1 Corinthians 8:1-13
Differences in theology and practice rarely lead one side to change behavior so as not to offend the other. The more natural course of action is to demonize the opposition and become more firmly entrenched in the absolute truth of one’s own position. Meat sacrificed to idols was a big deal for those who all their life had been taught that destruction follows consumption and God’s righteous judgment could only be appeased by ritual purity. Even the apostle Peter cried, “Heaven forbid” when offered shrimp on the sheet! (Acts 10:14) Paul’s use of the term “weak believers” is not meant to denigrate their faith but merely point out that their trust in the mercy of God is not quite as free from constraints as is Paul’s and because he sees Christ in every believer, weak, strong and in-between he refrains from practicing his freedom so as not to offend. Maybe if we were to think of each other as family, claimed by Christ for whom and through whom all things exist, we would stop sinning against each other by always insisting on having it our way.