The Law of Expediency
Yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live. However, there is not in everyone that knowledge; for some, with consciousness of the idol, until now eat it as a thing offered to an idol; and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. But food does not commend us to God; for neither if we eat are we the better, nor if we do not eat are we the worse. But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak. For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will not the conscience of him who is weak be emboldened to eat those things offered to idols? And because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble (1 Corinthians 8:6-13). We Christians should be ruled by the law of expediency which says I will do nothing that I may be free to do if it stands the chance of offending my brother in Christ. Our liberty is to never bring another into bondage. In Paul’s day the issue was meat sacrificed to idols. Pagan ritual would have idolaters sacrifice their meat to a particular god before they ate it. Weak believers were afraid to eat the meat for fear that by doing so they were actually worshipping the idol to which the meat was sacrificed. Paul knew he was free to eat idol sacrificed meat, but he was concerned that a weak believer would be affected by his liberty, so he abstained. We need to have the same attitude in our liberal anything goes atmosphere today. I’ve had the habit for years of asking myself when I’m doing anything, how does what I do affect those around me. I should live to bless others and not just to meet my own wishes and needs at their expense! One of the large issues here in our country is should a Christian drink alcohol. Let me go on the record and say that from the vantage point of this scripture, NO! You may feel the liberty, but your liberty may cause a freed in Christ ex-alcoholic to become bound again! Don’t do it! Over twenty years ago when I lived in Tulsa, I had a couple come to me for counsel. They were bible school graduates and had been in ministry. The young man confessed to becoming an alcoholic again and was desperate for freedom from drink again. He told me he and his wife were in a restaurant one evening and saw a prominent national minister drinking wine with his meal. Since the minister had liberty, the young man thought he could do the same thing. Eventually, the young man bought a bottle of wine while grocery shopping and began to drink a glass infrequently with an evening meal. By the time he came to see me, he was drinking hard liquor in the mornings and throughout the day. That minister he saw in the restaurant will be responsible in eternity for leading this young man astray! Let’s be mature believers and watch what we do. Others are watching us at all times. Let the law of expediency rule your life, and live to bless others.