Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Potluck Dilemma

Leslie Leyland Fields stands in line at the church potluck and wonders what, if any, of the food presented Jesus would add to His plate. Thus begins her article entitled “A Feast Fit for the King” in the November 2010 issue of Christianity Today (see link under “Article Links”).

I’ve often wondered the same thing - not just at church potlucks. Sometimes I look at the offering on my own dining room table and wonder if God really can “bless this food to the nourishment of our bodies.”

Fields explains, among other things, her thoughts on recently published books about how food is processed and what we should or should not be eating. In the past several months I have read The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Animal, Vegetable, and Miracle, and Women Food and God. While I think each has a nugget of truth, I am reluctant to recommend any of them because of their secular world view. It has been difficult for me to reconcile these “cultish” approaches with my biblical world view. That is why I was thrilled to read this article. I believe her piece will help Christians understand that what we do and say in all areas of life, including eating, reflects who we are in Christ.

Although the article is long, I would highly recommend reading it (click on Christianity Today - "A Feast Fit for the King" under “Article Links” in the side bar). With that, I will leave you with this quote from her article:

As Protestants, our food practices have relied far too heavily on a single New Testament passage, I believe: Peter's vision of a sheet full of formerly unclean animals let down from heaven. God's command to "rise, kill and eat" (the supreme-meat-lover's favorite biblical scene), in my opinion, has been used to justify a kind of gustatory free-for-all.

How shall we use our freedom in Christ? Freedom is never given for license or for self-indulgence. If our freedom ends in mindless consumption, abuse of the earth, exploitation of God's gifts, and mistreatment of our bodies, then we have allowed our appetites to enslave us again.


Laura said...

Great post, Barb, and thanks so much for sharing this article - very thought-provoking! The whole concept of "orthorexia" was fascinating to me ... I'd never heard of it before reading this article, but it makes sense that even trying to be healthy can become an unhealthy obsession. More proof that we humans are flawed, and need the guidance and mercy of a loving God to show us the way.

Barb Winters said...

The author defines orthorexia as "an unhealthy obsession with healthy eating." You are right, Laura. It does show we are flawed. I hate to say there needs to be a balance because I have recently read how "balance" is not biblical. So I will say that we need to stay close to the plumb line (God's word and His will) and not swing too far to the left (paying little attention to health and eating improperly) or to the right (allowing "becoming healthy" to be an idol). All the more reason for us to be on our knees. ;-)