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1Corinthians  ◦   Chapter 8

1Now in regard to your question about whether to eat food offered to idols: There are many who have some knowledge about this subject, but possessing knowledge doesn't mean one actually understands the issues or discerns the right answer. Knowledge alone leads to pride and arrogance. It is love that enlightens the mind, brings unity, and strengthens the church.2Those who think they know the "right" answer for all situations, and especially for what others should do, reveal how little they actually comprehend or understand.3But God knows those who love him — those who filter their answers through the lens of love.

4So what about foods sacrificed to idols? What about it? An idol is nothing but wood, metal, stone–just inanimate material. There is no other God but the one who created all things.5For even though there are many false gods worshiped by the ignorant,6there is but one reality and one true God, the Father, who is the source of all creation and from whom we derive life; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, who is the source of all creation and from whom we derive life.

7But not everyone knows the truth about God. Many people have held distorted ideas about God for so long that they think if they eat the meat offered to idols, either the idols will have power over them, or God will be angry with them. Their spiritual comprehension is very weak, and believing such lies corrupts their minds even further.8The problem is not with the food, for it's obvious that the nutritional value of the food doesn't change by being offered to an idol, and food does not bring us closer to God. We are no better off for eating or not eating food offered to idols. The problem occurs from the belief one holds about idols, and from the conclusion one draws when eating food sacrificed to an idol.

9But be careful with the freedom you have in Christ. Do not act in ways that would easily confuse a weaker believer or introduce false ideas into their mind.10For if someone whose spiritual comprehension is weak sees you–who understand the reality that an idol is nothing–eating food from the idol (maybe even at the temple of the idol), they might also go ahead and eat such food. But having not first removed the distorted ideas about idols from their mind, they will become insecure, superstitious, and fear-ridden.11So this believer, for whom Christ died to save, may be damaged by how you live out what you know.12When you fail to love your weaker brother or sister by not considering how your actions will impact them–and therefore solidify distortions and unhealthy practices into their mind and thus wounding them–you betray Christ because you are not living in harmony with his character of love.13Therefore, if my eating causes confusion and distorted thinking in the mind of my fellow believer, leading them into doubt, superstition and selfishness, I will never eat meat again so that I will not confuse them and lead them astray.