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What Meat Shall We Chew On?

Discussion in 'Deeper Fellowship' started by GraftMeIn, Jan 22, 2003.

  1. GraftMeIn

    GraftMeIn The Masters Gardener

    +5
    We have previously discussed the type of meats laid out on the tables before us in the Two Tables thread. One type of meat that is good coming only from God, and the other type of meat that is rancid and a danger to our Spiritual health. The main reason for this was to get us to start looking at the Spiritual aspects of meat when pertaining to what is found in Gods Word.

    Let's take a look at 1 Corinthians 8, keeping in mind that meat which is good comes from God, and can only be found in the study of His Word through Christ.

    Meat that is offered to idols would be the study of other religions, such as witchcraft, buddhism, mysticism, etc...

    1 Corinthians 8:1-8  Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth. And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know. But if any man love God, the same is known of him. As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one. For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him. Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled. But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse.

    The previous scriptures tell us that those who already have the knowledge of God will not be harmed by eating the meat offered to idols (study of other religions). Why is that? Because they know the truth and wont be swayed by what another religion teaches. Those who have yet to receive the knowledge of God will only become confused by it.

    How do we gain this knowledge of God that we need? By the study of Gods Word! I think Gerry made some very good points on this in his Time to Grow Up thread.

    Let's read on and look at how we ourselves may be standing in sin if we dine on this other type of meat, and it should cause a brother or sister to become confused and lose faith.

    1 Corinthians 8:9-11  But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak. For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol's temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols; And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?

    Who is it that is weak? The new Christians, those who are just starting to learn to follow Gods ways.

    If those who are strong in faith, sit before the weaker brothers and sisters in Christ, dining with others who carry false teachings then they are placing a stumblingblock before the weaker brothers and sisters. The weaker will see the strong doing this, and start doing the same, then they'll become confused by feeding from things that do not come from God, but from worldly teachings instead.

    1 Corinthians 8:12-13  But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ. Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.

    We are indeed are standing in sin when we bring before our younger brothers and sisters in Christ who have not yet been grounded in the truth, false teachings of any kind. May we learn why it's better for us not to partake in such things at all, out of love and concern for our brothers and sisters in Christ so that we should not cause them to stumble and fall.

    Psalms 141:3-4  Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips. Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practise wicked works with men that work iniquity: and let me not eat of their dainties.

    Here's an example of how we might be guilty of this sin.

    We might invite a new Christian into our home, one that's not completely grounded in Gods Word yet. Then we bring out a book on witchcraft to study for whatever reason, this would be showing them there's nothing wrong with learning about something that's evil. But if they aren't grounded in the truth yet, and we make them feel it's ok to study other things as well as Gods Word they'll only become quickly confused by all the different teachings.

    Please feel free to add any other examples you can think of that may serve as a stumblingblock to our new brothers and sisters in Christ.

     
     
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  2. ZiSunka

    ZiSunka It means 'yellow dog'

    +276
    Christian
    Ah, like being a stubling block to faith?
     
  3. GraftMeIn

    GraftMeIn The Masters Gardener

    +5
    Yes Lambslove, It's our job to help show others how to grow stronger in faith, teaching them by setting an example in many ways as to how they should live their life. If they see us doing something that might harm their faith and then follow the example we have set, then we have caused their faith to be weakened rather than strengthened.
     
  4. Gerry

    Gerry Jesus Paid It All

    +11
    There is rather stern warning by Jesus recorded in at least two places about this very thing!

    Luke 17:2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.

    Mark 9:42 And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.

    Make that three places:

    Matthew 18:6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
     
  5. Blessed-one

    Blessed-one a long journey ahead

    +170
    Protestant
    Single
    *nod* being a stumbling block to fellow christians must be a very severe thing indeed.

    um... examples.....

    not showing love, being with the world, acting against the teachings of Jesus basically. :)
     
  6. Gerry

    Gerry Jesus Paid It All

    +11
    Another warning from Jesus on this matter:

    Matthew 18:10 Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.
     
  7. GraftMeIn

    GraftMeIn The Masters Gardener

    +5
    Those are some rather strong warnings! Thanks for adding them Gerry.

