1995 issue 5 - food for thought! of food, feasting, fasting, fullness and fat - counsel of chalcedon

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  • 7/27/2019 1995 Issue 5 - Food for Thought! Of Food, Feasting, Fasting, Fullness and Fat - Counsel of Chalcedon

    1/6

    In

    attending a Christian

    and Bible based

    food

    and

    weight

    control program

    called

    Weigh

    Down,

    I had

    to

    address the subject of

    gluttony.

    I have often

    jokingly remarked at church

    dinners,

    "QIuttony ceased

    with the Apostolic

    age," or

    "Paul said to buffet

    (as in

    food-buffet) our bodies." All

    joking aside

    now,

    what

    is

    gluttony If a

    person

    is

    "over

    weight" does it mean

    that he is a glutton

    Is

    all

    obesity the result of

    gluttonyl

    First

    of all,

    we

    must

    be careful that we

    do

    not

    define gluttony as

    enjoying food and

    merely eating a lot.

    Secondly we should

    not assume that

    because

    someone is over weight that

    they are

    gluttons.

    How much

    is

    "over

    weight"

    How

    much

    is

    "over eating" How much

    can a person weigh and be a

    Chlistian If it is a

    sin

    to be

    over weight or to over

    eat,

    then it would not be just a

    matter

    of personal

    self

    discipline

    but church

    discipline for

    anyone

    judged

    to be

    over

    weight

    or to

    over

    eat.

    All obesity is not

    caused

    by gluttony (while gluttony

    will

    usually

    result in obesity).

    Weight gain is not

    necessarily the result of

    gluttony. People because of

    their job, diet, or genetics

    may have a difficult time

    controlling

    or reducing their

    weight. Eating

    to

    the point of

    obesity certainly

    may

    be

    an

    indication of

    sin

    in a person's

    life:

    lack of self-control, an

    improper response

    to

    problems in one's life,

    wasteful extravagance, poor

    stewardship

    of

    health,

    body,

    and money,

    etc.

    On the other

    hand, many

    people

    have

    made a god

    of

    the body, their

    looks, and their health. Thus

    health, weight loss, exercise,

    looks,

    can

    become a

    god

    itself.

    Christians can neglect

    "weightier" spiritual matters

    and obligations

    for

    the sake

    of a better body or looks and

    be guilty

    of

    sins of omission.

    In

    the

    O.T.,

    Clluttony

    ("Zalal"

    in Hebrew),

    drunkenness, and

    rebellion

    usually went hand

    in

    hand,

    Dt.

    2 1 :2.0, 31 :2.0,

    32.:15,

    Provo 2.3:19-2.1. This was still

    the pattern in the N.T., Mat.

    11 :19, Luke 7:34. Clluttony

    was

    associated

    with

    indifference and rebellion

    toward Clod and ungodly

    living,

    not

    just

    a matter of

    eating too much, adding

    weight. Clluttony was

    committed by those who

    abandoned themselves

    to

    eating and drinking to the

    exclusion of their moral

    responsibilities,

    to the

    exclusion of work, to

    the squandering of

    their wealth, Isa.

    5:11,12.,2.0ff,

    2.2.:11-14, Hab. 2.:4-

    5,

    Amos 6:4-7, Mat.

    2.4:38,

    Luke 12.:19,

    45, I Cor.

    15:32..

    "Claster" in

    Clreek

    denotes a belly, and

    with the adjective

    idle

    in Titus 1 :12.,

    is translated "lazy

    gluttons." It

    refers

    to having a

    belly as a result

    of

    being idle,

    not working.

    Today,

    much

    work

    does

    not

    require

    physical excercise

    or

    energy.

    Due to

    less physical activity

    and the increase of sugar in

    diets and processed

    foods,

    weight control is a greater

    problem.

    People easily may

    put

    on

    weight. That is not a

    sin.

