The Biblical debate - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 04-30-2007, 07:38 AM
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So I have noticed a lot of omnis go the Biblical route when trying to debate veg*nism. Then there are veg*ns who say "Jesus was a veg*n. (which is simply not true, he ate fish and lamb and fed the crowds fish as well)



I simply try and avoid that whole biblical debate anyway. But I am not a vegetarian because eating meat in itself is bad or ungodly or anything. I don't feel that is true. I don't eat meat because of today's practices. God never intended for these things to go on the way they do and I cannot support that. (and I can't find the logic in thinking it's not cool to eat my dog but ok to eat a cow. Makes no sense. I think I felt this way because I was brought up that way and society says that's ok)



But, for those verses in Genesis which to state that humans are vegetarians, I agree, we were. Until Noah. Genesis 9:3 "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything." It goes on to say that we cannot eat meat with it's lifeblood still in it and that He demands accounting for it.



But forcing your beliefs on others is wrong as well. Romans 14:2-3 "One man's faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him."



1 Corinthians 10:31 declares, "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." And I know it also says to give thanks for all he has provided. As long as this is done eating meat in acceptable in God's eyes according to the Bible.



Just thought I would put this up and share a I know many use Genesis 1:29 as reference to vegetarianism and Christianity. But if you come across someone who knows they Bible well, that argument will not stand up strongly against the many other later scriptures stating the consumption of meat is "=okay and "clean"
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#2 Old 04-30-2007, 10:45 AM
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Omni's going the biblical route when defending animal cruelty is such a pet peeve of mine. Honestly, I believe if Jesus were to walk the earth today, he would be disgusted by what goes on in factory farms and the greed associated with it, that he would want nothing to do with their meat/ dairy and eggs. God cares for all his creatures, and they have souls too. My comfort is knowing that at least when these animals are killed, they go to Heaven. I did a rescue of a fawn almost a year ago, (the fawn died )and the experience has convinced me that animals do have a connection to God and know who he is. The bible says that everything that has breath praises the Lord. I believe as all these animals are suffering and being tortured in this fallen world, have the comfort of knowing they will go to Heaven.



I see some people twisting scripture alot, and adding to it, to try to justify their neglect of their pets, etc.
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#3 Old 04-30-2007, 11:23 AM
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I agree that Genesis 1:29 doesn't stand up as an argument for why everyone should be vegetarian, but it does kill the anti-veg arguments from people who say "But the Bible tells us to eat meat". The Bible pretty clearly does not take sides on whether or not humans should eat animals. The passages you quoted are good examples of that.



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#4 Old 04-30-2007, 11:36 AM
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I do agree that in todays world God is ashamed of the practices of the meat industry. My reasoning for this was about putting out more correct information. It comes strait from scripture, not just in the one version I used to quote. And I too believe that God does not command us either way and cannot stand that argument. I just don't like ill informed debates and here this one quite a lot.
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#5 Old 04-30-2007, 02:09 PM
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in no way is this the limit of Christian/Vegan theology, but:

------------------



1) Do you agree that the Garden of Eden was the original intention God had for mankind?

(biblical yes)

2) Do you agree that we will return to this perfect state once again after the return of Christ?

(biblical yes)



3) Would you agree that as children of God, reconciled from the curses of sin, we should strive to become more Christ-like?

(biblical yes)



4)Would you believe this means to be reconciled to God's original intention and perfect state for creation as much as we are able to?



if yes: The garden of eden had no death, do you agree?

(biblical yes)

Then you agree that by striving to be reconciled, we should strive for the original diet as well, therefore, go vegan?
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#6 Old 07-16-2008, 04:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by troub View Post

in no way is this the limit of Christian/Vegan theology, but:

------------------



1) Do you agree that the Garden of Eden was the original intention God had for mankind?

(biblical yes)

2) Do you agree that we will return to this perfect state once again after the return of Christ?

(biblical yes)



3) Would you agree that as children of God, reconciled from the curses of sin, we should strive to become more Christ-like?

(biblical yes)



4)Would you believe this means to be reconciled to God's original intention and perfect state for creation as much as we are able to?



if yes: The garden of eden had no death, do you agree?

(biblical yes)

Then you agree that by striving to be reconciled, we should strive for the original diet as well, therefore, go vegan?



I was in search mode for another topic and came across this. I was going to say just what you said here Troub. The biblical ideal is a vegan diet.
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#7 Old 07-16-2008, 04:38 PM
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What makes me laugh is that the ones in my case who trot out the bible argument are people who aren't even followers of the word anyway. The people I know like this don't even attend church on Easter or Christmas. this kind of fizzles out their argument IMO
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#8 Old 07-16-2008, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by sailorwife5704 View Post

So I have noticed a lot of omnis go the Biblical route when trying to debate veg*nism. Then there are veg*ns who say "Jesus was a veg*n. (which is simply not true, he ate fish and lamb and fed the crowds fish as well)



Jesus was also compliant with slavery. He healed the centurians slave w/o demanding the slave's freedom. No where in the bible is slavery, in all its way, outrightly condemned. And yet every Christian today is opposed to slavery. God lives (lived) among us as we are urging us on to perfection (that we may be one with God).





