We Must Heed the Vital Message of 1 Corinthians 10:18-20

1 Corinthians 10:18-20 provides vital instruction that every believer must heed:

1 Corinthians 10:18 Behold Israel after the flesh: are not they which eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar? 19 What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing? 20 But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.

To eat in a worship context of what has been sacrificed on an altar to an idol is to be a partaker of the altar. To do so is also to have fellowship with demons!

Such fellowship with demons is not contingent upon a person's having to offer the sacrifices himself. Anyone who eats of such sacrifices comes into fellowship with demons.

The passage also does not provide any basis to say or to hold that this only happens sometimes--in a worship context, anyone who eats what has been sacrificed to an idol has fellowship with demons. God does not want any humans to have fellowship with demons!

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RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

No, if you read carefully what I wrote, I did not say that "the Israelites had maintained no religious identity apart from the Egyptians, but were totally given over to worshipping Egyptian gods in such a way that they had no knowledge of how to worship the true God. How can you assume that "there was not anything" they normally did to the Lord in worship?"

My comments were specifically about the mixed multitude who went out with the Israelites--the mixed multitude were not Israelites.

 

Ah, so are you then saying that only the mixed multitude was involved in creating and worshipping the golden calf? Were they the only ones eating and rising up to play?

No, I am not asserting that it was only the mixed multitude that did all those things. I am saying that the presence of a mixed multitude among the Israelites shows at a bare minimum that there were people in the camp who did know experientially about ungodly worship styles and who did not have any normal practices concerning worshiping the Lord.

What's more, 1 Cor. 10:7 tells us that it was only some of the people who sinfully participated in the GCI. Exodus 32:26 seems to show that none of the Levites did so:

Exodus 32:26 Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the LORD'S side? let him come unto me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him.

It is significant that none of the priestly people were involved in the perversity of that occasion.

Moreover, at the Lord's command those very Levites executed about 3000 people who were wildly out-of-control in their demonically perverted worship activities:

Exodus 32:27 And he said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour. 28 And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men.

Of the more than 1,000,000 people in the Israelites camp, only 3000 were immediately put to death. This shows that the percentage of the people who actually participated in the great wickedness of the GCI was likely only a small percentage of the total number of people in the camp.

Saying all that, we do not know what the exact percentages were among those 3000 concerning how many were Israelites and how many were of the mixed multitude. It is not provable, but highly likely that many of the mixed multitude were among the ones who did participate in the wickedness of the GCI.

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

The Bible does not have to use a specific word to have teaching that pertains to the concept that word denotes.

The Bible doesn't even mention "the concept that the word denotes, " so I still don't see as how you can derive principles about "style" from passages that deal with music in general.

Quote:
Reread this quote carefully, "You still have to prove your assertion that when people are sinning as they play music, then they have infected an entire style to be unacceptable to God from then on." The last part of your sentence presumes that the style was somehow "infected," which means that you believe that the style itself was either good or maybe neutral and also acceptable to God to begin with and also would be acceptable to God when used later by different people in different settings, etc.

How do you know that style was "infected" by people instead of being corrupt to begin with? How do you know that it was originally acceptable to God and somehow got "infected"?

Yes, you have never said in so many words that you believe that all styles are inherently good, acceptable to God, etc. When, however, you speak in terms of a style being infected, you are in effect asserting that very point.

Notice that I used the phrase "from then on." I made no assertions about how styles were "to begin with." I have my educated guesses, but the Bible doesn't clearly specify. The "infection" I am claiming you assume is a "permanent state of being" that exists no matter how the style may be used later.

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

The Bible does not have to use a specific word to have teaching that pertains to the concept that word denotes.

 

The Bible doesn't even mention "the concept that the word denotes, " so I still don't see as how you can derive principles about "style" from passages that deal with music in general.

No, the Bible does have statements that pertain to the manner in which people produce music, either instrumentally or vocally. For example,

Isaiah 23:15 And it shall come to pass in that day, that Tyre shall be forgotten seventy years, according to the days of one king: after the end of seventy years shall Tyre sing as an harlot.
 

Kevin Miller wrote:

Quote:
Reread this quote carefully, "You still have to prove your assertion that when people are sinning as they play music, then they have infected an entire style to be unacceptable to God from then on." The last part of your sentence presumes that the style was somehow "infected," which means that you believe that the style itself was either good or maybe neutral and also acceptable to God to begin with and also would be acceptable to God when used later by different people in different settings, etc.

 

How do you know that style was "infected" by people instead of being corrupt to begin with? How do you know that it was originally acceptable to God and somehow got "infected"?

