UPDATED: Coronavirus? Odds Are, Bats Would Not Be Eaten In China If The Beijing Regime Wasn’t Persecuting Christians

Coronavirus appears to have made the transition from bats being sold for consumption in an open market in Wuhan, China, and now virtually every country on Earth is dealing with the pandemic that has killed thousands of people, most of them elderly.

Photo by rigel on Unsplash

Now, as we all deal with the challenges of safe distancing from one another, working from home whenever possible and following the news, here’s something to think about: Would bats not be eaten in Wuhan or elsewhere in China if the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) regime in Beijing were not actively and ruthlessly trying to suppress Christianity?

Here’s the reality: If China’s growing Christian population were instead allowed to practice their faith openly and share the Bible, including both the Old and New Testaments, with their fellow citizens, hundreds of millions of people in the world’s most populous country would know God warned the Hebrews millennia ago in Leviticus 11:19 not to eat or even touch bats because they are “unclean.”

China has long had a significant culinary demand for the killing and eating of all sorts of exotic animals, including bats, snakes, raccoons and beaver. The Wuhan market was “wet,” that is, animals were killed and skinned out in the open, then prepared for consumption.

An openly practicing Christian community would have added immense strength to the calls of others in China who recognized for their own reasons that eating bats and other exotics was a bad idea. It wouldn’t have happened overnight but it seems entirely reasonable to think it would have definitely made a huge difference.

Writing on the Apologetics Press, Kyle Butt shares some key facts about bats and the Bible:

“Bats are the only mammals that can truly fly, but it turns out that they have other unique characteristics that separate them from most (if not all) other mammals.

“In a project headed by Dr. Peng Zhou, an international research team did extensive studies on bats. Bats are hosts to 100 different viruses, many of which are harmful or even lethal to humans.

“The team wanted to discover how bats can carry so many, and such deadly, viruses without getting sick themselves. Turns out that bats have a special ability …”

What’s that special ability? Go here for the rest of Butt’s fascinating analysis of bats and Moses, thus prompting the question of whether knowing the Old Testament could have prevented the current pandemic and saved thousands of lives the world over?

UPDATE: Just to be clear, this post is not intended to suggest that Christians today should follow Old Testament dietary laws. Speaking as somebody who can never get enough fried shrimp, I have culinary, to say nothing of theological, issues with any suggestion that those laws remain applicable to followers of Christ.

In addition, the post was not intended to suggest that a freely evangelizing Christian presence in China would by definition have prevented human consumption of bats. Rather, the effect over time of a wide-spread recognition born in part of such freedom would have encouraged the recognition of solid health-related reasons to avoid consuming biblically unclean animals like bats. Sorry for the confusion, for which I take the entire responsibility.

Finally, for those pointing to the passage at Acts 10:9-29 in which the Lord instructs Peter about eating with Gentiles and “unclean” creatures, the creatures on the blanket are described as “all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles of the Earth and birds of the air.”

Please note that bats are not reptiles or birds and they have two, not four legs. Perhaps the Lord specifically did not include bats on the blanket for a reason.

UPDATE II: Boy, some days you get the bear and some days the bear gets you. This one has been the latter for yours truly. It’s been pointed out to me that the ancient Israelites considered bats to be birds, so my reading of the Acts passage was in error, as was my reading of the Leviticus passage. Well, at least I did spell bats and China correctly. My apologies to my readers.

Check Out These Other Challenging HillFaith Posts

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Author: Mark Tapscott

Follower of Christ, devoted husband of Claudia, doting father and grandfather, conservative lover of liberty, journalist and First Amendment fanatic, former Hill and Reagan aide, vintage Formula Ford racer, Okie by birth/Texan by blood/proud of both, resident of Maryland. Go here: https://hillfaith.blog/about-hillfaith-2/

8 thoughts on “UPDATED: Coronavirus? Odds Are, Bats Would Not Be Eaten In China If The Beijing Regime Wasn’t Persecuting Christians”

  1. Bats were listed in the Bible as ritually unclean, not as causing disease. Peter’s vision in Acts 10:10-16, and Jesus’ saying that it was what came out of a man that was unclean (Mt. 15:11) say that it is ritually okay for Christians to eat pretty much anything. Prudence is what governs what we eat, not Leviticus.

    There is no need to overplay the Christian hand. Lying about Scripture does not honor the Truth, the Way, and the Life.


    1. Read the entire passage, Acts 10:9-29 and you will see on the blanket “four-footed animals,” “reptiles” and “birds.” Bats are none of those. Perhaps God had a health-related reason (that would have no sense to the ancients, who knew nothing about viruses) for not including bats on the blanket.


      1. According to Leviticus 11:13-19, repeated at Deuteronomy 14:11-18, bats are birds.
        So by that full passage in Acts, bats are perfectly acceptable for dinner.

        If you want a more functional appeal, it is to be found in Genesis 9:2-4, where all animals are permitted, though the “life-blood” is forbidden, which extends to eating pieces of living animals.
        While Christians certainly violate that as well with a variety of foods the include the blood of animals, the general principle of at least killing the animal painlessly, and not leaving it sitting around in an open-air abattoir, looking at others of its kind being butchered, waiting its turn to be destroyed, and especially not boiling a whole bat alive and then eating it, are followed, and rather overtly violated in the “wet” markets where the coronavirus sprang up.


  2. No.
    Christians are specifically and explicitly exempt from these rules (See the Converstion of Saul of Tarsus).
    Also, knowing that Jews and Mulsims find pork unclean wouldn’t stop a virus spread by bacon in the US.
    Persecution is wrong because it is wrong.


  3. Wow Mark, this is the second time in a week I am writing you disagreeing with you on one of your posts. Earlier it was concerning what about those who never have heard the gospel? Now it concerns “Coronavirus : Odds are Bats would not be eaten in China if Bejing was’t persecuting Christians.” OT dietary laws were for Israel under the OT dispensation, and are not practiced by Christians today due to the teaching of Jesus in the NT. See Mat 15:11-20, Mark 7:14-16, Acts 10:9-15.
    Are you proposing that Christians should not be eating ham, bacon, crabs….. as well as bats? (And no, I don’t eat bats, nor would I want to, but as for the others…)
    Do you run your posts thru pastor Mark to check the theology?

    Larry Steen
    Mid-Maryland Baptist Association


  4. If eating bats caused coronavirus it would have been caused by the overwhelmingly christian populations of the Pacific Islands hundreds of years ago. It’s those Chinese eating pandas that caused it. That’s why it’s called a pandemic. That’s also why pandas aren’t as common as bats, even though they’re a lot cuter and everyone wants one for their kids.

    If bats caused it it would be called a batemic.


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