Welcome to God Eats Red Meat

 

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Wow! This is really exciting, I just love talking about delicious food! To begin with, we will use the King James version of the Bible so the language may seem weird, but you'll get to the meat of the matter in no time. . . .     Ok, we should start this off with a few animal rights quotes, just to set the stage. . . 

Additionally, this is not to intended to upset nor is it directed at anyone if they choose to be a vegetarian because they really love vegetables. Heck, I love vegetables and I think everyone I know does - with the exception of my neice. But if you fall into the category of being a vegetarian because the killing of the animals is repulsive to you, then this page should help you understand the Christian viewpoint as expressed by the Creator [your Boss] of this world.

 

Meat eating is "primitive, barbaric, and arrogant." Ingrid Newkirk, PeTA (City Paper, 1985)

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"Meat is Murder." Animal Liberation Front

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"We even oppose the use of honey, because bees die in the process of gathering it." Carol Burnett, PeTA (Marin Independent Journal, June 25, 1989)

 

So here we are . . . God has created the Garden of Eden and, poof, man and woman are alive and need something to eat. God has created this world in such a way that everything living needs to eat.

Now meat seems to be quite an extensive term to the translators, but there is no doubt that initially, God meant mankind to eat anything BUT animal flesh.

Gen 1:29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

. . . and to add to this, we have

Gen 1:30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.

So here we are where God has created man and woman and set before them their limitations [of course, we know they flunked the fruit in the tree thing. . .] but they did seem to adhere to the eating only of non-meat items.

Then comes the fall, but we know that story so we'll skip up to Noah and the Ark after the flood waters receded to find Noah thanking God . . . and what does God tell Noah?  OK you extremists, this is God talking, not PeTA, HSUS or Paul McCartney, but God. . . get the picture? And God said:

Gen 9:3 Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.

Well, is there any question about the word EVERY? God COMMANDS[says shallnot may] every moving thing become food. Now, He did not mean fields of wheat blowing in the wind [ ! ], He meant animals that have the ability to move shall become food. And God reminds Noah that He has already given us the green herbs [and seeds -- must mean broccoli or summer squash?] and now He gives us everything else.

Additionally, it should be noted that God did list some restrictions on what you meat you could eat.  For those of you who are still not convinced, doesn't a prohibition of some types of meat mean you can and are expected to eat others?

OK, we now fast forward to Isaac [Son of Abraham - who just died] and Isaac is coming to the end of his days.  It is time to pass the blessing on to the first born of his two sons and he tells the first born, Esau, to go out and get some

Gen 27:4 And make me savoury meat, such as I love, and bring it to me, that I may eat; that my soul may bless thee before I die.KJV, and for clarity

Gen 27:4 and prepare for me savory food, such as I love, and bring it to me that I may eat; that I may bless you before I die. Revised Standard Version

Well, we all know that Jacob used some fur, strapped onto his arms, to fool blind Isaac and received his father's blessing. But the point is not missed - Isaac loved savory venison!  God's chosen line is behaving as God had intended.  This really is an interesting story.  At the urging of Jacob's mother, Rebekah, Jacob proceeded to go to the flock and kill an animal for his mother to prepare - here are a few passages. This is Rebekah talking:

Gen 27:9 Go now to the flock, and fetch me from thence two good kids of the goats; and I will make them savoury meat for thy father, such as he loveth: Gen 27:14 And he went, and fetched, and brought them to his mother: and his mother made savoury meat, such as his father loved. Gen 27:17 And she gave the savoury meat and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob.

Well, this may have whet your appetite and you want to see how the story ends, and I would love to explore that, but we have a different mission here [but please read your Bible to explore this interesting story].

Now, while the Israelites are enslaved in Egypt, we know they ate meat as verified by this passage in Exodus 16:3 ....There we sat around post of meat and ate all the food.

Now, while wanderiing around the desert in Exodus 16:11-13 The Lord said to Moses, "I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites.  Tell them, 'At twilight you will eat meat, and in the morning you will be filled with bread.  Then you will know that I am the Lord your God.

So, by this point, we know God has created this world for his people to rule over and has given them all things to eat, meat, fruits and vegetables. As we have seen with Isaac and his description of how he thinks about meat, God soon follows with his idea of what cooking meat smells like.

Also, our ability to farm animals is noted in Exodus 17:3 "...."Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to make us and our children and livestock die of thirst?"  Well, here we have it.  We now have livestock.  Livestock means food.  God oversaw and insured that his people had food.  They ate manna for forty years, but God saw that they still had livestock after forty years because receiving manna would now cease.  Wow, that is a statement!

Well to do this, let us jump to Leviticus -- here God indicates to us how he views the smell of meat that was sacrificed by his command.

Lev 23:18 And ye shall offer with the bread seven lambs without blemish of the first year, and one young bullock, and two rams: they shall be for a burnt offering unto the LORD, with their meat offering, and their drink offerings, even an offering made by fire, of sweet savour unto the LORD.

Well, we now have the Creator of the entire universe [not to mention you and I] telling us we can eat living, moving things and commanding the Hebrews [our spiritual ancestors] to sacrifice animals as an offering to himself. Can you understand anything less than this? If God commands, who dares says He is wrong?    This bears repeating,  WHO dare says He is wrong?  I believe, as Christians, we know the influences that cause people to act in a way that is contrary to God!

