In many religions, people offer food to their gods.
Many of the Christians at Corinth had formerly belonged to such religions. At that time, they believed that it was an important part of their religion to eat that food. The food gave them a relationship with that false god.
Now that they were Christians, they served only the one real God. So they did not want to have any connection with a false god. For that reason, they refused to eat any food that someone had offered to a false god. They were careful to avoid that food.
Those Christians were right to be careful. A Christian should avoid any behaviour that may offend God. That Christianís relationship with God matters more than anything in that personís life.
However, those Christians had a wrong idea about that food. When Christians eat any food they should give God thanks for it. They accept that food as something that God has provided for them. Wrong thoughts, words or actions can spoil a Christianís relationship with God. But food cannot have that effect (Mark 7:18-23).
Because of that fact, some other Christians believed that they could eat any food. They were even eating food that other people had offered to false gods. Their behaviour offended the Christians who refused that food.
Paul told the Christians, that, in such circumstances, they must not eat that food (8:11-13). They should show love towards other Christians. They must not do anything that would upset another personís trust in Christ (Mark 9:42).
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© 2014, Keith Simons.