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Why Does the Church Not Really Want You to Eat meat?

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Why does the church not really want you to eat meat? It doesn't say meat-eating is a sin.


Steve Answers:

The bigger issue is health. The church is in favor of good health. You can probably think of a number of areas, besides avoiding meat, that make up the church's health principles: cutting down on sugar and fats; getting enough rest; performing regular exercise; drinking water; eating a balanced diet; not stressing out; getting adequate sunlight; and trusting God.

Why does health matter? According to 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20, our bodies belong to God, and the Holy Spirit lives in us when we give ourselves to Jesus. God has made us as whole people, which includes the physical--our health (see Genesis 2:7).

Because some have made healthful living almost a religion by itself, others have reacted by blatantly disregarding healthy practices, announcing that such actions are "only a matter of health, not salvation." It's true that Jesus will give us a new body when He returns (see 1 Corinthians 15:50-53), but our salvation begins now (see John 5:24), which means our current health matters a great deal. It's more than just health. We are whole people.

As far as "not eating meat" is concerned, meat wasn't even part of humanity's diet until after the Flood (see Genesis 9:3, 4). Seventh-day Adventists continue to follow the specific rules God gave the Israelites about not eating "unclean" meats (see Leviticus 11), such as the animal garbage collectors. Jesus certainly ate meat (see Luke 24:41-43) and even multiplied it for others to eat (see John 6:11).

Don't get tripped up on the meat versus no meat issue. Live as healthfully as you can because your body belongs to God, who saves you and lives in you. Your spiritual life is affected by your physical life since you are a whole person.

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