All in the Family featured the curmudgeonly Archie Bunker. Archie was television’s most famous grouch, blunt, blustering, straightforward and untouched by the PC crowd. He was the archetype of the conservative male. Michael desprately tried to reeducate him, but he persisted in his breviloquence.

Looking back at the last 40 years, we realize: ARCHIE WAS RIGHT!


Halal Not Kosher for the Christian

So what is all the fuss about not eating Halal meat?  Why won't British companies label Halal food as Halal?  It's just the Muslim form of Kosher, isn't it?  Isn't Halal "better" somehow?  Kosher is "better" right?  Isn't Kosher in the Bible?  Why can't we all just get along?

There are a handful of passages in the New Testament that deal with the topic of what a Christian may eat.  It's not a long list, or even an overtly major point of doctrine.  In fact the purpose of most of those passages is the liberalization of what is permitted for "God's people" to eat.

It may come as a shock to some of you, but the term "Kosher" isn't in the Bible.  The idea of Kosher is, but the term and the exact practices used today are based on traditions that arose based on the teachings in the Torah.  Modern Kosher practices are the result of thousands of years of Jewish tradition based on the law of Moses.  It doesn't mean that Hebrew National hot dogs are somehow more spiritual than Ball Parks.  It just means that those hot dogs don't contain any "unclean" animal products and that the process to kill the meat conforms to certain standards to eliminate blood so that it isn't eaten.  There are some other procedures involved as well like the blessing of a Rabbi and certain facility inspection standards.

There is a misconception that Kosher meat is somehow incorporated into some form of Jewish sacrificial worship.  This is completely false.  Ancient and modern Jews had no prohibition on eating meat, other than the requirement for it conform to the law of Moses.  There never was a requirement that meat eaten had to be offered to God first.  This was a common practice in some pagan religions but it was never part of Judaism.  The sacrificial system in ancient Israel allowed for three uses of the meat.  The first was for its total destruction.  The second was that some sacrifices were to be used solely by the priests and Levites for food for their families.  The third was some offerings, like a Fellowship offering were eaten by the worshipers on the day of sacrifice. 

So is Kosher OK for a Christian to eat?  I don't see why not.  Kosher is simply a processing standard that recognizes the Mosaic law regarding the eating of meat.  You're not a "better" Christian if you eat, and you're not less of one if you do not.  So, if you like Hebrew National better than Ball Park, enjoy.  The worst thing you have done is pay someone to keep a Jewish food standard, and employ a Rabbi to invoke a blessing in the name of YHWH.  Unless of course, you ate the hot dog with copious amounts of sauerkraut and onions.  If you did that, then you are required to eat one or more Tic-Tac's afterwards.  The theological rational for this is "halitosis".

The whole Kosher thing was easy enough.  Since we all KNOW that Halal is just Muslim "Kosher", pass the lamb chops and mint jelly, right?  Not so fast.  Allah isn't YHWH.  See yesterday's post for clarification if you haven't already read it. 

You are going to have to decide for yourself who you believe Allah is.  Basically you have 4 choices. You can believe that Allah is:
  1. Who the Muslims say he is, i.e. despite all the evidence to the contrary it is the same deity the Jews and Christians worship. 
  2. Allah is a non-deity, a made up god with no real existence apart from the minds of his worshipers.
  3. A member of the pagan Arabic pantheon. 
  4. A demonic being, perhaps Satan himself.
If you are a Christian you have to pick a side in this battle.  What option you pick determines how you make the decision on if its OK to knowingly eat Halal. Notice, I added the qualifier "knowingly".  If as a Christian you eat halal unknowingly all you have done is have a meal.  There is no reason to suspect that God is displeased with you for eating.  He made food for the body, you ate it, that's the end of the matter.  What if you were shipwrecked and the only food available to eat was canned lamb form Yemen?  It's even stamped "Halal" and "fuel for the jihad".  Personally I think Jesus covered this in his discourse concerning David and the shewbread. 

In its most basic meaning "Halal" means permitted or lawful.  In that sense it is like Kosher, it is a term that designates what is religiously acceptable to eat.  What is it that makes a meat unquestionably halal?

In addition to the meat having to come from certain approved animals,  Halal meat is made such by the reciting of a shahada over every animal slaughtered. The words used are “In the name of Allah, Allah is the greatest”. The animal is literally being offered to Allah. Now the Christian has a problem.  The animal has in the mind of every Muslim just been offered as a literal sacrifice to Allah.

Remember I said the Christian has to pick a side?  Who is Allah? 
  • If you truly believe option #1 above, no harm and no foul.  You're a mental midget, but innocent of any real sin.
  • If you believe option #2 above, again no real harm although it may affect your Christian witness to any Muslims you know, and eating has to be evaluated in light of that.
  • If you believe option #3, you now have a potentially serious faith issue to deal with.  You MUST make a determination on the theology of 1 Corinthians (and elsewhere) i.e. eating food offered to idols. 
  • If you believe #4 to be true you would potentially be engaging in an overt act of worship of the enemy of YHWH.  If others know about what you believe and about what you are doing, you have committed a serious sin, see Rom 14:23.  Even if others do not know, you may have sinned against your own conscience.
In three of the four options above you could potentially find yourself in real physical danger if you chose to fully explain your reason for refusing the meat.  In a time and place under Sharia law explaining any of the 3 beliefs about Allah is tantamount to the capital crime of "insulating Islam".  You can be put to death for it.

