Dr. Brown Answers Your Questions (including Mistakes in the Original Texts? and The Purpose of the Dietary Laws)

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156 Comments
  1. Juan G,

    Keep up the good work brother. I appreciate your simple lifestyle and willingness to help others.

    Shalom

  2. I understand what soem of you folks are saying: the God provided the law and we are to obey it, notwithstanding its purposes (as we might determine them), or whether we think they are silly. I do note your references to unholy things being an abomination and that partaking of such is rebellion against God, of us wanting to serve our own stomachs and is demonstrative of us not wanting true relationship with God. All well and good. Let me agree with you here.

    But here is the contentious bit. Most churches – especially non-Jewish ones, see nothing wrong in eating swine. Let us take this to be an empirical fact. This would mean that they are completely wrong on a point of scripture. ALL of them? Can they all be so wrong on this point?

    They argue, as have others pointed out above that they are living under grace/spirit along the lines of Pam’s post #140. I am not exactly sure what this means. This is where I need to do some reading. So i can’t really saw anything intelligent on this point.

    But what is perplexing for me is how do we reconcile what you have said (and what I agree to, let us say, for argument’s sake given my ignorance) with what almost ALL the western non-Jewish churches are saying? It is this critical question which i feel has not been clearly elucidated in this forum. this is why i wanted to read some more on this topic.

    Secondly, i have read somewhere that the gentiles do not have to do everything as the jews do, but have to keep God’s key laws. noahide laws. this presumably would mean that they can eat unclean fruit as they have been doing so since time immemorial, (notwithstanding Noah, Abel etc. abstaining).

    anyways, that’s all i can say for the moment, i gtg now. i can’t really engage with any of your critical points atm, unfortunately. that will come later once i am a little more educated.

  3. Ben,

    Thanks for your response. As to how so many can be so wrong for so long. Think of Martin Luther. He called for reform of the whole organized church. It had been wrong for a very long time. It is shocking how we accept the ideas of culture, even christian culture, so easily. It is usually because we are young in faith or in years or are brought up in the church. There are vain traditions that have been passed down to us from our fathers, even church fathers, even well-meaning fathers. Scripture is plain on many of the points that have been discussed above. There are a few passages that might look like they say something different, but it seems better to take the vast majority and interpret those few than the other way around.

    Please look at post 38 (not 138) above as to grace or faith abrogating the law.

    Also if you want to read a pretty full account of the unclean animal topic, try this link:

    http://lineoffireradio.askdrbrown.org/2010/06/16/does-it-matter-to-god-if-christians-keep-the-dietary-laws/#comment-23369

    Shlaom

  4. Allow me to share my take on Peter’s vision. I think this is a better way to understand what was being communicated to Peter, and to us, than the common explanation put forth by churchianty. I hope you enjoy it.

    Peter’s vision has a specific purpose and message to get across. We need to be careful not to come up with our own interpretation of dreams and visions…especially if YHWH has told us what is the correct interpretation in His word.

    In Genesis 40 and 41 we have some dreams and their interpretations. Can you imagine interpreting Pharaoh’s dream to mean that thin cattle are going to start eating fat ones? Or that fat cattle have zero calories? Or telling Joseph that the baker’s dream meant that he was going to have left over bread and was supposed to use it to feed the birds? Or that baskets were going to be the new style of hat in ancient Egypt? No! Let’s keep our private interpretations to ourselves and simply accept YHWH’s interpretation in Acts 10 also.

    We take note that in these dreams: Three branches and Three baskets = three days, and Seven kine and Seven ears = seven years. There is a specific reason for the numbers involved in dreams and visions.

    In Peter’s vision the sheet is let down three times and lo and behold three men come to get him. Three sheets = three men. Peter could not imagine that YHWH would actually ask Him to eat unclean animals and so he did not know what the vision meant, until the three Gentile men from Cornelius arrived and the Spirit told him to go with them. (Acts 10:16-20) And one thing that Peter did not ever think that the vision meant was that it is now fine to eat unclean animals. If YHWH didn’t specify such a meaning and Peter didn’t think it had that meaning after hearing the interpretation from YHWH, neither should we.

    The dream was meant to shake Peter out of his prejudice against Gentiles. He looked at the three sheets that were filled with “all manner” (every kind) of animals, birds and creeping things. (“All manner” would have included both clean and unclean.) He judged the whole group of animals in the vision as unclean and/or common, just like he judged all gentiles as unclean/common. His upbringing was flawed. His society had been instructed in the traditions and commandments of men. (We know that Messiah took issue with such teaching, and He still does with ours.)

    The Jewish oral law designated it as unlawful to eat with a Gentile or go into a Gentile’s home.(Acts 10:28; 11:2-3) YHWH’s Torah does not say this. Peter was in need of being corrected. He needed to know that it was wrong to put all Gentiles into the same “unclean” category, just as it is wrong to place all animals into the same “unclean” category. Some animals are clean and YHWH has cleansed some Gentiles. Not all animals are clean, and not all Gentiles have been cleansed. Only those people that fear YHWH and work righteousness have been cleansed.(Acts 10:34-35; 1John 3:2-7) The same goes for Jewish people as well as Gentiles. Peter realized from this vision that YHWH is no respecter of persons and that we are not to be either. Moses, Paul and James agree. (Leviticus 19:15-18; James 2:1-12; Romans 2:5-15;1 Peter 1:14-18)

    Peter now knew what the vision meant. YHWH had shown him that not all Gentiles were unclean or common and that he should not call that which YHWH has cleansed common or unclean.(Acts 10:15) As for the things that YHWH has not cleansed…they are still unclean…this goes for people and animals. Though we may go into a Gentiles house and even eat with him, we are not allowed to eat unclean animals. All this said, there is a place and a group with which YHWH does not want us to be a associated.

    Revelation 18
    2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.
    3 For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.
    4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
    5 For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.

    You see there still are unclean animals and birds. There still are unclean people and spirits. There is a place that we are to come out of…Babylon…because it is full of unclean people and spirits. (And unclean meat for that matter.) We are not allowed to stay in “Babylon” and partake of her unclean “delicacies”(physical or spiritual)…unless we want to receive the same judgment that she will receive for her transgressions and unrighteousness.

    As a side note: If unclean animals have all been cleansed, which they haven’t, why are they still called unclean in Revelation? If unclean animals have been cleansed, why doesn’t Peter make us aware of such in Acts? If unclean animals have been cleansed, why doesn’t Paul or John or especially Y’shua tell us so?

    Shalom

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