We have already seen in an earlier chapter the horrible effects which result from meat eating according to Ellen White's inspired knowledge. Before I discovered this explosive material about meat, masturbation, insanity and death, I had been aware of many other passages condemning meat eating which were not quite as dramatic as the masturbation connection. On looking back I realize that I was really quite naive in that I didn't understand the underlying theme of masturbation in all that she has had to say about meat. In this chapter I would like to consider some less inflammatory remarks about meat eating.
Mrs. White has made it quite plain that one's salvation depends on abstaining from meat. "Many who are now only half converted on the question of meat eating will go from God's people to walk no more with them". (Counsels on Diets and Food, p. 382). This is a very serious statement considering the fact that only 50% of Adventists are vegetarians. It appears that those who have not heeded Mrs. White's counsels are in for big trouble. Statements like this are of course refuted by the Bible.
We have the account of the Pharisees criticizing the followers of Jesus for not washing their hands before eating as was the custom of the Pharisees. Jesus said "There is nothing outside a man which by going into him can defile him; but the things which come out of a man are what defile him ... Do you not see that whatever goes into a man from outside cannot defile him, since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and passes on?" (Mk. 7:1-23) I agree that Jesus here is talking about eating without washing one's hand but it seems more inclusive than that. It points out that a man cannot be defiled by what goes into his stomach. Ellen White would have us believe otherwise.
To support her case against meat eating Ellen White delights in using Bible heroes as examples of vegetarianism. Daniel is a highly respected Bible hero of most Adventists. Any good Adventist will tell you that Daniel did not eat meat. I can find no statement by Mrs. White indicating that Daniel never ate meat but let us consider, the following quotations and you decide what she is implying about Daniel.
"A diet of flesh meat tends to develop animalism ... rendering the mind incapable of understanding the truth." (Counsels on Health, p. 576) "Meat eating deranges the system, beclouds the intellect and blunts moral sensibilities." (Testimonies Vol 2, p. 63-64) "Flesh food has the tendency to animalize the nature, to rob man of sympathy which he should feel for everyone and to give the passions control over the higher powers of being." (Quiet Hour Echoes, March '79 p. 41 quoting her writings.)
When Daniel refused to eat meat from the king's table (or drink wine) Mrs. White had the following to say. "Those who are truly sanctified will elevate the moral standard by preserving correct physical habits, and like Daniel presenting to others an example of temperance and self denial." (COH p. 68) "Here is a lesson for all it is necessary to observe strict temperance in all the habits of life". (COH p. 65) "There are many among professed Christians today who would decide that Daniel was too particular, and would pronounce him narrow and bigoted." (COH p. 69) "Although but a youth Daniel had seen the injurious effects of wine and luxurious living upon physical health." (COH p. 65) "He (Daniel) purposed in his heart that he would not use wine nor any other unnatural stimulant, he would do nothing to becloud his mind." "Daniel's firmness of mind and firmness of purpose, his strength of intellect were due in a great degree to the plainness of his diet."
The question naturally comes up; what was Daniel's diet? I find it very commendable that Daniel chose to stay away from meat and wine during his training period. No doubt there was a lot of unclean food for a Jew on the king's table. Instead of causing a commotion and picking out certain types of food, he opted for a plain diet of vegetarian food and no alcohol. However, the above quotations from Mrs. White do not give us the idea that Daniel was mainly avoiding unclean food of Jewish law and that this was prompting his course of action. She considers meat (generally, always) to cause, animalism, becloud the mind, make one incapable of understanding the truth. She paints the picture that Daniel's diet was plain and simple.
Jan Doward wrote an Adventist devotional book called, "Catch the Bright Dawn". In the introduction she tells us that nothing is made up in this book; there is no fiction; all facts and information nave been carefully checked, and that she has leaned heavily on the writings of Ellen White. On page 205 we find the story of Daniel in simple language. She imagines Daniel as saying to the officer in charge of the mess hall, "Could we have a substitute meal? Something simple like vegetables and fruit, cereal and dates? We are not fussy but we are vegetarians." I suspect, mainly because of the teachings of Ellen White, that at least 95% of Adventists believe that Daniel was a vegetarian. Was he?
