When I was little, I saw some funny looking stringy, dark things in the chicken leg on my dinner plate. I asked my daddy if they were veins and he made some kind of joke and gave me a vague answer. But I knew they had to be veins...and boy was that gross! :-)
Years later, as an adult, I started avoiding eating meat. I ate it only on rare occasions and thought I was much more sophisticated and wise than those around me (said with tongue firmly planted in cheek).
To boost my inclination, I found the media saturated with anti-meat-ites as well as many books purporting the same. These people glorified animals to a level almost equal to that of humans. Naturally the humane treatment of animals is important to God and he will hold accountable anyone who mistreats an animal.
A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast, but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.
Psalms 50:10-11 For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine.
Back to my story...about 15 years ago I read what God said on the matter . You can find out what God says on almost every important matter in his book, the King James Bible.
1 Timothy 4:1-3
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.
The most prominent group today that forbids marriage is that of Roman Catholicism; their priests are not permitted to marry. According to the Bible, that too, is a doctrine of devils. God created man to need a wife. A help meet.
The next part of the verse deals with the main part of this passage because it is expounded on in the following verses. The command to abstain from meats. Here, God reveals that he created them to be received with thanksgiving! Amazing.
When God created the animals, he knew that he would one day give them as meat. He had in mind the essential nutrients and fats they would provide.
There is a great deal of media that seeks to proclaim that meat isn't essential to health. Obviously before the flood it was not. But something happened after the worldwide flood of Noah's day (of which only God knows the reason) that caused God to say:
Genesis 9: 3-4
Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.
The end Timothy 4:3 speaks of those who "believe and know the truth". Can't the seared consciences of the wicked hear the truth? Not according to 2 Corinthians 4:4 "In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them."
1 Timothy 4:4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:
Again, it is reinforced that God's creatures are good and we should be thankful and not refuse to eat meat.
1 Tim 4:5 For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.
When we pray over our food, the Bible says it becomes sanctified. Sanctified means "made holy". I find this amazing.
1 Timothy 4:6 ¶ If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.
This is why I'm writing this article, to "put the brethren (fellow believers in Christ) in remembrance". Notice, it does not say to remind everyone - only the brethren. So if you're reading this and you are not a believer you will likely have a hard time with this article.
Those who are in the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, I encourage you to remember your Creator and obey him in all things. He can be trusted implicitly.
2 Samuel 22:31 As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all them that trust in him.
1 Timothy 4:7 But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.
And finally he underscores the whole matter by telling what really needs to be refused - and it's not meat. :-) What should we refuse? Old wives fables! These are lies that are passed down from one foolish wife to another. If we're going to put our energy into anything, let it be exercising ourselves unto godliness! What is godliness?
1 Timothy 4:8 For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.
Did you know that godliness profits ALL things?
Webster's 1828 Dictionary defines GOD'LINESS, n. from godly. Piety; belief in God, and reverence for his character and laws. A careful observance of the laws of God and performance of religious duties, proceeding from love and reverence for the divine character and commands; Christian obedience.
Good works are not a ticket to get into heaven. Only faith pleases God. So why should we practice godliness? Out of obedience and devotion to the Saviour.
Why does a mother sing lullabies to her baby? Why do children pet animals? Delight. Just pure, unadulterated joy. That is why we serve our Lord. And we serve him by serving one another. If we have no love for serving one another, we should examine our love for the Lord Jesus.
Notice how the verses in 1 Timothy 4 have encompassed a lot of topics surrounding the issue of vegetarianism. If you have been deceived and the "wisdom of this world" has caused you to abstain from eating meat, I encourage you to study the Scriptures and learn the truth.
So why am I no longer a vegetarian? Because God said meat is good and abstaining from it is a doctrine of devils. God's word is always true, so anything that does not line up with God's word is false.
This is the hard reality that has a wicked generation shaking their fists at the sky. But God is merciful and patient with us and when we seek him with all of our hearts, we will find him.