Gluttony: The Socially Acceptable Sin

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Gluttony: The Socially Acceptable Sin

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Biblical Support

Curious what the Biblical support for his article is?  Not alot of verses referenced.  Probabaly because there aren't very many.  I always wonder why the Apostle Paul never metioned gluttony in any of his lists?  Even disobedient to parents makes those lists.

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Actually, he does...

The Apostle Paul does describe the Cretans as lazy gluttons.

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The article would have been

The article would have been more intersting and useful if the author would have addressed the sin of gluttony. But instead, he uses the term gluttony to describe greed, lust, and vanity. He doesn't actually address gluttony, which is the sin of eating when the body is not hungry or doesn't need food- or even a lack of self-control. Gluttony is a serious issue in this country, with such a large percentage of the population being fat.

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Ouch!

christian cerna wrote:

Gluttony is a serious issue in this country, with such a large percentage of the population being fat.

Speaking on behalf of fat people everywhere:  gluttony does not necessarily result in making one "fat" and being "fat" does not necessarily mean one is gluttonous.

Donn R Arms

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Donn R Arms wrote:

Donn R Arms wrote:

Speaking on behalf of fat people everywhere:  gluttony does not necessarily result in making one "fat" and being "fat" does not necessarily mean one is gluttonous.

It is a pretty good indication, depending on how you define gluttony.  Being overweight is a result of intaking more calories than you body needs, regardless of health conditions.  I do agree that there are gluttonous individuals who are not fat, so I agree it is not a 1 to 1 correlation.

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not that simple

dgszweda wrote:

 

Donn R Arms wrote:

 

Speaking on behalf of fat people everywhere:  gluttony does not necessarily result in making one "fat" and being "fat" does not necessarily mean one is gluttonous.

 

 

It is a pretty good indication, depending on how you define gluttony.  Being overweight is a result of intaking more calories than you body needs, regardless of health conditions.  I do agree that there are gluttonous individuals who are not fat, so I agree it is not a 1 to 1 correlation.

True, but I do feel that is oversimplifying things a bit. The fact is, many people who are overweight simply eat to the point that they are full. They are not consuming beyond their actual appetite in a manner that I would call "gluttonous." As an expat and observer of diverse cultures, I would say a great many overweight individuals in the US are so more because they are victims of the American lifestyle than a sinful self-indulgence on their part.

Just look at how Americans live compared to other places: We get up, drive to work where we sit in an office, perhaps, then drive home. We sit, sit, sit, all day long, and think that perhaps 30 minutes to an hour of exercise can compensate for all that.

When I walked all around my neighborhood in China (no car), the weight melted off, even though my appetite and calorie consumption remained unchanged. Now that I have of necessity somewhat more sedentary habits, I'm putting on weight again. Sad

神是爱

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Most fat people are fat,

Most fat people are fat, because at some point in their lives they were gluttinous. Most likely, while they were growing up, they had poor eating habits and their parents didn't correct them. They were chubby kids. Now that they are adults, they still have that fat on their bodies. The only way to lose the weight, is to practice intermittent fasting and exercising more. So that they body can get rid of that fat that has been their for years.

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Speaking as a fat man...

Christian,

You say, "Most fat people are fat, because at some point in their lives they were gluttinous [sic]." As a fat man, I am curious to know how you come to your extensive knowledge of the way that most fat people have become fat.

Of course, the principle of weight gain is quite simple. If you take in more calories than you burn, you will gain weight, and if you burn more than you take in, you will lose weight. But I don't recall seeing any indication in Scripture of an ideal body weight/bmi, so I wonder how one would use a person's weight or body fat content to determined whether he/she is a glutton.

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If a Christian man is a

If a Christian man is a cigarette smoker, you will have the whole congregation criticizing him, telling him how bad smoking is for the body, and how he should quit smoking because his body is the temple of God and he needs to take care of it(Even though there is nothing in scripture that prohibits smoking). Yet if a person is obese, no one would dare criticize the person openly about their weight. Yet that fat person is also damaging their body by their eating habits and lack of exercise. That is a double standard we have in this country. We were programmed to think this way by all of the anti-smoking propaganda in this country. If there was more anti-fat propaganda and laws, you would see a lot less people eating the way they do.

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Remember..

