Is it me, or does it seem that lately any consumption of food that isn’t organic, raw, vegan, or gluten and GMO-free has usurped the position of premarital sex as the prime offender in the Christian church?
Seriously, just go up to four or five church ladies this week, mention something about meat and potatoes, white rice, or juice you didn’t boil yourself and sift through cheesecloth. Then count the number of them who squirm in their seats, drop their gaze to the floor, or grab your hand as they lament your descent from God’s favor.
And heaven help you if you admit giving this food to your kids.
You’ll have no recourse once you let “hot dog” or “funnel cake” slip out of your mouth while you describe your day at the amusement park with your children.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t like pink slime, pesticide-drenched blackberries, or corn that has the same DNA as paper plates. And as one who recovered from an Amazon jungle-borne parasite infection with the help of a naturopath and a mostly raw food diet, I am extremely sympathetic to the good-food cause.
I just don’t like its growing reputation as the barometer used to determine spirituality. No one is going to hell because they bought the blue-light special for $1.99 per pound, and cooked it up for dinner.
A TRUE STORY
It used to be that health food geeks were the ones most likely to blow someone away for their adherence to a diet on which the geeks’ own mothers probably raised them.
When doctors thought I had multiple sclerosis, I went to a health food store in search of something that might alleviate some of the more uncomfortable symptoms I experienced. I asked one of their gurus for help. Here’s what she said:
“By the way, do you have bread and butter in your house?”
“Sure,” I responded.
“Well, of COURSE you have M.S.!”
I guess she set ME straight! I put everything down and left.
Now church ladies are doing that same thing. Sadly, there’s a real failure to understand where real people are in real life. A while ago I asked a church lady if I could get her some water. She took out her BPA-free water bottle and said, “No, thank you,” explaining that her water had more oxygen than my water.
Maybe other peoples’ lives are a bit too full with real life to share the church ladies’ increasing obsession with fermented things and produce grown in Lancaster county by guys named Jedidiah.
Maybe they can’t justify $8.99 for a single organic chicken breast in an already stretched budget.
Maybe they believe God will provide everything they need, and that God will bless to their bodies everything for which they give thanks.
Maybe they believe moderation of food is a more important issue than fertilization of food.
So–go ahead. Be passionate. Share the wealth of information you have that can help people.
But please, PLEASE stop acting as though the Holy Spirit cannot indwell a temple containing processed food, or as though a French fry stuck in a vanilla scoop is a sign of the indulger’s slip-slide toward fire and brimstone.
And do have that hummus and asparagus for lunch, but every once in a while, spread it on a piece of rye–just for humanity’s sake.