Daniel Chapter 10 describes Daniel seeking knowledge from God. Here he describes his method of fasting and praying and in verse 3 we read, "I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh, nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all till three whole weeks were fulfilled." It is obvious from this passage that Daniel at other times before and after these 3 weeks did eat flesh food; and he did drink wine. Mrs. White did say above that Daniel purposed never to drink wine. Here we see in the Bible that he did drink wine. Also she certainly gives the strong feeling that Daniel was a vegetarian, but here we see that, in fact, he ate meat.
To Adventists I would ask; how much of your lifestyle, 'sacrifice', and false counsel to other people is based on this erroneous belief that Daniel was a vegetarian? This error has been conveyed to you by Ellen White. Whenever I point out this verse to a Seventh Day Adventist, he is amazed and the mouth usually drops open in awe. Here we see that Daniel's diet was not a plain and simple diet as Ellen White indicated. I suggest you read this verse of Daniel in many different Bible versions and notice the translations describing what he actually did eat.
Remember, Mrs. White said that meat eating deranges the system, beclouds the mind and intellect, blunts moral responsibility, tends to develop animalism and makes one incapable of understanding the truth. She stated that Daniel would do nothing to becloud his mind. I think you get the point and I shall not belabor Daniel any more.
Another of Adventists' 'favorite vegetarians' is John the Baptist. Mrs. White confirms this in her writings about John. His diet, purely vegetable, of 'locusts and wild honey was a rebuke to the indulgence of appetite and the gluttony that everywhere prevailed." (Testimonies 3, p. 62) But was John the Baptist a vegetarian? Matthew 3:4 says; "His meat was locusts and wild honey." What are locusts? Adventists and Ellen White would like us to believe that locusts are some type of legume rather than an insect.
The word locusts is translated from the Greek word 'akris' and it always refers to an insect in the Bible. The word locust is used in about 24 other passages in the Bible always indicating an insect. However Ellen White would have us believe that in this 25th usage of the word locust that it should be translated to mean the legume. In Leviticus 11:22 we find one of the dietary laws of the Jews. "Of them you may eat; the locust, according to its kind, the bald locust according to its kind, the cricket according to its kind', and the grasshopper according to its kind." There is no question as to the meaning of the word locust in this passage.
Why does Mrs. White insist that John the Baptist was a vegetarian? I must agree with her that John the Baptist never drank alcohol as this was one of the instructions given to his parents before his birth. However, there was no such instruction indicating that he must abstain from meats. In fact all Jews, including John the Baptist, were under command from God to take part in the Passover supper. This consisted in large part of eating the Passover lamb. John the Baptist would not qualify as a vegetarian.
Jesus tried to point out to the Pharisees that no matter how God tried to get his message across to the people, they never seemed to be satisfied. He compared his habits to those of John the Baptist when the Pharisees accused Him of being a glutton and a winebibber. Matthew 11: 18 says "For John came neither eating nor drinking." Let's not take this verse too literally for John must have eaten and drank something. Luke 7:33 says "For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine." I think that Jesus was using this statement figuratively to indicate that John had a fairly simple diet as compared to the frequent good meals that Jesus enjoyed. Again I don't believe that John drank alcoholic wine but he certainly must have eaten some bread, particularly the bread served at the Passover.
John the Baptist was in fact a Nazarite. The rules governing the diet of a Nazarite can be found in Numbers 6:1-7. In these vows there is nothing which prevents a Nazarite from eating meat.
