View Full Version : Personal tastes are God ordained

05-24-2008, 12:01 PM
Truth, by its very nature, is absolutely exclusive.

We are before we do. Therefore, there is inherent purpose and destiny to existence, particularly man’s existence. The purpose of man’s existence, or being, is to vitally engage the transcendent God in an infinite union of fellowship with God through the experience of knowing Him both in our finite and transient life and then forever through the intransient and infinite world to come which God has promised us. The world to come is now and will still be an interplay and union of matter and energy, space and time. But it all will be brought into a harmonious and seamless unity with the transcendent God himself through a transformed, restored and redeemed mankind.

'Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom.' 2 Cor 3:17. This statement is truth which was ascertained by Paul through his own personal life experience of living in fellowship with God as He was revealed through the Old Covenant scriptures and, now, through the person of Jesus the Messiah. Paul’s statement was a declaration of the newly enlivened 'Torah' (or standard, law, principle, teaching, commandment) of the New Covenant’s 'already' of the in-breaking kingdom of God in the Messiah. Just as the Old Torah told us that 'no man can see the face of God and live,' Moses, whom Paul was referencing to, and many of the prophets who had lived before the New Covenant, had obviously experienced something beyond the natural order of the creation when they saw and conversed with the uncreated and holy God 'face to face.'
God does, apparently, graciously intervene into the course of men’s lives in the midst of this finite and fallen creation! God has repeatedly demonstrated that He gloriously sidesteps the corrupted order of the very real and natural universe in the very midst of all its corruption from the stains of the sins of men and angels. Moses, a mortal man who had himself previously shown weaknesses and sinful failures, as well as great faith, defied the natural order (torah) of the universe and actually saw God with his own fleshly eyes and spoke with Him. When God’s infinitely powerful and transcendent Spirit is manifestly present, man is mercifully redeemed out of, and in the midst of his fallen, sin stained condition and enabled to engage the life-giving Father Himself without imminent destruction which would otherwise befall him.
Even the Genesis account of creation itself testifies to this. The earth was literally in a state of 'tohu and bohu,' or 'chaotic and empty' by the will of God. It was purposefully 'evil' (not morally but in the Biblical sense of 'waste, destruction, worthlessness') and 'dark' when His Spirit’s presence, above the earth’s dark and chaotic waters, began to create beauty, order and life. He found this worthless place to be the absolute perfect fit for Him to assume residence and begin to do the most extraordinary thing ever, demonstrate His manifold glory through an unnecessary creation of life and humanity in freedom. There was nothing out of God’s perfect order, ever, until man chose to willfully disobey God. 'For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it…' Rom 8:20.
Paul applied this concept of 'freedom,' issuing from the Spirit’s presence, to the New Covenant believers’ diet. 'Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to *deceitful spirits and* teachings of demons… and require abstinence from certain foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good (Gen 1-2) and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving…' 1 Tim 4:1, 3-4. These efforts of demons are intended by them to enslave men, destroy lives, deny God His desires for man, and stall their own destined doom. If a person can be enslaved to any system of beliefs, no mater how seemingly 'good,' he is controlled by demons on some level or another. Just consider some of the major world religions which have various dietary restrictions that millions or billions of people hold to. Since man is dependant upon eating, and eating is intended to be Spiritual and good, his diet is a great opportunity to deceive him and thusly control him. Why else would demons bother with people’s diets unless they gained benefit from doing such?
The diet is so significant that is it also one of the major areas of strongholds which the enemy will establish in this age as it draws closer to its transformation and displacement by the fullness of the Kingdom of God and His Messiah. The diet is then, apparently, one major element of the 'apostasy' (also translated as 'great falling away' or 'rebellion') which comes as preparation before the 'man of lawlessness' comes and the cataclysmic 'day of the Lord' befalls the whole earth. This is also when Jesus Him self will come and we believers will be 'gathered together to Him' (2 Thes 2:1, 3) to 'always be with the Lord.' (1 Thes 4:17). Therefore, freedom is the one thing that demons hate and fear the most. They make a priority to deceptively lead men into legalistic and religious bondage and thereby rob them of the freedom which the Messiah has liberated us with when He rose from the dead in the place of legally condemned men. All of the legal condemnation and its power were forever destroyed at the cross.
Deception is darkness, even deception which provokes men to discipline and/or 'good' works. Darkness is the concealment of the light of the reality of God in all His fullness and truth. That’s why the demons, who are not 'flesh and blood, but' conversely are 'rulers… authorities… cosmic powers over this present darkness' and 'spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly (or supernatural) places,' Eph 6:12, try to keep men in 'darkness.' Discipline and good works are esteemed as good and desirable by people precisely because they themselves are created as a reflection, or mirror image, of the 'good' God (Gen 1: 27). People, by nature, want to be good, but they also have a dark side to themselves etched in from the curse of sin. We instinctively know that we are not perfectly good (Rom 2:15) because we do things that we know are evil. This is where our enemy comes in and attempts to ease our conscience, nurture our pride and independence, and enslave us to various religious beliefs and systems assuring us that submission to, and faith in which promises to make us 'like God (or also translated as 'gods') knowing good and evil' Gen 3:5, as was God’s original good intention for man. And remember, being good comes before doing good.
