Sunday, March 14, 2010

#130-FOOD




Ahh food. America’s greatest vice. What demonstrates the excess in America more than the muffin tops spilling over our waist lines as we walk into our local eateries. And no one loves food more than this guy.
I enjoy all types of food, from the deliciousness of mine and Joel's favorite barbeque (Slows BBQ, look into it), to a good chicken shawarma. From the deserts of the Middle East to the café’s of Sicily, from chili dog to shrimp tempura, there’s no type of food I’ll not try.
But the irony I love about apo’s is the intensity with which we condemn other vices while stuffing our faces full of saturated fats. Some of the greatest messages I’ve ever heard were preached by preachers who were pushing 300 lbs.
“Don’t drink that! You might get drunk!! Don’t smoke that! Know ye NOT that your body a ha, is the temple, a ha, of the Hoooooollllyyyyyy Ghhosttt?!?”
….three hours later….
“Yes I’ll take the 18 ounce porter house, rare, mashed potatoes with extra gravy, and an extra sweetened ice tea. Oh and also the loaded bacon cheese fries as an appetizer, thank you.”
It seems we’ve given our most addictive vice a free pass…
The irony of all of this is the logic stretching and ignoring of scripture.
We’ll preach against alcohol outright when the bible only speaks against drunkenness, with the logic being that drinking at all leads to drunkenness and since we all know that Christians can’t do anything in moderation we have to ban it altogether.
We preach against smoking, which isn’t even in the bible, though they were definitely smoking in that time, and the logic we use, (albeit good logic), is that our body is the temple of God and a gift and we should honor it and not defile it. Makes sense.
We forbid tattooing with little scriptural support (inapplicable Levitical law), on the basis that it is harmful to our bodies, but uuuuhhh… Starting to see the inconsistencies?
We have to stretch scripture, use loose semantics and hyperbole to draw these conclusions, but what about this:
Proverbs 23:2
and put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony.”
And this:
Proverbs 23:20-21
"Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh: For the drunkard and the GLUTTON shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags."
And then there’s all that moderation and self control stuff Paul is always talking about...
There’s not really a point to all of this, just trying to call attention to a humorous hypocrisy. The fast track to being seated from your ministries would be to walk into Applebee’s and order a Corona with lime, but you can eat a 1,400 calorie meal and chase it down with a maple butter blondie and brother I appreciate your ministry!
I propose we start calling it like we see it. Those overweight preachers don’t have a glandular problem or a low thyroid. They’re addicts, just like any other addict, and they need help, just like the alcoholic, and should have some accountability.
But this phenomenon isn’t isolated to preachers. Our pews are about a Big Buford and large fry away from needing steel reinforcement. And if it weren’t for Pentecostal women, plus sized womens stores would have gone out of business twenty years ago. And the men don’t exactly have LL Cool J’s abs either. Thank God for adjustable waistband pants or we’d be at church in our Wilson Athletics and a size 54L blazer!
So ladies and gentlemen, please, let’s start practicing moderation in all area’s of our lives, not just the ones that are easy. It’s no sacrifice to not consume alcohol, but to pass on your third Mountain Dew – that’s a challenge of will power.
May our eyes and arteries be opened!

33 comments:

  1. Absolutely, 100 percent the truth. This is in my opinion the number one area where "apos" are the most hypocritical.

    Unfortunately, I'm included in that number..

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  2. I hate going to rally's and having the hosting church (or some other) say, "Well we are apostolic so we have....after service tonight" or a preacher in the middle of his message read a scripture (i.e. the last supper) and say "Well you know they were pentecostal b/c they had to have a meal". Thank you for this post.

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  3. He may have beat anorexia but good luck beating the diabetes, triple or even quadruple bypass, a heart attack, all the doors, vehicles, chairs, etc. made for people not his size, the little kids that look at him when he walks down the street, the airline that makes him get off, the boating and baseball and sports, living past the age of 50. Sorry, don't mean to be a downer but I just find that repulsive.