It probably bears saying that God does not waste the Passover lamb, but commands the Israelites to EAT the lamb.

Exodus 12:4-114 and if the household is too small for a lamb, then a man and his neighbor next to his house shall take according to the number of persons; according to what each can eat you shall make your count for the lamb. 5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male a year old; you shall take it from the sheep or from the goats; 6 and you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, when the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill their lambs in the evening. 7 Then they shall take some of the blood, and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat them. 8 They shall eat the flesh that night, roasted; with unleavened bread and bitter herbs they shall eat it. 9 Do not eat any of it raw or boiled with water, but roasted, its head with its legs and its inner parts. 10 And you shall let none of it remain until the morning, anything that remains until the morning you shall burn. 11 In this manner you shall eat it: your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it in haste. It is the LORD's passover.

Well, that is quite startling, God commands that his people eat meat!  So let us move on to the scene were Israel is wandering the dessert after leaving the Egyptians to drown in the sea.  They are hungry.  They plead to God for meat.  Psalms tells us: 

Psalms 105:40 They asked for meat, and he sent them quail; he gave them manna – bread from heaven.

Wow!  Again an example where God provided meat for his people.

God did give some restrictions about eating meat.  Please see Exodus 22:31 You are to be my holy people.  So do not eat the meat of an animal torn by wild beasts, throw it to the dogs.  Gee, do we see pets mentioned again?

OK, so that is all Old Testament you say, what has Jesus to do with eating meat?  I ask that question all the while remembering that Jesus participated in Passover! 

Some would say [PeTA, for one] that Jesus was a vegetarian!    Although, they have no direct passage to indicate any such behavior, no one can say for certain what he was, but we can look to scripture to help us determine for ourselves.

Although extremists would argue that the Last Supper did not mention lamb.  OK, if the entire argument rested on whether the Last Supper was a Jewish Passover seder, there would be no question that lamb was served. Let's just, for a moment forget the Last Supper.   Look at Jesus.  He was 33.  Do you think this was the first Passover he ever celebrated?  Get serious!

We know that Jesus provided fish [for eating] to the disciples. Any vegetarian would be against the harvest of meat in any form. Well, here we have in:

Luke 5: 1-8 1 One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, with the people crowding around him and listening to the word of God, 2 he saw at the water's edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. 3 He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat. 4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, 'Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch." 5 Simon answered, "Master, we've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets." 6 When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. 7 So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink. 8 When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus' knees and said, "Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!"

Jesus demonstrated in one fell swoop that catching fish is God blessed [remember that Jesus is God?]! This certainly impressed Simon and he later leaves to become a disciple while the other fishermen take heart and most probably took some time off because of the large profit achieved from that catch!

Here is one of my favorites. The famous Parable of the Lost Son found in

Luke 15:11 And he [Jesus] said, "A certain man had two sons: 12 And the younger of them said to [his] father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth [to me]. And he divided unto them [his] living. 13 And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. 14 And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. 15 And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16 And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. 17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, 19 And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. 20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. 21 And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. 22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put [it] on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on [his] feet: 23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill [it]; and let us eat, and be merry: 24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry."

It is inconceivable that the Lord of this creation would use in his examples of how we are to behave anything that was incompatible with how we are to act. Here we have Jesus telling us dining on the fatted calf is more than OK, it should be part of a celebration!

Let us celebrate life and food and continue to remember to give thanks to our Lord who made the order in which we live our lives possible.    Jesus enjoyed eating lamb at Passover.  It was after Passover that Jesus instructed his disciples on the Sacrament of the Last Supper.

Other references [for those who wish to explore]:

Deuteronomy 14: 3-21

Now hold on to your britches all you vegetarians - God says here you may eat ox...sheep...goat...deer...gazelle...roe deer...any animal that has a split hoof and that chews the cud [camel, pig, rabbit and coney excepted] . . .keep reading this for Old Testament do's and don'ts.

And to top that, in Acts 10

10 And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance, 11 And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth: 12 Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. 13 And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat. 14 But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean. 15 And the voice [spake] unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, [that] call not thou common.

The newer translations say what was let down was a large

God now tells Peter that the prohibitions which were described in Deuteronomy are now null and void. If you read on, you understand that this vision was to show Peter, who as a Jew would consider any association with a Gentile "unclean," now understands that the ban on those associations, because of Jesus, no longer hold true.

Likewise, the eating of "unclean" animals no longer holds any prohibition.  Although you might question whether the ban on the eating of the unclean animals was really OK'd by God because Peter relates the vision to people.   It must be understood that God did mean to include eating animals by the example He used.   If God were to only speak to the Jews' relationship to Gentiles, there were many ways of singling out that relationship using human examples [Matt 5:21 ..murder.., 5:43 ..love your enemy.., 7:3 ..speck in your brother's eye. . .plank in your own..just to name a few].  The obvious inclusion of animals in this vision by God meant for this to be an all encompassing message.

So the final question: Meat? - Bon appetite!

 Additional reading:

Honey see Judges 14