I assured my friend of my beliefs, and I was very thankful for her pointing out to me how it sounded to her. I never really thought about it before but I guess I could come across that way to some people. The funny thing is, it's the second time in two days I have had a similar conversation with someone about this topic. So just to set the record straight...
I do NOT believe that a person HAS to follow the laws in the Old Testament in order to be saved. I do, however, believe there to be a lot of great advice tucked away in those pages. For instance, Proverbs. We all point to Proverbs and discuss their merits. I always find solace in the Pslams when I feel my heart breaking and I just need to cry out to God. I believe that there are a lot of things in the Hebrew scriptures regarding foods to eat etc that have a lot of merit when it comes to health. Do I believe everyone needs to live by them? No. I believe we all have a personal relationship with Christ and that is what leads us to make our decisions. I don't believe all women are called to wear skirts only. I'm not even skirts only. I just feel that God has pressed upon my heart that I should embrace my femininity and in doing so I realized that my husband loves me in skirts and even sometimes treats me differently (in a good way) when I do so! I feel that God has laid this upon my heart, but I don't expect everyone to follow my example or to feel they HAVE to be a certain way in order to be saved.
i also tend to eat in a rather "kosher-style" manner. I don't necessarily buy kosher meats, but I stay away from pork and shellfish. Actually, I personally stay away from sea food alltogether because I can't stand the smell. The smell of sea food restaurants usually makes me sick. I can usually handle red lobster because they tend to have so many other aromas in the air (as well as meats) that the fishy smell doesnt permeate the air as heavily as other places. I do these things for two reasons. One, my family usually stayed away from those foods and so I never really developed much of an appetite for the taste or flavor. Our church we attended used to be rather legalistic. When the rules of our church changed, I tried bacon and sausage but I never really liked it. I much prefer turkey bacon and will rarely eat any form of sausage. I'm not super strict about mixing milk and cheese because I definitely enjoy a good cheeseburger, but I do realize there are many health benefits for avoiding eating both together at the same time. Same with for avoiding pork and shellfish. Most of the laws were created to ensure that the Israelites (the Jewish people) would be easily distinguished from the Egyptians and other pagan peoples of their time. Yet,many of these laws can reap benefits for our health. Not only when it comes to the foods we eat, but also when it comes to sexual relations between a man and his wife. Like the period of abstinence the Bible discusses after having children or during a woman's menstrual cycle. These things are not always just about pur physical health but emotional as well. Waiting for a period of time can increase the desire a husband and wife have to be intimate with one another! Causing them to want to be together in the way a husband and wife should only be together and strengthening the bonds that tie them together! (Some of my friends may point out the "humor" in this past statement and i pray that none feel inclined to comment on it. please). Do i believe these things HAVE to be followed though? NO.
I honestly and truly believe that salvation can only be gotten through a personal relationship with God, and faith in Christ. I believe this faith should be acted out in your daily life, yes. However, I dont believe acting one way means that a person is any more saved than another. I just know that I have to follow what God is laying down in my heart and what my studying has revealed TO ME. This is how I choose to live my life.
So I pray that others seriously think about what it means to them to follow God. It's not all about rules! It's about a personal relationship and personal growth through studying God's Word. For me, my walk with the Lord has lead me down one path. I feel happier and freer as I follow the things God has pressed upon my heart.