Food Does Not Have Inherent Spiritual Qualities

As believers in the one true God, we ought to realize that food, or other matter, is not inherently spiritual. That is, matter is not in and of itself good or evil, it is a neutral object created by God, which humans use or misuse as they choose. In ancient times people thought that food or other matter could be inhabited by gods, but we know that there is only one true God. Here is what the apostle Paul says about food that has been sacrificed to idols:

Some people are still so accustomed to idols that when they eat sacrificial food they think of it as having been sacrificed to a god, and since their conscience is weak, it is defiled. But food does not bring us near to God;we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do. (I Corinthians 8:7b-8 NIV)

What Paul is saying here is that food that is sacrificed to an idol is not really, fundamentally, defiled, since the god that it was sacrificed to does not exist. Chemically speaking, it’s still just normal food. Idol worshippers are not defiled because of any magical qualities of the food they eat: they are defiled spiritually and internally because they are choosing to worship a false god instead of the one true god.

Sadly, some of the pagan superstitions regarding food has made their way into Christianity. There are some branches of Christianity that teach that the physical bread of the eucharist has inherent supernatural powers when eaten or touched. But there is no magical power in the physical bread itself, no matter what order of priests has blessed it. The true power of the communion bread is how it touches our hearts, not our bodies. It is a reminder of the sacrifice of Jesus on our behalf, and when we think about Jesus in humility and submission and confess our sins while eating the Lord’s supper, then we are truly performing a sacred act. But if our mind is not thinking about Christ and what He did for us, then nothing sacred is happening when we eat the eucharist. There is no priest in the world that can cause the eucharist to give magical blessings of any kind to anyone who is not first faithful to Christ in his own heart and consciousness.

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