By Alan Hultberg

Many Adventist sects who view themselves as the true Israel observe Old Testament food laws.  This includes abstaining from eating unclean animals.  New Testament believers, however, were never required to avoid unclean foods.  During Peter’s vision of a sheet filled with unclean animals, God said, “Get up, Peter; kill and eat!”  When Peter refused, God replied, “What God has made clean, you must not call common” (Acts 10:13, 15).  Galatians 2:12 finds Peter eating with Gentiles.  The Apostle Paul indicated that believers were free to eat whatever their conscience allowed (Romans 14:6; 1 Corinthians 10:31).  He also warned that no one should judge another with regard to food (Colossians 2:16, 21).  To Timothy, Paul said that the command to abstain from certain foods was a doctrine of demons and that “everything created by God is good, and nothing should be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, since it is sanctified by the word of God and by prayer” (1 Timothy 4:1-5). Jesus clearly taught that it is not what goes into a body, but rather what comes out of the heart, that defiles a person (Mark 7:15).