Creepy Health Sermon

Aug 22, 2006Find joy today

Watch out folks, I feel a rant coming on.

We turned on the TV last night and saw our friend Joel’s face all smiley and southerny. The audience crowd looked to be as large as a superbowl crowd. I hadn’t really heard him preach before, so we decided to listen a bit and see what all the hubbub was about.

What was his topic? Health.

Okay, I can understand that. It’s important to take care of our bodies. But as he continued on and on and on, taking Scripture out of context (using tiny little snippets to prove nutritional points) and didn’t talk about Jesus, I got angry. I got more angry when he’d make a joke about our eating habits and people would applaud. Not for Jesus. Not for His saving grace. Not for something God had done, but for how clever Joel told a joke. Ick. Am I the only one who thinks this is nutty? Think I’m exaggerating? Here is the summary of his talk taken from his website:

Message #316
Eating Healthier
Do you remember the old saying; “You are what you eat?” Well in many ways that is true in every area of our life, spiritually, emotionally and physically. You can make changes in your diet today that will help you live a stronger and healthier tomorrow. The reason you may lack energy or deal with aches and pains could be the result of the foods you eat. Many times a small change will make a big difference. You can choose water over sodas, a walk around the block over watching TV and more nutritious snacks over junk food. Make the commitment today to honor God by taking care of His temple – your body! When you do, you’ll look better and feel better. You’ll be happier, healthier, and have the energy to do the things that God has uniquely called you to do.

I honestly felt I was listening to a nutrition lecture. Nothing earth-shattering…just information I could get by reading a Woman’s Day. Though he did speak of Daniel’s diet briefly, I didn’t hear a snitch about the majesty of God, the beauty of redemption, the power of the Holy Spirit to change lives, the Gospel.

Is this what we’ve become in the church? Attenders of celebrity-driven concert-like congregations where we learn how to eat better, exercise more, and be healthy, wealthy and powerful? Did Jesus fret about His figure? Did He roam this earth giving sermons to His disciples about healthy eating? Or did He teach about the beauty of sacrifice for His kingdom—a kingdom NOT about our personal happiness and well-being, but about the privilege it is to suffer for His name?

The Gospel is life-changing. Far more life-changing than a dietary shift. Lord, help us.