Ignored Sins Part 2: Gluttony
I have often heard that “gluttony” applies to over indulging in anything. There is no escaping that in Biblical terms, gluttony is, in fact, about food. If you were hoping for an escape, I would encourage you to do a word-search for all passages about gluttony. Nearly all of them address eating. While taking any legitimate pleasure to excess can be harmful, talking about non food-related gluttony is usually an excuse to ignore its most literal and plain definition. Regularly gorging ourselves on food, sometimes to the point that our cravings control us, is sin. It just is. It is time to accept that fact and work on repenting.
While a sin such as gossip might go ignored in practice, gluttony is generally ignored from the pulpit. I can’t recall ever hearing a sermon that addressed the subject at any length.
Pastors and congregants seem to have no problem declaring how illegitimate sex harms the body and soul. Alcohol, tobacco and psychogenic substances are fair game for attack. How is it then that it is perfectly acceptable to destroy the body from the inside out with multiple helpings at the Golden Corral? What’s worse is that how much one can eat in one sitting is often considered something brag-worthy!
I guarantee you that there are many people who have been flabberghasted to hear an obese pastor who has no intention of changing his lifestyle preach against the dangers of even one glass of wine at dinner. This is the very definition of hypocrisy, and the world knows it — that is the worst reality of all.
Many churches and Christians are missing a huge opportunity to share the Christian worldview.
In 2015, fitness is a very big deal. You cannot look at a news feed on Facebook without something diet or exercise-related showing up within a few seconds. The world has never been more concerned about diet and exercise, and rightfully so. If someone believes that this life is all there is, it makes sense that they would want to prolong that life and experience it to the fullest with a healthy body. How much more should we want the same, knowing that our bodies are meant to be living sacrifies to be used in the work of advancing the Kingdom?
You want to reach a big portion of the 35-and-under crowd? It’s never been easier to literally go and “meet people where they are.” There’s no need to debate whether or not it’s good to try to go witness at a bar or pub or parties. Just go the gym. You can show repentance, get healthy, be a Godly example and witness to a lost world all at the same time!
In a culture that sometimes wants to be healthy for health’s sake and other times for vain glory, we could and should have a testimony that we try to take care of our bodies because God gave them to us. We, of all people ought to be able to demonstrate self-control in all things. Nothing of this world, food included, should master us.
Gluttony is a major cultural problem in the conservative evangelical world. “Enjoying the good gifts of God” (such as food) has been perverted into “eat everything you possibly can at the potluck.” We are raised in it and therefore do not recognize it. Gluttony is the water in the pot that is slowly being raised to a boil and we’re the frogs.
To be honest, it will take nothing short of revival and a major cultural change within our churches for effective repentance to occur.
Pastors and lay-people, we put so much emphasis on taking care of the church building as if it were “God’s house.” Let’s put more effort into maintaining the actual temples of the living God.