Challenge Response: Is Pig’s Meat Allowed Today or Not?

Here's my response to this week's challenge:

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Are we allowed to eat pig’s meat today or not? That's the challenge that I want to address, and it comes from a Muslim who is citing Isaiah 65 as evidence for his case.

He says that in “Isaiah 65, this chapter speaks about future Prophecies and Promises that GOD Almighty is making for the future of the people of Israel. So, this is not a book that is just giving mere commands. It is rather speaking about the future and the End of Times. Interestingly, we read the following,

‘3They keep making me angry by sneering at me, while offering sacrifices to idols in gardens and burning incense to them on bricks. 4They spend their nights hiding in burial caves; they eat the meat of pigs, cooked in sauces made of stuff unfit to eat. 5And then they say to others, ‘Don't come near us! We're dedicated to God.’ Such people are like smoke, irritating my nose all day.’ (CEV Bible, Isaiah 65:3-5)

Here we see that the pork eaters are so detested by GOD Almighty that He likened them to smoke irritating His Nose all day. This is a very powerful statement regarding eating pork and how detestable it is to GOD Almighty in the Bible.…

So what is it? Is pig's meat allowed today or not?”

My answer is simple. Bacon.

Okay, so maybe the bacon answer would be sufficient for those of you are bacon lovers like myself, but for those of you who are not, perhaps you want some more. I'm willing to indulge you on that. In order to really understand the context of Isaiah 65, we have to realize that although God is speaking about some prophetic elements that are going to happen in the future, the section this Muslim sites is when Isaiah is listing various offenses that the children of Israel have committed against God. These are all offenses that are listed in the Mosaic Law.

The Mosaic Law is a contract between God, Moses, and the children of Israel. There are about 613 commands in there, and some of the commands include things about rituals, sacrifice, clean and unclean foods, and so on. They also include a prohibition from eating pork. So, when Isaiah is listing all of these offences, he's referring to the past disobedient behaviors of Israel and chastising them because at that point in time when Isaiah was writing, the Mosaic Law was still in effect.

However, today the Mosaic Law is no longer in effect. Why? Because Jeremiah 31 talks about a new covenant that God’s going to establish with His people, so the Mosaic Law – the old covenant – will no longer be binding. Hebrews 8 talks about how that new law God establishes with His people makes the old law obsolete. What is this new covenant, this new contract that God has with His people? It's through Jesus Christ. When Jesus Christ comes along, He fulfills the requirements of the Mosaic Law. He fulfills the requirements of that contract and then establishes a new covenant in His blood. When He does that, the old requirements of clean and unclean food, not eating pork, the ritual sacrifices, and all those things are no longer binding or relevant for the New Testament believer. 

That alone makes the case that eating pork products today would be morally permissible. In fact, the entire book of Galatians is one long argument that Paul makes against New Testament believers feeling bound by the Mosaic Law and saying the old covenant is no longer binding on the New Testament believer. The context there is about circumcision (again, that was part of the Mosaic Law), but all of Galatians is one giant point about how we are no longer bound by the Mosaic Law and therefore, we are free from it. We are now under a new covenant, and that is a covenant under Christ.

In fact, we even see in 1 Timothy 4 Paul talking about how some people were still requiring that people abstain from certain foods. Then, Paul goes on to say, “No. God has created all things, and all things are good.” All food is okay to eat, and nothing should be rejected. The reason is because there's nothing intrinsically sinful about pork products. Yes, God had a commandment to Israel in the past not to eat that meat. When the Jews violated a command, what they were guilty was violating the commands against God, not necessarily because there is something intrinsically wrong with the meat of pigs. It’s like when Adam and Eve ate the fruit. There was nothing intrinsically evil about the fruit itself; it was the fact that they are disobeying God's commands. That's why pork products are morally ok for us to eat today.

So, go out tonight, and have yourself a bacon wrapped filet mignon. Just make sure it's medium rare.

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Alan Shlemon

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