① Tyndale Love Over Charity Analysis

Saturday, January 08, 2022 12:31:40 PM

Tyndale Love Over Charity Analysis

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Steven Lawson: The Daring Mission of William Tyndale

They are meals where quantities are eaten, wine flows freely, and conviviality reigns — true meals and not simply ritual events. At the same time, the rites performed over the food were of significance: just as the occasions called for serious eating, they also called for authentic thanksgiving to the gods. The issue Paul addresses in chapters involves three different types of situations: 1 eating food sacrificed to an idol at the temple of an idol ; ; 2 eating food of unknown history that is bought in the market ; and 3 eating food in the private homes of unbelievers An Internal Squabble between the Strong and the Weak? An underestimation of the religious nature of meals at temple shrines has lead to a misunderstanding of the nature of the dispute Paul addresses.

Therefore, we are free to participate in these banquets if we so wish. They ate idol food but were not yet fully convinced it was permissible. On the one hand, he concurs that they were technically correct that consuming idol food per se was a matter of indifference for a Christian. He makes no attempt to controvert the slogans of those convinced of their freedom in Christ to eat anything they chose anywhere they liked. On the other hand, he reproaches them for being under-enlightened — they know but not as they ought to know — and under-empathic toward the delicate consciences of the weak. They do not love and consequently disdain and bully the Christian brothers and sisters who were still influenced emotionally by years of conditioning regarding the temples and the gods This view assumes that Paul is not vexed by their consumption of idol food in idol settings but by their lack of consideration for their fellow Christians.

He instructs them to be radically free If they are radically free, they will never allow their freedom to ruin a fellow Christian whose conscience is weak Since Paul believed that whatever does not proceed from trust is sin Rom , when the weak do not eat idol food out of knowledge or a sense of freedom but out of a fear of being ridiculed, they are guilty of sin. He instructs them to restrict their freedom because of their bonds with their fellow Christians who were weak. Concern for the welfare of the fellow Christian becomes the key for deciding what is right or wrong.

For example, Barrett maintains that the next generations could see no way of excluding idolatry that did not include rigid abstention from heathen food and heathen dinner parties. The church as a whole retreated into a narrow religious shell. Jewish Christianity in this matter triumphed though Jewish Christians became less important in the church. A Dispute Between Paul and the Corinthians. What he fears is not factionalism in the church over this issue or that the weak person might act contrary to their beliefs but that he might be reeled back into idolatry. The basic issue has to do with what Paul regards as forbidden idolatrous behavior by those who perceive themselves as endowed with liberating knowledge.

In both passages Paul cautions against causing another to stumble Rom , 15, ; 1 Cor ; and destroying another Rom ; 1 Cor In both passages he mentions the weak Rom , 2; ; 1 Cor , 9, 10, 11, 12; Several differences, however, emerge from a careful reading. The issues in Rom concern meat or vegetables or what days to regard as holy , and Paul never mentions idol food or says anything about the context in which the food is eaten. Idol food, which is intended and known to be offered to an idol , can never be clean. By contrast, in 1 Cor , Paul brands their actions as a deadly communion with demons.

Can food that is publicly disclosed as offered to an idol be blessed and bring honor to God? Romans has to do with the social interaction between Jewish and Gentile Christians. It does not follow that since Paul rejected Jewish food laws that erected barriers between Jews and Gentiles he condoned the eating of idol food. Idol food is a different matter entirely that introduces the baleful influence of syncretism and polytheism. Because Paul rejected narrow Jewish restrictions that separated Jewish Christians from Gentile Christians does not mean that he rejected restrictions involving idolatry that separated Christians, who were exclusively tied to the one true God, from idolaters, who related to many gods and lords. It is more reasonable to conclude that Rom is an adaptation of principles found in 1 Cor to a quite different situation.

Consequently, Rom should not be read into the Corinthian context. When Rom is not read into the text, a careful reading of 1 Cor does not suggest that the Corinthians were knocking heads over the idol meat issue and appealed to Paul to hold court on the matter. According to Hurd, the Christian with the weak conscience is only a hypothetical person conjured up by Paul as part of his argument to convince the Corinthians. Idolatry would have been one of the earliest and most pressing issues confronting new converts anywhere many gods and lords exist cf.

It is much more plausible that the Corinthians have engaged in an ongoing discussion with Paul about this matter, and some of them have not welcomed his prohibitions. The traditional view is also fundamentally wrong in assuming that Paul would have jettisoned the basic covenantal demand of exclusive allegiance to the one Lord by permitting Christians to do things that implied that they formed a common front with anything overtly connected to idols cf.

