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Monday, March 15, 2010

Fat Context in a Little Coat

Today, I received a comment on my blog regarding my thoughts on an earlier post about an initiative we are starting at Westwinds. The post title is, “Does Jesus Want Me to be Physically Fit?” I’d encourage you to read it before this post.

An "Andy" posted in the comment section. I almost deleted it because of the tone and I didn't think it was helpful. Then, I thought it is a good teachable moment for us all and a good discussion if we approach it wearing our big boy and girl pants.

I started posting my reply to “Andy” but, it got a little bloated (pun intended) for the comment section. It deserves its own post for anyone interested. Here is Andy’s comment and my reply.

(p.s. if you are going to post or comment about something on the "world wide web" be ready for conflict)

ANDY SAID . . . (and I quote with a cut and paste)

I Cor 6 It's all about Context. Not about eating, smoking, drugs. It's about sex-check it. Never, ever good to twist scripture.

Also..extra-biblical is never biblical-try not to equate trite sayings with the awesome God-inspired miracle of Scripture.

It's better to stick to the script and not improvise in this situation :-)

Also, in context, there are actually a couple of places in the new testament where it does actually address what we eat-mostly don't worry about it so much 'cause it goes in and then goes out, worry about what comes OUT of the mouth. (that's in the gospels) And then Paul's advice not to judge our brothers and sisters by what they eat (hmmmmm.......)

So it would seem that there isn't an obvious biblical connection between what you eat and your spirtitual life.

And since you like the extra - biblical stuff, how about Spurgeon and Moody--now there were two spiritual giants who were also pretty rotund cigar smokin' maybe we should follow their proven, legacy leaving example, eh?


I am not interested in arguing but since you have taken a prodding/mocking approach with me (and I don't even know you . . . do I?), I will at least try to answer you without sounding like a jerk. Even after you accused me of twisting scripture.

Extra biblical is never biblical? Who told you that? All truth belongs to God. Who else would truth belong to? We make (including you) extra-biblical decisions all the time. Does your church have a youth pastor? A worship pastor? A senior pastor? All of these are extra-biblical roles. It doesn't make them unbiblical, unwise, false, or even suspect. We check ourselves against scripture. We check with Jesus. Extra-biblical is not the same as anti-biblical.

By the way, since we are talking about Paul, Paul used extra-biblical literature. In Acts 17:28 he said, “28'For in him we live and move and have our being.' As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring.'” Paul used a popular saying and held it against a truth of scripture. It didn’t conflict. It was extra-biblical. But, it was still true. That’s all I was doing. I was taking a popular saying, “you are what you eat” and going to the scripture to hold it up to the light. I am not making it scripture. It’s proverbial wisdom. That’s all.

I am a musician. I could talk musical truth with you all day long. For example, Concert A 440 Hz is the correct standard for pitch in the west. I hate math but I know that 1 +1 =2 all day long. I know if I breathe in water into my lungs I will drown—short of a miracle. I know I need oxygen to survive. I know drugs like cocaine will alter my reality. All true. All extra-biblical. I can check all these truths against scripture and they do not conflict.

I also know it is a bad idea to have more than one wife. Not just for me, for anyone. Not just for elders and pastors but for my neighbor. How do I know this? Is there a context in scripture? There is no scripture that tells us all to only have one wife. Sure, Adam had Eve but using your line of reasoning that only applies to the garden. David had many and that went bad. But then again, using your line of argument that only applies to Kings of the United Kingdom of Israel. How do I know it’s bad? I have to be able to apply universal biblical truth to the situation. I will not find it strictly prohibited in scripture. Or, will I?

Just because a specific scripture (I Corinthians 6 in this case) is about a specific instance (sex in this case) does not negate the biblical wisdom for other applications (health in this case). If your body is the temple, it is the temple. Heart, soul, mind, spirit, flesh . . . divide it however you want. It is ridiculous to say the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and say that only applies to sex. There is a difference between taking things out of context and applying biblical truth to multiple situations.

Context is vitally important. Agreed. In this case, the body is the temple. 19"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body." To say, "well, yeah, but he was talking about sex he didn't say not to . . . cut myself with knives, eat poison, take drugs, etc.” is short sighted.

What about the guy who doesn't have sex? Is he off the hook on the honor God with his body thing? Or, do we only honor God through sexual union with our wives? Yes, sex is what caused Paul to surface the timeless and awesome truth that we were bought with a price and not our own. We should honor God with our bodies. Period.

P.S. I never made this about fat people. People are overweight for all sorts of reasons. Some uncontrollable. Although, if you want to talk about gluttony, we can talk about that in context all day long.

I love Spurgeon and Moody. Great guys. Spurgeon's Morning and Evening devotional was a staple for me in my early years. Large men. Yep. I'd have a cigar with them for sure. We'd talk about great things. And, I have no idea why they were large. Maybe they had gland problems. I don't judge them. We shouldn't. If I were friends with them, I might know what made them tick. Maybe everything was okay in the gluttony department. Maybe food was an escape for them and it was their porn. I have no idea. The point is, I would never judge them and only address it if I were in relationship with them and holding them accountable. And them with me.

This thing we're doing is not about being fat. It's about health. Building relationships. Following Jesus together.

Disagreeing is fine. Sharpening each other is fine. I would caution you on your tone and accusations. I'm not always that great at it either. But, these conversations go a lot better if we are in relationship and approach things teachable and conversational.


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