‘Clean vs Unclean’ and ‘Pagan vs Idolatry’

06 Feb

Let’s talk a moment about ‘clean and unclean’ and the connection with idolatry and what many refer to as ‘pagan’. First, let’s take a closer look at what the Word has to say about ‘clean and unclean’. There is that which is clean by creation and design – divine conception, if you will – and that which is unclean by the same design. A cow is a ‘clean animal’ according to Scripture and therefore is good for food. It can become ‘unclean’ or dirty externally, but that does not change it’s created nature as a clean animal. (by the way, there is no such thing as unclean food . . . if it is unclean, it is not ‘food’). A pig, on the other hand, is an unclean animal designed by God as an unclean creature for a particular purpose. (Leviticus 11:7) The pig’s uncleanness is part and parcel of it’s very essence and nature and cannot be changed. I can bathe the pig from now on, and it will not change it’s unclean, created nature. By the way, Scripture does describe how that which is clean can become unclean, but that state of uncleanness is external only and once properly dealt with, according to Scripture, the internal, innate nature of the clean creation has not been altered.
Man is a clean creation and his ( and her) God-designed internal, innate state of cleanness cannot be changed. Man CAN become involved or exposed to that which can make the person unclean externally. But once the proper procedure is followed, according to Scripture, the individual is once again declared clean. (for example – Lev 14:19,15:13) Acts 10 depicts the account of Peter and the famous sheet full of unclean creatures. God uses this example, by Peter’s own admission, to teach Peter, contrary to Judaic teaching, gentiles are not common or unclean creatures and should not be treated as such. Assuming God did not have one pattern for gentiles and another ‘clean’ mold for Israelis, the logical conclusion is one man should not consider another man an unclean being. That person might temporarily be in an unclean state, but man is not an unclean creature by his created nature. He has a sinful nature, but not unclean. There IS a difference.
Now let’s examine for just a moment the concepts of ‘pagan’ and ‘idolatrous’. By definition, ‘pagan’ is a term historically applied in a negative connotation towards people groups not a part of the three primary monotheistic world religions. ‘Pagan’ can refer to peoples that involve themselves in what would be considered ‘idol worship’ by Christianity or Judaism. Paganism is also a religious order that worships creation and the ‘spirits of nature’. A layman’s definition of ‘pagan’, for the sake of this discussion, would be ‘that which by it’s very nature and conception is contrary to the God of the Bible, His Word and His ways.’
Idolatry, again in layman’s terms, is anything that comes between us and God. Anything that gets between me and my Heavenly Father may be considered ‘idolatrous’, even if it is ‘clean’ by it’s nature and in line with the Word of God. Example ? Sure . . . the ‘snake on the pole’. The directive for the snake on the pole came straight from the Mouth of Yahweh. It was good and brought deliverance to the people. And yet, because the people allowed it to get between them and God Almighty, it became idolatrous and brought judgment on the people.
The statement has been made that we shouldn’t worry about where things come from. With all due respect and love, we must humbly disagree with that statement. Had we known the roots and origination of the some of the practices of the mainstream denominational system, we might not have gotten involved. But since we were not taught the roots and conception of some of those practices, we openly embraced things we ought not have.
In Acts 10, Abba brings Peter to the understanding that non-Israelis are NOT unclean creatures as the teachings of Judaism profess. They, just like Israelis, are clean by creation. Yes, we are conceived in sin physically, but we are not unclean and sinful by God’s design.
Job asks the question – ‘who can make the clean out of the unclean ? No one’ is his answer. (Job 14:4) I can kosher a pig and put it in a dress, but I cannot change it’s created nature. It is still an unclean animal . . . a pig in a dress. By the same token, sin does not change man’s created essence. No man is to be considered common or unclean. (Acts 10:28) I can become ‘unclean’ externally, but I can get clean again and welcomed into the presence of My Father. Unrepented, unforgive sin is an internal matter that will separate me from My Heavenly Father forever. So, one of our jobs in these last days ? Teach the people, God’s people, the difference between the clean and the unclean, the holy and the profane. Shalom to you and yours – J&R


Posted by on February 6, 2015 in Uncategorized


3 responses to “‘Clean vs Unclean’ and ‘Pagan vs Idolatry’

  1. prodigal101

    February 6, 2015 at 12:29 pm

    I need to rephrase that last line. It should read ” By the way, Scripture does describe how that which is clean can become unclean, but that state of uncleanness is external only and once properly dealt with, according to Scripture, the outward state of cleanness has been restored. During all this process, the internal, innate nature of the clean creation has not been altered.” Shalom –


    February 6, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    This is a very good teaching. I scrolled down to keep reading and it ended! I know there must be a continuation soon, I hope so, (hint,hint!). Shalom, Melody Sent using Hushma

  3. prodigal101

    February 6, 2015 at 2:14 pm

    thank the Lord and thank you for the encouraging words. As soon as He gives more, we will ‘pass it on’ . 🙂 . . Blessings and Shabbat Shalom – J&R


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