But if you are told that it has been sacrificed to idols, don’t cause a problem by eating it. I don’t mean a problem for yourself, but for the one who told you. Why should my freedom be limited by someone else’s conscience?
But if anyone says to you, “That food was offered to idols,” do not eat it. Do not eat it because of that person who told you and ·because eating it might be thought to be wrong [L for conscience’s sake].
If a pagan asks you to dinner and you want to go, feel free to eat whatever is set before you, without asking any questions through conscientious scruples. But if your host should say straight out, “This meat has been offered to an idol”, then don’t eat it, for his sake—I mean for the sake of conscience, not yours but his.
But if anyone says unto you, This is offered in sacrifice unto idols, do not eat it for the sake of him that disclosed it and for conscience sake; for the earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof:
With that as a base to work from, common sense can take you the rest of the way. Eat anything sold at the butcher shop, for instance; you don’t have to run an “idolatry test” on every item. “The earth,” after all, “is God’s, and everything in it.” That “everything” certainly includes the leg of lamb in the butcher shop. If a nonbeliever invites you to dinner and you feel like going, go ahead and enjoy yourself; eat everything placed before you. It would be both bad manners and bad spirituality to cross-examine your host on the ethical purity of each course as it is served. On the other hand, if he goes out of his way to tell you that this or that was sacrificed to god or goddess so-and-so, you should pass. Even though you may be indifferent as to where it came from, he isn’t, and you don’t want to send mixed messages to him about who you are worshiping.
But if anyone says to you, “This was offered in sacrifice to idols,” do not eat it for the sake of him that mentioned it and for the sake of conscience, for “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.”
But suppose someone says to you, “This food has been sacrificed to a statue of a god.” Then don’t eat it. Keep in mind the good of the person who told you. And don’t eat because of a sense of what is right and wrong.
But if someone says, “This is meat from the temple altar, a sacrifice to god so-and-so,” then do not eat it. Not so much because of your own conscience [because the earth and everything on it belongs to the Lord], but out of consideration for the conscience of the other fellow who told you about it. So you ask, “Why should I give up my freedom to accommodate the scruples of another?”
But if anyone says to you, `This food has been given to an idol,' then do not eat it. Do not eat it because of the one who told you and because it might seem wrong. I mean it might seem wrong, not to you, but to him.
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