In this one I am going heavy on the scriptures. So if the bible bores you and you don't want to look stuff up in bible gateway to check my work, you may want to pass on this one. This is a study where I lay some things out for the consideration of God's people. Now I don't claim to be scholar of any sort. In fact I have often touted that I am just some jerk with a bible and a belief.
Read it. Think about it. Pray about it.... and if you believe that it is wrong, then go as the Lord our God may lead you. If you wish to discuss this, in honesty and humility, I will be more than happy to indulge discussion. For sake of digestibility (heh because it is about food) I have broken this into a 4 part blog.
Buckle up, this is going to be a long one.
This post is mostly about food.
Recently I have been out and about with friends who are believers at various eateries and they notices when I say that I don't eat certain things. Pretty much every time I say no bacon, I get a look like I have some how betrayed my country as an American or I am looked on with bewilderment. "You don't eat bacon?" they ask. " I do not. Nor do I eat pork or shellfish or owl or snake and what not" From that point some curious few will ask why, and I will explain what brought me to my convictions from the scriptures. Others, however, often appear to have a preconceived notion of why I don't do something and some how see it as me not having knowledge of what the bible says and how we have liberty to eat what ever it is that we want.
Sometimes they'll say, "We're under grace, what you are talking about is being under the law" and much like Vizzini from the princess bride, I do not think that means what they think it means.
Let me ask this question: Why do you obey God?
Do you follow God to be saved
Do you follow God because you are saved
When God saved me I was steeped in sin. A various cocktail of it, and I was chugging away. He took a hold of me and cleaned me up. HE said walk with me. Live this way. I'm going to help you, and when you fall, my grace and mercy will cover you while you get back up and keep walking.
There is an entire long long long blog on how the Law teaches us how to live like Jesus, but that will be written at a later date. I now want to get back to my point.
There are pretty much 4 spots that the believer goes to to show from a biblical text How they believe that it doesn't matter what you eat... period. I understand how that might look like that if you isolate certain texts. I will be happy to provide the texts here, and I will show why I do not think they mean we commonly think that they do. I will also provide the proof texts for harmony of scripture ( that I believe fits. )
The four passages are
Mark 7 ( Jesus made all foods clean)
Acts 10 ( peters vision of all the animals)
Romans 14 ( one weaker eats, and let no man regard you about days)
Colossians 2 ( let no one judge about food or sabbath)
In this first Post, I am going to talk about this passage in mark, as I promised in a previous post I would discuss that.
This is the text as it reads in the NASB on bible gateway. I am going to take the liberty of underlining a few points of emphasis.
1 The Pharisees and some of the scribes gathered around Him when they had come from Jerusalem, 2 and had seen that some of His disciples were eating their bread with impure hands, that is, unwashed. 3 (For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they carefully wash their hands, thus observing the traditions of the elders; 4 and when they come from the market place, they do not eat unless they cleanse themselves; and there are many other things which they have received in order to observe, such as the washing of cups and pitchers and copper pots.) 5 The Pharisees and the scribes *asked Him, “Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat their bread with impure hands?” 6 And He said to them, “Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written:
‘THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS,
BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME.
7 ‘BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME,
TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.’
8 Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.”
9 He was also saying to them, “You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition. 10 For Moses said, ‘HONOR YOUR FATHER AND YOUR MOTHER’; and, ‘HE WHO SPEAKS EVIL OF FATHER OR MOTHER, IS TO BE PUT TO DEATH’; 11 but you say, ‘If a man says to his father or his mother, whatever I have that would help you is Corban (that is to say, given to God),’ 12 you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or his mother; 13 thus invalidating the word of God by your tradition which you have handed down; and you do many things such as that.”
14 After He called the crowd to Him again, He began saying to them, “Listen to Me, all of you, and understand: 15 there is nothing outside the man which can defile him if it goes into him; but the things which proceed out of the man are what defile the man. 16 If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.”] 17 When he had left the crowd and entered the house, His disciples questioned Him about the parable. 18 And He *said to them, “Are you so lacking in understanding also? Do you not understand that whatever goes into the man from outside cannot defile him, 19 because it does not go into his heart, but into his stomach, and is eliminated?” (Thus He declared all foods clean.) 20 And He was saying, “That which proceeds out of the man, that is what defiles the man. 21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, 22 deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. 23 All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man.”
Ok, So what is going on here?
Jesus rebuked people for setting aside of the commands of God for their own way.
He then goes on to rebuke them for setting aside the commands of God.
After that, there is more rebukes for setting aside the commands of God.
From just that, I would think that we are not to set asides the commands of God right? He really seemed to drive that point home.
Then he starts talking about the heart.
"Your heart is far from me. "
he gives an example of how they set aside the command to honor your mother and father, for sake of their own tradition.... because he rebuked them.
Now he goes into this discussion about how it isn't what goes into you that defiles you, it is what comes out of your heart.
In another post I touched on the sin in the garden, and how every sin since then has really been the same sin in differing subtexts. The sin of disobedience.
God said don't eat of this tree. They ate anyway. It wasn't the fruit that killed them ( in my opinion) it was the choice to do something contrary to what God had commanded.
