Friday, June 20, 2008

Food - What Can We Eat?

One principle to follow that may involve different actions from the past is that of caring for our physical health. In the beginning, humans were plant eaters, then were given meat. (This was after sin so perhaps it was one of the ways He ensured we wouldn't live forever - meat eaters get really mad at me for considering that as a possibility!) Scripture says everything was fair game.

Later certain meats were considered unclean, unfit for human consumption by the Israelites due to what YHWH told them. Now many people tell me we not only may but even should eat those "meats" now because they are no longer going to make us unclean. Those who say we "should" eat them are those who insist not doing so means I'm trying to earn salvation, I haven't really understood that argument.
Anyway, I don't see why being made righteous in Christ means we can eat unhealthy "meat" that was not considered to be food by the people set apart for blessing as an example from our creator. Jesus said nothing going into the body defiles us, my contention is that it never did. Not spiritually. The whole issue he was discussing was eating with (ceremonially) unwashed hands, it didn't have anything to do with eating poison and staying healthy. Eating poison can kill you but it won't estrange you from your Creator.

I think of pork and shellfish. Shellfish obviously has plenty of problems due to the fact that they are bottom feeders, they don't just collect the garbage, they EAT it. Well. I grew up on the east coast near the ocean, we ate shrimp, crabs, and lobster all the time. Due to pollution I suppose, there are lots of warnings about health hazards now.
Pork - pigs are no longer scavengers in the wild so it's said that it is now fine food to eat. I don't see why that wouldn't be true except that scientific findings about food varies, sometimes as often as week to week, as we learn more. What if there's something about pork that we don't yet know? I choose not to eat it but we still have the issue of all the other meats that were not considered unclean. We have health warnings about mad cow disease, something about veal, on and on. Does that mean we should just all go vegetarian?

But then we have the warnings about germs, viruses, bacteria, and pesticides in our fruits and vegetables. What are we supposed to do, take this literally?:

Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty..."


  1. I think the laws on what foods we can and cannot eat are there to teach us about holiness. We are to make distinctions between clean and unclean, holy and profane, good and bad. Holiness implies separateness. God is holy in that He is set apart or distinct from every thing else worship as a god. Our relationship with God is to be different from every other relationship we have with anybody or anything else. All honor, glory and praise belongs to the Master of the Universe.

    The commands regarding what foods are clean and unclean are to make us conscious of what we eat. We are to think about what we ingest and why.

    Why cloven hoofs? To teach us to separate good from bad, wheat from chaff, righteousness from wickedness, holy from profane.

    Why chewing the cud? To teach us not to swallow things whole but to think things over. Bring things back up and ruminate on them. Don't just read through the Bible once and then never pick it back up again. Study it, meditate on it day and night.

    Why both split hoofs and chewing the cud? To teach that having the knowledge (split hoofs) but no application (chewing the cud) is like building a house on sand. And if we have action without proper thinking, then how can we be prepared to give a reason for the hope that we have?

  2. So Leo, do you still follow these laws physically to keep these spiritual meanings always in mind? Or now that you have a meaning, is it unnecessary to remind yourself of them that way?
    What about the feasts? I've only kept one in my life - my total ineptitude showed me serious spiritual truths about my life. Even if I don't keep the appointed times, I want to do each of them at least once because I know I will learn from them.

  3. I follow these laws to remind myself of their spiritual meaning.

    And I keep the feasts of Pesach, Shavuot and Sukkot.