Sometimes Paul is hard to understand. Not my words, but Peter's. 2 Peter 3:16: "He (Paul) writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction." Peter understood even back then that Paul's word would be mangled and twisted, by people trying to twists God's plain message "to their own destruction." As for the first verse. It is a discussion between those who are vegetarians (like 7th day Adventists.) who maintain a vegetarian diet. Paul is saying that either way is OK, however, it is OK to eat meat as well. He is NOT talking about pork, rattlesnake and poisonous puffer fish! He is talking about clean, God approved foods.
THE SUBJECT OF CLEAN AND UNCLEAN MEATS
Does anything in Romans 14 do away with the dietary laws?
Most Bible resources agree that the book of 1 Corinthians was written about 55, although Romans was probably written from Corinth in 56 or 57. As demonstrated above, the food controversy in Corinth was over meat sacrificed to idols. Since Paul was writing to the Romans from Corinth, where this had been a significant issue, this subject was fresh on Paul's mind and is the logical, biblically supported basis for Romans 14. Those who assume the subject of Romans 14 is a retraction of God's law regarding clean and unclean animals must force this interpretation into the text because it has no biblical foundation. The historical basis for the discussion appears, from evidence in the chapter itself, to have been meat sacrificed to idols.
Verse 2 contrasts the one who "eats only vegetables" with the one who believes "he may eat all things": meat as well as vegetables.
Verse 6 discusses eating or not eating and is variously interpreted as referring to fasting (no eating or drinking), vegetarianism (eating only vegetables) or eating or not eating meat sacrificed to idols.
Verse 21 shows that meat offered to idols was the dominant issue of this chapter: "It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak." Both meat and wine were commonly offered to idols in the Roman world, with portions of those offerings then sold in the marketplace.
Those who assume the subject of Romans 14 is a retraction of God’s law must force this interpretation into the text.
The Life Application Bible comments on verse 2: "The ancient system of sacrifice was at the center of the religious, social, and domestic life of the Roman world. After a sacrifice was presented to a god in a pagan temple, only part of it was burned. The remainder was often sent to the market to be sold. Thus a Christian might easily-even unknowingly-buy such meat in the marketplace or eat it at the home of a friend. Should a Christian question the source of his meat? Some thought there was nothing wrong with eating meat that had been offered to idols because idols were worthless and phony. Others carefully checked the source of their meat or gave up meat altogether, in order to avoid a guilty conscience. The problem was especially acute for Christians who had once been idol worshipers. For them, such a strong reminder of their pagan days might weaken their new found faith. Paul also deals with this problem in 1 Corinthians 8."
What is the point of Paul's instruction in Romans 14? Depending upon their consciences, early believers had several choices they could make while traveling or living in their communities. If they did not want to eat meat that had been sacrificed to idols, they could choose to fast or eat only vegetables to make sure they did not consume any meat of suspicious background that might offend their conscience. If their consciences were not bothered by eating meat sacrificed to idols, they could choose any of the options. Within this context, Paul said, "Let each be fully convinced in his own mind" (verse 5) because "whatever is not from faith is sin" (verse 23).
Romans 14 is, in part, a chapter on Christian liberty-acting according to one's conscience within the framework of God's laws as they pertained to meat sacrificed to idols. Understood in its context, Romans 14 is not a permit to eat pork or any other unclean meat. When one understands that the historical food controversy of the New Testament dealt with meat sacrificed to idols and not which meats were clean, other scriptures become clear.
Note: Thus we see that Romans 14 in no way does away with clean and unclean meat laws.
The esteeming one day over another has NOTHING to do with the Sabbath Day.
Here is a commentary (and I do not believe this interpretation, but this is the official position by theologians who freely admit here that the Sabbath is not meant) "Many have concluded that this verse implies we no longer need to keep the fourth Commandment being the Lord's Sabbath. But where in the entire chapter does it give any such indication that the fourth Commandment is being referred to? The fact is that Romans chapter 14 does not even use the word Sabbath and is typically a chosen assumption from those trying to avoid spending special one on one time with their Creator on His holy day. Another very relevant fact is that the word “alike” is not actually in the Greek text at all and was added by the translators which has tended to imply something that Paul never intended at all. So keeping true to the original Greek text, this is what Paul really said in Romans 14:5 “One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.” The passage context reveals that Romans 14:5 refers to the Jewish institutions and especially their festivals such as the Passover, Day of Atonement, the new moons etc, and meat sacrificed to idols. The Bible never refers to the Lord's Sabbath as just a day. It is always called The Sabbath or Sabbath Day. Some Jews who did not yet know or understand the Gospel message thought these days still had to be observed while the Gentile Christian not having ever kept these feast days knew they were under no obligation to keep them. Consequently there was disagreement between Jews and Gentiles over keeping these sacrificial feasts that ended at the cross. See Adam Clarke and Albert Barnes Bible Commentaries and Romans 14:5-6 for a detailed exegesis on this verse."
My conclusion is very simple: 'Everyday is the Sabbath' but nowhere in the scriptures does it say that. Others say that this is referring to the Sabbath day, and that Paul is teaching that we can view every day “alike.” But the word “alike” is in italic, meaning it’s not in the Greek. Let’s examine verse 6 closely. Paul first says that he that regards the day regards it to God. He that does not regard it, does not regard it to God. Likewise, and this is important, he that eats, to the Lord he eats, and he that does not eat, he says,“to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.” Paul is using the same logic he used in regards to the “day” as he does to “eating.” Linguistically therefore, if it doesn’t matter what day we keep, then it also does not matter if we eat or not. Will we really think Paul is teaching we can spend our lives not eating, giving thanks to God, and expect God to honor this? Or could it rather be that Paul is speaking about certain days where we can decide to eat upon those days or not, i.e. fasting? This fits better with the context. The disputable matter was on fasting, and when to fast.
another very good view is here:
I'll watch it when I get a chance but here's the scripture I was looking for that I couldn't find yesterday. Romans 14:1 Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations. 14:2 For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs. 14:3 Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him. 14:4 Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand. 14:5 One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.