Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Food Is a Big Deal in Scripture

I like Douglas Wilson's wit and wisdom as he talks about food and a Christian perspective. It will not surprise you that he is a portly, jolly fellow.

Here is his article entitled: "MAKING THE SPOON TASTE GOOD"

I have already noted that fussers over food are driven by father hunger. Other common motivations in this cluster of food confusions include guilt, fear, acceptance of manipulative doctrines, not to mention acceptance of slanders against the goodness of God.

"Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their consciences seared with a hot iron; forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth" (1 Tim. 4:1-3).

Food really is a big deal in Scripture, but oddly the direction this importance takes is 180 out from what the hyper-scrupulous want to require of us. What is the bottom line in Scripture? Saying grace with a full and sincere heart sanctifies the whole smorgasbord, even if it is the kind you find under a line of heat lamps in a cheap restaurant, and even if there is enough MSG in the pans there to make your spoon taste pretty good. Those who believe and know the truth understand that God created food -- including the weird stuff -- to be received with thanksgiving.

What would a devil teach, given the opportunity? What doctrine might you expect to get from a teacher whose conscience is sporting that tell-tale Lazy R brand? Well, the first thing a devil would want to teach is a prohibition of marriage. Too much sex involved. Second on his demonic killjoy list would be a whole host of banned foodstuffs, and given the state of the Church in the West today, it is not surprising that various food fads, allergies, diets, loathings and phobias are rampaging around in our midst. Because we live in fatherless times, no one appears to care enough for these poor people to say something simple, like "God is not like that." At the bottom of a lot of this is the inability to believe that God is a good Father. Fathers provide good things.

Like I said in a previous post, there are such afflictions as lactose intolerance. But you can't catch it from your friends, and if you find that more and more of your companions are fellow lactards, then something funny is happening. And that happening has more to do with picking up false doctrine from the zeitgeist than it has to do with some odd medical coincidence.

What may we receive with thanksgiving? Over what kind of meal may we bow our heads in true and reverent gratitude? Kraft macaroni in a box. Sirloin steak off the grill. Baked potatoes. Baked Alaska. Baked beans. Baked beans from a can. Clams and oysters. Blackened catfish. Marbled beef. Honeynut Cheerios. Chocolate-covered Sugar Blams. Green salad, Caesar salad, and art salad. Quarter-pounders. Strawberries. Whole milk. Goat cheese. Cabernet-Savignon. Kool-Aid. Green jello. Food straight out of my garden. Food fresh from the factory. Skippy peanut butter. Apple jelly. Cinnamon toast. Wonder bread. Shredded Wheat. Garbonzo beans. Gouda cheese. Velveeta. Roast duck. Rye bread. Krispy Kremes. Diet Pepsi. Creamed corn. Corn on the cob, picked fifteen minutes ago, and boiled five minutes ago. Almond chicken. An Arby's regular roast beef. Oatmeal stout. Real butter. Clotted cream. Bud Lite. Cream of wheat. Cold watermelon. Oreo cookies. Green beans. Green beans with pistachio nuts in them. Soy beans. Tofu. Yes, tofu. Swallow that reductio, and the tofu. Chicago-style hot dogs. St. Louis-style pizza. Movie theater popcorn. Enchiladas. Salt and vinegar potato chips. Cookie dough ice cream. Roast beast and gravy. Glazed ham. Cheese potatoes. And apple pie.

And why? Because God is our Father. In these our postmodern times, the relativists in the Church want to mix the Apostles' Creed up with about five gallons of paint thinner. But we must learn to take the Creed thick. "I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth." He made it, and arranged for it to come to your plate the way it has. So bow your head over it, full of gratitude, no matter what it is. And as you do, you are learning more and more . . . what God is like.

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