Thursday, February 12, 2009

On the other hand

Kerry cringed everytime she saw black leather. She’d once been part of a gang that wore black leather jackets while they held ugly satanic ceremonies.

After Kerry left the gang, she had been afraid for a long time and now she wanted nothing to do with black leather. It reminded her of the gang and their false gods.

When her sister mistakenly gave her a black leather purse for Christmas, Kerry threw it away.

“But it was a purse,” her sister protested. “And an expensive one, too. It had nothing to do with your old gang.”

“It makes me think of that old gang and I don’t want to,” Kerry said.

We can be sympathetic to Kerry.

Paul was faced with the problem of Kerry vs. Mtoto, so to speak, in Corinth. We've been discussing the dilemma this week.

There were those in Corinth who, when seeing the meat from the sacrifices to false gods, remembered their old gods and, like Kerry, wanted nothing to do with it.

There were those who, like Mtoto, knew the meat had not been tainted because the gods were nothing.

Paul made a fascinating statement in 1 Cor. 8:8: "But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do."

Were the Corinthian believers worse off if they avoided the sacrificed meat? Were they better off if they ate the meat? No, in both cases.

Isn’t this puzzling? The first time I read this chapter, I wanted to know which side Paul was on. But he reveals his answer to the Corinthians at the end of the chapter and we’ll look at that tomorrow.

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