Oh my gosh.
What Does God Say About Eating Meat?
By Hilda Hiong
There is a Chinese proverb — 井底之蛙 (jǐng dǐ zhī wā) meaning frog in a well. According to the proverb, there was once a sea turtle who came upon a frog that lived in a well. The frog boasted “Look how happy I am with my cozy well!” The turtle replied “Have you ever seen the ocean? There are many great things unknown to you!” The frog then sat speechless. When one is ignorant or even complacent, we miss the greater picture and separate ourselves from our eco-system and universe.
Being a Christian, I continue to discover and review the foundations of my belief. My continual examination has led me to consider the ethics of what I eat.
I remember a while back, my roommate and I got into the discussion of being vegetarian. She told me that in her philosophy seminars, they discussed the ethics of eating meat. They had a debate on being a vegetarian and some philosophical stuff about feelings of animals. I decided to look into what God would say about eating meat.
There were no carnivores in the Garden of Eden. Genesis 1:29-30 tells us that God gave humans and animals plants as food. However, when Adam and Eve ate from the tree of knowledge, becoming more self-aware, God sacrificed animals to make garments for them. The world was not as it used to be. Sin separated humans from God and rules were needed.
In the Old Testament, the rules for eating “kosher” are established in Deuteronomy 14:1-21. The kosher method permits eating “clean” land animals. The slaughtering ensures the animal feels no pain and that the meat is of best quality since the blood is drained, demonstrating respect for animal slaughtering.
After Jesus’ coming, Christians believe that we have been saved from our original sins and may eat meat freely. No longer do Christians need to raise ‘questions of conscience’ to meat sold at the market (1 Corinthians 10:25). If a non-Christian friend invites me for a meal and I want to go, it is permissible to eat anything unless it is offered in sacrifice (1 Corinthians 10:27-30).
The choices Christians make say a lot about our loyalty and love towards God. God gives us the freedom to experience pleasure, however, gluttony is considered idolatry in God’s eyes. It is our place to make the right decisions to honor God and creation.
We should always think before we eat.