Friday, December 20, 2013

Jesus, Junk Food, and Christian Charity

Douglas Wilson’s writings are incredibly helpful, and on this blog I have often had occasion to quote him. But I do sometimes weary of Wilson continually defending junk food and stereotyping those who try to be healthy.

It is clear from Wilson's writings and statements over the past decade that he has an animus against any health care practice that is not mainstream, whether health food, chiropractic, naturopathy, home birth, etc.

Keep reading...


John said...

Robin, you write: "within the CREC and those ministries influenced by Douglas Wilson, the trendy thing right now is to be anti-health, and to write endless blog posts and articles criticizing organic eating and stereotyping everyone who chooses to pursue a healthy lifestyle."

"Within the CREC" seems to me to be an overstatement, especially since you cite something from me -- a CREC pastor -- in the very next section of your blog entry.

I suspect that for most CREC pastors, these food-related issues aren't even on the radar. I don't see most of my colleagues blogging or tweeting or Facebooking about them. And I'd guess that the views of CREC members, including pastors, on these matters cover the whole spectrum.

Valerie said...

Passive-aggressive is exactly how I see it. If there are _really_ hordes of health food fanatics taking down the churches of Moscow (or, at least two churches), then the approach needs to be active, direct, and restorative, dealing with those particular individuals face-to-face.

But these rude, pushy posts coming out of Moscow remind me of parents who scream at their kids for screaming at each other. While it may be that real issues are _still_ begging for a real response in Moscow, it is hard to imagine that the rhetoric from the other side, which we don't hear, could be any lower or more divisive than the pastoral response that we do hear.

Another reason that I call it passive-aggressive is that the posting sequence generally starts with an aggressive, uncharitable attack that describes the majority of people I know (the majority of adults are at least somewhat interested in health and nutrition) and then, once there is some blowback, they "clarify" and substitute follow-up descriptions that are obviously fit only for the most unstable, mentally ill folks imaginable.

One time it's probably accidental, but time and again we've seen a broad-ranging attack against people who eat well turn into a miffed defense that the attacker was only talking about _crazy people_. (Case in point, the first article will express outrage at people who have the temerity to use the words "eat well", like I just did, but the follow-up will express horror at a caricature that none of us would recognize.)

Internet mockery is not the charitable response to local church issues. No pastor should take to the Internet to tell the world the worst of the worst about the particular "idiots" who plague his church. Even if he's dealing with serial adultery, the Internet is not the place for a pastor to blow off steam because the philanderers in his church are driving him crazy.

If there is any truth to this long-standing series, it is hard for me to imagine that it's all in good fun for the people on the other side. (I'm really glad that my pastor isn't writing about me on the Internet. Even if he didn't call me by name, I'd feel very uncomfortable thinking that everyone in the local community knows that it's me that he's tearing down for the purpose of worldwide edification.)

Unknown said...

John: that's a legitimate criticism of my overstatements, although having been heavily involved in the CREC in the Pacific Northwest, I can say with a fair degree of certainty that the anti-organic, anti-health, obsession I have described does characterize a pervasive trend among CREC pastors in the Pacific Northwest. I intend to prove this claim by adding additional quotes to the above posting in the weeks ahead.

mamazee said...

We're in a CREC church and do not see this at all! We have a few kids (in the church with allergies or sensitivities) and a few adults who are choosing to eat organic/Paleo etc - we try to bring foods that everyone can eat, and when there aren't the Paleo things, we eat what is before us :)... there is also a sizeable portion of our church that embraces different health modalities, with no friction with the rest of the church (reflexology, chiropractic, naturopath, unassisted homebirth). It could be that this is prevalent in EVERY other church, but i kind of doubt it, based on the fact that our church is so very excited about being part of the CREC body :)

Unknown said...


As I said in the above article, it seems to be primarily located in the CREC churches of the Pacific Northwest.


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