Yes, you have never said in so many words that you believe that all styles are inherently good, acceptable to God, etc. When, however, you speak in terms of a style being infected, you are in effect asserting that very point.

Notice that I used the phrase "from then on." I made no assertions about how styles were "to begin with." I have my educated guesses, but the Bible doesn't clearly specify. The "infection" I am claiming you assume is a "permanent state of being" that exists no matter how the style may be used later.

Saying "from then on" is irrelevant if the style was corrupt to begin with. The only way that you can hold that it is not possible for any style to be corrupt permanently is if you assume that it had to be inherently good or neutral to begin with and that it had to be inherently acceptable to God to begin with.

Or to put it differently, the very notion that there cannot be "'a permanent state of being' that exists no matter how the style may be used later" presumes that the style can be used acceptably to God. Asserting that is asserting that there cannot be any styles that are permanently corrupt from their inception on.

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

No, I am not asserting that it was only the mixed multitude that did all those things. I am saying that the presence of a mixed multitude among the Israelites shows at a bare minimum that there were people in the camp who did know experientially about ungodly worship styles and who did not have any normal practices concerning worshiping the Lord.

So your objection to my previous statement is based only on a "bare minimum" of people? I realize, of course, that other people were included with the Israelites, however, the majority of the group WERE Israelites.

I had said, "Since we don't have a record of "how they played" or 'what they played," then I think you are making a leap to say that their playing was different from any other time they would be having a feast "to the Lord." If this really was a feast "to the Lord," then I think we would have to assume normal worship music unless the passage specifically says something has changed from what they normally did "to the Lord." " I stand by this comment. Since the majority of the people were Israelites, it is logical that they would have used their regular "to the Lord" music if they were having a feast "to the Lord." We can't make a strong assertion either way since there is no record of what music was used.

Quote:
Moreover, at the Lord's command those very Levites executed about 3000 people who were wildly out-of-control in their demonically perverted worship activities:

Exodus 32:27 And he said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour. 28 And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men.

Of the more than 1,000,000 people in the Israelites camp, only 3000 were immediately put to death. This shows that the percentage of the people who actually participated in the great wickedness of the GCI was likely only a small percentage of the total number of people in the camp.

Saying all that, we do not know what the exact percentages were among those 3000 concerning how many were Israelites and how many were of the mixed multitude. It is not provable, but highly likely that many of the mixed multitude were among the ones who did participate in the wickedness of the GCI.

There are a number of occasions in Exodus where a large group of people were rebellious but God only punished a portion of the people for the sins of the whole group. The punishment of only 3000 is NOT an indication that only 3000 participated. In fact Exodus 32:3 says "So all the people took off the gold rings that were on their ears and brought them to Aaron." According to the passage, Aaron got the entire group involved, and the entire group was mostly Israelites.

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

Or to put it differently, the very notion that there cannot be "'a permanent state of being' that exists no matter how the style may be used later" presumes that the style can be used acceptably to God. Asserting that is asserting that there cannot be any styles that are permanently corrupt from their inception on.

I didn't say that there "cannot be" a permanent state of being.  The Bible isn't clear about it. My only assertion is that the Bible isn't clear about it. YOU are the one assuming that there IS a permanent state of evil for a musical style. It's okay if you want to assume that. You just can't prove it from Scripture.

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

I had said, "Since we don't have a record of "how they played" or 'what they played," then I think you are making a leap to say that their playing was different from any other time they would be having a feast "to the Lord." If this really was a feast "to the Lord," then I think we would have to assume normal worship music unless the passage specifically says something has changed from what they normally did "to the Lord." " I stand by this comment. Since the majority of the people were Israelites, it is logical that they would have used their regular "to the Lord" music if they were having a feast "to the Lord." 

Well, I think that we have reached an impasse that is not going to be resolved with any further discussion. You assert that we have to assume that they worshiped normally when in fact they did something that they had never done before in their worship that changed everything: offer sacrifices to an idol and eat those sacrifices in a worship context. This was anything but a normal feast to the Lord--it was a demonically perverted feast!

You have the burden of proof that in a demonically perverted idolatrous feast, the only substantive thing that changed was the object of their actions. That is not a biblically tenable position. 

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

Or to put it differently, the very notion that there cannot be "'a permanent state of being' that exists no matter how the style may be used later" presumes that the style can be used acceptably to God. Asserting that is asserting that there cannot be any styles that are permanently corrupt from their inception on.

 

I didn't say that there "cannot be" a permanent state of being.  The Bible isn't clear about it. My only assertion is that the Bible isn't clear about it. YOU are the one assuming that there IS a permanent state of evil for a musical style. It's okay if you want to assume that. You just can't prove it from Scripture.

