Beliefnet
A Fear of Whales

If you read my blog, You’re probably familiar with the trendy Social Justice issues in the world today. Sex Trafficking, Creation Care, Multiethnic Reconciliation… I’ve written on most of them in passing, You may see a whole post on each one day. Today however, I want to see if I can’t contribute a new issue to consider.

Obesity.

No I’m not kidding.

It’s associated with discrimination based upon an individuals appearance, it’s systemic, and it is responsible for the early deaths of millions (particularly the poor)

The way an individual relates to food is passed down according to the same patterns as domestic abuse or alcoholism, overeating is comparable to drugs in the way it is used to medicate or mask deeper emotional and spiritual problems, and it nurtures a vicious cycle of self loathing.

The Bible is far from silent on the issue. Condemning gluttony as a spiritual problem in both the old and new testament. Paul  spends a substantial portion of 1 Corinthians discussing food and various issues that arise around it.

The American Church, by contrast is impotent. Our response ranges from pithy and unbiblical, to harmful contribution to the problem. You do know the obesity rate is higher within the church don’t you? It’s no surprise, we want to be a welcoming and accepting place rejecting worldly standards of beauty, but as we’ve learned in a bazillion other areas, there is a difference between accepting a person, and encouraging their behavior.

So why not bring that up at the next potluck?

I earnestly believe that now is the time. Previously we may have had bigger fish to fry, but I think the world, and the church, is ready now for a revolution of biblical thinking about out relationship to food. I think we can see healthy cooking classes, weight loss accountability groups, and action teams that help get healthy eating habits into the minds of the next generation. Who’s with me?

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