Sin on a Bun:
The Forgotten Vice of Gluttony

Moral Philosophy, Religion — By on May 29, 2008 at 12:01 am

The appetite for sex, thought C.S. Lewis, is in “ludicrous and
preposterous excess of its function.” How else, he wondered, can we
explain the fascination men have with watching a girl publicly undress
on a stage? The “strip-tease” shows the absurdity of our propensity for sexual titillation:

Now suppose you come to a country where you could fill a
theatre by simply bringing a covered plate on to the stage and then
slowly lifting the cover so as to let every one see, just before the
lights went out, that it contained a mutton chop or a bit of bacon,
would you not think that in that country something had gone wrong with
the appetite for food? And would not anyone who had grown up in a
different world think there was something equally queer about the state
of the sex instinct among us?

One critic said that if he found a country in which such striptease
acts with food were popular, he would conclude that the people of that
country were starving. I agree with him that if, in some strange land,
we found that similar acts with mutton chops were popular, one of the
possible explanations which would occur to me would be famine. But the
next step would be to test our hypothesis by finding out whether, in
fact, much or little food was being consumed in that country.

Nor is the hypothesis of ‘starvation’ the only one we can imagine.
Everyone knows that the sexual appetite, like our other appetites,
grows by indulgence. Starving men may think much about food, but so do
gluttons; the gorged, as well as the famished, like titillations.

In a country that spends more money on “adult entertainment” than
pro-football, basketball and baseball combined, we shouldn’t be
surprised that other appetites are also prone to overindulgence. While
we may not have special theaters where food in seductively unveiled (at
least not yet), there is certainly something “queer about the state” of
the food instinct in America. Take, for example, the MONSTER THICKBURGER by the fast-food chain Hardee’s.Monster Thickburger

Described as a “monument to decadence,”
the burger contains an artery-clogging 1,420 calories and 107 grams of
fat. When combined in a “combo meal” with large fries and a medium
drink, the total tips the scales at 2,285 calories. Such a meal would
comprise 77% of the daily caloric intake for the average male (175 lbs., moderately active) and 99% for the average female (150 lb, moderately active). To work off those calories
a person would need to jog for over 3 hours, walk briskly for 7.5
hours, or simply sit in front of the TV for 31 hours straight.

The MONSTER THICKBURGER is an iconic representation of America’s
embrace of gluttony, a sin that has long been forgotten. While many
churchgoers have heard sermons warning against the dangers of sexual
sins such as adultery or fornication, they’re not likely to have heard
their pastor speak out against gluttony. It’s doubtful that many
Christians would even consider it a sin. An openly homosexual couple
attempting to join the congregation would be looked down upon by the
obese deacon showing them to the door; and no one in the pews would
even recognize the irony. The stink of our hypocrisy is so overwhelming
that it’s amazing we can hold down our order of Super Size fries.

Gluttony was once listed among the seven deadly sins.
But now it’s considered, when it’s thought about at all, as a private
health matter. We may realize that overeating has led to weight gain, a
change in appearance, or diminished health. But we never recognize it
as a spiritual problem.

Oddly enough, with the exception of those related to sex, American
Christians tend to take an antinomian view of “physical sins.” We act
as if corrupting our bodies will have no impact on our souls. Such an
un-Biblical view, however, must be rejected by anyone who acknowledges
that the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.

Lest we start to feel superior to the obese neighbors, we should
remember that not all gluttons are overweight. I’m 5’10′, 180 lbs and
though I no longer have to endure the rigors of Marine Corps martial arts,
I’m still in relatively decent shape (pear-shaped, perhaps, but
still…). But while my waistline may not completely expose my shame,
I’m prone to overindulging in food. I eat several snacks between meals.
I eat when I’m in my car. I eat when I’m bored. I eat when I’m
restless, when I’m frustrated, when I’m watching TV, when I’m on the
computer–I eat constantly for no other reason than that I can.

In stuffing my face, I neglect my spiritual life. I turn to the
refrigerator instead of turning to prayer. I pause at the vending
machine instead of pausing in meditation. I seek out a piece of bread
instead of seeking the Bread of Life. I fill my life with food in order to avoid filling it with God.

“Their end is destruction,” the Apostle Paul warned, for those for whom “their god is the belly.”
We worship a false idol when we succumb to the sin of gluttony. We
replace the focus on the Lord with a focus on our own indulgences. We
make a god of our belly and allow our souls to turn softer than the
creme filling in our Twinkies.

