It annoys me when people make big deals out of something that's not necessarily a big deal. Especially when it's technically (Biblically) a "gray area," such as what books you read or what style of clothes you wear (though I could probably build a Biblical argument against some of the hooker-esque outfits currently popular) or what sort of food you eat.
I realize that not everyone has thought this through the way I have, starting with art and working outward. But still....
Saint Paul was pretty bold on this topic. In Romans 14 and a few other passages, he singles out both sides for instruction. To the confident, those who revel in the freedom Christ's forgivenss and grace implies, he says, "Be careful not to put a stumbling block in your brother's way." In other words, if you know someone has a problem with something, then even if it's okay for you, don't do it around them. Don't drink around a recovering alcoholic. Sound, loving advice.
To both sides, the confident and the weak (those who see sin in mouthfuls of meat and the observance of holy days, or whatever seems more restrictive) he says, "The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him. Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand."
There is a responsibility to our brothers and sisters, yes, to refrain if it would harm them (and we know that it would--in some of these cases, ignorance really is an excuse). But there's also a line, which we have to learn not to cross: if we only live under the judgment of the law, we're not really living in the freedom of Christ. If we only care what others think about us, whether or not they condemn us, for example, for watching Studio 60...then surely we're living at a lower level than if we only care about what God thinks. His opinion will surely affect how we relate to our fellow human beings, in a good way, in a sensitive way. But there's a line there. Fear should not be allowed to dictate the limits of our freedom in Christ.
Only love of Christ and love of others should be able to do that.
Well, that wasn't exactly a vent, nor exactly new, but whatever. Guess I just needed to say it "out loud," again.