Actually, I am the one who is holding to the position that God's people have historically believed from Scripture until the CCM crowd came along that wanted to use rock music in the church started saying that music is amoral, etc.

Scott Aniol explains this point well: https://religiousaffections.org/articles/articles-on-music/the-unproven-...

Note especially the second comment to the article where he talks about who first began to deny the morality of music.

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

a number of occasions in Exodus where a large group of people were rebellious but God only punished a portion of the people for the sins of the whole group. The punishment of only 3000 is NOT an indication that only 3000 participated. In fact Exodus 32:3 says "So all the people took off the gold rings that were on their ears and brought them to Aaron." According to the passage, Aaron got the entire group involved, and the entire group was mostly Israelites.

No, this is wrong. Aaron did not get the entire group involved: 

1 Corinthians 10:7 Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.

The pronoun antecedents in Ex. 32:3-6 shows that the same people who did what is spoken of in 32:6 are the "all the people" of 32:3 and "the people [who] gathered themselves together unto Aaron" in 32:1:

Exodus 32:1 And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.

Exodus 32:3 And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron. 4 And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. 5 And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, To morrow is a feast to the LORD. 6 And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.

The "all the people" in 32:3 refers not to the whole nation but to all the people in 32:1 who came to Aaron. To say that the whole nation said to Aaron to make them gods . . . in 32:1 and all the nation gave him their earrings is to make the whole nation guilty of making the calf. 1 Cor. 10:7 explicitly says that only some of them participated in the sinfulness of the people on this occasion.

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

Well, I think that we have reached an impasse that is not going to be resolved with any further discussion.

That hasn't stopped us before.

Quote:
You assert that we have to assume that they worshiped normally when in fact they did something that they had never done before in their worship that changed everything: offer sacrifices to an idol and eat those sacrifices in a worship context. This was anything but a normal feast to the Lord--it was a demonically perverted feast!

You have the burden of proof that in a demonically perverted idolatrous feast, the only substantive thing that changed was the object of their actions. That is not a biblically tenable position. 

Well, I can certainly provide one thing that stayed the same. Their normal worship practice included the eating of the peace offering. Leviticus 7:15 says, "And the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving shall be eaten the same day that it is offered; he shall not leave any of it until the morning." The fact that it was idolatrous worship did not change this practice. Based on this verse, it looks like they were practicing their normal peace offering procedure, but the thing that changed was the object of their actions. Since the Bible doesn't mention that their music changed during this offering procedure, yet you insist that it must have, then it is YOUR burden of proof to show that it did.

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

Exodus 32:3 And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron. 4 And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. 5 And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, To morrow is a feast to the LORD. 6 And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.

The "all the people" in 32:3 refers not to the whole nation but to all the people in 32:1 who came to Aaron. To say that the whole nation said to Aaron to make them gods . . . in 32:1 and all the nation gave him their earrings is to make the whole nation guilty of making the calf. 1 Cor. 10:7 explicitly says that only some of them participated in the sinfulness of the people on this occasion.

I can see your pronoun antecedent concern. Seems logical, but only to a point. Of course, when "the people" approached Aaron in Ex. 32:1, it wouldn't have been the entire 1 million coming to talk to him. It would have been sort of group of representatives. When the phrase "all the people " is used on verse 3, it could have been referring to all the representatives, but the number of people who could talk to Aaron at one time would hardly be enough people to have enough earrings to make a whole calf. It's much more logical for "all the people" to be referring to the larger group. Additionally, when God spoke to Moses up in the mountain about the situation, God did so in a way that implicated the whole nation and not just a ragtag few. In verse 7, God said "“Go down, because your people, whom you brought up out of Egypt, have become corrupt." God then was going to destroy the entire nation and set Moses up as the head of a new nation. It was only through Moses' pleading that "the Lord relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened." (v. 14)

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

Actually, I am the one who is holding to the position that God's people have historically believed from Scripture until the CCM crowd came along that wanted to use rock music in the church started saying that music is amoral, etc.

Scott Aniol explains this point well: https://religiousaffections.org/articles/articles-on-music/the-unproven-...

Note especially the second comment to the article where he talks about who first began to deny the morality of music.

I read the article, but to me, it doesn't seem logical to use "the vast majority of history" as some sort of basis for truth. He wrote, "It’s one thing to assume a premise without proving it because it is axiomatic or generally accepted." This is exactly what Scott is doing. He is assuming his own premise without proving it because it was axiomatic or generally accepted 

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

No, the Bible does have statements that pertain to the manner in which people produce music, either instrumentally or vocally. For example,

Isaiah 23:15 And it shall come to pass in that day, that Tyre shall be forgotten seventy years, according to the days of one king: after the end of seventy years shall Tyre sing as an harlot.

