Friday, December 7, 2012

Rushdoony on the Dietary Laws

R.J. Rushdoony had some insightful things to say concerning the Old Testament dietary laws in his Institutes of Biblical Law, Volume One:

"The [biblical] laws of diet, or kosher laws, are generally well known, but, unfortunately, here as elsewhere man in his perversity sees law, which was ordained as a principle of life, instead as a restraint on life. Moreover, the Biblical principle of eating and drinking is not ascetic: the purpose of food and drink is not merely to maintain life, important as that is, but is a part of the enjoyment of life." [p. 297]

"Ninth, although very obvious rules of health appear in the legal prohibitions, the primary principle of division is religious, of which the medical and hygienic is a subordinate aspect. The terms used are clean and unclean, and the forbidden foods are an abomination; religious and moral purity is clearly in mind, of which hygienic purity is a part." [p. 300]

" Colossians 2:16, 17, there is a clear reference to the dietary laws: 'Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days; Which are a shadow of things to come: but the body is of Christ'...The dietary laws are not legally binding on us, but they do provide us with a principle of operation. The apostles, as they moved into a Gentile world, did not allow diet to be a barrier between them and the Gentiles. If they were served pork or shrimp, they ate it....We do not regard the [biblical] kosher legislation as law today, but we do observe it as a sound rule for health....Our observance of these dietary rules should never be to place a barrier between ourselves and other men but for our health and prosperity in Christ." [p. 301, 302]

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