Conduct Among Christians Must Be Guided By Love In Addition To Knowledge

It is easy for Christians who have studied the Bible a lot to become arrogant about their supposed theological knowledge. While correct theology is important, love for other Christians is important too. We should not let our love for orthodoxy make us act superior to other brothers and sisters in Christ who are not as knowledgeable as us:

Now about food sacrificed to idols: We know that “We all possess knowledge.” But knowledge puffs up while love builds up. Those who think they know something do not yet know as they ought to know. But whoever loves God is known by God. (I Corinthians 8:1-3)

What Paul seems to be saying here is that enlightened Christians who “possess knowledge” realize that idols are based on false gods that do not exist, and therefore there is no real harm done, in a theological sense, from eating food sacrificed to idols. However, we should not necessarily act on our “knowledge” when making a decision whether or not to eat this food, but choose out of consideration for other Christians who are more superstitious, less mature than ourselves. We need to avoid these foods if we will cause others to stumble by eating them.

Sadly, many Christians do not behave this way towards other Christians. Instead of being considerate to others, they are constantly arguing with and picking fights with other Christians who are less versed in theology. They do this in order to appear superior to others. But the Apostle Paul says that these arrogant people are mistaken: “those who think they know something do not yet know was they ought to know.” They think they have a closer relationship with God because of their knowledge, yet their arrogance separates them from God. Indeed, God is closer to the simple minded, somewhat unorthodox Christian who has a humble, simple faith: “whomever loves God is known by God.”

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