God Is Great, God Is Good, And We Thank Him For Our Healthy Food

Is it sacrilegious to give thanks to God for a heaping bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken?

Fitness is a covenant with God, Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee revealed in a speech to Harding University students attending daily chapel. After being warned that the next decade of his life would be his last if he did not change his diet and begin exercising, Huckabee was inspired to change his physical reality. Gov. Huckabee, a former Baptist Pastor, was diagnosed with type two diabetes two years ago, which spurred him to lose about 110 pounds to date.

Among the messages he brought to the event hosted by Harding’s Wellness Committee:

“If my body belonged to the Lord, I was not following the design of the Designer,”

“It is a matter of the divine ownership of the body”

“I was living in a way that made my body unfit as a temple where He might live. It was not only unhealthy. It was sinful,”

“In the South we enjoy our food. But before we enjoy it, we first batter it and fry it,”

“If you grow up poor, you eat to stretch you dollar. But it also stretches your waistline,”

“In Arkansas, people have three bad activities – smoking, inactivity, and overeating,”

Admittedly some of his statements have merit. The South is well known for its fattening, artery-clogging methods of preparing food. Couple that with a sedentary lifestyle and you’ll see many individuals out of shape and eventually sick as well. But are they sinners?

Too, healthy foods tend to cost much more than vitamin and benefit deficient processed fare and this is more of a problem when you have less to spend for food. There is no good reason why healthy foods need to cost so much more unless it’s because The Lord wants healthy food providers to be abundantly compensated for providing His design dependents. Vegetable growers and exercise equipment manufacturers must be some of the holiest, and safest, people on Earth.

Controversial legislation has come about because of Huckabee’s near-death (or near enough for him) experience.

Huckabee has used his governorship to encourage state-wide weight-loss. Huckabee’s legislative package last year included a law now in effect requiring public schools to weigh their students, and send home each child’s body-mass-index, said Huckabee spokesman Jim Harris.

The governor has also launched a study of the effect on obesity of junk food-dispensing vending machines in Arkansas schools, said Harris.

The goal is commendable but the motivation seems whacked. How is saying a God wants you to be thin and beautiful any different than a fashion industry saying you’re worthless unless you are correctly dressed, lean, fit and big-boobed? Are we soon going to see “Flat-Chest Anorexics for Christ” movements?

Does Gov. Huckabee instead fear death and hold doubt in Divine judgment more than he will admit?  If Heaven exists, why is he delaying his chance to move there?

This only supports my belief that when death seems imminent, those threatened hug up to a savior. To those looking forward to leaving this reality, it seems insincere that they fight so hard to continue living in an imperfect sin-filled world. Yet even when death and release is offered, many believers struggle mightily to avoid it.

When, and if, God is ready to judge, most believers probably doubt He will judge them fairly. I can’t say I blame them, if they happened to be fat and out of shape.

This god seems shallow to me but I’m thin so maybe I’ll be OK.

Read at: http://www.thedailycitizen.com/articles/2005/02/18/news/top_stories/top01.txt

Also an interesting, though unrelated, read: http://mikehuckabee.com/recent_news.htm

 

 

28 thoughts on “God Is Great, God Is Good, And We Thank Him For Our Healthy Food

  1. Acts 10:9-15  The next day, as they were on their way and coming near Joppa, Peter went up on the roof of the house about noon in order to pray.  (10)  He became hungry and wanted something to eat; while the food was being prepared, he had a vision.  (11)  He saw heaven opened and something coming down that looked like a large sheet being lowered by its four corners to the earth.  (12)  In it were all kinds of animals, reptiles, and wild birds.  (13)  A voice said to him, “Get up, Peter; kill and eat!”  (14)  But Peter said, “Certainly not, Lord! I have never eaten anything ritually unclean or defiled.”  (15)  The voice spoke to him again, “Do not consider anything unclean that God has declared clean.”

    Romans 14:2-3  Some people’s faith allows them to eat anything, but the person who is weak in the faith eats only vegetables.  (3)  The person who will eat anything is not to despise the one who doesn’t; while the one who eats only vegetables is not to pass judgment on the one who will eat anything; for God has accepted that person.

    I’m pretty sure Gov. Huckabee is not saying everyone needs to be supermodels; that would be putting words into his mouth.  I think Gov. Huckabee just supports people staying healthy and fit as he had to learn the importance of that the hard way.  Besides what’s controversial about a study and encouraging people to eat healthy?  It’s not like he’s demanding it with threat of criminal penalty.

