Interfaith ‘prayer’

What is it and should we do it?
A contemporary reader of the New Testament letter we call 1 Corinthians is likely to be a little puzzled by the amount of attention it gives to whether the Corinthian Christians could eat meat that had been offered to pagan idols. Chapters 8-10 treat this question, though not in a straight line entirely free of digression. By the time St. Paul completes his discussion he has distinguished three different sorts of cases and has outlined his response to each.

In one case Christians might buy in the market and eat meat that had been offered in sacrifice to a false god. This Paul allows. But in a second, related case this eating might be done at a meal with fellow Christians who, not fully seeing that an idol amounts to nothing, fear that eating this meat involves one in the ritual worship of a false god. In that case, concern for the conscience of one’s fellow Christian means that one should not eat food that might otherwise be permitted.


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