RSS

Monthly Archives: October 2008

Food Offered To Idols

What does the Bible say about food offered to idols and what should be my attitude when it is given to me?

There is clear instruction in the Bible that a believer should not partake of the food offered to idols.   Read the Bible now.   “The Holy Spirit and we have agreed not to put any other burden on you besides these necessary rules:  eat no food that has been offered to idols; eat no blood; eat no animal that has been strangled; and keep yourselves from sexual immorality. You will do well if you take care not to do these things. With our best wishes (Acts 15:28,29).”  Then in the epistles Paul gives some clarifications about the issue.  Read below.

In considering this question we need to look at two main passages in the NT.  In 1Cor.8 Paul is actually answering the very same question of food offered to idols which the Corinthians had asked him.  The whole chapter deals with this question. The passage is straight forward and does not fall into different interpretations. In this passage the first argument that Paul gives is that idols are nothing as there is only One God and One Lord of all.  Therefore food offered to idols has nothing special about it all.  But Paul went on to say that this knowledge that there is only One God and idols are not gods is not every one’s knowledge. There are some who consider idols as some thing and to them food offered to idols have some specialty about it.  So for the sake of the one who has a weak conscience food offered to idols should not be eaten.

The other passage to consider is 1Cor.10:14ff where Paul talks about the question of idolatry.  There are some crucial verses in this passage. I am just quoting.  Look at 1Co 10:20. “But I say that the things which the nations sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons and not to God. And I do not desire that you should have fellowship with demons”. V.21 reads “You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table and of a table of demons”.   Now let me just quote Paul again from vv.23-29.  “All things are lawful to me, but not all things profit. All things are lawful to me, but not all things build up.   Let no one seek his own, but each one another’s”. (v.25) “Eat whatever is sold in the meat market, asking no question for conscience’ sake;” v.26)  ‘for the earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness of it.’  (v.27)  “If any of those who do not believe invite you to a feast, and if you are disposed to go, eat whatever is set before you, asking no questions for conscience’ sake”.  (v.28) “But if anyone says to you, This is slain in sacrifice to idols, do not eat for the sake of him who showed it, and for conscience’ sake; “for the earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness of it”;  (v.29) “conscience, I say, not your own, but the other’s. For why is my liberty judged by another’s conscience?”    Paul’s main concern in this passage seems to be that we should not cause an offense to a weak brother for whom Christ died. So Paul concludes this passage by saying whether we ate or drank, we should do it for the glory of God; that we should make sure that we do not offend any one; that my concern should be the salvation of others when I do any thing.

One or two OT references are suitable for this context.  Look at Deu 7:25 “You shall burn the graven images of their gods with fire. You shall not desire the silver or gold on them, nor take it for yourself, so that you may not be snared in it. For it is an abomination to Jehovah your God”.  (Deu 7:26) “And you shall not bring an abomination into your house, lest you be a cursed thing like it. You shall utterly hate it, and you shall utterly despise it. For it is a cursed thing”.  These and other passages very clearly show that any association with idolatry of any sort is to be avoided at any cost.  The determination of the Psalmist is some thing that we should learn from.    “Their sorrows shall be multiplied who run after another god. I will not pour out their drink offerings of blood; and I will not take their names on my lips”  (Ps.16:4).

I remember an occasion when I was given such food by a neighbor of mine who holds me in high respect.  He had gone to a far away very famous Temple and ‘prasadam’ (the food offered to the idol) is supposed to have very special power attached to it.  When given to me in my house, I accepted it that I might not offend my neighbor.  But I made sure that I did not part take of it.  In situations like these we need to use great discretion and make sure that the name of the Lord is glorified by what we do and the other person is not offended by it.  May the Lord help us.  To His name be glory. Amen.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on October 31, 2008 in Christian life, Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Following After Christ Wholeheartedly

Question Text:  “The biggest thing they say to me is that, being a Christian has consumed my entire life and I can say that it has, but isn`t that good? I don`t know anymore, I broke down today after I was pretty much told that I am addicted to my bible. You see I don`t know if I`m doing things right or doing things wrong. I am just trying to live a godly life apart from the ways of the world. I get told this just when I start feeling closer to God which has been the case for the past few days, and the past months too. This was closest to God I have been, but the hardest I have fallen away from him also. Things happen too fast, I don`t know if this is part of Christian persecution or if it is me?”