  2. theo,

    I think the issue might be that Huckabee is suggesting that the heftier among us are somehow morally inferior.  That is a controversial claim for a person in public office to make.  I too laud his efforts in convincing people to take better care of themselves.  However, I agree with Brock that to make one’s eating and exercise habits a moral issue is stretching things a bit far.

  3. My point by showing the scripture was that the governor was incorrect to call it an outright sin. God and Gov. Huckabee do not believe everyone is supposed to be a supermodel.  That was my only point.  Beyond that I see nothing wrong with legislation to encourage healthy living.

  4. I don’t think that anyone was suggesting that God and Gov. Huckabee thought everyone was supposed to be a super-model.  It seems that Brock was only demonstrating how silly it is to say that there’s a body shape that people are supposed to be by comparing Huckabee to the fashion industry.  Also, I think the point was that Huckabee was wrong to call obesity a sin.  As for encouraging healthy living, both Brock and I agree that such was a good thing.  I just thought it was wrong to suggest that being fat is sinful Brock seemed to suggest that the reason Huckabee thought healthy living should be encouraged was faulty.  I would assume that Brock is suggesting that healthy living is itself a worthy goal and suggesting that service to God as a reason for being healthy is silly.

  5. This reminds me of a time in college, when a preacher set up camp in our main courtyard on the fountain. Many students passed this, on their way to the cafeteria / student center / ATM machines / library / admin office / etc…so this was, to him, an ideal location. He tried just about everything to reach the students: fire-and-brimstone; having a woman play guitar and sing with him; quoting scripture (incorrectly, but he tried that too); you name it.

    One day, while the pastor was holding forth in fire-and-brimstone mode, one of the school’s defensive linemen headed through, passing close to the fountain, pretty much ignoring the preacher. The guy wasn’t fat, but neither was he a lightweight or obviously musclebound. Trout suddenly pointed at the lineman and screamed, “Gluttony is a sin!! You’re going to hell!!!”

    The football player pushed Trout into the fountain. The campus police told the lineman that he couldn’t do that to the preacher, who was only exercising his Constitutionally protected right to free speech and hadn’t actually touched him…but they really had to work to keep their faces straight.

    In an additional irony, the pastor’s name…was Trout. Apparently he belonged in that fountain anyway.

  6. Each day prepare your bread as you would barley cakes.  While all the people are watching, bake it over a fire using dried human dung as fuel and then eat the bread.  For this is what the LORD says: Israel will eat defiled bread in the Gentile lands, where I will banish them!”  Then I said, “O Sovereign LORD, must I be defiled by using human dung?  For I have never been defiled before. From the time I was a child until now I have never eaten any animal that died of sickness or that I found dead. And I have never eaten any of the animals that our laws forbid.”  “All right,” the LORD said.  “You may bake your bread with cow dung instead of human dung.”  (Ezekiel 4:12-15 NLT)

    2Kings 18:27 “But Rab-shakeh said unto them, Hath my master sent me to thy master, and to thee, to speak these words? hath he not sent me to the men which sit on the wall, that they may eat their own dung, and drink their own piss with you?”

    Of course you could just EAT SHIT

    2Kings 6:28,29 “And the king said unto her, What aileth thee? And she answered, This woman said unto me, Give thy son, that we may eat him to day, and we will eat my son to morrow. So we boiled my son, and did eat him: and I said unto her on the next day, Give thy son, that we may eat him: and she hath hid her son.”

    Little cannibalism never hurt anybody.

  7. Yes, service to God as a reason for being healthy IS silly, Thanks SS for understanding my angle. If one needs to justify sensible eating and exercise as a service to God or a thank-you to him, one is living a healthy lifestyle for the wrong reason.

    For looking to God (through the Bible) for guidance concerning what to eat will only confuse you.

    Take Romans 14 for example as Theocrat gave it, but the King James version instead:

    1 Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.

    2 For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs.

    3 Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.

    4 Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.

    5 One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.

    6 He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.

    Then let’s look at 1st Timothy 4: 3-8

    [quote}3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.

    4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:

    5 For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.

    6 If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.

    7 But refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.

    8 For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.

    So it seems to me that in these instances God has no problem with the way one eats, as long as thanks is given for the food first.

    Then he does have a problem:

    Long list of things that can and cannot be eaten.

    41 And every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth shall be an abomination; it shall not be eaten.

    42 Whatsoever goeth upon the belly, and whatsoever goeth upon all four, or whatsoever hath more feet among all creeping things that creep upon the earth, them ye shall not eat; for they are an abomination.

    43 Ye shall not make yourselves abominable with any creeping thing that creepeth, neither shall ye make yourselves unclean with them, that ye should be defiled thereby.

