You ate WHAT?!
Chocolate? It should have been gluten-free.
Gluten-free? It should have been dairy-free.
Dairy-free? It should have been GMO-free.
GMO-free? It should have been fruit.
Fruit? It should have been organic.
Organic? It should have come from the Farmer’s Market.
Farmer’s Market? It should have come from your garden.
You started out with chocolate and now you have a zucchini.
Nothing says, “Happy Valentine’s Day” like a gluten-free, GMO-free, dairy-free, organic, vegan, home-grown zucchini.
We are blessed to live in a land of plenty. Never has there been such pressure to make Bett-er, Healthi-er food choices. One valid reason is the epidemic of obesity (and often the sin of gluttony.) There are however three reasons why Christians should not get on the “crazy food fear train”.
Three Reasons to Avoid Food Fear
*Food Fixation- In Old Testament times there was a plethora of spiritual rules concerning which foods could and could not be eaten. Christ came and partied with sinners and drank wine (which I wrote about here). Some new Believers in Christ could eat meat dedicated to idols with good conscience. Some were sick to their stomachs at the thought. In Colossians, Paul wrote the Pharisees (the rule-keeping religious leaders) were creating guilt where none need exist.
Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules: “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”?These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence. Colossians 2:20-23 (NIV)
In the same way Peter saw a sheet full of foods previously considered “ impure or unclean” and was encouraged to eat. (Acts 10)
Today instead of embracing our God-given freedoms to eat, while avoiding gluttony, we have created a culture of “Food Phariseeism”. We have a legalistic food religion. Mommy bloggers shaming mamas on their food choices for their families. Blogs feeding on fear of how food is evil and unhealthy. GMOs, preservatives, and artificial colors have become more feared than the Devil himself.
Am I feeding my family something that will give my kids Cancer?
Are the moms at the birthday party going to look down on me for the food coloring in the cake frosting?
Moms feeling discouraged. A man-made religion. A religion now keeping believers from the freedom he wants them to have in Christ.
*Food Famine- As followers of Jesus we value America’s ability to help the poor around the world. A focus on limiting the use of pesticides and GMOs could jeopardize our nation’s ability to help. Follow me on this… America is the bread basket of the world. The more we require our famers to change their farming practices the more it will cost them to farm and the less food will be harvested. Eventually America will have less food to offer the world, and at higher prices. Instead of helping the world, we could be contributing to world-wide famine. Sure we could, perhaps, afford the whole foods lifestyle, yet in our arrogance we hurt others.
*Food Freeze- What can a fear of eating the “wrong” foods eventually do to a person?
Northern California is the home to a foodie culture which equates wholesome eating with a happy life and disparages ingredients that are not organic, natural or locally produced. It is also a hot bed for orthorexia or “Whole Foods Syndrome” as it is more commonly known. It appears from an outsider’s point of view to be anorexic, but it is simply an obsession with “pure” foods taken to the extreme.
Jordan Younger, the Blonde Vegan blogger, shocked her 70,000 Instagram followers with news that she had the eating disorder. She said she cut out options that even fell under the vegan umbrella because they were “not 100 percent clean or 100 percent raw,” she told People magazine. “I was following thousands of rules in my head that were making me sick.” (When Healthy Diets Go to Far)
People are dying to eat “right”… and this is wrong.
I can hear many “buts” and I can totally understand. I personally am a gluten-free eater out of necessity for my health. Some people must alter their diets based on allergies, behavioral issues and the like. As a person who purposely seeks out gluten-free foods for myself I have had first-hand observation of this food religion which is now vying for the attention of moms in the church. Making food the center of our lives is not the answer. Only Jesus is.
Have something you’d like to share? An experience of feeling the pressure to always do better with food? I’d love to hear from you.