I want you to welcome those who are fresh in the faith, who are still shaking off their old practice of offering meat to an idol before eating it. Because of that, eating meat feels like idol-worship to them, so they choose not to do it. Not everyone feels the same way about this, but I don’t think it’s worth arguing over. (2) Some of you eat anything and everything, while some of you who are fresh in the faith choose to be vegetarians, and there’s nothing wrong with either of you. (3) Whether you are a carnivore or herbivore, it is important for you to make space in your life for the other. Why? Because that’s what Papa, Jesus and Sarayu have done for them.
(4) They are followers of Jesus, so why would you act as if they are followers of you? They live their lives around Jesus, and he is the one who will make it so they can get by. (5) It’s like how some people have certain days that are spiritually important to them, but others don’t. Each of you figures out what seems best to you, and then you do it.
- (6) If you have a day that’s special to you, great!–Use that day to express your affection for Jesus.
- If you eat meat, eat it as a way of sharing in Jesus’ life, giving thanks for what Papa has provided.
- If you enjoy a special day, enjoy it with Jesus.
- If you eat meat, eat with Jesus in gratitude to Papa.
- If you eat only vegetables, enjoy them with Jesus in gratitude to Papa.
(7) We are not the center of our life. Or of our death, for that matter. Jesus is. (8) In life and in death, we belong to him. (9) that is why he chose to live and die as one of us, so that both in life and in death we would belong to him. (10) Vegetarians, why would you get all judgmental on your meat-eating brothers and sisters? And you carnivores, why would you look down on your plant-eating brothers and sisters? What counts is what Jesus says about us:
(11) Papa says: A person who will not have a right relationship with me?!? There is no such creature. I’m as sure of that as I am sure I’m alive and standing here.
(12) We answer to Papa, Jesus and Sarayu–and to no one else.