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Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Jarlaxle, Jul 29, 2002.
Were believers sacrificing food to idols?
We are not really told who was doing the offering to idols. It is a common assumption that the heathens were. Although in this Church at Corinth, easily the most carnal of all NT churches, I suppose that it could have happened.
Paul is addressing the question of whether it was right or wrong to eat the meat that had been offered to the idols.
1Cor 8:4 "As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one."
Paul is saying thatan idol is nothing more than a piece of wood, stone, metal, or whatever else it may be made of. He declares that there is but one God.
These Corinthian Christians assumed that because worshipping and sacrificing to idols was wrong, that eating the meat that had been offered was wrong as well.
1Cor 8:7 "Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled.
8. But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse."
Paul said it is not right or wrong. But, those who are spiritual ought to prefer the conscience of a weaker believer over their own appetites.
1Cor 8:9 "But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.
10 For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol's temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols;
11 And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?
12 But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ."
Paul sums it up by saying, in essence, "If my brother is offended when I eat this meat offered to idols, I just won't eat it. Period!"
Would to God that we had more men and women like Paul who were willing to yield their rights to benefit another.
Rom. 12:10 "Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;"
Its interesting (potential rabbit trail following) that we don't follow this passage of scripture in America.
Generally, it seems, we have a custom-fit Christianity. I mean, God is great and all but surely He doesn't expect me to do that which is inconvenient for me (sarcasm). I think if we honestly did look to others as higher than ourselves then we would see some serious moral issues of our day cleared up. But instead we say "well," (man i love this bit) "I have PEACE about it." Do we ask if the Word condones it? Do we ask if it potentially causes another believer to stumble in their faith in any way? And that doesn't necessarily mean in sinning but (and you will have to help me with the verse) also can mean leading younger believers into "doubtful disputations".
In summation we have to much of a "me first" Christianity, and not enough of a John 17:3 one.
Even if the Christians were not the ones doing the sacrificing, there certainly seemed to be many that didn't realize that there is only one God the Father, and one Lord, Jesus Christ. I thought this was essential to "believe in Jesus." But apparrently not?
6 yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him.
7 However not all men have this knowledge;
Right, as in the unsaved that were all around them. The point being made is that if the unsaved people see Christians doing the same things (eating meat sacrificed to idols) that the unsaved do (to the Christians it was a meal, but to the unsaved it was a tribute to their gods) then by doing those things, they were possibly damaging the chances of the unsaved becoming believers, and damaging their own testimony.
I understand what the point of the passage is, but to show his point, Paul says there were brothers (i.e. Christians) that didn't realize that God was the One and Only God. I thought that Christians knew this fact, for it is the very backbone of Christianity, is it not?