Bible Question:

Is it a sin for a Christian to eat pig's meat?

Bible Answer:

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, but this not true.

Old Testament Laws

There are several previous questions and answers that you are encouraged before you continue. The first one is “What Old Testament Laws Can We Ignore?” and the second one is “Could Jesus have eaten turkey on Thanksgiving Day? — Mosaic Dietary Law

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. Leviticus 11:1-8 (NASB)

New Testament Laws

During the time Jesus walked among us He changed the Mosaic dietary laws. This is clear in Mark 7:19 and Luke 11:41. Here is Mark 7:19.

. . . Thus He declared all foods clean. Mark 7:19 (NASB)

Consequently, the dietary laws were changed by Christ. God also 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.” Acts 10:9-15 (NASB)

Then later in 1 Timothy 4:1-5, the apostle Paul warned us that in the last days people would teach that Christians should obey the Mosaic dietary laws. But such teaching is the doctrine of demons.

But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer. 1 Timothy 4:1-5 (NASB)

The message is clear. Anyone teaching that Christians should keep the Old Testament dietary laws is being influenced by demons. The Mosaic dietary laws are no longer to be followed. All foods are now clean. Not only are foods such as pig, shrimp, crab, and other sea foods now clean, but Gentiles are clean too!

Conclusion:

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.

Suggested Links:

What Old Testament laws can we ignore?
Could Jesus have eaten turkey on Thanksgiving Day? — Mosaic Dietary Law
What does Genesis 7:2 mean when it says “seven clean beasts?”
You Are a Peter Too!
Is it a sin to eat unclean animals today?