Gluttony: Excessive eating or drinking; greedy or excessive indulgence (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
Maybe I have never been to the right church at the right time, but I have never heard a pastor preach to a congregation about gluttony. Why not? Probably because we don't want to hear it. Maybe the pastor is afraid too many church members will get mad and not come back. Or maybe the pastor gives in to gluttony so much himself, that he doesn't feel right preaching about it. Or maybe we all have gotten so caught up in it, we no longer see it as wrong.
Wrong? Really? But I LOVE to eat! Really, I do...I'm not being sarcastic here. I grew up not realizing gluttony was wrong. A couple of years ago, I finally started reading the Bible on my own rather than waiting for it to be spoon-fed to me on Sundays. Here's what I found:
Romans 13:14 Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provisions for the flesh, to gratify its desires.
Phillipians 3:18-19 ...they are the enemies of the cross: Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.
Provers 23:20-21 Be not among drunkards or among gluttonous eaters of meat: For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty...
Proverbs 25:16 Have you found honey? Eat as much as is sufficient for you, lest you be filled with it, and vomit.
No, gluttony isn't exactly in the 10 commandments (unless you count having no other gods before Him), but the Bible does speak against it. Food is meant to nourish and sustain us, but overeating beyond what's needed is giving in to the flesh. Phillipians 3:18-19 (above) says it best. Also, drunkeness is often preached against, but we fail to see that gluttons are often lumped with drunkards in Scripture.
An interesting correlation between obesity and religion in the US was found by author Tim Covell. He looked at the CalorieLab2010 report and a 2008 Gallup poll of adult Americans on how important religion was to them. He noticed that 9 out of 10 of the most overweight states are also some of the most religious. Covell admits he reports this "tongue-in-cheek" because the studies don't show why there's a correlation, if there is one at all. Maybe people in poor health come to the church for support, or maybe the obesity can be blamed on poverty rather than religion. Who knows?
Before I offend too many people, I do want to express one of my beliefs: Gluttony does not always lead to obesity, and obesity is not always caused by gluttony. Now let's move on...
If people come to the church for support or obesity is blamed on poverty, the same question comes to my mind: Where is the church's help??? We're keeping our mouths shut and offering no support. Instead, we're happily getting together to feast on roast beef, chocolate cakes, macaroni pie, etc. during Homecomings, showers, birthdays, Christmas, Thanksgiving, fundraisers, and any other excuse we can think of to eat. Please understand I am not saying it's wrong to get together to celebrate. We need fellowship, and around the dinner table is a great way to spend time together. I just don't believe we have to stuff ourselves each time. Too often I see people lean back after a meal, rub their stomachs, and say "wow I can't believe I ate so much" or "I can't move after all of that food." When I say I see people who do this too often, I really mean I see myself rubbing my stomach and saying those things. Guilty as charged.
I see 3 big problems with gluttony:
1) We indulge in greed and excessiveness, putting our physical desires first, which goes against Romans 13:14 and similar scriptures.
2) It's unhealthy to overeat because it puts a strain on our digestive system and adds excess fat for us to carry around.
3) We can't do all that God has planned for us when we're uncomfortably stuffed or unhealthy from too much food.
There are many more cartoons by Randy Glasbergen.