Question:

I read your article about contradictions in the Bible, and I agree most are silly ones and, unfortunately, usually malicious.  However, I feel I have something rather genuine to present to you.  (Yes, I am a vegan. This will clarify a few things about my perspective.)

At the beginning of Genesis God said people can eat only plants. Later on, in Genesis 6 or 9, God allows eating all food. In Deuteronomy chapter 3, if I recall correctly, after the part about one king beating his donkey then making prophecies to the other king that asked him to curse Israel, it states that God is not like human. He does not change his mind (with which I agree).

I feel that this is a significant contradiction. What do you think?


Answer:

I think you're working awful hard to find a way to condemn people who don't believe as you do in regards to the eating of meat. Since you found it clear that Bible does permit the eating of meat, you are seeking a way to weaken the Bible's authority in your life so you feel justified in ignoring it.

There is nothing wrong with choosing to eat only vegetables. "For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables. Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him" (Romans 14:2-3). But it is wrong to insist that others follow your lifestyle choice and condemn those who do not because the Bible is clear that both the eating of meat and the eating of only vegetables are both acceptable choices to God.

You were referring to the story of Balaam, who was not a king, only a prophet. When King Balak asked Balaam to curse Israel, Balaam responded, "God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? Behold, I have received a command to bless; He has blessed, and I cannot reverse it" (Numbers 23:19-20). Balaam is saying that God cannot be bribed or manipulated like a man to force Him to change His mind, which is what Balak desired to do. But this does not imply that God, in His dealings with the free-will of men, does not change how he deals with them. For example, in response to the evil of men in the days of Noah, "Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart" (Genesis 6:5-6). God had not changed -- man did -- and in response to man's change, God changed how He dealt with men.

Nor are the changes God makes from time to time in the laws given to man an indication that God changed. God made the world and gave vegetables as food to both man and animal. "And God said, "See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food"; and it was so" (Genesis 1:29-30). The flooding of the world changed things. Man was then given animals as a food source along with vegetables. "Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs" (Genesis 9:3). It is likely that at this time, some animals became meat eaters as well. More changed than just the world being flooded. Something fundamental changed in the way the world operated. We know this because prior to the flood, animals did not have a fear of man. "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" (Genesis 9:2). God had changed the instinctive behavior of animals after the flood.

However, these changes in laws were something God had planned. For example, God's aim was to bring salvation to all of mankind, "And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written: 'After this I will return And will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down; I will rebuild its ruins, And I will set it up; So that the rest of mankind may seek the LORD, Even all the Gentiles who are called by My name, Says the LORD who does all these things.' Known to God from eternity are all His works" (Acts 15:16-18). As God advanced His plan through the ages, chances occurred in the laws given to man. These changes were not because God suddenly changed His mind about some feature of His law. These were changes necessary to reach the goal He had mapped out.