Sunday, January 21, 2018

4th after epiphany year b - 1 corinthians

1 Corinthians 8:1-13
Now concerning food sacrificed to idols:
     we know that “all of us possess knowledge.”
          Knowledge puffs up,
               but love builds up. 
          2Anyone who claims to know something
               does not yet have the necessary knowledge; 
          3but anyone who loves God
               is known by God.

4Hence, as to the eating of food offered to idols,
     we know that “no idol in the world really exists,”
     and that “there is no God but one.” 
          5Indeed, even though there may be so-called gods 
               in heaven or on earth—
                    as in fact there are many gods and many lords— 
                         6yet for us there is one God, the Mother,
                              from whom are all things
                              and for whom we exist,
                         and one Lord, Jesus Christ,
                              through whom are all things
                              and through whom we exist.

7It is not everyone, however, who has this knowledge.
     Since some have become so accustomed to idols until now,
          they still think of the food they eat as food offered to an idol;
          and their conscience,
               being weak,
                    is defiled. 
     8“Food will not bring us close to God.”
          We are no worse off if we do not eat,
          and no better off if we do. 
     9But take care that this liberty of yours
          does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. 
               10For if others see you,
                    who possess knowledge,
                         eating in the temple of an idol,
                    might they not,
                         since their conscience is weak,
                              be encouraged 
                                   to the point of eating food sacrificed to idols? 
               11So by your knowledge those weak believers
                    for whom Christ died
                         are destroyed. 
               12But when you thus sin against members of your family,
                    and wound their conscience when it is weak,
                         you sin against Christ. 
               13Therefore, if food is a cause of their falling,
                    I will never eat meat,
                         so that I may not cause one of them to fall.

Queeries for the text:
Is knowledge an idol?  Is Paul an anti-intellectual?  
Is Paul coming out against belief as subscription to/knowledge of doctrinal beliefs?
What are the other gods?  Who are the  other lords?
How many times have people justified queerphobic words or actions with v. 9?
Where is the line between challenging someone's faith and becoming a stumbling block?
How reasonable is it to restrict ourselves for the sake of someone else's faith?
Does being our truest selves or not being our truest selves become the stumbling block?
Is not living out my full queerness becoming a stumbling block for those who still think it's a sin or those who are struggling to figure out their faith and sexuality/gender identity?
Is conversion therapy the real stumbling block?

What are your queeries?

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