If you are a G-d fearing Believer, what are you to do when a Gentile Christian offers you pork or anything else that isn’t Biblically kosher?
Many Messianics will quote passages from Romans 14:21
It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.
They use this to say that when another Believer offers us pork, we should eat it as not to offend them. This is not what this chapter is speaking of in any sense! It says “anything”… so if we are in a congregation that is made up of vegetarians and meat eaters then we can’t eat anything and we should starve to death? It’s absurd! We’re not to lead our lives worrying about every single thing that can offend someone. People are easily offended these days and you can’t please everyone.
When I speak at a Gentile Church, afterwards they usually take me out to dinner or they have me over to their house for a meal prepared by the Pastor’s wife or sometimes we’ll have potluck. Some times there is a plate of pork (if it’s a new church, churches I’ve been to before are usually aware that I am Biblically kosher). The Pastor’s wife will be so proud of her dish and it seems if I were to say something, she’d be offended. In a case like this, should I just be “graceful” and eat it? No, what I do is I lessen the blow.
I say something to the effect of, “My, what a great spread, this is wonderful. But I can’t eat pork because I am Jewish and it is forbidden to me.” I then go on to eat what other dishes are available that are kosher and I compliment each one even if it is disgusting in taste. That way they see that I am not refusing their cooking or calling it unfit. If I am then quoted “It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak” and they try to tell me I should eat it or I will offend them. Then I quote it back to them and say, “if I eat it, you will offend me”. Who’s offense is greater or more important?
Sometimes I will hear grumbling and they will say I am the weaker brother because I don’t eat pork. The truth is the reverse of that, they are the weaker brother. All the Apostles, Disciples and all the First Church ate kosher. Were all of them the weaker brothers and sisters? Of course not. So the rule is to eat kosher.
There is exception however. These are rare and not the rule. I’ll give you a personal example. When I was in Peru in the Amazon, I was with a team of Christians on a Missionary journey there. We went to a tribe there in the heart of the jungle. These were very poor tribesmen with little to eat. When we got there, they offered us live grub worms. These grub worms had very large pinchers on them and the tribesmen told us through a translator that if the worms grab us with their pinchers while we eat them, they will rip off a part of our tongue or mouth if they get a hold of us. I was the only Jew in our group. If none of us ate these worms, it was clear that the tribesmen would be offended. No one else wanted to eat them. I volunteered. Me and one other friend of mine ate the worms. They were disgusting, but we then went on to have a great time of ministry with these people of the jungle. That was a time I felt I should break being Kosher. These people didn’t have much to eat, there wasn’t a grocery store just down the block like here in the U.S. or ten other available courses at a restaurant.
It is a higher mitzvah to eat then to starve oneself. If I have gone without food for a few days because there wasn’t any available, then the only thing that I can find is a pig. I’ll eat that pig! It is a higher mitzvah to eat then to starve to death.
So if your Christian brothers and sisters are offended about you eating kosher, take the time to explain to them how you don’t want to offend them but you have to do what G-d has called you to do. If they’re still offended, then too bad. Remember James said
”For in many things we offend all” and they fall into that category.
Remember.... Isaiah 66:17 "Those who consecrate and purify themselves to go into the gardens, following the one in the midst of [a] those who eat the flesh of pigs and rats and other abominable things—they will meet their end together," declares the LORD.