Is it wrong for Christians to eat pork?
I have been involved in numerous online debates regarding the issue. Many of my opponents engage in cherry picking of Bible verses in order to solidify their point that Christians who eat pork arent following the teachings of Jesus. They quote verses in the Old Testament such as:
1. Leviticus 11:7-8
7 And the pig, though it has a divided hoof, does not chew the cud; it is unclean for you.
8 You must not eat their meat or touch their carcasses; they are unclean for you
2. Deuteronomy 14:8
8 The pig is also unclean; although it has a divided hoof, it does not chew the cud. You are not to eat their meat or touch their carcasses
3. Isaiah 66:17
17 “Those who consecrate and purify themselves to go into the gardens, following one who is among those who eat the flesh of pigs, rats and other unclean things—they will meet their end together with the one they follow,” declares the Lord
Dont get me wrong. I believe in the truth of the Word of God. Regardless of whether the verse is found in the Old Testament or New Testament. However, it is erroneous to just quote Scriptures like this while ignoring the others. There are a lot of Jewish cultural practices which Christians do not do. Why? Because we have been saved by grace and not by works (Ephesians 2:8).
Jews do not believe that Jesus died to reconcile them to God, hence they take part in a lot of things in order to be “right with God.” Christians believe Jesus death on the cross absolved them from having to do good works in order to be right with God. Of course this DOESN’T mean that Christians can sin and do whatever they want. Christians are called to live holy lives (1 Thessalonians 4:7)
B. What did Jesus say?
1. Mark 7:15,17-20
15 Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them.”
17 After he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about this parable.
18 “Are you so dull?” he asked. “Don’t you see that nothing that enters a person from the outside can defile them?
19 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.)
20 He went on: “What comes out of a person is what defiles them
2. Matthew 15:11
11 What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.”
C. What else does the Bible say?
1. Genesis 9:1-3
1 Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth.
2 The fear and dread of you will fall on all the beasts of the earth, and on all the birds in the sky, on every creature that moves along the ground, and on all the fish in the sea; they are given into your hands.
3 Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything
2. 1 Timothy 4:3-5
3 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.
4 For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving,
5 because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer
3. Romans 14:14
14 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
I personally believe it is not wrong for Christians to eat pork (as evidenced by the scriptures aforementioned). Whether to eat it or not is your personal choice. If your religion tells you to abstain from it, by all means do so. But DO NOT cherry pick scriptures and claim that Christians aren’t true followers of Jesus.