these people were tempted to idolatry literally
- 1 Corinthians 10:7 (ESV)
- 1 Corinthians 10:14 (ESV)
- 1 Corinthians 10:20 (ESV)
- 1 Corinthians 10:21 (ESV)
- 1 Corinthians 10:22 (ESV)
Coming from my American context, I had always associated the word idolatry with abstract concepts like sex, power and money, which threw me off as I read this passage. Now I realize Paul was warning the Corinthians to flee from idolatry literally--that apparently some people were or were tempted to worship other gods along with Jesus Christ. They wanted to partake of the food offered to idols not just as food they buy from the market or a restaurant, but they wanted to eat it as part of worshiping the idol/demon it was offered to and perhaps to secure said demon's favor. So Jesus would be treated as one god out of a pantheon of gods the pagans worship.
This is what confused me because for one in america we rarely encounter eating food offered to idols as an act of worship and two Paul earlier said that a believer with a strong conscience could eat such food knowing that an idol is nothing and giving thanks to God instead. But in this passage, he is addressing those who are tempted to idolatry, to worship many gods, to have their allegiance divided and to keep their hearts in many boats, perhaps diversifying their spiritual "capital". To such people Paul warns them that they cannot participate in Christ and in demons. Their allegiance to God must be total or else it is not at all. Furthermore trying to do both is like trying to provoke the Lord to jealousy.
Now it makes more sense why Paul emphatically tells the Corinthians to flee idolatry.
Created 12 months ago