The way I see it, this verse describes a "manner" of presentation, rather than an instrumental music style. A person can sing any number of musical styles in a sexy, sultry manner. A lullaby can be sung in a sultry manner. A country song can be sung in a sultry manner. Even Amazing Grace can be sung in a sultry manner. Now, I think we can both agree that a person leading worship music in a church should not be doing so in a sultry manner, no matter what "style" of music the church uses.

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

Exodus 32:3 And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron. 4 And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. 5 And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, To morrow is a feast to the LORD. 6 And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.

The "all the people" in 32:3 refers not to the whole nation but to all the people in 32:1 who came to Aaron. To say that the whole nation said to Aaron to make them gods . . . in 32:1 and all the nation gave him their earrings is to make the whole nation guilty of making the calf. 1 Cor. 10:7 explicitly says that only some of them participated in the sinfulness of the people on this occasion.

 

I can see your pronoun antecedent concern. Seems logical, but only to a point. Of course, when "the people" approached Aaron in Ex. 32:1, it wouldn't have been the entire 1 million coming to talk to him. It would have been sort of group of representatives. When the phrase "all the people " is used on verse 3, it could have been referring to all the representatives, but the number of people who could talk to Aaron at one time would hardly be enough people to have enough earrings to make a whole calf. It's much more logical for "all the people" to be referring to the larger group. Additionally, when God spoke to Moses up in the mountain about the situation, God did so in a way that implicated the whole nation and not just a ragtag few. In verse 7, God said "“Go down, because your people, whom you brought up out of Egypt, have become corrupt." God then was going to destroy the entire nation and set Moses up as the head of a new nation. It was only through Moses' pleading that "the Lord relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened." (v. 14)

In any case, the NT is our final authority, and it explicitly says that only some of the people were idolaters in the GCI:

1 Corinthians 10:7 Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.

If you are saying that the NT is wrong, that is a very serious matter. I urge you not to take a position that contradicts direct divine revelation.

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

No, the Bible does have statements that pertain to the manner in which people produce music, either instrumentally or vocally. For example,

Isaiah 23:15 And it shall come to pass in that day, that Tyre shall be forgotten seventy years, according to the days of one king: after the end of seventy years shall Tyre sing as an harlot.

 

The way I see it, this verse describes a "manner" of presentation, rather than an instrumental music style. A person can sing any number of musical styles in a sexy, sultry manner. A lullaby can be sung in a sultry manner. A country song can be sung in a sultry manner. Even Amazing Grace can be sung in a sultry manner. Now, I think we can both agree that a person leading worship music in a church should not be doing so in a sultry manner, no matter what "style" of music the church uses.

What you are calling "a manner of presentation" is what the Bible is expressing conceptually as an ungodly singing style.

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

Actually, I am the one who is holding to the position that God's people have historically believed from Scripture until the CCM crowd came along that wanted to use rock music in the church started saying that music is amoral, etc.

Scott Aniol explains this point well: https://religiousaffections.org/articles/articles-on-music/the-unproven-...

Note especially the second comment to the article where he talks about who first began to deny the morality of music.

 

I read the article, but to me, it doesn't seem logical to use "the vast majority of history" as some sort of basis for truth. He wrote, "It’s one thing to assume a premise without proving it because it is axiomatic or generally accepted." This is exactly what Scott is doing. He is assuming his own premise without proving it because it was axiomatic or generally accepted 

The myth that music is amoral was fabricated by Christians who wanted to bring rock music into the church in spite of its being regarded at that time both by believers and unbelievers as perverse music. Since that music from its inception was advertised by many of its own producers and popularizers as music that was designed to promote wickedness, the burden of proving from Scripture its acceptability to God was on those who brought it into the church and still is on those who say that it is legitimate for use in worship.

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

Quote:
You assert that we have to assume that they worshiped normally when in fact they did something that they had never done before in their worship that changed everything: offer sacrifices to an idol and eat those sacrifices in a worship context. This was anything but a normal feast to the Lord--it was a demonically perverted feast!

 

You have the burden of proof that in a demonically perverted idolatrous feast, the only substantive thing that changed was the object of their actions. That is not a biblically tenable position. 

 

Well, I can certainly provide one thing that stayed the same. Their normal worship practice included the eating of the peace offering. Leviticus 7:15 says, "And the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving shall be eaten the same day that it is offered; he shall not leave any of it until the morning." The fact that it was idolatrous worship did not change this practice. Based on this verse, it looks like they were practicing their normal peace offering procedure, but the thing that changed was the object of their actions. Since the Bible doesn't mention that their music changed during this offering procedure, yet you insist that it must have, then it is YOUR burden of proof to show that it did.

