Summary: Good behavior is in one sense like good manners - we practice it because we love others in the same way that God loved us.


The fifty-cent word: aidiaphoria

Why was meat controversial?

1. Knowledge P_uffs_____ up

a. Good Manners as a weapon

b. Pharisees & other Know-It-Alls

2. Love B_uilds____ up

a. Love doesn’t enable sin, it defeats it

b. If you love me, _you will keep my commandments_

3. Liberty risks k_nowledge_ for l_ove_____

a. God is all-knowing and all-loving

b. God risks in order that we can love

Title: Raising the Mis-steak

Text: 1 Cor 8:1 – 13

MP: Good morals are like Good morals: The purpose of good behavior is to lift one another up.


1. Intro: Wedding Etiquette / A New Category / Aidiaphoria

2. Knowledge Puffs Up

a. Think about what knowledge does – at its best, it sets you up to best help another. At its worst, its sets up you in a position to lord it over someone.

b. The “Know-it-all”

3. Love Builds Up

4. Christian Liberty makes us Put Up or Shut Up

a. God’s attributes – He is all-knowing and all-loving, but which comes to mind first?

b. It’s always a risk – but that he’s taking the risk shows how much he loves us

Sometimes, I just don’t get Emily Post and all those books of etiquette. They seem like list of rules and regulations for a society that I will never know. I think in some ways, people want to think that God is nothing more than a cosmic Miss Manners, sitting up in the sky, with nothing better to do than tell me which kind of fork to use.

The truth is that our God loves us. He gives us rules not so we can argue how to lay out a table, but rather so that we can live out our lives better – more comfortably, more adventurously than we thought we could. Our God may spend his time talking about a society that doesn’t sound like it really exists – but in some ways, it’s the one you’re really destined for.

Ten years ago, I got to visit one of those societies that Emily Post had been warning me about. I was the Best Man at Nick Yassukovich’s wedding. He was my best friend at Coopers & Lybrand, but I had no idea that his father was the president of all European business of this little company called Merrill Lynch. His grandfather had been a Russian aristocrat, and they had money.

So, when it came time for his little boy to get married, Nick’s dad put on a reception like you’ve never seen. It was held in Bristol, England. They had a seven course meal. And sitting down to the table, the silverware was laid out as if some sadistic home economics teacher was going to give the killer final you feared all your life.

When the fish course came out, I noticed the Maid of Honor take her butter knife to cut it up. I leaned over and very politely said, “I don’t mean to embarrass you, but I think that’s the butter knife.” She leaned back and said to me, “Actually, it is a fish knife. But you were being very gracious in how you handled that. Thank you.”

A fish knife. It was a whole new category of knife for me. I never realized that there was a society that needed a special kind of wimpy knife, just for cooked fish!

Well, in Paul’s day, he lived in a society that needed a whole new category too. Paul had taught his church in Corinth that they were children of God, and that they were completely forgiven. Everything and every sin that had ever kept them from God was gone. They were children of God, but sometimes they still needed rules to know how live that way. They needed knowledge, they needed love, and they needed the knowledge to love. But they also needed a whole new category to understand some kinds of sin.

I want to talk about that category this morning, and I want to teach you a fifty cent word to describe it. The word is aidaphoria. Aidaphoria is a complex word but it points to a simple concept. There are some things that aren’t good, but they aren’t really serious sin either. Picking your nose in public won’t get you put in jail, but I wouldn’t recommend it either.

There are some people who think that smoking tobacco will send you straight to hell. I guess they think that it’s nothing but practice  Well, again, outside of this pulpit, I’d be more than happy to tell you why you shouldn’t smoke, but I’d be hard pressed to say your salvation depends on it either.

It’s more like bad manners than anything else. A grown-up doesn’t do certain things, a civilized person knows how to restrain himself. And that’s a good concept for a child of God to get a handle on.

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