Holy and Unholy

I travel a lot for work: Poland, Mexico, China, South Africa, Germany, Singapore, India … all over the world. Everywhere I go I’m careful what I eat; pork and shellfish are standard fare most places, and often comprise the bulk of the menu. I seldom order salad without specifying “no bacon,” and when language is an issue it’s extra challenging. There’s a constant striving, an alertness required to eat according to God’s pattern, but as I delight in God’s Law (Ro 7:22) I see an important spiritual lesson in it.

Trevor Rees: Long clawed squat lobster

In calling us to put away all uncleanness, God gave us laws describing unclean animals to train us in the habit of discerning what we take in, both physically and spiritually. (Lev 20:25) He is concerned about our health and knows we live in a polluted, broken world. He wants us to test everything that’s presented to us as food, for both body and soul, and do our best to ensure it passes the litmus test of His Word. (Is 8:20)

What this seems to mean is that we are to be constantly evaluating any and all spiritual teaching that is offered to us, checking the Scripture to see if it is so. (Ac 17:11) When verses are taken out of context or faulty reasoning is applied, we’re to recognize it, call it out and reject it. (Ps 119:104) Failing to do so permits lies into our lives which defile and weaken our souls and spirits, giving the enemy access (2Ti 2:25-26) to steal, kill and destroy. (Jn 10:10)

Additionally, we should be comparing all of our own thoughts and motives with God’s Word (Ps 119:113), identifying as unclean anything within us that’s contrary to His Way. (Ps 19:14) This seems consistent with God’s call to gird up the loins of our mind (1Pe 1:13), to be circumspect, sober and vigilant (1Pe 5:8) in following after holiness(He 12:14)

We’re each accountable to God for what we believe and do (Ro 14:11-12), for every idle word we speak (Mt 12:36); we each bear our own burden before Him. (Ga 6:4) No one else can watch our spiritual diet for us; let’s enjoy and leverage God’s training plan so that we can differentiate between holy and unholy, and between unclean clean. (Le 10:10)

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2 thoughts on “Holy and Unholy”

  1. When we minimize the physical we make a Gnostic error. Christ came to redeem our whole being. God cares about the body as well as the spirit; He will raise our bodies from the dead.

  2. It’s possible that the unclean animals weren’t as bad for us just after the Great Flood, so God didn’t make it a requirement to abstain from them at that time. But as Earth degenerates their quality as food may be diminishing. The clean/ unclean distinction was certainly a clue before Sinai, but God’s plan for food was evidently formalized for us then, at which point He classifies them as “abominable things.” (De 14:3)

    God’s description of unclean food as an “abominable thing” indicates that certain food is intrinsically abominable to humans: this isn’t food. To claim that the dietary laws have changed implies one of the following: [1] the intrinsic nature of these unclean animals has changed so that they are now good to eat when once they were not, or [2] that God was being arbitrary in classifying them as abominable, when in reality there was no intrinsic difference between clean and unclean food, or [3] God has changed such that now He approves of us eating abominable things when once He did not.

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