There is no mention of the use of music with the offerings at this stage of Israel's history. If you have biblical evidence that prior to Exodus 32, the Israelites were given specific instruction about the use of music in their offerings, where does the Bible teach that?

Moreover, even if you had any evidence that music were used at this stage with the offerings, the Bible would not have to mention that their music changed during this offering procedure. What we do know is that once they consumed what was offered to the idol, they came into fellowship with demons--a reality that did change what they did thereafter!
 

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

In any case, the NT is our final authority, and it explicitly says that only some of the people were idolaters in the GCI:

1 Corinthians 10:7 Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.

If you are saying that the NT is wrong, that is a very serious matter. I urge you not to take a position that contradicts direct divine revelation.

I think you need to check the context of the first part of I Cor. 10 in order to correct your pronoun confusion. Verse 1-11 refer to an entire group of people wandering in the wilderness for 40 full years. The "them" is that entire group of "fathers." Some of this entire group participated in the GCI (verse 7). Some of the entire group had relations with Moabite women in Numbers 25 (verse 8). Some of them grumbled about their food and died of sickness (verse 9). Each of the "some of them" verses refers to a segment of people within that 40 year period. The entire nation could have participated in the idolatry of the GCI and they still would be only some of the people living during that entire 40 year period.

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

What you are calling "a manner of presentation" is what the Bible is expressing conceptually as an ungodly singing style.

Which isn't the same thing as an instrumental musical style.

You talked in the first page of the thread about "ungodly styles of playing musical instruments, singing, and dancing." I agreed right away that there are ungodly styles of dancing, especially in church. We definitely shouldn't be dancing naked in church. I never expressed any disagreement in this thread that there can be ungodly singing styles, whether that includes lyrics or mannerisms. Both lyrics and mannerisms can certainly be ungodly. Our main point of discussion/disagreement has been an attempt by me to determine your reasoning behind saying there are ungodly instrumental styles. There could be, but it's hard to prove the style question for instrumental music when the Bible doesn't mention instrumental styles. When I asked for one, you gave me a description of a singing style, which wasn't what I was asking for.

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

In any case, the NT is our final authority, and it explicitly says that only some of the people were idolaters in the GCI:

1 Corinthians 10:7 Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.

If you are saying that the NT is wrong, that is a very serious matter. I urge you not to take a position that contradicts direct divine revelation.

 

I think you need to check the context of the first part of I Cor. 10 in order to correct your pronoun confusion. Verse 1-11 refer to an entire group of people wandering in the wilderness for 40 full years. The "them" is that entire group of "fathers." Some of this entire group participated in the GCI (verse 7). Some of the entire group had relations with Moabite women in Numbers 25 (verse 8). Some of them grumbled about their food and died of sickness (verse 9). Each of the "some of them" verses refers to a segment of people within that 40 year period. The entire nation could have participated in the idolatry of the GCI and they still would be only some of the people living during that entire 40 year period.

Had the whole nation been guilty of the idolatry in the GCI and eaten what was sacrificed to the idol, they all would have come into fellowship with demons. Short of supernatural intervention on any of them (for which we have no evidence), we would not have had any of the Levites coming out to Moses to execute 3000 of their own people who had partaken of the sacrifices because they all would also have been under the control of the demons, just as everyone else was. Yet, the passage records that all the Levites came out to Moses to execute the people.

To take "some" in verse 7 to mean "all the nation" is inconsistent with Paul's use of "all" vs. "many" vs "some" in the passage. Had all the nation participated in the idolatry in the GCI, he would not have said some, he would have said "all."

Moreover, if you are going to take "some" to refer to the entire nation in the GCI, you also have to take "some" to refer to all the nation in all the other incidents recorded. If you find any solid exegetical commentators who support your view, I'd like to know who they are.

RajeshG's picture

1Cor. 10:7 Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.

Taking “some of them” in this verse to refer to the entire nation necessitates holding that all of the following were also true:

All the approximately 1,000,000 or more Israelites (other than Moses and Joshua), and including Aaron, were idolaters in the GCI. All of them ate what was sacrificed to the idol and rose up to play idolatrously. (Think about the logistics of supposedly accomplishing this on one altar [cf. Ex. 32:5] in one morning [Ex. 32:6a.)

All of them, including Aaron, came into fellowship with demons and were strongly influenced by them in all their activities after they ate the sacrifices. By eating in a worship context what had been offered to an idol, they all were caught in the snare of the devil and had been taken captive by him to do his will (cf. 2 Tim. 2:26).