    44 For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

    45 For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.

    46 This is the law of the beasts, and of the fowl, and of every living creature that moveth in the waters, and of every creature that creepeth upon the earth:

    47 To make a difference between the unclean and the clean, and between the beast that may be eaten and the beast that may not be eaten.

    It is a major endeavor to discern what this god wants eaten now and whether he might change his mind tomorrow.

    But where does Huckabee get the notion that God despises a junk food eater? I feel that he is simply trying to glorify his life saving efforts by inferring that he is doing something Holy and for the greater good of man. And because he must change his eating habits in order to live, he’s determined that others should be made to change their eating habits too.

    Yes eating sensibly and exercising is good advice, but not because failing to do so profanes a temple of God. Strive to be healthy because it allows you to exist with more abundant energy and ease. Health is it’s own reward, not a reward dependent on a god to sanctify it.

    Living for another, any other, is never good advice. It can leave you feeling used.

  8. Nunya your quote from 2 Kings is nothing God commanded, it’s something the people did because they were in the middle of a famine.

  9. If gluttony is a sin then it follows that obesity is also a sin. The Greeks considered being out of shape a vice. I tend to agree with that assessment. There is an economic angle however. Cheap food is the least nutritious and produces many ill effects. I find it fantastic that industry makes billions selling compromised food to the masses then makes billions more selling the drugs used to treat the ailments those foods create! What a racket.

  10. The goal is commendable but the motivation seems whacked. How is saying a God wants you to be thin and beautiful any different than a fashion industry saying you’re worthless unless you are correctly dressed, lean, fit and big-boobed? Are we soon going to see “Flat-Chest Anorexics for Christ

  11. I think this statement below is quite logically flawed. You seem to be treating the food and drug industry as one big company when it is difficult to even treat the food or drug industry individually as acting in concert to form a racket.

    Rampart: “I find it fantastic that industry makes billions selling compromised food to the masses then makes billions more selling the drugs used to treat the ailments those foods create! What a racket.”

    By this conspiracy type “industry” argument, one could just as easily argue that the ACLU and the religious right who want religion in government are actually working together in a racket.

  12. everything is a business nowadays….

    -education
    -health care
    -religion
    -war
    -sports
    -food
    -drugs
    -entertainment
    -environment

    One has to be a genious to escape the great “rackets”

    It seems that the definition of “living” can be resumed in this question: Have you given your money to somebody today?

  13. ***Dave, thanks for weighing in on this subject. I understand where you are coming from but basically disagree with your assumptions.

    I think conflating “being healthy and not obese

  14. Fasting is not unhealthy. Studies have shown that it helps your body in several areas. I know it does not sound logical but then again blood donation helps your body although it does not sound logical.

    There is even a diet where you eat one meal a day. It is called the Des O’Connor diet if I am not wrong. Apparently Prince Charles adopts that diet.

    Serge you stated “It seems that the definition of “living

  15. Goofy, I’ll admit, but thought provoking perhaps. I think the fashion analogy is valid. If you accept “the style characteristic of the social elite

  16. I don’t think being careful with pointed or sharp objects is specifically mentioned in Scripture, either

    What?  Are you trying to tell me that “don’t run with scissors” and “it’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye” are not Biblical?

    Go sell crazy somewhere else man, we’re full up here!

  17. If you give a gift to someone but maintain the ownership decisions of that gift, it is not a gift at all but a liability to that person.

    This statement is inaccurate.  If I give you a life estate to 1600 acres of farmland, but not outright title to that land, it is of value to you not a liability.  It only becomes a liability when you fail to utilize the gift.

    Further, I support any means or motivation that will reduce the number of fattybombalatties on this earth, especially if they are flying coach in the seat next to mine.

    Regards,

  18. Consi,

    That reminded me of the flight I was on last summer from San Diego to LA.  There was a rather robust lady beside me who kept insisting on raising the arm rest and getting a close to me as she possibly could.  It was disturbing.  I hate being touched by people I know (indeed, there’s only one person in the world whom I don’t mind physical contact from) let alone a perfect stranger….  Thanks for bringing back that flashback.  Bastard.

  19. Hey consigliere thanks for pointing how WRONG the following statement is although your explanation is not entirely correct (unless you mean it in a very specific sense).

    “If you give a gift to someone but maintain the ownership decisions of that gift, it is not a gift at all but a liability to that person”

    Did not notice it initially, one reason is that I do not really see a problem with this topic, unless you mean it in a funny sense then yeah, I get it. The politician either A) Truly believes in divine intervention that helped him in his diet or B) Catering to his voters.

