1 Corinthians 10:19-22
1Co 10:19 What am I saying then? That something offered to idols is real, or that an idol is real?
1Co 10:20 Instead, I am saying that what they sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons and not to God. I do not want you to become sharers of demons.
1Co 10:21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot share in the Lord’s table and the table of demons.
1Co 10:22 Or have we started provoking the Lord to jealousy now? We have not become stronger than him — have we?
The group within the Corinthian churches that were advocating eating meat offered to idols was probably the freedom group. They argued that a Christian is free to do whatever he wants — that there are no dietary restrictions like there were under the old covenant. They probably based their teaching on some exact quotes from Paul. Like these, for example:
“the one who abstains must not criticise the one who eats anything, because God has accepted him. Who are you to criticise another’s servant? To his own lord he stands or falls. And he will stand, because the Lord is able to make him stand.” (Rom. 14:3-4 JDV)
“But you who eat vegetables only– why do you criticise your brother or sister? …Because we will all stand before the judgement seat of God. Scripture puts it this way, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee will bow to me, and every tongue will give praise to God.” So, each of us will give an account of himself to God.” (Rom. 14:10-12 JDV)
This group probably had a large number, and may have won a lot of debates, because they highlighted a legitimate biblical principle — that of self-judgement. Unfortunately, they were taking that principle too far. Our freedom in Christ should never be used to indulge in activities that offend Christ.
LORD, give us the wisdom to check our freedom so that we do take it too far.