Struggling with 1 Tim 4:1-5 and Gal 4:8-11

I was doing well in the RCIA process until now, then I hit a brick wall. I’m really struggling with two Biblical passages that seem to forbid the Church from imposing abstaining from meat, and observing special seasons such as Lent. I have yet to get a satisfactory answer from anyone on how the Church imposing abstaining from meat on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, and all Fridays during Lent doesn’t blatantly contradict 1 Tim 4:1-5. Another passage that is bugging me in this matter is Gal 4:8-11. I would like to get this resolved ASAP, because it is spiritually tearing me apart. I’ve decided to obey the Church in the matter, but these Biblical passages, especially 1 Tim 4:1-5, keep screaming at me. If anyone has any answers, I would greatly appreciate them. Thanks.

Hi Josh, this is from the Notes in the Douay Rheims Bible:

“Forbidding to marry, to abstain from meats”… He speaks of the Gnostics, the Marcionites, the Eneratites, the Manicheans, and other ancient heretics, who absolutely condemned marriage, and the use of all kind of meat; because they pretended that all flesh was from an evil principle. Whereas the church of God, so far from condemning marriage, holds it a holy sacrament; and forbids it to none but such as by vow have chosen the better part: and prohibits not the use of any meats whatsoever in proper times and seasons; though she does not judge all kind of diet proper for days of fasting and penance.

The Scriptural passage is talking about a total condemnation against eating meat, such as if we had to be strict vegetarians/vegans.

Another passage that is bugging me in this matter is Gal 4:8-11. [QOUTE]Same source…

“You observe days”… He speaks not of the observation of the Lord’s day, or other Christian festivals; but either of the superstitious observation of days lucky and unlucky; or else of the Jewish festivals, to the observance of which, certain Jewish teachers sought to induce the Galatians.

I would like to get this resolved ASAP, because it is spiritually tearing me apart. I’ve decided to obey the Church in the matter,

As a lapsed Catholic returning to the Faith I too had to face the issue of obedience. In my case, in the 70’s, it was over the issue of contraception. I did not understand why it was condemned but I decided that if I couldn’t obey I should not pretend to be a Catholic. 11 pregnancies and 6 children later, after my childbearing years were done, I finally came across a book that totally convinced me I had made the right decision.

The first sin was pride - “I will not obey”. I think that is why it is so important that we trust God (and his Church) even, or especially, when we don’t understand.[/QOUTE]but these Biblical passages, especially 1 Tim 4:1-5, keep screaming at me. If anyone has any answers, I would greatly appreciate them. Thanks.

Welcome home!

Hi Josh, this is from the Notes in the Douay Rheims Bible:

“Forbidding to marry, to abstain from meats”… He speaks of the Gnostics, the Marcionites, the Eneratites, the Manicheans, and other ancient heretics, who absolutely condemned marriage, and the use of all kind of meat; because they pretended that all flesh was from an evil principle. Whereas the church of God, so far from condemning marriage, holds it a holy sacrament; and forbids it to none but such as by vow have chosen the better part: and prohibits not the use of any meats whatsoever in proper times and seasons; though she does not judge all kind of diet proper for days of fasting and penance.

The Scriptural passage is talking about a total condemnation against eating meat, such as if we had to be strict vegetarians/vegans.

Another passage that is bugging me in this matter is Gal 4:8-11. [QOUTE]Same source…

“You observe days”… He speaks not of the observation of the Lord’s day, or other Christian festivals; but either of the superstitious observation of days lucky and unlucky; or else of the Jewish festivals, to the observance of which, certain Jewish teachers sought to induce the Galatians.

I would like to get this resolved ASAP, because it is spiritually tearing me apart. I’ve decided to obey the Church in the matter, As a lapsed Catholic returning to the Faith I too had to face the issue of obedience. In my case, in the 70’s, it was over the issue of contraception. I did not understand why it was condemned but I decided that if I couldn’t obey I should not pretend to be a Catholic. 11 pregnancies and 6 children later, after my childbearing years were done, I finally came across a book that totally convinced me I had made the right decision.

The first sin was pride - “I will not obey”. I think that is why it is so important that we trust God (and his Church) even, or especially, when we don’t understand.

but these Biblical passages, especially 1 Tim 4:1-5, keep screaming at me. If anyone has any answers, I would greatly appreciate them. Thanks.

Welcome home!

Yes, that is true! Totally prohibiting from eating meat throughout one*s lifetime is the one referred to there. For fasting is part of Christian life. Somehow during the time of lent, there is a special day set aside by the Church where all Christians fast.

Hi TBolt, :slight_smile:

Gal 4:8-11 “But then, indeed, when you did not know God, you served those which by nature are not gods. 9 But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage? 10 You observe days and months and seasons and years. 11 I am afraid for you, lest I have labored for you in vain.”

