Question:

Question

Answer:

Hello. I recently read your article and was very intrigued at your points of view. I would like for you to address two points for me:

First of all, the Lord's prayer says, "on earth as it is in heaven." The Garden of Eden was the perfect creation. There was no sin at all. And Adam and Eve were vegetarians as clarified in Gen. 1:29-30. Immediately, God calls this ideal and non-exploitive relationship "good" (Gen. 1:31). Shouldn't we try to live as closely to the way God intended for us to live as possible? Shouldn't we strive to have peace and mercy on other lives just as heaven will be like?

Second of all, have you investigated the treatment of animals in the meat industry today? In Biblical times, other sources of protein derived from eating animals were hard to find, but now days we have so many other sources from which we can get the nutrients we need without having to kill animals for it. Jesus' message is one of love and compassion, yet there is nothing loving or compassionate about factory farms and slaughterhouses, where billions of animals live miserable lives and die violent, bloody deaths. Jesus mandates kindness, mercy, compassion, and love for all God's creation. He would be appalled by the degree of suffering we inflict on animals to indulge our acquired taste for their flesh.

It is very offensive to me when you say that "the forbidding of eating certain foods is an indication of people departing from the Christian faith." Perhaps you need to pray and ask God to revel to you the sanctity of life and if supporting the cruel treatment of animals is really living "on earth as it is in heaven."


I am assuming you are referring to either the article "Animal Rights and the Bible" or "Did Jesus Eat Meat?". The later contains the statement that you found offensive. The statement to which you object is a commentary on Paul's warning in I Timothy 4:1-5 , "Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer." Since my summary is directly based on Scripture, you are stating that you are offended by the writings of the inspired apostle Paul. Paul taught the teachings of Jesus, but he warned us that some will find Jesus's teaching offensive. This is why Jesus is called the "rock of offense," such as in Romans 9:33.

Did you notice that Paul approved of the eating of meat? He stated that "every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving" in I Timothy 4:4. Received for what purpose? For eating, because there are those who will be "commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving" (I Timothy 4:3).

So how is it that you reached a conclusion that contradicts an apostle of Jesus Christ? Your first point is that mankind were vegetarians when they were first created and since God declared His creation "very good," then vegetarianism is the ideal state. The only problem is that we do not live in the garden of Eden in the state of perfection. Several major events occurred since that time. The first is that when God created the world, there was no death. Death entered the world when man sinned. It remains in the world because we continue to sin. "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned -- for until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come." (Romans 5:12-14). Mankind's fascination with sin eventually led to the destruction of the world by the flood. Here is the critical point that you choose to ignore: After the flood, God instituted a change."And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be on every beast of the earth, on every bird of the air, on all that move on the earth, and on all the fish of the sea. They are given into your hand. Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs. But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood." (Genesis 9:2-4). It was the Creator who instituted the change in mankind's diet. You are selecting only those passages which appear to support your predetermined position instead of seeking the whole council of God.

Your second point is to object to the eating of meat because it requires the killing of animals. You declare that times have changed. But herein you contradict yourself. Men were vegetarians for nearly 1,700 years prior to meat being added to their diet. Obviously, adequate protein sources existed and that is not the reason meat was added to man's diet. Since it was God who added meat to man's diet, in what form or fashion should this meat be processed for the consumption of men? You object to today's meat industry, but I would raise the point that it is not the meat industry that you object to but the killing of the animals. I don't believe there is a method of obtaining meat that you would find acceptable. Here again we find a selective view of the Scriptures. For about 1,500 years, men sacrificed animals on a daily basis at the command of God. Leviticus 1-7 gives details on how the animals were to be killed and offered up to God. From the description, these offerings were more bloody than today's meat processing plants.

Your third point is that Jesus would object to the eating of meat (crouched in safer wording that Jesus would object to how people kill animals for food today). Such is not the case. Jesus commanded the preparation of the Passover feast (Luke 22:7-8). The central part of that feast was the Passover lamb, which had to be eaten in its entirety during the feast. Preparing for the feast meant the slaughtering of the lamb as well as its roasting with bitter herbs. Jesus commanded that an animal be killed so that it may be eaten.

Paul stated, "But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ" (Galatians 1:11-12). It was Paul who gave this advice to Christians, "Eat whatever is sold in the meat market, asking no questions for conscience' sake; for 'the earth is the LORD'S, and all its fullness.'" (I Corinthians 10:25-26). You would do well to follow Paul's advice.


Related items on this website:

Can we love and care for animals?
Does Abel's sacrifice prove meat was eaten before the flood?
Evidence that meat is acceptable food offends a reader
What did Jesus eat while he was on earth?

March 15, 2005