TEXT: Genesis 3:1-6
1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
Evagrius the Solitary said, “When the intellect is blunted by satiety [the quality or state of being fed or gratified to or beyond capacity], it does not receive the knowledge of God.”
According to Stanford Health Care Center, Obesity is a major cause of high blood pressure. “Additional fat tissue in the body needs oxygen and nutrients in order to live, which requires the blood vessels to circulate more blood to the fat tissue. This increases the workload of the heart because it must pump more blood through additional blood vessels. More circulating blood also means more pressure on the artery walls. Higher pressure on the artery walls increases the blood pressure. In addition, extra weight can raise the heart rate and reduce the body’s ability to transport blood through the vessels.”
This is an uncomfortable subject for many of us, but if you listen and take heed, this particular series can not only change your life spiritually, but it can save your life physically.
In the account of the sin of our first parents, we have already seen two parallels that shed light on how we are drawn into gluttony and kept in bondage by it. We have seen that this captivity to the flesh comes through the lust of the eyes: we are attracted to foods that are pleasing in appearance. We allow gluttony into our life even further when we talk ourselves into buying and eating foods that we know are bad for us. Now, notice that gluttony is further entrenched when we share our bad food consumption habits with others.
Eve was not content to keep the forbidden fruit to herself. The Bible says, “She took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.” She had to share it with someone else. This compulsion to share the act of eating with others is a major problem for those of us who are overweight in the church because many of us have conflated “fellowship” with “eating.” Scott Stoll, a medical doctor and member of the Whole Foods Scientific Medical Advisory Board, wrote: “The contemporary church culture has unwittingly contributed to the rise in overweight and obese parishioners. The sacred Sunday ritual between services is donuts, bagels and cream cheese, and coffee with cream and sugar. Tables at potlucks strain under the weight of pound cakes, pizza, fried chicken and cheesecake and fellowship is not considered complete without these rich, decadent — and, yes, addictive foods.
Being around people who love eating, who enjoy eating, and who appreciate good food only makes you want to eat more yourself. Being around people who are overweight and/or obese makes you feel comfortable in your own expanded circumference. You don’t stand out. You don’t feel as uncomfortable. Why? Because you are sharing your addiction to food with like minded individuals. In order to overcome the stronghold of gluttony, you will have to shun participation in fellowship meals, taking part in church events where large amounts of food are served, going over to a church member’s house for dinner, and eating out with people from the church. You must never place yourself in a position where you can use “fellowship” as an excuse for eating foods you know you don’t need.
PRACTICAL STEP: In “The RAVE Diet and Lifestyle,” Mike Anderson says we should avoid eating all animal foods. He writes, “All animal foods are excluded from the RAVE Diet because they promote the major degenerative diseases sweeping across the country. The link between animal foods and cancer, for example, was uncovered back in 1892 with a study published in the Scientific American. Subsequently, there has been a mountain of evidence compiled that confirms the link.”