Quote:
But, for those verses in Genesis which to state that humans are vegetarians, I agree, we were. Until Noah. Genesis 9:3 "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything." It goes on to say that we cannot eat meat with it's lifeblood still in it and that He demands accounting for it.



If you read Genesis 9 you'll see the marked departure from the original peacefulness, created by God, in the Garden of Eden. But the eating of animals was not the only departure from the idyllic setting: slavery, divorce, war etc were also apparently approved by God. But that was only because of our hardness of heart. We are to strive, as Troub points out, for perfection.



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But forcing your beliefs on others is wrong as well. Romans 14:2-3 "One man's faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him."



This has nothing to do with encouraging the perfect state that God created. This has to do with whether one should eat food that has been offered to idols or not. You're quoting out of context.



Quote:
1 Corinthians 10:31 declares, "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." And I know it also says to give thanks for all he has provided. As long as this is done eating meat in acceptable in God's eyes according to the Bible.



Right. Again, we must look at what the biblical ideal is and not take a quote out of the bible to make a point. We could say that we will enslave people for the glory of God. Would that make it acceptable then? No.



Quote:
Just thought I would put this up and share a I know many use Genesis 1:29 as reference to vegetarianism and Christianity. But if you come across someone who knows they Bible well, that argument will not stand up strongly against the many other later scriptures stating the consumption of meat is "=okay and "clean"



The Garden of Eden diet is backed up by the prophecy of Isaiah:



The wolf will live with the lamb,

the leopard will lie down with the goat,

the calf and the lion and the yearling together;

and a little child will lead them.



The cow will feed with the bear,

their young will lie down together,

and the lion will eat straw like the ox.



The infant will play near the hole of the cobra,

and the young child put his hand into the viper's nest.



They will neither harm nor destroy

on all my holy mountain,

for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD

as the waters cover the sea.




This is a running theme through the bible. As Christians we can try to live up to that as much as possible or we can try to justify violence by looking to passages in the bible. I prefer the former.
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#9 Old 07-16-2008, 04:55 PM
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Our being vegetarians up until the time of Noah is improbable. The story of Cain and Abel seems to refute us being vegetarians back then. It's more probable that we were vegetarians until we were kicked out of the Garden of Eden.
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#10 Old 07-16-2008, 05:12 PM
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Our being vegetarians up until the time of Noah is improbable. The story of Cain and Abel seems to refute us being vegetarians back then. It's more probable that we were vegetarians until we were kicked out of the Garden of Eden.



I agree. The marked departure happened when Adam and Eve disobeyed God. But it is clearly laid out in Genesis 9:



Quote:
Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth. The fear and dread of you will fall upon all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air, upon every creature that moves along the ground, and upon all the fish of the sea; they are given into your hands. Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.

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#11 Old 07-16-2008, 05:16 PM
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15 month old bump wowsa. I would have worded that differently now. Interesting how much a year changes.
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#12 Old 07-16-2008, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by troub View Post

15 month old bump wowsa. I would have worded that differently now. Interesting how much a year changes.



Sorry. I misread the date and thought it was just a few months old. Would be interested to hear how you'd word it now.
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#13 Old 07-17-2008, 02:26 PM
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I think another important question you have to ask is was it possible for people to be vegetarian in biblical times? I'm not sure it was, so why promote something that isn't possible/practical?
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#14 Old 07-17-2008, 02:32 PM
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I think another important question you have to ask is was it possible for people to be vegetarian in biblical times? I'm not sure it was, so why promote something that isn't possible/practical?



I'm no historian but it seems to me that I've read of groups of people who were vegetarian back then.



In fact some early Christians such are noted to be vegetarian.



