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Sunday, February 18, 2007

Does The Bible Consider The Atkins Diet A Sin?


God's Word is being used by some to justify a vegetarian diet

In the arena of ideas about diet and health, I can't help but notice a trend lately within Christian circles to start talking about weight loss from the perspective of what God would have humans eat from a Biblical perspective. For those who are nonbelievers, this kind of discussion is a non sequitur since the concept of a Creator and His instruction manual for living life are completely foreign to them.

But with tens of millions of Bible-believing, God-fearing Christians in the United States alone, anyone who quotes Scripture and makes an assertion about a subject based on verses from the Bible will at least capture the attention of the faith-based crowd and quite possibly convince them that they are right.

I've previously featured three examples of this at my blog where nutritional advice was provided and allegedly based upon certain verses in the Word of God:

1. Christian dietitian David Meinz and his book Eating By The Book: What The Bible Says About Food, Fat, Fitness, And Faith push a low-fat diet as the means for losing weight and getting healthy.

2. Gwen Shamblin developed the Weigh Down Diet which urges dieters to turn their attention away from food and put it on God who will give them the strength to lose weight.

3. Pastor George Malkmus penned The Hallelujah Diet with heavy attention placed on a vegetarian diet while condemning meat consumption to attain the "optimal health you were meant to have."

I have to wonder how many people have listened to people like Meinz, Shamblin, and Malkmus thinking their perspective on how a Christian SHOULD eat is the right thing to do. After all, if it's based on Scripture, then it must be God's way, right? Again, I know this doesn't matter a hill of beans to people who don't believe in God or in the infallibility of the Bible. But this is a very big deal to people of faith who rely on the Word of God to direct every aspect of their daily lives.

One of my skeptical readers who supports vegetarianism on Biblical grounds told me about a religious program she saw recently called It Is Written and the topic of discussion was this very subject I am blogging about today. The gentleman who was interviewed on the program by Shawn Boonstra was Dr. Fred Hardinge described as "a specialist in the field of health and nutrition."


Dr. Hardinge contends that God would have us all be vegetarians

Dr. Hardinge gave a rather lengthy dissertation about what he believes is the proper diet for a Christian to be eating according to what he sees are the standards of the Bible. As a supporter of livin' la vida low-carb and the amazing transformation it has brought about in my life personally, I cannot adequately communicate to you how disappointing it was to read the transcript of this utter nonsense from a supposed authority on diet and health. The worst part is he claims this is Biblical! ARGH!

Check out just a couple of excerpts from this interview:

FRED: And this was the menu given in the Garden of Eden, where man was first created and brought into existence.

SHAWN: So it’s here, the herb bearing seed and the fruit of the tree. We’re talking about fruits and vegetables?

FRED: I believe we are also talking about grains as well, and probably nuts, which is really the fruit of a tree.

SHAWN: Absolutely.

FRED: And so we have fruits, vegetables, whole grains and nuts. Later, after the Flood, as recorded in Scripture, we see that things that are grown in the ground like legumes were also added to the diet.

SHAWN: That sounds an awful lot like the nutritional recommendations coming out of government agencies today.

FRED: Well, it’s amazing, but that is absolutely true. It’s particularly amazing to me having been involved in nutrition for almost 30 years. When I think back on my training in the early years, there was not the emphasis that there is today on eating those foods, particularly the recognition of how important they are in preventing many of the chronic diseases that are afflicting man today.

SHAWN: Now I can’t help but notice as I’m looking at this list, there are some foods that, frankly aren’t there, that are missing from the list. We have fruits, vegetables, grains and nuts and so on. What’s missing from that list?

FRED: Well, I think we’d have to say that the animal products are missing from that list.

SHAWN: Yeah. It’s very hard for me to imagine, of course, in the very beginning in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve chasing a cow with a knife through the Garden. So obviously it was a plant-based diet.
************************
SHAWN: Now, I’ve heard some people say that God insists everybody must be vegetarian. We know that isn’t true. Jesus ate the Passover lamb and fish and so on. But the general recommendation seems to be we ought to go plant-based. It seems to be the best fuel for us.

FRED: I think that’s the way the world of science is moving; that our diet should be primarily plant-based.