    Now as for that statement of giving a gift but retaining title thereby creating a separation of legal ownership and beneficial ownership is what is called a trust. The gift scenario would represent your traditional family (Think Paris Hilton) type of trust, or a charity.

    But the majority of trust is non-gratuitous and they are BIG business. You have you usual pension funds (about $3trillion in US) to your more specific Real Estate Investment Trust ($200 billion in US) which is generally a fund that invest in property and then sending back its profits (rent, etc) to the unitholders who have no control management investment decision, nor do they have the right to use any of the land but they do get the benefit of income earned.

    There are many other uses such as using trust to reduce taxes one has to pay, reduce liability or rather place a wall between the doctor’s wealth and any potential negligence suits, etc, etc. Countries (small ones) have built a large part of their economy on trust business such as the Cayman islands with their star trusts. This is a place where you make BIG money or if you already have money, this is a place one can protect and maximise wealth.

    Just take a look at this site for more info:
    http://www.trusts-and-trustees.com/main.htm
    If you are interested in finding out more that is.

  20. Me:
    If life is a gift, it must be freely given, and how you modify or use that gift must be without constraint. If you give a gift to someone but maintain the ownership decisions of that gift, it is not a gift at all but a liability to that person.

    Consigliere:
    If I give you a life estate to 1600 acres of farmland, but not outright title to that land, it is of value to you not a liability. It only becomes a liability when you fail to utilize the gift.

    I guess the question, as it pertains to ultimate ownership, is: can I sell the land and buy new land? If it were a gift, I could and God’s intent be damned.

    OK, now I have to pull a Ulfrekr and take you to the dictionary definition of liability:

    li·a·bil·i·ty
     
    1. The state of being liable.

    2.
      a.  Something for which one is liable; an obligation, responsibility, or debt.
     
    3. Something that holds one back; a handicap.

    Then look at gift:

    1.  Something that is bestowed voluntarily and without compensation.

    2.  The act, right, or power of giving.

    Oxford English Dictionary:

    1.  A thing given willingly to someone without payment; a present.

    Don’t make me post the definition of giving!

    I can’t think of any way my statement was inexact, in the context it was given at least.

    We tend to lose respect for other humans when we know they have only gifted in order to receive something back, yet we seem to admire it in a god.

    Pop Tarts – What were you really trying to say?

  21. Pop Tarts:
    Fasting is not unhealthy. Studies have shown that it helps your body in several areas. I know it does not sound logical but then again blood donation helps your body although it does not sound logical.

    You’re right because I didn’t qualify when fasting becomes dangerous. Fasting for forty days and forty nights, as Jesus supposedly did, would kill you. No more than five days is generally considered safe.

    Caution: If you fast longer and end up seeing or talking to God, it’s probably time to eat something, and maybe see a shrink too.

  22. There have been documented cases of people fasting for weeks on end.  I remember seeing a news broadcast about a Hindu being carefully watched at a hospital fasting.  They gave him only a few ounces of water a day to wash his mouth at with.  They weighed it after he spit it out to make sure all of it was there.  Fasting more than a week is not impossible.

  23. Brock:

    I really don’t care about the original topic. I chimed in because the topic took a turn (as many do) when Dave discussed the concept of stewardship.

    You then said this:

    If life is a gift, it must be freely given, and how you modify or use that gift must be without constraint. If you give a gift to someone but maintain the ownership decisions of that gift, it is not a gift at all but a liability to that person.

    This statement was intended to point out to Dave and other readers that the concept of stewardship is misplaced, because there is no gift in the first place.  I pointed out, and nothing in your definitiona changess my analysis, that there exists a common practice that developed around the concept of stewardship.  That practice was the ability to give a gift of a life estate in property by the owner, and still retain ownership.  The legatee of the life estate was trusted with stewardship of the land for the benefit of the owner. 

    That same concept applies to what Dave is talking about and is akin to stewardship.  This illustrates the problem with your statement.  Pop Tarts post just reinforces this point w/ a more detailed and more recent development which also illustrates the same problem with your statement. 

    Summary:  I don’t care about the original topic.
    You miss the mark when cracking on stewardship.

    SS:

    Sorry bout the flashback.  As to the psych problem that precludes touching I’d recommend counseling. wink

  24. With regards to fasting it is possible for some people to fast for extended periods, but whether there is any benefit to it is disputable. Certainly there is some documented evidence that short-term fasting (12 to 14 hours) does seem to have some healthy effects on the body, but like just about anything in life, too much of a good thing quickly becomes a bad thing. A number of people have literally starved themselves to death by long-term fasting which shouldn’t come as any surprise because all fasting is is willful starvation of the body in hopes of achieving some end be it political, religious, or health related.

