Christian Vegetarianism

Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.  Isaiah 28:9
Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother: my soul is even as a weaned child.  Psalm 131:2

As you may have guessed, this is not an article about natural food or the eating habits of some Christians.  Much can be said on that topic, but that would be the subject for another article.

In the first passage quoted above, the Lord seems to be saying that the key to divine knowledge and understanding is to leave the milk behind.  When God exhorts us in the Old Testament and the New to move from the milk of His Word to the meat, what is He referring to?  What is the connection between the soul and the milk?  What constitutes milk and meat and why will we never truly know or understand Him if we remain on the milk?  Why is it so important to Him that we make that progression?

Our loving Father provides the answers to these questions, for those who have ears to hear and a heart to receive, in the powerful fourth chapter of Paul’s letter to the Galatians.  To give a brief background to this letter, Paul addresses Gentile believers in Galatia in some of the strongest language in the New Testament because they were being seduced by Jewish Christians.  This seduction or bewitching, as Paul refers to it, was the effort on the part of the Jewish Christians to bring the Gentiles under the Jewish law with the insistence that they be circumcised and that they observe Jewish ordinances and feast days.  Paul was gravely concerned that this judaizing of Gentile Christians was undermining the gospel of grace and inclusion. The Galatians would start to view themselves as somehow inferior to the Jews as the church in Galatia was threatening to become a Jewish wannabe body.  I imagine that seders, prayer shawls and shofars were becoming all the rage among Galatian Gentiles.  Sound familiar?

Let’s look at verses 21-26:
Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.

These verses are a Holy Spirit tutorial on how to understand the Old Testament.  In one brilliant paragraph, Paul demolished all the concepts that derive from a literalistic, carnal reading of the Word (the milk) and elevates and illuminates the Word in its true meaning which is contained in types and shadows of Christ and His Church (the meat).  Paul is seeking here to forge a spiritual identity for these Gentile converts by highlighting their union in the spirit with Old Testament believers.  We are one bread in Christ Jesus (I Cor. 10:17) with the faithful in the Old Testament.  He imparts to those Galatian Gentile Christians (and all of us) the very real sense that they are on an equal footing with Jewish Christians as children of the Jerusalem that is above.  In fact, Jews that reject Jesus Christ as their messiah are no different in the eyes of God than the natural descendants of Hagar (the Arabs).  They are all children of the Jerusalem which now is (natural Jerusalem) with its legal bondage to the Koran or the Torah. 

If Christians of all stripes and denominations would prayerfully meditate on these verses with an open mind and what they tell us about how the Old Testament is to be understood, all sorts of doctrinal bondage would fall away.  For Catholics, the fact that it is Sarah and not Mary who is the type of the mother of us all, heavenly Jerusalem, should cause them to re-evaluate their church’s teachings.  For Evangelicals, Pentecostals and Charismatics, these verses are the key that unlocks the meaning of Old Testament prophesy in regard to “Israel”.  Who is God’s true Israel?  The milk might lead you to believe it is natural Jewry, but the meat reveals the truth.

The sad truth, however, is that so many Christians are deeply brain-washed and just plain lazy or fearful.  As the second scripture quoted above shows, there is a connection between the milk and the soul realm.  Our soulish emotions often keep us from moving into the meat of God’s Word.  Why?  Milk does not cause waves and guarantees acceptance by the religious establishment whereas meat often brings persecution.  Milk goes down easy but meat requires work.  Just as in the natural we need teeth to take apart the fibers of meat and we need to make the effort to chew and digest that meat, we need to take the Word of God apart, study it, go to the original languages, and prayerfully meditate on the true meaning.  We need to be hungry for more of God, not complacent, and willing to die to everything adamic that keeps us from totally pleasing God.

Why, why, why is this important to God?  Because our God is a Spirit and His Word is spiritual.  He wants to raise up a nation of people who are like Him and like His Word.  The woman at the well in Samaria discovered this.  This woman is a type of many Christian churches today that are married to the five senses and in bondage to man.  (This is the meat revelation; the milk interpretation portrays her as a loose and immoral woman with a shady marital past.  Which interpretation provides an insight into the mind and heart of God?)  The Samaritan woman wants to know whether she should book her flight to Jerusalem for the second coming.  Her theology, like the theology of many Christians today, was a carnal mess but Jesus straightened her out by quickening her spirit man.  If you want to worship God, He told her, if you want to please Him, you must worship Him in Spirit and in Truth.

The milk will never bring you to the knowledge and understanding of His eternal plan, but the meat will.  Beloved, seek Him in the deep things of His Word!