It was a Saturday, and I was in a relatively small church in northern Georgia; asked to speak at a men's conference. The overall purpose of the conference was to sharpen the men to live a more Biblical life. The event organizer wanted me to speak on a specific subject - Biblical food.

When he told me the subject I raised my eyebrows and gave him a look that screamed, "Your kidding right?". He noticed my expression and informed me that this conference was not for the faint of heart; this conference is for men who want to fashion their life to look more godly.

So, here I was. We just had a fine lunch; steak and potatoes… a real men's conference. Immediately after the food was a teaching on food. I wasn't sure I really wanted to be there. I mean; teaching what the Bible REALLY says about food in the Bible belt is a danger to my life. Bible belt - You know that southern area of the United States where they say they follow the Bible but they don't really read it?

Two days prior, while in a small town in Kentucky, I had a man say, "You know, the Bible says you won't be able to tell one season from the next". No, it doesn't "snickerdoodle". That's southern talk. Even though I don't really speak southernly, sometimes you got to become all things to all people so you may win some (1 Cor 9:22). I told that nice man, "You know… that is nowhere in the Bible." "It ain't?" He replied.

You see, that's the problem. For generation after generation, we listen to what tradition tells us, what denominations tell us, what people tell us, but we really don't open the bible to see what the Bible tells us.

There is no debate that the Old Testament has explicit commands on what we can and can not eat. The problem comes to the New Testament. There are no EXPLICIT commands on what we can and cannot eat. Therefore, the church takes one of two paths.

The first path is to believe that as long as the New Testament does not say it, then we must not have to follow any longer. Basically, people feel the rule is null and void. I wonder if this would work in our own homes.

If your fifteen-year-old boy was to take your new sports car for a joy ride, would you accept the excuse of "You told me I couldn't drive your old car but you didn't tell me I couldn't drive the new"? No. We would not accept that excuse and I don't believe God would either. So, we need to make sure that we are looking at this correctly.

We need to remember how the Bible is assembled. The Bible is not assembled to answer OUR questions. It's assembled from preserved letters and documents that answer the question of the person or church that the document or letter was written to. The apostles did not sit down and determine to write a theological thesis that would answer the questions of each generation. The letters were specifically written to these groups of people. We need to see what the letter is saying to them and then determine what that means to us.

Since there is no explicit command for foods in the New Testament, the second path the church takes is to pull some Scripture from context and twist it in order to force Scripture to conform around our lives rather than our lives conforming around Scripture. We feel we need Scripture to support our desired way of living; therefore we will find something we can pull from the actual meaning and make it mean something different.

We are going to look at all the passages and beliefs used to support our choice of diet; we're going to put the passages back into its context and see if it is really talking about the type of meat we eat.

Part 2 - Peters Vision