All of them, including Aaron, were dancing perversely (Ex. 32:19) and were shamefully, wildly out-of-control (Ex. 32:25) when Moses and Joshua came near the camp. They may all even have been stark naked in their perversity (cf. “naked” in the KJV in Ex. 32:25).

Once Moses and Aaron came near the camp, however, somehow Aaron miraculously delivered himself from the demonic influence upon him and discoursed with Moses about what had happened (Ex. 32:21-25). Moreover, when Moses called into the camp to ask who was on the Lord’s side and then told all who were in that manner loyal to the Lord to come out to him (Ex. 32:26a), all the Levites inexplicably and suddenly stopped all their perverse, wild, shameful behavior and decided to come out to Moses (Ex. 32:26b).

Moreover, God chose to use all these Levites--who had been just as guilty and just as wicked as all the other hundreds of thousands of wildly out-of-control people--to go into the camp and (apparently randomly?) execute only 3000 people (Ex. 32:27-28) out of the massive hordes of demonically influenced people who were wildly and wickedly partying to their shame among their enemies (Ex. 32:25).

Patently, this interpretation of the GCI is not a legitimate understanding and shows that “some of them” in 1 Corinthians 10:7 does not and cannot refer to the entire nation. All the people were not idolaters in the GCI—only some of them were.

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

Had the whole nation been guilty of the idolatry in the GCI and eaten what was sacrificed to the idol, they all would have come into fellowship with demons. Short of supernatural intervention on any of them (for which we have no evidence), we would not have had any of the Levites coming out to Moses to execute 3000 of their own people who had partaken of the sacrifices because they all would also have been under the control of the demons, just as everyone else was. Yet, the passage records that all the Levites came out to Moses to execute the people.

So do you think believers can be "controlled" by demons? The verse in 1 Cor 10 says that eating things offered to idols results in "fellowship" with demons. 1 Cor 10 doesn't say anything about a complete lack of control due to the demons, so I'm not sure how you are getting to a situation where "fellowship" means a complete lack of control for a believer. Would this complete lack of control last for the rest of a believer's life unless the demons were supernaturally dealt with in some way?

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

All the approximately 1,000,000 or more Israelites (other than Moses and Joshua), and including Aaron, were idolaters in the GCI. All of them ate what was sacrificed to the idol and rose up to play idolatrously. (Think about the logistics of supposedly accomplishing this on one altar [cf. Ex. 32:5] in one morning [Ex. 32:6a.)

By the way, here's what I said earlier, "In fact Exodus 32:3 says 'So all the people took off the gold rings that were on their ears and brought them to Aaron.' According to the passage, Aaron got the entire group involved, and the entire group was mostly Israelites."

I never said the entire group was dancing wildly, I simply said that "all the people" were "involved," by contributing earrings. I was simply reading the verse, that's all. I'm not going to apologize for taking the Bible at it's word.

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

All the approximately 1,000,000 or more Israelites (other than Moses and Joshua), and including Aaron, were idolaters in the GCI. All of them ate what was sacrificed to the idol and rose up to play idolatrously. (Think about the logistics of supposedly accomplishing this on one altar [cf. Ex. 32:5] in one morning [Ex. 32:6a.)

 

By the way, here's what I said earlier, "In fact Exodus 32:3 says 'So all the people took off the gold rings that were on their ears and brought them to Aaron.' According to the passage, Aaron got the entire group involved, and the entire group was mostly Israelites."

 

I never said the entire group was dancing wildly, I simply said that "all the people" were "involved," by contributing earrings. I was simply reading the verse, that's all. I'm not going to apologize for taking the Bible at it's word.

You can't have it both ways. Either you assert that "some of them" in 1 Cor. 10:7 means that they all were idolaters, which according to 1 Cor. 10:7 means that they all ate what was sacrificed to the idol and that they all rose up to play wickedly after having eaten those sacrifices, including the dancing, or they did not all do that.

If you deny that "the entire group was dancing wildly," then you have to acknowledge that the entire group were not idolaters in the precise sense that the NT highlights and warns us about in 1 Corinthians 10:7. What is your position? 

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

Had the whole nation been guilty of the idolatry in the GCI and eaten what was sacrificed to the idol, they all would have come into fellowship with demons. Short of supernatural intervention on any of them (for which we have no evidence), we would not have had any of the Levites coming out to Moses to execute 3000 of their own people who had partaken of the sacrifices because they all would also have been under the control of the demons, just as everyone else was. Yet, the passage records that all the Levites came out to Moses to execute the people.

