You Are What You Eat

I grew up seeing Christians eat pork like Leviticus 11 didn't speak against it. Not once did anyone explain why we living contrary to that law. Eventually I decided to find out for myself. Spoiler alert, I realized the Bible didn't give us permission to eat things God told us not to.
Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 1 Corinthians 6:19 NKJV

What you eat matters!!
What you eat affects you physical health[3][4][5]
What you eat affects you mental health[1][2]
Think about what happens to your mind and body when you consumer things such as: coffee/caffeine, heavy drugs (e.g., heroin), alcohol, medication, etc.
When I changed my diet I saw major differences. When I cut out unclean meat, it was like a Claritin clear commercial. When I cut out meat entirely, I no longer struggle with eczema, I have less menstral cramping, and I have more energy.
I actually have an episode from season 1 with the same title. 🤷🏾‍♀️ It's worth a listen to if you haven't heard it yet (it's about self control when eating)
God gave us specific information concerning what we eat from the very beginning!

Genesis 1:29 & Genesis 2:16-17
  • God gives Adam and Eve permission to eat from all seed bearing vegetation
  • God's only rule is that they cannot eat from the Tree of Knowledge—the first and only rule before the fall was about what people consumed as food.
  • for more information check out: You Are What You Eat: The Original Diet
Genesis 9:3-5
  • God introduced flesh into our diet after the flood
  • Noah knew the difference between clean and unclean animals; this is evidenced in Genesis 7:2,8 and Genesis 8:20. If Noah had been expected to eat and/or sacrifice the unclean animals, God would have told him to bring equal amounts of those animals.
Leviticus 11
  • This is where we (the reader) are introduced to the definition of clean and unclean meat
  • This definition had to exist before Moses wrote this chapter as Noah already knew what clean and unclean was. A precedence had already been set that only clean animals were sacrificed (meat eaten was always sacrificed first). Also, Islam formed from descendents of Abraham's oldest son, Ishmael, who lived long beofre Moses. Islam adheres to a similar dietary law—differences in the law could be due to passing down word of mouth, versus God re-establishing the definition with Moses.
Isaiah 66
  • During the end times there consuming swine (pork) is still considered an abomination
  • Read Isaiah 65 to under the context that these verses reference the end of days
  • for more information check out: You Are What You Eat: Isaiah 66
Why do people think we have permission to eat unclean meat?

Mark 7 / Matthew 15
  • People generally skip to "it's not what goes in but what comes out that defiles a man"
  • The context of the passage is that the Pharisees were upset the disciples didn't wash their hands before eating bread
  • This passage doesn't address unclean food, and if it did Peter wouldn't have been so shocked in Acts 10 since he was present for Christ's lecture
  • for more information check out: You Are What You Eat: Mark 7
Acts 10
  • Peter has a vision where he is told to kill and eat unclean animals
  • Peter rejects this idea and boasts that he has never eaten unclean meat (this how we know Jesus didn't give them permission to do so in Mark 7)
  • As with most dreams/visions in the Bible, we are told what the dream represents: Acts 10:28 and Acts 11:1-18
  • The "beasts" in the dream symbolized unclean nations (the Gentiles); this follows the pattern of dreams in the Bible (see Daniel 7)
  • for more information check out: You Are What You Eat: Acts 10
Romans 14
  • The weak man eats only vegetables, but the strong one eats meat
  • Note that the contrast is between vegetarian and omnivore, not clean and unclean meat
  • Parallels 1 Corinthians 8 and 10, which are about meat sacrificed to idols
  • for more information check out: You Are What You Eat: Romans 14
1 Timothy 4:1-7
  • Can you actually eat all things? You can't eat bleach, poison, things you're allergic to, etc.
  • Key phrase: "God created to be received with thanksgiving"
    What was created to be received with thanksgiving? Seed bearing plants and clean meat
  • Notice that both forbidding to marry and commanding to abstain from clean meats is something that is done in the Catholic Church (and some protestant churches that kept traditions such as Lent)
  • for more information check out: You Are What You Eat: 1 Timothy 4:1-7
Colossians 2
  • This is about man made docrtines—while the Jews were notorious for adding to the law, there is a dietary law given by God
  • Eating healthy is not an ordinance that is against you—the ordinances that were against the Israelites were the ones that required death and/or sacrifice when they broke them
  • The list of things not to be judged on all related to the feast days and the ceremonial law (sacrifices)
17“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. 19Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.Matthew 5:17-19 NKJV

References & Footnotes

  1. Jeremy P. E. Spencer. "Food for thought: the role of dietary flavonoids in enhancing human memory, learning and neuro-cognitive performance: Symposium on ‘Diet and mental health’". Cambridge University Press; Volume 67, Issue 2. May 2008, pp. 238-252
  2. Adrienne O'Neil, PhD et al. "Relationship Between Diet and Mental Health in Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Review". American Journal of Public Health. October 2014
  3. "Diet and Health: Implications for Reducing Chronic Disease Risk". National Research Council (US) Committee on Diet and Health. 1989
  4. WC Willet. "Diet and health: what should we eat?". Science ; Volume 264, Issue 5158. April 22 1994, pp. 532-537
  5. Marian Glick-Bauer and Ming-Chin Yeh. "The Health Advantage of a Vegan Diet: Exploring the Gut Microbiota Connection". Nutrients. 2014

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Author Image Author Image I love reading the Word of God. With prayer God's Word reveals so much: from comfort to temperance, from perspective to affirmation. Digging into the depths of the Word, cross-referencing history, language and time differences, is a passion of mine. In March of 2015 I decided to go back through the Bible doing an in depth study on each section I read. Eventually I decided to share my journal of notes as I partake in this journey. I hope you are blessed by God and inspired to pursue a deeper relationship with Him. I love reading and learning about God, nature, and science. I am interested in how it all connects. The Creator's fingerprints are all over his creation. We can learn so much about Him and how we came to be by exploring the world around us. Join me as I explore the world and draw closer to the One who created it all.
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