Paul writes in his letter to the church at Rome that Christians should eat meat. According to him, eating meat is lawful and any discomfort caused by it should not make people uncomfortable.
It is undeniable evidence that God does not prohibit eating meat; in fact, Scripture contains specific laws on what can and cannot be eaten.
1. Genesis 1:29-30
In Genesis chapter one of the Bible, man and animals were vegetarians. According to Genesis 1:19-30, Adam and Eve were given all plants on Earth (with the exception of the tree of knowledge of good and evil) as food sources.
Be mindful that this scene takes place prior to the Fall. God had intended for humans to live as vegetarians, eating fruit from every tree until they decided against obeying Him and chose disobey Him instead.
This verse, among many others, refutes the secular theory of evolution – which holds that humans evolved from carnivores over millions of years – as well as many compromise positions held by Christian believers who attempt to harmonize Scripture with secular theories of origins.
After Adam had eaten from the forbidden tree in Eden, God issued another command allowing him to consume meat if it were clean (Genesis 9:3). Following Noah’s Flood – possibly because there was limited food storage space available on board his Ark – God allowed people back onto land again with permission to consume meat as part of a daily diet.
God was also instrumental in clarifying which animals were unclean after the Flood; He instructed Noah to collect seven each of every clean animal and two each of those considered unclean; this became the basis for laws regarding consumption of certain types of meat as well as sacrifice and sanctity.
Laws concerning clean and unclean foods shed more light on God and His plan for humanity. While not intended as a command against eating meat, these laws demonstrate how different food can have different impacts on our bodies, minds, and spirits based on how it may impact them; such as unclean foods such as pork and shellfish hindering us from receiving adequate nutrients necessary for healthful living. The Bible not only informs us on which items are unclean but also shows what can cause disease or even lead to our demise.
2. Genesis 9:3
Genesis 9:1-17 recounts God’s interaction with Noah and his family after they have resettled into their new world after the flood. First, He blesses them by reinstating what Adam had originally been told: to be fruitful and multiply. Next He establishes a new covenant between themselves (a formal agreement that establishes specific obligations and rewards between two parties), followed by instructions on how they are to live their new existence.
Genesis 9:6 establishes a law which forbids human murder (Genesis 9:6a), because in God’s view human lives have more value than animal lives – they reflect His image and should never be treated with contempt; those who kill others will themselves be destroyed as an example to others of what was once tolerated – this represents an extreme change from what had happened when Cain murdered Abel.
God also introduced another radical shift following the flood: eating meat from animals is now legal (Genesis 9:3) whereas it had previously been forbidden. There was one restriction, though: individuals weren’t permitted to eat any animal meat with its blood still present – likely for health reasons as disease can easily spread through blood; moreover, this symbolic act shows God’s high regard for human lives – symbolically foreshadowing Christ shedding his own blood on our behalf as atonement for sins committed against Him by him against Him!
God also blesses the descendants of Shem, Ham, and Japheth based on their spiritual qualities – Shem’s descendants will become leaders and judges of men, Ham’s will be traders and merchants, while Japheth will have strong spiritual ties with God that lead directly to Jesus Christ (Genesis 9:16). And to seal the deal He also confirms His rainbow promise (Genesis 9:16). A rainbow reminds people of God’s promise that there will never again be worldwide destruction by flood waters – that He keeps His promise; His promise will provide for His children!
3. Exodus 12:20
Some use this verse as evidence that meat consumption is prohibited in the Bible, yet its context and history should be taken into consideration when reading it.
God had previously ordered His people to kill and consume animals as food; Genesis 9:3 shows this by giving humanity every living thing as food – the only reason these animals weren’t eaten in Eden’s Garden was because they would have had to be killed first. Thus this instruction came at a very different time from when God gave instructions to Moses and Israel.
God was giving instructions to the Israelites in Egypt regarding Passover. These included how they should prepare and consume the lamb they would kill to celebrate their freedom from slavery; this act of sacrifice should take place quickly.
Importantly, God began providing them with laws regarding unclean and clean foods at this point in history. The Old Testament contains many such regulations with some notable exceptions (like Leviticus 11 banning pork consumption).
God generally allowed His people to eat cows, sheep and goats but prohibited the consumption of sea creatures, pigs, rabbits and camels that are considered unclean for consumption as food. These laws demonstrate that God does not prohibit consumption of meat; however there are certain options which should be avoided due to high levels of fat content.
As another key point, remember that after Christ died on the cross, He fulfilled all Old Testament laws regarding food purity and uncleanliness, making it permissible for Christians to consume any kind of meat now. There may be false teachings stating otherwise; for more proof that eating meat is permitted according to Scripture read my post entitled Does the Bible Prohibit Eating Meat?
4. Leviticus 11:4
No doubt God gave His people permission to eat meat after the flood. Leviticus 11:2-43 establishes a list of creatures Israel could and could not eat, including animals, winged insects and some reptiles – with blood not permitted as an ingredient. These rules appear to have been health related as some creatures listed may contain bacteria or pathogens harmful to human health; another possible reason could be teaching Israelites respect and honor what was holy according to their understanding;
In Romans 14, the Hebrew word tame is translated into Greek as akathartos by its New Testament author and means “clean.” This change in law marks a new dispensation.
As Christians, we are free to enjoy any food that does not offend or harm other believers (Romans 14:16). But it is essential to remember that our freedom in Christ does not permit us to harm others through what we eat; therefore Paul instructs us not to consume meat in front of vegan brothers who follow a vegan diet.
Before attending a restaurant or family gathering, we can ask the host what the menu will include to allow them to answer any queries about their beliefs ahead of time. If they cannot do this, then we have the option to leave or decline.
As Christians, we are called upon to do what is in the best interests of our brothers and sisters in Christ. When able, eating meat should not become an impediment in our relationships with each other; we must sacrifice personal preferences in favor of those yet unconverted.