 

So do you think believers can be "controlled" by demons? The verse in 1 Cor 10 says that eating things offered to idols results in "fellowship" with demons. 1 Cor 10 doesn't say anything about a complete lack of control due to the demons, so I'm not sure how you are getting to a situation where "fellowship" means a complete lack of control for a believer. Would this complete lack of control last for the rest of a believer's life unless the demons were supernaturally dealt with in some way?

 

Before discussing your specific question in this comment, I would like to know what is your definitive evidence that any believers ate what was sacrificed to the idol in the GCI? Unless you take the position that the entire nation did so, you do not have any basis to assert with any certainty that any of the people who ate of those sacrifices and came into fellowship with demons were actually true believers.

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

Before discussing your specific question in this comment, I would like to know what is your definitive evidence that any believers ate what was sacrificed to the idol in the GCI? Unless you take the position that the entire nation did so, you do not have any basis to assert with any certainty that any of the people who ate of those sacrifices and came into fellowship with demons were actually true believers.

Well, what is your definitive evidence that believer's didn't eat what was sacrificed? I find it odd that you can make speculation after speculation about the passage, but when I simply present a different possibility than your speculation, you ask me for "definitive evidence."

1 Cor 10 was written to believers, so believers must have needed the instruction to not eat idol meat or they would be in "fellowship" with demons as believers. Your speculation about what fellowship with demons entails is that it results in wild, demon-controlled behavior that would need supernatural action to rid someone of it. That's why you said the Levites could not have eaten the meat, since there is no record they had to have this supernatural action applied to them. Yet, you've provided no "definitive evidence" that it was "fellowship with demons" that produced the wild behavior the GCI people practiced. Does 1 Cor 10 warn that wild, demon-controlled behavior is going to happen to believers who eat idol meat?

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

You can't have it both ways. Either you assert that "some of them" in 1 Cor. 10:7 means that they all were idolaters, which according to 1 Cor. 10:7 means that they all ate what was sacrificed to the idol and that they all rose up to play wickedly after having eaten those sacrifices, including the dancing, or they did not all do that.

If you deny that "the entire group was dancing wildly," then you have to acknowledge that the entire group were not idolaters in the precise sense that the NT highlights and warns us about in 1 Corinthians 10:7. What is your position? 

I never said the entire group were idolaters in the sense of 1 Cor 7. You have to understand that i don't make the same kind of absolute assertions that you do. I speak in terms of possible other interpretations in order to challenge your own absolute assertions. In looking at the context of 1 Cor 10, I see the subject being the "fathers" who went out of Egypt and traveled for 40 years and then went into the promised land. That included a lot of people, not just the first 1 million that left Egypt. The word 'them" in "some of them" is referring to the entire population who went out and then were born in the wilderness. Here's where you have to actually read the statement I made. I said "The entire nation could have participated in the idolatry of the GCI and they still would be only some of the people living during that entire 40 year period." Notice I just underlined the "could have." Grammatically speaking, that sentence is correct. It's a valid possibility based on the structure of the passage, but I never made the absolute assertion that the entire group danced around.

Since you are so concerned now about the "precise sense" of the warning in 1 Cor 10:7, I'm not sure why you even brought the verse up as an objection to my point about the entire nation being involved with giving earrings. The entire nation could certainly have been involved in the making of the calf without actually eating the idol meat and having the "fellowship possession" happen to them.

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

Since you are so concerned now about the "precise sense" of the warning in 1 Cor 10:7, I'm not sure why you even brought the verse up as an objection to my point about the entire nation being involved with giving earrings. The entire nation could certainly have been involved in the making of the calf without actually eating the idol meat and having the "fellowship possession" happen to them.

It's odd to hear you say that I am now concerned with 1 Cor. 10:7. On the first page, in the third comment, before anyone else even commented on this thread, I directed attention to 1 Cor. 10:7. That verse, and how it connects to 10:18-20 and all six of the GCI passages has been something that I have studied for many years.

You are the only person that I have ever encountered who has tried to make the claim that the whole nation participated in the idolatry from the beginning. I have never come across that position in any commentaries. When you tried to say that "some of them" in 1 Cor. 10:7 meant the whole nation at the time of the GCI, naturally I had to give more concerted attention to show why that is impossible.

1 Cor. 10:7 in connection with 10:18-20 and Exod. 32 is central to everything that I am wanting to bring out in this thread. I am not just now concerned with exactly what it says.

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

Well, what is your definitive evidence that believer's didn't eat what was sacrificed? I find it odd that you can make speculation after speculation about the passage, but when I simply present a different possibility than your speculation, you ask me for "definitive evidence."

