1 But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, 3 men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth. 4 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; 5 for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer.
Part of God’s makeup of the person that is me was a strong desire for the truth to be revealed and a strong distaste for the twisting, manipulating or distorting of that truth. I hate it. It really boils my blood. Many find Paul’s reaction to the distortion of truth in Galatians 5:12 as confusing and maybe even offensive, “I wish that those who are troubling you would even mutilate themselves,” which literally mean that they would chop off parts of their anatomy (and in the context it seems as if He meant a specific part). I can actually relate to his passion and righteous anger. I will confess that I am steamed! When you find out why, you might think it petty, but I find it to be an indication of a larger problem within Christian circles.
I have to grant that when God shares His plan for vegetation with Adam and Eve he says, “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” (Gen. 1:29). It is not until after the flood that we have a record of animals being used for food: “Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant” (Gen. 9:3). The issue here is not that Adam and Eve ate plant life. I might even grant that animal meat was not consumed until after the flood, although the fact that Abel kept flocks of sheep is equal evidence that meat might have been consumed from the earliest times.
What is really at issue is when Christians speak for God where God has not spoken, and in the process, ignore things that God has clearly spoken about. Nowhere has God ever related the simple act of consuming meat with sin, but He has clearly revealed that consuming all foods is well within the Christian’s freedom and is good (:3-4). Those who go beyond scripture and start replacing revealed truth with cultural fads need to be called on it. It does not reveal faith and is an indication that person is sadly being deceived by demons and liars. What is unfortunate is that this lie is only one of many which tend to speak where God has not spoken. If you are a vegetarian, more power to you. As much as my wife lets me be, I am a meat-atarian, and I love it! But I hope more than anything that we are all truth-atarians, avid consumers of truth and only truth and nothing but His truth.
May we be champions of the truth that God has revealed and critical of “truths” that He has not.