I grew up in a home where my dad treated Salah meat like poison and started developing my reservations from then but as I grew in the Lord, my orientation began to change. Please read below:
My church is within a neighborhood and has maintained a cordial relationship with the neighbors over the years so it comes as no surprise last Sunday when one of the neighbors came with small packs of meat from the Salah celebration to distribute with members.
I was given mine along with another pastor’s and was asked to give the other pastor his own. I had no intention to eat the meat, not because it’s from an Islamic celebration, if it was about that, I would devour the meat without second guessing but I have great restrictions on the things I consume outside of my home as my stomach react easily to my intake, however I accepted the package with gratitude and extended the other pastor’s own to him but was met with a blatant refusal.
He turned to me and said:
“Pastor Alex, thank you very much. Please add mine to yours. God bless.”
I was grieved in my spirit as I pondered on the extent the neighbor might have gone to preserve the meat through Sunday and the fact that she actually had the pastor in mind while preparing the meat. The least he could have done was to take it from my hand and then give someone who will be willing to take it.
I thought to myself, (and this was all flesh speaking within me… LoL), this man actually asked me to add his meat to mine… seriously? What, you think am a glutton? Okay kidding!
But seriously though, would it have killed the pastor to collect the meat and discreetly discard it? What was the show all about? I thought to myself the word of God in Colossians 2:16
Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day.”
2 Corinthians 10:27:
If an unbeliever invites you to a meal and you want to go, eat whatever is put before you without raising questions of conscience.“
When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is offered to you.”
I’m one of those who believe that it is not everyone that is trying to kill his neighbor and that no matter how fallen the world may be, we can still find the elements of genuine love from time to time. I don’t believe in the Salah celebration. That’s me and that’s the fact. I believe Jesus sacrificed himself and shed His blood for the remission of my sin and because of that, I don’t need to shed the blood of ram or any other animal at that. I believe that it is just a tradition and not of any spiritual significance for an ‘overly religious’ person to step into the church and make a sign of the cross (I do believe in referencing God and His house however), in the same way the killing of ram by Muslim.
However, Salah is a public holiday in Nigeria, both Christians and Muslims get to ease of work for a period of 2 days – 4, if you are counting Saturday and Sunday. Neighbors and friends share gifts and food – there is an atmosphere of celebration and love so ignoring the religion that is tied to it, I think everyone can use a little celebration and love.
Paul said we should not let anyone judge us concerning a feast, drink or festival, we are free of all that. He was even more precise when he said if an unbeliever invites you to feast, if you want, eat and drink what is placed before you except it would affect the faith of someone else, then don’t eat it. We are not bound by traditions or religion, we are free so if I so will, I will eat the Salah meat without thinking and if I wouldn’t eat it, I don’t need to treat the other party like his effort is not appreciated because he has not tampered with my place in God by offering me love.
The problem with most Christians is that they think we are at war with the other religions but instead, we stand in a place of supremacy because of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ that set us free from traditions. It is not a tussle, it is an already finished work from the beginning of time so I’m not going to make the other party feel bad just so I can gratify my conviction. With or without the other party, my convictions are intact because it is not by works, the just live by faith.
Fine, don’t eat the meat if you mustn’t but please don’t make a show out of it otherwise you are not different from the praying Pharisee who Jesus talked about. (Luke 18:11). Some people even feel that they are being targeted, that’s why they are being offered the meat. That kind of mindset is dangerous because you will eventually chase, even the person trying to favor you away because of your insecurities. Perfect love does not doubt and it is not fearful.
– By Alex Amos
For prayer request or you just need someone to talk to, connect with Alex Amos via firstname.lastname@example.org
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