This morning, I happened to read in 1 Timothy 4. (Note, I read from this 3 year Bible reading plan. 1 year plans are too much for my daily attention span. 😉 This, I can actually read, process and retain throughout the day.) I have had 1 Timothy 4 quoted to me as Scripture that supposedly would say I am wrong to abstain from particular foods.
If you read 1 Timothy 4 (verses 1-5) in the New International Version (a version as recent as the 1960’s, written in contemporary language, with a now updated 2011 version), the passage looks like this:
"The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer." 1 Timothy 4:1-5 NIV
The bolded parts are mine, only to point out the parts that other believers might cling to. So, if abstaining from food is something that deceiving spirits and demons teach us, and "everything God created is good," then the GAPS Diet or any kind of elimination diet would surely be from demons, right??
But if you read the same passage in the King James Version (a translation from 1611, some say more accurate for true study of the Word), the passage looks like this:
"Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.
For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:
For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer." 1 Timothy 4:1-5 KJV
I think it’s interesting that in the King James Version (more true to the original text), this is clearly talking about MEAT. For those of you who don’t know much about this diet we’re on, let me be clear, we do not abstain from meat. 🙂
I just wanted to point out, too, that this passage is talking about people who leave the faith and start clinging to ideals about food and marriage. I haven’t left the faith. 🙂 I read my Bible regularly (I try for daily, but I’m not perfect and an irregular schedule can throw me off sometimes!). I walk around the house quoting the Fruits of the Spirit with my kids these days, as well as "Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things." from Philippians 4:8. I am in prayer multiple times daily. I love my Lord. We are currently in the midst of the adoption process-a discouraging one, where our name and information will be in a stack of 50 to 100 families each wanting the same kid. I could easily lose faith in that kind of process, but I trust in a sovereign God. I know that He will provide just the right child for us in the right timing, if it is in His perfect plan. He has proved Himself in this way over and over in our lives. As we trust in Him, He sees us through–and not only that, but when we have trusted, the end result has always been better than we expected (e.g. I was praying for 5 acres, wanting a particular property SO badly but leaving it in His hands, and He provided 30 acres!!! Go God!!!).
So there–I haven’t left the faith. I’m not abstaining from meat. I, too, believe that God created good foods for us and they are not to be abstained from. However. I believe that man has tainted what God created for good. I believe that consuming tainted food (and non-foods, like Fruit Loops, Doritos, Gogurts, etc.) leads to damage in the bodies that God made for us in His image. When I continued to eat like the typical American, I felt sick and I was not living up to my full potential as a Christian (and let me just throw out this challenge, is the American way God’s way??? Because there are plenty of other cultures out there, in fact most, that don’t feed Gogurts and Doritos to their children.) While I abstain from particular foods (e.g. sugar, God made it, man got greedy and grew more and more of it and put it in everything), I feel 100 times better and can serve Him in a better capacity. Praise God, this last weekend I had the strength and energy to put together a game night with 4 other families–to stay up until 11:30 pm cleaning house afterwards, and I was still able to wake up early to bless my family with a hearty breakfast before church.
Diet has improved my health, but HE is the one who brought me to it. He is the ultimate healer, not food. Without Him, I might feel better by choosing the right foods, but I would not be *healed.* And what good is a healthy body that’s going to hell, anyways?
Just my 2 cents! 🙂
I’m trusting in Him to heal me by eating *only* foods He’s created and nothing more, including plenty of healthy meat. I hope you will join me. 🙂