“1Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions. 2One person has faith that he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats vegetables only. 3The one who eats is not to regard with contempt the one who does not eat, and the one who does not eat is not to judge the one who eats, for God has accepted him. 4Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.” Romans 14:1-4
Now these liberties being described in Romans 14 are allowing for the individual to privately practiced them. Later in the same chapter, Paul says, “one person esteems one day above another”, v5. God says that privately a man may have a special day that he observes for God. Another person might see all days as the same. The principle of individual liberty says both are acceptable to God. This of course has limitations.
1. The practice must be to the Lord and cannot be observed to something pagan.
2. The practice must not be done to the harm of another Christ. It’s why Paul says of his liberty to eat meat, “If food makes any brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.” 1 Cor. 8:13.
When modern apologists defend their right to bring into the church their “meat” or “special days” or “modern entertainment”, they voilate the spirit of the Scriptures and are self-centered to do what they know hurts another’s conscience. If they are convicted that what they do is their liberty, then do it privately. Not Paul or any other Christian would attempt to bring their private privilege into the assembly of the saints.
The selfish, unspiritual man attempts to make meat and drink of no importance to God and quote Paul who says, “the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking,”, Rom. 14:17. This passage is saying these are not essential to the kingdom, to the worship, to any service of God. The point is to leave it out and practice is privately.
Of course, spiritual people will instantly grasp onto the wisdom of this, but there are many carnal, materialistic people who claim religion but they will still insist their right to divide the church, harm consciences, by their “liberty”.