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  4. Amen Dude. Our Pastor actually mentioned this in a sermon not too long ago. I believe the mention went something like this..."Human nature finds it easy to condemn things we don't enjoy or don't think we'll enjoy. Hunters preach against golfing, golfers preach against football...the most worked I've seen someone get over not defiling your body with alcohol was from a 5'7 300lb preacher...don't become so blind you can't see the elephant in the room." Laughter ensued.

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  5. Hahaha - heck yes! This one needs to be shouted from the rooftops.

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  6. #1 cause of death is Heart Disease. Beats lung cancer by a mile.

    Fact is, "Know ye not your bodies are a temple of the Holy Ghost" has often been loosely translated as another fill-in-the-blank at the hands of Pastoral directives. Paul's setting in Corinth was not hamburgers or wine, but fornication, adultery and orgies in the name of those within the churches that saw themselves as so spiritual that nothing was wrong with it. They defiled their bodies.

    This does not dismiss that God is not concerned with the care of our physical concerns. He's concerned because He wants us to be concerned. He truly wants us to enjoy life, and it's hard to do that with breathing tubes up your nose, stuck in a wheel chair at age 50. It's not because he's a tyrannical God that wants to play "gotcha," but because he wants us to enjoy the life He gave us, and to glorify Him in the process.

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  7. Anonymous_ApostolicMarch 15, 2010 at 12:53 PM

    I guess I'll be the devil's (read 'preachers') advocate here.

    When Jesus sent out his followers on an evangelistic mission in Luke 10, he told them (verse 8) "into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you".

    Evangelists in the UPCI have typically interpretted that to mean they should eat the meals given to them by the pastor's family that hosts them, and not complain or eat only small bites. I can't speak for all preachers, but many evangelists become somewhat overweight because of this.

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  8. to Anonymous_apostolic.....

    You made my day....

    I don't know if you were joking or not....(i hope you were)....

    But i laughed out loud.

    I love the conclusion that because of a verse, people feel justified in getting overweight...

    I can see it now in heaven:

    Jesus: "So I see you saved so many souls and witnessed to so many people and prayed a lot. This is really good stuff Bro. Smith. But I have one problem....you didn't practice self-control and moderation over your eating habits, nor did you try to stay in shape. You even died because of the stress you put on your heart because of all that bodily mismanagement."

    Bro. Smith: Uh, jesus, I....ah.....well...

    Don't you remember Luke 10:8?

    Jesus: (ROFL)

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  9. You don't even know how many times my family and I have had this EXACT conversation. I get so tired of the degradation of people who have tattoos, piercings, dyed hair, drink alcohol, other "defilement's" while the majority of those looking down on these people are morbidly obese.(For the record, I don't agree with any of the above). As an RN, I see far more people suffering the effects of obesity than of alcoholism! These people are in as much bondage to food as an alcoholic is to alcohol. Don't believe me? Ask them to cut back on soda, sweets, calories. Now that is some withdrawal! My body IS a temple of God. And I'm pretty sure He mentioned something about "moderation" as well. I honestly have a very hard time when a morbidly obese preacher rebukes ANYONE for a so-called defilement or addiction. This is by and far the best post of all.

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  10. Couldn't agree more.

    What always gets me is when a preacher self proclaims their love for unhealthy food over the pulpit and then they expect the divine anointing of God to enter the service.

    It's pretty sick.

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  11. I would like to point out some scriptues
    Proverbs 13:2
    A man shall eat good by the fruit of his mouth: but the soul of the transgressors shall eat violence
    Proverbs 13:4
    The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.
    Proverbs 28:25
    He that is of a proud heart stirreth up strife: but he that putteth his trust in the LORD shall be made fat.

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  12. once again, GREAT POST! my friends and i love to discuss this huge irony.

    (pun intended)

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  13. Scott....

    and that is what we call in seminary bad hermeneutics in interpreting scripture....

    unless of course you are joking.....

    Which of course, bravo.

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  14. Great Blog but it won't make you popular with the apostolic "establishment"!

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  15. So you're saying I won't be getting a license?? Oh No! Not that! Anything but that!!

    ...glad you like the blog :)

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  16. OH NO HE DIDN'T !