Idolaters among others will not inherit the kingdom of God 1 Cor Exod ; Lev , and it is possible that Hellenistic Jews or Paul himself coined a neologism from the OT prohibition. For him, the issues concerning Jewish purity and impurity laws were entirely different from the issues concerning idolatry. Hurd is correct. Corinthian converts came from a quite different cultural heritage and might have downplayed any religious ceremony solemnizing a dinner party in a pagan temple as a bunch of religious mumbo jumbo that had no spiritual effect on them.

The chief reason for their participation would have been the intense social pressure from their polytheistic culture. They are not exercising theological bravado and demonstrating their spiritual security and liberty by deliberately eating what had been offered to idols. They quite naturally did not want to give up their family and social connections, so they made compromises and probably justified them post hoc. Laws 1. Shirata 3 to Exod It is not surprising that newly converted Christians would have bent under this significant pull to compromise with idolatrous practices, and we need not assume they did so with theological deliberation. Joining in meals was extremely important in the ancient world because they served as markers of socio-economic class divisions, as opportunities to converse and build friendships, and as a means to fulfill socio-political obligations.

Anyone desisting from public sacrificial events was unfit for political functions. He is fully aware of the intense pressure to join in the hale-fellow-well-met conviviality, but he maintains that no temptation has overtaken them that is not common to humans He insists that God is faithful and will not allow them to be tempted beyond what they can withstand. Paul was interested in persuasion, not coercion. If one somehow were informed that the food was idol food, then Paul insists that one must abstain. It was not because the situation was too complex for a simple solution. Paul adopts this tack because he intends, as he does throughout the letter, to exercise love in directing them. He wants them to flee from idols , but he also wants them to see the theological implications of their behavior and the necessity of the norm of love for guiding all their behavior.

Consequently, he employs indirect means. He does not draw out, however, the full implications of what their monotheistic confession and allegiance to one God entail until He builds on this consensus about the non-existence of idols to introduce two key principles that will inform his argument. First, Christian love is to override knowledge that feeds arrogance. Second, Christian monotheism defines who the people of God are as distinct from those who worship many gods and lords. The second principle undergirds all that Paul says against eating idol food, but he develops the first principle in this unit.

Christ died for them He assumes that as Christians they have a loving concern for others and do not wish to lead them into sin. His first argument against eating idol food is his assertion that their actions are not neutral but may cause another Christian to stumble and fall. He presents the hypothetical example. Mencken defines it. It is a moral compass. A panel from the American cartoon Dennis the Menace unexpectedly captures what Paul means. Epictetus, Diatr. It is untrustworthy because it does not possess the necessary knowledge.

The Christian with a weak conscience does not have the knowledge to make correct moral judgments. Paul worries that this person might follow the example of those presumed to have knowledge but eat idol food as truly offered to an idol, that is, as a sacrificial act. He will be led astray in his moral judgment to think that it is permissible for Christians to pay homage to both Christ and pagan deities. Rev , which is akin to a compass becoming demagnetized so that it no longer points to true north.

Paul is anxious that the Christian in this example will be sucked back into the vortex of idolatry and face spiritual ruination. He concludes with a hyperbolic example of what he would do to avert such a catastrophe. He would abstain from eating meat altogether Love may require giving up things that one regards as a right for the sake of preventing other Christians from falling. It is simply his opening salvo that asks the Corinthians to consider aspects of the problem they had overlooked. The choppy transition from the discussion of idol food in chapter 8 to the right of an apostle to receive aid from a congregation has caused some to suspect that the section beginning in or represents an interpolation 7 2 or an unconnected digression.

Everything he does, including not exercising his rights as an apostle, is aimed at winning others to the gospel and avoiding anything that might needlessly hinder another from coming to faith. It may seem that Paul unleashes a torrent of rhetorical questions that vigorously defend his apostolic right to receive support in response to his detractors who suggested that he did not have that right. He then offers his rationale for having waived that right. Rhetorical questions, however, do not indicate that the writer has adopted a defensive mode. They simply invite the audience to give its opinion. It is unlikely that Paul is on the defensive in this unit. First, the notion of his apostleship only appears in in which he establishes his right to earn material support.

These remarks are too brief for a substantive defense. The rest of his argument appeals to the everyday examples of the soldier, farmer, and shepherd , the plowman and thresher , and the priest Second, rhetorical questions that could just as easily be answered negatively would hardly win the day in a defense. Apparently, Paul did not expect the Corinthians to contest the points because he phrased the first four questions in to expect an affirmative answer. He is entitled as an apostle to receive support, as they must admit, but they know he has waived those rights. He is not asserting rights in this section but hammering home his renunciation of them!

His statement in that he does not write to secure his due rights for financial backing assumes that they would pay him if he would accept it. Third, if the Corinthians did not regard him to be a true apostle, he wastes his time describing at length his refusal to use his rights as an apostle. The key assertion comes in where he maintains that he is free from all men cf. No one in Corinth was raising charges against him related to his refusal to receive support.

