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Dear Hallee: The Law, Levitical Diet, & Acts 10

These questions, and hundreds just like them, came as a result of Our Diet page and the Give a Pig a Pancake post.  If you’ve never read them, I encourage you to read about what we eat and why we eat it (and why we don’t eat what we don’t eat).

dear hallee notebook
What about Acts 10:9-16? God showed Peter a vision of many “unclean” animals and told him that what God had sanctified we are not to call unclean. It is probably more healthy to eat a Levitical diet, but as far as it being a present day biblical mandate I cannot agree with that one. I applaud all who hold high standards in their diet for our present culture makes it hard to do. I myself am trying to get back to the basics more. It helps that I am staying in a foreign country right now. Fresh fruits, veggies, and meat are at the market every morning. For pretty good prices too.  ~Hannah in the comments section of Our Diet

-AND-

I was wondering as you are journeying through the Levitical Diet, have you had anyone comment about God showing Peter that all foods were declared “clean”? I’d love to hear your interpretation of this verse! ~A Facebook Follower

Hi Dawn and Hannah.  Everything I’ve read has suggested that Acts 10:9-16 was that Peter’s vision was directly about him associating with Gentiles. Immediately after his vision, he was summoned by a Gentile (Cornelius), whom God had sent to him. He went with this man, stayed in his house, ate his food. In the same chapter of Acts, Peter said, “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with a Gentile or visit him. But God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean. So when I was sent for, I came without raising any objection. May I ask why you sent for me?”

fatty pork chopThat said, I think that Acts 15 directly speaks to non-Jews and what to follow within the law. The Council at Jerusalem wrote a letter to the church at Antioch. Verses 24-30 say: “We have heard that some went out from us without our authorization and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said… It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things. Farewell.”

I think that is much more to the point than Acts 10.

As far as it being a present-day Biblical mandate, I don’t necessarily agree with you. I do know that my salvation is NOT contingent upon what I eat and how I treat my body. But I also know that in Leviticus, God said that some meat was unclean and not to eat it – and He is the same God yesterday, today, and tomorrow. It isn’t “probably” more healthy to eat a Levitical diet – it absolutely is more healthy to eat a Levitical diet. And why wouldn’t God want us to be more healthy?

Thank you so much for posting all the biblical references. I have, recently, become more aware of the laws in Torah. I have been trying to feed my family healthier, whole & freshly prepared foods. My husband is a bit of a hard sell on this. He is partially there but not all the way (he loves his bacon & processed snack foods). He grew up pPntacostal and says that in the New Testament, we were given the okay to eat pork. I don’t agree. His mom said that it states in Matthew, God blesses all food for us to eat (I’m putting this in my own words here). Do you have any idea what she is referring to? I want to continue to try to get my husband fully on-board but need more info so I truly know what I’m talking about. ~Dawn Marie, in the comments section of Our Diet

torahHi Dawn Marie:  There are two parts to which she may be referring. One is Matthew 5:17. Jesus says, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.” The popular translation of that verse says that Jesus was releasing us from the Law by fulfilling it.

What I believe it means is that Jesus rejected the Pharisees’ charge that He was nullifying the law (as the popular thought goes today.) If you look at Matthew 5:18, He further said, “For assuredly I say to you till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.” The word “fulfill” means “to fill out, expand, or complete.” It does not mean bring to an end. Jesus fulfilled the law several ways. (1) He obeyed it perfectly and taught its correct meaning. (2) He will one day fulfill all of the Old Testament prophesies. (3) He provides a way of salvation that meets the requirements of the law.

Even if a Christian thinks that means that they’re free to eat whatever they want, if our bodies are a temple for Christ, and eating food that God has determined is bad for us and in fact defiles us, we are in turn defiling Christ’s temple.

She might also be talking about Matthew 15:16-20. Where Jesus said whatever goes into the mouth is eliminated, but it’s what comes out of the mouth that can defile a man. If that’s the verse she’s using, I think that’s a bit of a weak argument, personally.

I’d recommend getting your husband The Maker’s Diet: The 40-day Health Experience That Will Change Your Life Forever by Jordan S. Rubin to read. Even if he isn’t convinced Biblically, he would be convinced for health reasons alone. We originally changed just for the health reasons. Our sense of worship and obedience came later.

 

Hallee


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