Will the real vegan stand up, grovel in muddy waters, or glory in the gospel? We cannot imagine how anyone can be impressive for Christ by reading a translation of biblical text that is not his own, by reading a commentary also not his own, and by turning God’s grace into works of a lost humanity.
Reading is feeding
Reading is supposed to deliver nutrients. Looking at what we are saying after we have read something helps us discover the measure of our growth. Eating with intent means that knife, fork, spoon, bowl, cups, and chalices are on the table. Reading with intent means we will be aware of the great diversity of significant nutrients in even the tiniest pieces of our literature. “Looking at” must be that part of reading where there is no conscious uncertainty about what is on the page.
If neither the New Testament nor the Old Testament leads us to the law and the prophets predicting their own demise our reading is a shallow effort. Inspiration that ends in theories that the kingdom of God’s grace is based on Israel’s institutions can hardly be trusted.
Ending the authority of Moses and the prophets
Jewish thought and life was exclusively informed and strictly regulated through the Law and the prophetic sayings. The Law contains the primitive partiarchal record and important customs for observation, such as circumcision and the practice of praying (building altars) everywhere. The writer is referring to the entire library of sacred writings when he wrote “all the prophets and the law”. They speak for God, up to John. They speak as final authority up to John.
For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.Matthew 11:13
There is no vacuum when the Law and the prophets take a back seat. The kingdom takes their place. It becomes the destination. This demands a journey. If Abraham’s fidelity consisted of him leaving his roots (country, kinmdred, and ancestral home) why should any descendant shrink from undertaking a similar journey? Calling people antinomian for looking for moral stability outside of the law of Moses is a kind of character assassination.
The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.Luke 16:16
The English and Greek are languages that have features so different it is suicidal to think that our best grasp of English (French, Spanish or German) can get Bible readers to what the Bible writers intended. You might as well be staring at a blank wall and expect to see doors and windows appear. Basic or advanced English grammar courses may save the face of a semi-literate clergy but it will not remove distance between most readers of the Bible and the meaning of what the writers wrote.
If the pure diet consists of earth produce the impure would be all the others (including earth produce that we process). The pastor who forgets how to translate the Hebrew and Greek of the Bible is negligent and can lay no claim to being part of pure spiritual nutrition. Feeding people the comments of our several traditions is like settling for red meat when nuts and grains are available.
The vegan diet is the Eden model. When the pure diet includes every living thing that moves then the impure diet would include whatever we so label. That follows the flood model. The feeding practices of humans go off in strange directions when the spiritual and the physical come under scrutiny.
Spiritual nutrition has a standard
The words of Christ should not be equated with the words of thieves. Our Lord chose his eyewitnesses and authorized them to deliver his message to the world. Knowing God and what he is saying must come from more than secondhand and sources contemporary to us.
15) Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. 16) They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.Titus 1:15-16