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Should Christians eat pork? Drink alcohol? Celebrate Christmas?

Romans 14 addresses issues that divide many Christians. Issues such as should Christians eat pork? Should Christians drink alcohol? What day should the Sabbath be? Should Christians celebrate Christmas, Easter and other religious festivals? The Apostle Paul speaks directly to these issues in Romans 14 and he calls these matters disputable, personal opinions that are insignificant.

Romans 14:1 – Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters.

Other translations say:

New Living Translation – Accept other believers who are weak in faith, and don’t argue with them about what they think is right or wrong.

English Standard Version – As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions.

Berean Study Bible – Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on his opinions.

New King James Version – Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things.

Amplified Bible – As for the one whose faith is weak, accept him [into your fellowship], but not for [the purpose of] quarreling over his opinions.

Contemporary English Version – Welcome all the Lord’s followers, even those whose faith is weak. Don’t criticize them for having beliefs that are different from yours.

Good News Translation – Welcome those who are weak in faith, but do not argue with them about their personal opinions.

Romans 14:2-3 One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. 3 The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them.

This addresses the issue of eating pork. Further in verses 14-20, Paul expands upon this by reinforcing the belief that all food is clean to eat.

Romans 14:4 Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.

We must not judge other Christians over these types of insignificant and disputable arguments. What one man does as an act of worship and sacrifice to God should not be criticized, even though we may not agree due to a stronger faith.

Romans 14:5 One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind.

It is perfectly acceptable if some Christians wish to celebrate Christmas, Easter, Lent, etc. to honor God. This does not include the highly commercialized and temporary ‘Christmas spirit’ and “Easter bunny’ aspect. I am referring to the holy day itself. If some determine to observe the Sabbath on Saturday instead of Sunday, it is of no consequence. We should not be arguing with one another about our personal opinions regarding these matters.

Paul also refers to this in 1 Colossians 2:16 & 17 :

1 Colossians 2:16-17 – Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.

Romans 14:6-9 Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7 For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone. 8 If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. 9 For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.

Romans 14:10-11 You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. 11 It is written:

“‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.’”

We are not meant to judge and argue with fellow believers over trivial matters such as food, alcohol, festivals and Sabbath days.

Romans 14:12-14 So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God. 13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister. 14 I am convinced, being fully persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for that person it is unclean.

If some Christians believe that eating pork is wrong, we should not judge them, and those who feel that eating pork is wrong, should not judge Christians who eat pork.

Romans 14:15-18 If your brother or sister is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy someone for whom Christ died. 16 Therefore do not let what you know is good be spoken of as evil. 17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, 18 because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval.

Romans 14:19-21 Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. 20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a person to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. 21 It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother or sister to fall.

For example, if a fellow believer does not believe Christians should drink alcohol, then alcohol should not be served when this believer is present.

Romans 14:22-23 So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves. 23 But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.

In conclusion, we should not judge our fellow brothers/sisters in Christ concerning their beliefs on celebrating festivals, food, alcohol, dietary issues (the only matter that is not disputable regarding dietary issues is that as Christians, we are not permitted to eat meat with blood still in it, as it was reiterated by Paul, Peter and James regarding Gentiles), and lastly, what day the Sabbath should be observed.

Have you ever judged a fellow brother/sister in Christ for what they eat, drink or celebrate?
Pork: Its okay. I personally have preference for fish, chicken or beef.

Alcohol: Its okay in moderation. Don't be a drunk and appease the flesh. Don't depend upon the bottle but rather on God. I drink when the mood hits me. I could go months without alcohol or I could go into phase where I drink each weekend and the phase goes away and new one replaces it. In any case if you like to enjoy wine with a meal or champagne on new year's, you just want down a couple beers, relax from a hard day's work, or join your friends at your local bar and grill restaurant, you are good to go. The key is moderation. Don't let your flesh be in charge. Jesus turned water into wine for a wedding. That must have been one festive wedding and a good time. A good indication to know when you had enough to drink is when you hit the buzz, the early transition into intoxication.

For some drinking is a mortal sin and that's okay if you've abused alcohol and had a dependency on it, it'd be good stay away from it. How do you differentiate between dependency and just enjoy a drink? Hold a bottle of alcohol in your hand. Hold it up to your face and look at it. Ask yourself. Do I really need to drink this? If I put this down and walk away from it, do I have a yearning to return to it or a desire that I must have it. For me I can take it or leave. I don't need it. If I choose to drink, its because the mood hits me.

