Friday, September 10, 2010
The Little Things
Now that I have a little time, I want to go back and post about a topic that was on my heart 2 weeks ago. I seem to be having the same conversation with many different people and decided I had to state my case as it were, so even if you've heard it before bear with me. The topic is broadly about Torah observance, but very specifically about eating clean and unclean foods. To address this, I'll have to post the verses from Matthew 5 that I have posted so many times before...
"Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven."
I don't remember reading that verse when I was 'churched'. I certainly never heard a sermon about it. When I ran across it in my attempts to prove that the law was done away with, I was stunned silent. There it is as clear as day: it is not done away. Everything has not been fulfilled, heaven and earth have not passed away, not a jot or a tittle are gone. Yet I still hear so many arguments about how unimportant these words really are so long as our "hearts are right". But I want to know how blatant disregard of the words of the Messiah can coincide with a right heart. We are told he did so many things that the world couldn't hold the books, yet he made sure these words were canonized. Apparently they are important.
I do agree that one will not lose their salvation based on eating the wrong foods. But he doesn't say it is a salvation issue at all- it is a matter of how great a servant you are. Don't believe me? read this:
"He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much." Luke 16:10
What we eat does matter because it is one of the 'small' things. If we cannot be trusted to obey in the little things, how can we be trusted to obey in the bigger things? If someone worked for you and could not wash the dishes properly, would you then give him the job of washing your fine china? You wouldn't because he has not proved that he can be trusted.
I also quite often hear the following verse as an answer to why someone continues to eat that which is unclean:
"Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand." Romans 14:4
First, I want to know why this verse only works one way. If it does imply that someone can be convicted in his own heart that pork is OK, why then does it not cover me from attack by believers who call me legalistic, a judaizer, self-righteous, and deluded? It is OK to judge the servant who obeys but not the servant who does not? Secondly, this verse is taken out of context. The discussion is about those who chose not to eat meat at all because of the issue of foods that may have been offered to idols in the marketplace. These verses in no way cleanse that which the Father called an abomination.
As to the argument that "I do not feel convicted about that issue" my question is whether they feel convicted about anything Yah says. Does the Holy Spirit really have to come down and personally invite you to obedience? If you feel in your heart that abortion is OK, does that negate the Word? Feelings and convictions can be a dangerous thing- test every spirit. Of course Satan would love to 'convict' us of our freedom from the law. Personal convictions have to line up with the Word or they are FALSE SPIRITS!!!!!!
One of the students in my homeschool co-op class came to me months after we had a debate over unclean foods with this verse and said to me that since each of us should decide what is right, he decided pork was OK. I asked him if he had the same liberty to determine if adultery and murder were OK. I pointed out that he was using a verse out of context and he had no answer for me.
Another lady pointed out 1 Timothy 4 where it states that in the latter times people will come and teach that we cannot eat some foods (meaning me) and that Paul says here that all foods are consecrated by prayer. But if we look closer at what this passage actually says, her argument falls apart.
"Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer."
Firstly, the idea of some animals being clean and others not is NOT a doctrine of the devil- Yah himself determined this. Secondly it says they command others to abstain from meats- I don't command anybody to do anything, the Word does. I am just reminding. This is not some rule I made up myself. Third, the passage says that what God created to be food should be received with thanksgiving. He created things for different purposes and marks that which was clean from the beginning- Adam and Eve had to be covered by a blood sacrifice and He did NOT use a pig. Lastly, we see that the food we eat is sanctified by the Word and prayer. In other words, it is sanctified if it is in line with the Word and we pray protection against anything that might have been in contact with it that is unclean (I am speaking more of evil spirits, like the meats sacrificed to idols or animals used in witchcraft, etc.) If your food is listed as food in the Word and you pray when you eat it, thanking the Father for providing it and cleansing it from whatever you don't know, you're covered.
I want to list one more verse that I think leaves the matter without further wiggle room. In Isaiah 65-66 the L-rd tells us of things to come when he creates the New Heavens and New Earth. He speaks directly of those who pretend to be holy but who are not following his commandments...
"A people that provoketh me to anger continually to my face; that sacrificeth in gardens, and burneth incense upon altars of brick; Which remain among the graves, and lodge in the monuments, which eat swine's flesh, and broth of abominable things is in their vessels; Which say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou. These are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day."
"They that sanctify themselves, and purify themselves in the gardens behind one tree in the midst, eating swine's flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together, saith the LORD. For I know their works and their thoughts: it shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see my glory."
These verses are not speaking of the Muslims- even they know better than to eat the unclean thing. These are people who call themselves holy, who claim to walk after the L-rd, and who are a smoke in his nostrils because of their thoughts and actions. They believe they are working the bigger things, but the truth is that they cannot follow even in the little things. They are strong-willed and try to tell the Master what they will and will not do. It is rebellion.
So I ask you that if you do eat pork and shellfish to examine the reason why. Is it because you truly believe in spite of these verses that the L-rd has changed his mind about what is clean and unclean? Is it because of your own lack of studying on the subject? I certainly don't argue those who's husband had made a declaration that they will continue to eat those foods, but I would ask them if they are secretly relieved, or are they praying that the Father will show their husbands the truth? If your husband were convicted that pornography was OK, would you be pleading with Yah to change his mind?
Going back to the passage in Matthew 5 for a minute I want to tell you of an example of how big this little issue can be. We decided to order Chinese one night and I was looking over the menu when the lady taking orders told me that it would be cheaper to order the family pack than so many individual entrees. I said no thank you because we do not eat pork. She asked why, and I told her that the Bible gives us a list of the foods our G-d approves and pork and shrimp are not included. She had never heard such a thing. I don't know how many believers she had taken orders from, but she had never heard of a Bible-believer abstaining from foods. I'll take my life in my hands here and say that those who professed to be followers and ordered pork were teaching this woman to break the law, and Yeshua warns that anyone who leads others astray will be called least in the kingdom. You cannot be called great when you cannot be trusted with the little things.
"Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven."