There are different religious restrictions for eating different meat types. One of the most distinctive food practices in both Judaism and Islam is the avoidance of pork products. There are certain situations when Muslims can eat pork. Do you wander if Hindus can eat pork?
Have you always wondered why some Christians eat pork while it is forbidden in the Bible? This article seeks to clarify if it is acceptable for Christians to eat pork and the effects of doing so.
The Bible says that Christians should not eat pork because pigs are considered to be the most unclean of all animals. A Christian’s body is the temple of God and you should not do what God does not like.
Is Eating Pork A Sin in The Bible?
Eating pork is a sin in the bible because it’s hoofs are divided yet it does not chew the cud. This is clearly stated in the book of Deuteronomy chapter fourteen verse eight. If you look at the book of Leviticus chapter 11 starting with the first verse, this is also clarified.
“Now the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron saying to them, speak to the children of Israel, saying these are the animals that you may eat among the animals that are on the earth”Leviticus
This verse is about those animals that are clean and those that are unclean. If you continue to read through verse 7:
“and the swine though it divides the hoof and has cloven hoofs, it does not chew the cud, it is not clean. To you their flesh you will not eat, their carcass you will not touch, they are unclean to you.”Leviticus
The criteria for being clean or unclean among the animals in the Bible for Christians was that the animal must chew the cud like a goat or a cow or a sheep and have a divider or cloven hoof.
Pigs got the cloven hoof but they’re scavengers. They don’t chew the cud. Camel chews the cud but it has a paw they are unclean according to what the Bible says.
What Did Jesus Say About Pigs?
Jesus made fun of the Pharisees that would strain their water to make sure they didn’t get a net, but they’d eat unclean meat. The Bible is pretty clear that some animals are clean and pigs are among them.
You might be thinking at this point that well; those are laws for the Jews. I would ask the question, why would God want Jesus to be healthier than other people? If you look in Genesis, you’ll find out that God made this distinction for all humans.
You can read in Genesis 7:2. It states that of every clean animal, you are to bring them in by sevens.
The unclean animal they were to bring by twos the male and his female then after the flood Noah built an altar and he took off all the clean animals and sacrificed to the Lord.
You were never to sacrifice an unclean animal to God because that would have been an abomination. Since all the vegetation had been destroyed by the flood at that time, it was obvious that as an emergency, we were permitted to eat of the clean animals.
In the beginning, God didn’t want us to eat any animals let alone pigs which are scavengers. You read in Genesis chapter 1, God says in verse 29,
“see I’ve given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth and every tree in whose fruit yields its seed to you it shall be for food”.Genesis 1;29
The best diet for people is a vegetarian diet. However, God said as an emergency, that he would allow them to eat meats but those are the meats that God has prescribed could be clean. Animals with cloven hoof and those that chew the cud.
Those that are okay to eat in the waters are needed to have fins and scales. Among the birds, they should be the foraging Birds as opposed to those Raptors and scavengers like the Buzzard and the Hawk and so forth. If you are keen, scavenging animals are not really okay to eat a Christian.
They could eat chicken, Dove and the turkey among others. God gave some criteria that if a man is going to eat meat, they must be the clean meats. In heaven, of course, we’re all vegetarians because we’re all going to be eating from the tree of life.
Are Christians Allowed To Eat Pork?
This is God’s original plan but of all the things that a person might eat that the Bible says are forbidden, pork is really the most abominable. Pigs are scavengers and Christians should not eat pork whatsoever.
I’ve got a little report here from consumer report which goes through saying 70% of all pork that they tested in the slaughterhouses is contaminated with serious bacteria that are harmful to your health.
They say that some of the bacteria that we found in 198 samples proved to be resistant to antibiotics commonly used to treat people because they’re giving the pigs these antibiotics all the time. It is definitely not clean.
In the slaughterhouses, the brains are normally sterile but during the slaughtering process, meat can become contaminated with bacteria from the animal skin, gut from the workers’ equipment or the environment contamination especially if processing lines run too fast.
In fact, they tell you in this article that you should be very careful not to store your pork next to anything else. Keep your uncooked pork away from other foods because it contains swimming parasites and bacteria.
Most Christians that eat pork have 30% higher chance that they’re going to get serious diseases as compared to vegetarians and those that eat the clean meat in general.
God made some animals that are scavengers in the sky. They’re called buzzards. There are also some scavengers in the waters that include catfish and sharks. There are scavengers on the land that include pigs and dogs. The Bible says that we are not to eat them.
Pigs will eat virtually anything and admittedly they are intelligent and so are the dogs and we’re not supposed to eat them. The disease can be transferred from animal to animal.
Some people then go to these verses in the Bible and they say wait for a second, now didn’t God say when Peter had this vision and you read about this in Acts chapter 10 of this giant vessel that is lowered down from heaven.
It’s full of all kinds of different unclean animals and God said, arise kill, clean, do not call common what I have cleansed.
Now, something you need to know is first of all this has nothing to do with eating animals or Christians eating pigs. There is no specific animal mentioned but just as the vessel full of all kinds of abominable things.
Peter says “not so Lord I have never eaten anything common or unclean.” Not that this happened over four years after Christ has died. If Peter had learned from Jesus that it’s okay to eat unclean food, then ask yourself why would Peter be saying not so Lord I’ve never eaten anything that is not clean.
Peter never takes anything from this vision, can’t eat a vision and at the end, he explains the vision to his friends in Acts chapter 10 verse 28 he said: “God has shown me I should not call any man unclean.”