As a Christian, can I just tell you how insulting statements like those are not only to my intelligence but also to my faith? It's quite a leap of faith (all pun intended!) to assume that God wants his children to live on a plant-based diet alone (see Regina Wilshire's excellent post about this subject from last week) when this "government-recommended diet" that is so highly lauded by people like Dr. Hardinge has only led to higher and higher rates of obesity and disease over the past few decades.

Meanwhile, you look at the cultures where animal fat is the mainstay of the diet, like in France, and what do you see? They have MUCH lower rates of heart disease than America. How about that? But we don't hear about facts like this in our fat-phobic society because the overriding message, even from a secular standpoint, is low-fat, low-calorie, portion control centered around fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Speaking of secular, this discussion sorta begs the question: What sets a Christian diet apart from what "the world" is promoting? As it stands right now, absolutely NOTHING at all. But if believers in God are supposed to be "salt and light," then how can we do that by going along with what this sinful world is already doing, hmmm? Aren't we called to be "in the world, but not of it?" It sounds to me like the vegetarian movement has taken a strong foothold in Christian health circles.

My point here is not to condemn anyone who chooses to eat a vegetarian diet based on their own convictions whether they are Bible-based or otherwise. But I simply want to assert my belief that God would have his creation simply "honor the temple of the Holy Spirit," which is your body by not defiling it with anything that might destroy it. To me, that means avoiding foods like sugar, high fructose corn syrup, processed foods, fast food, junk food, and anything else that would bring on disease and weight gain rendering you unable to bring glory to God with your life.

Finding a way to eat that works for you, sticking with that plan and praying for God to strengthen you during your weight loss, continue eating that way to keep your physical body from disease, and living a long and healthy life so you can serve God better--that's what I call honoring God. I really don't think He expects his creation to live on plants alone.

When I weighed 410 pounds before starting on the Atkins diet in 2004, I was clearly not honoring God with my body. The sin of gluttony has full control over me and every way I tried to overcome that (including the overly-hyped recommended low-fat diet) fell miserably short of the mark. But then livin' la vida low-carb came into my life, helped me shed 180 pounds that year, restored my health, and set my life in a direction that I believe is pleasing in the eyes of God. I give Him all the praise and glory for helping me overcome a lifetime struggle with my weight.

But, does the Bible consider the Atkins diet a sin? Some think so.

According to vegetarians who are also Christian, Romans 14 gives them the basis for shunning meat while embracing vegetables as the only acceptable food on God's one true diet. The following is the New International Version of that Scripture passage:

1Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters. 2One man's faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. 3The 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. 4Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

5One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. 6He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. 8If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.

9For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living. 10You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God's judgment seat. 11It is written:

"'As surely as I live,' says the Lord,
'every knee will bow before me;
every tongue will confess to God.'"

12So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.

13Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother's way. 14As one who is in the Lord Jesus, I am fully convinced that no food is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for him it is unclean. 15If your brother is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy your brother for whom Christ died. 16Do not allow what you consider good to be spoken of as evil. 17For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, 18because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men.

19Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. 20Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a man to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. 21It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother to fall.

22So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves. 23But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.


At first glance of this passage from the New Testament of the Bible, some Christians may be led to believe God would have them give up meat altogether. But if you read what the apostle Paul wrote carefully, then you will notice he was not making that point at all.

In verse 14, he wrote "I know and am convinced by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean of itself." He was asserting that meat was completely acceptable for consumption despite his previous teachings about idol worship of animals. In other words, this had nothing at all to do with animal consumption, but rather animal sacrifice.

You'll also notice the reference in verse 20 that "all food is clean." The Greek word katharos (clean) was used for all sorts of definitions meaning purity and cleanliness including clean dishes (Matthew 23:26), people (John 13:10), clothing (Revelation 15:6; 19:8, 14), "pure" religion (James 1:27), gold and glass (Revelation 21:18).

Food isn't even mentioned in either verse 14 or 20 and the word "meat" does not appear in the original text. In fact, no specific object is ever mentioned relative to cleanness or uncleanness at all in these Scripture verses.

What I take from these passages from Romans 14 is that "nothing is unclean" and "all is clean." I hate to break it to all my vegetarian believers in God out there, but that would include the food they abhor the most--meat. Paul was making is very clear that any association of food with idolatrous activity had no bearing whatsoever on whether the food was suitable for eating. So meat isn't to be avoided Biblically as has so often been erroneously attributed by well-meaning people.

