The Mary T. and
Frank L. Hoffman
Letters and Responses
Letter from Jay Young about Christianity, Sin, and Vegetarianism - 25 Mar 2006
Thanks for the good info on nutrition. I'm really trying to learn about it and you have some good tips!
As I went through your website, I noticed some other things, and you do welcome comments, so here goes:
I'll just jump right in with a question that you can answer yourself. It says in your site that you are dedicated to cruelty-free living. Well, I am, too. And I would definitely say that Jesus was, is, and ever will be. So, I ask, that, according to your vegetarian conclusions, here's a question I have about your premise. Was Jesus cruel? I'm not trying to trap you or be cynical or anything, but just to get you to think about this.
Jesus ate fish and cooked it for his disciples, went fishing with his disciples and even miraculously helped them to catch fish, to sell for others to eat, and he ate them with his disciples! He was a Jew and kept the Passover, meaning he participated in the slaughtering and eating of the Passover lambs. Yahweh, God himself! commanded the sacrifice of bulls and goats - which, of course, was a symbol of Jesus' own death.
Now, I agree that depending on our region, and many other factors, dietary necessities must vary. In America, we have lots of different types of foods (thank God - we don't deserve them, as wicked as we are as a nation). Also, in USA, being near to Mexico, etc., our great transportation and distribution of many types of foods makes it unnecessary to eat much meat, since abundant substitute nutritious are available. But, again, I'm not trying to be a smart Alec, but just want to point something out. Jesus never sinned, and he ate meat.
For curiosity sake, where is the quote taken from "Let no animal suffer or die that we may live". It's certainly, if taken from the bible, a twisting of the context, although in the Proverbs in the bible, there is a verse that says something very close to this, if it is not an exact quote, "A righteous man has compassion on the life of his beast, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel". The bible says not to add to its words, and warns not to mishandle it, with very grave warnings. It also warns for not many to become teachers. I'm not trying to be mean. I'm just telling you what it says, so that on judgment day, you don't get in trouble for twisting what the bible says.
The bible conversely says, one of the letters of Timothy, that it is actually a doctrine of demons that forbids the eating of meats, and one of the specifically listed deviations from "sound teaching" where people deviate and with "itching ears" accumulate teachers to suit their own liking. So, really, I'm not out to get you, but just to add the balance. You may not have heard these things.
Also, just one more thing. I hope that I don't sound like Mr. Know it All. I'm just trying to bring out some other teachings in the bible.
You mentioned some verses in Genesis, which is great, but did you consider that really, these verses were said to Adam and Eve before original sin and before the curse of working by the sweat of our brows, and so on. You see, God cursed the ground, and/or sin (with its entropy) released upon the earth, caused the universe to be altered with the resulting hardships - thorns and thistles and less fruitfulness, and so on.
But, after the flood of Noah, after the first rain, after the changing of the atmosphere (from formerly having a mist of subterranean waters that came up as mists and protected us from UV and other harmful rays, and from earth-wide chromosomal deterioration in all plants and animals - so our foods were healthier - so people lived to be 900 years old, and so on), our dietary needs changed. You see, God judged the earth in Noah's time, precisely so that we would live shorter lives, so that we wouldn't become experts in evil, and so that sin wouldn't multiply throughout the earth, and he even said also, so that his Spirit wouldn't continuously have to strive with man's spirit -- to get humans to stop doing evil. So, after the flood, in about Genesis 9, God gave animals to eat also, but they were not to be slain needlessly. After the flood, also, because of the flood waters, much vegetations was destroyed until the waters abated from the mountain tops, and so on.
But, you are right, if you say that we don't need to eat much meat because we have lots of varieties of foods available, but eating meat is not sin in itself, or Jesus would be a sinner, and so, no one is going to heaven, because that means that Jesus was not innocent, and so, his blood wasn't worth any more than any one of us, in becoming the sacrificed lamb that takes away the sins of the world. See what I mean? Again, I don't want to be mean, really! I'm just pointing out that the whole view of scriptures doesn't teach that, from a biblical point of view, eating meat is a sin in itself.
Of course, it can be abused, and I agree with your premise in that sense. Thanks. And thanks for letting me comment.
Reply from Frank and Mary Hoffman
Thank you for writing and for your comments and questions.
To begin with, according to the Bible, Jesus never ate fish or went fishing during the entire time of his incarnation on earth. Nor for that matter, did he kill or eat any other animals.
No human being has any need to eat any animal products, without exception. But, the act of eating flesh is not a sin, because it is part of a concession from God. However, to cause pain and suffering is a sin, and since over 95% of all animal products come for tortured and abused animals, its makes it a sin to eat those products, because the money paid for these products causes more sufferings and the purchaser a contributor to the sin.
The quote you asked about is ours.
You really need to do some more studying about Paul's discussions over eating flesh. They have nothing to do with your conclusions, but the about the disputes between Jewish Christians and Gentile Christians over meat sacrificed to idols.
Also, please take a look at our Bible and Discussion sections and look at the commentaries on the Genesis 9 and other passages you reference.
In the Love of the Lord,
Frank and Mary
We welcome your comments
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