If one of the unbelievers invites you to dinner and you are disposed to go, eat whatever is set before you without raising any question on the ground of conscience. (1 Corinthians 10:27 ESV)
I’ve been on a few mission trips in my life. Therefore I’ve had the joy of eating rubbery chicken hearts and having a shot of homemade Russian vodka that tasted like gasoline (which it could have been). Which makes me wonder if the occasional twitch in my left eye might have a connection. There was also a summer mission trip to Mexico where each of us was given a little white pill by the veterinarian in the group to keep the food down. But I digress. The point is that almost anyone would do some crazy things when you’re on a mission “trip.”
You always hear people giving the advice (or scriptural mandate) to eat whatever is put in front of you. ”You will insult your host if you don’t eat it.” But there seems to be a double standard with this rule. As long as you’re outside of the country, do whatever is necessary to progress the gospel…but if you’re at home…well that really isn’t mission.
But Paul tells us differently. When he tells us in Corinthians to eat whatever is put in front of us, we are to do it “without raising any question on the ground of conscience.” There is no question of geography. There is only a heart of putting the other person before ourself. Paul goes on to say:
just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved. (1 Corinthians 10:33 ESV)
Paul’s heart in the matter is to see people come to salvation. The mission field to him is the dinner table. He will do anything but sin to be able to bring someone to know Jesus. So this makes me raise the question. Are we doing what is possible to reach unbelievers? Or are we throwing up the white flag of surrender? Is there a moment when you should ignore your conscience and have a cold one with your lost friend anyways?--------------------