What if it is a conscience issue and participating will be spiritually damaging to them?
28 But if someone says to you, “This has been offered in sacrifice,” then do not eat it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for the sake of conscience— 29 I do not mean your conscience, but his.
Here is a very practical help. If someone brings it up at the table and says, This is meat offered to an idol. That statement is an indication of where their conscience is on the issue. Now you know that you are at a table with someone who is not conscientiously free to eat it. What do you do? What some people do is see it as an opportunity to argue about it. Oh Sally, it’s no big deal, the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof. Get over it. Or it’s an opportunity to flaunt your freedom. Oh, it’s meat offered to an idol, I prefer that kind of meat. Please pass the A1. Is arguing and flaunting “building up”? No, it is prioritizing my personal freedom. That’s the thing. The person who brings it up is theologically wrong, yet what is the strong to do? Have their priorities right. Unity tastes better than steak. Love tastes better than steak. Even if you have personal freedom, for the sake of the other person’s conscience, graciously refrain and show the other person you love them more than your freedom.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
© 2010 Steve DeWitt. You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that: (1) you credit the author, (2) any modifications are clearly marked, (3) you do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, (4) you include Bethel’s web site address (http://www.bethelweb.org/) on the copied resource.