Is it a sin for a Christian to eat pig's meat?
Many different products are made from pig’s meat: ham, bacon, sausage, pork chops, pork ribs, and pork loin to name a few. Pork is eaten by many people, but it is prohibited among those of the Islamic and the Jewish faiths. There are other people who do not eat pig’s meat either, because they believe the Old Testament dietary laws are still in effect today.
Old Testament Laws
There are several previous questions and answers that we would encourage you to read before you continue. The first one is “What Old Testament Laws Can We Ignore?” and the second one is “Could Jesus, as a faithful Jew, eat turkey?” In the Old Testament, God had told the Jewish people that they could not eat a variety of foods, including pork. This is clear from the following passage in Leviticus.
The LORD spoke again to Moses and to Aaron, saying to them, “Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘These are the creatures which you may eat from all the animals that are on the earth. Whatever divides a hoof, thus making split hoofs, and chews the cud, among the animals, that you may eat. Nevertheless, you are not to eat of these, among those which chew the cud, or among those which divide the hoof: the camel, for though it chews cud, it does not divide the hoof, it is unclean to you. Likewise, the shaphan, for though it chews cud, it does not divide the hoof, it is unclean to you; the rabbit also, for though it chews cud, it does not divide the hoof, it is unclean to you; and the pig, for though it divides the hoof, thus making a split hoof, it does not chew cud, it is unclean to you. (NASB) Lev. 11:1-8
New Testament Laws
In the New Testament, God changed the rules because they were no longer necessary. Jesus’ birth, death, and return to life changed everything. Major portions of the old Mosaic Law, such as the sacrifices, were no longer in effect. The dietary laws were changed, and God indicated this to the Apostle Peter during a dream. The event is recorded in the book of Acts.
. . . Peter . . . fell into a trance; and he saw the sky opened up, and an object like a great sheet coming down, lowered by four corners to the ground, and there were in it all kinds of four-footed animals and crawling creatures of the earth and birds of the air. A voice came to him, “Get up, Peter, kill and eat!” But Peter said, “By no means, Lord, for I have never eaten anything unholy and unclean.” Again a voice came to him a second time, “What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy.” (NASB) Acts 10:9-15
The message was clear. These foods were no longer to be considered unholy. They were now clean. Not only were foods such as pig, shrimp, crab, and other sea foods now clean, but Gentiles were clean too!
God had sent Peter this vision about the foods to let him know that “What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy.” If God changes the rules, then it is okay. The Jews had made many rules that violated God’s desires. One of the rules they had created said that Gentiles were unclean. Later, in Acts 10, God also showed the Apostle Peter that Gentiles were not unclean either. In fact, they never were. Peter discovered two very amazing truths. Both Gentiles and all types of foods were not unholy. Both were okay. God loves both Jews and Gentiles and He enjoys giving us good things.