On Gluttony…

WHEREAS, Years of research confirm biblical warnings that gluttony leads to physical, mental, and emotional damage (e.g. Proverbs 23:20-21); and

WHEREAS, Gluttony defiles the temple of the Holy Spirit, our bodies, by causing numerous corollary maladies such as heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, osteoarthritis, stroke, and endometrial, breast, and colon cancer; and

WHEREAS, The meteoric rise of insurance premiums across our convention can be directly and indirectly attributed to the gluttonous dietary habits of many Southern Baptist ministers; and

WHEREAS, Chronic and morbid obesity among Christians is evidence of a failure to practice biblical stewardship, pursue godliness, and produce the spiritual fruit of self control (John 6: 27; Gal. 5:19-24); and

WHEREAS, The undisciplined consumption of food reflects a heart of idolatry (Phil. 3:18-19); and

WHEREAS, There are some religious leaders who now openly display their flagrant disregard for biblical principles that govern a believer’s diet, thus denying the church of the Lord Jesus Christ the power of its testimony that the gospel can deliver men from lives of selfish pursuit and worldly ambition for the sake of the Kingdom of God (1 Cor. 6:12-13); and

WHEREAS, the expanding girth of many Southern Baptist ministers demonstrates the degree to which purported servants of Christ have sought excessively after those things that the pagans seek, having denied the beneficent and sufficient provision of their Lord (Mt 6:31); now therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in San Antonio, Texas, June 12-13, 2007, express our firm belief that the inerrant word of God condemns gluttony as an abomination and a terrible evil in the sight of the Lord; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we are embarrassed by the degree to which our own wicked and idolatrous dietary habits have brought reproach on our Lord Jesus Christ and quenched the Spirit of God in our lives;

RESOLVED, That we urge Southern Baptists to take an active role in renewing their personal commitments to the spiritual discipline of fasting for the sake of the Kingdom of God; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we exhort one another to reflect godly priorities and holiness in all matters related to personal diet and wellness; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we urge Southern Baptists to be actively involved in educating students and adults concerning the destructive nature of gluttony; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we urge that no one be elected to serve as a trustee or member of any entity or committee of the Southern Baptist Convention that is a gluttonous person; and be it further resolved

RESOLVED, That we commend organizations and ministries that treat gluttony from a biblical perspective and promote a healthy diet and encourage local churches to begin and/or support such biblically-based ministries.

23 thoughts on “On Gluttony…

  1. How about a SBC boycott of McDonalds, etc. The SBC is known for that sort of thing.

    What will the menu be at the Seminary luncheons this year?

  2. Ben

    I will vote for your resolution…it seems to be biblical and practical. I for one feel the sting of conviction and will take this resolution as a warning and a point of accountability! Thanks Ben…You really hit the nail on the head with this one. Perhaps your best post ever!


  3. Good resolution. Convicting to me too.

    From personal experience however, it might not be wise to tie in the spiritual discipline of fasting into a resolution on gluttony. The essence of fasting is to focus on God instead of the thing being denied, and not weight loss. Now I suppose when one is focused on God, one would not be as focused on food.

    However fasting is actually a dangerous approach to losing weight, and for an extremely obese person such as myself, it actually makes the spiritual discipline of fasting very difficult to accomplish with a true heart of focus to God. Once I fasted for an entire week when my church had an emphasis thereon. I don’t recall any spiritual victory in my life, but I sure was happy about losing 9 pounds. I put that in the same category as taking God’s name in vain … false spiritual action. I almost made it longer than that week of fasting, but I had to stop because I realized it had gone beyond the purpose of the spiritual emphasis and had begun to be a danger to my health. It gets very easy to stop eating at all once you get in the habit of it and see extreme weight loss occuring.

    So if I was helping to draft such a resolution, I would have left the part about fasting to its own resolution. Indeed fasting is a lost discipline in the church. But to tie it in with this resolution is misplaced, in my opinion. The implication that someone struggling with gluttony is not faithful to the discipline of spiritual fasting is not necessarily true, and the resolution is sufficient without that clause.

  4. Ben

    In all seriousness…I remember these very same type of resolutions being brought to the floor of the BGCT in the early 90’s when the conservatives were attempting to pass resolutions on the issues of abortion and homosexuality…

    wonder why they didnt pass then by a moderate convention?