Peter received the vision so he would then take the gospel to Cornelius and these unclean Gentiles had nothing to do with food.
Anyone who tries to make that vision says it had something to do with food is being biblically dishonest because that was not the purpose in relation to Christians eating pork.
Why Do Some Christians Eat Pork?
There was an incident that you find in Mark chapter 7, it says;
“then some of the Pharisees came to him having come from Jerusalem, and when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with the defiled, that is with unwashed hands, they found fault. For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands in a special way holding to the tradition of the elders.”Mark Chapter 7
There was a tradition of ceremonially washing their hands. They saw the disciples did not do this and they said they may be defiled and Jesus contended with them and he said that they were setting aside the commandment of God.
This is verse 8, holding to your tradition, the washing of pitchers and cups and many other such things you do he said, all too well you reject the commandment of God that you may keep your tradition.
Going on down he said in verse 14;
“hear me everyone and understand there is nothing that enters a man from the outside that can defile him. But the things that come out of the man are the things that defile him. If anyone has ears let him hear.”Mark 7:14
When I first heard that, I thought oh good that means that as a Christian, I can smoke cigarettes, eat pork and drink anything I want to because there’s nothing that enters a man that defiles him.
I took that verse the way some other churches are teaching it. This is a verse that most Christians misunderstand about eating pork, drinking, and smoking.
I thought whoopee I can eat and drink and smoke anything I want because it’ll never defile me. That goes against the book of Daniel that states that Daniel would not be defiled with the King’s food and God blessed him for his determination. He lived long and he was ten times wiser.
So what is this parable all about? Jesus said to the disciples if you look at Mark 7:18-19;
“are you thus without understanding also? do you not perceive that whatever enters a man from the outside cannot defile him because it doesn’t enter his heart but his stomach and it’s eliminated. it goes in and it makes an exit thus purifying all foods.”Mark 7:18-19
The word purify in this case means the digestive system is actually hotter than the rest of your body and practically, all that is taken goes out in the form of human waste.
Christ is saying you eat some bacteria germs it’s all purged and it’s eliminated. that does not defile your mind and your heart. He said what defiles a person is from within the heart of men that proceed;
- Evil thoughts
- Lewdness and evil eye
- Pride and foolishness
These are the things that come from within a man according to the bible and they defile a man. Some then take this first to that Jesus said you can eat anything and that it can’t defile you. That’s not at all what Christ is saying.
In fact Jesus makes this statement long before the book of Acts chapter 10 where Peter says “I’ve never eaten anything that is common or unclean.” The bottom line here still remains that pigs are still unclean for Christians to eat.
What the Bible Says About Eating Pork
The Bible says “don’t you know your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit?”. I know someone will ask about first Timothy 4 verse 3 and 5 which says that;
“in the last days, there’ll be a group that will arise forbidding to marry and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with Thanksgiving of those who believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good and nothing to be refused if it’s received with Thanksgiving”The book of Timothy
They take that verse and they say right there you got it. Paul says that any creature can be eaten and all you have to do is pray over it.
Now think about it, do you really believe that it would mean it’s okay for you to just say we’re going to have snake stew. That we’re just going to say a prayer and we’re going to eat a pig as Christians.
It’s pretty clear that some things would be revolting that not any creature should be eaten. Technically if you take it at any creep can be eaten, that endorses cannibalism. That well yeah, we can eat them and all we need to do is just say a prayer everything’s okay.
No, that’s not at all what he’s talking about. There was a big problem in the days of Paul where the Jews were afraid to eat any food that was sold in the marketplace because it was often offered to pagan idols and they thought that they will I be participating in idolatry.
Paul says in first Corinthians chapter 10 “If anyone who does not believe invites you to dinner and you desire to go, eat whatever is set before you, asking no questions for conscience sake.”Corinthians 10
That simply means don’t say well where did you get this food? “this was offered to idols do not eat it if he tells you that for the sake of the one who told you.”
You can look in first Corinthians 10 verse 25, “Eat whatever is sold in the meat market asking no questions for conscience sake” Here, he’s talking about the clean meats. Here, we are definitely referring to the clean animals that you know like the goat, cow, and sheep among others.
Don’t ask was it offered to an idol since that was the major concern during those days. So when the Bible Says in Timothy, “every creature of God is good nothing to be refused if it’s received with Thanksgiving”, you got to keep reading.
It goes on to say “for it is sanctified by the Word of God and prayer”. There are foods that God’s Word says are sanctified. The clean ones, God says you can eat these meats. Those are the clean meats and they are permissible to eat.
God is not saying that you can say a prayer over meats that he declares to be detestable. Let me give you a couple of other verses on this that will help make this clearer. You can read for instance in Isaiah chapter 66 verse 15;
“For behold the Lord will come with fire and with His chariot like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by His sword the Lord will judge all flesh, and the slain of the Lord shall be many.”
“Those who sanctify themselves and purify themselves, to go to the gardens after an idol in the midst, eating swine’s flesh and the abomination and the mouse, shall be consumed together,” says the Lord.”
The Bible puts eating swine’s flesh and mouse burgers in the same category. He says they will be consumed. Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit and the Bible says we should not defile our bodies. You can read in Isaiah 65 verse 3-4;
“People who provoke Me to anger continually to my face; who sacrifice in gardens and burn incense on altars of brick; who sit among the graves, and spend the night in the tombs; who eat swine’s flesh, and the broth of abominable things in their vessels.”Isaiah 65 verse 3-4
God is very clear all the way through the Bible that pigs are unclean. Says you do not give that which is holy to the pig.
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