Hello and welcome to this week’s Practical Living Blog. Today’s topic is food. So let’s dig into the Bible, shall we, and see what it says about what we serve for dinner (and breakfast and lunch too).
Note: I mean no offense to anyone, be they vegetarian, vegan, or omnivore. I understand that this topic is very sensitive one to people, and I will tread as carefully as I can. I try to use as accurate terms as I can, however there are many different dietary lifestyles that are bunched into vegetarian. For this blog, I will use the following definitions:
Omnivore: eats meat, fruit, and vegetables.
Vegetarian: eats fruits and vegetables. Might have honey and/or milk and/or eggs, as well.
Vegan: eats fruits and vegetables.
I will do my best to keep this Blog as Bible based and opinion free as possible.
No better place to start then the beginning. Before the Flood, man was a vegetarian. Genesis 9:3: “Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.” (Genesis 9:3, KJV). The only thing that was prohibited was blood (Genesis 9:4). Skip forward a couple hundred years and you get the Law of Moses. Among many topics, diet was addressed. This is the system known as kosher. Certain animals were allowed, others were not. Food that was allowed had to be prepared in a specific manner. Flip forward through most of the Bible, and you get to Acts 10. Peter is on the roof praying and he gets hungry. While some people prepare food according to the kosher rules, Peter falls into a trance. He sees a sheet descending from heaven with everything that is un-kosher. Pork, shrimp, crab, lobster, etc. God tells Peter to eat, Peter says I have never eaten something unclean, God says what I have made clean do not call unclean. (Paraphrase of Acts 10).
This shows that the Christian has the same freedom in food that Noah had. Meat is approved, vegetables are approved too! Paul addresses food again in 1 Corinthians 8. His point is everything is allowed, but to not cause a brother/sister to stumble by what we do or do not eat.
So if both are allowed, is one better than the other? Are vegetarians healthy than omnivores? What about vegans? This debate is as intense in medical circles as who is the best college football team at most universities. They don’t agree, and I don’t know either. In some ways, vegetarians and vegans are healthier (lower cholesterol, more fiber, etc.) while omnivores have their own advantages (higher bone density, more iron, etc.) So there’s no clear winner in the health category.
Some people are against meat for morale reasons. This is another major debate and one I might have in a future blog, if it is requested.
One final thing on the food topic I want to address; Food is good! Did you know that 2 of Christ’s most inexplicable miracles involved food? No, not the water into wine deal (though that was pretty cool too). I’m talking the feeding the 4,000 and 5,000. Jesus took a sack lunch (5 loaves and 2 fish) and feed 5,000 men, plus women and children [I asked my pastor once if he had heard any scholar’s estimate for total people, because the Bible only says “5,000 men, plus women and children.” He hadn’t heard any specific numbers, but he said 20,000 would have been easy (5,000 men, 5,000 women, and 10,000 children).] We’re not talking huge loaves of Italian bread here; we’re talking hamburger buns at best. And the fish were probably a couple inches in size. Sounds like a good lunch for a child or 2, but Christ multiplied that thousands upon thousands of times. And there were leftovers!!!! Far more than what they started with. I don’t know about you, but I usually don’t have more leftovers after a meal than ingredients when I started.
In conclusion, you as a Christian want to be an omnivore? Go for it! You want to be a vegetarian? Go for it! You want to be a vegan? Go for it!
I hope you enjoyed this week’s Practical Living Blog. Feel free to send me any requests for future Practical Living Blogs (Requester identity will remain confidential). God Bless and I hope to see you back next time.