Idol Meat and Christian Liberty

"[A]ny Christian who even suggests that drinking and smoking and consuming entertainment is not necessarily the wisest testimony to present before the world, are shamed as being legalists. They will be labeled the 'weaker' brothers..."

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Lee's picture

It is refreshing to find what I'm sure is being primarily communicated in I Cor. 8-10 being put forth in this format.  I'll be interested in seeing how his next posts flesh out his premise. 

And though I certainly agree with the four points he has determined from the passage as to the why of the prohibition on eating meats offered to idols and attending temple functions--

1. It was a danger to believers

2. It disqualified one’s ministry

3. It destroyed Israel

4. It disrupted the fellowship among believers--

unless it is something he is saving for later he has missed the primary reasons these prohibitions were presented.  Of course, you'd have to go to Acts 15 and Rev. 2 as the primary sources and his thinking may very well be to just to expound the 1st Cor. passages. 

Those primary reasonings are: 1) Scripture has always forbidden it, from pre-law (Gen. 9) to present, as referenced in Acts 15:20 FF--"...that they abstain from pollutions of idols...for [because] Moses...hath in every city them that preach him being read..."; and (2) participation in the remotest form of pollutions of idolatry has always been the primary entry point of idolatry and its conjoined twin immorality into the person and people of God as seen in Num. 25:1-2, referenced in I Cor. 10:7 FF and Rev. 2:14, 20 among other passages. 

IOW, it is not just a bad idea to participate in any form of idolatrous practice at any level, it is strictly forbidden to the obedient believer and called out assembly and is a matter to be guarded against ( I John 5:21).

Lee

Bert Perry's picture

...to the comment that all too often, those who hold themselves to be strong in matters like these (I often doubt whether they really are) err significantly in accusing the "weaker" brother of being a legalist--trusting in works for their salvation, is that not what it means?  So while I often disagree emphatically with those who would strongly discourage or even prohibit various behaviors on the basis of being a "bad testimony", I stop short of proclaiming them to be legalists.  Most of them are not.  

And for that matter, I have a few places myself where I would recommend people modify behavior for the benefit of their testimony, especially along the lines of the Super Big Gulp and Double Whopper.  I enjoy a good meal as much as anyone, but if I'm going to tell people about self-control, it sure helps when I'm not carrying an extra 50 lbs or so.  That, and having a ton of stuff you have no prospect of ever really using--sorry, but didn't our Lord say something about storing things up in barns where rust and moth eat and corrode?

But then, I'm not doing a good job with Romans 14 and 1 Corinthians 8-10 because I guess I'm talking about things--gluttony and covetousness--that are sin in themselves, with or without any association with idols.   :^)

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.