1 Cor 10 was written to believers, so believers must have needed the instruction to not eat idol meat or they would be in "fellowship" with demons as believers. Your speculation about what fellowship with demons entails is that it results in wild, demon-controlled behavior that would need supernatural action to rid someone of it. That's why you said the Levites could not have eaten the meat, since there is no record they had to have this supernatural action applied to them. Yet, you've provided no "definitive evidence" that it was "fellowship with demons" that produced the wild behavior the GCI people practiced. Does 1 Cor 10 warn that wild, demon-controlled behavior is going to happen to believers who eat idol meat?

Yes, 1 Cor. 10 is directed to believers and it solemnly warns them in fearful terms about consuming in a worship context what has been offered to an idol. God is the One who in 1 Cor. 10 directs our attention to the GCI as the paradigmatic account of how dangerous eating meat offered to an idol is.

It is not unwarranted speculation to connect 1 Cor. 10 with Exodus 32--the Spirit explicitly directs us to do that. Because eating in a worship context what has been offered to an idol brings people into fellowship with demons and because God directs us to Exodus 32 as the account that He wants us to connect 1 Cor. 10 with, it is not speculation to hold that Exodus 32 is the passage from which God wants us to learn what fellowship with demons entails.

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

It is not unwarranted speculation to connect 1 Cor. 10 with Exodus 32--the Spirit explicitly directs us to do that. Because eating in a worship context what has been offered to an idol brings people into fellowship with demons and because God directs us to Exodus 32 as the account that He wants us to connect 1 Cor. 10 with, it is not speculation to hold that Exodus 32 is the passage from which God wants us to learn what fellowship with demons entails.

But there is something about the connection that is not connecting yet with me. You have made it clear that you don't think the participants in the GCI were believers. Yet the warning about fellowship with demons in 1 Cor 10 is given to believers. Why would believers be warned about "Exodus 32 level" demonic danger if the Exodus 32 eating was not being done by believing Israelites? It doesn't make sense to say the connection involves wild, demon-controlled behavior if believers are not subject to such possession by demons.

There's another direction in the discussion which I want to be clear about before I ask anything in that direction. I want to make sure I have my assessment of your position accurate. I speculated earlier that the GCI worshippers could have used their normal worship music during the wild dancing. I'm admitting this is speculation. You dismissed this possibility. The way I understand your reasoning is that their normal worship music would have contained an instrumental "message" that meant "worship to the true God." Since they were now worshipping in an idolatrous way, the new "message" of the instrumental music would be "idolatrous worship." Since those two messages are not the same, then the style could not have been the same. Have I described your train of thought correctly?

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

But there is something about the connection that is not connecting yet with me. You have made it clear that you don't think the participants in the GCI were believers. Yet the warning about fellowship with demons in 1 Cor 10 is given to believers. Why would believers be warned about "Exodus 32 level" demonic danger if the Exodus 32 eating was not being done by believing Israelites? It doesn't make sense to say the connection involves wild, demon-controlled behavior if believers are not subject to such possession by demons.

No, I have not made it clear that there were no believers who participated--I dispute that the majority were believing Israelites. Although there is no way for me to prove it, I believe that the vast majority of those who engaged in the idolatrous eating and playing were from the mixed multitude who turned back in their hearts to Egypt (Acts 7:39) to rejoice in the works of their hands (Acts 7:41), as they were used to doing. Based on what the text says in Exodus 32, I hold that at a bare minimum neither Aaron nor any of the Levites (cf. "all the sons of Levi" [32:26]) participated in any of the idolatrous eating or playing talked about in 1 Cor. 10:7.

The faithful Israelites did not worship molten images while they were in Egypt, as these did in the GCI (Ps. 106:19). Any believing Israelites who nevertheless somehow did succumb to participating in the perversity of the idolatrous playing paid dearly with the loss of their lives at the hands of the faithful Levites who executed those who were wildly out-of-control.

Kevin Miller wrote:

There's another direction in the discussion which I want to be clear about before I ask anything in that direction. I want to make sure I have my assessment of your position accurate. I speculated earlier that the GCI worshippers could have used their normal worship music during the wild dancing. I'm admitting this is speculation. You dismissed this possibility. The way I understand your reasoning is that their normal worship music would have contained an instrumental "message" that meant "worship to the true God." Since they were now worshipping in an idolatrous way, the new "message" of the instrumental music would be "idolatrous worship." Since those two messages are not the same, then the style could not have been the same. Have I described your train of thought correctly?

There is no way that those who were under strong demonic influence used any normal worship music in the GCI. I am getting ready to move on to that discussion shortly.

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