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« "He Himself Has Suffered" -- Hebrews 2:10-18 | Main | This Week at Christ Reformed Church (December 2-8) »

The Food Police

So, Rick Warren has a new diet book about to be released.  Surprise, surprise, it centers around 40 days of eating healthier.

I agree that a healthy diet is very important.  I am pretty strict about what I consume, and watch my weight.  I exercise regularly, and I strive to control my blood pressure with a low sodium diet.  I get it.

But why is it that celebrity pastors inevitably feel compelled to mind everybody else's business when it comes to food.  For Pete's sake, why do I need Rick Warren to tell me what to eat (actually he has two co-authors who are MDs who will tell me what to eat). 

Big deal, Rick Warren's lost weight.  Haven't we all at one time or another?  Sure, he's noticed "dunlap's" disease among more than a few of those attending Saddleback (Click Here).  He's concerned for them.  Fine.  Yet, what business is it of Rick Warren's if some people in his church eat too much?  Besides, gluttony has far more to do with the human heart than it does with someone's weight.  

One new form of legalism is food.  No so much what you eat, but what others eat.  If you don't eat "gluten-free," people have a fit.  Are you eating "Paleo?"  No, and remind me, what was the average life-span of a caveman?  About thirty?  Others ask me, "haven't you tried Kale yet?"  "It is a super food," whatever that is.  I always thought a "super food" was a large cheese, sausage, and pepperoni pizza washed down by a cold beer.  Or a western bacon cheeseburger with onion rings.  I cannot understand why some cabbage-like plant which tastes awful is a "super" anything--unless you throw it in your Nutri-Bullet, pulverize it into a million pieces, and then kill the bitter taste with an apple.

If Rick Warren can do it, I can do it.  I've decide to write my own diet book.  It will be eschatologically focused--"your resurrection body now"--and based upon seven-years of pure tribulation.  It will be self-published, and not distributed.  Why?  Because I don't care what you eat, so long as you leave me alone to eat whatever I want.  Trust me.  I'll do my best to eat a healthy diet.  And I know you will too.

There, now I feel better and I burned-off a few calories while composing this. 

Reader Comments (14)

Did you ever hear D.A. Carson's story about his befriending a Muslim graduate student when he was in college? Carson takes him on a tour at the Canadian Parliament where there are representations of various lawgivers. Carson's friend has read the New Testament and gets the point, although he doesn't believe; he loudly asks the tour guide in a thick Southwest Asian accent, "Where is Jesus Christ?"

That's what I hear in my mind when I read about things like this coming out of churches: "Where is Jesus Christ?"

I noticed the captions, if that's what they are, under the pictures at the top of the cover: Faith, Food, Fitness, Focus, Friends. That's nice alliteration, but I thought the Biblical triad was faith, hope, and love. They aren't the fruit of the Spirit either, at least as I recall.
December 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJim
I don't know that Rick Warren is telling YOU what to eat.... Why not just not buy the book and let people who might be interested in it enjoy it? I actually find the snide tone that is rampant among the Reformed bloggers incredibly off putting... I read posts like THIS and wonder "where is Christ?".
December 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAbby
Thanks for helping put things in perspective. And for the chuckle.
December 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKevin

I think it safe to assume that 1). You like Kale, 2). You eat paleo, 3). You are "gluten-free," or 4). All of the above.

Just trying to have a bit of fun . . .
December 2, 2013 | Registered CommenterKim Riddlebarger
T.D. Jakes had a diet book, too. Lost a lot of weight, pretty much gained it all back by now.
December 2, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterpb
I saw the link to this story on my FB newsfeed. Coincidentally (?) the story above it was about eating kale the new superfood!
December 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChris M.
The Daniel Plan? Forty Days? How cheesy can it get? Oops. Cheese isn't good for you.
December 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHb
Obviously, Rick Warren lost some weight, but did not get the wisdom that Daniel has. The prophet did not loose weight by his diet of vegetables but looked as fat and healthier as the men who did eat the kings meat! Maybe Rick should try reading the book of Daniel with his plate of vegetables. I am thinking of writing my own diet book on how to make special wedding wine following The Lord Jesus Christ' example at Cana.
December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip Johnson
Rick never misses the chance to make another million or two by taking passages right out of their redemptive historical context (Cf Daniel 1!) and turning it into a best seller. This may even be worse than his use of Jeremiah 29:11 in previous works. The reason Daniel and his friends didn't eat the kings meat is because they were still under the Mosaic dietary code, not because the wanted to be healthy. Peter tried to remain on "The Daniel Plan" in Acts 10 until he heard "ARISE PETER, KILL AND EAT". Geez Louise can't our celebrity pastors just start preaching the whole counsel of God and stop worrying about all this other junk?
December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJesse
It gets worse. There are things orbiting around out there like the "Genesis Diet" and the "Maker's Diet," the latter of which is even promoted by the likes of Charles Stanley. I have relatives who are rabid adherents of the Maker's Diet and they drive me crazy most of the time - can't eat this because it has gluten (will drink beer or wine, but only if the former is made from gluten-free grain and the latter from organically raised grapes), can't eat that because it's supposedly composed of some kind of bad ions or something.

