This morning I read this fantastic article, “Throwback Thursday: Is it OK to eat Chicken in a Biskit crackers on Fridays during Lent? — excatholic4christ,” regarding what is lawful and unlawful for a Roman Catholic to eat on Fridays during Lent.
When I was Catholic I wrestled with things like this. Is eating eggs and drinking milk on Lenten Fridays lawful for the Catholic? What about crackers that contain chicken broth or bullion cubes? You better know because according to your church, your eternal life is at stake.
Does statements like this bring a sense of relief, or anxiety? How do you square this with New Testament Bible verses like these:
I know and am convinced by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean.Romans 14:14 NKJV
But food does not commend us to God; for neither if we eat are we the better, nor if we do not eat are we the worse.– 1 Corinthians 8:8 NKJV
and these verses:
So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ. Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God. Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations– “Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,” which all concern things which perish with the using–according to the commandments and doctrines of men? These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.– Colossians 2:16-23 NKJV
So He said to them, “Are you thus without understanding also? Do you not perceive that whatever enters a man from outside cannot defile him, “because it does not enter his heart but his stomach, and is eliminated, thus purifying all foods?” And He said, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, “thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. “All these evil things come from within and defile a man.”– Mark 7:18-23 NKJV
I for one would like to know why the Pope and the Magisterium forbade certain foods to be eaten during certain days. For the Bible tells me that those whom we should watch out for — command these things, as said in the following:
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
Consider what you believe and why you believe it.
Frank, thanks for the link to my post and for your additional good thoughts and Scripture passages. I did some googling for an upcoming post and discovered that pope Nicholas I made Friday meat abstention a mandatory rule in 866 A.D., supposedly “to honor the memory of Christ’s suffering and dying on that day of the week.”
If people of that period were conversant with Scripture they would have known immediately that the rule was without Biblical warrant, but the RCC withheld the Bible from the people for reasons just like this.
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Church history, whether RCC or Protestant, is my weakest area. I couldn’t resist reposting. It was a fantastic article.
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Thanks, Frank! I’m definitely not a church history “expert,” but I have read quite a bit.