A Question From a Reader on Eating Blood

Every now and then a reader will send in a question for me. In the past some of them have led to months of blogging — I think in particular of the reader who asked, “What does a reformed charismatic church look like?”

I now have received a question asked by a reader which I’ve decided to share with you today rather than answer myself. I thought it would be an interesting challenge for you all.


I stop by your blog from time to time and have been greatly encouraged by your words, and have found the links to some incredibly helpful resources. I do have a question that I hope you can help me with.

I currently serve in a place in Asia where blood is cooked [and] eaten as food (not a staple, though!). By God’s grace, a friend and I are discipling some young men in a Bible study, and this week this issue of eating blood came up. I’m not sure what to make of it. Those who oppose the eating of blood argue from Acts 15:28-29 and Leviticus 17:10-14. But, in Mark 7:18-20, we’re told that Jesus declares all food clean. Of course, that only begs the question, “Is blood considered food?” Here, it most certainly is. In fact, this is often a dividing issue among believers here, most commonly between urban and rural believers.

Can you help shed any light on this issue? Are there any other implications of believing either side? In our Bible study group, we’ve agreed to disagree and hold to Paul’s exhortation about foregoing certain rights for the sake of others and out of humility. The tricky thing is that those against eating blood don’t see the practice as a “right” to be foregone. It’s seen as sin. From this perspective, applying Paul’s teaching of restraint is comparable to saying we have the right to gluttony, yet we should refrain from it. Is there a doctrine of reformed theology that addresses this issue? I’ve been staring at this issue for two days straight and feel even more confused than when I began . . . .”

Well, there it is . . . I hope that some of you will enjoy answering him.

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