1 Corinthians 10; 2 Kings 3; Amos 8
In ancient times religion didn’t demand that you commit your life to the deity you worshiped. You’d go to the temple, sacrifice some kind of animal, have a great feast with the part of the animal that you didn’t offer to the priests and then go your way. As followers of Christ realized that the God of Creation demanded more, that He demanded their whole lives, one of the issues that came up was what people ate. Often the best meat at the cheapest price was that which had been offered as sacrifices at the various temples. And so, tension arose in Corinth around the eating of meat. Some claimed that as long as you thanked God for the meat, you were ok and that thanksgiving overrode the demonic nature of the offering to the false gods. Others were adamant that eating such meat under any circumstances was joining in with the demon worship. I think Paul was quoting that argument when he said, “You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord’s table and of the table of demons.” (1 Corinthians 10:21) It was a touchy issue then and as you read through the passage you will note that Paul falls on the side of freedom but appeals to his brothers to be sensitive to the consciences of others. There are many issues that could be a dividing point among Christians today. I see many people talk about things like what we should eat, what we should wear, what we should drink and what behavior is acceptable. We sometimes get into bitter arguments about the merits of each position. As we deal with our differences, though, Paul gave the Corinthian church, and us, one guide to how we make our final decisions on divisive issues: “…whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
Lord, how often would I rather be proven right at the expense of the faith of another. Help me to do all things for Your glory and bring honor to You. Let me be willing to be wrong and to be wronged if it will bring glory to You. Let Your church unite around the importance of following You.