    The thing to keep in mind is that there are parts of the body—the retina, kidney, red blood cells and parts of the brain—that are dependent solely on glycogen. In the first 12 to 16 hours of a fast your liver has enough glycogen to keep your system running without complaint, but once that is used up your body has no choice but to turn to cannibalizing itself to provide the glycogen needed to keep your systems running. This process begins before your body switches over to burning fat via ketosis. After the first day and a half or so your body gets the glucose it needs from your muscles by stealing protein from the cells so it can convert the amino acids into glucose. First from inside the cell, which can be replaced, and then by destroying the cell itself, which isn’t as easily replaced. Ketosis kicks in after two days of fasting, but it’ll take 21 days before you body adapts enough to stop destroying proteins in your muscles to make glucose. And ketosis has it’s own nasty effects that aren’t good for you over the long haul.

    Are 40 day fasts possible? Absolutely. Thousands have done such fasts previously and often they claim it drew them closer to God (probably because you can get pretty loopy after going 40 days without food). It’s even possible that 100 day fasts can be done by some folks who are healthy and fit, but is it beneficial to do such long stretches? Not from a medical perspective at least.

    Interestingly enough, a lot of what we know about starvation’s effect on the body comes from Jewish doctors and nurses in the Warsaw Ghetto during the Nazi occupation of Poland in the early 1940s. The Nazi’s tried to starve off 250,000 people with a diet of around 800 calories a day per person. For reference the average child requires 1,000 calories a day. Despite starving themselves, a group of doctors and nurses in the ghetto documented the effects of this diet on their fellow Jews in addition to violating Jewish law by performing autopsies on 492 people who had died as a result of their diet. Among other findings it was learned that once you lose around 40 percent of your lean body mass death wasn’t very far behind.

  25. I understand that you were trying to use the gift/liability analogy to talk about the concept of free will.

    BUT, you should have used another analogy because what is being described is what is commonly called a trust.

    Your analogy only works if you confine it and read it very strictly, especially the word liability. If I were to give you $100,000 but you can only withdraw it from bank XYZ, then that restriction would according to your definition be a liability. But almost everything has that form of liability. For example, one may purchase land from the state but you may not have permission to say build anything you want (heavy polluting factory).

    A dictionary only works to a certain extent and does not end the argument because there are many other things that can affect the situation such as laws, etc. Using a dictionary to end debates is somewhat like a person using the bible to win the debate on the existence of God.

    Let me give you a classical example of how a gift may be given to another and yet you still retain decision making powers. For example, you decide you want to protect the wealth of your family and specifically you want to ensure that your child has money, so if say you go bankrupt there is still money for your child’s education, etc. But you do not want to give the money outright to your child because there is a chance that as a say 10 year old he may spend all that money to amass the largest collection of Pokemon. But neither do you want to hold on to it in case you incur some other liabilities and become bankrupt. Therefore you create a trust. There is a deed which sets up the power of the person controlling the property (usually another person but there is nothing stopping it from being the person who gave it gift) and that person makes the decision of how to invest or how much money is to be paid out to your child (beneficiary) according to the deed.

    S >>> T >>> B (Benefits)
    S: Party that “Gives” or was the original owner of the Property
    T: Person who makes decision on how the property is to be invested, distributed, etc according to wishes of S through the deed. (Although S and T could be the same person)
    B: Person who “enjoys” the benefits of the property. Wide range. It could be as simple as the right to stay in this house rent free, monthly “income” from the investments, etc, etc… But this person cannot tell T how to spend or distribute or manage the property.

    And the property despite being in control by T, cannot be used by T for his own benefit. If T use the property for his own in breach of the trust, he can be sued much like a director of a company stealing money from the company. Think of this as a form (in VERY VERY loose terms) of company. Shareholders control the company but it is the board that makes decisions.

    Finally, there is “ultimate ownership” only to the extent that there is an “ultimate fighting champion.” Everything is subject to constraints, thus you could be sued for nuisance even if what you did was entirely on your land. Also, there are land where there are restrictions preventing sale yet no one would claim that the land does not belong to you. Some countries prevent sale of land to non-citizens yet it cannot be said that the land belongs to the government. Even the computer you are using may have some restrictions such as you reselling it to prohibited countries.

    Finally, as an aside, I too read about that Indian religious man who has not eaten for the longest time. That and the Buddhist monks in the Himalaya region sleeping out in the cold with only a sheet, while the television crew were freezing to death in Artic winter gear is truly mind-boggling

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