I am very new to Christanity and so kindly bear with me if my question appears novice. I want to know what is the ruling on eating pork in Christianity as per Bible?
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If we are to obey ALL the laws of Moses, why would we believe that we need salvation through Christ? I mean when God gave the Law to Moses, he was only preparing the way for his Son to come into the World (many citations from Isaiah come to mind, and later, John the Baptist saying, "one greater than me is coming whom I am not worthy to untie the sandal of.")
It's really a debatable topic, because there are verses that speak to both sides. I think it is a personal choice. I myself avoid all meat including pork during lent (except fish).
It's my hat tip to the Mosaic law.
And I think the verse in Acts where God tells Peter to "rise, kill and eat" was mainly for the benefit of the Gentiles who had a long tradition of eating swine in first-century Palestine; the Jews are still under the Law. But if they profess to be Christians, then they are obviously not bound to the Law.
I love pork and ham. It's the sweetest of all the meats, and I revel in the ability to be able to eat it without spiritual consequences.
I am a Christian and I have read the bible and all the verses above regarding consumption of pork. We were eating pork before we were even Christian and so we will continue to eat pork, if it were sinful to eat pork then I rather to have sinned than not to have sinned by eating what I do not like ... peace to all
Some Christians eat Pork. Some Christians like me don't. You may ask why do I obey dietary laws? Let me state my reasons.
Malachi 3:6 - "I the Lord do not change."
Hebrews 13:8 - "Jesus is the same yesterday and today and forever."
We see Jesus Christ saying this in John 10:30 - "I and the Father are one."
Since Father and Son are one, we know that the son Jesus Christ cannot reject the teachings of his Father God.
Also remember what Jesus said in Matthew 5:17 - "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them."
But you may ask what about Mark chapter 7:18 where Jesus says "Don’t you see that nothing that enters a person from the outside can defile them?"
We have to notice one major thing while we read this. Jesus Christ said this to the Pharisee Jews and other Jews who were with Pharisees. Not to the Gentiles.
On the top of this, Jesus was a Jew and he didn't break a single commandment of Torah.
This is what Jesus said to Jews - Whatever they eat goes into their stomach and then out of the body. But what comes out of them is what defiles them, because it comes from their hearts. Not from their stomachs.
We read this in Mark 7:21-23 - "For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person.”
In Mark 7:3-4 - "The Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they give their hands a ceremonial washing, holding to the tradition of the elders. When they come from the marketplace they do not eat unless they wash. And they observe many other traditions, such as the washing of cups, pitchers and kettles."
We read that Pharisees and other Jews favored the tradition of elders over Torah. Through favoring their traditions of the elders, they have set aside the commands of God.
In Mark 7:8-9, Jesus says this.
Mark 7:8-9 - "You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions. And he continued, “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions!"
Through their so called traditions, Pharisees and other Jews tried to make themselves very clean "outwardly". But through "inwardly", they have defiled themselves through their evil natures - adultery, murder, theft, fornication, etc.
They have defiled themselves "inwardly" because they nullified the word of God through their so called traditions.
Mark 7:10-13 (NIV) - "For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and, ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is Corban (that is, devoted to God)— then you no longer let them do anything for their father or mother. Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that.”
We also have to understand that the generation of Jews during the time of Jesus was extremely evil.
We see Jesus calling them "wicked (or sinful) and adulterous generation." (Matthew 12:39, Matthew 16:4, Mark 8:38, etc.). We also see Jesus calling people in that generation that their father is devil (John 8:44) due to their evil nature. We also see Both Jesus Christ and John the Baptist calling them "offspring of vipers" (Matthew 23, Luke 3).
Even Jewish Priest Josephus agrees with Jesus on the wickedness of that generation.
"I shall therefore speak my mind here at once briefly: — that neither did any other city suffer such miseries, nor did any age ever breed a generation more fruitful in wickedness than this was, from the beginning of the world." (Jewish Wars V, 10:5).
In Mark 7:6-7, we see Jesus Christ mentioning Prophet Isaiah and his prophesy when he tells this to Pharisees and teachers of the law.
It must be noted that we read this in Isaiah 66:17 - “Those who consecrate and purify themselves to go into the gardens, following one who is among those who eat the flesh of pigs, rats and other unclean things—they will meet their end together with the one they follow,” declares the Lord."
But you may ask what about Peter's vision in Acts Chapter 10?
Acts 10:9-16 – “About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds. Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.” “Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.” The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.” This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven.”
When it comes to a vision or a dream, We should not take them literally. This is because it can have figurative or symbolic meanings.
Let me take an example from Genesis Chapter 41. When Pharaoh saw the dreams in his sleep, he knew these dreams should not be taken literally. He knew these dreams had a figurative or a symbolic meaning. That's why he called in Magicians and Wise Men of Egypt to interpret the dreams. Later, we see Pharaoh calling for Joseph to interpret the dreams when others failed to interpret them.
We see Joseph interpreting the dreams to Pharaoh in Genesis 41:25-27 (NIV) "Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “The dreams of Pharaoh are one and the same. God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do. The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good heads of grain are seven years; it is one and the same dream. The seven lean, ugly cows that came up afterward are seven years, and so are the seven worthless heads of grain scorched by the east wind: They are seven years of famine."
