Saturday, September 29, 2007

The Hallelujah Diet is unbiblical

When people don't know their Bible they can be fall for all kinds of weird interpretations:

The Rev. George Malkmus surveys the crowd of nearly 400 packed into a former college auditorium and finds that people have come from all over the country -- and even from Nigeria -- to hear him preach the Gospel. But it's not his approach to scripture that draws this crowd. It's his diet: "the Hallelujah Diet."

Malkmus, a Gospel minister who takes the Bible literally, said that -- long before South Beach or Jenny Craig -- God laid out his own diet plan in the book of Genesis.

Malkmus pounds the pulpit: "What did God tell man in Genesis 1:29? That your food shall be all of those plants that are in that garden. You will not find anything of animal origin in the garden diet. You will not find Twinkies either!"

The garden he refers to, of course, is the Garden of Eden. Indeed, the Hallelujah Diet answers the question: "What would Adam and Eve eat?"

The program consists almost entirely of raw fruits and vegetables, seeds and nuts. Under the Hallelujah plan, only 15 percent of the vegetables are supposed to be cooked.
And for a minster, it's surprising that this guy doesn't know his Bible:

The founder of the Hallelujah Diet is just as feisty in defending its biblical foundation. For example, later in Genesis 9:3, the Bible reads, "Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you." Asked if that is God's endorsement of eating meat, Malkmus insists that section of Genesis refers only to the time of the great flood, when those aboard Noah's ark had to eat animal flesh.

In other words, Malkmus believes, God gave man a onetime pass to stray from the vegan diet of the Garden of Eden.
The problem with this interpretation is that it takes place after Noah left the ark. But that's not the only place God gives man the freedom to eat meat, he gave Israel a list of animals they were allowed to eat and a list of those that he considered unclean and were forbidden (Leviticus 11:1-23).

After the death and resurrection of Christ, God removed the ban on unclean food:
Acts 10:9 The next day, as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the housetop about the sixth hour to pray. 10 And he became hungry and wanted something to eat, but while they were preparing it, he fell into a trance 11 and saw the heavens opened and something like a great sheet descending, being let down by its four corners upon the earth. 12 In it were all kinds of animals and reptiles and birds of the air. 13 And there came a voice to him: “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.” 14 But Peter said, “By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean.” 15 And the voice came to him again a second time, “What God has made clean, do not call common.” 16 This happened three times, and the thing was taken up at once to heaven.
Now God's people can eat anything they want which clearly includes meat.

If you want to follow a diet of fruit and raw vegetables, that fine but don't say this is some how more biblical or godly or healthier because Adam and Eve ate that way. There's no special blessing by eating this way. God gave us the freedom to eat meat and there's nothing wrong with doing so.

The Bible is God's revelation of himself, it's not meant to be a self-help book that guides you to a better marriage, clears up you acne or helps you lose weight. It's meant to reveal God as our Creator and Savior and helps us to understand what is required of us.