Here, the Pharisees come to Jesus and his crew with a sense of self-righteousness, and pride. They say, Do the things that we are doing, and their actions were equating traditions as being on equal or greater par than what what God had set for the standard. That is kinda a really big deal, to equate your words and ways and wisdom as being equivalent to the creator of the universe. But they were... and they wanted people to follow their ways as equal.
Jesus points out how this is what is defiling them. Rejecting God's way for theirs.
Now, let me touch on that parenthetical part about Jesus making all foods clean. There are a few points I want to make on this. First, is that that part is commentary by the translator, and is not in fact, scripture. The King James version ( old school) doesn't have that part where they added to the word of God. ( I read a scripture about doing that, and long story short, we shouldn't do that. )
Why does that matter? I'm glad you asked, in your mind... don't pretend like you didn't.
In today's age there are tons of things that we eat and assume they are food. We can see from scripture that God wants our hearts, and he wants them completely right? He wants involvement in our lives. He cares about our money. He cares about our modesty in how we dress. He cares about us being set apart to him right? I believe that he cares about what we are eating.
take a look at this passage: ( warning GIANT CHUNK OF SCRIPTURE ... Its leviticus 11, if you wanna read it later, Just jump down to the big bold letters that say START READING HERE AGAIN)
1 The LORD spoke again to Moses and to Aaron, saying to them, 2 “Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, These are the creatures which you may eat from all the animals that are on the earth. 3 Whatever divides a hoof, thus making split hoofs, and chews the cud, among the animals, that you may eat. 4 Nevertheless, you are not to eat of these, among those which chew the cud, or among those which divide the hoof: the camel, for though it chews cud, it does not divide the hoof, it is unclean to you. 5 Likewise, the shaphan, for though it chews cud, it does not divide the hoof, it is unclean to you; 6 the]rabbit also, for though it chews cud, it does not divide the hoof, it is unclean to you; 7 and the pig, for though it divides the hoof, thus making a split hoof, it does not chew cud, it is unclean to you. 8 You shall not eat of their flesh nor touch their carcasses; they are unclean to you.
( interjection here... Isn't intresting that when Jesus cast out the Demons, not only did they go into pigs that are not to be eaten... but those pigs ran into the ocean and drown themselves thus making so nobody had to touch their dead pig guts)
9 ‘These you may eat, whatever is in the water: all that have fins and scales, those in the water, in the seas or in the rivers, you may eat. 10 But whatever is in the seas and in the rivers that does not have fins and scales among all the teeming life of the water, and among all the living creatures that are in the water, they are detestable things to you, 11 and they shall be abhorrent to you; you may not eat of their flesh, and their carcasses you shall detest. 12 Whatever in the water does not have fins and scales is abhorrent to you. (even the floating bodies of demon pigs)
It keeps going on like that for the rest of the chapter.... so, if you want to read it, please do.
START READING HERE AGAIN
So, from God's mouth he tells us that there are things that ARE food, and there are things that AREN'T food. Somethings are DETESTABLE. The book of Isaiah is a book of prophecy and one in particular caught my eye about what is coming, right before God makes the New heaven and New earth ( which I think CNN would have covered had that happened yet... I could be wrong, they are a little shade on the T.V. )
15 For behold, the LORD will come in fire And His chariots like the whirlwind,
To render His anger with fury, , And His rebuke with flames of fire.
16 For the LORD will execute judgment by fire
And by His sword on all flesh,
And those slain by the LORD will be many.
17 “Those who sanctify and purify themselves to go to the gardens, Following one in the center,
Who eat swine’s flesh, detestable things and mice,
Will come to an end altogether,” declares the LORD.
So What about Jesus back in Mark 7. Is he teaching people not to listen to God's word in Leviticus 11? I do not believe that Jesus was a hypocrite. I really don't. I don't think he rebuked not keeping the commands of God and then didn't follow the commands of God.
I really don't think that he asked us to live like him, the way he does what the father does... and then doesn't do as the father. I just don't think that is how it went
Is Jesus telling us to act like those whom are to be destroyed by God for ... well.. to put it plainly... setting aside the commands of God, and going their own way. being sanctified to things they chose instead of God
This is what it means to sanctify :
To give social or moral sanction to.
To set apart for sacred use; consecrate.
To make productive of holiness or spiritual blessing.
Do we have the authority to change what God has said? I personally don't think we do.
Do we have the authority to say what is clean and unclean? What is holy and what is not holy?
I honestly don't think that we do.
I do not believe that God screwed up and then sent his son to fix it.God knows what he is doing better than I do.I can't break his command and still be in submission to that very command.
I could be wrong. I have been wrong in my view of scripture before... and I doubt that was the last time. I'm so grateful for Jesus grace and mercy when I am, and I rely on it as He is molding me into His image.
I wrote all this not to scare anyone, I don't want you to freak out and think that I am saying that you are going to hell for eating bacon... because nowhere in this post do I believe I said anything like that.
In the next post I will be addressing Peter's vision regarding food, so bear with me. After that I will get to Paul.