Before we look at the biblical standpoint of what we believers should eat or shouldn’t eat, let me show you the shopping and selling of meats at the traditional market in Tomohon, North Sulawesi, one the day before Christmas which is one of the great holidays among the Christians’ community.
Uploaded on Jan 27, 2012
Traditional market Tomohon (near Manado) in North Sulawesi, Indonesia on one day before Christmas 2011. Busy morning at meat section of the market: Python, tree rats, flying fox, dogs, pork, are the favourite cuisine of Minahasa people
Now, this posting is not intended to insult nor ridicule the people of Minahasa. Those butchered meats came from exotic animals and when prepared in the traditional, it is said, beyond a shadow of a doubt, they are delicious.
But, would I go and buy those exotic meat or eat them as a matter of course? I don’t think so! Why? Because for as long as I have lived and to this very day, I have never eaten any of those meats.
This is reality: if you have never tasted, much less had a steady diet of those exotic meat (foods) we have just witnessed, you will find all the plausible reasons why these strange foods should “NOT” be consumed.
Having said that, I will venture to submit the following observation: if we try to know whether Christians are allowed to eat pork, lobsters, shrimps, etc., converted Jews, bible teachers especially, generally say “NO”, quoting of course, Leviticus 11.
One of the bible teachers whom I watch regularly, Alan Horvath, share the topic of clean meat as follows:
CAN CHRISTIANS EAT PORK?
Published on Apr 16, 2015
Alan talks about clean and unclean food … and what the Word is truly saying to you about it.
Let us look at what the Word is truly saying to us about it at the first 8 verses of Leviticus 11:
“And the LORD spake unto Moses and to Aaron, saying unto them, SPEAK UNTO THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL, saying,
These are the beasts which ye shall eat among all the beasts that are on the earth. Whatsoever parteth the hoof, and is clovenfooted, and cheweth the cud, among the beasts, that shall ye eat. Nevertheless these shall ye not eat of them that chew the cud, or of them that divide the hoof: as the camel, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you. And the coney, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you. And the hare, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you. And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you. Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcase shall ye not touch; they are unclean to you.” [Lev 11:1-8].
The LORD instructed Moses and Aaron to “SPEAK UNTO THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL”.
To my way of thinking (I don’t claim to be a bible scholar), this ORDINANCE was established for the Jews and those other who SOJOURNED with the Jews, out of Egypt as declared in the following verses:
[Exo 12:49] One law shall be to him that is homeborn, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you.
[Num 15:16] One law and one manner shall be for you, and for the stranger that sojourneth with you.
[Num 15:29] Ye shall have one law for him that sinneth through ignorance, both for him that is born among the children of Israel, and for the stranger that sojourneth among them.
Are Christians (believers) become Jews at conversion? No, otherwise Apostle Paul would speak differently to the Galatians.
Jews are Jews, gentiles are gentiles. The Clean Meat ordinance (Kashroot) was declared specifically for the people of Israel (Jews).
The Pharisaic view point in respect of legalistic manoeuvring of the Acts of the Apostle period is still alive and well.
Please, be perfectly clear, I do not in the least refer to our highly respected brother Alan Horvath as Pharisaic nor legalistic. I think he shared the topic very well.
Let us revisit what Elder James and Peter faced with in the days following the death, burial, resurrection and ascension of the Adonai Yeshua Messias.
“And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved. When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question…
And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them.
But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.
And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter.
And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they. [Act 15:1,2,4-11]
We have been warned about last days’ deception:
“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. [1Ti 4:1-5]
IS IT OKAY FOR CHRISTIANS TO EAT PORK AND SHELLFISH?
Published on Jul 20, 2014
Yes, it’s okay, providing it isn’t done, as Paul says, when it will cause real offence, such as when inviting a Jewish guest. This is Mark’s comment that Jesus “declared all foods clean”: Mark 7:18 [Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)] And [Jesus] said to them, “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, 19 since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?” Thus he declared all foods clean.
The only exception is where any food — either a “clean” food offered to idols (e.g., beef or mutton), or a food that was unclean to Jews like pork or shellfish, or by extension today beef to a Hindu or meat to a Buddhist — will cause a stumbling block or barrier between someone and belief in Christ. Paul discusses how and why not to offend converts from idol-worship in 1Co.10 [Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)] , and how not to offend converts from Judaism in Rom.14 [Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)] . However, in those chapters Paul repeatedly makes it clear that, apart from not causing other believers (particularly new believers) to stumble, he himself is free to eat anything, and so are Christians.
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Is there any other food restriction for believers? O yes, there is!
Act 21:25 As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things OFFERED TO IDOLS, and FROM BLOOD, and FROM STRANGLED, and FROM FORNICATION.
These were written to pork, lobsters, shrimps etc., eating men who came to Christ Jesus like me!
And this is GOD’s closing statement on the law (ordinance) of the beasts:
For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.
This is the law of the beasts, and of the fowl, and of every living creature that moveth in the waters, and of every creature that creepeth upon the earth:
To make a difference between the unclean and the clean, and between the beast that may be eaten and the beast that may not be eaten. [Lev 11:45-47]
You will please notice that this ordinance carries no fine nor punishment much less will affect our salvation.