Several years ago, my doctor asked me about my eating, especially at church events. “As pastor,” I said, “I need to try a little bit of what each person brings so as not to offend anyone.” After additional prodding I admitted that this included about a half-a-dozen small portions of the various deserts. My wise doctor suggested that I choose foods so that others watching what I ate might follow my lead, for other than church dinners my diet was relatively balanced. She hoped that my example might lead others in my congregation to more balanced diets.
If I do not try a portion of the dish you brought to share, it might reflect my choice of food, or it may be that I exceeded my self-imposed limit of two samples of desert.
Nearly two-thousand years ago people in the church in Corinth had similar problems about what people ate. Some people believed that since idols were foolish human constructs, a well grounded Christian could eat meat from an animal that had been offered as a sacrifice without any religious reservations and take full advantage of the lower costs for such meat.
Other Christians were worried about what others would think about participating in an idolatrous sacrifice since non-Christians who ate such meat were considered supporters of the deity that the idol represented.
To eat or not to eat? That is the question, whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outraged idolaters or to take up arms against strong theologizers.
I will have more to say about 1 Corinthians 8:1-13 at Temple Terrace Presbyterian Church at 8:15 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, October 21st.
Robert Shaw, Pastor
A Tip for Parents
On Christmas eve we have a candle lighting service where I light the candles (flashlights for this lesson) that the ushers hold and they light candles of people sitting near the ends of the rows, and within a few seconds the room goes from being dark to being very well lit. What if instead of passing a light, we passed good deeds?
The Lord has given us this command, “I have placed you here as a light for the world. You are to take the saving power of God to people everywhere on earth.”
— Acts 13:47