Do any Christians reading this want to weigh in on this discussion? If you are livin' la vida low-carb, then how does it make you feel to hear all these so-called Biblical reasons why you should be eating a vegetarian diet?

Perhaps you are a Christian vegetarian and would like to further explain why you believe vegetarianism is God's one and only recommended diet. I'm curious, do you believe those of us who are following the Atkins diet are engaged in active sin for eating meat? Do you likewise believe that meat eaters will be going to Hell for consuming animals? I'm VERY curious to know what you think.

This should be a fun topic and I welcome any and all opinions.

2-20-07 UPDATE: FINALLY, I got a response from one of my readers at Low-Carb Newsline who read this post and is a Christian vegetarian. This is quite lengthy, but it'll give you everything you wanted to know about what so many from this ilk actually believe the Bible says regarding diet. Hold on to your hats, folks, because this one's a real doozy!

It is doubtful that any civilization in history has ever been nearly as cruel as America is now to its animals. Completely unnecessary massacres that would probably not happen on the Planet of the Apes are running rampant in our so called modern, cultured, compassionate society. What does this say about the greatness and moral progress in America?

The following quotation proves that if the United States Congress was made up of people like Dr. Neal D. Barnard, there would be no factory farms or slaughterhouses in America.

"The beef industry has contributed to more American deaths than all the wars of this century, all natural disasters, and all automobile accidents combined. If beef is your idea of real food for real people, you'd better live real close to a real good hospital." -- Neal D. Barnard, M.D. Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, Washington D.C.


If you believe in God and believe in the following words that were written in the old testament of the first Hebrew Bible which reveals Gods first commission on the sixth day of creation, when God had created everything including land animals and humans, then you will understand why God - who is the supreme symbol of kindness, life and love – unequivocally wants factory farms and slaughterhouses to close.

Let's begin way back when God first gave us this commission, on the sixth day of creation, when He had created everything including land animals and Man [humans].

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES:
Genesis 1:24-30

24. Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth living creatures [souls] after their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind"; and it was so.

To help us to better understand our commission of dominion over the earth and all that it contains, we should look at the original Hebrew wording of this passage:

24. And God said, Let the earth bring forth the soul of life according to its kind, cattle, and creepers, and its beasts of the earth, according to its kind.

Nowhere in this passage does it refer to creatures, but living souls, neh-fesh hahyawh, the exact same wording by which humans are called.

Has the Bible been deliberately mistranslated, because humans were afraid to admit that other animals also have souls?

Could this have happened because humans have not ruled over the other animals with love and compassion, but rather brutalized them.

25. And God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good.

And God saw that it was good that He had made all these different kinds of animals, each individually as a living soul.

It was only after seeing the goodness of His other created beings, that God turned His attention to the creation of Man.

26. Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our Image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."

27. And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

28. And God blessed them; and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.

When God says to subdue the earth and its other living souls, He does not mean to overpower it or them, for our own selfish uses, but to subdue it from the forces of evil, and this is how the word "subdue" is used every other place in the Hebrew Bible.

Our position of rule is to be a respectful and caring one; one filled with love and compassion for all the goodness God has made.

We are to help every other human and animal have the God given right to enjoy the life God created for them.

We are not to take away any of those rights, as we have done for thousands of years.

And, note that God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness"; in the likeness of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

We were made with the same qualities as God, which means that we should be acting like Him, with at least all the love and compassion exhibited by Jesus; for as He said, "…greater works than these shall he [the believer] do…." (John 14:12)

And to further emphasize this gentleness of rule, and the interaction of all of God's living souls that He created to live together, look at the next two verses and see what God originally intended:

29. Then God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you;

30. and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life [which is a living soul], I have given every green plant for food"; and it was so.

God's original intent was that there would be no killing of any kind, neither by people nor animals, for all were to eat earth grown foods only.

Until Americans stop torturing and murdering God's creatures by the millions every day using many methods of hideous cruelty, society and the earth's environment will continue to suffer the unfortunate consequences that go with supporting and committing these sick crimes.

The relentless cruelty and huge massacres occurring to animals every working hour in factory farms and slaughterhouses as vividly described next must absolutely end.