    But they want and need

    for

    health

    reasons

    and

    for

    personal

    appearance to reduce

    their weight. They may be

    jeopardizing their health to

    the point that is sinful. They

    may be ignoring the needs

    and concerns

    of

    others. They

    ayl

    June 1995 l' THE COUNSEL

    of

    Chalcedon

    25

  • 7/27/2019 1995 Issue 5 - Food for Thought! Of Food, Feasting, Fasting, Fullness and Fat - Counsel of Chalcedon

    2/6

    may be ignoring

    or

    violating

    Titus 2:2, living a temperate

    and sober life in this present

    world. The health benefits of

    weight

    control are obvious,

    and Christians ought to

    seriously consider whether

    their eating is

    sinful. But

    we

    must not, may not,

    accuse

    people

    of

    gluttony simply

    because of

    excess

    body

    fat.

    Nowhere

    does the Bible say

    t is a sin to be

    overweight. Provo

    :25 says that" a

    generous man will

    be made fat/' and

    28:25

    says,

    "He

    who trust in the

    Lord will be made

    fat." At the same

    time, aU

    fat is

    not a sign of

    blessing, but may be a sign

    of

    sin and

    lack

    of self-discipline.

    "Phagos" ((jreek), akin to a

    (jreek word which means "to

    eat,"

    is

    translated glutton in

    Mat. 11:19,

    Luke

    7:34.

    Obviously, it is not a sin to

    eat at all. Nor does phagos

    simply mean

    to "over-eat," to

    eat

    more

    than will sustain

    life

    or past the feeling

    of

    being

    full.

    Who never eats more

    than enough to

    merely

    survive and how can you tell

    exactly where that point

    is

    so

    that you don't sin How

    much isloo much

    As

    a

    matter of fact, these two

    passages actually indicate that

    itis acceptable to enjoy

    food

    and to drink in banquet I

    Jesus was accused

    of

    being a

    glutton Jesus was attending

    and

    obviously

    participating in

    feasting

    or

    there would have

    been no basis for accusing

    Him

    of

    being a wine bibber

    and glutton.

    qluttony

    refers

    to

    one

    who

    makes food

    his god and

    purpose

    in

    life,

    and eats with

    no

    regard

    or concern for its

    results

    beyond

    self

    gratification

    and pleasing

    the

    appetite, (jluttony is not

    simply

    eating in excess

    of

    what one can

    physically

    assimilate

    or

    metabolize

    so

    as

    not to add a pound of weight.

    qluttony

    is

    living to

    eat

    We

    cannot say that eating

    beyond what

    is

    merely

    required to

    sustain

    life

    is

    sinful. The Bible doesn't say

    that. The life of early

    Christians was not one of

    asceticism or mere survival,

    Mark 2:19.

    Feasting

    and

    food

    was an expression

    of

    fellowship

    and friendship

    throughout the

    Bible,

    qen.

    18:1-8, Neh. 9:25, Isa.

    25:6,

    Mat.

    22:1

    ff 10, Luke 14:13,

    15:23, Acts 2:46, I Cor.

    11:20ff,

    Rev.

    19. The Bible

    26

    THE COUNSEL of Chalcedon aylJune 1995

    refers to numerous feasts,

    see

    Mat. 22:1

    ff for example.

    We

    do not

    merely

    eat to live.

    Food

    was given to be savored

    and enjoyed, ITim. 4:1-3.

    But,

    we do not live to

    eat

    either, I Cor. 6:13. This

    it

    seems to

    me

    is

    gluttony. We

    should

    not be mastered by

    anything.

    Food

    can become a

    master.

    (jluttony

    makes

    a god

    of

    the

    belly,

    Phil. 3:19,

    Rom.

    16:18.

    qluttony involves

    why one eats

    as

    much

    ashow

    much

    one

    eats.

    One can

    eat or

    be

    over weight,

    which is a relative

    term, so

    that they

    can be over weight

    but not be a glutton. One

    could be feasibly skinny, not

    be

    fat

    at all, and be a

    glutton.

    We are

    to eat

    and

    drink to

    the

    glory of

    qod, I Cor.

    10:31,

    Ex

    24:11. That

    includes the

    liberty

    to feast,

    as

    well as the spiritual

    discipline to refrain from

    eating

    in

    order to fast, and to

    be content and satisfied with

    being full (self-control,

    contentment,

    and

    stewardship) to the

    glory of

    qod The

    Bible

    recognizes

    a

    times for feasting, fasting,

    and

    fullness,

    Mat. 9:15,

    15:37,22:4. Christians ought

    also to live

    temperate,

    sober,

    and

    self-controlled

    lives in

    order to serve

    (jod and

    advance His kingdom.