    This blog just keeps getting better...

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  17. This is sooooo true. I know that eating is a social thing and most apostolics are highly sociable- but for many, life revolves around food and church. Really, I'm bothered by all the junk food and swear not to succumb to such a fate. The driving mentality of the matter is very confusing...
    Speculation: Maybe all of the practice of fasting has made some of us go into 'starvation mode,' hence eating oneself into a state of extreme un-health. LOL.

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  18. And it's so funny because we try to act like it's okay. We tell our youth that they don't need to look like hollywood and that we love them just the way they are. Well I agree with not judging on the outward appearance but there is such a thing as self control and discipline. Also has anyone ever heard of cruntches, sit-ups, or pushups? My grandpa is 83 an in better condition than half my youth group! I think we should do a year long UPC wide Daniel Fast lol

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  21. Love this!
    Was recently in a service with a missionary to a poverty stricken 3rd world country. He was gargantuan. I wonder if the people in the churches there invite him to their homes to eat? I wouldn't. My family needs to eat. LOL

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  22. To the two anonymous' whose posts were deleted...

    I admire your enthusiasm, but personal slander with specific names, even in jest, will not be permitted on the site.

    Whatever integrity this page has amongst the "establishment" I would like to keep, just to save face and not bite the fingers off the hand that feeds me....

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  23. Sooo let me ask all of my brother's and sisters that quickly chimed in citing how the bible speaks against drunkenness and advocates moderation...what say ye to a born again bona fide Apostolic believer that I don't know..lets say decides to drink a little on his 21st birthday and get what we call tipsy...not drunk in the privacy of his own home with his friends that understand his stance on his freedom in Christ. Is he backslidden, though he is free to do it according to the Scriptures? Is it being a stumbling block to his brothers when he's at his house? Or is this the point where we throw in the "though it be lawful it be not expedient" verse...just trying to get the family view. :-) that is all

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  24. Nice post. I think everyone's been witness to the walking (waddling?) paradox that is the rotund guest speaker whose primary field of work is in a poverty-stricken third world country.

    In answer to some of the various questions bandied about in the comments over alcohol, tattoos, gluttony, etc. and their scriptural justifications I'll throw in my opinion. It seems to me that the body of the NT as a whole is very pragmatic--especially in regards to the epistles. To most of the questions asked Paul would likely say this: stop and think about it rationally. Is God (not tradition, not the subjective self) edified in what you're doing? Are you in any way promoting the causes of the kingdom? This is a line of thought that is at once abstract and simple and therefore should be unique to every single situation.

    Example: Should I eat myself silly? No, dying of heart disease when it is more or less preventable is downright stupid. So eat healthier. Apply this system of thought, with the council and aid of the Holy Spirit, to any situation and you've pretty much got what Jesus and Paul would have told you to do were you sitting listening to them a couple millenniums ago.

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  25. Do you actually like your Porterhouse rare?! That is disgusting. It might as well still be mooing. medium-rare is the most delicious way to go.

    By the way,

    1 Timothy 3:3 concerning bishops, "Not given to wine"

    1 Timothy 3:8 concerning deacons, "Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued not given to much wine"

    but then,

    1 Timothy 5:23 "Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomachs sake and thine infirmities"

    He says the same thing in other passages. He never asks them not to drink but to abstain from drunkenness.

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  26. Joel, yes, i was joking.
    I agree with this post 100%

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  27. My two cents on drinking...I think one has to look at the cultural implications of drinking. I would not be comfortable, personally, saying I had a few every now and then. It means something more to our society than I believe it did to theirs. Their water systems were such that by mixing wine (which tasted completely different then than it does now. Now, drinking is a means of initiation (if your a young person), and escape to a certain degree. I do not even feel comfortable being around anyone who is drinking. There is a spirit to it and its not so pretty. I do agree with this post, though.

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  28. Lynne,
    It's definitely cultural and not all cultures are the same within even North America. Some cities have different cultures. Theology & beer aren't uncommon in Boston or the North West. In the South, where abstinence is taught, that would be outrageous.

