An open letter to Christian leaders about health and longevity.
A study by Purdue University shows that fundamentalist Christians are by far the heaviest of all religious groups, led by Baptists at a 30 percent obesity rate, compared with Jews at 1 percent, Buddhists and Hindus at 0.7 percent. The lead researcher from Purdue called churches a “feeding ground” for gluttony and obesity. (Well…that’s kind of gross…)
The Pawtucket Heart Health Program discovered a similar finding with people attending church more likely to be 20 percent overweight and have higher cholesterol and blood pressure numbers than non-church members. In yet another study of 2500 clergy in 2001, 76% were overweight or obese compared to 61% of the general population during that year.
What is the solution for the obesity epidemic in the church? The Church.
– Ken Ferraro
As a matter of fact, if more pastors and leaders began speaking publicly about nutrition, it wouldn’t exactly be a new “thing” for christianity. In 1 Timothy 5:23, Paul tells Timothy, “Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.” The fermentation that happens in wine is actually benefitial to the health of your stomach, and so it’s good to drink a little wine regularly in order to balance the bacteria and improve the gut flora in your stomach. Paul is giving Timothy some health advice in this letter.
I think we can all agree that God wants His people to be WHOLE beings… Healthy in their mind, in their body, and in spirit… God’s ultimate will for His people is supernatural health. Yes, we live in a fallen world, but we are Kingdom advancers. We are ambassadors for a Kingdom that is not of this world… So does it really make sense for us to be in worse shape with our health than the world? It doesn’t make any sense to me. The Church should be on the cutting edge of every field, IMO. The Church should be putting out the best music, flowing straight from Heaven. I can’t give you a scripture that says exactly that, but I can tell you that we are called to do everything with excellence, and that if the Holy Spirit lives inside every believer, you’d think we could tune in, and start solving the big problems of this world with heavenly inspired ideas.
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Before I tell you my personal nutrition philosophy, I’d like to explain something…. I think we would all agree that God created our bodies. I know not everyone believes that, but I do, and most everyone who reads my blogs probably already believe that. So I’m going to assume you already believe that we were created by the Creator. The Creator God, He’s very smart, you know. He’s brilliant. He not only created humans, but He also created plants, herbs, and animals and He declared that it was nourishment to these strange creatures called humans (See Gen 1:29). God created humans to nourish themselves with the food He created. But if you go to the local grocery store and buy so much as flavored YOGURT, if you look at the ingredients label, you are going to see something (many things, most likely) I call NONFOOD…. You’ll find all kinds of ingredients that aren’t found naturally in nature. Artificial coloring, preservatives, and stuff that would make you gag if you knew how it came into being… That’s because God didn’t create it. It’s artificial. It’s NOT REAL FOOD. And because it’s not real food, it was never meant to be ingested. Your body was not meant to be feuled by nonfood. It was created to run off of the nourishment that God created. Your body doesn’t recognize it, and it’s stored as fat. Fat is only one problem created by eating nonfoods though. Ultimately if we want our bodies to function like God intended for them to function, then we need to nourish it with the nourishment that God created.
Let me ask you something? If you take a diesel truck and you try to put regular unleaded gasoline in it, do you know what will happen? Let’s just say it’s not good. The same thing is happening to our bodies, only it takes a little longer to destroy our health (most of the time) than it does to ruin a truck by putting the wrong fuel in it.
Now, are you ready for my nutrition philosophy?
Eat the food that God created, in as close to natural state as possible, most of the time.
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