Question: Sir, is it right for a Christian to eat meat and food given by Muslims during Sallah?
Answer: That question has 2 answers: YES and NO!
NO; it is NOT wrong for a believer to eat of the food given by Muslims during Salah. A believer that understands the gospel can with his sanctified conscience of the gospel freely EAT FOOD or MEAT given to him by unbelievers during their feast.
YES; it is WRONG for a believer to eat food given to him by unbelievers during their feast IF IT WILL raise questions among the freshly converted or immature believers who don’t have a full grasp of the gospel of Grace yet.
The Bible is clear on this subject as seen in 1Corinthians chapter 8. Follow carefully as I will be explaining with footnotes below some of the verse:
1Cor 8:1 Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth. (This means subjects like this are judged by LOVE not by KNOWLEDGE)
8:4 As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, WE KNOW THAT AN IDOL IS NOTHING IN THE WORLD, and that there is none other God but one. (This means there is NO OTHER RELIGION that really accesses God. God is only accessible in Christ Jesus).
8:6 But to us there is but ONE GOD, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and ONE LORD JESUS CHRIST, by whom are all things, and we by him. (This means whatever any religion is offering to any god, they are actually offering to NOTHING…as there is no access to God in any religion except IN CHRIST JESUS. Therefore, to believers, the food offered by unbelievers is like normal food)
8:7 HOWBEIT THERE IS NOT IN EVERY MAN THAT KNOWLEDGE: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour EAT IT AS A THING OFFERED UNTO AN IDOL; and their conscience being weak is defiled. (This means if you have immature believers around you who still see such food as an abomination, for their sake, avoid eating such food so as not to misrepresent Christianity as licentiousness to them.)
8:8 But meat commendeth us not to God: FOR NEITHER, IF WE EAT, ARE WE THE BETTER; NEITHER, IF WE EAT NOT, ARE WE THE WORSE. (This simply means eating food from other religion actually has nothing to do with ‘sin’ or ‘righteousness’ neither do we win or lose marks with God for eating it)
8:9 But take heed lest by any means THIS LIBERTY OF YOURS BECOME A STUMBLINGBLOCK TO THEM THAT ARE WEAK. (This is where LOVE comes in above KNOWLEDGE. It is Love in mature believers that will constrain them from allowing the other immature believers around to ‘perish’ in unnecessary conscience-guilt and self-condemnation)
8:13 Wherefore, if meat make MY BROTHER TO OFFEND, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend. (Simply put: I will not be a believer that misrepresents Christianity to immature believers).
– It is not a sin to eat food offered by unbelievers
– If eating the meal is perceived by ‘immature’ believers around AS A WORSHIP TO THE IDOL of the unbeliever (by the believer eating it), the believer should try to explain convincingly to the ‘immature’ believers first or simply avoid eating the meal.
– If eating the food is NOT GENERALLY SEEN as a worship to the idol of the unbeliever (by the believer eating it)…but an act of plain neighbourly ‘love’, then a believer is at liberty to eat and enjoy the meal offered.
In the book of 1Timothy, Paul told Timothy that in the ‘latter times’, many people will ‘depart from the faith’. That does not mean they will renounce their salvation, it simply means they will move away from the teachings that RIGHTEOUSNESS IS BY FAITH and start subjecting to other doctrines that says righteousness is by what they do and they must start ABSTAINING from virtually everything. These are people who think the gospel of Grace is a false gospel and teach people to abstain even from some kind of meats! In fact, I love what he calls such teachers and doctrines: SEDUCING SPIRITS and DOCTRINES OF DEMONS!
‘…Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall DEPART FROM THE FAITH, giving heed to SEDUCING SPIRITS, and DOCTRINES OF DEVILS; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and COMMANDING TO ABSTAIN FROM MEATS, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving OF THEM WHICH BELIEVE AND KNOW THE TRUTH…For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: FOR IT IS SANCTIFIED BY THE WORD OF GOD AND PRAYER…’ (1Timothy 4:1-5)
Personally, (except if otherwise proven), I doubt if Sallah food is seen as a worship to the Muslim god…but an act of love as done with Almsgiving. If you are broke and don’t have much to eat but desire to eat Sallah meat… receive it with thanksgiving and sanctify it with the word of God and prayer.
The only exception to this remains if there are ‘immature’ believers around who will count this act as an opening to licentiousness.
I believe this is clear. Remain under Grace.