Read Romans 14:10-12
10 So why do you condemn another believer? Why do you look down on another believer? Remember,we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. 11 For the Scriptures say,
“‘As surely as I live,’ says the LORD,
‘every knee will bend to me,
and every tongue will confess and give praise to God.'”
12 Yes,each of us will give a personal account to God. (NLT)
We seem to live in an age where people passionately uphold a particular cause in such a way that it compels them to rubbish those who don’t feel the same way. Putting down those who disagree with us is a mark of insecurity. Calling them names and insulting them is our way of dismissing them and their alternative views.
So to hold to conservative values can have you labelled a dinosaur. To question some biblical traditions can see you labelled a backsliding liberal. To believe in the ongoing giftings of the Spirit might have you described as wacky. To be able to see the good in lots of traditions will have others call you wishy-washy.
In this passage,Paul cautions us against such treatment of other Christians. He does so in the context of urging us to agree on what is primary and agree to disagree on secondary matters. Problem is that what some see as secondary others see as primary! And so we can get a bit argumentative and even abusive.
We need much wisdom to know how to be both bold in upholding what we believe and humble in acknowledging the differing views of others. We need to beware of bigotry which tries to keep the truth safe with a grip that kills it.