Should Christians obey OT dietary laws?

BRIAN: Hi, John. JOHN: Hi. BRIAN: My name is Brian. JOHN: Hi, Brian BRIAN: How you doing? Let’s see, I consider this a privilege being
able to ask you…you don’t know how many times in my own personal studies I’ve always
thought…Boy, if I could only ask Mac about this thing.” You know. And so now what I’ve been graveling with
lately and it’s kind of a trivial thing. In Leviticus 11, I guess God didn’t give
me the gift of speaking in public, just as a side note…. JOHN: You’re doing great. BRIAN: In Leviticus 11, God gave to Aaron
and Moses the commandment about cleanliness, unclean animals in hygiene and such. And there was food that was forbidden, to
kind of go along with the food and fellowship thing. A lot of that food that was talked about then
is part of our cuisine now. How do we address that? JOHN: Sure, that’s good, very good question. The critical thing for God dealing with Israel
was this, they were to be repository, the national repository of divine truth, okay? They were the…they were the sole monotheists
in a polytheistic animistic world, okay? They were the true worshipers of the true
God. They were an island in a sea of polytheism,
animism, whatever kind of false religion…multiple gods. How was God going to protect them and insulate
them? The food and fellowship thing comes into play. They couldn’t dress like the other nations. They couldn’t eat like the other nations. And basically all social contact, as it still
does, is built around the dining environment. So what God was doing was isolating them. They had cooking laws. They had certain animals they could not eat. There were ways they had to prepare the food. They couldn’t mix milk and meat, that’s
still part of being kosher today. But all of that had no real purpose other
than isolation, just a way to separate them. This was part of their cleanliness so that
they just couldn’t go over to anybody’s place and interact with them and therefore
be influenced. God was designing a peculiar people. Another way to view it on the big picture
side was no matter how the other nations did it, the Jews did it different. No matter how they dressed, the Jews dressed
differently. No matter what they ate, the Jews ate differently. No matter how they prepared the food, the
Jews did it differently. They had all kinds of laws with regard to
Sabbath, ceremony, worship, all that isolated them. The design of God was to isolate the community
for its own holiness, separation…separation. At the same time, they were challenged to
proclaim the truth but with in inability to interact with the other cultures to protect
them from evil influence. And God was protecting the people to protect
their future so that the Messiah would come from Abraham through the line of David that
that would still be in existence. So that was part of the insulation and protection. Once the Messiah came, all that part of the
law goes away. And that happens immediately in the book of
Acts. Peter has a vision, remember that in Acts
10? He sees a sheet an din the sheet are all kinds
of animals, clean and unclean. And the Lord says to him, “Rise, Peter,
kill and eat.” All that’s gone…no more. And his response is, “Wait a minute, I’ve
never eaten anything unclean.” And the voice comes back and says, “Don’t
dare call unclean what God has cleansed.” That whole part of the Old Testament law,
that ceremonial part is gone. That’s why in Colossians Paul says, “Don’t
let anybody hold you to a new moon, a festival, or any kind of food.” And he goes on to talk about it a lot that
we’re no longer under Old Testament dietary laws. So they’re gone. So you can feel free to eat anything. There were some issues in the past that in
some of the elements of their diet were designed to protect them from diseases. There’s a wonderful book written about 35
years ago, it first came out called None of These Diseases by McMillan, a medical doctor. He showed how some of those laws in the Old
Testament, even circumcision was a way to prevent certain diseases as God protects His
people in a very unique way. But in the New Testament, all of that element
of the Law is set aside and what remains is the moral and theological elements of the
Law, okay? BRIAN: Thank you.

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