..when gluttony was a crime?  http://bit.ly/1eduiVj

​Me neither ;p

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dgszweda wrote:

dgszweda wrote:

 

Donn R Arms wrote:

 

Speaking on behalf of fat people everywhere:  gluttony does not necessarily result in making one "fat" and being "fat" does not necessarily mean one is gluttonous.

 

 

It is a pretty good indication, depending on how you define gluttony.  Being overweight is a result of intaking more calories than you body needs, regardless of health conditions.  I do agree that there are gluttonous individuals who are not fat, so I agree it is not a 1 to 1 correlation.

Please show me anywhere in scripture where weight is a discerning characteristic of spiritual standing or defines gluttony.

Lee

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Gluttony seems to be a sin

Gluttony seems to be a sin that Christians like to ignore. We are often quick to label smoking and drinking as sins, but for some reason gluttony is accepted or at least tolerated. Many of the arguments used against smoking and drinking, such as health and addiction, apply equally to overeating. Many believers would not even consider having a glass of wine or smoking a cigarette but have no qualms about gorging themselves at the dinner table. This should not be!

Proverbs 23:20-21warns us, “Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags.”Proverbs 28:7declares, “He who keeps the law is a discerning son, but a companion of gluttons disgraces his father.”Proverbs 23:2proclaims, “Put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony.”

Read more:http://www.gotquestions.org/gluttony-sin.html#ixzz2palNrWjD

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Christian,

Christian,

While I agree with part of your assertion here, you have bypassed the question several have asked. How do you know what is gluttony, and what is not? Since gluttony does not the same as overweight, how do you know when to tell someone they are in sin?

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

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Lee wrote:

Lee wrote:

 

dgszweda wrote:

 

 

Donn R Arms wrote:

 

Speaking on behalf of fat people everywhere:  gluttony does not necessarily result in making one "fat" and being "fat" does not necessarily mean one is gluttonous.

 

 

It is a pretty good indication, depending on how you define gluttony.  Being overweight is a result of intaking more calories than you body needs, regardless of health conditions.  I do agree that there are gluttonous individuals who are not fat, so I agree it is not a 1 to 1 correlation.

 

 

Please show me anywhere in scripture where weight is a discerning characteristic of spiritual standing or defines gluttony.

 

I never made the claim that it was a discerning characteristic of spiritual standing.  Gluttony is an english term that means overconsumption of food.  Being overweight means that you are consuming (or overconsuming) more calories than you body needs to operate.  Continuous overconsumption leads to being overweight, regardless of pre existing conditions.

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dgszweda wrote:

dgszweda wrote:

 

Lee wrote:

 

 

dgszweda wrote:

 

 

Donn R Arms wrote:

 

Speaking on behalf of fat people everywhere:  gluttony does not necessarily result in making one "fat" and being "fat" does not necessarily mean one is gluttonous.

 

 

It is a pretty good indication, depending on how you define gluttony.  Being overweight is a result of intaking more calories than you body needs, regardless of health conditions.  I do agree that there are gluttonous individuals who are not fat, so I agree it is not a 1 to 1 correlation.

 

 

Please show me anywhere in scripture where weight is a discerning characteristic of spiritual standing or defines gluttony.

 

 

 

I never made the claim that it was a discerning characteristic of spiritual standing.  Gluttony is an english term that means overconsumption of food.  Being overweight means that you are consuming (or overconsuming) more calories than you body needs to operate.  Continuous overconsumption leads to being overweight, regardless of pre existing conditions.  The scientific consensus is to keep your BMI under 25.  Of course there are determining factors such as excessive muscle content, frame size....  But weight is one of the key determining factors of health, and has one of the largest impacts on improving overall health.

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Biblical standard

Would anyone like to suggest a place in Scripture where some sort of ideal weight/bmi could be determined? How do we define what is overweight, apart from government defined standards?

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pvawter wrote:

pvawter wrote:

Would anyone like to suggest a place in Scripture where some sort of ideal weight/bmi could be determined? How do we define what is overweight, apart from government defined standards?

 

Not everything is in Scripture.  What is the ideal speed limit?  Is this found in Scripture?  Overweight is always going to be subjective, but we also all know what it looks like when we see it.  Again, it is not about being on the borderline, it is about being excessive, and having sloppy discipline in one's life.