Its like an epiphany. A man has the day off work, but his wife is at work, He decides he's going to surprise her. He gathers all the ingredients together produces a meal of variety of dishes. He sets the table and get everything into place. He looks at all he has done and there's this nagging feeling inside. What's missing? Ah, it hits him. A bottle of wine would complete the setting and ambience. A nice element, the wine, completes a meal and a transition into relaxation and later romance. As opposed to, I just... I... I need a drink. I'll do anything. I'll go off the rails without a drink. I just need to escape reality. I don't want to deal with problems in life. I'm stuck with this or that and I can't get away and the only place to escape is at the bar. One gathers his/her things breaks a wake to the bar, spends lots of money and time drowning in a bottle.

Christmas: I hate to say it, but Christmas is pagan. We don't know the date Jesus was born, we just know that he was born. Although we may not know when Jesus was born and one argues that Christmas represents his birth. The bottom line is the Romans who worshiped a pantheon of many "gods" used Christmas. The Christmas tree is pagan. Santa Claus has nothing to do with salvation or resurrection of Jesus Christ. Its my opinion, celebrating Christmas is a type of idolatry.

Let's look it this in a different application. Look at a few names of the planets: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and so on. All these planet's names give glory to false gods, yet for decades of your life you never really given any attention to it no different than celebrating Christmas. Yet by giving the names of the planets creditability as that you recognize the planet is called by that name, without knowing you are glorifying that false deity or Nephilim life form. You may not directly worship the Roman pantheon because its consciously idolatry, but you have no problem glorifying godless Roman culture on December 25th without any knowledge of its background, other than decade of propaganda, that's the day Jesus was born.

This all my opinion. I'd be interested in others point of view and dispute me.
Identifying the exact date does not warrant not celebrating the birth, death and most importantly, the resurrection of the Messiah, Jesus.

Jesus also went to festivals, celebrations and wedding feasts (not anniversary celebrations, not that this is mentioned in the bible as being wrong).

We know from scripture that Jesus did celebrate festivals and wedding celebrations.

John 5:1 – Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals.

John 2:13 Weymouth new testament – But the Jewish Passover was approaching, and for this Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

John 2:23 – Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, many people saw the signs he was performing and believed in his name.

John 7:10 NLT – But after his brothers left for the festival, Jesus also went, though secretly, staying out of public view.

John 2:2 – and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding.

The 3 wise men are also mentioned celebrating the birth of the Messiah. And it was God that led them to celebrate the birth of the Messiah as well as the shepherds.

Matthew 2:1-2 – After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

Matthew 2:9-11 – After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

Luke 2:8-12And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

The angels celebrated the birth of the Messiah too.

Luke 2:13-15 & 20Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

Although I don’t believe celebrating Christmas is wrong, I do believe the way we celebrate Christmas is wrong. The danger in our current model of celebrating Christmas, is doing so in the conventional worldly manner with its deeply unbiblical traditions. Nonetheless, the solution is not to disregard celebrating the birth of the Messiah as a whole. The sole focus of Christmas should be completely on the arrival of the Messiah and his teachings. The importance of Christmas is to celebrate Jesus’ birth and purpose and his importance in our lives. Christmas should be time to become introspective and meditate on the Messiah’s teachings. Ask yourself what the purpose of Jesus’ life and message was.

Another danger about the Christmas season is its temporary nature. This temporary spirit of giving causes us to believe that you only need to be generous, compassionate and forgiving during this time of the year.

Instead of doing away with the whole idea of celebrating the birth of the Messiah, we should review how this holiday (holy days) should be celebrated. We should ask ourselves how we can become more sincere in our celebration of the birth of the Messiah, Jesus, and less about commercialism.

Secondly, we should clearly understand that we should not engage in a temporary attitude of generosity, compassion and forgiveness. Rather, we should adopt a permanent attitude that is actively generous and forgiving all year round.

The subtle danger of the Christmas season is that it allows us to think of these types of loving attitudes as temporary. This causes us to sin the rest of the year through the ignorance of our ways.

The Holy Spirit is 24/7/365. The Christmas spirit is only 25 days long. We should focus on maintaining the Holy Spirit which is an everlasting spirit of love, kindness, generosity and forgiveness.

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