Vegetarianism - The Highest Moral Ideal

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by MarciontheModerateBaptist, Jan 31, 2002.

  1. MarciontheModerateBaptist

    MarciontheModerateBaptist
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    As Christians, shouldn't we strive for the highest moral ideal in every area of life? What about the food we eat? In the perfectness of the beginning, God instituted a vegetarian diet for Adam. Only after sin entered the world did mankind begin to eat meat. God gave assent to this throughout the OT and parts of the New, but was this his original ideal? And what will the future Kingdom of God be like? The lion will lay down with the lamb. This seems to imply perfect peace throughout creation. I cannot imagine any slaughter houses in heaven, can you? If this is the perfect ideal of the future kingdom, and we as Christians embody the kingdom presently, why should we not also strive for peace and reconciliation throughout all creation, including the animal kingdom? Just food for thought...


    Daniel Payne

    [ January 31, 2002: Message edited by: paynedaniel ]
     
  2. Kathy

    Kathy
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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>1 Timothy 4:1-5
    Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Kathy
    &lt;&gt;&lt;

    P.S. There is MUCH more on this issue from Genesis to Hebrews and maybe even more.
     
  3. MarciontheModerateBaptist

    MarciontheModerateBaptist
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    Kathy,

    Thank you for setting me straight :rolleyes:

    If eating meat is God's perfect will, then why will his Kingdom be different?

    Daniel Payne
     
  4. Gina B

    Gina B
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    You are what you eat. So technically, animals are vegetables.
    *Glad we got that straight*
    Now seriously, if you wanna be a vegetarian go for it. But don't do it and base it on Biblical grounds, because you're throwing what God gave you and said is ok for you right back in his face.
    da Gina
     
  5. Gina B

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    I'm having a visual of Jesus up in heaven pausing to run out to the garden for a carrot because He's hungry. It's just not working for me Daniel.
    da Gina
     
  6. MarciontheModerateBaptist

    MarciontheModerateBaptist
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    Gina,

    I find it quite funny that you are not dealing with how God said his future kingdom will operate and how it operated in the beginning.

    Daniel
     
  7. Gina B

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    Not quite sure what their IS to deal with. Through sin death entered into the world.
    Death=separation from God? Or was it talking about killing an animal?
    I don't know. How do you know they didn't eat animals before that?
    Ok, maybe you do. So what? Point is, even if they didn't, here God said it's ok for us to eat meat. Ok, so we won't in the future kingdom. Until then, he's obviously said that animals are provided for our use, food being one of those uses.
    So until he changes it again, we're going with what HE said. There's no reason to improve on what He has said and say "well, I think I can do holier than that. It would be more becoming and more Christlike if I did things THIS way", when God has clearly said in the scriptures the way it is.
    IMHO
    Take the "h" to mean humble or heathen, your choice. ;)
    da Gina
     
  8. Helen

    Helen
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    Daniel, you really puzzle me. You seem to go flying off of a few verses without paying attention to the rest of the Bible.

    First of all, about vegetarianism in general: there must have been plants growing before the Flood which were not around after. Today we know that a number of combinations of plants, such as grains and legumes, will provide complete proteins, but in order to satisfy those animals -- today's carnivores -- which have very high requirements for high-grade proteins, there must have been plants which provided that before.

    In the absence of those plants, meat-eating becomes not just optional, but a necessity for many animals and (granted in smaller amounts than a steak dinner!) healthy for humans. To return to an antediluvian setup, we would need the antediluvian atmosphere and plants... These are not available to us at this point.

    Secondly, if you had been involved in the Bible study during January (and I strongly suggest getting involved!), then you would have been reading with us when God presented Peter, in Acts, with the vision of the sheet being lowered with all kinds of animals in which Peter was order to kill and eat. You will find the entire account in Acts 10.

    And, thirdly, to quote Jesus from Matthew 15:10-11: "Listen and understand. What goes into a man's mouth does not make him 'unclean,' but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him 'unclean.'"


    We live in the end times. Times in which mutations have so built up in the population of men that many need special diets and special care to stay healthy. If you are doing fine as a vegetarian, great. Others cannot do that. Please do not judge, but do what you are being led by the Holy Spirit to do, having care and concern for others rather than judging them.
     
  9. Ransom

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    Kathy said:

    Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats

    Actually, just to be precise, "meats" in King James English is a generic term for food. Look at Gen. 1:30, for example, where God tells Adam that "I have given every green herb for meat." What we call "meat" is called "flesh" in the KJV.

    That's beside the point, however. There is nothing Biblically wrong with eating animals. It's not that God merely "gave assent" to the eating of meat in the Bible - he actively commanded that it be eaten, especially in the observance of the Passover. And, of course, the Passover is a foreshadowing of the sacrifice of Christ on the cross.
     
  10. MarciontheModerateBaptist

    MarciontheModerateBaptist
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    Gina,

    I really do respect your opinion, but I think your argument is illogical. As Christians, we have the responsibility of living out the Kingdom of God within us. I hope you would agree with that. The Kingdom of God (perfect in the beginning and perfect in the future) should be perfect now. Through the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit, we have the power to resist sin and live according to God's kingdom. His kingdom is one where death does not reign and peace is the rule maong all creatures. There's no getting around this. You can live in sin if you want, but shouldn't we choose the high ground of the Kingdom?
    Also, the word translated "meat" in I Timothy is the Greek word broma, which means, "food" in the generic sense. It does not have to have the meaning of animal flesh. The passage can also be seen as confronting a Gnostic heresy, wherein all material things were evil and spiritual things were good.

