Is it allowable for a Christian to eat halal or kosher meat?

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Is it allowable for a Christian to eat halal or kosher meat?

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The Bible doesn’t teach that we must avoid clean meats that have been blessed by a religious figure. Islamic halal food laws govern what is slaughtered, how it is slaughtered, and for whom or what it is offered. Jewish kosher laws govern the same for Jews. Further discussion on the topic is found in our study aid, What Does the Bible Teach About Clean and Unclean Meats?

The chapter Does the New Testament Abolish Meat Distinctions? of the study aid states, “Paul explained that ‘an idol is nothing’ (1 Corinthians 8:4 1 Corinthians 8:4As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice to idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one.
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), clarifying that it was not intrinsically harmful to eat meats that had been sacrificed to an idol. That an animal had been sacrificed to a pagan god had no bearing on whether the meat was suitable for food.”

A blessing by a Jewish rabbi or Muslim cleric does not change the chemical composition of meats that have been properly slaughtered. We are free to eat halal or kosher foods unless doing so would offend another person.

Paul explained to the church at Corinth that offering meats to idols does not change the nutritional value of that meat, if it is “clean” according to God’s food laws. However, some in Corinth were weak in conscience. Eating clean meats that had been offered to a pagan god was offensive to some church members. In this situation, Paul taught that it was wrong to do anything that might cause them to stumble (1 Corinthians 8:12-13 1 Corinthians 8:12-13 [12] But when you sin so against the brothers, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. [13] Why, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world stands, lest I make my brother to offend.
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).

In our day and age, nearly 2,000 years after Paul’s time, the same thing can happen due to how meats are slaughtered. Today many meats are processed in accordance with Muslim or Jewish practice.

If we apply Paul’s statement in 1 Corinthians 8:4 1 Corinthians 8:4As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice to idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one.
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as a principle—”an idol is nothing”—we can only conclude that clean meat today is not altered in any way even when it is slaughtered according to halal or kosher laws. The same is true for any practice among peoples around the world where properly slaughtered clean meats may be offered to a god, an idol or to nature itself.

We look to the Bible for guidance regarding meats and other foods. Meats should be “clean” according to Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14. Those meats should be slaughtered so as to drain out as much of the blood as possible. We should trim off as much of the fat as possible. We should be balanced and moderate in eating.

Foods that are marked halal or kosher have had a priest or cleric ask a blessing over them. We can still enjoy the pot roast or chicken since they are “clean” according to God’s food laws and have been properly slaughtered.

But the Bible teaches us that “whatever is not from faith is sin” (Romans 14:23 Romans 14:23And he that doubts is damned if he eat, because he eats not of faith: for whatever is not of faith is sin.
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). If eating foods that are marked as being acceptable according to halal or kosher laws bothers a person, he or she should not consume it or try to coerce others to eat it. If eating those foods will potentially offend someone else, it is best to abstain from eating it in their presence.

So in summary, the Bible does not teach that we should abstain from clean meats that may have been slaughtered according to kosher or halal practices.

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