When reviewing the following information revealing the cruelty to animals in factory farms and slaughterhouses, readers might begin to think there are a large number of people in the United States that have completely lost their minds. Is there no limit to the cruelty?

Turkeys
Cows
Ducks
Pigs
Chickens

Livestock production is also at the heart of almost every environmental catastrophe: rain forest destruction, spreading deserts, loss of fresh water, air and water pollution, acid rain and soil erosion.

The livestock industry is responsible for more hazardous climate change gasses than all the motor vehicles in the world.

- 70 percent of the Amazon deforestation

- 64 percent of all the acid rain-producing ammonia

- 15 out of the 24 vast global ecosystems that are in decline can be attributed to livestock.

Click here to read the full government report.

Last June my short story titled God Does Not Eat Meat was published. This thought provoking and controversial back to the future religious fantasy cuts between a violent and bloody present world in which millions of animals are slaughtered daily, to a future America where all meat has been removed from the food chain.

The story is believable, entertaining, and shocking. Read for free online by clicking here. The moral of this story can be summed up with this old Hindu verse:

"Those without wealth may one day prosper, but those without kindness are utterly and incurably poor."

My goal is to inspire people to protect the sanctity of life for all of God's precious creatures on the face of the Earth.

For the sake of all animals.

Arthur Poletti
Western Springs, Illinois
Author of the short story
(God Does Not Eat Meat)


Arthur, Arthur, Arthur...you lost me when you referenced "Planet Of The Apes," started quoting people from the anti-meat, radical PETA organization Physicians Committee For Responsible Medicine (PCRM), made the claim the Bible was mistranslated, believing that animals have the same God-given rights as humans, and finally quoting a HINDU verse at the end. You're just a pretender attempting to push your ultra-wacko vegetarian ideals.

Comments anyone?

2-20-07 UPDATE: Here's another one from a New Zealander.

Do you Bible believers ever wonder why your "Good Kind God" didn't create trees that grew lamb chops, pork chops and chickens legs? Think about it! From New Zealand--happily a land with no state religion!

Ooooookay...and your point is?

2-22-07 UPDATE: Friend, Bible scholar, and fellow low-carb blogger Carol Bardelli weighs in on this subject with a post of her own called "The Lord Was Pleased by the Smell of Roasting Meat! - Biblical Foods: Part One." ENJOY!

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25 Comments:

Blogger Lady Atkins said...

The only time that humankind has had a raw vegan diet was in the Garden of Eden. We were then vegetarians until the flood. After the flood humankind was allowed to eat meat. I believe that God knew all this would happen and had made our bodies to function best on protein and fat with some carbohydrates. But a low-fat diet...no.

2/18/2007 10:02 PM  
Blogger OnlineChristian said...

Well - this is an interesting question!

I think that when Daniel wanted to forgoe the Kings meats and maintain a strict diet that was according to the law, the reason that the chief of the eunuchs was worried about losing his head (& life obviously) over Daniels diet was that he EXPECTED Daniel to look worse and not better. Daniel 1:8-16. He had every reason to expect that this would be so. Have you ever seen a strict vegetarian? One fellow I know went on that kind of a vegetarian diet began to look really rather thin & unhealthy after being on it for so many months. I think that is what was miraculous about this whole ten day test of Daniels - is that it is COUNTERINTUITIVE. And the chief of the eunuchs did not want to bet HIS life on it!!

I am not saying one cannot look outstanding on a vegetarian diet, but without mixing the right veg diet ingredients it is difficult to grow or maintain muscle mass. Look a Bill Pearl the bodybuilder who in his book "Getting Stronger" and "Keys to the Universe" mentions that he has succeeded in maintaining mass on a vegetarian diet - but had to be very careful about mixing the right things to have all the protiens required. So it can be done, but without being done right can leave people pretty thin and unhealthy looking. Cultures where vegetarianism is common (like in India) often have lots of very thin people.

The second point that comes to mind is Peter when the sheet is let down - all kinds of previously unclean animals were now permitted in this diet. And new gentile converts were only warned to avoid blood and animals that had been strangled.

The point of the passage cited is to be careful not to offend a weaker brothers conscience, or of a gentile who was testing you. Not that meats were prohibited. Read all the similar verses in Romans and Corinthians in context, and that is clear. In fact, the Christian is advised not to ask too many questions about where the meat they ate came from (Clearly implying that Christians might even eat meat sacrificed to idols - just not to do so knowingly so one would not offend other weaker Christians).