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The scriptures teach us that

The scriptures teach us that a spiritual person is disciplined, has self control, and seeks to grow in knowledge and improve himself. While unbelievers are described as having no self control, reckless, sensual, lovers of pleasure, lazy, etc. If a person looks at himself in the mirror, is excessively overweight, does not exercise, and is told by a doctor that his weight will cause him serious health issues, yet does nothing about it- which is he more like?

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christian cerna wrote:

christian cerna wrote:

The scriptures teach us that a spiritual person is disciplined, has self control, and seeks to grow in knowledge and improve himself. While unbelievers are described as having no self control, reckless, sensual, lovers of pleasure, lazy, etc. If a person looks at himself in the mirror, is excessively overweight, does not exercise, and is told by a doctor that his weight will cause him serious health issues, yet does nothing about it- which is he more like?

emphasis added

There's part of the rub. There are many people out there who would be considered overweight, but have a clean bill of health otherwise. Are the gluttons because they are genetically predisposed to carry more weight than others? 

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

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You are genetically

You are genetically predisposed to carry more weight? And how do you know this? Is it because you are on a strict diet and workout regularly, and still cannot lose weight? 

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Chip Van Emmerik wrote:

Chip Van Emmerik wrote:

 

christian cerna wrote:

 

The scriptures teach us that a spiritual person is disciplined, has self control, and seeks to grow in knowledge and improve himself. While unbelievers are described as having no self control, reckless, sensual, lovers of pleasure, lazy, etc. If a person looks at himself in the mirror, is excessively overweight, does not exercise, and is told by a doctor that his weight will cause him serious health issues, yet does nothing about it- which is he more like?

 

emphasis added

 

There's part of the rub. There are many people out there who would be considered overweight, but have a clean bill of health otherwise. Are the gluttons because they are genetically predisposed to carry more weight than others? 

 

My brother is a body builder, exercises extensively and has very little fat, but his BMI is off the charts.  At 240lbs and 5' 10" his excessive muscle carries him way over.  In addition, there are very skinny people (my 15 year old son) who can eat like crazy and never gain a single pound.  There are people like me who struggle to keep weight off and have to work at it.  The clean bill of health is irrelevant to gluttony and so is weight.  But it holds more true that if someone is overweight, regardless of clean bill of health, he is consuming more calories at an excessive rate than his body needs.  Overweight people who maintain their weight are essentially consuming calories to maintain their excessive weight.

My body, based on my metabolism and lifestyle, by itself struggles with weight.  I went from 260lbs to 145lbs (in my 5' 10" frame) by just reducing my caloric intake and moderate exercise (no fancy diet), but it took a lot of discipline (did it in about 5 months).  Taking the weight off was easy, keeping it off is a struggle.  I kept it off for about 5 years, but recently went up some and am working at bringing it back to about 150-160 lbs.  Not only did I have more energy, but I felt considerably better.  I finally came to the realization that blaming my weight on lifestyle, genetics, metabolism..... was just an excuse.  I was at the end of the day fulfilling a weight because it 1) made me happy and 2) I was too lazy to do anything about it and 3) food made me feel good.  Once it was off, I realized how much I was missing and how much I held my body back because of a sloppy lifestyle.

I would never say what weight is gluttonous or what impact it is on your spiritual life.  We need to examine ourselves and hold ourselves accountable before God.  I think truth be told, we know what overweight is and what gluttony is, and all too often we are great about making excuses.  It saddens me when a 350lb pastor stands at the pulpit and laughs about how there is much more of him for God to love, or how being overweight is a Baptist tradition because we like to eat, while at the same time the pastor is in and out of hospitals and struggles to go up a pair of stairs.  I can say this stuff because I struggle with this, have been there and done it, and have overcome it.

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dgszweda wrote:

dgszweda wrote:

Not everything is in Scripture.  What is the ideal speed limit?  Is this found in Scripture?  Overweight is always going to be subjective, but we also all know what it looks like when we see it.  Again, it is not about being on the borderline, it is about being excessive, and having sloppy discipline in one's life.

What does speed limit have to do with anything? Last time I checked, being overweight is not against the law (although with Obamacare, that may be coming). By all means, let's encourage people to exercise self-control as a spiritual discipline, but let's not pretend that some arbitrary, 21st century standard of ideal weight/bmi has any direct relation to the issue of gluttony.

