5th Saturday after Easter

Psalm 79, Romans 15:1–13, 1 Corinthians 8:1–13, Galatians 2:11–15

Yesterday we talked about rules. Today we’re going to talk about rules.
One of the first rules of framily is to build up one another. We have all done this well. We have all done this horribly. Another rule is to live in harmony with each other. Yet another is to accept one another. These rules are incredibly important when we disagree (see Thursday’s, 23 May, devotional). Doing all of these well is hard, and it is well worth doing.

One thing that always ends up with some kind of tension is tradition and misunderstanding. When Paul discusses food offered to idols, his perspective is it’s fine, since they aren’t real idols anyways. The meat was sold at a discount since it was “used” at pagan temples to “feed” their gods. Paul was saying it was food. He was supporting the practice, except that there were new or struggling or misunderstanding members of the church who saw the buying and eating of this meat as participating in and agreeing with idol worship. Paul didn’t agree with them, yet still instructed the more mature believers to avoid the cheap food so that those struggling wouldn’t succumb to the old ways.

Paul is not shy in taking on fellow leaders, like Peter, who quickly yield to tribal (i.e., Jewish) pressure to not be contaminated by Gentiles. What makes this even more interesting in regards to tradition, it was Peter who led the charge against it. Even the leaders fall back into old habits.

1) What is the difference between traditions and rules?

2) How do they function differently in your life? How about your faith life?

3) How do we confuse rules and traditions with our faith?

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