Can you eat pork to not offend a host ?

If someone invites you to dinner and only serves pork should you eat it so as to not offend?

Does I Cor. 10:27 really mean that for true Christians?


Paul is discussing making adjustments for the weak.
How is this term the weak brother understood by Paul and the people he is addressing? They would all be either Jewish or proselytes to Judaism or newly converted pagans to Christianity. They would all have been aware of the laws regarding clean and unclean meat. Therefore the concern was not pork or no pork. The concern would have been of meat sacrificed to idols. Has the meat been before an idol or not. The pagan temples which dominated Corinth sold their excess meat which would have been mostly lamb and beef to local butchers in the shopping areas and at good prices. Pagans rarely offered pigs to their gods. One could not be sure of meats source in the city. Some uncontaminated meat sources may have existed but most of the time one could not be sure, imagine asking the shopkeeper if the meat you are buying has been before Aphrodite? Probably he neither could remember nor would he even care to keep track.
Note I Cor. 8:1, 4 where Paul explains that knowledgeable and more secure brethren should think of others. He explains in I Cor. 8:6-7 that all do not understand that the gods of the temples are nothing and we do not need to fear them. But newer members cannot get away from their past feelings. Therefore stronger members could hinder the weaker brethren with their knowledge see verses 8-10.


Paul is not discussing the clean and unclean and meat issue. All the brethren knew the law of unclean meats and like the Sabbath, it was never an issue. They were concerned with meats offered to idols. Note verses I Cor. 10: 19 & 28. One does not ask whether you are eating pork or not. You could easily smell and see if it is pork. However one does not know if a piece of meat has been offered to an idol or not. If you want to take this verse out of context to have your own way, you could say if someone set before you spoiled meat or poison mushrooms eat lest you offend. That would be outrageous.

The true meaning is if a true Christian goes to an unconverted person’s home for a meal, they should not ask if the meat was offered to an idol. Idols are nothing to true Christians. One of our elders spent two years in a country that had idols everywhere. He treated them as art and, of course, knew they had no power, but the locals would feel differently.
However if the host brought up the subject and mentioned that the meat was offered in sacrifice to an idol the true Christian should refuse to eat it because his eating could harm the conscience of the host. The host could think the Christian was either hypocritical or that it is okay to eat meat sacrificed to idols. They might use the eating behavior of the true Christian as a validation of the pagan belief. The non-believer might also think that the meal could be a part of converting you to their pagan god.


Paul tells us mature, strong brethren to think of others’ welfare. Note I Cor. 10: 31-33. This fully fits the context. Anyone who tries to use I Cor. 10:27 as an excuse to eat ham or lobster is simply conveniently misunderstanding the Bible. They want what they want and any sloppy interpretation will get them to their goal. We true believers thru careful analysis can show others the truth if their minds are open.
A modern example exist today. We heard a protestant minister complain that Christian are being contaminate and tricked into eating meat offered to a foreign god. Many of the meat processed for various market reasons are producing meat using the Halal process. This Halal process is required of meats eaten by Muslims. He said it defiled Christians. I do not favor American firms using the Halal process even if under pressure, but eating the meat does not affect us. There is only one God. However if the Muslim host were to say to you let us eat this Halal meat, you should refuse. He might think that partaking may help you start the process of converting to Islam or becoming convinced of the superiority of Islam. In such cases, one should not eat the meat. Remember the apostle Paul believes totally in everything in the Old Testament including the Laws of Clean and Unclean meats. See Acts 24:14

1-ICor. 10:2
2-I Cor. 8:1
3-I Cor. 8:4
4-I Cor. 8:6-7
5-I Cor. 8: 8-10
6-I Cor. 10:19
7-I Cor. 10:28
8- I Cor. 10:31-33
9-Acts 24:14

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