Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Dietary Laws and Sabbaths for Christians

   A novel, but incorrect, interpretation of Romans 14:1-10, is that it was written to address optional fasting on certain holy [sabbath] days and not to referee a dispute among Christians about Old Covenant dietary laws and observation of sabbaths.
   But when read in context [the entire chapter, not just the first ten verses], the plain understanding--with no mental gymnastics or logic leaps--is that the apostle says nothing about fasting and is indeed addressing the controversy of legalism in dietary laws and observation of holy days [sabbaths].
A better Covenant established on better promises
-- Hebrews 8:6
   
   Paul wrote that some Christians were "weak" in the faith. Those he referred to [as weak] were the ones who felt compelled to observe dietary laws and holy days and condemned others for not doing the same. 
   Within the context of Romans chapter fourteen, Paul admonishes all Believers to be tolerant of each other in matters of what to eat or not to eat and in matters of what holy days to observe. 
One person esteems one day above another
Another esteems every day alike
Let every one be fully persuaded in their own minds
    Food choices and holy days are completely optional for New Covenant Believers. Verse :14 reinforces the subject to be that of menu in general and not of fasting or not fasting on holy days. At any rate, fasting was never mandated for the Sabbath, and neither was it mandated for most other sabbaths. 
   Mental gymnastics and logic leaps are clearly required to claim that Romans chapter fourteen is not dealing with Old Covenant dietary laws and  sabbath requirements.
   The chapter plainly refers to menu choices--not to fasting--and specifies that the controversy largely involves vegetarianism -vs- meat (flesh) eating, or at the very least eating certain kinds of meat. The word food as used in this passage can also correctly be translated as "menu," (vs :15) and the context bears it out that Paul is writing of controversial menu choices and holy days in general and not about fasting only on certain days.
   When it comes to mandating food and holy days, biblical instruction is, "Drop the subject and mind your own business. This is a matter of liberty and option." 
   Those who cannot allow liberty concerning this issue, are sadly related to those Paul wrote of to the Galatians, the ones he said came to "spy out our liberty!" 
    The apostle wrote that the issues of optional food choices and holy days are not to be controversial matters among Christians but rather non-issues, matters of love and liberty.

...Shalom 

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