    It's not the young, weak believer that struggles as much as the 4th generation, alcohol is evil 20-something that does. Romans 14 is quite balanced. The drinking and eating mentioned there by the way, has to do with eating at the temples of idols, a cultural hang-out in that day. Ironically, while telling Corinth to stay away, Paul did, in fact, eat meat and drink offered to idols. There's an explanation from him in Corinthians as to why he felt it was okay.

    1 Tim 3:3 does not say he doesn't drink wine, it says he's not given to "much wine", which is drunkenness. The reason? Drunks tend to do sinful things.

    Pentecost has a respectable position on abstinence historically. But to be fair, it's not a scriptural prohibition, it's a Pentecostal culture prohibition. In fact, there's no such prohibition in all of scripture. Only warnings to handle wine and drink moderately and carefully. Moderation is something we've often skipped over in most all areas and went for the prohibition card. Not always the wisest either.

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  29. Lynne, A spirit to it? Meaning, an attitude, or that demons are involved when people have drinks?

    Stumbling block principle gets abused. Too bad more don't continue reading in Romans 14 where's there's a responsibility on the "weaker brother" as well. And we must define what the issues Paul was dealing with to understand what he meant before we make application to every little nuance today. We don't wear jewelry, you are, therefore you're a stumbling block. Poor application.

    Do all things in love. Be sensitive of other brothers, but not to the point where they are forcing their fences into your own yard. Do all things in love, but let's all have thick skin. Be responsible for our own actions, and help each other when we're not. If your church preaches abstinence (not scripturally but because they believe that's best), then go with it obediently.

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  30. I have to say thank you to Glen for posting this link on Twitter! I'm now following because this blog is GREAT!! And I've made this observation countless times myself.
    Good stuff...

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  31. I am very pleased and in agreement with the feedback we’ve been getting on this. I was apprehensive with where it was going, but those apprehensions have been laid to rest.

    Rather than addressing individual comments and expanding on thoughts I’ll just leave my own:

    I believe that everything we allow into our lives must be checked according to CONTEXTUAL study of the bible. Over the past week I’ve been around (but not participating in) a number of discussions on church and ‘the way thing’s ought to be’, but what I find very, very alarming is how little the bible is cited as reasoning for the logic, and the few times it is the arguers engage in proof texting (taking individual verses out of context to back up a pre-existing position or opinion). What I encourage anyone thinking about a particular issue to do is to find where in the bible that topic is addressed and read the entire book it’s in, beginning to end. It’s frustrating to engage in discussions with people whose opinions are based on allegories, metaphors and ad hominem arguments.

    When I examine a subject I want to know ONE thing – what does the bible say? Not what are the statistics, not what does James Dobson or any other preacher say, not cool analogy, not something interesting from some sermon or book. What. Does. The. Bible. Say. PERIOD.

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  32. I see 3 obvious reasons why Aps tend to be big, (heck), gargantuan people:

    1. We eat too late and too much, after service.
    2. We choose fried foods like chicken and french fries over healthy options on the menu.
    3. We don't exercise, for many reasons, most of them lame.

    So, if you need a wake-up call, look in the mirror, then sit outside a "buffet-style" restaurant or an "all-you-can-eat" special, watch who walks/waddles in, and you will get a burden for these folks and for yourself.

    My RD wife (Registered Dietitian) wife explains that the reason for widespread American obesity is due mainly to the low-cost and availability of food.

    Pretty simple.

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  33. I thought this post was entertaining, engaging and provocative. I agree with the blogger, obesity and a lack of moderation in regards to our eating habits is a great scourge on the Apostolic Pentecostal fellowship. I would caution the blogger however, to exercise a bit of the selfsame moderation in his writing.

    Vitriol is not only unnecessary but distracting if you have a sound, reasoned argument. Also, this is a format where you must take caution and qualify your statements if you're really concerned for the Body of Christ at large (no pun intended). Many who will read your opinions will feel justified in questioning the authority of their (overweight for whatever reason) pastor based upon your assessment of church culture and that is certainly not what you want or what God would be pleased with.

    Moderation applies to our pens as well.

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