Barbecued Kebabs

The original question was: I am aware that due to Acts 15 Christians should not consume blood. Does this mean that any products with small bits of insect or blood need be abstained from. And what about eggs with blood spots? My eating has been seriously affected due to my trying to abstain from blood. How scrupulous does one have to be?

Answer by Diane Eager

My brief answer is that God does not expect us to do more than He told the ancient people to do.  Let’s look at the history of God’s instructions about blood.

The first instructions by God about not eating blood were given to Noah, at the same time as God first gave Noah permission to eat meat. Note this was given at a time when Noah’s family constituted the entire human race, long before the Law of Moses was given.  Therefore, this law applies to all people, not just Jews.  Any non-Jews who wanted to live in ancient Israel also had to obey the Mosaic law about blood.  See Leviticus 17:10-14.  This is affirmed by the Apostles and Elders of the first generation Christian church who instructed any Gentile converts they should not eat blood or eat strangled animals.  See Acts 15:28-29.

As to how that applies to Christians in the 21st century: God did not expect any ancient people to do more than what was feasible with their technology, i.e. slitting the throats and draining the blood. Therefore it is reasonable that he does not expect us to do any more, or less.  It is technically impossible to remove every blood cell from meat, even with modern technology.  Therefore, draining the blood out by cutting the animal open as soon as it is killed is enough to obey God’s instructions.  Doing this removes the blood that had been flowing in the blood stream and sustaining the life of the animal, so it is enough to be the perpetual reminder that the life is in the blood.

Furthermore, we need note that the red fluid that seeps out of uncooked meat, and is still there in rare steaks, is not blood. It is tissue fluid stained with myoglobin, which is the protein that gives red meat its colour.  Myoglobin is a protein found in all meat, and does not need to be removed.

Therefore, Christians are free to eat any meat that has been killed in any modern day western abattoir (not just a Jewish one), as they drain the blood straight away. Farmers who kill their own meat should do the same.  Christians can also hunt and eat game animals and birds provided the blood is drained out.

There are no specific references as to how to prepare eggs, but any blood spots are easily removed with a spoon if they are troubling. Therefore, I think we can eat them with a clear conscience.

God told the Jews they could eat some insects without any extra preparation. Therefore, Christians can as well, if they fancy them, just as John the Baptist did.

For more information on eating blood, see the questions:

Are the instructions about eating blood a matter of conscience, as Paul refers to in I Corinthians? Answer here.

Black Pudding? What should a Christian attitude be toward eating blood products? Answer here.

For more information on insects see the questions:

Insect blood carries no oxygen. Do insects fit the Biblical term Nephesh, which means breath? Answer here.

Rhino birds eats ticks and rhinos benefit. Did God make them for that purpose before the Fall? Answer here.

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About The Contributor

Diane Eager