Twice in the seven letters to Asian congregations dictated by Yeshua in Revelation “eating food sacrificed to idols and (the) practice of sexual immorality” is mentioned as a bad thing. Yet Paul, we are told by the Church, tells us we can eat anything. They use Scripture, they think, to prove that anything goes.
1 Timothy 4:4–5 ESV. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.
Romans 14:20 ESV. Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for anyone to make another stumble by what he eats.
1 Corinthians 10:25 ESV. Eat whatever is sold in the meat market without raising any question on the ground of conscience.
Sometimes they’ll even use Scripture such as Genesis 9:3.
Genesis 9:3 ESV. Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything.
Romans 14 is a heavy favorite, where Paul is supposed to have said that everything is opinion. But while cherry-picking and yanking Scripture out of context might be made to support your bacon preference, it doesn’t properly convey what God requires if we look at the balance of the Word.
If we read 1 Corinthians 10 carefully, for instance, Paul is not saying eating food sacrificed to idols is okay. In fact, he specifically links food, idols and sexual immorality together. It seems that pagans routinely combined all of them together in wild bacchanalia or orgies. Paul is telling us here not to engage is such practices. When he speaks of eating food that might have been part of ceremonies such as those, he is limiting the food to what is sold in the market. Once the meat hit the marketplace, you couldn’t tell whence it came. So don’t sweat the source, unless you are told by someone that it had been part of pagan practices.
Jesus tells believers in Pergamum and Thyatira that they need to repent of false teachings coming from followers of Jezebel and Balaam, specifically eating food offered to idols and sexual immorality, so it seems there were ceremonies or parties involved. It seems there were leaders promoting activities that would make a Roman senator hide his face in shame. And as Paul really said:
1 Corinthians 10:6–10 ESV. Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did. Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.” We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents, nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer.
So “eating anything” is not okay with God. All food is not clean just because we might have an “opinion” that “not food” is acceptable table fare. Idolatry is following our own ideas of right and wrong instead of God’s. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
1 Corinthians 11:29–30 ESV. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.