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Christian Vegetarian Association Presents:
Take Heart!
Romans 14:1-2
(RSV)

As for the man who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not for disputes over opinions. One believes he may eat anything, while the weak man eats only vegetables.
 
Paul wrote to the Romans that “the weak man eats only vegetables” (14:2). At that time, Jews were banned from Rome, and a kosher butcher would have been arrested. Unable to obtain kosher meat, many Jews abstained from meat altogether, for fear of eating meat that had been offered to a pagan god. Paul maintained that eating meat, even if offered to idols, was not a spiritual concern, because the pagan gods didn’t exist. Only the “weak in faith” failed to appreciate that sacrifices to fictitious gods were meaningless. Paul said that meat-eaters should not condemn those who abstain, and vice versa (14:3). It appears that Paul wrote this to the Romans because Paul was concerned about differences on diet dividing the church. Paul was not justifying meat-eating per se, and this passage certainly does not endorse factory farming.

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