I have alluded to places in scripture that a person should investigate.  There is one that I seldom see mentioned so I'll include it for your consideration here:

Revelation 2:20
Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols.
There is another verse, also in Revelation that I think is perhaps applicable. 

Revelation 20:4
And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God.
Sharia law prescribes beheading as the preferred method of execution for those who insult Islam or Christians who refuse to convert when offered the chance to renounce their faith in Christ.
Christian, who is Mohamed's Allah? 

If you have a choice, why would you want to economically support Halal meat?


  1. There are a handful of passages in the New Testament that deal with the topic of what a Christian may eat

    I don't recall that, where?

  2. You got me to thinking. I don't recall Jesus ever eating meat, unless you consider fish meat. He told them to give meat to the girl he cured, but he never did that I remember.

  3. Susan9:32 AM

    I talked to a former pastor about this subject about three years ago. Needless to say, I was very disappointed with his response.

    This post is why I am concerned about food processors not properly labeling meats if they are halal. They are actually getting away with not labeling halal in the UK right now.

    I have always figured that the term Kosher just meant that there were actual good ingredients in the product, like hot dogs or whatever. As opposed to the scrapings at the bottom of the pot and fillers that could be in the cheapie hotdogs.

    When I get in the mood for hot dogs, I will get the Hebrew National beef, Foster Farms chicken style, or sometimes even the hot dogs that Costco uses at their food booth area.

  4. Outlaw X,

    1 Cor 8
    1 Cor 10
    Romans 14:23
    Acts 15:23

    Those are the first 4 that come to mind, there are probably some others too. I don't know that the bible tells us very much about what Jesus ate. We assume he ate fish, we also assume he ate lamb. Jesus was an observant Jew and sheep/lamb was eaten as part of the Passover as well as at other times as part of temple worship ceremonies.

  5. Susan,

    The objection being raised in Britain to the food labeling has a number of different facets. Its not just a matter of a religious objection on the part of some Christians. They probably don't have enough Biblically literate Christians in in Britain to fill a football stadium. Its not a matter of a belief being abused. The main objection that I see is that the British consumer is being forced to subsidize a religion that he is opposed to. The Brits don't want Sharia pushed down their throats and the Muslims are using Halal meats to fund other Muslim priorities.

    Western Europe is being overrun, culturally by Islam. The average everyday Joe in those countries is taking notice and is reacting, mostly out of frustration, against anything Islamic.

  6. Susan2:42 PM

    My first thought in regards to the labeling issue was if they can't label this properly, what else in the Wide Wide World of Sports are they hiding??

  7. Res Ipsa5:34 PM

    They can label it. You can bet that the local Muslim community knows which brands are Halal. In the US Kosher is always proudly labeled. Jews want to know what they are eating and gentiles that want kosher food for dietary reasons want to know. They even pay extra to get it. Hebrew National makes it a point in their marketing to highlight Kosher as a better tasting higher quality hot dog. There aren't enough Jews in America to keep a hot dog company in business, that's why they go out of their way to promote and advertise how great Kosher is. Personally I like Ball Park and some of the cheaper brands, if I can't have a brat. To each his own.

    I used to do business in Southfield and had several Jewish customers. I've always wanted to know where they got the Kosher Lobsters from.

  8. Kosher Lobster??? LOL. That is a new one for me.

  9. Giraffe11:45 AM

    I always thought there was a market niche for Kosher hams.

  10. Res Ipsa5:07 PM

    I knew Jews that wouldn't dare eat anything from a pig but who always went for some form of surf and turf when I was buying. As far as I could tell, gin and shrimp cocktail are the Jewish equivalent of the Christian bread and wine.

    One of my smaller customers worked from home and I showed up on the eve of Yom Kipper. I was very embarrassed by the distress that I caused them. It never occurred to me that they were Jewish, even though I knew that they were, or that I was causing them considerable ethical problems by even being on the threshold of the house on that day.

  11. farmer Tom9:11 PM

    I stop by once in a while. Haven't had much to say lately.

    Thought I'd share this with you.

    My kids went hunting this morning.

    Found these in the woods of a county park south of us about 6 miles.

  12. Good to see you're still around Farmer Tom.

    I can't get into Face Book. I'm assuming those are picks of morels. I'm jealous.

  13. FT This is what your face book says.

    "This content is currently unavailable"

    Nothing to see and I want to see.

  14. Heck, I'd like to see too.

  15. Res, Thanks for the advice over at Nate's. it's much appreciated.

  16. Res Ipsa12:40 PM

    No problem, glad to help

  17. farmer Tom8:56 PM

    Sorry, never made it back.

    Here, try this.