Bible Discussion Thread

  • Carolyn on Romans 14:16

    ""Let not then your good be evil spoken of:" I thought this meant if you are a married man you shouldn't be seen in public with other women even if you say they are just friends."

    What should I say to him? He gets angry if I tell him he is wrong.
  • Chris - in Reply on Romans 14:16
    Hi Carolyn. Romans 14:16 shouldn't be forced to mean what you've suggested, about a married man being seen in public with other women. We can't pull out a Scripture & try to make it read something that it wasn't intended to do.

    This chapter is speaking of some of those delicate & difficult questions that arose at that time, in respect to the behaviour between Jew & Gentile believers. And these questions centred around food and observance of particular days, rites, etc. The Jewish converts expected that the Gentiles would also bind themselves to Jewish customs & adherence to Mosaic Laws. The matter of circumcision came up in Acts 15:1,2 and Galatians 2:3,4. Here in Romans chapter 14, matters pertaining to food offered to idols, Jewish fasting days, clean & unclean animals, and subsequently, judging another because of their belief & therefore resulting in not walking in love & understanding with each other.

    So verse 16: "Let not then your good be evil spoken of", tells us that as Christians, we should be aware that even though we might enjoy our liberty in Christ to do many things that might appear wrong in the sight of others (e.g. Jews, or those weak in faith or unlearned in the Scriptures), we should abstain from doing so, if it means that strife & controversy arise leading to unkind words exchanged & separation from each other.

    However, I do agree with you that a married man should be careful in how close he gets to other women: the time he spends with her or the places they meet for discussion, since that meeting, though maybe perfectly harmless & genuine, may easily be misconstrued by another. In that instance, I would use 1 Thessalonians 5:22: "Abstain from all appearance of evil." And if you need to share this with a man (a husband?), the Scripture can be used as part of a 'loving' discussion to the pitfalls in such an association, as well as a misunderstanding or gossip by others.

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