The argument in this section establishes his high status to set the stage for his willing acceptance of low status. The overall argument is intended to promote a certain kind of demeanor and conduct. Having established his rights, he can then feature his refusal to profit from them. Finally, it is a strange defense of his apostleship for Paul to point out several respects in which he has not acted like an apostle. Why cite a command of the Lord that seems to undermine his position? If the problem is that some have disparaged him for failing to live according to the standard ordained by Jesus, Paul says nothing to offset this perception. The best answer to these questions is that Paul is not on the defense and not insisting on his apostolic rights.

Instead, he insists that renouncing these apostolic rights is the right thing to do for one captured by Christ. He is controlled by necessity to win others to Christ that his calling as an apostle imposes upon him, not by any selfish desire to promote his own advantage or to indulge his own fancy. His cites his own practice as an example of the attitude he wants them to adopt.

The task of advancing the gospel totally dominates his life, inspiring his willingness to make any sacrifice to win others. He wishes that this attitude was more evident in their lives. That Paul intends in this section to offer himself as a model of one who voluntarily relinquishes his rights is confirmed by the athletic metaphor that spotlights his own conduct and the concluding admonition to imitate him as he imitates Christ He uses autobiographical information to establish ethos to persuade.

By contrast, the Corinthians appear to insist on a right that might cause the weak to stumble. Paul purposefully surrenders a right and adapts himself to the weak and to others to win them. The implication is that those with knowledge should follow his example by abdicating their so-called right to eat idol food so that they would avoid any possibility of causing others without their endowment of knowledge from falling back into idolatry. The issue of food appears in , 7, 9, 10, 13 and reveals that he does not ask them to give up anything more than he himself has given up. Knowledge , rights , and freedom must be directed by love and concern for the spiritual well-being of others. The sports analogy in makes the point that the Christian life requires effort and the suppression of appetites and longings.

The prolonged, rigorous training required for success in athletic competition was a well-known image in the ancient world, and it sheds light on his own voluntary restraint in his refusing to exercise his apostolic rights so that he might successfully attain his goal of saving others. He expects them to abandon any and all such participation. The athletic simile also serves as a transition to the warning example of Israel in the next section It warns that any who fail to exercise self-restraint when it comes to the delights of this world may be disqualified from the ultimate race directed by God.

It is more than a general warning against complacency. It reminds Corinthians of the difficulties of living out their Christian commitment. Entry into the contest does not guarantee a prize, and they cannot repose in the illusion that they are safe from failure. The move from personal example to extended biblical exposition again makes appear to be a digression, but it fits perfectly his purpose. Violating their covenant obligations and putting the Lord to the test is suicidal. Their fall is a direct warning to the Corinthians since Paul underscores that the Scriptures directly apply to them He features this one verse because it ties into the theme of eating and drinking that reverberates throughout chapters The point should be clear to the Corinthians.

If they dally at pagan feasts, they can expect the same fate as Israel in the wilderness. They are not to be cravers of evil or idolaters and are not to put the Lord to the test or grumble if they expect their relationship to God to remain secure. The bold Corinthians may not fear the power of idols, but they should fear the wrath of God. They cannot grouse that being forbidden from participating in idol feasts places them in an untenable position. If they are faithful exclusively to God, they will never be in a situation too difficult for God to sustain them and to empower them to endure In this unit, Paul strikes directly by commanding them to flee idolatry and connecting idol food to demons.

Idols, however, represent the realm of the demonic. Participating in the one meal precludes participating in the other. Believers should not fool themselves into thinking that they are strong enough to try to merge the two meals, to affiliate with Christ and demons. To attempt to do so only kindles the jealousy and judgment of God. The question of temple dining and eating food sacrificed to idols is now left aside as Paul addresses the question of food of questionable origins — food that may have been sacrificed to idols before it comes into the hands of a believer. It is not permanently poisoned. Paul clarifies that food is food and permissible to eat unless it is specifically identified as idol food, which puts it in a special category that is always forbidden to Christians.

They need not abstain from all food on the chance that it may have been sacrificed to idols. His prohibition of idol food does not mean that they must retreat to the seclusion of a gloomy ghetto. Search by constituency. The data returned is live and real-time, and is simple to use and understand. We use cookies to collect information about how you use the Charity Commission Register of Charities and Digital Services, such as pages you visit. We use this information to make the website work as well as possible and to improve our services. Tell us what you think about this service. Search the register of charities Find information about registered charities in England and Wales, including what the charity does trustees finance information, like income and expenditure any actions the Charity Commission has taken against the charity You can export up to 10, records.

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When was gullivers travels written for Eating Idol Food. See also Fruit of the Spirit ; New Command. However, the book draws Tyndale Love Over Charity Analysis life Tyndale Love Over Charity Analysis which are quite worthwhile cf.

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