I saw a clever portrayal being shared on social media of a supposed hypocrisy of following “biblical principles.” This one was specifically targeting Chick-fil-A restaurants, which lends both financial and edible support to groups who promote “traditional” marriage and family, but also serves pork products with their breakfast meals.
It was cute, but also showed either a disregard or ignorance toward the Holy Bible.
The flier cites Leviticus 11:7-8 as evidence that swine is forbidden. “And the swine … is unclean to you. Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcase shall ye not touch; they are unclean to you.”
The Law of Moses indeed taught this, and the interpretation is correct. Good Jews should not eat pork.
When we obey the law of God, we are blessed. In the Book of Daniel, Chapter 1, we learn of a young Jewish boy named Daniel, who was taken captive by King Nebuchadnezzar about 600 BC. Verse 8 explains that “Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank.” He requested an exception be made, and was granted that he could eat from a kosher menu, and he was blessed of God for his diligence.
The law of unclean foods was actually a revealed part of the Divine plan, and the blessings of obedience were both physical and spiritual.
However, times changed.
In the Acts of the Apostles, Chapter 10, starting in verse 9, Jesus’s chief apostle Peter was hungry. He fell asleep before dinner, and dreamt that the Lord commanded him to kill and eat the unclean animals. Following this dream, Peter is introduced to “Gentiles” who are likewise unclean according to the Jewish law, but who are clearly feeling the Holy Ghost and want to be baptized and follow Jesus Christ. He learns in this experience that the old law of Moses was fulfilled in the atonement of Jesus Christ. Jesus Himself had declared this, as recorded in the Gospel of Luke 24:44, and now Peter was understanding the full meaning.
He and Paul and the rest of the apostles go on to teach that the laws of cleansing and purification and circumcision are no longer necessary. Those rules had belonged to the time and season, and have been fulfilled in the greater law of Jesus Christ.
So that verse from Leviticus only applies up until about 33 AD, unless you want to stop at Malachi and continue being Jewish.
There are some commands which are given (or revoked) by God for certain people at certain times, according to His wisdom, and by his authorized representatives. Some would argue that this makes God a changeable being; I don’t agree. I see it as a perfectly natural way to respond to the needs of the day and to prove His people and their faith in following Him.
But hey, guys who made that picture being passed around on Facebook – Here is another angle you could try.
You could ridicule Chick-fil-A for supporting plural marriage. The Holy Bible is full of examples of men who were married to multiple women at the same time. Abraham, Jacob (better known as Israel), Moses, King David and King Solomon. Even lesser famous men like Samuel’s father Elkanah, who “had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah” (The First Book of Samuel, Chapter 1, Verse 1-2).
According to “Biblical Principles,” this is acceptable!
Except that it is not. Though we don’t know exactly where or when, somewhere along the way, the expectation for marriage changed. We read of Paul explaining to Timothy and Titus that men who are leaders in the church ought to set a good example and have just one wife (see The First Epistle of Paul the Apostle to Timothy, Chapter 3:2 or The Epistle of Paul to Titus, Chapter 1:6). Chick-fil-A has implied a leaning toward Christian values rather than Jewish values, so I’m thinking that they are going for the apostolic interpretation of marriage.
God has the ability to command differently, when His wisdom deems it prudent. Like as the example of Peter and the unclean foods, if God wants to give us different direction, He will do so through His servants the prophets. So far as I’ve heard, however, we currently use the 1-to-1 ratio of marriage.
But hey, a rooster wearing a tuxedo, surrounded by multiple hens in wedding veils… it could make a really good viral picture to share on Facebook! You can conveniently forget that other stuff and just go for the punch line!