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Can we eat pork?

Gloria asked: Can we eat pork?

Hi Gloria,

Here’s what the Bible says:

“You understand that whatever goes into the man from outside cannot defile him, because it does not go into his heart, but into his stomach, and is eliminated?” (Thus He declared all foods clean.) And He was saying, “That which proceeds out of the man, that is what defiles the man” (Mark 7:18b-20).

Following Peter’s vision of all manner of clean and unclean animals coming down in a sheet, we read this in Acts: 

“A voice came to him, ‘Get up, Peter, kill and eat!’ But Peter said, ‘By no means, Lord, for I have never eaten anything unholy and unclean.’ Again a voice came to him a second time, ‘What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy’” (Acts 10:13-15).

Later on in Acts, a council was called to bring clarity to whether or not Gentiles need to keep the Old Testament law. At the conclusion of that council, we read this:

“For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these essentials: that you abstain from things sacrificed to idols and from blood and from things strangled and from fornication; if you keep yourselves free from such things, you will do well. Farewell” (Acts 15:28-29).

The Apostle Paul wrote this to Timothy concerning false teachers: 

“Men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer” (1 Timothy 4:4).

So, the conclusion from God’s Word is that yes, you can eat pork. You are not sinning by eating pork.

However, if there is a brother or sister in Christ who refuses to eat pork, don’t try to convince them to change or try to make them feel guilty about their conviction. Paul said:

“For if because of food your brother is hurt, you are no longer walking according to love. Do not destroy with your food him for whom Christ died. Therefore do not let what is for you a good thing be spoken of as evil; for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:15-17).
 

Thanks for your question, 

Stephen

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