There are abrupt and evident horrors, and there are seeping horrors. What about this one? The Apostolic Decree for Christians from ca. 50 CE says the Christian is required not to eat blood food. Blood food includes black pudding, blood sausages and other foods with blood in them. Further, the New Testament sets eating blood food on par with adultery. The Old Testament penalty for eating blood food is that of being cut off from one's people, which could amount to death. (Acts 15:17-29; 21:25).
Jesus told that he completely supports the Old Testament Law that contains such punishment. (Mt 5:17-19). But if all God's people in Alaska eat blood food, who are they to be cut off from, and when will it happen?
Granted the four requirement for non-Jewish followers in Acts 15:17-29 and 21:25, are all Christians who eat black pudding as Christmas food Scripture-based and wise? To have Brat, Wurst, black pudding or blood sausages and at the same time brutishly look down on adulterers seems to be a result of a flight of fancy - Should we laugh or cry over them, or do both, and of the two remaining Bible requirements for Christians? Is traditional blood food at Christmas-time - blood pudding, blood sausages, Brat, Wurst and all of it - a secret gateway to horrors or not?
Acts 15 tells about the founding of Christianity at the council in Jerusalem in ca. 50 CE. All the apostles and their guiding Spirit decided there was to be only four requirements for non-Jewish followers: Eating wrangled poultry (choked animals) is violating one such requirement, Adultery is violating another requirement, and having blood food means just one requirement is left.
Adultery is rather common in the USA, and having black pudding and other sorts of blood food could be just as bad and even more widespread there and definitely in Nordic countries. Twenty-five percent of people in a recent US poll admitted to cheating [infidelity] while in a relationship. And although the statistics vary, most researchers conclude that over one third of married men in the USA will cheat on their wives and that nearly a quarter of all married wives will cheat on their husbands in the States. Also, a recent University of Chicago study found that a third of all marriages end in divorce because of an affair, Dr ◦Kelly Bonewell sums up.
But life on earth does not have to end in wailings for having had a meal of black pudding, the New Testament tells: It should be wise to abstain from it . . .
How many percents of Christians who have had blood food is unclear. I may be the result of far too little interest to do research on that. So if you have eaten black pudding or some other meal where blood protein is an ingredient, guess not, for there may not be safety in numbers: just because many do the same, does not mean it is good. The Eastern church sticks to "no blood food." The four requirements are not cancelled.
Non-Jewish Christians are under the deal (pact) for Gentile followers (Acts 15:17-29; 21:25). That is the first deal for the Gentile followers. Better be wise in these matters:
James spoke up: "Brothers, it is my judgement that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood."
Such is the Bible's Big Deal for all non-Jewish Christians. Many treat it as if it were plain nonsense.
To bore is to make a hole in something. To be boring may mean be working at it, by drilling, mining, burrowing and digging (out) too. May I keep boring:
From its history: In the first century, Jewish Christians and new Gentile converts were in dispute as to which particular features of Mosaic law were to be retained and upheld by them. The council decided that Gentile converts to Christianity did not have to keep most of the Mosaic law, including the rules about circumcising males. But the Council retained the prohibitions against eating blood, or eating meat containing blood, against meat of animals choked to death, against fornication and idolatry.
Thus, all the apostles and their guiding Ghost decided that it was necessary to abstain from consuming blood (Acts 15:28-29, specifically). These New Testament verses prohibit blood food, making it binding on the Christian church. The Apostolic Decree is still observed by the Greek Orthodox. They may have an asset there. (WP, "Council of Jerusalem")
The four requirements are repeated in Acts 21:25: "As for the Gentile believers, we have written to them our decision that they should abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality." Some translations have 'fornication', one has 'sexual sin', one has 'terrible sexual sins' (CEV), as defined in the Law of Moses. The patriarch Abra(ha)m and his halfsister-wife Sarai were lucky to live before the Law forbade such sexual relationships.
There are also The Seven Laws of Noah, or the Noahide Laws, that were allegedly given by God to Noah as a binding set of laws for all mankind, according to the Talmud. According to Judaism any non-Jew who lives according to these laws is regarded as a Righteous Gentile. The seven laws listed also include "do not steal" and "do not murder" - and to have just Laws is required too. "Flesh with its life-blood [in it] you shall not eat," is included. (Gen 9:4) (WP, "Seven Laws of Noah")
So the "no to blood food" has a history. A question is how sound the commands of the Apostolic Decree are, since they are so widely ignored around the world, and ridiculed in some countries for the sake of blood food for Christmas. Those who speak of the topic may not know for sure what will become of eaters of blood food after they die.
