“Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak.”
~ 1 Corinthians 8:9
Hi James and Ellen,
Do you know who is a weaker brother? What do you think that it means to be a weaker brother? Are you a weaker brother? Do you think that a weaker brother is a kid who is not as physically strong as you? If a kid is not as physically strong as you, does that mean that you are physically stronger than that kid? What do you think that it means for a kid to be spiritually weaker than you? If you think that a kid is spiritually weaker than you, does that mean that you have a faith that is stronger than the kid who you think is spiritually weaker than you? Do you think that you have a strong faith? What would make you think that you have a strong faith? Paul knew that he had a strong faith. Paul knew that having knowledge did not compare to always communicating a genuine interest in the lives of the guys, gals and kids who he met and knew personally and for loving God for having sent to planet Earth His Son Jesus Christ as a sacrifice for his sins. Paul had gotten a letter from the Corinth Christ-follower community guys and gals asking him what they should do about a couple of things. Paul had spent time in Corinth during his second missionary journey. When Paul first visited Corinth, Corinth had become one of the commercial centers in the known populating of planet Earth. Corinth was filled with guys and gals from all over the known populating of planet Earth. Guys and gals who were living in Corinth lived a very contemporary lifestyle as swingers, partiers and idol worshippers. When Paul arrived in Corinth, Paul met a couple who had recently moved to Corinth. Their names were Aquila and Priscilla. Aquila and Priscilla had been living in Pontus, Italy. They had to leave the home where they were living – which was near Rome, because a Roman emperor – Claudius, had ordered all the Jews to leave Rome and the areas around Rome. God’s specially chosen guys, gals and kids are Jews. Paul stayed in Corinth for a year and a half during his second missionary journey. During Paul’s time in Corinth, Paul was joined by Silas and Timothy. When Paul made a third missionary journey, Paul stopped in Corinth again. Instead of staying in Corinth on his third missionary journey, Paul went on to Ephesus. Paul would stay for three years in Ephesus. While Paul was in Ephesus, Paul received the letter from the Corinth Christ-follower community’s guys and gals. In the letter that Paul sent in response to the questions that the Corinth Christ-follower community’s guys and gals had, Paul did his best to answer the concerns that they expressed in the letter that they sent to him.
Paul in 1 Corinthians 8 answers the question of what to do about eating the meat of an animal that had been sacrificed to an idol. Some of God’s specially chosen guys and gals from the Christ-follower community that was in Corinth were eating meat of animals that had been sacrificed to idols. Is seems that some of the guys and gals who were in the Christ-follower community that was in Corinth thought that this was wrong – that it was a sin, to eat the meat of an animal that had been sacrificed to an idol. During your grandpaa’s initial four years in Bolivia – where he was assigned to the South American Mission field missionary team, your grandpaa made several long trips with the A.I.E.O. (Asociación de Iglesia Evangélico de Oriente) church association President. Your grandpaa would be gone for more than two weeks at times from his home in Santa Cruz, Bolivia while he and the A.I.E.O. President visited rural Christ-follower communities that were located in eastern Bolivia that were associated with A.I.E.O. Your grandpaa and the A.I.E.O. President on one of these trips stopped in a rural village called Villa Cruz to visit with the guys and gals in the Villa Cruz Christ-follower community. During their time visiting with the guys and gals who were in the Villa Cruz Christ-follower community, your grandpaa was asked whether or not if it was okay for a guy or gal – who had made a decision of faith to believe in Jesus Christ as his or Lord and Savior, to eat the meat of an animal that had been donated by a guy who believed in the belief paradigms of the Catholic community of adherents as an offering to be killed and eaten in the name of an idolized, venerated entity. It seems that some guys and gals from the Villa Cruz Christ-follower community had been invited by guys and gals who believed in the Catholic belief paradigms to eat meat from animals that had been donated to the Catholic adherent community as . . .
Guys and gals from the Villa Cruz Christ-follower community who by eating the meat of an animal that had been given as an offering possibly to the Virgin Mary or to an apostle or to a saint, were showing it seemed to others that they were affirming a belief paradigm that is based on works and rewards. Catholic belief adherents believe that a guy or gal is saved when he or she does certain things. In the letter that Paul sent back to the guys and gals who were in the Christ-follower community in Corinth, Paul said that if he did something which would cause a guy or gal who had made a decision of faith to believe in Jesus to sin, he would not do it. Even though Paul saw this as being a weaker brother issue of eating meat that had been sacrificed to an idol, Paul did not want to cause a weaker brother to sin. Paul would rather not do something even though he did consider it a sin for him to do it than to cause a guy or gal who had made a decision of faith in Jesus to get really upset with him because of their being convinced that he would be sinning. Paul in verse 9 says, “Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak.” If it does not affect his or her personal faith in Jesus through inadvertently opening the pride door, a strong believer in Jesus will always put a weak believer’s beliefs before his own conscience. To help a kid to not stumble in his or her faith in Jesus, you will always need to put his or her heart beliefs before yours.
1 Corinthians 8 (271)