In the last few weeks at bible study, we’ve been looking at Romans 14 and 15; what to do when Christians disagree on non-crucial things.
Obviously, opinions are going to vary as to what’s non-crucial. Suggestions from the study notes, and the group, were such things as what to do with alcohol; who to baptise, and when to baptise them (and how much water to use); whether it’s okay for Christians to smoke, or to eat meat.
When we were talking about other things, though (how honest you have to be; who you can sleep with; where Christian authority comes from), that are not negotiable.
It’s popular in some circles to use the term “Christ follower” instead of “Christian” – the latter being too laden with baggage from centuries of church tradition, and the former allowing people to fell their way through what it means to be obedient to Jesus’ teaching: whatever that means.
What came to mind was this ad – you’ve probably seen it (it may lose something in its transition to youtube).
Imagine that Jesus walks down the hill, and tells all of the coloured balls to follow him down the hill. Some traditions would say that it would look more like rolling an earth ball down the hill – you have to be the earth ball. Others would say that there are a few ways down the hill that are valid, and others are not.
Is every path down the hill a valid one? Or is there a point where it stops being following, and starts being just a roll down the hill? What do you think?