I made the remark in a recent sermon that if the Gospel didn’t include bacon, I wouldn’t preach it. I hope you know that
I was joking and that if I thought for a minute that the Bible forbade eating bacon, I wouldn’t even have a nibble. Not a
bite. But…does the Bible say that a Christian shouldn’t eat bacon (or any kind of pork)?
In the Old Testament, it isn’t even a question. “Do not eat pork!”. It’s pretty simple, isn’t it? So, if I was meandering
around the desert with the Israelites, I would not eat any part of a pig (or any of the animals forbidden in the book of
Leviticus). Why? Because they were “unclean”. So, what made a thing unclean? I believe, as far as dietary and
cleanliness, it was because they were dangerous to health. Touching a dead body or an animal that died of “natural”
causes would render a person unclean? When medical knowledge was limited to “put some oil on it”, touching anything
dead would put a person in danger of so many germs and diseases. So…don’t touch them.
But what about eating things unclean? Remember that the Hebrews…nomads in a desolate land…did not know much
about undercooking an animal. Eating the unclean animals undercooked would certainly be a cause for
alarm…dangerous. We now know that pork should be cooked to a temperature of at least 145 degrees and they did not
have cooking thermometers. So, God told them not to eat such things. God was preparing His people to be strong and
healthy in a world that faced so many dangers we don’t face today.
But most importantly, we must remember that God was setting aside His people to be holy. They were to be set apart
and obedient. So being obedient to the cleanliness laws and traditions surely was part of their holiness in their
relationship with God. But now…Jesus makes us holy. We are saved by the blood of His perfect sacrifice and made holy
by the presence of His Holy Spirit inside us. Because holiness is achieved by God touching us…not by what we touch…we
are set free from the cleanliness rules and regulations that marked the Hebrew children. Look at what the New
Testament says about what we eat or drink.
“The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by
demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. They
forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with
thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be
rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.” (1 Timothy 4:1-5
“After he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about this parable. “Are you so dull?” he
asked. “Don’t you see that nothing that enters a person from the outside can defile them? For it doesn’t go into their
heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body.” (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.)”. (Mark 7:17-19
NIV) (The italics are mine.)
“I am convinced, being fully persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards
something as unclean, then for that person it is unclean.” (Romans 14:14 NIV)
Say good things about your Savior and about His church here on the Bluff.
Bro. Tony