Question:

Although I agree with much of what was written in "Was Jesus a Vegetarian?," I have a problem with the last statement: "...the forbidding of eating certain foods is an indication of people departing from the Christian faith." Although this indeed could be true, you make it sound as if being a vegetarian is a sign of not being a true believer, and that is ludicrous. I found it strange that in an article dealing with faith and diet, Romans chapter 14 is missing!

Notice how the author of Romans never indicates which one (meat-eater or vegetarian) is "weak in faith." I could easily turn your whole article around and say you (the meat-eater) are "departing from the Christian faith," but I would never do that. God does not care whether or not you are a vegetarian, and more than that, he does not care whether or not you think it is right or wrong! If eating meat is wrong for me, than it is wrong: period. If abstaining from meat is wrong for me, than it is wrong: period.

The article is good at squashing the silly and meaningless arguments about whether or not Jesus was a vegetarian on earth (i.e. it doesn't matter one way or the other). But with that last statement, you could easily "cause another believer to stumble." I think the final part of this article should be re-thought. Remember, meatatarian, vegetarian, "God has accepted them," and it is not your job or my place to judge or condemn. Peace.


Answer:

"Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you" (Titus 2:15).

If a person chooses, as an individual, to restrict his diet, you are correct that there is nothing wrong with his individual choice and Romans 14 is the proper passage to show this. The problem is that many vegetarians do not stop with individual choice but impose their choice on others.

You are incorrect in claiming that Paul did not say which was weak in faith. "For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables" (Romans 14:2). Since eating meats is acceptable to God, for a person to impose their preference to not eat meats on another person is a sin. This is one of the points in Romans 14. "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 14:3).

I did not use Romans 14 for the very simple reason that it wasn't germane to question of whether Jesus ate meat while he lived on earth. There are other articles which do address animal rights, vegetarianism, and whether Christians are allowed to eat meat or not. These articles do make reference to Romans 14.

The end of the article is addressing those who attempt impose vegetarianism on other people:

"In fact, the forbidding of eating certain foods is an indication of people departing from the Christian faith."

And the statement is backed up with what Paul stated.

"But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer" (I Timothy 4:1-5).

Since these are God's words on the matter, it will not cause a believer to stumble. A true believer might have to adjust his thoughts to conform them to God's. But if he walks away from truth, then it would be hard to call him a believer.