Food Wars

8 Sep

I Corinthians 10:31, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”

I am taking my cues on this post from Doug Wilson, who noticed this trend long before I did.

Have you noticed that, as the world is getting more demanding about everyone’s personal diet being served at communal gatherings, so is the church?

No longer is it okay for someone to make one vegetarian dish or one gluten free dish or one clean-eating dish for a family Thanksgiving.  No, now we all, Christians included, are asking our hosts to change their entire menu to conform to our personal tastes.  

That’s not even polite, let alone kind, in the way Christians are admonished to be kind.

If someone goes to the effort to make us a vegetarian dish, let’s be grateful.  If they don’t, let’s bring our own and go to the communal meal anyways.  

Communal meals were very important in Scripture.  So important that the Apostle Paul gave many, many instructions about them.  Mainly that we are to be kind to each other at such meals and to let the other person be first (in priority, etc.).  

We do that because we are grateful for Christ’s great love for us and realize that, as a result, we can easily give up a few of our supposed “rights.”

Special diets are fast overcoming this kindness we are admonished to show.  

Sometimes research turns up some new data (like high fructose corn syrup being highly addictive to the human organism, which it is) and we seize on that new research and use it as a tool to clobber our fellow Christians over the head figuratively.  

I won’t use high fructose corn syrup.  I have had enough issues with food addictions (read:  sugar) that I know I need to watch out.  

However, is it my job to become a busybody, lecturing mothers who let their teens, or even their preschoolers, drink Coke?  

No, no, a million times, no.

Whatsoever they eat or drink needs to be to the glory of God.  Not everyone has issues with sugar, like I do, and even if they do, it is not up to me to come remove their sugar from their pantry.    

It doesn’t mean they are in active rebellion against God if they use high fructose corn syrup.  

I shouldn’t have to say that, but I can see I must.

Some Christians seize on every new piece of research that comes along and automatically act as if everyone has already heard about it and therefore is in sin if they don’t modify their diets accordingly.

That is not kind.  

Not everyone can afford expensive diets, even if they wanted to do them.  

Not everyone is equally literate, so not everyone can read the latest research and understand it.

Most of all, to imply that we are living in sin if we don’t immediately accommodate every new piece of scientific research on diet is to imply that it is getting harder and harder to serve the Lord.  

We know a whole lot more scientifically nowadays.  To some extent, that implies that God’s standards would change, to include us being responsible for not using products that would harm our bodies (tobacco, marijuana, etc.).  

To another extent, God did not change the sanctification process to make it a whole lot harder to live it out in 2013 than it was in 1913.  

Our attitude is to always be to glorify God by what we eat and drink.  

Simply that.  

We will always disagree about standards, but let’s be kind when we do.  

Let’s still have fellowship meals together, even when one family eats a traditional Southern (read:  fried) diet and another eats Paleo.  

Because our fellowship pleases the Lord, ya know?


One Response to “Food Wars”

  1. Laurie September 8, 2013 at 4:44 PM #

    Thank you for posting this. We left a small group Bible study that we had been in for over 8 years, over this very thing. What had been originally a potluck with no dietary restrictions, morphed into a mess, because of accommodating multiple dietary restrictions. Long story that I won’t get into, but as a dietitian, I was eventually expected to cater to everyone in the group.

    You hit the nail on the head – the host should make a reasonably healthy meal but anyone with more stringent restrictions should bring a dish to share. Kindness on both sides is much appreciated!

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