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Friday, July 18, 2003

Edifier du Jour-1 Corinthians 10:21-24
21 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. 22 Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? We are not stronger than He, are we? 23 All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify. 24 Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbor.
I'm more used to the NIV translation of verse 23-"'Everything is permissible'--but not everything is beneficial.' Everything is permissible'"--but not everything is constructive." It takes it out of the stiff business-law-text sound of the NASB. However, after a second look at the NASB version, which generally is more of a word-for-word translation than the NIV, I start to like it. There are lots of things you can do legally that aren't profitable. I'm just waking up after a four-hour International Business class last night, so I'll use an example from class. Back when Chevy had the Nova, legend had it that they had trouble marketing it south of the border, for "no va" means "it doesn't go" in Spanish. Was it lawful for Chevy to market the Nova that way? Yep. Was it profitable? As the story goes, not until they renamed it the Caribe for the Hispanic market. [Update, 8:45- A quick Google showed that the No va story is an urban legend, but one that made its way into business textbooks and my lecture last night; I'll have to e-mail the class the link.] There are a lot of things that are legal in this country. As of earlier this year, consensual sodomy's now legal nationwide. However, I'm not breaking down the doors to do so, for I know it's both immoral and unhealthy. On a less black-and-white issue, skydiving's legal. However, the expense and the risk of death make that hobby an unwise use of my time and resources, even though it might be fun once you got over any fear of heights. It's legal but not profitable. There are a lot of things that are legal that are wrong, and a few things that are good that are illegal (like taking a left turn on a red when the coast is totally clear). However, we're to refrain from doing those good-but-illegal things out of respect for authorities (unless they bump directly against the Gospel; my left-hand-turn doesn't quite qualify) and to refrain from doing those legal-but-unprofitable ones in respect for both God and ourselves.

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