April 16, 2001
To the editor of the Faith and Values section of the Atlanta Journal and Constitution (a similar letter was sent to the editor of the Wesleyan Christian Advocate).
I hope you will see fit to publish this letter. It deals with an enormous split in the entire Christian community and can best be disseminated here through your services. It will be of interest to all people who are concerned about dissension in their religious communities.
Imagine a Christian thinking it were a sin to eat blood sausages (a European delicacy, I am told) because God expressly forbade that. We would properly call him a Jewish Christian because he would have a legislation which he was bound to honor. His contrast, the Gentile Christian, would have only the Golden Rule (which the Jewish Christian would also have, but only as one of many other commandments, e.g., dont murder). The two could still get along however as long as the Gentile Christian did not eat blood sausage in the presence of the Jewish Christian, and as long as the Jewish Christian did not think he were commanded to avoid religious contact with people who ate blood sausages, this perhaps being another of the commands that he had ferreted out of the scriptures or had been instructed about by church. In the latter case there is no possibility of Christian fellowship between the two, and so the Jewish Christian would have to isolate himself in a church of his own kind. Consequently then while the Gentile Christian churches would be open to all, the Jewish Christian churches would be open only to those who were willing to toe a certain line. Fortunately for the Christian faith, however, Romans 14 tells both Christians precisely how to do the trick: they will find that they can get along very well religiously if they will 1. simply act right in the presence of the other, and 2. avoid talking with each other about subjects which do not further love, e.g., whether it is all right to eat blood sausages or not.
/s/ Philip McPherson Rudisi.l