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    Christians are

    to

    eat and

    drink

    to

    the glOly of

    Qod

    Richard Baxter's

    "Diet Plan"

    The following is

    abridged

    from

    Richard

    Baxter [a 17th

    CentUlY

    Puritan)' A

    CHRI5TIAN

    DIRECTORY,

    PART

    I:

    CHRISTIAN

    ETHICS, CHAPTER 8

    part

    iv DIRECTIONS FOR THE

    QOVERNINQ OFTHE

    TASTE AND APPETITE.,

    Topic 1:

    Directions against

    Qluttony.

    This

    study

    by

    Baxter

    is certainly "food

    for

    thought'

    for

    us

    as Christians

    even

    though we may not

    agree with eve ), statement.

    While he is discussing

    gluttony, much of what

    he

    says can

    be applied to

    the

    Chlistian's general eating

    habits.

    /. What is the

    Sin

    of Qluttony and

    What it is Not.

    qluttony

    is

    a volunta ),

    excess in eating, for the

    pleasing of the appetite,

    or

    some other carnal purpose.

    Common gluttony is when it

    is done

    for

    the pleasing of the

    appetite with such a pleasure

    that

    is

    no help

    to

    health or

    duty,

    but usually a

    hUli

    to

    the

    body or soul, the

    body

    being

    hurt by the

    excess,

    the

    soul

    hurt but the inordinate

    pleasure.

    1. Excess for one person

    is

    not necessarily the same

    as

    for

    another.

    A

    labOring

    man

    may

    eat

    more than one that

    does not do manual labor. A

    strong and healthy body may

    eat more than one that is

    weak and

    sick. It must be

    an

    excess

    in

    quantity

    for that

    particular

    person

    at that

    particular time, that

    is,

    when

    to

    please

    his appetite he eats

    more than

    is profitable

    to

    his

    health or duty.

    2. The frequency of eating

    is not an absolute measure.

    One

    person

    may eat a little at

    a time and more often for his

    health, but another may eat

    luxuriously

    more

    often

    than

    is

    good

    for

    his

    health. See EccIe.

    10:16-17.

    3.

    In

    the point of

    extravagance and costliness,

    the

    same measure

    is not

    to

    be

    set

    for a prince as a plowman,

    what

    is luxUlious excess

    to

    one may be

    temperate

    and

    frugal

    for

    another.

    But,

    unprofitable

    cost

    which

    would do more good another

    way when all things are

    considered

    is

    excess in

    whomsoever.

    4. There

    must

    be

    allowed

    a

    difference

    in

    diets

    between

    men. The happy, healthy

    man does not have to be as

    careful

    in

    what and how

    much

    he

    eats as one who is

    sick.

    And

    the

    plowman does

    not have to

    be as

    careful in

    what

    he

    eats as maybe the

    noble and

    rich

    must be

    because of their position.

    5.

    There

    is also an

    allowable difference between

    men

    for

    the

    time spent in

    eating, though unnecessa ),

    sitting at table and wasting

    time

    is a

    sin in any.

    6. It is not aU delight in

    food,

    or

    pleasing the appetite

    that

    is

    sin, bit only that

    which is made men's end and

    not

    refened to

    a higher end,

    and is

    used but to please the

    flesh and tempt unto excess.

    7. It is not necessa )'

    that

    we measure the

    profitableness of the quantity

    or quality

    of our food and

    eating

    by

    the present and

    immediate benefits, but by

    the

    more

    distant or future

    benefits

    sometimes. qod

    is so

    merciful that He provides us

    with that which is truly for

    our good and forbids us that

    which does

    us

    harm,

    or

    at

    least

    no good.

    8. All

    sin

    in eating

    is

    not

    gluttony, but only such as is

    here described.

    II TIle Chief Causes

    of

    Qluttony

    1 The chiefest is an

    inordinate appetite, together

    with a

    fleshly

    mind and will,

    which is

    set

    upon f1esh

    pleasing as its happiness,

    Rom. 8:6-7. This has been

    called

    "the throat devil" and

    "the

    belly

    devi\."

    2.

