I was taught that when Jesus died on the cross a new covenant was formed. I thought this meant that everything before no longer holds true. If that is right, then why does the church enforce Lev 18? If its wrong, why don’t they enforce Lev 11?
Answer (made rebloggable by request):
Wow, I wish more people would ask this question!
It’s often one of the basic misunderstandings that leads some of the New Atheists to assume (incorrectly) that believers in Christ treat the minor dietary prescriptions of the Law of Moses with the same reverence as the New Commandment to love one another as Christ has loved us. So much would become clearer were they to pay attention to what the Church says about the Bible… (sigh).
Read all the way through Matthew 5, and you can see how Jesus really surprised his contemporaries. First he talks about not abolishing the law but bringing it to completion (verse 17), but then goes on to give a completely new (more intense) interpretation of some of its precepts (verses 21-22, verses 27-28) and then apparently completely reverse some others (verses 31-32, verses 33-34, verses 38-39, verses 43-44). Most importantly, and this has bearing on your question about Leviticus 11’s dietary regulations, Jesus will at one point specifically declare that all foods are clean and that those dietary regulations are now superseded (Mark 7:19; the whole section is worth reading for context).