A Rebuttal of the “Health Food” Movement’s Errors, Lies and Killjoys
“Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man” (Matthew 15:11).
“I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing [no food] unclean of itself” (Romans 14:14).
“For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost” (Romans 14:17).
“But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse” (1 Corinthians 8:8).
“Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, that eat, asking no question for conscience sake: for the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof” (1 Corinthians 10:25,26).
“God hath created [meats, i.e. all foods] to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer” (1 Timothy 4:1,3-5).
How many people remember those carefree days – they seem so long ago now – when family and friends got together for a meal, and pretty much everyone ate pretty much everything? Ah, those were happier times. These days when people gather for a meal, it seems all we hear are voices saying disapprovingly, “Oh, I don’t eat that, it’s too fattening”, or, “You know, that’s bad for you”, or asking the hostess, “Is that low-fat?” or, “Are those vegetables organic?” It certainly drains the joy out of meals and meal-time conversations.
To listen to some professing Christians, one would think this matter of the food we eat should be the most important matter in the believer’s life! Their focus has been diverted from the true, spiritual nature of the Gospel to a constant obsession with what is physical: what they put, or do not put, into their mouths. They have fallen for a deception; a subtle trap of the Evil One.
There were detailed dietary restrictions for the Israelites under the Old Covenant, for a specific reason and a specific period of time (Lev. 11); but there are none for Christians under the New Testament, and anyone who creates such restrictions is sinfully adding the doctrines of men to biblical Christianity. Note this well! There are no dietary laws for New Testament Christians. The Scriptures quoted at the beginning of this article are crystal clear. The child of God is free to eat what he likes. No food is forbidden to him, for no food is unclean to him; he is not defiled by what he eats; the kingdom of God is not about what foods we put into our stomachs – such matters are entirely irrelevant, and what we eat or do not eat certainly does not in any way commend us to God; every created thing is good, if received with thanksgiving to God.
The Bible is infallible, for all Scripture is given by divine inspiration (2 Tim. 3:16). God cannot lie, and He cannot err. His Word declares that such things as meat, salt, milk and butter are good; therefore the misnamed “health food” advocates are wrong when they say the opposite. Let God be true and every man a liar. God’s Word is to inform and govern every area of our lives.
This Goes Without Saying – But We’ll Say It Anyway (To Avoid All Misunderstanding)
Before proceeding any further, lest any misunderstand the purpose of this article: it is a good thing, as a general rule, to try to eat in a sensible, “balanced” manner, within one’s income limitations and depending on where one lives and what is available. We should take care of the bodies the Lord has given us. As the old saying goes, “Prevention is better than cure.” To take steps to prevent illness, where possible, is a good thing to do – and eating in a sensible manner may at times help with this. It is sensible, therefore, not to live almost solely on sugary things, nor to douse one’s food in mounds of salt, and indeed to limit one’s intake of all things which, ingested in excessive quantities, might impair one’s health. And even if health is not impaired, gluttony is a sin (Prov. 23:1-2,19-21).
And for those who suffer from certain illnesses, specific diets may help to alleviate them, or even play a part in curing them. Many people, who suffer health problems, need to avoid certain foods and follow specific diets. There are people who cannot eat spicy or fatty foods; people who cannot drink milk; some who are allergic to peanuts; and much more. The human body is a very complex thing, and what is good for one person is not always good for another.
This Article’s Purpose
However, having dispensed with the “goes without saying” stuff which nevertheless needs to be said (because there are those who fixate on a particular portion of an article and consequently misunderstand its overall purpose), let me state categorically that this article is a strong critique of sinful fanaticism in the matter of eating; of the excessive, unnecessary, silly, and quite frankly irritating obsession with so-called “health foods” and “health diets”, even to the point where this has become a religion for so many professing Christians, whose concern and focus should be on very different matters. Its purpose is to show what the Bible says about what we may eat, and also to drum home the fact that “the jury is still out” on the possible harmful effects of eating certain things – yet the culinary killjoys zero in only on such “research” as appears to support whatever their particular no-no foods happen to be.
No Christian should be so gullible and undiscerning – but unfortunately so many are.
It is one thing to avoid those foods which definitely make you, as an individual, ill; or to eat those things which may possibly help to alleviate your personal health problems. But it is quite another thing to spend your time and energy on a never-ending crusade of condemnation against sugar, salt, fat, calories, etc., etc., ad nauseam.