Gluttony? What did you say?

DallasNews.com has an article that will probably be IGNORED completely by the majority of churches. Those influenced by a postmodern mindset should take it seriously, and have possibly already developed a holistic understanding of the body-spirit connection, and a theology of the body to match. But for many of the churches in the old paradigm of segmentation and dualism, (of sin = sex/drugs/rockandroll + nothing else) the article is worth a read and some serious consideration. Its called Are Churches Too Skittish to Address Gluttony? Here are a few “meaty” quotes from the article:
– With a fork in one hand and a Bible in the other, some choose to praise God and pass the pastries simultaneously. They give their hearts to Jesus and their bellies to Krispy Kreme while catching worship on the cafe’s big screen.
– Through the ages, these vices came to be known as the Seven Deadly Sins: pride, envy, anger, sloth, greed, gluttony and lust.
– Buddhists call it a lack of mindfulness. Early Christians called it gluttony – the most likely of the Seven Deadly Sins to cause heart disease. For centuries, the world’s religions identified undisciplined eating as a spiritual problem.
– But many pulpits are silent on the issues, even though 63 percent of the population is overweight. For millions of believers, overeating is not a sin, but the American way of life.
– “Pastors don’t preach on this because they’re not living it,” said Lisa Young, who developed the Walking with Weights exercise program and Body for God Cookbook sold at Fellowship Church in Grapevine, where her husband, Ed, is pastor.
– “God wants us to go overboard,” said Dr. Patella, who teaches at St. John’s School of Theology. “It’s a day to rejoice in creation, to realize that it’s a gift from God. If we can’t be generous with ourselves, we can’t be generous with others.”
– “Gluttony,” Jim Dawkins said as he sat in the Prestonwood cafe. “That’s not a word used in the Bible.”
– They don’t just overeat; they buy oversized cars and houses, confusing the goods in life for the good life.”That extra jacket in your closet doesn’t belong to you, but to the poor,” said Father Martin, a Jesuit priest. “We’ve lost that connection.”
– Muslims, Jews and Buddhists are known for food restrictions. So, too, are Seventh-day Adventists, Latter-day Saints and Catholics. Many world religions tout the spiritual benefits of fasting.
– Some congregations are promoting diet plans. . . . “We’re also helping people make better food choices,” Ms. Young said. The church’s cafe is being transformed to “serving foods that honor God.”
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Article? What article?

Andrew

Andrew Jones has been blogging since 1997. He is based in San Francisco with his two daughters but also travels the globe to find compelling stories of early stage entrepreneurs changing their world. Sometimes he talks in the third person. Sometimes he even talks to himself and has been heard uttering the name “Precious” :-)

6 Comments

  • Your right – I am skinny and dont have a weight problem – in fact I am trying to gain weight. But I am still very conscious of overeating and tried my best on Thanksgiving to be “moderate’.
    But your point is well taken and the message will have more impact coming from someone who understands the possible idolatry status that food can become.

  • I am just messin. I actually have worked pretty hard at losing about 10kg this year based in large part on this principle. It seems to be very closely linked to a lack of discipline and self-control in my life, but I am finding that getting some control in this area tends to spill over into others as well.
    One thing I am interested to hear your thoughts on though. With Jesus we also see the concept of the feast, and it is seems to me to be as important as the fast. Now granted, we westerners seems to be on one big permanent feast, but what do you think is the balance??
    RESPONSE:
    Hi JJ,
    I think it is again about balance – that we find ourselves in a lifestyle that embraces fasting and feasting in a precarious balance.
    Lets develop a theology of feasting as well. The Wedding Supper of the Lamb awaits us!
    There was a quote from the article that i will now put here:
    – American prosperity skews that biblical sense of feasting by treating every day as a holiday, said Donald Wuerl, the Catholic bishop of Pittsburgh.

  • Body Image

    Tallskinnykiwi notes that 63% of Americans are overweight and that it is not being addressed by the church. – Buddhists call it a lack of mindfulness. Early Christians called it gluttony – the most likely of the Seven Deadly Sins to cause heart disease…

  • I believe we can thank god for food and be greatful for it. We can count it as a blessing.
    But The bible says Gluttony is a sin, so we can try and eat in Moderation.

  • The Charismatic tradition here in the US has talked of this “Body, Mind, and Spirit” connection since the 1060’s.
    Oral Roberts popularized this and his son Richard (along with dozens of others) have entire TV shows, books, and product lines dedicated to healthy living.
    You should familiarize yourself with these other Protestant traditions.

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