Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Words of Comfort: Banned by the Bible?

“Things banned by the Bible: Shaving -Leviticus 19:27, Cursing - Ephesians 5:4, Gossip - Leviticus 19:16 Football on Saturdays - Exodus 20:8, Eating Lobster - Leviticus 11:10, Eating Pork - Leviticus 11:7, Cotton Polyester Blends - Leviticus 19:19, Associating with women who are on their period - Leviticus 15-19.” - Online Atheist

Even though this isn’t posed as a question and it’s stated in mockery, I have decided to address it because it’s common for atheists to make statements like this. This is a mixture of moral and ceremonial Hebrew laws. The moral Law (You shall not murder, steal, lie, commit adultery, etc.,) is binding on the whole of humanity. This is summarized in the Ten Commandments and encompasses gossip, cursing, lust and hatred. Its precepts are written on our hearts via the conscience, and each of us will be judged by it on Judgment Day (Romans 2:12, James 2:12). That’s why all of us need a Savior.

Then there is the ceremonial/dietary law in which God instructed Israel not to eat horses, camels, cats, dogs, lions, tigers, etc. Only those with a split hoof could be eaten. “Unclean” animals such as pigs and lobsters were forbidden, probably because they were scavengers and were therefore not good for their health. God also told them what to wear and the importance of resting one day each week. If they didn’t rest they were liable to suffer from stress, and if they mixed cotton and wool, it would make them sweat.

Christians are free to follow the dietary laws of the Old Testament, however, the New Testament tells us they have no influence on whether or not we enter the Kingdom of Heaven. These laws are not binding on our modern society as is the moral Law, so we can ignore them if we wish. But in doing so we are liable to end up with a stressed, diseased, overweight society that has to rub chemicals under its armpits to stop offensive odor.