Quote:
Not a few Christian scholars have concluded vegetarianism to be the more consistent ethic with respect to the spirit of Christ's teachings. For example, we have the Ebionites, Athanasius, and Arius. Of the early church fathers we have Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Tertullian, Heronymus, Boniface, St. Jerome, and John Chrysostom. Clement wrote, "It is far better to be happy than to have your bodies act as graveyards for animals. Accordingly, the apostle Matthew partook of seeds, nuts and vegetables, without flesh". One of the earliest Christian documents is the `Clementine Homiles', a second-century work purportedly based on the teachings of St. Peter. Homily XII states, "The unnatural eating of flesh meats is as polluting as the heathen worship of devils, with its sacrifices and its impure feasts, through participation in it a man becomes a fellow eater with devils". Many of the monasteries both in ancient times to the present practiced vegetarianism. For instance, Basilius the Great's order, Boniface's order, Trappists monks, etc. Also, we have the examples provided by the stories around some saints like Hubertus, Aegidius and Francis of Assisi.



http://www.ivu.org/history/christian/christ_veg.html



St. Francis was not vegetarian (unless possibly near the end of his life when he was in near-seclusion). The link provided here argues that Jesus may not have eaten meat but I think that argument is weak.
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#15 Old 07-17-2008, 04:49 PM
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Yeah, as far as big names go, the following are some favorites: The apostles Matthew and James in the first century. The big three church fathers: St. Basil, St. John, St. Gregory in the 4th. St. Isaac of Syria in the 7th.
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#16 Old 07-19-2008, 09:15 AM
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The Christian Vegetarian Association has a pretty good list of arguments for Christians to be vegetarian. I consider the big one on that page is Genesis 1:26:



Quote:
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.



The point here being the word dominion. Christian vegetarians have asserted that the original meaning of the word is more in line with 'stewardship' than 'supremacy'. I think we can agree that mass killing of animals isn't very representative of good stewardship. Another way to put it is this post I found on another board discussing the issue:



Quote:
If I ask you to babysit my little sister, I may say you have dominion over her for the evening. I don't expect you to kill her and eat her.



"Dominion over all the earth" also implies that we should take care of the environment as well.
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#17 Old 07-23-2008, 12:22 AM
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Ah yes, a pet peeve of mine is how often omnis love to bring up the notion that dominion over animals means we can do whatever we damn well please with them. I usually follow it up with a similar line to the one above. "You have dominion over your children. Do you eat them?"
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#18 Old 07-23-2008, 07:42 AM
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Originally Posted by sailorwife5704 View Post

So I have noticed a lot of omnis go the Biblical route when trying to debate veg*nism. Then there are veg*ns who say "Jesus was a veg*n. (which is simply not true, he ate fish and lamb and fed the crowds fish as well)



I simply try and avoid that whole biblical debate anyway. But I am not a vegetarian because eating meat in itself is bad or ungodly or anything. I don't feel that is true. I don't eat meat because of today's practices. God never intended for these things to go on the way they do and I cannot support that. (and I can't find the logic in thinking it's not cool to eat my dog but ok to eat a cow. Makes no sense. I think I felt this way because I was brought up that way and society says that's ok)



But, for those verses in Genesis which to state that humans are vegetarians, I agree, we were. Until Noah. Genesis 9:3 "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything." It goes on to say that we cannot eat meat with it's lifeblood still in it and that He demands accounting for it.



But forcing your beliefs on others is wrong as well. Romans 14:2-3 "One man's faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him."



1 Corinthians 10:31 declares, "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." And I know it also says to give thanks for all he has provided. As long as this is done eating meat in acceptable in God's eyes according to the Bible.



Just thought I would put this up and share a I know many use Genesis 1:29 as reference to vegetarianism and Christianity. But if you come across someone who knows they Bible well, that argument will not stand up strongly against the many other later scriptures stating the consumption of meat is "=okay and "clean"



Some of your points: Jesus ate fish and lamb.



Yes, Jesus miraculously fed 5000 people from the five loaves of bread and two fish that a boy had with him. Does that one act of a miracle mean he should be branded an omnivore? He did not go out and KILL any new fish...he miraculously reproduced the existing two fish that were already there. Hey, if God miraculously reproduced meat for me and told me it was OK to eat that, I might nibble on a few bites of it. That might be the ONLY scenario, outside of a huge natural disaster where our resources are extremely limited, when I'd concede to eat meat.



You also have to put this in context: This was in the middle of a wilderness. This miracle didn't happen in a city in the middle of a farmer's market. These masses of people came to hear Jesus teach and I doubt were as well fed as many of us associate being well fed. The text of the Bible says Jesus had compassion on them. That pretty much teaches me that if it comes down to His people or a couple fish, it's sorry fish. And in an extreme circumstance. It does not give liberty to us to go down to the local grocery store and stock up on meat like a glutton.



Some further points:



It is believed that Jesus belonged to the Essenes, which I have not looked into myself and it could be as a dubious claim as others about His life and the non Biblical texts. But the Essenes abhorred animal sacrifices and were practicing vegetarians. (I personally do not hold this view...Jesus would not have belonged to a group that shunned the Law of Moses.)



The view includes that Jesus drove out the money changers from the Temple. The "den of thieves" were selling animals for sacrifices. But I don't believe He was protesting the animals being sold, but profit being made off of God's ordinance.



There is no mention of Jesus eating lamb, poultry, or beef casually for regular meals-not even during the last supper.



Yes, Jesus did follow the law of Moses, and that would have included the Passover, which includes the ANNUAL eating of meat (and these texts that the Bible commands us to eat meat are so taken out of context to justify overeating of meat today. Yes, God told Noah that now these animals are given to us to eat, but when you look in the books of law on HOW they should be eaten, it's only during times of ANNUAL sacrifice, and the ways to prepare the animal are VERY SPECIFIC. This is a FAR FAR FAR cry from the eating meat three times a day most gluttons in the world practice!!!!) so one might argue that Jesus ate meat then. Even then it was annually, and you can count on it that He did it with great reverence and respect. Again, this is a vast contrast to how so-called Christians claim they should be allowed to eat meat and belly up to the buffet after Church every week and eat meat all the week long.



You have to also bear in mind that Jesus also came to SHED HIS OWN BLOOD to put a STOP to the animal sacrifices.



Have you shed any of your own blood to put an end to people eating meat lately?



Yes, you can argue based on Biblical texts that Jesus seemed to allow the practice of fishing and eating of meat because He Himself did not condemn fishermen, but used their profession to teach them lessons. He told Peter to STOP being a fisherman later in the texts. He did eat the passover feast, but STOPPED the need for the Passover by giving His own life (and Jesus' sacrifice is now remembered with the communion: bread to represent His body, wine to represent His blood. No meat!) Perhaps you could argue from the texts that Jesus was a flexetarian, but you'd have to work awfully hard to prove to me that Jesus was a barbeque eating omnivore who feasted on meat three times a day who went to the Sizzler and ate meat any chance He got. He did eat meat as allowed by the Law of Moses, but Jesus came to fulfill that Law. We are not required to do those things anymore.



While we are not strictly commanded to NOT eat meat in the New Testament, and I do believe that the New Testament actually frowns on making it a religious ordianance to refrain from eating meat (I Timothy 4:1-5) I don't believe God frowns on the abstaining from meat on a personal level. Just don't be preaching it from the pulpit as if it is a do or die doctrine. It is not. That said, I honestly believe that the New Earth/Paradise/whatever God has next for us is going to be a purely vegetarian life. And I really do believe God would be completely against the modern practices of factory farming and would abstain from those things if He were walking the Earth today as Jesus Christ. (And I could probably go into that further...God really seems to HATE the abuse of animals, so much so that He allowed an angel to talk through Balaam's ass when Balaam cruelly beat the poor animal. It is evident to me that God opposes the abuse and exploitation of animals!)



And another point: when God had to feed the Jews in the wilderness after Moses liberated them from Egypt, He did not choose to send doves to die and fall from the sky. He did not choose to send them any animals at all to eat. God gave them manna every day to eat, and you can bet that was a vegan meal. A delicious vegan meal!)

"I used to hate dogs 'til I saw one kill a kid." W.C. Fields
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#19 Old 07-23-2008, 08:12 AM
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I originally posted this in a completely unrelated thread, so I apologize for the double post. I can delete the original posting if it's an issue....



Dominion is a word I've been contemplating lately. It's a word used in the Bible to describe how God intended man's relationship to nature to be: to have dominion over them. People use that to excuse all sorts of atrocities to animals, and I can't help thinking how wrong that is.



Dominion comes from domain, obviously. My home is my domain, therefore I have dominion over my home. How foolish would it be to sit here and destroy my home? To exploit it and to just ruin it to the point it was uninhabitable? I have dominion over my home, but that doesn't mean I should do all sorts of atrocious things to my home and treat it like crap. I could, but I would be an idiot if I did.



So perhaps when God declared we have dominion over the animal kingdom and nature, he meant to take care of them as we would our own homes and those within it. Actually, that is absolutely, without a doubt, what I believe.



I realize people think dominion is equal to domination, and equates the word domination to an overpower, suppressing government or military force. But if you followed dominion theology, that simply is a belief that people should be governed exclusively by the law of God. It came to mean something else by the perversions of man, and the abuse of the control and power people have over animals and nature.



And because of that, I have a huge distrust of "Christians" who use the Word of God to justify their abuse of animals and disregard for life. They are no better than the pharisees and hypocrites that Jesus derailed during his Earthly ministry, and I question their overall teachings because of that.

"I used to hate dogs 'til I saw one kill a kid." W.C. Fields
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#20 Old 11-02-2008, 07:59 PM
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Thank you for this! My wife and I are both Vegan and this is the best stated Christian viewpoint I've seen. Our Pastor was in 1 Cor this morning telling a story of how it would be improper to have the egg toss contest at the annual picnic if there was someone there who needed the food. Aaaargh, egg toss. The absolute waste for "fun" of the eggs the chickens have been tortured and killed for. So I was hunting around for Christian Vegan support. Thanks Again :-)
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