There’s an app I’ve discovered on my phone that can break down the nutritional value of my daily meals. It seems like I have a healthy balance in the meat department. My vegetarian and vegan friends might be appalled at such a notion, however, and point to many other sources of protein. We remain friends.
I have observed, however, that the kind of debate that erupts around diet can divide families and sever friendships. The Apostle Paul seems to mediate a similar dietary issue in the new and troubled Corinthian church. (See 1Corintians 8:1-6)
It seems those who could afford to eat meat were scandalising their siblings in Christ by consuming temple burgers that had been dedicated to the Roman gods. “We all know these idols are false – that there’s only one G-d. It’s good meat – why waste it?”
Paul diplomatically agrees but says there is a more important question at steak (sorry – stake!) – that is “What drives how I decide an action in a community where we strive to be one by looking out for each other in such a way that the world is transformed?”
Now that’s a meaty question!
To what extent do the sensitivities of a wider community impinge on something as personal as what I eat? Tho what extent do my personal decisions affect the overall harmony of a close community? Perhaps the answer is somewhere in the point that Paul concedes: “yet for us there is one God, the Father, 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.”
When we focus on what unites rather than what divides (without ignoring or discounting such), there is progress.