Didn't the apostle Paul say, "Meat doesn't commend us to God, we are no better or worse if we eat" (1 Cor. 8:8). Didn't he also declare, "Whatever is sold in the market place eat, asking no question for conscience sake (1 Cor. 10:25)?


1 Cor. 8:1 provides the background for the answer to these thoughtful questions. Paul introduces the passage by saying, "Now as touching things offered to idols" (verse 1) so there will be no misunderstanding he emphasizes it again in verse 4 "as concerning those things that are offered in sacrifice to idols." In 1 Cor. 10:28, at the end of the discussion, he speaks of meat "offered in sacrifice to idols."

Portions of the meat which were used in idol worship at pagan temples in Corinth were sold in the market places. This led some very strict Jews to become vegetarians (Rom. 14:2-4). The issue at stake here is whether it is morally wrong to eat meat offered to idols. In eating will one be participating in idol worship. Paul's response is idols are nothing at all (1 Cor. 8:4). We are no better or worse if we eat (1 Cor. 8:8).

If your liberty is a stumbling block to someone else, offending their weak conscience, don't eat any meat offered to idols (1 Cor. 8:11-13). At stake here are not unclean foods but food offered to idols. Jesus did not come to cleanse pigs. He came to cleanse sinners. Unclean animals which are unhealthful in the Old Testament are still unhealthful in the New. Since our Lord will not withhold from us any good thing (Ps. 84:11) unclean animals are not good things.