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A Call To Action for the Modern Church

My husband often tells me that no one likes a problem identifier. I did a good bit of that last week, so today I felt it was only fair and responsible to offer some possible solutions.

The problem, in case you missed it, is that Christians are called to be difference-makers in a sick and broken world, yet because we have so neglected the health of our physical bodies, our spiritual message - earnest and true though it may be - lacks strength and integrity, and falls on deaf, unimpressed ears. When it comes to the daily consumption of food, believers look, act, and eat just like everyone else. We blend in, unnoticed and ordinary.

If we want to "be the change," we need physical health and personal discipline that matches our spiritual fervor. I believe the foundation of this holistic restoration is simply returning to the unprocessed, whole foods God has provided in nature for us to consume - meat and plants. You can find His divine plan for our bodily nourishment in the very first book of the Bible - simply stated right there in black and white. How have we managed to miss it?

For those who are ready and willing to be brave, I wanted to provide five action steps to get you started on this life-changing journey, based on my own personal experience over the past decade.

  1. PRAY - I hope this isn't offensive to anyone, but I liken this experience to the scene from the movie, The Matrix, when Morpheus offers Neo the choice between the blue and red pills. Most of the world, Christians included, have opted for the blue pill when it comes to confronting the longterm impact of poor food choices, and our health reflects our blissful ignorance. But should you act in faith and consciously select the red pill, you will begin to discover amazing truths about your own health and that of everyone around you - truths that you cannot un-know once they've been revealed. It will rock your world as you begin to see with new eyes. You'll notice how people fill their grocery carts, the sheer number of prescriptions waiting to be picked up at the local pharmacy, how grown women longingly eyeball treats at the dessert table, how grown men eagerly belly up to the bar, and how despondent teenagers grab their bags of chips and sodas and attempt to meld themselves into the electronic world of their own design. This new awareness can be a heavy burden to carry, and will likely bring with it some confusion, regret, sadness, anger, and shame. I know I experienced all of these emotions and more as my eyes were opened to the self-inflicted sickness in me and around me. Pray that God would protect you from discouragement and equip you with tenacious resolve so that you can boldly step forward into a changed life. As you pray, commit to...

  2. EDUCATE - Yourself first, followed by your family. Start with the Bible. What does God say about our bodies? Are they important to Him? How does He prioritize healing? What does He model for us in terms of caring for people's nutritional needs? How do we become overcomers in a world dominated by sin? Beyond God's Word, begin to read, listen, watch, and investigate trusted sources until the importance of good nutrition becomes undeniably obvious to you. There are countless resources out there to help you learn more - books, blogs, podcasts, websites, documentaries, research articles. Let me know which medium you prefer and I will be happy to make recommendations. As you discover more truth, prepare to...

  3. REPENT - You might realize that your child's constant ear infections resulted from food sensitivities and other inflammatory triggers, not underdeveloped Eustachian tubes. You might realize that the removal of the gall bladder, the colon, the tonsils and adenoids could have been all together avoided had you known to make some basic changes to diet. Medications on automatic refill might not even have been necessary. Diagnoses that you thought were genetic and unavoidable might have been sidestepped completely had you been more selective with the foods you chose to consume. Even the life of someone you love could have been extended or fully restored had they been given proper guidance about nourishing foods before it was too late. As the weight of these realizations hits you, be prepared to humbly repent for the choices you made before you knew any better. And be prepared to forgive others for the choices they made on your behalf when they didn't know any better either. Don't get stuck in the overwhelm of guilt, despair, or bitterness, for these do not come from God, but instead commit to purposefully changing course now that you have more trustworthy tools of navigation. This action will lead you to...

  4. PURGE - Old habits, false beliefs, destructive behaviors, damaging foods. Get rid of it all, over time, with God's help. Be bold and be ruthless. As you do so, you'll find others will take note and begin to ask questions about your new vigor, steady focus, and zest for life. And when they do, seize the opportunity to...

  5. LEAD - Lead by example. Lead in your home. Lead in your workplace. Lead in your circle of friends. Begin to share with others what you are learning about proper nutrition and how it is positively impacting your life, your family, your faith, and your Christian witness. I have to warn you that you might not be the most popular person in the room when you do these things, but you will feel compelled to be obedient anyway, because God's way is the only way to liberation.

God's truth is light and life, and we are the messengers of that truth. May our healthy bodies be tangible signs of hope and healing to those around us, and relevant evidence of divinely empowered lives in a world of quiet desperation.

Genesis 1:29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.

Genesis 9:3 Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.

1 Corinthians 10:31: So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

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