This is my 200th blogpost! Thanks for all your support over the years! Here’s to the next 200!
I have a habit of making my thoughts and opinions known. Thus far I havenâ€™t got in too much trouble for this habit, although I have caused a ruckus or two along the way, but no one was seriously injured. Some folks, have recently poked inquiringly at my views of the entire organic, gluten-free, â€œGMO-freeâ€, free range, whole (stone ground) wheat, food craze, fad, diet, â€œlifestyleâ€. Now, this is certainly not intended to be any sort of professional perspective, nor is my expertise in nutrition. However, as mentioned earlier, I have this habit of making my thoughts and opinions knownâ€¦so here goes.
First, in thinking about the â€œtheology of what we put in our mouth and swallerâ€, we as Christians must be guided by the Bible. We are taught in Scripture to be good stewards (Mt. 25:14-30); that our body is the temple of the Holy Ghost (1 Cor. 6:19), and although Paul is specifically addressing sexual fornication, the principle of using this body for Godâ€™s glory holds true for every arena of life; and when Paul tells us elsewhere to glorify God in everything we do he bakes it down (pun-intended) most specifically to our eating and drinking (1 Cor. 10:31). I take this to mean that how and what we eat does matter to God, since we will be made to give an account not only of what sort of food we ate, but how we ate it!
So, let us proceed with this as the foundation, and begin to address some of the particulars. We are responsible for what we do with this body; you are free to eat rocks if you please, or MSG-free foods, or Mountain Dew by the gallon. What we need to be wary of as Christians is taking this mandate to be responsible for our bodies and set up a little shrine to the organic food gods, who if we follow their blogs we are certain to find everlasting life and the cure for every malady. Which, by the way, is apparently coconut oil; however, next month it may be soy milk, followed by sawdust flour. My gravest concern here is the location of our hope of eternal life; we must guard ourselves against placing our hope in organic foods as the source of endless life without malady, sickness, or intolerances.
The man who eats McDonalds every day, washed down with a sugary beverage is going to die; so is the vegan, yoga-pants-wearing, Whole Foods shopping mom whose children are all on a strict gluten-free diet. Sorry to break the news to ya, but â€œwe all gonna die.â€ Some sooner than others, and all of us regardless of how much or how little processed foods we digested.
What we consume matters, yes. But so does how we eat it. This is the prevailing theme when Paul is dealing with the issue of meat sacrificed to idols. Some Christians felt it was wrong to eat it, others felt it was fine and dandy; and as a result those who didnâ€™t eat were stumbled by those who were, and vise versa. So Paul admonishes them that â€œevery creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving (1Ti 4:4).â€
Yes we should go out of our way to keep our brothers from stumbling, but we should also raise them in maturity. We need to remember that God made both the cow in the stockyard eating Monsantoâ€™s GMO-corn pumped full of antibiotics as well as the free range cow grazing in the pasture. We should remember that this slab of steak on our plate is called â€œgoodâ€ by God, and we ought to give cheerful, mouth-watering thanks regardless of where the cow came from or what it was eating. God is after thankful hearts, not Christians who only eat GMO-free food.
Let us venture onward a little further, if I may. The biggest concern I have with all this is the consequences that I see in regards to Christian fellowship. Imagine â€œFamily Aâ€ invites â€œFamily Bâ€ over for dinner, and â€œMom Bâ€ calls to tell â€œMom Aâ€ that â€œIâ€™m on a gluten-free, dairy-free diet, and little Sally has a wheat sensitivity, Johnny is allergic to lemons (I really have heard this) and a few other citrus fruits, and my husband gets severe headaches from MSGâ€¦canâ€™t wait to see you all tonight!â€ These â€œsensitivitiesâ€ immediately prove a stumbling block for â€œFamily Aâ€ who may not have any of these issues. Now, being a good Christian woman, â€œMom Aâ€ will certainly be happy to serve. But this tends to create an inhibition to Christian fellowship.
Furthermore, it is paramount that should one family decide to regulate their diet to eat â€œall naturalâ€, they need to take great caution that they are not propping up an extra-biblical moral standard. This food snobbery is nothing more than self-righteousness disguised as eating habits, and it is about as flavorful as Kale chips. All natural or organic or paleo diets have a logically fallacy in their assumptions, namely, the assumption that technology has no place in the development of food, and that God frowns upon any attempts to â€œengineerâ€ food. This seems to me like a rather difficult case to make from Scripture. We ought to be good stewards, but we are also called to take dominion of this world, and I would assert that that includes being able to discover ways of growing more food faster.
Will there be kinks in the process? Most certainly! But should that inhibit our endeavor to subdue this world to the glory of God? Most certainly not.
If you’re interested in reading more on this topic, I’d recommend this article here.
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