We also know that John the Baptist was the 'reincarnation of Elijah' [Editor's Note: John the Baptist was a reincarnation of Elijah in a figurative sense, but not in the sense suggested by eastern and New Age religions]. There is no doubt that Elijah ate meat, as when he was starving, God had a raven bring bread and flesh to him to sustain him in his mission. Remember if you are an Adventist you must believe what your prophet Mrs. White tells you when she insists that John the Baptist was a vegetarian. As for me the Bible indicates that John was not a vegetarian and I intend to believe the Bible, rather than Ellen White.
Of course Jesus Christ also ate meat. There are Biblical statements that He ate fish and He would also have to fulfill the Jewish law and take part in the Passover lamb. Does Ellen White accuse Jesus of beclouding His mind? Animalizing His nature? Blunting His moral sensibilities? Making His mind incapable of understanding the truth? etc. Perhaps some of the dangers of the fanatic belief in vegetarianism are becoming evident to you.
Certainly if one chooses to be vegetarian this is fine. But please, there is no basis to make this a religious issue and to insist that meat eating will have something to do with your eternal life. This is just another huge stumbling block preventing people from coming to Christ. This is the danger of following the counsel of a false prophet and the Adventist Church.
Mrs. White's misgivings about meat eating changed as the years passed. In the early days immediately following her health vision she was preoccupied with the fact that meat caused masturbation. She later graduated to a more direct causation for meat eating causing specific diseases such as cancer, tuberculosis, etc. "The liability to take disease is increased ten-fold by meat eating." (Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 386) Of course some diseases can be transmitted by careless handling and preparation of meats. But then, disease can be transmitted by careless preparations of any types of food.
In her later years, Mrs. White's feeling about meat eating became highly emotional. I suspect this developed following the confrontation with the Catholic woman who condemned her for eating meat. She later wrote:
"What man with a human heart that has ever cared for domestic animals could look into their eyes, so full of confidence and affection, and would willingly give them over to the butcher's knife? How could he devour their flesh as a sweet morsel?" (Ministry of Healing, p. 361)Isn't this a great emotional appeal? It is intended to make you feel guilty about meat eating and this device is used by people yet today.
The question obviously comes up, how could Jesus possibly look into these animals' eyes and then have them killed and eat their meat? Having created all of these animals in the first place, how could He possibly do it? Again by inference Ellen White is maligning the character of Jesus Christ, the trademark of all cults.
The vegetarian diet of modern Adventists is really quite a joke. They are so concerned about food additives in real meat. Adventists prepare other dishes to look and taste like meat. Consider the additives in fake wieners used by these hypocrites. Keep in mind they are not to eat any spices. In addition to a soybean base we find: flavorings, monosodium glutamate, spices, natural smoke flavor, disodium guanylate, disodium inosinate, paprika, garlic powder, spice oils and extracts, carrageenan, sodium alginate, artificial colors. Did I hear someone snickering?
Did you know that a strict vegetarian diet can fairly rapidly result in death? Vitamin B12 is found only in animal products. (Cows make their own B12, man cannot). Fortunately most vegetarians are not true vegetarians in that they eat milk products and eggs. These are good sources of Vitamin B12. Mrs. White really does not have very much good to say about milk, eggs, or cheese either; and had she had her way, I think a lot of Seventh-day Adventists would have died of Vitamin B12 deficiency. Perhaps what Mrs. White considers people's stubbornness to give up these particular items in the diet, was, in fact, a merciful intervention by God to save their lives.
There is currently a T.V. advertisement that Adventists would love. "You are what you eat." This is Ellen White's belief and is total nonsense. Do people who eat mostly fish turn into fish? Do people who eat mostly potatoes become potatoes? Of course not!
In truth we are what we see and hear. If we see and hear sin continually, what chance do we have? If we read and hear Ellen White all the time, we will live her nonsense. The more we read and hear the Bible, the more we can expect to be guided by God.
I would like to close this chapter by stating again a Bible passage from Hebrews 13:9. "Do not be lead away by diverse and strange teachings; for it is well that the heart be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited their adherents."