel (Rev. 2:20-21). The matter of adulterous remarriages tolerated within a congregation is not under consideration in Romans 14 since the Lord taught specifically about this (1 Cor. 5). Preachers who are unwilling to stand where the Lord stood in regard to adultery cannot ease their aching hearts from Romans 14."