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pvawter wrote:

pvawter wrote:

 

dgszweda wrote:

 

Not everything is in Scripture.  What is the ideal speed limit?  Is this found in Scripture?  Overweight is always going to be subjective, but we also all know what it looks like when we see it.  Again, it is not about being on the borderline, it is about being excessive, and having sloppy discipline in one's life.

 

 

What does speed limit have to do with anything? Last time I checked, being overweight is not against the law (although with Obamacare, that may be coming). By all means, let's encourage people to exercise self-control as a spiritual discipline, but let's not pretend that some arbitrary, 21st century standard of ideal weight/bmi has any direct relation to the issue of gluttony.

 

This is why I specifically said that overweight is subjective.  In addition, while you may not agree with something like the BMI standard, it is far from arbitrary.  No matter where you draw the line, weight does have a direct relation to the issue of gluttony.  If you are overweight, you are practicing some form of gluttony.  But that doesn't mean that only those overweight are gluttonous either.

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Definition

christian cerna wrote:

Gluttony seems to be a sin that Christians like to ignore. We are often quick to label smoking and drinking as sins, but for some reason gluttony is accepted or at least tolerated...

Proverbs 23:20-21 warns us, “Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags.” Proverbs 28:7 declares, “He who keeps the law is a discerning son, but a companion of gluttons disgraces his father.” Proverbs 23:2 proclaims, “Put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony.”

The verses quoted here start to move us toward the crux of the debate: how does Scripture define gluttony? Interesting to note in these passages: where it is defined at all, it's defined in terms of consumption, not in terms of result. "Gorge themselves" certainly doesn't sound like your typical "a few too many calories+too little exercise+lots of time" scenario. Most people get overweight slowly because there is a relatively small calorie-intake vs. calorie-consumption ratio problem. Is this "gluttony" an any biblical sense?

Another scenario has to do with how much water a person retains. The stuff is heavy, and that part of the equation has nothing to do with calories at all.

Then you have bone density and muscle density. There's a whole lot of really stupid discussion out there if you google "does muscle weigh more than fat?" (of course a pound is a pound, regardless; that's not the question. Does x cubic centimeters of muscle way more than x cubic centimeters of fat? I think it probably does.)

In Scripture, "fatness" is usually associated with blessing. Not sure what that implies, but it's a fact.

(If it matters from an ethos standpoint, I'm not quite "skinny" again yet, but my BMI is below 24.)

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dgszweda wrote:

dgszweda wrote:

This is why I specifically said that overweight is subjective.  In addition, while you may not agree with something like the BMI standard, it is far from arbitrary.  No matter where you draw the line, weight does have a direct relation to the issue of gluttony.  If you are overweight, you are practicing some form of gluttony.  But that doesn't mean that only those overweight are gluttonous either.

So, are you saying that gluttony is entirely subjective?
My point in even entering this discussion is that the conclusion that overweight people must be gluttons and are therefore sinful is overly simplistic and not Biblical. If we are going to discuss sin, then by all means, let's discuss sin, but bodyweight and BMI do not factor in to whether or not a person's behavior is sinful. Weight as a means of defining gluttony (and presumably therefore, sin) is not a Biblically defensible category, so suggesting that a person who carries around extra pounds (whatever that means, since the concepts of ideal weight and overweight are subjective) is ipso facto sinning is a faulty conclusion. 

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This problem with definition

This problem with definition is exactly why gluttony is not a subject of more preaching. If lying is the topic, a lie is always a lie is always a lie. If adultery, the same - or stealing or any number of black and white issues. However, one thing this thread is proving is that you really can't lay down a black and white line for gluttony.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

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Fat/obesity is not subjective

Fat/obesity is not subjective. We all know a fat person when we see it; in the same way we know a fit person when we see it. Obesity is a very recent trend. Pretty much a health condition mostly seen beginning in the 20th century, due to junk food and lack of exercise. 

I think gluttony is not mentioned more in preaching, because a greater number of people are obese(most likely including the preacher), therefore we do not wish to offend someone. Also, it is harder to become un-fat than it is to stop lying or stealing.

