Culture

Dietary Laws: Outdated Legalism or The Father's Hand of Protection?

FathersHands

Nothing gave me a better glimpse of the Father’s love for me than looking into the face of my newborn. Only then did I understand what it meant to love someone else more than myself.

The first time my boy got sick it broke my heart. Lying in my arms his limp little body radiated heat. His eyes seemed glazed over with a sheet of pink glass. I thought to myself, “I wish it were me and not him.” At that moment, I realized I would gladly give my life for his. Almost instantly, I understood why God described Himself to us as our Father, and why Christ would die for us — unconditional love.

Then came the toddler years. Although my love never changed, how I expressed it sure did. I made rules. Most of the time, he really couldn’t understand why I said no. That’s perfectly fine with me. I didn’t need him to understand that the big brown “boat” swirling in the water was not put there for him to play with. He’ll get it later when he discovers the meaning of gross, and eventually he’ll understand the concept of germs. Until then, I just expected obedience.

He’s 35 now. It’s not an issue. Although he’s never thanked me, I’m pretty sure he’s glad I never let him splash in the toilet, or eat everything he found on the floor.

In The Maker’s Diet the author Jordan S.Rubin, makes a strong case that the dietary laws given to God’s chosen people, is His hand of protection. Apparently God knew that with enough barbecue sauce we would happily lick a toilet.

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Case in point: Unclean animals. Apparently, the animals God called “unclean” are actually scavengers. They are the meat-eating animals that clean up road kill, and diseased carcasses laying in the fields. Although they perform an important task, they weren’t meant for our consumption.

I get that. I’ve never watched a crow fly off a dead caucus and thought; I bet that crow would taste mighty good on the grill. Pork, on the other hand, is another story. However, Rubin may have caused me to never look at a package of bacon the same again.

Rubin explains “clean” animals that chew the cud “have an alimentary canal and a secondary cud receptacle. Essentially, they have three stomachs available to process and refine their clean, vegetation-based food into ‘flesh'” a process that takes over twenty-four hours to complete. Pigs, famously known as “unclean,” never limit their consumption. They will eat their own young, or sick and dead pigs in their pen.

Rubin quotes the author of God’s Key to Health and Happiness :

“…the pig’s single stomach arrangement was very simple in design and function and that it was combined with a limited excretory organ system: “…four hours after the pig has eaten his polluted swill and other putrid, offensive matter, man may eat the same [swill] second handed off the ribs of the pig.”

The author notes, neither ours, nor a pig’s digestive system has evolved into anything any more efficient. In fact, as I said, scavengers remain perfectly designed as the earth’s natural garbage trucks and undertakers.

“…by-products that originate from digesting such scavenger meat are highly poisonous. We’re referring specifically to the so-called death enzymes, such a cadaverine, putrescine…these death enzymes, are extraordinarily useful in nature. Without their assistance no flesh would revert to dust…they are extremely useful to break down a corpse, but terribly inconvenient in a living human body.” Dr. Rothschild

No doubt, we can all point to friends and relatives that have lived to ripe old ages eating bacon and eggs for breakfast, and feasting on pulled pork at every family cookout. But the truth is, for as rich as we Americans are, we eat recklessly. Then, we depend on our wonderfully advanced medicine to pull us out of our diabetes, heart disease and arthritis– at least until they don’t work anymore. Which is precisely what put my family on a quest for alternative answers.

As a Christian, I’ve always been told we were “free from the law.” That was “Old Testament.” I get it. So God’s not going to disown me if I eat pork chops tonight for dinner, anymore than I would kick my toddler out of the house for playing in the toilet. But I’m old enough to understand that even a loving earthly father sets boundaries and rules to protect his children from dangers they can’t yet comprehend.

 

Do you continue to eat foods that you know will hurt you, perhaps even make you sick? 

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Photo Credit Shutterstock,  Max Topchii