|Jude the Obscure|
|Posted on Monday, May 22, 2000 - 6:13 pm: || |
Hereís Romans 14:1,2 NIV: ìAccept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters. One manís faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables.î
The NIV text note says that those ìwhose faith is weakî were ìprobably Jewish Christians at Rome who were unwilling to give up the observance of certain requirements of the law, such as dietary restrictions and the keeping of the Sabbath and other special days.î
Agree? Disagree? Your opinion ñ using the Bible and the Bible only ñ is solicited.
|Posted on Monday, May 22, 2000 - 7:11 pm: || |
The way I understood that text was in regards to those who were influenced by the Gnostics of the day. Gnostics were the ones who denied the "goodness" of the physical nature of things, while only stating that "spiritual realities" were good. Many of the Gnostics had denied bodily "pleasures" such as meat eating, sexual intercourse, taking medicines when ill, etc.
This verse has always been used by SDA pastors to tell me that I have strong faith. It has been used to tell me that I must be careful of what I eat so that I do not cause others to stumble. Although I still have a problem with that, I recognize the tactic as one in which they are attempting to keep me SDA, without directly saying that the restrictions are necessary for me.
My faith is probably as weak as the "other guys." But I reject that subtle attempt to keep me enslaved to the Law by saying that my faith must be "strong" if I accept those things as food.
I wonder, were those whose faith was weak were Jewish Christians, or maybe those influenced by the rampant Gnosticism of the day?
|Jude the Obscure|
|Posted on Monday, May 22, 2000 - 8:18 pm: || |
I think they were Gentile Christians living in Rome who were being confused by Seventh-day Adventist Jews from Jerusalem.
|Posted on Friday, May 26, 2000 - 5:14 pm: || |
Just some more thoughts on your title: "Does vegetarianism mean weak faith?"
This has been used a number of times to tell me that my faith is stronger than those who are vegetarians. It has been used in this way by SDA PASTORS! I now feel it is a subtle attempt to keep me under their thumb, and NOT FREE in Christ.
I abhor the idea. Especially because those who are Intolerant Vegetarians usually see themselves as having stronger faith than the rest of us. I wish SDA pastors would stop making the rest of us feel guilty for "causing our brother to stumble."
I am honestly TIRED of being responsible for my SDA brothers and sisters, while those same SDA brothers and sisters have no need to keep me from stumbling. If I understand Paul correctly from other passages, not only should I eat vegetarian when I'm with them, but THEY SHOULD EAT STEAK WHEN THEY'RE WITH ME. After all, don't they want to keep ME from stumbling?
Am I being totally unscriptural?
|Jude the Obscure|
|Posted on Friday, May 26, 2000 - 6:41 pm: || |
No, I donít believe youíre ìbeing totally unscriptural,î Steve. But I do think you may have ìbought intoî a phony SDA twist on the truth. Their ìhealth reformî mindset has skewed their understanding of the context of Paulís declarations, particularly in 1 Corinthians 8 and Romans 14.
The issue was not vegetarianism versus meat-eating. Nor was it even a health issue at all. It was an issue of how strongly one believed in the true God.
It was issue of eating or not eating the flesh of animals that had been sacrificed to idols. And underlying that was the issue of idolatry.
When Paul refers to someone with ìweakî faith heís talking about someone whoís not quite fully convinced that idols have no spiritual reality, but are nothing more than inert pieces of artwork made of wood, stone, iron, brass, bronze, gold, silver, etc.
Even though you have confessed Christ and have become a Christian, if you donít have that idea firmly fixed in your mind, your faith is weak, according to Paul.
The NIV text note for 1 Corinthians 8:10 says, ìAt the site of ancient Corinth, archaeologists have discovered two temples containing rooms apparently used for pagan feasts where meat offered to idols was eaten. To such feasts Christians may have been invited by pagan friends.î
Got news for you, friend Steve: They didnít sacrifice very many vegetables to these idols, if any at all. Thatís why Paul could say, ìOne manís faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables.î
You see, the Christian with the wobbly conscience (Paul says "defiled conscience") (regarding the reality of idols) could feel ìsafeî by eating only vegetables.
Pagan temple priests sacrificed warm blooded mammals ñ cattle, swine, etc. ñ for many reasons, some having to do with the ìspecial spiritual propertiesî of blood, which vegetables donít have.
For obvious reasons the slaughter houses were located next to the temples. The animal goes from the farm to the slaughter house, from the slaughter house to the temple for sacrifice, from the temple to the market. I imagine, if one was superstitious enough, one would actually pay quite a premium for a side of beef or a loin of pork that had been offered to great Diana of the Ephesians!
Some temples were also restaurants. An very rough analogy to our day might be ìpotluck in the church fellowship hall.î So with that in mind read 1 Corinthians 84-13 NIV:
So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: We know that an idol is nothing at all in the world and that there is no God but one. For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many ìgodsî and many ìlordsî), yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.
But not everyone knows this. Some people are still so accustomed to idols that when they eat such food they think of it as having been sacrificed to an idol, and since their conscience is weak, it is defiled. But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do.
Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak. For if anyone with a weak conscience sees you who have this knowledge EATING IN AN IDOLíS TEMPLE, wonít he be emboldened to eat what has been sacrificed to idols? So this weak brother, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. When you sin against your brothers in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall.
Does that help?
Gotta go to FAF meeting now.
See you there,
|Posted on Saturday, May 27, 2000 - 12:05 pm: || |
Hi, Ya'll !!
I came across that concept the other day (it's not a reference to 'meat eat or not meat eat' but a reference to believing in God or another god).....it has bothered me immensely that I have to change "me" to be around Adventist. It seems so two-faced!!
I had always conceived this text to mean that if you were in the presence of one who didn't "eat", you shouldn't eat because it would destroy their faith. But we all know, when Adventist see other people eat what they (adventist) believe to be unclean, it doesn't destroy their faith--it builds their pride!!!! Come on----we've all been there "in our seats of judgement" on non-Adventist.
As a Adventist, I just felt that those misinformed people were partaking of things that they had no idea were wrong to eat! It did nothing to destroy or make me stumble concerning my belief in God,well,....except maybe over my own self-righteousness and pride in being better informed and more Biblically knowledgable (ha!) (We'll I needed to stumble over those, because I was the one that was misinformed!!!) I was the one who didn't know the word of God. I was the one rejecting the Grace of God and replacing it with my good work of abstainance.
I have decided to not be that way anymore.....I'll let you know what happens. The only thing it's going to do is make them pass judgement on me, (instead of just falling off the boat, now, they will say I fell off and drowned!)
I have no concern that they are going to go off, eat meat sacrificed to an idol, and stop believing in God just because they saw me eat an unclean meat. In other societies this may be a concern, but not with the people I know!
By continuing to abstain, all I feel as if I am doing is enabling them to continue to walk in ignorance and self-righteousness, this is a major 'truth' within the church. To abide by it, only makes me appear to still be one of them. Just like Sabbath attending, to keep on attending, even though your spirit in attending is different than theirs still gives the appearance of conforming to the 'Adventist truth'. There comes a time for each person to make a stand, in this case it is a stand for truth and grace. And it's time for me to stop being frightened of the repercussions, because that's what the real problem is, I don't want to face the opposition. I want to keep things as smooth as possible. Keeping things smoothed over to not ruffle Adventist feathers is the same thing as keeping things smoothed over for the alcoholic!!!
What do you get when you confront an Adventist with absolute Biblical truth?
The Silent Treatment.
|Jude the Obscure|
|Posted on Saturday, May 27, 2000 - 1:49 pm: || |
Thank you Lori, That was beautifully said.
|Posted on Saturday, May 27, 2000 - 7:50 pm: || |
Lori, I agree with you. Your post reminded me of a hilarious (in restropsect) Thanksgiving we celebrated about four years ago with our non-SDA neighbors and also some of our extremely conservative SDA family.
I had promised the neighbors that I would bake a turkey breast if they came for dinner. I also made the usual "mock turkey" (actually quite delicious) which involved eggs, cottage cheese, sour cream, Worthington fri-chick, etc. (It's interesting to consider comparative fat/cholesterol contents of the two!)
I grew up cooking vegetarian; I approached preparing and baking turkey with considerable fear as well as ignorance. My first mistake was not putting the turkey in the oven soon enough. The Betty Crocker recommendation for cooking times wasn't adequate for my particular beast, and I'll never forget the faces of our family, all lined up on the living room couch, waiting in near-silence with crossed arms and tight, disapproving mouths, as we waited for that turkey to become done!
The first offence was that the bird had comingled atoms in the oven with the mock turkey. They had actually shared baking space, and the mock turkey had been subjected to the vaporized smells issuing from the turkey. The second offence was that in not starting the bird on time, the family actually had to wait over an hour past their carefully spaced mealtime (a la EGW where she recommends that meals be spaced four to five hours apart) before they could actually eat their tainted mock turkey. During the wait they could not nibble on anything (let no morsel of food pass between your lips between meals), and to add insult to inury they had to smell the baking bird while they waited with gnawing stomachs.
The third mistake was that in my ignorance I had overlooked a plastic back of giblets stuffed into the breast cavity. When I finally took the bird out, the strangest, toughest filmy substance kept me from cutting it properly. Behold, bagged, baked giblets! (The neighbors never let me forget that!)
The final offense came when the pre-teen children of the relatives sneaked into the kitchen with our boys and helped themselves to little stips of crisp skin while the neighbor (much more experienced than I) took over carving.
That day is an idelible memory now; Richard still suspects the family doesn't like to have holiday meals with us because when the dinner was over, he shamelessly (you have to know quiet-spoken Richard) passed the carcass before the horrified face of an aunt as he took it out of the kitchen to its final rest in the trash can.
No, we were not sensitive to inhibitions of the family. On the other hand, I don't think mingling baked atoms and refusing to eat veggies and dip before dinner are issues of salvation.
I admit that I struggle to be Christlike in situations like the above. The judgment and tenseness as we waited for the turkey to cook are still palpable memories. I really do pray that God will give me a heart that will love for Him.
|Posted on Saturday, May 27, 2000 - 8:27 pm: || |
Great information, Jude.
Couldn't make the FAF meeting, though. My son was in the Pathfinder Investiture. It was nice.
Very interesting about the food being sacrificed to idols, and the fact that the Pagans couldn't sacrifice vegetables, so they were "safe" to those of weak faith.
This really sheds some light on the vegetarianism versus meat eating way the passage has always been interpreted to me. It really does make sense, especially with Paul's statements about food sacrificed to idols. I can see it has absolutely nothing to do with my meat eating in front of my vegetarian brothers and sisters. Health was not the issue, sacrifices to idols was the issue.
I'll have to post my story about the time food was offered to an idol in my kitchen, then handed to me. Boy, Paul's statements went through my mind about 100 times in the 3 seconds before I . . . well, I'll wait to tell you what I did.
Lori and Colleen, Excellent stuff. Great story Colleen. I wasn't raised in the church, so my first vegetarian Thanksgiving was quite a stretch for me. Although not near as difficult as yours, mine was definitely a struggle. (I guess He gives to each of us, no more than we can bear.)
Lori, your statement about supporing the alcoholic is an eye-opener. Although I stopped giving tithes and offerings long ago, I am beginning to realize that even my presence there could be sending people the message that I still approve of what's happening there. I do not. Although I have yet to attend another church (that's immanent) I at least need to make it clear to people that I am not SDA (in beliefs, soon in actual membership). If people are aware of that, I think I'll be much freer from the trap that I feel that I've been in.
Like Colleen, I pray that God will give me a heart to love for Him, a heart to let Him love others through me.
Getting stronger in the faith,
|Posted on Sunday, May 28, 2000 - 6:43 am: || |
We missed you Friday, Steve. Glad you were OK and able to support your son!
I understand you concern about sending the wrong message by being seen at the SDA church. I remember when Richard and I started having those thoughts. We didn't quit attending immediately, but the issue integrity is what kept niggling at us. I understand why you're still there, Steve. I also believe that God has spcial ways he uses all of us during our times of "waking up" and settling into our new understanding of truth. Nothing is wasted, even your time at the SDA church.
In God's time,
|Posted on Tuesday, June 13, 2000 - 1:01 pm: || |
Your Thanksgiving story was hilarious, Colleen! Oh, the Adventist sentiment. Just like our pastor, former pastor I should say, thinking that it would just lower the church's standards to serve turkey sandwiches at the church after a funeral for a lot of non-adventist guests, but cheese is ok...But thank you for sharing your story. And when you think about it too, in Old Testament the way of preparing any meat eaten was to get ALL the blood out of it. I've never heard a discussion in our churches about..."Well, if you're going to eat meat, you'd better boil it so all the blood is out." That was because of it's symbolism in the blood of Jesus...