    Daniel Payne
     
  11. Gina B

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    Then we simply see it two different ways. No, we should not live in sin, but God didn't lower down a sheet plastered with vegetables in the vision either and say "here's some more things to add to the list."
    Therefore it's not a sin. God said it was not a sin. God said it was given to us. I don't see a way around that.
    Also, listen to what Helen said. She knows what she's talking about.
    And on a personal note, I'm for the most part a vegetarian myself. I was pretty strict with it for a while, some factors changed that. It's not that difficult to get all the nutrients you need, but start bringing in medical factors and you have another whole story. Have you ever tried to raise a celiac child as a strict vegetarian and get all of their nutritional needs taken care of? That's just one teeny tiny insignificant drop in the beginning of the problems you raise when you start talking about a world in the now free of animal slaughter. Sure, it sounds good as a nice thought, peaches and cream, innocence and nothing bad, but until then there are certain things set up that just aren't meant to be changed and aren't wrong.
    Oh, doesn't it say there aren't male or female in the new Kingdom either?? :eek:
    da Gina
     
  12. Kathy

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by paynedaniel:
    Kathy,

    Thank you for setting me straight :rolleyes:

    If eating meat is God's perfect will, then why will his Kingdom be different?

    Daniel Payne
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Your sarcasm is duly noted and I'll be sure not to engage myself in any further discussions with you from now on, lest I lose my Christian testimony pleasing the flesh. :D

    Kathy
    &lt;&gt;&lt;
     
  13. Kathy

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Ransom:
    Kathy said:

    Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats

    Actually, just to be precise, "meats" in King James English is a generic term for food. Look at Gen. 1:30, for example, where God tells Adam that "I have given every green herb for meat." What we call "meat" is called "flesh" in the KJV.

    That's beside the point, however. There is nothing Biblically wrong with eating animals. It's not that God merely "gave assent" to the eating of meat in the Bible - he actively commanded that it be eaten, especially in the observance of the Passover. And, of course, the Passover is a foreshadowing of the sacrifice of Christ on the cross.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Hi Ransom! Thanks for pointing that out and I did consider that, but I saw it used interchangeably thru-out the Old and New Testament...If I am incorrect, please let me know, I never want to use the scriptures out of context. Thanks!

    Kathy
    &lt;&gt;&lt;
     
  14. MarciontheModerateBaptist

    MarciontheModerateBaptist
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    I am not going to prooftext my way to vegetarianism. I realize that Scripture teaches two distinctly different things on this issue. Prooftexting is always dangerous when dealing with peripheral issues.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> Oh, doesn't it say there aren't male or female in the new Kingdom either?? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    There aren't ;)

    Daniel Payne
     
  15. MarciontheModerateBaptist

    MarciontheModerateBaptist
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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> Secondly, if you had been involved in the Bible study during January (and I strongly suggest getting involved!), then you would have been reading with us when God presented Peter, in Acts, with the vision of the sheet being lowered with all kinds of animals in which Peter was order to kill and eat. You will find the entire account in Acts 10.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I think the sheet of animals represented that there was no longer any difference between Jew and Gentile - at least that's what Peter was dealing with.

    Daniel
     
  16. MarciontheModerateBaptist

    MarciontheModerateBaptist
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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> If you are doing fine as a vegetarian, great. Others cannot do that. Please do not judge, but do what you are being led by the Holy Spirit to do, having care and concern for others rather than judging them.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I am not judging anyone - I am simply trying to express a moral ideal I think is the best. I am truly sorry if you take offense at that.

    Daniel
     
  17. Mike McK

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    If God didn't want us to eat animals, He wouldn't made them out of meat.

    Mike

    People
    Eating
    Tasty
    Animals

    http://www.keylife.org
     
  18. Gina B

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by paynedaniel:


    I think the sheet of animals represented that there was no longer any difference between Jew and Gentile - at least that's what Peter was dealing with.

    Daniel
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Right, and look at how he chose to do that...by completing the dietary commandments, which included meat. They couldn't have eaten together and this would have been a major problem if the dietary laws would have had to have been kept. If they all would have been vegetarians it wouldn't have been a problem. :D
    da Gina
     
  19. Ransom

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    Gina said:

    Right, and look at how he chose to do that...by completing the dietary commandments, which included meat.

    I would tend to agree with the people who want to apply Peter's vision to permission to eat "unclean" foods. I grant you, God's choice of object lessons is interesting.

    But if the purpose is simply to defend the eating of meat as a Biblical practice, there are better proof-texts. See, for example, Rom. 14:2:

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>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. . . . Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. (Rom. 14:2-3,5)<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    And here's another:

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>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." (1 Cor. 10:24-25)<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    In both these cases, Paul is addressing questions of Christian liberty specifically having to do with the eating of meat, which may have been sacrificed to pagan gods.

    This would have presented the perfect opportunity to advocate vegetarianism. All Paul had to say in response to this controversy was, "Vegetarianism is the perfect ideal of the future kingdom, and we as Christians embody the kingdom presently, therefore you shouldn't eat meat. Instead, strive for the highest moral ideal in every area of life." That would have settled the matter.

    But he didn't. He said, "If it doesn't bother your conscience, or the conscience of those around you, then feel free."

    Any way you slice it, you can't make a case for exclusive vegetarianism from the Bible.
     
  20. DocCas

    DocCas
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    If God had wanted us to be vegetarian He would not have made animals out of meat!

    Besides, I am a PETA member. People Eating Tasty Animals! :D
     

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