  5. ben,
    my biggest problem with you resolution concerns this one……RESOLVED, That we urge that no one be elected to serve as a trustee or member of any entity or committee of the Southern Baptist Convention that is a gluttonous person; ….
    how do we know who is a glutton and who is not? weight is not really the telltale factor. and, what weight will we choose as the cut off point? where in the bible does it say what is too big and which weight is ideal?
    ben, there are people i know who eat as much as i do, or even more, who are as skinny as you are. i sniff at food and gain weight. plus, i’m a southerner. everything we eat is fattening. a lot in my family are large people…..it’s in my genes. i admit that i have done the sin of gluttony…especially as a young man. i ate like a horse. but, now i’m really trying to not eat too much…..yet, i dont lose wieght.
    also, ben, what would this do to people who used to be gluttons, but now they’re not. but, like me, we are still large people?
    fat and happy,

  6. David Worley a.k.a. Volfan007:

    I usually do not interact with commenters or respond to their questions. I prefer to let comments stand on their own. However, you have raised a few very valid questions, and I would like to respond.

    You ask, “how do we know who is a glutton and who is not?”

    And, “what weight will we choose as the cut off point?”

    Here is the point of my resolution, David. Last year the SBC adopted an atrocious and ridiculous resolution — however historically consistent it was with our past actions — regarding the consumption of alcoholic beverage, which we all agree the Bible does not say is a sin.

    The Bible does say, however, that gluttony is a sin.

    Why do you think we have an easier time finger-pointing at sins we aren’t particularly prone to commit. We can define it to the point of analyzing the percentages of alcohol content in first century wine, as some “scholars” tried to do. Other “scholars” tried to link God’s toleration of winebibbing with his “toleration” of polygamy. The ends to which a bunch of fat preachers would go to tell all the winebibbers how evil their winebibbing is became maddening, if not completely hilarious.

    But when it comes to gluttony, all the fat preachers raise their hands up and cry foul. “How do you know we are a glutton?” “You can’t call us a glutton.” And once they realize how silly and sad their denials are, they start saying things like this: “Well, we aren’t the only people who are gluttonous. You guys are gluttonous too.”

    My how iniquity seems to need company.

    Reminds me of the finger pointing in the Garden of Eden. “Forget my sin…what about hers?”

    So we are able to draw very clear lines of “sinful behavior” when it comes to things permissible in Scripture, i.e. drinking wine, but we can’t seem to draw any lines when it comes to things that are completely impermissible in Scripture, i.e. gluttony.

    Where would I draw the line, you ask?

    The point at which Southern Baptists would begin to take seriously our own actual sins, and stop worrying about everybody else’s perceived sins.
    Or put another way: I’d draw the line close enough to my own weight, but far enough from yours.

    Do you get my point?

    That does seem to be the way we draw lines in the SBC, doesn’t it?


  7. Ben,

    Do you hae a problem with gluttony?

    Me thinks the pot is calling the kettle black here! :)

    With all due respect Ben, I agree with you about certain resolutions passed because I desire to be consistent hermeneutically. But wouldn’t this post be basically doing the same thing as that resolution (not that I think you are planning on making this a resolution).

    Here is my question: Is there a better way to do this that would bring about change in the SBC? Namely, a change that would result in a repentance from our own sins. Revival never comes from pointing out someone else’s sin unless you are like Nathan the prophet. Revival, if you study its history, usually starts when one person repents of their own sins. Just a thought my brother.

    Here’s another Proverb: A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. (Prov. 15:1)

    Through Christ and His love,

  8. ben,

    i get your point. and, i believe that you get my point. i guess we just dont agree on this matter….about alcohol. but, i do hope that you and those like you would understand that we are trying to stand on what the bible clearly teaches. that drinking fermented, undiluted grape juice is foolish according to several verses in proverbs. and, of course, what you would agree with….that drunkeness is sin.

    you see, ben, if you were talking about the use of tobacco. i would say that you had a leg to stand on. the bible does not forbid the use of tobacco. i think its unwise to use tobacco…due to all the medicinal reasons…as well as the price of tobacco. but, the bible does not speak to smoking, dipping, nor chewing.

    or, if you were talking about gambling…i think that you would have a leg to stand on. the bible does not clearly say that gambling is sin. nowhere that i can see. i dont gamble. i think its foolish and it’s not being a wise steward of the money that the Lord has given me. but, i dont see anywhere in the bible where it says that gambling is wrong.

    but, alcohol is talked about. some of us think it’s pretty clear. that’s why we stand against it…that, and all the harm it’s caused to so many people down thru the years.

    ben, gluttony is not something you can measure by the size of a person….is it?

    but, your resolution will make me think twice before i go back for a second helping of fried chicken and mashed potatoes. :)


  9. David,

    How do you measure gluttony, then? I actually think you missed a huge part of Ben’s point. You bring up tobacco and gambling, but Ben brought up gluttony. As much as you believe the Bible is clear about alcohol, it is equally clear, if not more so, about gluttony.

