Dec 29, 2014

Homosexuality And Obesity

I wrote the following statement in a blog post entitled, “10 Convictions I Have About The Church” that seemed to create a bit of a stir.

8 - The world would change in an unbelievable way if the church would attack the issue of obesity as relentlessly as it attacks the issue of homosexuality! (It would also be way more relevant to the church!)  

That was quite an unpopular statement – but it’s true. 

Let me say right out of the gate I believe God designed marriage to be between one man and one woman—period. That is not a statement of hate or intolerance; it’s simply a statement of what I really do believe the Scriptures teach. 

I do not hate people who are gay. 

I actually have friends who are gay. 

I do not have to believe the exact same way a person believes in order for me to accept them. If that were the case I would have zero friends who are Democrats, Carolina Fans or own cats!  

However, the church has done an embarrassing job of the way it has attacked the gay community. 

Why? 

Because it is easy to lob scriptural grenades at a situation that we have never had to personally struggle with.

I’ve had Christians try to justify being hateful by saying, “But they are hateful towards us and attack us.” 

While there are some situations where that may be true, it is not justification to treat people who are gay in an un-Christ like manner. 

It is completely possible to love someone and respectfully disagree with them at the same time. 

“But the Bible says gay people don’t go to heaven,” many object. 

Two things…

One – The ONLY people who don’t go to heaven are people who do not know Christ—period. When we begin to tell people they have to place their faith in Christ AND be heterosexual then we have officially added to the Gospel, which is highly problematic.

Two – The passage that people use when trying to justify their hatred of gay people is found in I Corinthians 6:9-11, which does say that a homosexual will not inherit the kingdom of God. 

HOWEVER…it does not exclusively call out homosexuals. In fact, the list is pretty much all inclusive of anyone who is reading this post. That list includes people who do things that are wrong (that would be all of us), the sexually immoral (anyone who has ever looked at porn or gone too far with someone you are not married to), idolaters (anyone that has something in your life you love more than Jesus), the greedy (anyone want to talk about how quiet it gets when the offering baskets are passed?) and even slanderers (that would be anyone who has ever engaged on social media while angry). 

All too often the “Christian community” wants to pick and choose the sins to scream about so we can keep the sins in our lives a secret. 

And it is way easier to use the Bible as a window in order to judge the lives of others rather than a mirror to examine ourselves.   

The last verse in that passage talks about that is what we WERE…but JESUS essentially power washed our soul and made us brand new. Which does not mean we will never wrestle with who we used to be…it simply means that our new identity is in Christ. 

Which brings me to the issue of obesity…   

Most of the people reading this article have most likely never heard a sermon on the issue of obesity. 

The very fact I would categorize it as a sin is quite offensive to some. 

However, I believe obesity is one of the most prevalent struggles in our nation today, and there are way more people in our churches wrestling with obesity than they are homosexuality. 

Obesity is not just a problem in America—it’s an epidemic. 

According to the CDC’s website

  • More than one-third (34.9% or 78.6 million) of U.S. adults are obese.
  • Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, some of the leading causes of preventable deaths.
  • The estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the U.S. was $147 billion U.S dollars in 2008; the medical costs for people who are obese were $1,429 higher than those of normal weight.

Obesity is killing people. 

Our country is literally eating itself to death, yet the church chooses to remain silent about the issue because it seems to be too personal. 

Gluttony is specifically mentioned in the Bible. I was reminded of the seriousness of it the other day when I read Proverbs 23:1-2,

When you sit to dine with a ruler,
    note well what is before you,
and put a knife to your throat
    if you are given to gluttony.

HOLY CRAP!!! That is INTENSE! Put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony?  

So, back to my original statement: what if the church actually became as passionate about attacking an issue in the church that impacts so many people?

The church screams that people who are gay are abusing their bodies…but what is gluttony? 

There are people who have objected to me talking about this issue in the past and try to use the excuse that they are genetically predisposed to being a glutton, yet when people in the gay community try to say they are genetically predisposed to being gay, Christians push back and say “there is no way.” So why does the argument work for one side and not the other? 

It’s sad—but church is a place where a glutton, a porn addict and a prescription drug addict can look at someone who is gay and say, “well at least I’m not like THEM!” 

If you are so angry at me right now that you want to hit me I understand…and if you are overweight or obese and are feeling self-conscious let me be very clear about what is going to follow: 

My purpose in writing this has not been to hurt you, tear you down or push you away. 

I’m writing this to encourage you – and let you know that I know EXACTLY how you feel and the battle that you are going through. 

I was fat when I was a kid...really fat. 

I was fat in middle school. 

I was fat in high school. 

I can remember buying size 50 pants once! I can remember buying XXXL shirts. I can still remember the names I was called in elementary school…and until this day I still see myself as fat and am more self-conscious about my appearance than anyone would imagine.

I still battle weight issues every single day. 

The first thing I do every single morning is step on the scale to weigh myself, and way too often I have let higher numbers than I expected drag me down for the day. 

Until this day I hate shopping and trying on clothes for fear they may be too small and it would make me look bad.

But, I also know that Jesus in you allows you to overcome ANYTHING. 

Overeating is simply a lack of self-control, something we are promised by The Lord we have (Galatians 5:22-23). 

It is no coincidence that the very first temptation of mankind had food involved. The very first thing satan did when he tempted Jesus was to use food. Food is “the drug of choice” used by most people today. 

For years I would joke about my weight and try to excuse myself from being that way by telling everyone that “it just ran in the family.” 

However, there was a day, a snapping point for me, where I realized that as long as I saw myself as a victim I would NEVER walk in victory. 

So I went on a diet, not a fad diet or a crash diet, but a real one. And I began to work out. I stopped blaming the devil for me being huge, stopped asking Jesus to take pounds off of me and took control. 

And if I can do it…you can too!! 

You CAN win the battle with weight!  

Make an appointment with your doctor, join a gym, adjust your eating, get in a group who will hold you accountable and STOP letting this dominate your life!! You can do ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST!!! 

So there you go, there is my explanation on the subject. Maybe I made way more people more angry than the original post, but felt like I wanted to explain myself a little better.  




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