William Cowherd from the Bible Christian Church and Ellen G. White from the Seventh-day Adventists have recommended vegetarianism.While vegetarianism is not a common practice in current Christian thought and culture, there are many who claim that it has scriptural and historical support. Though many Christians choose to be vegetarians for ethical, environmental, nutritional, or spiritual reasons, the Bible itself does not directly promote following this dietary preference.
The Bible, on the other hand, indicates that the eating of meat is permissible. Whether you follow a vegetarian diet or indulge in consuming meat, you should remember that God judges you not by what you eat, but instead, looks into your heart. In short, what matters is not what enters our body, but rather, that what we talk or portray, by which each of us will be judged. Another important verse to remember as Christians is Matthew 4:4, in which it is stated that, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God."
* All Bible verses mentioned in this article have been taken from the English Standard Version.
Let's go back to the creation of man. In the very first chapter of the Bible, we find that God creates man and puts him in charge of everything on the Earth. Adam and Eve, though, have dominion over the birds of the air, and the creatures of the land are permitted to consume the fruits of the Earth. This obviously points to the early creation following a vegetarian diet. Those who advocate vegetarianism, use this verse as a base to do so, and it seems to be justified.
Come to the third chapter of Genesis, where we see God admonishing man's sin, and condemning him to toil for his food. If man has to toil for food, it only means that man could consume the food that he sows. Which again becomes a pointer to follow a vegetarian diet. That said, we need to know more of the Bible before we assume that was the only diet that the people were called to follow.
Fast-forward to the times of Noah and the flood. Once the flood subsides, and Noah sets foot on dry land again, we see a change in the dietary patterns followed. God permits Noah to consume everything that moves on the Earth as food. Let's just say that the great flood destroyed all vegetation, due to which, Noah had no other choice left than to consume meat. For obvious reasons, God forbade man from consuming blood, which is associated with life. In the same light, one cannot deny that the Bible records rules given to the Israelites about what meat could be consumed, suggesting that consumption of meat was not condemned nor that of a vegetarian diet being followed.
Lest we forget, God commanded the people of Israel to observe the feast of the Passover. While the feast called the Israelites to consume lamb, it goes against the whole ideal of vegetarianism, as given in the initial book of the Bible.
Just when you get yourself to believe that eating meat is all there is to Christianity, take a look at what happens in the wilderness. God supplied the people of Israel with manna to help them survive. In the same chapter, we see how God provides quails to the people who craved for meat. What follows next is the plague that strikes down all those who consumed the meat.
How did Jesus feed the multitude that gathered to hear him speak? With bread and fish, of course. Let's not forget, Jesus gave thanks to the Lord our God, and then offered the food to the people. What's important here is the act of consecration of the food, rather than paying attention to what was being served to the people.
For it is said, we should not be worried about what we eat, nor what we drink, but about seeking the kingdom of God. What really matters is asking the Lord for guidance, and trusting that he will provide. It doesn't matter then, if you are a vegetarian or consume meat. What really matters is your faith.
As a Christian, you should always remember to give glory to God, for everything that comes to us is not the mere work of hands, but a gift from the Heavenly Father. This includes the food that you eat and the strength that you receive. Last but not the least, we should remember that Christ himself declared all foods to be clean.
Whether you choose to be a vegetarian or consume meat is entirely your choice. Remember that the Bible says it is unjust to impose your views on others, just as it is a sin to cause another to sin. Last but not the least, you ought to remember that everything you do is to place glory and honor to God, and not just satisfy the physical body.