    The Bible doesn’t define drunkenness any more clearly than it does gluttony. Ben’s point is that we have defined drunkenness down to percentages, blood-alcohol content, etc. but have vigorously avoided similar definitions of gluttony. Now, we could all begin such an exercise and in the end it would probably sound every bit as ridiculous as the arguments about alcohol content and the like that we’ve heard ad nauseam over the past year.

    In other words, your reply to Ben has only served to prove his point.

  10. Dougald:
    To answer your question exactly as you have asked it:

    No, I do not hae a problem with gluttony.

    And thank you for your Cliff Notes history of revival, and the formulaic thought you proffered.

    And while we’re quoting proverbs, here’s one fore you:

    “He who keeps the law is a discerning son, but a companion of gluttons disgraces his father.”

    Tell your dad I said hello for me, won’t you?


  11. Jack,

    If we were in High School…I don’t think so:-)


    You are making for a long week in San Antonio:-)


  12. RESOLVED, that we believe the Body Mass Index (BMI) is the inspired method of measuring gluttony, and that it is a non-creedal measure.

    RESOLVED, In order to promote accountability, all SBC-Ordained ministers must have their Body Mass Index (BMI)measured yearly at the Annual Convention.

    RESOLVED, SBC Deacons and other Leaders shall have hip and waist girth measurements completed at their local YMCA on an annual basis.

    RESOLVED, Those whose BMI exceeds the recommended level as determined by the American Heart Association Guidelines of 2005 (All other versions are obsolete)

    RESOLVED, Stomach Stapling, Gastric Bypass, and Dexatrim pills are un-Biblical methods of reducing gluttony, and is akin to infant baptism.

    On a serious note, I have talked about this with our Deacon Chairman (we are both runners and in relatively good shape) and often talk about the effect of removing ‘food’ from some of our services (Wednesday night w/o supper, Sunday School w/o doughnuts, Fifth Sunday Sing with out the pot-luck glutton-fest, Men’s breakfast w/o the the breakfast) and see how many people show up.

    We believe that it would be quite a poor showing! It is like talking about money in the church. It’s OK to discuss all of the black and white sin, but what about the ‘heart’ sins. Where treasure lies, there lies your spirit.

    Pastor, church is great! Just leave my Twinkies and Twenties alone and we will all get along!


  13. As I read it, I more than figured that it was 1/2 a joke. I kind of figured it was a slap at the Alky-Reso, but I wasn’t quite sure.
    That being said, I would vote for a modifed resolution on gluttony. Modified, in that I agree with Dorcas that Fasting shouldn’t be included in the resolution. It shows a missunderstanding of what fasting is really about.
    It does seem that gluttony is our sin of choice. For all the talk about Christian Discipline, we are still the first ones at the buffet. Pot-lucks is about one of the most unhealthy things a person can go to; carb-carb-carb-little bit of protien in the deviled eggs. Most of us, me included, don’t show good stewardship over what God has given us in our bodies. We worship at the alter of our stomach, fulfilling the baser desires as soon as it begins to growl at us. I am sure that our personal lack of physical discipline grieves the Spirit more than just about anything else. Fat, sweaty preachers – every stand-up comics dream. When will we stop being a reproach to our Lord.

  14. Gluttony is not about weight loss but about choosing food as comfort rather than God. However gluttony is not confined to just food. Some of us are gluttons for shopping, porn, TV, exercise,alcohol. relationships. Whatever we choose over God for comfort becomes our God. Our goal is to love one another and forgive one another as Christ forgave us. I think of the story of the adulterous woman about to be stoned. Jesus was standing there writing in the sand and said, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” I agree with Kate. SBCers need to love as God did.

    Blessings, Mary Ann
    settingcaptivesfree.com has a wonderful website with strong biblical principals in dealing with the sin of gluttony and other sin issues in our lives.

  15. I found your site in a google search on “gluttony”

    I understand your point about the foolishness of the SBC leadership.

    But I was searching because of a very real sense of confiction about this sin in my own life.

    I really didn’t find this very helpfull.

    But if you have more to offer than satyrical criticism, please contact me off list.

    Sincerely in Christ,

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