(WP, "Taboo food and drink", "Council of Jerusalem", and "Seven Laws of Noah")
Rubbing it in
Adultery is at least put en par with black pudding - with blood food. Speaking against adulterers while eating blood food does not look too good in the light of the Deal of Acts 15 and 21:25, the Apostolic Decree, as it is also called. But for all that, blood food is hardly ever shunned and demonised by Christians today; it is different with adultery.
Judged from the Bible, for a Christian to enjoy a hearty meal that contains blood food - including some sorts of hamburgers that contain blood protein - could enrage the Ghost of Acts 15 and Acts 21:25. So do you want that?
Wild men learnt, too late
A recipe for black pudding includes for example a quarter of pig's blood mixed with fat and fillers, stuffed into the intestine of a pig or ox, and boiled. In Britain, many have black pudding for breakfast. And the Law of Moses talks against eating pigs and blood food. How inconsistent can you get in the hope of getting away with it? Is that the most relevant question?
The issue can go deeper. According to the Christian faith God himself decided to make blood food of his Son. Christianity even nowadays focuses on wine called blood as part of its figurative, cannibalistic ceremonialism and ritualism. The most severe flaw of such a scheme is that of using Jesus as a scapegoat - that is, to let morally depraved guys escape retributions at the expense of someone else (Jesus), who did not even want to die for non-Gentiles and barely for Jews. He said about that much. Mind that thinking vicarious sacrifice is great and divine, is not a mark of good and sound moral. Anyway, the scheme of God as we read of in the gospels, apparently failed, and only then then net was cast over gentiles.
"Do not back the wrong horse [American]." Which is worst, eating Wurst or adultery? Maybe you fancy it is adultery, but how can you be sure [Acts 21:25]? When the Bible tells a story of Sodom and Gomorrha and how they allegedly were destroyed, a family escaped. But the wife became a salt pillar, but God "brought Lot out of the catastrophe that overthrew the cities where Lot had lived." [Gen 19:29] The escaped husband, Lot, had drunk sex with his daughters. A line of descendants were called Moabites. [Gen 19:24-26]. King David was a descendant through the Moabite Ruth [Ruth 4:13-17]. This David was an adulterer and sly killer of one Uriah as well. People still sing praises of him. How sound can that be, you may well wonder.
But there is still more of interest in the Bible:
Blood in the ancient world
"Keep my words to be worthy of me," insisted Jesus and had a lamb slaughtered. You could be called to do even "greater" works [John 14;12]. Who knows?
Consider you are called to do greater works than goofing like "I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I haven't come to abolish them but to fulfill them." [Matthew 5;17-20, excerpt].
"Not abolish, but polish": the Old Testament would have removed any eater of blood food.
Observe: "It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins [Hebrews 10:4]." That outlook goes against large atonement parts of the Law of Moses [Leviticus 16 tells a completely different tale. Two goats ritually handled yearly - one of them butchered - were all that was needed to save the people from their sins on a yearly basis, it says. The Old Testament's Lord God instituted it.
A note in passing: There are over 120 self-contradictions in the Bible. Which parts will you favour?
Adultery in the ancient world
Adultery: We read that the sons of Jacob had sex with the concubines of their father. They were not prudish. They also attemped to kill a brother. Instead of revering such nasty people, listen to such as "If a man sleeps with his father's wife, he has dishonoured his father. Both the man and the woman must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads. [Leviticus 20:10-11]."
Now the Law of Moses came only after those "deeds" were done; the twelve sons of Jacob were not put to death, after all. And by the way, "If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads. [Leviticus 20:13]." "If a man has sexual relations with an animal, he must be put to death, and you must kill the animal [Leviticus 20:15]."
There is still more where these passages came from. They are opposed to modern forms of "have fun" in some circles.
Peter had a vision on a flat roof of a house in Joppa (Jaffa). He saw something like a large sheet being let down from heaven and saw four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, reptiles, and birds of the air in it. He heard a voice telling three times, "Get up, Peter. Kill and eat."
Right then three men from Caesarea stopped at the house. The Spirit came upon them.