Also - we are told that much can be revealed in Creation itself. Examination of the human teeth shows teeth that are appropriate for grinding as well as biting and tearing of flesh. We only have one stomach - cows have how many?

Jews were permitted meat in the old testament, and it is clear from the new testament that meat is also clearly permitted - even meats that might have been previously prohibited to the Jews(like pork, etc).

Dunno if this helps or not, but the scriptures sure have alot to say about diet. And it is clear that God made both meat and vegetables and other foods to be enjoyed and accepted with thanksgiving.

God also said that people would come in the latter days forbidding tp marry and from foods God created...

1 Timothy 4:1-5
Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.

2/18/2007 11:03 PM  
Blogger Calianna said...

What a coincidence!

I just happened to be reading in Deuturonomy today about the various sacrificial meals that the Israelites were to eat at the temple. Now, I was reading in the Message, which I know is a paraphrase, and might be inferring certain things, but it makes it very clear that these were not just whole animal sacrifices that were to be burned up - they were sacrificial fellowship meals to be consumed by the Israelites, just like the Passover lamb was to be eaten.

Then there was the descriptions of which parts of those animal sacrifices were to be given to the priests for *their* meals... And the lists of clean animals that the Israelites could eat freely from as part of their daily diets, when they were not making sacrifices and eating at the temple, and how they could eat any first-born clean animal that was defective in any way, as well as which wild animals they were allowed to eat. All this was tied in with where to eat which animals, and whether you had to be ritually clean to eat them under certain circumstances, etc.

Consider this from 1 Corinthians 10:25 -
"Eat anything sold in the meat market without raising questions of conscience"

If Christian vegetarians don't want to eat meat, that's fine - but we are taught by the Bible what we can eat from the animal kingdom, and are definitely given permission to eat meat.

2/18/2007 11:45 PM  
Blogger Scott Kustes said...

I was raised Catholic, but don't consider myself to be of any particular religious denomination now. I will however point out one glaring logical fallacy in basing dietary intake on the Bible and the Garden of Eden. The Bible is neither a science book nor a history book...it is a book of morals. Unfortunately, people try to cram it into areas that it doesn't fit (such as science, history, and now nutrition). By Biblical accounts, the world is some 10,000 years old and we all emerged from Adam and Eve (how incestuous). By scientific accounts, the world is 4.5 billion years old. So since there was no Garden of Eden (at least not in Biblical terms), the whole discussion is a moot point. This is just another way for a vegetarian to push his agenda, unfortunately using the very book that so many people use to base their spiritual life on, knowing that claiming "The Bible says..." is the quickest way to get people on your bandwagon. Ugh!

Scott
Modern Forager

2/19/2007 8:35 AM  
Blogger renegadediabetic said...

A couple of years ago, I came out of church to find that some Christian vegetarian group had put their pamphlets on the cars in the parking lot. The pamphlets mentioned the poor tretment of food animals, among other things. I soon threw it away. I think food animals should be allowed to roam free and eat what they would normally eat. It would be better for them and the meat would be better for us.

However, I agree that it is bad theology to say God commands a vegetarian diet and contrary to many passages in scripture. Gen 9:3 says that "Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you."
Exodus 29 describes how the priests were to eat some of the meat that was sacrifices. Lev 11 describes the types of animals the Israelites were allowed to eat. Daniel and his friends asked to be served vegetables, but only because they didn't want to defile themselves with the king's food. The passage says nothing about them being vegetarians.

Other comments have mentioned New Testament passages, such as Acts 10:10 - 16 where Peter saw the sheet full of "unclean" animals and was told to eat. There is also 1 Cor 10:25, which was quoted in an earlier comment. It is crystal clear to me that God allows us to eat meat, but I don't think he absolutely commands it either. The choice to be vegetarian, omnivore, or carnivore is an individual one. If someone feels lead by God to be vegearian or even strictly carnivore, I won't argue. Just don't criticize my God-given direction to be an omnivore.