    Good examples Blessed-one! Thanks :)
     
  8. Stormy

    Stormy Senior Contributor

    +842
    Christian
    US-Others
    I wonder :scratch:

    Could this forum be guilty of what you are speaking of ?

    I spend a lot of my time on the apologetic forum. I like the way the Atheist keep me on my toes. I have done many Bible and soul searches in order to reply to some of their debates. It has not hurt my faith but instead made me even more thankful that God has blessed me with his grace.

    But what about the new Christian or the struggling Christian who comes face to face with a Atheist that knows the words of the Bible better than most Christians? I will not name names but there are those who know how to twist and turn the gospel message making God appear to be an evil ogre. Could that not be very intimidating to a new Christian who comes to our forum?

    I do not want to lose the Atheist, the Pagans, or the Wiccans. I find discussions with them sometimes very interesting. But is it harmful to others?
     
  9. GraftMeIn

    GraftMeIn The Masters Gardener

    +5
    Wow Stormy! That's certainly something we should think about, and take into consideration. There do seem to be many young Christians here that struggle with their faith. It's sad but it's true.

    And as much as I hate to even think about it, I'm afraid you're right about this. Thanks for pointing it out.

    I know I've also posted in apologetics myself at times. And I do admire those who are strong enough to continue posting there, but if it's causing problems for others maybe it's time for me to not even think about going in there anymore.
     
  10. Gerry

    Gerry Jesus Paid It All

    +11
    Thought provoking and interesting question Stormy.

    If you are grounded then there is certainly no harm to you. But does it offend the little ones? I wonder in what way it might? Perhaps if they see you going there and associating they might be offended, not being grounded themselves and incorrectly judging your motives. You think?
    Like seeing you frequenting a bar where prostitutes and drug dealers hang out. Well maybe. Paul had some interesting things to say about it.

    7 ¶ Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled.
    8 But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse.
    9 But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.
    10 For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol’s temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols;
    11 And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?
    12 But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ.
    13 Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.


    Does this help any?
     
  11. Gerry

    Gerry Jesus Paid It All

    +11
    I guess I have to agree with you two. After all this is a Christian Forums and we have layed before them the Table of Life. We have offered it to them. And when the Holy Spirit draws them they will come to us. They see what is written in the Christians only forums. And God has said that His Word will not go out and return to Him void, but it will accomplish that purpose whereto he sent it.

    So I will agree, it is time to reconsider going in there.
     
  12. aaron

    aaron Prayer Warrior

    +9
    Non-Denom
    Private
    I think that the apologetics is a pretty good forum. It does keep us up on the Bible and it lets us know what the opposing side is thinking. The best way to get someone to see the truth is to know the other "table." If we don't know what they are thinking or why then how are we supposed to show them otherwise. I believe that the apologetics is an excelent opportunity to do this. We are able to see the other side and show our own. Also, I feel that another good reason to know the other side is for the ones that God has been revealed to but are still not rooted. We can let them know of some of the Very basic but often heard things that may come up. We wouldn't want to go too much into it because like you said it will become a stumbling block, but they still should know of what they may hear often and why what is said is false. This is my view on the apologetics forum.

    Aaron :)
     
  13. Gerry

    Gerry Jesus Paid It All

    +11
    I would really love to respond about apologetics, but this thread is really not about apologetics at all. It is really about making choices and setting examples. It is those choices we make that determines the example we set. We must be very careful in caring for the little ones; the Babes in Christ.

    1 Corinthians 8:12-13 But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ. Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.

     
  14. GraftMeIn

    GraftMeIn The Masters Gardener

    +5
    Amen Gerry! We must be careful about the choices we make. It's important for us to remember that our every action, our every word will have an effect on others around us. This is something that's not seen with the eyes.

    Here's another part of the scripture that is most interesting, and I feel it's also important to touch on the Spiritual side of this one.

    1Corinthians 8:1 Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.

    Now what is charity? Charity is giving up something for the sake of another. This does not always mean material goods. In this case it is speaking of our abilty to do certain things without it causing us to lose faith, but those same things we can do without losing faith, could cause another to lose faith.