    The next

    cause

    is the

    lack

    of strong reason, faith,

    and spiritual appetite and

    mind which should

    caU

    off

    the glutton and take him up

    with higher

    pleasures.

    ayl

    June 1995 I THE COUNSEL of

    Chalcedon 27

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    4/6

    3. Gluttony

    is much

    8. Another cause of

    his

    appetite

    better than the

    increased by use, when the gluttony is their

    pleasing

    of God.

    appetite is used to being unacquaintedness with those

    2. Gluttony is self-murder;

    satisfied. A custom of rational and spiritual exercises

    though

    t

    kills not suddenly,

    t

    temperance

    makes it

    easy,

    in which the delightful fruits

    and makes excess a burden

    of

    abstinence do most

    appear.

    kills

    surely.

    rather than a delight. I think Serenity and aptitude may

    3. Gluttony is a deadly

    that

    all

    that

    use one dish

    come

    but

    temperance;

    cloudy

    enemy

    to

    the

    mind and

    to

    all

    only, and a

    small

    quantity, do mistiness of mind and

    the noble

    employments of

    find that more food

    is

    a

    dullness may

    come

    by

    reason,

    both religious, civil,

    trouble to them.

    and general. As

    4.

    Idleness

    and

    smoke

    drives away

    lack of diligence in a

    the

    bees

    from their

    calling is a great

    hives so gluttony

    cause of luxUlY and

    expelleth

    all

    spiritual

    gluttony.

    An idle

    gifts and excellent

    person has

    leisure

    endowments of the

    time

    to

    think

    of

    his

    mind.

    guts, what to eat

    4.

    Gluttony

    is

    and what to drink,

    also an

    enemy to

    and to be longing

    diligence in evel)

    after this and that; whereas a

    fullness and excess.

    honest trade and calling

    man that is wholly taken

    up

    Abstinence may help and

    because

    it dulls

    the mind

    as

    in lawful business especially

    luxury and fullness may

    well

    as

    the

    body.

    It makes

    such

    as

    finds employment for

    hinder your life.

    See

    Ex. 32:6.

    men heavy, drowsy, and

    the mind as well as for the

    If

    they were accustomed

    to

    slothful, and they go about

    body, has no time for such

    better

    work,

    they would of

    their business as if they

    thoughts.

    necessity

    find

    a better

    diet.

    carried a coat of lead, and

    5.

    Another incentive

    to

    9. Another great cause

    of

    were in fetters; they have no

    gluttony is the

    pride

    of rich

    gluttony

    is

    man s

    beastly

    energy

    and enthusiasm, and

    men.

    See

    Phil. 3:18-19.

    ignorance of

    what

    is

    hannful

    are fitter to sleep

    than

    work.

    6.

    Another incentive is the

    or

    helpful

    to their health.

    5. Gluttony is the

    custom of

    urging

    and

    10. Another great

    cause of

    immediate

    symptom of a

    insisting others

    to

    eat still

    gluttony is that it has grown

    carnal mind and damnable

    more and more

    as

    if it were

    to be a

    common

    custom, and

    sin of flesh-pleasing, Rom.

    necessal) for

    friendship.

    is, therefore, no longer a

    8:6-8,13.

    7.

    Another cause of

    disgrace.

    6.

    Gluttony is the breeder

    gluttony

    is

    that

    rich

    men

    are

    III

    The Greatness of

    and

    feeder of all

    other

    lusts. It

    not acquainted with the true

    the Sin of Gluttony

    pampers

    the flesh

    to feed it.

    use of

    riches,

    nor think of the

    1. UXUlY and

    gluttony is

    a

    7. Gluttony

    is

    a

    base

    and

    account which they must

    sin

    exceeding

    contral) to the

    beastly kind of sin. Man is

    make to God of all they

    love

    of

    God, it is

    idolaby,

    more than a barrel to be filled

    have.

    Phil. 3:19.

    He loves

    pleasing and then

    emptied. He

    was

    28 THE COUNSEL of Chalcedon ayl

    June

    1995

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    5/6

    made

    to

    do more than to

    to

    cany

    t

    away

    again,

    or

    to

    :1

    -14. While some

    cany meat from the table

    to

    ease or

    cure

    the

    diseases

    portions of the

    church

    are

    the dunghill.

    which

    t causes,

    besides all

    hard pressed for

    food,

    others

    8.

