The world likes conformity. If anyone sticks out, they are ridiculed and ostracized. This is especially true of when it comes to how we think. If we disagree with people, they are offended. As Christians, we told, “Do not conform to this world.” We are guided by God’s Holy Word. That means we will often be countercultural. Do not conform to make others happy. Strive to please God.
Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. I speak as to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. Consider the people of Israel: are not those who eat the sacrifices participants in the altar? What do I imply then? That food offered to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be participants with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. Shall we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he?
Feasts were a common thing in Greece culture. These feasts were held in temples and the food and drink sacrificed to the god of that temple. The struggle for the Christian was whether to attend these feasts or not. Many of these feasts were put on by the local labor unions. One week it would be the blacksmiths, the next week would be tentmakers. If you were part of one of these labor organizations you were required to go, or you didn’t get any work, and your family starved. For a Christian, it often came down to a choice of feeding your family or obeying God. Paul didn’t want the Christians participating in these demonic ceremonies. You can’t worship God and then offer a sacrifice to some pagan god. You can’t take the cup of communion and then drink of the cup of wine that was offered to a Greek god. He wanted them to be faithful to Jesus and trust the Lord for their provision.
While we don’t have as radical decisions like this today, we often are confronted with the choices of whether to serve God or conform to the world. Paul tells us in Romans 12 do not conform to the world but be a living sacrifice for Jesus. This takes a step of faith trusting that Jesus will take care of our essential needs. It is easier to take the comfortable route and not cause any waves, rather than stand for Christ.