Friday, July 20, 2012

Acts 10 - Unclean Meats

In an article posted recently on Huffington Post about Chick-Fil-A titled "Did Jesus Eat Chick-Fil-A at the Last Supper?", the author attempted to use scripture to call out Chick-Fil-A on its hypocrisy.  In this case, the author pointed out that bacon was forbidden by the bible and yet they have it on their menu.  I cheer on this author despite his motives for the attack.

In a followup article (rebuttal) on, the following was stated:
Again, Scudera’s biblical ignorance was evident. In Acts 10:15, St. Peter was commanded to eat animals forbidden by the Jewish dietary law in a dream. With the coming of Christianity, the old dietary restrictions setting apart the Jews as the Chosen People did not apply; the Gospel of Jesus Christ was extended to everyone, Jew and Gentile alike.
So, let's review what Acts does and does NOT say about eating unclean animals.

Acts 10:9-17
9 About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray.
10 He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance.
11 He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners.
12 It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles of the earth and birds of the air.
13 Then a voice told him, "Get up, Peter. Kill and eat."
14 "Surely not, Master!" Peter replied. "I have never eaten anything impure or unclean."
15 The voice spoke to him a second time, "Do not call anything impure that Yahweh has made clean."
16 This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven.
17 While Peter was wondering about the meaning of the vision, the men sent by Cornelius found out where Simon's house was and stopped at the gate.
Notice a few things here.  It does not say that Yahweh has declared all animals to be clean.  Also notice, and this is key, that in verse 17, Peter was wondering about the meaning of the vision.  If, as Christianity declares, the intent was that all animals were now clean, what was there for Peter to ponder unless he knew it meant something other than what is declared by Christianity.

In Acts 11, Peter retells the entire tale to the believers in Jerusalem who were upset that he went into a house and ate with uncircumcised men.  Notice the response in verse 18 by those who hear this story:
Acts 11:18
When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised Yahweh, saying, "So then, Yahweh has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life."
Where is the celebration that they could now eat any animal they wished?  How could they leave that out of their praise to Yahweh?  Did they also understand, just as Peter, that the vision was for the purpose of not judging men based on their situation if Yahweh has chosen them, but that Yahweh made no change to the law of clean or unclean meats?

So Christianity reads what they wish to get out of this, when Peter and the other believers in Jerusalem knew what Yahweh really meant.

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