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Bread and Butter: The new premarital sex

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.



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.


 . . . Jesus answered, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me . . .’ ”  John 14:6

Sherry Boykin

Sherry Boykin helps Christian women transform their lives through the perspective-shifting power of story.

This Post Has 24 Comments

    1. Sherry Boykin

      Thanks for the chuckle, Beth!

  1. I love it! We church ladies sure do create our issues! I had grapefruit for breakfast, but there’s a porketta sandwich with cheese waiting for my dinner.

    1. Sherry Boykin

      Good balance makes the world go ’round, Jo Ann!

  2. Sue Cagley

    Love this, Sherry! So appreciate your sense of humor and your good sense! 🙂

    1. Sherry Boykin

      We just HAVE to laugh at ourselves, Sue–don’t we?

    1. Sherry Boykin

      Thanks for the high-five, Summer!

    1. Sherry Boykin

      Thanks, Karen; so glad you enjoyed it!

  3. Emily Gehman

    Well said, Sherry. I’m a fan. 🙂

    My first week of college I offered my new suite mate some pop-tarts or granola bars in case she didn’t want to get up early for breakfast the next morning. “Oh, I don’t eat that stuff” Okay, well, I’ll just craw in this hole and stuff my face with cinnamon pop-tarts and die then. Don’t mind me.

    1. Sherry Boykin

      Great story, EmilyG, but so sorry that was your introduction to college life among the future church ladies of America. That same response from her packaged a little differently could have made a huge difference!

  4. Cindy Noonan

    Thanks for giving us some perspective on this issue in such a funny way! Had to share it on FB

    1. Sherry Boykin

      Thanks for the share, Cindy. Glad I could give you a chuckle!

  5. Kathy

    Love the article!!!! it is soooooo very true! I went to a meeting one time where one person shared the cost of their grocery bill of $1500 a month. They wanted to know how they could cut their cost. i just chuckled!!!! Inside I screamed….STOP BUYING ORGANIC IF YOU CANNOT AFFORD IT!!!

    1. Sherry Boykin

      You hit the nail on the head, Kathy. It’s that kind of behavior that makes me nuts! Thanks for commenting.

  6. Beth John

    Now I am wondering what I can bring to the next community group.

    1. Sherry Boykin

      Whatever fits your hankering that night, Beth. That’s what everyone should do for any potluck–and without fear that someone else will scrutinize it!

  7. Dan

    Loved it thought the article was great

    1. Sherry Boykin

      So glad you enjoyed it, Dan. Thanks for passing that along!

  8. laurabennet

    Great post. It’s a good reminder for both sides that our righteousness comes from Jesus, not from a particular lifestyle choice. I so hope I haven’t come across that way when I’ve talked about my recent need to make some food choice changes! Thanks 🙂

    1. Sherry Boykin

      “It’s a good reminder for both sides that our righteousness comes from Jesus, not from a particular lifestyle.” I wish I could put your response to music and sing it to the world! Thank you, Laura.

  9. Stephani

    I think the key is to be gracious. There are so many things out there where people get offended when you tell them you do things differently than they do. I mean, the “Mommy wars” have even gotten media attention. I believe that God is big enough to teach everyone. So, if I am living a lifestyle that I believe is honoring to Him by being a good steward of my body and keeping it healthy, I am not offended when someone says “You eat meat?! You should be vegan!” However, I’m also not talking that way to someone else regarding my choices. If you ask me if I would eat/do something, I’ll tell you honestly, and I’d be happy to share my reasons if you’re interested. The most important thing in my life is Jesus, not my lifestyle. Do I believe the way I live is pleasing to God? Yes. Do I believe it’s the only way to please Him? Not at all. Everyone needs to make their own choices that they believe are honoring to God. Am I set in what I’m doing? No, I’m learning all the time. As I learn more, things may change. And that’s ok.

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