D'Arcy from Winnipeg
Solution Architecture, Business & Entrepreneurship, Microsoft, and Adoption

Preaching Lifestyle from Pulpit OK...As long as you back it up

Monday, August 21, 2006 9:07 AM

I had a chance to see a Joel Osteen sermon on Sunday. His church looks pretty big, and his ministry seems expansive...Benny Hinn expansive, but I digress...

This particular sermon was on dietary lifestyle. He talked about how important it is for us to think about what we eat, and to be aware of the process that goes into processed foods as well as the added chemicals and additives. All of what he said was good and made sense...but the Biblical backup didn't seem right.

For instance, he talked about how in the Old Testament, you weren't supposed to eat pigs. He talked about how pigs will eat anything, including their own dead, and that the digestive system in a pig takes 4 hours compared to other animals. So basically, all that crap that pigs eat gets absorbed into the meat of a pig, which we end up eating. He used the same analogy with shellfish, shrimp and lobster, pointing that in the Old Testament shellfish were prohibited.

So the argument was basically that God didn't want people to eat those foods because of cleanliness reasons and health reasons. So, at a very high level, it all sounds on the up and up. My concern with these types of sermons is that its really opinion veiled with Biblical principal. Nowhere in the telecast did he remind his paritioners that Jesus said in the new testament that its not the food you eat that makes you unclean, but what you say (as a representation of what's in your heart) that does; or paraphrase: "I care more about how you treat people...whether you love them and care for them...then whether you eat pig or shrimp."

There's two dynamics here. One is that yes, we should all want to be healthy and yes, we should take care of this body that is a temple. But at the same time, we shouldn't make it out that eating of certain foods is somehow ungodly, which I'm sure some people in that congregation walked away with. "Pastor said bacon is bad, and he doesn't eat it anymore, so I'm not going to either." I think God cares more about how we treat the waitress serving us food than what is actually on the plate, which was Jesus' point.

Now...where did I leave that pack of bacon...



# re: Preaching Lifestyle from Pulpit OK...As long as you back it up

First of all, Jesus never said to eat anything unclean. In fact, he cursed a group of pigs with demons he had exorcised leading to their deaths. I don't think God was wrong when he forbade the eating of unclean foods for mankind (there were no Jews when this was started so it's not just for Jews). If he was wrong, then he would be fallible. Of interest, the new versions of the Bible have an extra sentence added that was never in the original version stating that 'thus Jesus declared all foods clean'. He NEVER said that and he never ate anything unclean though he always taught by example. 9/1/2006 5:30 PM | Rob

# re: Preaching Lifestyle from Pulpit OK...As long as you back it up

Thanks for the post Rob. I found one very good article below:

Very interesting...I'll need to look into this more...


9/1/2006 6:28 PM | D'Arcy from Winnipeg

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