Through this, we learn that a dream or a vision can have symbolic or figurative meanings.
Acts 10:17 - "While Peter was wondering about the meaning of the vision, the men sent by Cornelius found out where Simon’s house was and stopped at the gate."
So we see that Peter was wondering about what the vision really meant instead of taking it literally.
The meaning of Peter's vision is that Peter should not call Gentiles as unclean or impure.
We understand the meaning of Peter's vision in Acts 10:27-28.
In Acts 10:27-28 - "While talking with him, Peter went inside and found a large gathering of people. He said to them: “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile. But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean."
Through Jesus Christ, the salvation is also open to Gentiles. So Peter’s vision in Acts 10 has nothing to do with God’s dietary laws.
So I believe it is absolutely necessary for the Christians to keep the dietary laws.
If I may speak from my convictions, Acts 10, while a fun story is not the definitive passage on this issue. Neither is Matthew 15:11-20, though I do love teaching that passage to middle school boys :) No, Paul wrote the treatise on clean and unclean foods in Romans 14.
Here is Paul, a former Pharisee, declaring that there is no food that is unclean (vv14a, 20a) unless the person eating it or watching someone eat it thinks it is unclean. Even then it not "unclean" as much as it is a stumbling block to those for whom eating that food seems wrong.
To summarize Paul, if a person wants to eat any kind of meat (except that offered to false idols), let them eat it to the glory of God. Those that don't think they should eat a certain type of food, let them abstain to the glory of God. If God is pleased, great! If God is not, He will deal with the one who needs correcting. It is not our job to correct, condemn, judge, or ostracize a person over their dietary habits if their heart is in the right place. There are much bigger things in the Kingdom to worry about. Paul sums up the whole argument so succinctly in v20: "Don't destroy the work of the Kingdom over some barbecue and shrimp." (my paraphrase).
Acts 10 is about men--not food. Even Peter declares he has never eaten unclean food. This is obviously after everything Jesus accomplished on Earth during his first coming. This should be an obvious clue that Jew and Gentile alike are still under Mosaic Law. As to how the Law pertains to sacrifices, it specifically states who is to perform the sacrifices and where (God's Temple). He allowed his temple to be destroyed after Jesus returned to heaven which means we cannot perform those sacrifices. That is why Jesus came, to be the ultimate sacrifice.
There are few verses that mention that one shall not consume the flesh of swine:
Pork is also prohibited in the Bible in the book of Deuteronomy
A similar prohibition is repeated in the Bible in the book of Isaiah chapter 65 verse 2-5.
Act 10, Peter's vision was about MEN, not food. The whole point of the vision was that gentiles were to be included in the covenant, not to change non-food to food. The bottom line is this: Christians are supposed to be Christlike. If Jesus did it, we do it. If He didn't we don't.
Act 10:28 says ‘’ And he said to them, “You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a Jew to associate with or to visit anyone of another nation, but God has shown me that I should not call any person common or unclean’’.
So you can all see that it was not referring actually to food but Men because it was a vision. And No records in the bible that the Jesus Christ or His Disciples ate Pork Meat. Some Christians just reading the bible half way, read full chapter before concluding on issues.
Please excuse my comments to this answer as I was in a middle of a debate when typing them. My opinion is not relevant to the question.
Simply Jesus permits the food.
Mark 7:17-19 NIV
Matthew 15:10-20 ESV
@gpuguy, Jesus finished with "...until all is accomplished." Since he didn't go into detail about accomplishment, it might be a point of debate as to what this means. The two ideas I've considered are:
Jesus created a new covenant, separate and distinct from the Mosaic law.
Paul asserts that the Law is good and had a purpose, but that it has been superseded:
I'm willing to entertain arguments about how we (all Christians) are still bound by the Mosaic law, but they would need to address the requirement to obey all of the law, including animal sacrifices (which seem completely unnecessary since Jesus is our once-and-for-all atoning sacrifice), temple worship, etc.
Unlike Judaism, Christianity has no rule prohibiting (or commanding) the eating of pork. In fact, in Acts 10:9-16, Peter has a vision where a sheet is lowered from Heaven with "all sorts of animals, reptiles, and birds" on it. He is then commanded to get up, kill, and eat the animals. To this, Peter is shocked and replies that he has never eaten anything unclean (as per the Judaic Law). To this, God replies:
There is of course a deeper meaning, but on the surface, God is telling Peter that nothing is unclean now (that is, no animals are unclean). This includes pigs and pork, so eating bacon and the like is perfectly acceptable (and happens quite often in the United States) among Christians. Another piece of support is that the four things still considered prohibited for Christians are listed in Acts 15:
None of these four actions apply to typical ways to consume pork. So, as a Christian, it is perfectly fine to eat pork.
As noted by waxeagle in a comment, not all Christians consider it acceptable to eat pork. Some sects maintain a kosher lifestyle whereas others abstain from meat entirely. However, these don't compose a significant portion of Christianity. The best course of action is to ask the Christian group you're part of.
protected by Community♦ Jan 14 '14 at 1:22
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