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not mentioned that often

 

I think it is not mentioned more in good preaching because the pastor are preaching what is in the text (ie expository) and not some pet subject.  The Biblical fact is outside of Proverbs gluttony is mentioned very little.  Other than a few descriptive uses, it is not mentioned in almost all of the NT.

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Body Image

I think more than anything this discussion illustrates the level that cultural/societal influence, and in our culture primarily various media, has affected the thinking of the church and those that make up the church.  Here we are discussing a matter that Scripture is absolutely silent about--not even a hint as to being right or wrong in any context, and barely mentioned at all (Eglon of Judges 3 fame and Eli in I Sam. 4:18 are the only mentionings to my knowledge)--in terms of judging sin in the life of an individual and whether or not a certain individual with a certain body type is qualified for ministry. 

It is indisputable that our culture has raised attaining a certain body image to a borderline religious endeavor.  The examples are too myriad to begin with, but the fact we are having this discussion at all should rest the case.  If public nakedness is, indeed, a sure sign of societal idolatry (which I have mentioned in other threads as is likely indicated in Scripture) then this body image phenom is a primary idolatry of our culture, seeing as all the advertisements for achieving this image have as their goal that you can feel good about walking around practically naked (the proverbial bikini-body; 6-pack abs thing) without shame.  Open the front page of any of the main online news-feeds (Fox; Yahoo; AOL; etc) if you doubt the veracity of my observation.

All that to say this--as believers and leaders in church, family, and community we more than ever need to guard ourselves and that which we have care over from the anti-scriptural influence of society that would deter us from the cause of Christ and being conformed to His image alone.

Lee

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But, wait!

Gluttony and healthy living is emphasized in the pulpit by some preachers!!!!. I give you . . . The Daniel Plan

I don't know why, but every time I hear of a diet plan based on the Scriptures, I want to cringe. 

TylerR is the Pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Divernon, Il. He blogs here

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You are wrong Lee. Gluttony

You are wrong Lee. Gluttony is mentioned several times in the book of Proverbs, and even by the Apostle Paul himself. He calls the Cretans, lazy gluttons. Also he wrote, "Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an example. (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)

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If you knew someone who was

If you knew someone in your church who was smoking marijuana, would you try to get him to stop? Would you view it as a sin? And why?

I bet you anything that the reasons you would give him for giving up smoking, are the same reasons for why one should watch what they eat and exercise regularly. 

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christian cerna wrote:

christian cerna wrote:

...

I bet you anything that the reasons you would give him for giving up smoking, are the same reasons for why one should watch what they eat and exercise regularly. 

I bet you'd be wrong! :) 

 

Lee

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pvawter wrote:

pvawter wrote:

 

dgszweda wrote:

 

This is why I specifically said that overweight is subjective.  In addition, while you may not agree with something like the BMI standard, it is far from arbitrary.  No matter where you draw the line, weight does have a direct relation to the issue of gluttony.  If you are overweight, you are practicing some form of gluttony.  But that doesn't mean that only those overweight are gluttonous either.

 

 

So, are you saying that gluttony is entirely subjective?
My point in even entering this discussion is that the conclusion that overweight people must be gluttons and are therefore sinful is overly simplistic and not Biblical. If we are going to discuss sin, then by all means, let's discuss sin, but bodyweight and BMI do not factor in to whether or not a person's behavior is sinful. Weight as a means of defining gluttony (and presumably therefore, sin) is not a Biblically defensible category, so suggesting that a person who carries around extra pounds (whatever that means, since the concepts of ideal weight and overweight are subjective) is ipso facto sinning is a faulty conclusion. 

 

To some degree that is what I am saying.  Drunkeness is subjective as well.  It is proven that even one small drink begins to have some element of physiological impact.  Even the alcohol content in Nyquil does.  Some States indicate drunk as being .08, some lower and some higher.  It is subjective, but we all know what it looks like.  Gluttony does not produce an overweight person, but an overweight person at some point verges into gluttony, because at the end of the day you have consumed more calories than your body requires.  You are eating to satisfy yourself and not because of a physical need.  Is it 5lbs overweight?  10lbs?  I don't know, but we all know what it looks like.  Just as stated above, is drunkeness one drink?  two drinks?  the legal limit for the State in which you are drinking? 

I am not saying that a person over 5lbs is overweight, nor is it sin.  This is an individual assessment, but again we all know what overweight or what drunkeness is already.