Have you hear of the Maker's Diet by Jordan Rubin? I thumbed through it at to bood store and found it intriguing enough to buy a copy. I haven't read it yet, but it seems to be in line with many of the nutritional principles we low-carbers practice. His premise is to go back to the diet of the ancient Israelites as described in scripture. While I don't beleive God commands that diet for us today, I have no problem with anyone who wants to follow it. Jason Rubin struggled with Chrone's disease and restored his health by getting back to the diet of the ancient Isralites. That diet was NOT vegetarian. He points out the virtues of meat and "healty fats," including saturated fat. He pushes whole, unprocessed foods and avoiding refined carbs. His first phase menus are low carb. It make much more sense than the vegetarian nonsense you quoted in your post. I'm not planning to adopt the Maker's diet, but was intrigued enough to see what it was all about. It's not the first thing on my reading list, so it may be a while before I read the whole thing.

2/19/2007 11:26 AM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

I am posting this for a reader who had trouble logging into Blogger:

I base my life on the Bible. It is there I found a personal relationship w/God learning that Jesus laid His life down to rescue me from the judgment of hell. It is there I find forgiveness for my sin knowing He took the punishment on Himself to the cross to reconcile me to God so I wouldn't suffer eternal separation from the God who loves me.

Scott, I believe there was a Garden of Eden because God revealed it to us in His word. There are things He has chosen not to reveal that will remain a mystery unless He chooses to share them with us. I take what He has chosen to communicate clearly to His children (those who believe that is only by faith in His substitutionary sacrifice we are saved) very seriously.

What settles the issue about eating for me is this: Jesus Christ, my Saviour and the Lord of my life ate fish, lamb, etc... and He is who I pattern my life after. What God permits is that we enjoy the good things He's given us and be temperate in all things. Those of us w/health issues need to consider what in the "God created it and it is good" food catagory is wise for us to partake of and thoroughly enjoy as a gift straight from Him to nourish these temples He's given us to serve Him in. Our bodies live in a fallen world and so there is sickness and imbalance which can sometimes be treated w/our food choices. It is not sin to be a vegetarian and it is not sin to be a carnivore as long as all is done in faith, thankful for His gifts and trusting Him for nourishment.

What is sin is to obsess over food choices and get out of balance instead of trusting in our Healer and Creator. What is sin is to judge others because of what they eat, or cause them to fall by what we eat. (I personally wouldn't eat a low carb brownie if I was lunching w/a diabetic who couldn't eat it, nor would I have a glass of wine when spending time w/an alcoholic friend.) What is sin is making food or our stomachs a god that consumes more attention than loving others or eternal matters.

Love boldly, live for eternity in this moment, Terry

2/19/2007 12:39 PM  
Blogger Jeff Hamlin said...

Anybody who thinks the Bible encourages a plants-only diet is fooling themselves. How about this, since Jesus ate bread and drank a little red wine, why can't we? ;)

2/19/2007 3:47 PM  
Blogger renegadediabetic said...

The only diet God ever commanded anyone to follow was definitely NOT vegetarian.

2/19/2007 4:24 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

Aw, come on! Isn't there even ONE Christian vegetarian willing to defend their reasoning for eating this way because you think it's how God would have you to eat according to His Word?

I know this thought is out there BIG TIME--we promise not to bite...TOO HARD! :D

Seriously, let's talk about this because I REALLY want to know what a vegetarian who eats that way because they believe the Bible tells them to has to say about this.

2/19/2007 4:31 PM  
Blogger Calianna said...

"It is crystal clear to me that God allows us to eat meat, but I don't think he absolutely commands it either."

What I found so ingrigueing in Deuteronomy is that The Israelites were absolutely commanded to eat certain sacrificial animals at the temple:

Deuteronomy 12:17 You must not eat in your own towns the tithe of your grain and new wine and oil, or the firstborn of your herds and flocks, or whatever you have vowed to give, or your freewill offerings or special gifts. 18 Instead, you are to eat them in the presence of the LORD your God at the place the LORD your God will choose—you, your sons and daughters, your menservants and maidservants, and the Levites from your towns—and you are to rejoice before the LORD your God in everything you put your hand to.

What I found so intrigueing about this is that I'd just never noticed before that God doesn't just allow us to eat meat, he actually required it for certain celebratory sacrifices that all Israelites were required to make.

2/19/2007 7:08 PM  
Blogger Lady Atkins said...

Sorry, Scott, but I am a creationist (and a former evolutionist). Evolution has no more "fact" behind it than what I believe. They are both based on faith.