The apostles said, "God has granted even the Gentiles repentance." [Acts 11:5-18]
Peter's vision suggests that eating reptiles and other ritually unclean animals - Gentiles - was all right. Reptiles (and Gentiles?) were called clean and then were later killed and butchered in millions, for some nasty reasons. Why were there no pairs of yearly atonement goats to ward off the tragedies, as God had instituted for his people a long time ago as a lasting ordinance [Leviticus 16]? That side of the tale seems to be awfully overlooked.
First things include seeing the sayings
We may have to build up something in order to attain things. Is siding with the Bible and eating blood food something you can commit yourself to? Where might it take you, in case? To damnation all unawares, for example?
What is the next step? How will you work with this material, trying to get some harmony back into your life? Seek to get into a flow that protects and supports you - being alert to that healthy ones don't need Jesus - says Jesus. Seeing is believing: [Matthew 9:12-13; Mark 2:17]
First things first. And if you find yourself confined or an underling of persons who make stupid mistakes in the name of God, it is not a mistake not to trust them. Instead, further a constructive fare, and refrain from being carried away by hillbilly enthusiasm for blood food around a Danish Christmas table, among others . . .
Being Quite Moralless
Adequate morality is not self-contradictory, is not professing one thing and living out another. It is much honest. So much depends on honesty.
Below are extracts with a minimum of changes in it from a book by a methodist, Stephen Dawes. It is called Why Bible-Believing Methodists shouldn't eat Black Pudding (1996). Some essence from it is fit for folks of other denominations too. For example, Greek-Orthodox Christians do not eat blood food, at least in theory.
From Chapter 10. How much of the Jewish Law should gentile converts be expected to keep? Should the men be circumcised? Should they keep the laws about food? According to Acts 15 the apostles and elders of the Church met together to consider the matter, and they made a ruling. The decision is in Acts 15:28-29, which is repeated in Acts 21:25. Note that this passage is talking about "essentials" and not options. Christians must avoid these four things.
Pork was now okay, but blood was not - the old blood commandment from Leviticus 7:26 and 17:10 was still to be obeyed. The ruling is clear. Acts 15:28-29 repeated in Acts 21:25 is a general rule applying to all Christians - no eat blood food. That is clear. Yet I don't know any Christians who don't eat Black Pudding because of Acts 15. Still, the Bible is plain.
[On learning this:] Do you swear on the Bible or not? Swearing on the Bible or anything else is forbidden by Jesus.
Also, the New Testament says absolutely nothing about the Use of Sunday. It says quite a bit about the Sabbath, which is Saturday. . . . There is nothing in the New Testament to justify the change. . . . The Seventh Day Adventists stick to the letter of the Bible [with Saturday as their Sabbath day].
It boils down to this:
According to the Bible, blood is only to be used for special . . . worship (Exodus chapters 12, 24, 29, Matthew 26:29 and Hebrews). In the first century, Christians, both former Jews (the Jewish Christians), and new Gentile converts argued which features of Mosaic law were to be valid among them and upheld. The Apostolic Decree says: Abstain from consuming blood, and said it was from them all and the Ghost - (Acts 15:28-29). (Extracted from WP, "Taboo food and drink > Blood"]
You cannot get it so much clearer than that. Yet hundreds of millions of Christians ignore it for group alignments that discard basis stuff. However, behind denominational "consensus morality" is lack of personal grits, and flawed personalised moral. God-fearing hypocrites and all too shallow group members abound. Those who try to interpret the Bible against the Bible are not good examples and no good interpreters, no matter what dog collars they are dressed up in, what quotations juggling some resort to, or calling passages they cannot handle, metaphoric, to twist their meanings to suit them. Watch out for tidy but fallen, moralless and distorting clergy, such poor, misguided souls leading the gullible away from firm moral in many things, large, small and medium-sized. That has been a millennium-old lesson among lots of Christians.
Stephen B. Dawes. Why Bible-Believing Methodists Shouldn't Eat Black Pudding. 2nd ed. Truro, Cornwall: Southleigh Publications, 1996. Online. ⍽▢⍽ Dr Stephen B. Dawes is Director of Studies for the South West Ministry Training Course and a Teaching Fellow in the University of Exeter, apart from being a minister of several methodist churches, and Canon Theologian of the Truro Cathedral in Cornwall. He formerly taught Old Testament and Hebrew at The Queen’s College in Birmingham among other things.
WP (Wikipedia), sv. "Blood as food > Cultural considerations": ⍽▢⍽ "In the New Testament, blood was forbidden by the Apostolic Decree (Acts 15:19-21) and is still forbidden among Greek Orthodox."
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