Friday, September 5, 2014

Yes, I Eat Shellfish

(Me eating shellfish)

Yes, I do eat shellfish. Thank you for asking.

And to answer your next few questions, I also wear mixed fabric, I do not have a beard, and I thoroughly enjoy bacon.

I’m making these answers public because they keep coming up, usually as anonymous comments on my blog. It is the classic atheist defense. Thinking they know the Bible because some liberal professor or friend has pointed out a passage in Leviticus, they use these commands to justify their atheism, or more likely, their desire to not have to follow the rules of a Lord.

If a blog mentions homosexuality, I can set my watch by the response: So you pick and choose which verses you believe? Do you eat shellfish?

True, the Old Covenant laws forbid the eating of shellfish, along with anything with a cloven hoof, thus scrapping pig from the menu. Clothing was not to be made from mixed fabrics, men could not shave the corners of their beard, and on and on.

But that doesn’t matter to me for two reasons. First, even if I am wrong for not keeping the Old Covenant laws, that doesn’t let you off the hook for not keeping them. It’s the “two wrongs don’t make a right” argument. You could point out that I am a hypocrite, but my hypocrisy doesn’t automatically make you innocent.

But more importantly, I am not under the Old Covenant. That law was replaced by the New Covenant, and even if it wasn’t, it was given to Jews and I’m a Gentile.

Hebrews 9:15 and 12:24 say that Jesus Christ became the mediator of a New Covenant; His death on the cross systematically ended the Old Covenant, and His words, “It is finished” let everyone know it. At the moment Jesus died (3:00 PM) the priest was in the temple preparing the offering in accordance with the Old Covenant when the temple veil was ripped in two from top to bottom. That veil was 60 feet high and four inches thick; God was saying, “I’m done with this old system.”

Part of the Old Covenant was moral and part was ceremonial. Nine of the Ten Commandments, which were Old Covenant, were reiterated or expounded on by Jesus (the Sabbath was the only one not reinforced). Parts of the law—like what to eat, how to dress, and how to shave—were ceremonial. They were for the outward appearance so that the Gentile world would see a difference in the Jews.

Jesus replaced the ceremonial law with this simple command: “Let your light shine before men so they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16).” Instead of dressing the part, the New Covenant is about living the part.

Commands to abstain from homosexuality, however, are repeated in the New Covenant.

So yes, I can eat shellfish and bacon. Those commands are not part of the New Covenant.

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