“We all possess knowledge. But knowledge puffs up while love builds up.” I Cor 8:2
The first century church had an issue with meat sacrificed to idols. Do you buy your lamb from the local farmer or do you go to the Temple of some god you don’t worship and get a denarius off and save a little money?
How could you eat meat sacrificed in a pagan ritual to a false God?
as Paul states, “there is but one God, the Father from whom all things came and for whom we live.” It’s just meat people, if it’s sacrificed to something that doesn’t exist, who cares!!
It was a real dilemma and caused a lot of friction, enough for it to be addressed. Paul goes on to say, “If what I eat causes my brother or sister to stumble, I will never eat meat again.”
Translation: I am free because of the knowledge I have to eat as many lamb chops as I want, but because of the love that I have for others, I will chose something different if it is a matter of conscience even if I really love a great steak!!
I see much of this old problem coming to life in a new way… will I wear a mask? I should let you in on what my tendencies are heading in to this… currently I only have worn a mask in one particular store because I have to, otherwise I am inclined to not wear one and not feel bad about it. Mostly because I’m not doing much shopping anyway or with groups of people anywhere. I’d rather not ever wear a mask, but…
Paul made it clear that this is for others. People wearing masks in Asia for the last decade or more has always been about others. I wear this out of a concern for you, not out of a concern for me. Americans trip over this quite a bit as evidenced by the repeated line “I don’t care if I get the virus, masks won’t stop it anyway.” Well first, it’s about others; second, some filter is always better than no filter. If you don’t believe that, then take away the filters in your life starting with your coffee filter!!
I see a lot of huffing and puffing about the issue, one side or the other. Much like the early church needing to present their side of the case to their own end. What needs to win out here is the same thing that needed to win out there, a love for others needs to guide our thoughts.
I’d prefer to never wear a mask, if wearing one means I get to be with someone I couldn’t otherwise be with, I’ll do it.