Fine, But…

14 Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry. 15 I speak to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. 16 Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? 17 Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all share the one loaf.

18 Consider the people of Israel: Do not those who eat the sacrifices participate in the altar? 19 Do I mean then that food sacrificed to an idol is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20 No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons. 22 Are we trying to arouse the Lord’s jealousy? Are we stronger than he?

23 “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything” – but not everything is constructive. 24 No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.

25 Eat anything sold in the meat market without raising questions of conscience, 26 for, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.” 1 Corinthians 10:14-22

Idolatry seemed to be prevalent in the Church when Paul wrote this. The central point in these words seems to be in the words of verse 23: I have the right to do anything” – but not everything is constructive. People were lording their freedoms over each other.

  • “I have the right to drink alcohol.” Yes, but is it constructive for you or the church?
  • ‘I have the right to not go to church.” Yes, but the church needs you, and you need the church.
  • “I have the right to work on Sundays.” Yes, but when’s the last time you truly rested?

I had some Believer friends who went to see the Harry Potter movies and gleefully proclaimed that fact as obnoxiously as possible. My answer to them is “fine, but was it constructive to boast about going in front of dozens of Believers who were opposed to the witchcraft in them? Did it help build the church or unify the body?”

So, as with most anything in life, just because you can do it doesn’t mean you should.

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