Paul was having a difficult time with the Galatian Church. They wanted to cling to the Jewish OT works of the Law of Moses and continue to do them as if it was necessary for their salvation. But Christ is their Perfect Sacrifice. He redeemed them. They will lose their justification if they believe that the sacrificial rites, etc. of the OT Covenant will save them.

Galatians 3:1-4 O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? 2 This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? 4 Have you suffered so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain?"

“You observe days and months and seasons and years” refers to special feast days, sacrificial requirements, and worship days of the OT Covenant. Another reference to these same things is:

Colossians 2:11-17 "In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, 14 having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it. 16 So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, 17 which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ."

Paul is stating that they are to put off the OT Law of Moses “handwriting of requirements” for sacrificial offerings, dietary laws, feast days, etc.

2 Chronicles 8:12-14 “Then Solomon offered burnt offerings to the LORD on the altar of the LORD which he had built before the vestibule, 13 according to the daily rate, offering according to the commandment of Moses, for the Sabbaths, the New Moons, and the three appointed yearly feasts—the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks, and the Feast of Tabernacles. 14 And, according to the order of David his father, he appointed the divisions of the priests for their service, the Levites for their duties (to praise and serve before the priests) as the duty of each day required, and the gatekeepers by their divisions at each gate; for so David the man of God had commanded.”

Ezekiel 45:17 "Then it shall be the prince’s part to give burnt offerings, grain offerings, and drink offerings, at the feasts, the **New Moons, the Sabbaths, and at all the appointed seasons **of the house of Israel. He shall prepare the sin offering, the grain offering, the burnt offering, and the peace offerings to make atonement for the house of Israel.”

Christ Jesus died once and for all. “You cannot repeat a sacrifice that exists perpetually in the eternal present of heaven. The sacrifice of the Mass is Christ’s once for all work applied to our lives within the earthbound limits of time.” (*Patty Bonds)

*Patty Bonds catholic-convert.com/Portals/0/Story%20Patty%20Bonds.pdf

Lent has always been a part of the Christian Church. Forty is a special number in Scripture. It honors Jesus’ forty days of prayer and fasting in the desert for one thing. It also has meaning in respect for Noe (rained 40 days and nights) and Moses (he was on the mountain for 40 days and nights waiting for the 10 commandments).

Matthew 4:1-2 “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry”

Prayers and fasting and ashes and sack cloth are familiar signs of repentance. Jesus states: Matthew 11:21 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.”

Jesus states in Mark 9:29 “So He said to them, “This kind (unclean spirit) can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.”

Luke states that Paul hopes to be back in Jerusalem in time for the feast of Pentecost.
Acts 20:16 “For Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus, so that he would not have to spend time in Asia; for he was hurrying to be at Jerusalem, if possible, on the Day of Pentecost.”

1 Corinthians 16:8 “But I will tarry in Ephesus until Pentecost.”

I hope this helps. God bless you.

Pax,
SHW

P.S.

1 Corinthians 11:1 “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.”

Paul states that we are to imitate him because he imitates Christ.

In the previous post I showed that Christ taught them (by example) to pray and fast for a period of 40 days. (Sundays are not counted as Lenten days since they commemorate the Lord’s Resurrection.)

Also Jesus stated:

John 14:26 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”

The Holy Spirit teaches them all the things that they need to know for the Sacramental priesthood and He also reminds them what Jesus had said; but it wasn’t until the Holy Spirit came to them on Pentecost that all of these things were clearly understood by them.

John 12:14-16 “Then Jesus, when He had found a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written: 15 “ Fear not, daughter of Zion; Behold, your King is coming, Sitting on a donkey’s colt.” 16 His disciples did not understand these things at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then** they remembered that these things were written about Him** and that they had done these things to Him.”

1 Corinthians 4:1-2 “Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2 Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.”

The Apostles are stewards of the mysteries of God. The new worship practices (Mass and Sacraments) are the mysteries of God. The Apostles faithfully teach all of these mysteries to their newly appointed Bishops, Priests, and Deacons of the Church and they in turn pass them on down through the Church and still do, even to the present day.

2 Timothy 2:1-3 “Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2 Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.”

These mysteries of God were not written down at first. They were taught.

Since Paul was not with the Apostles when Jesus was on earth, he was taught separately through revelation after his conversion:

Galatians 1:12 “For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

Only a small portion of what Jesus taught the Apostles regarding the sacramental priesthood was written down. They watched Him at the Last Supper and learned that way and the Holy Spirit also taught them all that was necessary regarding the Priesthood and the Sacraments. This knowledge was passed down by Apostolic succession.

1 Corinthians 4:1-2 “Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2 Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.”

2 Timothy 2:1-3 “You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. 3 You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.”

I have papers named Jesus Builds His Church and Holy Mass which explains this more thoroughly.

John 21:25 “And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen.”

Pax,
SHW

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.