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A Heart For God: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Sunday, October 30, 2005

To Eat Or Not To Eat?

"'Everything is permissible'--but not everything is beneficial. 'Everything is permissible'--but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others. Eat anything that is sold in the meat market, without asking questions for conscience' sake. For the earth is the Lord's, and all it contains" (1 Corinthians 10:23-26; NIV).

It's Halloween again tomorrow night, my friends. And so I thought I might deal with the question of whether or not Christians should participate in costume parades and door-to-door trick-or-treating, etc. Without going into the history of Halloween, let me just say we can all agree there's much about this holiday's origins that isn't good. Therefore those who believe Christians should have nothing to do with Halloween have a very good point. And more power to them. But what about the other side of the coin (which I believe there is another side of the coin)? What about those who still choose to participate in Halloween despite it's origins? Do they have a leg to stand on? I submit to you they do based on the verses above. In them the Apostle Paul talks about the believer's freedom. The issue in Paul's day was whether or not a Christian could eat meat sacrificed to idols. Pagans used to do just that. They would dedicate meat to their so-called "gods." Then they'd sell the meat in the marketplace to anyone who would buy it. So the question was, "Could believers eat that kind of meat?" Paul's answer in the above verses was that it was okay to eat meat sold in the marketplace that had previously been sacrificed to idols ("Eat anything that is sold in the meat market"). It was not unlawful to do it. It was not a sin. (Is that a sigh of relief I hear from some followers of the Lord?) And yet I would go on to say to these believers who choose to participate in Halloween (this statement of mine also finds it's basis in the above passage), "Is it still the best thing to do even if it is permissible? Or might it be better to attend a church-sponsored alternative celebration and bring your unsaved friends and neighbors along with you? We aren't having such an event this year at our church, but there are other churches that do. Ultimately, the decision "to eat or not to eat" is yours, beloved, in this matter. Enjoy your freedom in Christ. "'So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed'" (John 8:36).

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