Debates

Re:Verse reading—1 Corinthians 8; 10:22-23 (day three)

“Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall.”

Living as a “good witness”—a reliable conveyor of the gospel—is a good and right aspiration, but that’s not Paul’s focus here.  Rather, his stated reason for refraining from meat is the well-being of his Christian brother.  He marks the controversy in the fellowship—to eat or not to eat—as an unsolvable clash of opinions.  It’s ultimately a sham question, not unlike the one the Pharisees put to Jesus: Give to Caesar or nah?  Jesus transcended the arguments.  Paul does the same.  At issue here isn’t “Who’s right?” but “Will we love one another?”  Vexing conflicts that become zero sum games always call us to stop debating and, instead, to love.

Author: Bryan Richardson

Bryan Richardson is the Associate Pastor to Pastoral Ministries & College and Single Adults at FBCSA.

One thought on “Debates”

  1. That’s an out-of-the-park dinger that went out faster than it came in! Paul went beyond the old “behavior control mantra” of late 20th century Western Christian churches, a variant of “keeping the law”. He went beyond the idea of mimicking of our “heroes” and hit the foundation of all Christian ethic: the welfare and condition of the people around us, both friend and alien. Even enemies according to Jesus.

    As Churchill would posit: Very good. Press on.

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