Answer Text:

I am so very glad that I met another person who wants to follow after Christ wholeheartedly. Your plight was mine some forty years ago as a late teen-ager. But I thank the Lord that I was taught to continue in my life-style for the glory of God. The problem with today’s Christianity is that they are all ‘believers’ in God and in Jesus. But Jesus our Lord asked His disciples to go and make ‘disciples’ of all nations (Mt.28:19). Instead of making disciples Christianity has made believers out of people. Js.2:19 says that even demons believe and tremble. To be a believer with out repenting is useless.

The so-called “easy-believism” has made Christianity another religion with out a heart. They all give assent to a set of doctrines and call themselves Christians. Recently a gay bishop of the Anglican Church threw a challenge in the TV to disqualify him as a Christian. He said no one could disqualify him as a Christian because he believes in every one of the creeds of Christianity and he believes in all the major doctrines of the Bible with out a question. To him being a Christian means to believe in a set of doctrines.

But that is not what our Lord preached. His terms of discipleship are strong and strenuous. He does not want happy-go-lucky and half-hearted believers. He wants people to follow Him with red-hot zeal as He followed after God. The passion which consumed Him about the things of God is our model. The way He looked at the world is our pattern. The way He mingled with sinners is the way we are to do. We are asked to follow in His foot steps. He said that the world would hate you. He said that people would despise you and speak all manner of evil against you falsely. Yet He asked us to follow in His foot steps.

One of the simplest but best ways of presenting the teachings of Christ about discipleship is done by William MacDonald in his book titled “True Discipleship”. I am sure that you are familiar with it. If not, please get it and read it for yourself. You will find that you are on the right track. Here is a review about the book which I found in Amazon. I am giving it with out editing it. I am sure that you will agree with the reviewer. “the Bible is filled with hard-hitting truth, but most of the time i choose to overlook, forget, or explain it away. this book brings them out front, points to them and says, `do it!` the call of Christ to discipleship is not easy, but it`s the best life to live. i can`t say that i`ve read every book there is on discipleship, there may be other good or better books, but God has used this one in my own life, and that`s what i can tell u. i recall one chapter that says the church today is far from zealous; communists in the world today are more zealous for their cause than Christians are for Christ, this is a serious indictment. one line that will stick in my mind for some time is `faith that costs nothing is worth nothing.` God desires our suffering and trials to produce a faith refined by fire, proven true with testing (1 peter 1:7). this book has challenged me tremendously, i would recommend this to anyone who wants to get out of complacency and apathy” review by T. Yu. Dustin,

you will also do well to read the book by John Mac Arthur called “The Gospel According to Jesus”. I wish to tell you that it is your formative days and as you spend time in God’s presence and fill your heart with the Word of God and meditate up on it night and day (remember that you are not alone, at least the psalmist was doing it) you will begin to see the presence of God filling your life and where ever you go, you will be able to carry the presence of God with you. And god’s manifest presence as experienced by the early believers of Acts will be seen in your life as well.

Please read also the biographies of men of prayer like David Brainard and others and you will know that this was their life-style as well. All those who ridicule you now will also begin to see the manifest presence of God later in life and they will recognize you as a man of God then. Satan does not want that to happen. Hence his tricks by people around you. May God help you to be another Wesley or Moody of our times. To His Name be all glory. Amen.

For articles on prayer and experiences in prayer read www.mathewpaul.org

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on October 10, 2008 in Christian life, Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , ,