Is God a Vegetarian? Christianity, Vegetarianism, and Animal Rights

By Richard Alan Young | Go to book overview

10

Didn't Paul
Condemn
Vegetarianism
as Heresy?

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the later times some shall
depart from the faith, giving head to seducing spirits, and doctrines of
devils;… forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from
meats, which God has created to be received with thanksgiving of
them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is
good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: for
it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.
(I Timothy 4:1–5 KJV)

The apostle reprobates likewise such as “bid to abstain from meats;”
but he does so from the foresight of the Holy Spirit, precondemning
already the heretics who would enjoin perpetual abstinence to the
extent of destroying and despising the works of the Creator; such as I
may find in the person of a Marcion, a Tatian, or a Jupiter, the
Pythagorean heretic of to-day; not in the person of the Paraclete.
(Tertullian, On Fasting, 15)

The mention of the apostle Paul in vegetarian circles invariably invokes some sarcastic and disparaging remarks. Why is this? Well, for one thing, Paul is read through the lens of modern

-115-

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Is God a Vegetarian? Christianity, Vegetarianism, and Animal Rights
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Foreword vii
  • Preface xi
  • Introduction xv
  • 1: Was Jesus a Vegetarian? 1
  • 2: Would a Veggie Garfield Be a Happy Cat? 15
  • 3: Was God the First Tanner? 28
  • 4: Was Noah's Ark an Early Food Factory? 41
  • 5: Permit Meat? Didn't God Us to Eat 53
  • 6: Isn't Passover Lamb the Main Entrée? 65
  • 7: Was Jesus Kosher? 77
  • 8: Didn't John the Baptist Snack on Locusts? 90
  • 9: Doesn't God Care About Our Health? 102
  • 10: Didn't Paul Condemn Vegetarianism as Heresy? 115
  • 11: Is Christian Vegetarianism Only for Desert Monks? 127
  • 12: Will There Be Slau Hterhouses in Heaven? 140
  • 13: What Then Shall We Eat? 153
  • Epilogue - Going Vegetarian 167
  • Further Reading 178
  • General Index 181
  • Recipe Index 187
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