I do believe the world is older than 10,000 years, though. The 10,000 figure assumes complete geneologies, and I think a lot of people could have easily been left out, to where the author only mentions the more famous people and leaves out everybody else.

If there was no Garden, then Jesus lied when he talked about it as fact.

Jimmy's point is simple that the Bible says we're allowed to meat, which we are. His point is that the Bible does not says that the Atkins way of eating is a sin.

What a timely topic with Ash Wednesday nearly here. I'll be skipping a workout to go to church and get the ashes.

2/19/2007 7:54 PM  
Blogger Lowcarb_dave said...

If god created the universe and everything in it,

and reality shows a meat based diet is the best, then is God wrong??

I think this just shows how obsessed vegetarians are. Low carb meat eaters aren't as obsessed as they are. We go: "Well if you wanna eat that crap, then go ahead".

The real problem is that vegetarianism is a dangerous cult-like thinking, that is extremely unhealthy!

2/19/2007 9:02 PM  
Blogger Science4u1959 said...

The book Nutrition in Biblical Times by Ruth F. Rosevear is very interesting and informative regarding this topic, and is available from Clifton Hills Press, Inc. (513) 281-0670 and in bookstores.

It shows, incidentally, irrefutable proof that meat, fish, insects, and eggs were consumed in abundance in Biblical times. It even proves that for many of the poor the mainstay was bread, and already in those time lead to zinc deficiencies and hypoglycemia. Those that suffered from these conditions were cured by eating meats and a basically low-carb diet!

As the old Chinese proverb says: "there's nothing new under the Sun"...

"The bible is a storehouse of wisdom on foods and nutrition," writes Ruth Rosevear in Nutrition in Biblical Times. She adds, "It’s up to us now to learn from the successes and failures, and apply the lessons to our own lives." The author has devoted many years and much effort searching for information about foods and nutrition in the Biblical world. She has relied on texts from Holy Scripture, as well as modern scholars who have helped to interpret ambiguous passages. Where passages are subject to various interpretations, Rosevear skillfully guides the reader to the most plausible explanations. Best of all Rosevear pays careful attention to the biblical uses of the foods that provide fat-soluble vitamins — fish, organ meats and insects.

2/19/2007 9:28 PM  
Blogger Science4u1959 said...

By the way: not just meat was praised in Biblical times, but certainly also the fat of animals.

The first indication that fat was highly prized in the Middle East comes in Genesis, with the story of Cain and Abel and the account of the first recorded offering to Jehovah.

'And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.

'And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord.

'And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering.

'But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect.'

This story tells us two things: Firstly it represents the preferences of Jehovah and the preferences of the Hebrew people themselves when they were living in the region of Babylon and Egypt 3,000 or 4,000 years ago – meat and fat was regarded as far superior to vegetables; secondly, the inclusion of the words 'and of the fat thereof' means that Abel didn't only bring fat meat but also fat separately as an added, superior, gift.

Further on in Genesis 45:17-18 we learn by inference that both Jews and Egyptians thought well of a high fat diet: 'And Pharaoh said unto Joseph . . . “Take your father and your households, and come unto me; and I will give you the good of the land of Egypt, and ye shall eat the fat of the land”.' And in Isaiah 25:6: 'And in this mountain shall the Lord of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things . . . of fat things full of marrow.'

From other passages of the Old Testament we know that Jews were thinking of fat mutton, or of mutton fat, when they spoke of 'the fat of the land'. The Bible tells us that mutton fat was considered the most delicious portion of any meat, and the tail and adjacent part the most exquisite morsel in the whole body. Biblical sheep were the Fat-Tailed variety, still found in Syria and Palestine today.

The New Testament also has similar references, and we learn that beef fat was also held in high esteem: when the prodigal son returned home, his father didn't welcome him with an ordinary calf, he 'slew a fatted calf'.

Across the Mediterranean from the Holy lands, the Greeks too, liked their meat fat and believed that their heroes preferred it so. You won't find a kind word about lean meat in the poems of Homer; but they are larded with praise of fat meats: Take the case of Agamemnon, who 'slew a fat bull of five years to most mighty Kronion' (The Iliad, Book II). And in Book IX, 'Patroklos . . . cast down a great fleshing block in the firelight, and laid thereon a sheep's back, and a fat goat's, and a great hog's chine rich with fat.'

