Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Dear Health Nut... Yours Sincerely, Sugar Addict

I'm curious...

truly, not because I want to argue.

From you non-health-foodies, what goes through your mind when you listen to a health nut?

Is it just because we're a minority? After all, it has been a long time since everyone used to eat naturally organic, from-scratch, home-grown fare. They didn't think about it back then. They didn't even have a choice. Now people do have to make a conscious choice.

Or is it the extent to which some people go in order to eat healthy - I mean, just how much oat bran and tofurkey casserole can a guy take?

I tease folks (or used to) who are vegetarian, raw-food-only, avoid certain random foods, and I still tease people about eating pizza and soda pop. It's fun to joke around if the person is not easily offended.

Here's the thing; anything can become an idol. Whether it is a junk food addiction... or an addiction to eating healthy foods. There's a term for health-foodies who psychologically go overboard - Orthorexia. If I begin to spasm at the thought of going without raw milk for a day (the jury is still out on avocados...), that may be something to look into. If I complain about the white bread available for lunch, that's gluttony (C.S. Lewis' 'Screwtape Letters' paints a clear picture of this).

If I am invited to a friends house and they offer sugar as a tea sweetener, I'm not going to say, "oh... could I have some organic raw blue low glycemic agave, perchance?" I actually witnessed this and it saddened me.

Now here's the deal, "let each be convinced in his own mind". Yet how our words and actions spill over into Christian fellowship takes a lot more effort. If you're like me, you KNOW that you are RIGHT to eat ORGANIC SPINACH, and why can't the entire world see that that is DOCTRINE TRUTH??? :P Kidding aside, there must be a law of physics: we can't convince someone who does not want to be convinced. There's not enough scientific studies and books on any subject to win over a person who does not want to be won over.

What can we do? I think it comes down to the motive and attitude of our hearts. "From the heart, the mouth speaks". Do we honor our Christian brother or sister enough that no 'grey area' like the food that we eat can make us look down our noses at them...

"Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him." ~ Romans 14:2

"But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ... so then each of us shall give account of himself to God... I know and am convinced by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. Yet if your brother is grieved because of your food, you are no longer walking in love. Do not destroy with your food the one for whom Christ died." ~ Romans 14: 10-15.

Now, I know that whole passage is dealing specifically with meat offered to idols... and I can guarantee you that was meat not treated with antibiotics and hormones... but yes I get the picture... okay. Humph. :P

So what do you think? Should our food preferences be ruled by these three things, or just one or two of them? After the important issues like proclaiming the gospel and Thou Shalt Nots, does God care about our food? A lot? A little? None at all?

* Idolatry (what consumes most of your time, money, effort... God or something else?)
* Heart (attitude, humility rather than pride, loving others more than ourselves)
* Science (the laws God wove into nature that our bodies live by)


Karen said...

Excellent point, Emily! Thank you!

gretchen said...

amen to all your points! and as being one who has offered you sugar for your tea (gasp!) i apologize. :)

i think too that it comes down to people's priorities. You can attest to the fact that the preparation of wholly organic food, all the time, is incredibly time consuming and expensive. I admire you for putting in the effort that you do, it shows your passion and your willingness to do what you feel to be right.

I remember when AC was very sick and could not eat a majority of processed foods and even some organic things. It was work, both for her and mom, to develop a diet that she could partake in, on top of her heavy load at school and mom's schedule. so i guess my point, is that through that season when they made it a priority, it worked, and now that AC does not experience adverse effects to such foods, her life is way less complicated. maybe not as healthy, in an organic sort of way, but we are all very thankful that she can eat so much more diversely than she could before.

Hannah said...

I like how you phrased that, Emily.

I agree that to far either direction can be an idol and it is just where God has each family at the moment.

Everything in moderation, right? :D (right after I ate packaged cookie dough :) )

Isaac Horton said...

It seems that of all the good/positive/healthy things a Christian can do, eating healthy is probably the most difficult to do while still maintaining a healthy balance in your life. Simply because of the effort that is required just have a genuinely healthy meal.

As you pointed out, "From the heart, the mouth speaks." There is a difference between putting significant time into something, and "worshiping" something.

My dad has always worked long hours, which, to some people, would mean that he was a workaholic. But if you talked to him, he would talk about us kids. THAT is why he works long hours. US.

The reason for eating healthy is so that I can physically serve God longer while I'm here. Once we leave out the "why" for eating healthy, I think that is when it becomes an idol.

"From the heart, the mouth speaks"