‘Food will not bring us close to God.’ We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.” vss. 8-91 Corinthians 8:1-6
Anything can become a divisive issue in a congregation! Among other things the Corinthians were struggling with whether or not it was appropriate to eat food that had been offered to idols. Some said that it was fine, but others wondered whether those who had once worshiped idols could by eating continue in idolatry. Paul agreed that food isn’t the issue, but also believed that it could be a stumbling block. Congregations making rules about alcohol consumption on their campuses sometimes are led to ban the practice, not because they think drinking is bad, but because of their concern for those who are alcoholics. Paul would agree. He says that he would rather give up eating meat than cause someone to fall. And even if we don’t agree with Paul’s opinions in other matters, in this case he provides solid guidance. It is true that because we live by grace we can engage in any number of activities, some of which may have been banned by our pietistic parents, but that doesn’t mean we should. Life in Christ is communal, and our behaviors have an influence, for better or for worse, on our brothers and sisters. It’s pointless to insist on doing something that may bring injury to others.
Thought for the Day: Things I’ve given up for the sake of others.