Thursday, March 28, 2013

Bible on Eating and Entomophagy

My commentary or "Gettin' Biblical on Entomophagy":

Why can I eat pork and bugs and shellfish, among other things?  Some Christian sects believe God has ordered us to abstain from some meats, such as pork, crab, lobster, and more.   I’m a Christian and eat all that stuff with a clear conscience, and here’s why.

The whole Old Testament is a collection of documents which point to the necessity and the coming of Jesus.  It is a list of laws and rules that no person is capable of following without error (not my ‘excuse’ –keep with me).  With the New Testament came Jesus who fulfilled that law.  Mankind is not worthy of being in God’s presence without Jesus covering for us.  The New Testament is sprinkled profusely with references to that fact and that we are no longer bound by Old Testament ceremonial laws.

Very early (Gen 9:3), God said all animals and herbs were for us to eat.  Then again in the NT (Rom 14:14) He says it again.  In the meantime God gave the Jews some special eating rules.  He said, “No” about swine in Lev 11:7 and Deut 14:8.  He didn’t say why, except that they were cloven hoofed and they didn’t chew their cud.  He says swine “are unclean for you.”  Deut 14:19-21 might warn that a carcass is unclean, BUT verse 21 goes on to say unclean doesn't necessarily mean dangerous, since some unclean is just fine for non-Jewish visitors/strangers.  The Jews couldn’t eat a carcass, but they could give it or even sell it to strangers.  What’s law to the Jew is clearly not binding on non-Jews in some cases.  The Jews were also told rabbit, or any sea creature without fins and scales are unclean “to you”.  These orders were given to the Jews.  I am a Gentile.  With a clear conscience, I eat rabbit, pork, catfish, lobster, bullhead, crab, clam, and even some winged and swarming insects.

I eat insects.  I eat lots of different kinds of insects.  The Bible mentions edible insects, too.  It tells of ones that are unclean, and ones that are OK.   Lev 11:23 says winged and swarming insects are unclean, BUT, Lev 11:22 just said jumping insects are just fine.  Locusts are jumping insects, and they swarm, and they fly on wings.  Mark 1:6 tells of John the Baptist, the most contemporary prophet to Jesus, and his diet of locusts and honey.  The Bible is not a science book.  It mentions winged insects that go on all fours and winged insects that have four feet as unclean.  Insects I know go on all sixes.  Lev 11: 42-43 goes on to say whatever (not “whatever insect”) goes on all fours or swarms is unclean.  Cattle, sheep and goats “go on all fours”, so according to verses 42 and 43, they’re unclean, too.  According to Lev 11: 42 and 43, almost nothing is clean.

I won’t argue that vegetarianism isn’t good for you.  Daniel 1:5-16 is pretty clear on that.  Even though Daniel said he would defile himself with the king’s rich food, we don’t know what that food was, other than it was rich.  It doesn’t say the rich foods were an abomination to God.  It only says Daniel felt the food would defile himself.  The passage does not say other diets are an abomination.  Romans 14:14 tells about differences in diet and how they shouldn’t be an issue. 

Genesis 9:3 and Romans says it doesn’t matter what you eat in God’s eyes, (Rom 14: 2, 3, 14).  The passage says religion or legalism is not what God wants, but rather that you eat or abstain with a clear conscience.  If you’re good with it (foodwise), go for it.

Acts 10:9-16 tells of a vision of Peter’s where while hungry, he went into a trance and God showed him “all kinds of animals, and reptiles and birds of the air.”  God told Peter, “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.”  Peter said he couldn’t because the stuff God was showing him was unclean.  But God gave him that vision three times.  It reads to me, that God was stressing that any food could be clean and also that vegetarianism isn’t necessarily what God wants, as some sects claim.  Of course the context is God’s pointing out to Peter that all people are acceptable to Him, but the food reference is undeniable.

Romans 14:14,15 say there is no clean and unclean before God except what is in one’s conscience.  But, one is not to flaunt one’s food in front of one who says they can’t eat it.  In other words, if I have a Jewish friend over for dinner, I won’t serve him BBQ pork.  But still, there is Old Testament law which states some things are not to be eaten.  Those were ceremonial laws given to the Israelites, and are not binding on Gentiles.

Acts 15:7-21 tells of a meeting of believers where it was determined the Gentiles were not to be saddled with Jewish law.  Don’t take verse 9 out of context.   Verses 10, 19 and 20 back up my claim.  1 Corinthians 6:12,13 and Galatians 3:23-25 also say we’re no longer bound by Old Testament ceremonial laws.

 Acts 15:7-21 shows that ceremonial law was not mandated on Gentiles. The dietary laws were ceremonial and not moral laws.

Many places in the New Testament say Christians, particularly Gentile Christians, are not bound by Jewish ceremonial law, however, moral laws are still something we need to follow.

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