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dgszweda wrote:

dgszweda wrote:

 

...

I am not saying that a person over 5lbs is overweight, nor is it sin.  This is an individual assessment, but again we all know what overweight or what drunkeness is already.

Overweight and drunkenness are not equals.  Not even close.  When Scripture indicates that you lose your moral inhibitions and incline towards perverseness when under the influence of calories I may entertain second thoughts.

Bothersome facts: Scripture says NOTHING about ideal weight or BMI and nowhere equates fat with gluttony! Purely man-made constructs.

Lee

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Gluttons and wine bibbers

It is interesting to me that the enemies of Christ accused him and his disciples of being wine bibbers, gluttons, and even demon possessed.  What was the basis for this foolish accusation?  I seriously doubt if Christ or the twelve were overweight.  Gluttony was often associated with drunkenness and the godless, unregenerate accusers were endeavoring to tag Christ with both.  Their false accusations had nothing to do with physical appearance.  It was the idea of gorging oneself similar to the events at Belshazzar's feast or the drunkards at the Lord's table in 1 Corinthians 11.  Paul said that bodily exercise profited little in comparison to godliness.  Men like Spurgeon and Moody were hefty men.  I don't think they were working out at the gym everyday.  They gave themselves to the ministry in every way possible.  I don't think it would be right in accusing them of being undisciplined gluttons.  Frankly, our children and adults have too much screen time and not enough activity. Also, they don' eat the best foods. That is a social problem that should be addressed, but I don't think it carries the biblical concept of gluttony where people are allowing all of their physical appetites to rule their life.  People afflicted with anorexia and/or bulimia (a favorite Roman past time) may be dealing with a much more serious problem than someone who isn't a candidate for Sport's Illustrated magazine.  I would hardly commend the self-centered, self-absorbed mind-set where moderns spend most of their free time sculpting their bodies for public exhibition, whether it be in Hollywood Showbiz, the modeling industry, or the proverbial body trainer trying to become the next contestant on the Bachelor.

Pastor Mike Harding

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I think you are wrong.

I think you are wrong. Gluttony may not be mentioned in the Bible as much as drunkenness, but that doesn't mean that it doesn't exist, or isn't a sin. There are many people in this country who are gluttonous. It can be the child who eats mostly junk food and spends 6 hours a day playing video games. It can be the office worker sitting at his cubicle munching on candy and chips, and drinking energy drinks all day, instead of preparing himself a healthy lunch.

I am not saying that all overweight people are gluttonous, but obese people who don't make an effort to limit their diet and try to exercise are gluttonous.

I am not saying we should all look like athletes or models. But we should make an effort to care for our bodies. God designed our bodies in such a way, that they tell us when something is not right. They give us signs and symptoms of an unhealthy lifestyle. Our eyes can tell us when someone is in good health, or when someone is in poor health. When we see a 25 year old woman who has the body of a 50 year old, or a man who weighs 400 hundred pounds and needs a scooter in order to do his grocery shopping, then we can see that something is obviously very wrong.     

And as I asked before, can anyone of you mention a scripture that prohibits smoking? There is not one single passage in the Bible that prohibits it. So why do you think smoking a cigarrete is wrong? Is it really? It may not be wise. But it definitely isn't morally wrong.

 

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christian cerna wrote:

christian cerna wrote:

...

And as I asked before, can anyone of you mention a scripture that prohibits smoking? There is not one single passage in the Bible that prohibits it. So why do you think smoking a cigarrete is wrong? Is it really? It may not be wise. But it definitely isn't morally wrong.

 

Nicotine (smoking) is wrong for the believer because its defining properties determine it to be both physically and mentally addictive, a characteristic that intrinsically sets it at odds with the Holy Spirit producing the good fruit of temperance in the life of the believer.  IOW, smoking is inherently antagonistic to the work of the Holy Spirit.

Lee

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For some people caffeine is

For some people caffeine is also mentally and physically addictive, as are junk food and soda. In fact, many people are fat, because they cannot say no to those things. Are those also wrong?

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christian cerna wrote:

christian cerna wrote:

For some people caffeine is also mentally and physically addictive, as are junk food and soda. In fact, many people are fat, because they cannot say no to those things. Are those also wrong?