2/19/2007 9:38 PM  
Blogger Robin Bayne said...

I agree with the other posters--Jesus ate meat. God gave man control over the animals. I am re-reading the Bible right now and just finished "Numbers." What I find curious is how often God forbids people from eating bread made with yeast. Interesting.

2/20/2007 10:53 AM  
Blogger LowCarbCentralWI said...

Matthew 15:10 Jesus called the crowd to him and said, "Listen and understand. What goes into a man's mouth does not make him 'unclean,' but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him 'unclean.'"

2/20/2007 11:46 AM  
Blogger Scott Kustes said...

For the record, I wasn't trying to insult anyone's beliefs. We all have our own beliefs and I'm not here to argue (or really to even discuss...this isn't the place for that) the pros and cons of religion or creation vs evolution vs Intelligent Design. I was attempting to relate my disgust at someone using a holy book to sell their latest diet.

2/20/2007 11:49 AM  
Blogger Jeff Hamlin said...

Arthur needs to read Matthew 7 before spewing his nonsensical diatribes at us.

2/20/2007 5:09 PM  
Blogger Science4u1959 said...

I have a better variety for our friend Arthur:

"The aggressive, hostile, simplistic, shortsighted, scientifically untenable low-fat and vegetarian belief system has succeeded to directly and indirectly cause more world-wide deaths, illnesses and misery than all the wars of all centuries, all natural disasters, and all tobacco-, alcohol-, airplane-, and automobile related accidents combined. If consuming only veggies is your perception of nutritionally complete, healthy, and real food for real people, you'd better live real close to a real good hospital. If you really believe that PCRM doesn't stand for Preposterous Cabal of Raving Morons and mentally retarded enough to really believe such nonsense, you should return to medical school to demand your money back."

Maybe friend Arthur should use the slogan of the most infamous (and not very compassionate, either) vegetarian in history: "Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Diet"...

Does anyone know if Arthur cultivates a comical moustache too, by any chance?

2/20/2007 9:04 PM  
Blogger Jeff Hamlin said...

"Do you Bible believers ever wonder why your "Good Kind God" didn't create trees that grew lamb chops, pork chops and chickens legs? Think about it! From New Zealand--happily a land with no state religion!"

Shut up, please. The USA has no state religion, either, depsite what those worthless ACLU thugs want you to think.

2/21/2007 11:08 PM  
Blogger Robin Bayne said...

To add to calianna's post--

Deut. 12:15

Nevertheless, you may slaughter your animals in any of your towns and eat as much of the meat as you want, as if it were gazelle or deer, according to the blessing the LORD your God gives you. Both the ceremonially unclean and the clean may eat it.

2/22/2007 11:12 AM  
Blogger Fat Victoria said...

Jimmy,

I noticed your Bible graphic links to "It Is Written." Just an FYI, but they are an Adventist Christian ministry that pushes a vegetarian diet. Many Adventists are vegetarian and none eat "unclean" meats (pork, lobster). We have a couple former Adventists in our church and they still follow much of what they were taught in the SDA church.

2/25/2007 1:26 AM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

THANKS for the context, Victoria! I really appreciate it. By the way, YOU ARE NOT FAT! LOL!

2/25/2007 9:05 AM  
Blogger Nate said...

Science4u1959 left a comment referring to Cain and Abel. I find it curious that Abel, who is commonly believed to be the fourth human ever to step foot on earth was a herder of flocks.

If God had just commanded Adam and Eve to ONLY eat grains and plants, you would think that maybe Adam would have told and taught his son the same thing.

I think Adam, who heard from God directly, must have understood Him to mean something other than "you can only eat plants" if he brings up is own son as a herder of flocks! So unfortunately Lady Atkins first comment is also wrong. We were obviously not vegetarians till the flood.

5/10/2007 1:23 PM  
Blogger HunBun said...

I'm way late to this post but just wanted to point out what leapt out at me in the Romans passage...
First off is verse 3:
"3The 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." HELLO! Whatever way you eat you are not to look down on anyone who eats differently! Then there's verse 6:
"6He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God." Eat meat and give thanks or don't eat meat and give thanks - God's OK with either way!

1/10/2008 10:06 AM  

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