I was asked to respond to your questions and comments concerning my article “Did Jesus Eat Fish.” Your conclusion is that I focus only on a particular passage while ignoring the rest. I don’t think so. I think that you and most Christians actually don’t have the knowledge how to use the Bible and what is true and what not in it. Don’t missunderstand me. I believe in the inspiration of the Bible. But that does not mean that everything said and done in the Bible is good. Look at nature for instance. God created nature and is in full control. But three things are obvious in nature. The GOOD nature, the EVIL nature and the CORRUPTED nature. When the sun shines and the flowers bloom and the waters give life etc., this is GOOD nature and reflects God’s eternal goodness, kindness, mercy and love.
When a hurricane causes a havoc, a flood destroys homes and lifes, an earthquake strikes etc., this is EVIL nature and is a contrast of what God really is. But it all comes from God as He repeatedly claims so in scriptures. God causes people to be born with sight and others blind. He told so to Moses on Mt. Sinai when He appeared to him. It is not Satan but God who is in control of evil nature. But this evil is NECESSARY evil so that we can tell right from wrong and that we can make a choice between good and evil. If evil did not exist we would not know what is its opposite nor could we ever be rational beings and become the children of God.
The third thing we see in nature is the CORRUPTION of men and how men has distorted nature. The same principle operates in the Bible. There are GOOD scriptures which reflect God’s character and perfect will. These are the things that we should practice and do. There are scriptures which are evil and contrary to God’s will. Scriptures for example which sanction slavery, wars, ostracizing of eunuchs and illegitimate children, the treatment of women etc. The church claims that God authorized the Israelites to practice slavery. But it is impossible to believe scriptures which state so because other scriptures clearly speak contrary. If God told the Israelites to love the strangers who are in their land as they love the native born and to have the same law for the stranger as for the native born and to give inheritance to strangers in the land and if He through the prophets condemned those who mistreated the strangers in the land, how could He have sanctioned it? The scriptures which say so are just like evil in nature. God permits it but it does not reflect His perfect and holy character. He allows it but at the same time condemns it.
So there are good scriptures and evil scriptures just like there are good and evil natures. But just as man has corrupted nature so he has corrupted some scriptures through the lying pen. God says in Jeremiah 8:8 that the scribes have falsified the Law which He gave through Moses. In Ezekiel 20 God says that the good Law which imparts life the Israelites rejected so in anger and in order to bring them to their senses He gave them BAD LAWS which cannot impart life. He caused them to sacrifice their own children. Read it for yourself in your own Bible. Just as evil nature of which God is in control functions so that we can see its opposite – namely good and wonderful nature, so God gave evil scriptures and evil practices so we can see its opposite – the good and wonderful practices.
God commanded all creatures to follow strictly vegetarian diet. This is clearly written in Genesis 1 and is hardly disputed. God again commands vegetarianism on New Earth and no creature will be allowed to kill any living creature but the wolf and the lamb will live together. There are many good scriptures in the Old Testament but particularly in the Greek Septuagint which is generally quoted by the New which clearly condemn the killing of animals for their meat or in order to present them as burnt offerings. But you must see these good scriptures as a contrast of those which are bad and which sanction sacrifice and the eating of meat. The Bible is inspired by God just as nature is inspired and is of God – but in both we see what is GOOD and what BAD. Any compassionate human who is merciful sees the evil in slashing the throat of an innocent lamb. If we who are only human who on compassionate and humane grounds could see the barbarism in butchering of animals how much God sees it that way since He is the source of love, compassion mercy and humane feelings. It is impossible to give all my arguments in this short reply but if you are really interested on the subject of vegetarianism and how the biblical vegetarianism can be justified and why it should be practiced read my book on my website which is entitled “Biblical Vegetarianism.”
I will say only something concerning the three points you raised. You stated that Jesus must have approved of a carnivorous diet since he on some occasions served meat to others. But you have jumped to conclusions. Can you prove that Jesus actually killed a fish or an animal in order to feed the people? Jesus could have miraculously created meat from thin air. If he multiplied the fish – they were already dead – weren’t they? Can you point to me a scripture where Jesus actually killed an animal in order to eat flesh or to feed others with that flesh?
You also referred to Mark 7 where Jesus supposedly said that nothing can defile a person that enters his mouth. If Jesus really said this why did Paul not refer to it when he dealt with the brothers in Rome who insisted on vegetarianism? If Jesus ate meat and the Twelve ate meat where did these brothers get the idea that it was sin to eat meat and drink wine? Would it not have been simple to just quote the words of Jesus which are now found in Mark 7 in order to shut them up? We know from other sources that James, the brother of Jesus was a vegetarian and would not drink wine. James was raised in a same home with Jesus. Why would he have been a vegetarian from birth and Jesus a meat eater? Since even the Church Fathers accepted the fact that Jesus was a vegetarian from birth that would mean then that Joseph and Mary had to be vegetarians.
You other remark concerning Peter and the vision proves nothing. God wanted to show Peter that Gentiles are accepted and that they were not profane. By the way, if Jesus told Peter that nothing defiles a man that comes from outside why did Peter refuse to kill any animal that was in the sheet? Why did he answer that he never ate anything profane or unclean? If Jesus told him that all flesh is clean why did he refuse to kill and eat?
Those who follow the levitical law of clean and unclean argue that Peter refused to kill and eat because the animals were not clean in accordance with Leviticus 11. But this is not the case. In the sheet were also so called CLEAN animals. Peter could have at least selected some sheep or cattle and killed but he didn’t. Simply because he considered all flesh defiled and unclean. Peter was vegetarian as he himself states in Clementine Homilies. Acts 10:12 plainly states that the sheet contained ALL KINDS of four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things and birds of the air. At creation animals were divided into four footed domesticated animals, wild animals, reptiles and birds. Since in the sheet were all kinds of four – footed animals it means that there were also sheep and goats and since there were all kinds of birds it means that there were also the so called clean and edible birds. But Peter would not kill any of them because he knew that this vision had another meaning and then he perceived that he should not consider any man common or defiled. Any animal which is slaughtered is defiled and its meat defiles. Peter explains this in Clementine Homilies.
My dear brother, you should not look to the church for answers since all churches of today are offshoots of Roman Church. You can trace the lineage of every church and you will find that none of them existed in the days of James the Just. The Twelve did not found the Romish Church nor the Protestants or the Eastern Orthodox Church. The Twelve and their followers were known as the Nazarene sect within Judaism and later by their derogatory name Ebionites. Church history and the Church Fathers clearly reveal that the Ebionites were vegetarian and that they did not drink wine. They did not base their beliefs on Paul’s ideas which were the distortion of Jesus’ message. Paul was the only apostle who sanctioned meat eating but at the same time could not really shut up those who followed in the path of James the Just and the Twelve. I do not accept the authority of Paul because for me as for the Ebionites he was the false apostle. If you log to my website you will find out why.
In closing I want to point out only one thing. Without the Bible we can clearly see that God never intended for us to kill animals and eat their flesh. Animals were created with feelings so that they could feel pain just as we do. When they see danger they run away. When you try to slash their throats they cry and try to run away. But plants do not have the brain or the nervous system so that they would not register pain. Plants cannot escape because God caused them to be planted in one place. If you kill an animal it is the end of it. There can be no more food from that animal. But if you eat a plant its seeds will give many more plants. Thus the good nature itself teaches us that the Law of Preservation demands utopia or paradise on Earth where no harm is done to any living and animate being. If you can’t see this but rely on evil and corrupt scriptures but reject many good and wonderful scriptures which clearly show that vegetarianism is biblical and God’s ideal diet, then I feel sorry for you my friend.