Our physical diet is not our only one. Our mental, spiritual diet is also a place of strongholds as well. Just as the Old Covenant law had dietary restrictions, the New Covenant law which is one 'written on our hearts' has parallel restrictions. While eating a bratwurst will not defile our bodies or consciences (or has no real power to do such, though some people do have 'weak consciences' in those areas), unholy conversation and thoughts can have the same defiling effect upon our spirit that eating unclean food had upon the Old Covenant believer. Jesus commented on the traditional ritual of washing your hands before eating to illustrate this point. 'It is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person… But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.' Mat 15:11, 18-19.
Just as there are no foods or drinks that are inherently 'unclean' and incur guilt upon my spirit if consumed, there is nothing that I can be unavoidably exposed to that can impugn guilt of sin upon my heart before God. But conversely, just as one normally would have to consciously choose to eat unclean food in order to be defiled, one has to make a choice to deliberately consume evil things into our hearts to be defiled in the New Covenant. In daily life many people are exposed to hearing and seeing vile and sinful things taking place or even befalling them personally. This does not make them unclean before God. To deliberately come into agreement with those things or to choose to partake of such things willfully defiles one’s heart before God, whether they believe it or not.
We can choose to obediently 'be holy' as He is holy, or not to be holy and disobediently act out of that unholy disposition. But if we hear foul language at work, unavoidably see immorality or lewdness, become intoxicated from proper usage of prescription medicine, are raped or somehow forced to do things we would otherwise call sin, and the list could go on… we are not guilty of sinning before God. We will definitely feel dirty. If you are in the room when a diaper is changed you will definitely smell something foul. But even after the soiled diaper is disposed of: the air will still linger with stench. That stench, however, is no indicator of any human waste being in the room since it was already removed. The sin of others still stinks in our own noses. We were created with a conscience that acts like a spiritual nose that can smell all kinds of good and evil, our own or that of others.
'For everything created by God is good (Gen 1-2) and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving…' 1 Tim 4:4. Does this apply only to food? We know that God created all food. '…Without Him was not anything made that was made.' John 1:3. He created the pigs and the shellfish alongside the sheep and grain and called them all 'very good.' Gen 1:31. He created everything else also. That includes different colors, tastes, smells, different colored people, differently looking people, people with different personalities and skills, different styles of music, etc, etc.
'…Nothing is to be rejected…' But every person has unique likes and dislikes. When given options, each individual has personal preferences influencing what they eat. These do not, then, imply that a believer’s personal tastes are automatically an indication of the Spirit’s approval or condemnation of something. Paul was not demanding we eat all of the foods which we hate the taste of. He was liberating us from any sort of moral restrictions we may feel toward certain foods. This 'law of the Spirit,' (Rom 8:2) is called the 'law of freedom,' (James 1:25) because 'where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.' 2 Cor 3:17.
So, then, if I do not like to eat caviar, that does not make it a sin for someone else to enjoy eating it. If I do not find something enjoyable, attractive, tasty or fun, that has nothing to do with the morality of someone else having a different preference. God created all things. He also created all things in diversity. We do not have to fully understand others to love and accept them. Unity in diversity glorifies the God who made us these different ways. May we walk in the true unity we have with each other in the Messiah’s loving unity of His Spirit. That is what Paul was thinking of when he wrote: 'I… urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.' Eph 4: 1-3.
People naturally fear or despise what they do not understand. Love is never the result of such attitudes. That is where racism and other forms of discrimination come from. The enemy divides people and sows hate and fear into people’s hearts by lying to them and telling them that their tastes and preferences are the right and godly way, and the only right way. If another person likes different kind of food, music, or style of corporate worship, etc, that becomes the evidence of their lack of the spirituality and wisdom which you already have attained. And, boy do you have it right and are they ever lost! Yuk! In reality, that attitude shows us how spiritually immature and unloving we really are.
Unless it really is a morality issue, God has no issue with other people’s differences from you. In fact, if we think that way than we probably would have taken issue with the cultural differences and personal preferences of Jesus Himself if we had lived in His day. After all, 'he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him.' Isa 53:2b. Ask yourself, if you may have misjudged a first century Jew given the chance, might you be judging people Jesus identifies with in our world today? What if Jesus were to come for the very first time ever today as a 21st century Orthodox Jewish rabbi? Do you thing that you would accept Him and His gospel today? Or would you misjudge Him and be eternally lost because of cultural differences? May we have the humility and love of the Son of God.