1 Cor 8:1-13. Meat offered to idols doesn’t seem to be a topic relevant to modern Westerners. Yet the body of Christ in a post-COVID world faces the same issues confronted by the first century Corinthian church. Their “strong” said they could eat meat, even in temples, because they knew there is only one God and the idols are nothing. They didn’t want their rights impeded by the “weak,” who believed in gods or demons behind the idols and so wouldn’t eat the meat.
While Paul philosophically agreed with the strong, he rejected their way of Adam, trusting in “knowledge” motivated by self-interest; a way that leads to death and destruction. Paul called the Corinthians to follow the way of Christ, putting the needs of others ahead of your own for the sake of love; a way that leads to community and life. While we can question governmental policies aimed at flattening the curve of COVID, we should never let our “rights” destroy the fellowship of the church or our witness of Christ’s love and rule. Paul would say, if going out in public without a mask causes death to the vulnerable and destruction to Christian unity and witness, I will never go without a mask again.
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Article referenced in sermon: Church Don’t Let Coronavirus Divide You