    Qluttony is a wasteful

    the time which is lost in

    are

    wallowing in gluttony

    consumer and devourer of the

    languishing in sickness, or cut

    and sensuality.

    creatures of Qod. What

    off

    by

    your untimely death.

    would you think

    of

    a person

    1. It is a thief that robs

    16. Luxury is a sin most

    who

    took food

    and

    drink

    and

    you

    of

    estates

    and

    devourers

    unseemly for men in so great

    ust

    threw it

    away

    The

    what

    is

    given you for better

    miselY as sin. If you had a

    glutton

    does worse. It would

    uses for which

    you must

    give

    true

    sight of your sin and

    be

    better for him to throw it

    account

    to

    Qod.

    misery,

    you would

    perceive

    away than for t

    to go

    13. It

    is

    a sin that is a

    great

    that fasting,

    prayer,

    and tears

    through

    the

    body first

    and to

    enemy

    to

    the common

    good

    are

    more

    becoming

    to

    one in

    harm him. And

    are

    the

    and should be hated by

    your condition than glutting

    creatures of Qod of

    no

    more

    princes and the

    thy devouring flesh. See

    than

    only

    to

    be eaten

    commonwealth

    as

    the enemy

    Jonah 3:8, Joel 1 14, :15.

    9. Qluttony is a most

    of their safety. Men have not

    17. Qluttony is a sin

    so

    unthankful

    sin;

    it

    takes

    Qod's

    enough money

    to

    defray the

    public

    needs

    necessary

    for

    the

    much

    greater by how

    much

    mercies and blessings and

    safety

    of

    the land,

    such as

    more your will and delight

    spews them as it were in his

    army and navy, because they

    have

    in committing

    it.

    The

    face. You

    would not have a

    bit of

    food

    apart

    from his

    consume

    it

    upon

    their guts.

    sweetest

    most

    voluntary and

    No

    great

    works can

    be

    done

    generosity and

    blessing;

    will

    to the honor of

    the

    nation or

    beloved

    sin is the greatest,

    you use it to provoke and

    the public good, no

    schools

    or

    and few are more pleasant

    dishonor Him

    poor-houses built or

    and beloved than this.

    10. Qluttony is a sin endowed, no colleges erected,

    18. Those are the worst

    which turns

    your

    own

    no hospitals, nor any

    sins that have the least

    mercies, wealth, and food

    excellent work because the

    repentance, and gluttony

    is

    into

    a snare and

    to

    your

    guts

    devour it

    all.

    If

    it

    were

    far from being truly repented

    deadly ruin. It would be a known how much of the

    of.

    thousand

    times

    better to live

    treasure of

    the land is thrown

    on scraps and in the poorest

    down the sink

    by

    "epicures"

    19.

    It

    is the greater sin

    manner than

    to have

    turned

    of all degrees,

    this sin would

    because it is so frequently

    your plenty into damnable

    be

    frowned

    into more

    committed.

    Men

    live

    in it in

    sin.

    See Dt. 6:11, 1,

    Provo

    disgrace.

    their daily practice.

    30:9,

    Ps.

    75:9,

    3O.

    14. Qluttony and

    excess is

    0. It is a spreading sin,

    11. Qluttony is a great

    a sin greatly aggravated by

    and therefore has become

    time-wasting sin. What an

    the

    needs

    of the poor, I

    Cor.

    common

    among all nations,amount

    of

    time

    is

    spent

    in

    1:6,

    Dt.

    15:7,

    8.

    rich and

    poor,

    though all

    getting the money that is

    15.

