Eating Pork

This entry is part 201 of 213 in the series Inquiring Minds

Why do most Christians eat pork, whereas the Bible says not to? Did I miss something?

Because it tastes good. Sorry, couldn’t help myself. The prohibition against eating pork is part of the Old Testament laws of Moses. Specifically, this was a civic law meant for the Jews, not for Christians.

Civic laws and ritual laws are not part of the moral law included in the law of Moses. Christians are required to follow the moral laws given by God. These are laws like the Ten Commandments. The reason we know this is that they are repeated, taught on, and explained throughout the New Testament as well is the Old Testament.

If a law is found in both places, it is binding for Christians as well. Paul goes to great lengths in Romans and Galatians, as well as 1 Corinthians 8-10 to explain that Christians do not need to follow the laws of Moses to be Christian. All we need is Christ.

In the beginning of Acts 10, before Peter goes to the house of Cornelius, a Gentile, to share the gospel, God gives him a vision about clean and unclean foods. The vision concludes with God telling Peter not to call unclean what he has made. Pork is included.

The principle God was setting up for Peter was to accept the Gentiles into Christianity. To become Jews, they would have gone through a lot more than just accepting Christ.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the issue of meat sacrificed idols referred to “Gentile meets” such as pork. Paul also spent Romans 14 explaining the Christian teaching of “matters of conscience.” If you are comfortable (and the Holy Spirit agrees) to do things like eating meat sacrificed to idols, then there is nothing stopping you.

But if it bothers your conscience, you shouldn’t do it. The Holy Spirit uses the redeemed conscience of Christians to speak to them. He lets us know when he is displeased with our conduct. The other part to the “matters of conscience” is to acquiesce to other Christians around you.

If you have a “weaker brother” who is not as advanced in his or her understanding of applying Scripture to their lives, and they are uncomfortable with the practice you are doing, when you are around them, you shouldn’t do it. You don’t want to cause them to stumble against their conscience.

Each Christian is at a different part of their walk with Christ. As we grow in Christ we become more mature and have an agreement with the Holy Spirit on what we should and shouldn’t do.

When the Bible leaves principles instead of commandments about this or that practice, it is up to us to study the Scriptures, pray and ask the Spirit, and then decide on what will not disturb our consciences.

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