Anything can be addictive (watch "My Strange Addiction" sometime on TLC).  Nicotine from smoking, unlike caffeine and other things, is intrinsically addictive--its very nature is to create physical and psychological dependency.  Huge difference.

Lee

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Facts

It’s always a good idea on a topic of controversy to go back and assemble the biblical facts—assuming our commitment is to take a biblical view on the topic. Re-examining tends to either strengthen our take on things or nuance it or move it entirely to the “Hmm…. this needs more study” file.

What we find in Scripture.

Gluttony

  • In the English Bible, the word “gluttony” occurs once in NIV (84 and 2011), TNIV, and The Message, twice in NLT.
  • NIV family: Proverbs 23:2
  • NLT: Num. 11:34, Ezek. 16:49 
  • The Message has it only in Matt. 23:25
  • (There are lots of references in English versions of the Greek OT (septuagint/lxx) and apocryphal books)

Translations and Hebrew

  • It’s insightful to look alternate translations
  • In NIV’s “gluttony” in Prov. 23:2 (“put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony”) ​KJV, NKJV, ESV, NET, NASB95 all went with “appetite.”
  • The Hebrew (NET’s footnote is helpful) is actually a phrase ba’al nephesh, an interesting expression all by itself.
  • The phrase is literally something like “lord of the appetite.” Nephesh is most commonly the word for soul, but in various contexts takes on the idea of appetite or desire. So you have a figure of speech that, in context, means something like “if you have a whopper of an appetite.”
  • As I pointed out in an earlier post, the focus is on what you desire and how you indulge, not a physical outcome.

​Other references to “gluttony”

  • The Message’s rendering in Matt. 23:25 is, surprisingly, not completely unfounded. The word is akrasia,  a general term for self-indulgence. But you do have references to cup and plate in the immediate context. It’s at least plausible that appetite for food is what Jesus mainly had in mind (especially since He pairs it with “greed”).
  • NLT’s Num. 11:34 rendering is plausible as well. It’s a brief aside to explain a place-name, Kibroth-hattaavah. The place is named after the Israelites’ quail-eating orgy. Note…
  1. The term is again not food specific. The place name means “the grave of the ones who craved”
  2. There was no time for the Israelites to become overweight. The “gluttony” is a combination of inordinate desire and unrestrained indulgence.
  • NLT’s Ezek. 16:49 is curious. “Gluttony” occurs there in a list of Sodom’s sins. The word, sibah, apparently occurs in this form only here in the OT. TWOT has interesting info on the term and its close cousins. Saba means plenty.  In the context, the point appears to be that they had a great deal but were forcing many around them to starve. There is no reference to body weight or size.

“Glutton,” “gluttons” and “gluttonous men/people”

  • These terms occur more frequently in English Bibles
  • NKJV, ESV, NASB, NRSV 14 times
  • KJV 8 times
  • NIV2011, NET, HCSB 12
  • NIV84, TNIV, NLT  10
  • No time for exhaustive study right now, but a few observations
  • The terms are quite often paired with drunkard
  • In a few places, the terms are connected with lazyness
  • In zero occurrences the terms are connected with fatness
  • Zero occurrences relate the terms to concerns about physical health

It’s a point of fact that English Bibles do not associate “gluttony” with being overweight or fat, etc, or any condition of the body at all. These terms consistently apply to appetite and indulgence.

A necessary inference: whether the idea of “fat” or more modern ideas like “overweight” or “obese” are subjective or not is not relevant to understanding gluttony biblically. 

To say it another way, the “sin of gluttony” is not related to fatness in the Bible.

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Good post Aaron

Christian,

First of all, let me give a huge Amen to Aaron's previous post.  Couldn't agree with it more.  Is it wrong for purely recreational purposes and in moderation (assuming it's legal) to smoke marijuana, snort Cocaine, inject Heroin, pop meth pills, smoke opium, ("God Gave Poppy Seeds"--new book idea) or take LSD?

I essentially agree with your negative assessment of where young people are today in not exercising, having too much Screen time, eating junk foods, living on high powered sugared and fortified caffeine drinks.  Where that occurs to the level of a lifestyle of laziness and self indulgence it is sinful.  I raised all my children to be excellent musicians, godly mates, disciplined students, and physically fit.  So I do share your concerns.

Pastor Mike Harding