    It

    is a more heinous sin

    nations do not have like

    spent

    to

    please the throat and

    because of the calamities of

    then

    by

    servants in

    prepaling

    the

    church

    and servants of

    provisions to proVide for

    it.

    it and then in

    long

    siting at

    the

    church

    throughout the

    So,

    you may see that it

    meat and

    feastings,

    and not a

    world which puts them in

    is no

    rare

    nor little sin. And

    little time in taking

    medicine

    need, Amos 6:1,3-6,

    Isa.

    you

    may

    see that it is no

    ayl

    June 1995 THE COUNSEL

    of

    Chalcedon 29

  • 7/27/2019 1995 Issue 5 - Food for Thought! Of Food, Feasting, Fasting, Fullness and Fat - Counsel of Chalcedon

    6/6

    wonder that no one of the '

    sinned

    by

    pleasing

    your

    in the dust. Pay not too dear

    commandments expressly appetites for our

    death

    is the

    a feast for the wormsl

    forbids this sin because

    it

    is

    fruit of

    that sin and warns

    13 qo

    into the houses of

    against evelY one

    of

    the

    you to

    be

    temperate.

    the poor sometimes

    and see

    commandments. And think

    6. Keep an obedient

    what provisions they live

    not that either

    riches

    or

    tender conscience not

    upon. I know

    it

    is l wful for

    poverty will excuse it when

    scrupulously

    worrying

    you

    to

    exceed

    them

    and be

    even princes are restrained

    yourselves

    about

    evelY bit

    thankful

    but

    not so as

    to

    from unseasonable eating

    you

    eat

    but

    checking your

    forget

    their wants, nor

    so

    as

    Eccles. 10:16, and

    kingdoms

    appetite and telling you of

    to tum

    your

    plenty

    into

    are judged

    for it Ezek.

    16:49.

    qod's commands and

    excess.

    IV The Directions or

    teaching you

    to

    fear all

    14. Look upon

    the

    ancient

    HelpsAgainst(jluttony.

    sensual

    excess.

    See Jude

    12.

    Christians their patterns of

    1. Mortify the fleSh. Vse

    7. Vnderstand what is

    abstinence and

    think

    the

    flesh

    as a

    servant

    not a

    most conductible to your

    whether their lives were like

    master.

    qa . 5:24.

    health and let that

    be

    the

    yours

    . They were

    much

    in

    ordinary

    measUre

    of

    your

    diet

    2. Live faithfully to qod

    for quantity

    and quality and

    fasting

    and

    strangers to

    and upon spiritual durable

    time.

    gluttony

    and excess.

    delights. Then

    you

    will know

    8.

    If

    you can l wfully

    Do not

    be

    like Esau who

    the measure of your eating

    avoid

    it make not

    your

    table

    sold his

    birthright

    for

    one

    and drinking from their

    a

    snare

    of temptation to

    morsel

    of

    bread

    Heb.12:16.

    tendency

    to

    that higher

    -

    yourselves

    or others.

    Beware the dangers

    of

    qod's

    purpose.

    9. Resolve to bestow the

    judgement upon those who

    3. See

    all

    your

    food

    as

    cost of such superfluities upon

    live

    only to

    eat Luke

    16:25

    provided and given

    you

    by

    the

    poor or some

    other

    and James 1

    15. At

    the same

    (jod and beg it and the -

    charitable use so that it does

    time do

    not

    run

    to

    the

    other

    blessing o t at his hand and

    not become a

    sacrifice to the

    extreme

    place not more

    then it will much restrain

    you

    belly

    religion in external

    from using it against him.

    abstinence and fastings than

    4.

    See

    by

    faith

    the blood

    of

    10. Do not

    over

    persuade

    you ought.

    Know

    your own

    Christ as the purchasing

    any

    to eat

    when there

    is no

    condition

    and how far either

    cause of

    all

    you have; and

    need .

    fasting or eating is

    really

    a

    then surely

    you

    will have

    11. When

    you

    feel your

    help or a hindrance

    to

    you in

    more

    reverence

    for his blood

    appetites strong against

    those g r e t ~ r things which

    than

    to cast

    the

    fruit of

    it into better

    reason

    and

    conscience

    are their

    ends

    and so far

    use

    the sink of sensuality and to

    check them and

    resolve

    that

    them. In

    cheerful

    temperance

    throw t upon the dunghill.

    they shall not

    be pleased

    .

    preserve your health and

    5.

    Forget not how the first

    12. Remember what the

    subdue inappropriate desires.

    sin came into the world by

    body

    is

    and what it will

    eating the forbidden fruit. 0

    shortly be

    and how

    sin not as your first parents

    loathsome and

    vile

    it will

    be

    3 TIlE COUNSEL

    of

    Chalcedon ayl ]nne, 1995