Ray, what is the context of that verse? You cannot take a verse out and try to defend it out of context. Paul is talking about meat sacrificed to idols, it has nothing to do with choosing to eat or not eat meat in the context you are trying to place it.
Now, Paul does go on to give the Christian response to someone who eats
something that offends a brother and shakes their faith, as Frank so
beautifully alluded to in one of the last posts and the last is the verse
15 But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.
16 Let not then your good be evil spoken of:
17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
18 For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.
19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.
20 For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence.
21 It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended
1 Cor 8:13 Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.
Its not a weak faith that keeps me from eating meat, rather it is a strong faith that affirms and understands that God's original design was NO DEATH, His will is NO DEATH, NO SUFFERING and that we all should live in peace with all of His Creation, the animals and the planet.
Its about having the selfless, loving and compassionate nature of Christ, not the selfish, cruel nature of the carnal person whose appetite is his god, and we were all there, none of us were vegan from birth! And, as we know now thanks to science and the good arm of the medical community, that animal products destroy our bodies and rob our own health, so we violate the command to keep our bodies pure and that they are temples, not for us to destroy.
It was wonderful for my eyes to be opened to Brother Frank's words about the Levitical system, that it was NOT God's will for people to sacrifice, HE did not command it nor did He take pleasure in it because it was a system that was instituted to allow mankind to remove the sin that separated them from Him and instead of understanding it and appreciating it and caring that another had to suffer on their account, they disregarded the life of the animals and gratuitously sinned and took advantage of the way God made for them to reconcile themselves. Instead of living right and keeping themselves pure, they sinned and killed the animals with impunity. That is not what God intended at all, that is man's way of using religion to his advantage and THINKING that he is in God's will. Isn't that the same thing we do today? Sin with impunity and not care about the consequences or the price that was paid for that sin? That's our sinful nature.... NOT to be confused with the WILL of God. Does that make sense?
Here's the reality, again, as I have stated: IF we ever hope to have any influence upon the Christian community, we have got to stop twisting the Scriptures to prove what we want, we have got to reason with them with something that is an authority, and that is not going to be anyone's opinion or special interpretation of a piecemealed document, it is the WORD of GOD. If there is no final authority that we can all go to for the answers, then we should all forget about it and eat, drink and be merry...... Making US a god is not the way to lead others to understand they are not living according to God's will.... Who are we to decide which verses to believe and which to rip out? Are any of us that smart? We are making ourselves god when we do that! That is the trap of the deciever friend, be aware of it.