The Real Food and Religion Series starts today with this post by Steve and Paula Runyan. They have two blogs, sustainablefirstfruits and steveandpaularunyan.
We attend a home fellowship, which practices fundamental Christianity, as taught by Jesus Christ, recorded in the 4 Gospels and the epistles. We believe in a real Heaven and real Hell, that Satan is a real, living being who opposes God and attempts to win people away from following God. The only way to Heaven is through the shed blood and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and Salvation is a free gift given to any who is willing to repent of their sins and accept the gift.
Our “religion” teaches nothing about food. No foods are forbidden by our fellowship, nor are any required. The body of Christians we fellowship with also has no set standard for food. What we personally believe about food comes from the Bible. Romans 14 is both a literal and allegorical chapter about eating, which we do take literally. We do not observe Old Testament food laws, because of the New Covenant established in the New Testament. We believe the vision of Peter was a literal as well as allegorical event, and that God, as He told Peter, has given us every creeping, swimming, flying and crawling thing for our food. We also find no prohibition against alcohol in the Bible, in fact, the opposite, as when Paul tells Timothy to drink wine for his stomach. The Bible does command us not to drink in excess; “be not drunk with wine, but the Spirit.”
Personally, we have begun to take a very critical look at today’s food culture in the US. Tied to this is also modern medicine. When God created the earth, after each event He looked at it and declared, “This is good.” Now in many instances our government and food safety agencies are telling us that many of God’s created foods are not good, unless they are modified before use. One of the biggest of these cases is milk. Our government tells us milk is dangerous and unhealthy for us, unless it is altered through pasteurization. Yet, it comes from cows, which God created, with big udders that fit perfectly in a human hand. When he made cows, they were declared to be good. Throughout the Bible, the phrase “milk and honey” is used to denote good, desirable land, or good things. As in Canaan was a land “flowing with milk and honey.” Breast feeding is also frowned upon by many local governments and agencies, though that is God’s design for rearing an infant. We are told that man made formulas are better for our infant children. God didn’t cause milk to flow from a mother for any other reason. So we drink raw milk now, and have seen improvements in our health. We believe many if not all medical conditions in the US are deeply tied to what we eat.
We eat a vast amount of fish and wild game. We believe this is part of our good stewardship of the earth. We also raise chickens for eggs and meat, raise a garden, and pick wild berries. We attempt to feed the chickens an organic diet, as frugally as possible. God’s directive for good animal husbandry takes us away from the industrial meat mills and toward smaller, sustainable farms when we do need to purchase meat. God mandated a 7 year cycle to His people, in resting their fields every 7 years, which helps the land regenerate and should still be practiced today by rotating crops.
Food is a part of our fellowship. We have a large family meal (potluck) after each Sunday meeting, and often meet with families within the congregation for dinner. Food also is used in one of our most important traditions, Breaking of Bread. We use grape juice and crackers or bread, to celebrate communion each Sunday, and remember Christ’s ministry and sacrifice here on earth. We also hunt and fish together sometimes to put up food for the winter. Fish and game often makes up a part of the potluck dinner on Sunday, as well.
Steve and Paula Runyan