    May we learn to practice charity that comes from the heart, and give up the meat that sits on that other table so that our siblings in Christ can grow strong and healthy in Spirit, instead of becoming lost.
     
  15. waterwizard

    waterwizard Senior Veteran

    +1
    Baptist
    Choices -- You are very right about the choices we make. Every choice we make affects us, and everyone we come in contact with, and the people who come into contact with those people, etc. So we shouldn't think that what we choose to do does not concern anyone else.
    It could be as simple as choosing which TV show to watch, or what beverage to drink with your pizza. It affects everyone.
     
  16. Gerry

    Gerry Jesus Paid It All

    +11
    GMI and Waterwizzard you are both on an awesome road. Something that will blow your mind! Think about this.

    YOUR life; My life; EVERY single life affects EVERY other life in the world. Ecah life I touch, touches others and those others touch still others and so on, and son, untill..... Yep That's right. So we need to choose exactly how we want to affect every life in the world.
     
  17. GraftMeIn

    GraftMeIn The Masters Gardener

    +5
    Amen WW, and Gerry!

    WOW! There certainly is allot of meat to chew on here :D but as long as it comes from God we know that it's good.
     
  18. Gerry

    Gerry Jesus Paid It All

    +11
    I regret that with so much meat to chew on, there are so many vegetarians in this place. I pray that as we get into the study of God's Word a few more meat eaters will join us.
     
  19. GraftMeIn

    GraftMeIn The Masters Gardener

    +5
    You know what they say, You are what you eat! may we not become a bunch of vegetables :D Sorry couldn't resist the pun there!

    Another example of how we can serve as a stumbling block would be to lay in wait for a brother or sister in Christ to say something that we can use to turn against them, in order to provoke them into speaking out of frustration. This only serves to not only hurt the person we would be doing this to, but also any others who are seeking the key to the knowledge of Christ.

    Luke 11:52-54
    Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered. And as he said these things unto them, the scribes and the Pharisees began to urge him vehemently, and to provoke him to speak of many things: Laying wait for him, and seeking to catch something out of his mouth, that they might accuse him.
     
  20. EliasEmmanuel

    EliasEmmanuel Gomi No Sensei

    748
    +42
    Protestant
    I don't think that's really what the NT writers had in mind when they penned these warnings; after all, new Christians at that time were a tiny "cult" in the middle of a huge, predominantly Pagan empire. When you can't walk down the street without passing temple after temple dedicated to pagan gods, avoiding teaching that conflicts with the teachings of Christ was all but impossible. "When I wrote to you before, I told you not to associate with people who indulge in sexual sin. ut I wasn't talking about unbelievers who indulge in sexual sin, or who are greedy or are swindlers or idol worshipers. You would have to leave this world to avoid people like that." (1 Cor. 5:9-10)

    The warnings about stumbling and causing to stumble appear to be aimed at more mature believers from whom new Christians were learning what being a Christian is all about. Look at it this way: the NT writers use the language of youth vs. age over and over... well, babies know how to walk instinctively. If you hold an infant so his feet are touching the ground, he will put one foot in frontof the other as a reflex. But he can't hold himself up, he needs to develop his muscles, balance and coordination.  Same thing, basically: we more mature Christians are responsible to help younger Christians make sense of the world and what goes on in it, help them know how to respond, not keep them from it. Muscles grow stronger by being used, exerted, stretched. The baby learns to walk by walking. We're just here to nourish, encourage and teach them (like the family we in Christ are) as they grow.

    I've heard the idea that Non-Christians don't need to be at Christian forums a number of other places (particularly when I used to post on Delphi), and what distresses me most about it is how so often, whether foreums take the hard line that way or not, non-believers end up being treated (subtlly or openly) like invaders, gatecrashers, like they're horning in on OUR territory. IMO that attitude misses something. It's not every day nonbelievers come to US. IMO we should be happy they're here, because ultimately it's a great chance to show compassion and hospitality, even if they're screaming in our faces. Isn't that what Jesus taught us to do?
     
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