My church finished its Bible study about Paul’s Epistle to the Romans last night! We were going through Romans: The Letter That Changed the World, with Mart De Haan & Jimmy DeYoung.
This will be a brief post, since I’m rather tired right now. I went to the Imax today with my brother, my Mom, and my Mom’s husband. We saw Jurassic Park in 3-D. I was afraid that the 3-D would make the dinosaurs in the movie even scarier, since they would look like they’re right in front of me, in real life space. But that’s not exactly what happened. I thought that the 3-D was excellent in making tables, plants, and rooms look three-dimensional, but (in my opinion) it was not as effective in making the dinosaurs and the people look 3-D. The movie was scary, due to the plot and the special effects, but that was unrelated to the 3-D nature of the film.
But back to Romans! There were two things in particular that stood out to me. First of all, we were looking at Romans 14, in which Paul was talking about how the strong and the weak in faith should interact. The picture of the chapter that we got was this: the weak in faith eat only vegetables and observe special days, whereas the strong have a broader diet and treat every day as alike. The strong were to respect the weak, and the weak were not to judge the strong. What confuses me is this: Paul seems to imply that the strong and the weak are aware of each other and of each other’s practices, and Paul is exhorting both sides to exercise tolerance. And yet, in Romans 14:15-21, Paul appears to be saying that the strong should not eat meat or drink wine in a setting that would cause their weaker brothers to stumble or to become offended. But, if the strong and the weak know of each other and are supposed to tolerate each other, why should the strong have to keep their practices a secret from the weak? Shouldn’t the weak exercise tolerance towards the strong, rather than assuming that everyone in the church shares their outlook?
Second, the DVD that we watched said that, according to Romans, God’s love brought Jew and Gentile together into one body, the church. Rome tried to bring people together by force and by fear, but God brought people together by love.