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Christian dietary laws

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Title: Christian dietary laws  
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Christian dietary laws

Peter's Vision by Henry Davenport Northrop, 1894.

In Nicene Christianity, there is no restriction on kinds of animals that can be eaten.[1][2] This practice stems from Peter's vision of a sheet with animals, in which Saint Peter "sees a sheet containing animals of every description lowered from the sky."[3] Nonetheless, the New Testament does give a few guidelines about the consumption of meat, practiced by the Christian Church today; one of these is not consuming food knowingly offered to pagan idols,[4] a conviction that the early Church Fathers, such as Clement of Alexandria and Origen preached.[5] In addition, Christians traditionally bless any food before eating it with a mealtime prayer (grace), as a sign of thanking God for the meal they have.[6]

In terms of slaughtering animals for food, many Christians prefer[7][8] to use a single strike to the head to minimize pain, often together with the speaking of the trinitarian formula,[9] although the Armenian Apostolic Church, among other Orthodox Christians, have rituals that "display obvious links with shechitah, Jewish kosher slaughter."[10] In addition, meat consumed by Christians should not retain any blood, a practice that both Jewish and Islamic methods of slaughter also prescribe,[11] and one that is done by most slaughterhouses throughout Christendom.[2][12]

In the Holy Bible, Paul of Tarsus notes that some devout Christians may wish to abstain from consuming meat if it causes "my brother to stumble" in his faith with God (cf. 1 Corinthians 8:13).[13] As such, some Christian monks, such as the Trappists have adopted a policy of Christian vegetarianism.[14] In addition, Christians of the Seventh-day Adventist tradition generally "avoid eating meat and highly spiced food".[15] Christians in the Anglican, Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, and Orthodox denominations traditionally observe a meat-free day, especially during the liturgical season of Lent.[16][17][18][19]

Some Christian denominations condone the moderate drinking of alcohol (moderationism), such as Anglicans, Catholics, Lutherans, and the Orthodox,[20] although others, such as Adventists, Baptists, Methodists, and Pentecostals either abstain from or prohibit the consumption of alcohol (abstentionism & prohibitionism).[21] However, all Christian Churches, in view of the Biblical position on the issue, universally condemn drunkenness as sinful.[22][23]

See also

References

  1. ^ Wright, Professor Robin M; Vilaça, Aparecida (28 May 2013). Native Christians: Modes and Effects of Christianity among Indigenous Peoples of the Americas. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. p. 171.  
  2. ^ a b Geisler, Norman L. (1 September 1989). Christian Ethics: Contemporary Issues and Options. Baker Books. p. 334.  
  3. ^ Ehrman, Bart D. (1 May 2006). Peter, Paul, and Mary Magdalene: The Followers of Jesus in History and Legend. Oxford University Press. p. 60.  
  4. ^ "The Weaker Brother". Third Way Magazine 25 (10): 25. December 2002. Christ came for the Gentiles as well as the Jews (the real meaning of that vision in Acts 10:9;16) but he also calls us to look out for each other and not do things that will cause our brothers and sisters to stumble. In Corinthians Paul urges the believers to consider not eating meat when with people who assume that meat must be offered to idols before consumption: 'Food will not bring us close to God,' he writes. 'We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block for the weak.' (1 Corinthians 8:8-9) 
  5. ^ Binder, Stephanie E. (2012-11-14). Tertullian, On Idolatry and Mishnah Avodah Zarah.  
  6. ^ Deem, Rich (21 June 2008). "Should Christians Eat Meat or Should We Be Vegetarians?". Evidence for God from Science. Retrieved 2 May 2014. Later, laws were instituted that declared certain meats to be "clean" and others to be "unclean." The system provided a means of proving one's obedience to God and had some health benefits. After Jesus Christ came, God declared all meats to be clean. Current slaughterhouse practices comply with the dictate to remove the blood, so virtually all meat today is acceptable to eat according to God. 
  7. ^ Engineers, Niir Board Of Consultants & (2009). Medical, Municipal and Plastic Waste Management Handbook. National Institute of Industrial Research. p. 214.  
  8. ^ Efron, John M. (1 October 2008). Medicine and the German Jews: A History. Yale University Press. p. 206.  
  9. ^ Salamon, Hagar (7 November 1999). Ethiopian Jews in Christian Ethiopia. University of California Press. p. 101.  
  10. ^ Grumett, David; Muers, Rachel (26 February 2010). Theology on the Menu: Asceticism, Meat and Christian Diet. Routledge. p. 121.  
  11. ^ Masri, Basheer Ahmad (1989). Animals in Islam. Athene Trust.  
  12. ^ Deem, Rich (21 June 2008). "Should Christians Eat Meat or Should We Be Vegetarians?". Evidence for God from Science. Retrieved 2 May 2014. Therefore, the Christian is free to eat or not eat meat according to his own conscience. However, all eating should be done giving thanks to God. 
  13. ^ Phelps, Norm (2002). The Dominion of Love: Animal Rights According to the Bible. Lantern Books. p. 171.  
  14. ^ Walters, Peter; Byl, John (2013). Christian Paths to Health and Wellness. Human Kinetics. p. 184.  
  15. ^ Daugherty, Helen Ginn (1995). An Introduction to Population. Guilford Press. p. 150.  
  16. ^ "What does The United Methodist Church say about fasting?". The United Methodist Church. Retrieved 2 May 2014. 
  17. ^ Barrows, Susanna; Room, Robin (1991). Drinking: Behavior and Belief in Modern History. University of California Press. p. 340.  
  18. ^ Lund, Eric (January 2002). Documents from the History of Lutheranism, 1517-1750. Fortress Press. p. 166.  
  19. ^ Vitz, Evelyn Birge (1991). A Continual Feast. Ignatius Press. p. 80.  
  20. ^ Scratchley, David (1996). Alcoholism and Other Drug Problems. Simon and Schuster. p. 298.  
  21. ^ Conlin, Joseph (11 January 2008). The American Past: A Survey of American History, Enhanced Edition. Cengage Learning. p. 748.  
  22. ^ Domenico, Roy P.; Hanley, Mark Y. (1 January 2006). Encyclopedia of Modern Christian Politics. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 18.  
  23. ^ Cobb, John B. (2003). Progressive Christians Speak: A Different Voice on Faith and Politics. Westminster John Knox Press. p. 136.  

Further reading


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