EXTRA BIT: That hopey changey thing we long for so that the lot of humanity improves. Well here is modest testimony to the possibility for change for the better.
The verse which guides us to Romans 14-15 as applicable to divisive issues in the church is 15:7,
'Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.'
What are divisive issues but issues which affect our 'welcome' to one another. Issues dividing Protestants from Rome affect our welcome to eucharistic tables controlled by Rome. Until comparatively recently issues dividing Presbyterians from Anglicans affected their welcome at our eucharistic tables! Responding to an enquiry re a wedding in one of our churches I am reminded that not all ministers of the gospel are welcome to take weddings in Anglican churches.
It is old advice when engaging with Paul's writings to ask what the 'therefore' is there for. Thus from Romans 15:7 we proceed backwards. In 14:1 we find a bookend to 15:7,
'Welcome those who are weak in faith, but not for the purpose of quarreling over opinions.'
In the current controversy it could be said that each side thinks the other is 'weak'!
Weak, on the one side, in faith and full of fear, unnecessary fear and timidness in the embrace of human diversity.
Weak, on the other side, in understanding of Scripture and of facing up to its rigour and application to 21st century life.
So each might say.
Yes, I think Romans 14-15 is worth a post or two in the present context.