I've been BBQ'ing seriously for quite a few years now and always prepared slow smoked slabs of back loin-cut ribs for Independence Day celebrations. Can't do it any more now, though, because these Maker's practitioners won't eat pork - claim it's meat from filthy animals. I refer to them as the Mulsims of the family. Wonder how they interpret Acts 10:9-16...
December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge
Thanks for calling this out. Looks ridiculous. The sad consequence of a pastor stepping beyond Scripture to speak authoritatively from his office is that it undoubtedly diminishes the prophetic capacity of his office. Diet and nutrition is an incredibly complex, ever-changing topic without any objective basis to root discussion in. Taking an authoritative stance on diet will likely lead others to conclude that one's theology is just as subjective and ever-changing.

On a side note, I empathize with your disdain for the new moralism of diet and environmentalism. Many of those most vocally insisting on gluten-free and this and that tend to be the least discerning (=hippies).

HOWEVER, my perspective on all of that changed quite drastically a year ago when I discovered my body had begun producing IGG antibodies to gliadin (wheat gluten). It's been a bit of a roller coaster getting a handle on things and getting up to speed on all the related issues, but my health has drastically improved since recognizing my NCGS (non-celiac gluten sensitivity) - a diagnosis you will not get from an MD. My NCGS also developed into a cross-reactive intolerance to yeast (anti-saccharomyces cerevisiae antibodies), which, according to numerous studies meant I had a 95% likelihood of developing Crohn's disease within 2 years.

Not only is my health much better, but recognizing how food affects my body has been a tremendous aid in my spiritual battle against sinful anger. I have generally had a very short fuse and discovering this underlying condition, along with the adrenal fatigue it caused, has helped lengthen my fuse, giving me time to seek the Lord in prayer. The result, by God's grace, has been the most peaceful time in my marriage. (My wife also adopted my "gluten-free" diet for the sake of simplicity and has felt much better as well).

So as a result, I am a bit more tolerant of those "new legalists" who seek to "evangelize" others to a gluten-free or Paleo diet (ignore the name and the nonsense evolutionary theory behind it - science is useful even when it's false). There is a parallel between Christians who discovered Calvinism later in their Christian life and those who are discovering the benefits of a gluten-free and Paleo diet. The parallel is that both experience a "cage stage" where they feel indignant that they have been duped by the authorities in their lives for so long. While Calvinists resent broad evangelicalism's avoidance of expository preaching and failure to feed the flock, Paleo dieters resent the medical establishment's avoidance of the connection between diet and disease and failure to treat the patient (perpetrating state-sponsored myths like adopting a low-sodium diet will help you control your blood pressure).

All that to say don't be too eagerly dismissive of the gluten-free, Paleo diet just because loons like Rick Warren exist.
December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrandon

I don't dismiss the facts and wisdom behind these diets at all. In fact, I've adapted much from them, and have been able to keep my blood pressure, cholesterol, and weight down (without meds).

But the last thing I'm going to do is to tell you what diet you should be on. Or write a book imparting my wisdom to you about something which I (and I'm pretty sure Rick Warren) know little or nothing about.

If you want to talk Reformed theology, well, I might be able to help you.
December 3, 2013 | Registered CommenterKim Riddlebarger
My caveman diet friends look like Karen Carpenter towards the end, pass!!
December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJohn
One of the "Daniel Plan" authors, Daniel Amen is a self-promoting profiteer. Search "Daniel Amen, fraud" and/or go to (reliable reviews of health fraud.) His scam is a modern day version of the psuedo-science "phrenology". PBS aires his informercials to fund raise.

Read more:

Daniel Amen (sheesh, that name!) is no dummy. His take from contracts with Warren and PBS is enormous.

It is ironic that Mr. Amen mixes (medical) truth with humbug to dupe people for big bucks, much like his partner, Mr. Warren.

Check-out the facts!
December 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRobin

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