[Note: This is a modified version of a post that originally aired in November 2004. I'm reprinting it as a "sermon to myself."]



  • http://pursuingholiness.com Laura

    if he found a country in which such striptease acts with food were popular
    The Food Channel qualifies for this, I think. Although it’s not striptease, it’s full-on food porn.

  • Marie

    I never like those “you’d have to run for thirty minutes” “you’d have to climb Mt. Everest five times” comparisons for calorie counts, because they ignore the fact that you consume thousands (usually) of calories a day just existing.
    It varies with each person, of course, but the average man as I understand it burns nearly 3,000 calories a day just going about his business.
    What is gluttony?
    Is it stuffing yourself, making yourself barf, and then stuffing some more (the classic gluttony of ancient Rome?)
    Is it being fat? If so, by whose standards?
    It it eating “junk food?” If so, how do we define “junk food,” and is it ever ok to eat it?
    Is it more gluttonous to eat a $13 salad with little fancy imported raisins and balsamic vinegar and trendy shim shams in there, or more gluttonous to have a $1 McChicken?
    Or is gluttony being excessive in any given area (tv watching, work, eating, shopping, spa treatments. . .)?
    Are desserts ever necessary? If not, is it a sin to have dessert?
    What is the place of feasting in the Christian life? Does Scripture not prescribe times of feasting as well as fasting? When we feast, are we gluttons?

  • Tim J.

    I really don’t think it’s accurate to compare overindulgence in food to overindulgence in sex. I’m confident you’d have an issue with ordaining a practicing homosexual, but do you really have a problem with ordaining a fat guy?
    More to the point, the Bible talks of feasts in Heaven. It does not mention orgies.

  • http://www.settingcaptivesfree.com/lords_table/ Jason

    Thank you so much for posting this and particularly for the bit about the obese people showing the homosexuals the door at church. This is something near and dear to my heart as I work in a ministry helping people overcome gluttony.
    Marie — I would say that gluttony is when we use food for any purpose other than that which it was intended. As Christians we are to find our souls’ satisfaction in Christ. That means going to Him when we are happy, sad, bored, frustrated, stressed, etc, instead of to food. That also means that a carrot stick can be as bad as a bag of chips if we are eating just for the sake of eating.
    To me, the great news is that we have liberty to enjoy what we want to eat. I have been at a healthy weight for five years now after being fat for pretty much all of the 29 years of my life previous to repenting of gluttony. I still enjoy ice cream almost daily. I enjoy eating so-called “bad” foods regularly. However, I also exercise regularly and I enjoy those “bad” foods in moderation. In other words, I don’t eat a whole bag of Doritos in one sitting anymore. I eat two slices of pizza instead of three. And so on.
    If anyone is struggling with this issue please come and check us out at http://www.settingcaptivesfree.com/lords_table/ We would love to help you. Plus, the course is free!

  • Rich Shipe

    Well said, Joe. I too fall to this sin constantly. Thank you for the encouragement.

  • Tim L

    “One critic said that if he found a country in which such striptease acts with food were popular, he would conclude that the people of that country were starving”.
    I would say that is a good conclusion. It might seem weird to say that we (as a country) are starving sexually, but remember that many people don’t really differentiate sex and love or acceptance or fulfillment. We are starving for acceptance and/or fulfillment and unfortunately people go to the wrong places to look for it.

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    To be fair the ‘monster burger’ is targetted towards young men (didn’t Hardee’s previously make a name for themselves using Paris Hilton in a commercial). Young men tend to be more active & are probably more likely to skip out on meals.
    If you have a guy in an active job (think construction, roofing, landscaping etc.) who often skips breakfast the monster meal may not be so bad for him. Not like you’d want to do it for a lifetime or even every day but it isn’t in itself necessarily bad.
    I agree that we have become too oblivious to the food we eat. It is almost become like the background noise of the car radio. In order to keep our attention, food producers have responded by upping the sugar, the fat, the salt and everything else to make their food scream louder. There’s a lot to be said for simply taking food seriously and paying attention to it. You can still have your hamburger, cake, ice cream and so on but if you paid attention to everything you eat you wouldn’t be scoffing down thousands of calories without even being aware of it. I read somewhere that Tibetean monks make a practice of chewing each mouthful of food 50 times before swallowing. That’s probably not necessary but if you did something like that you’d probably discover the normal sized meal is more than enough food and taste to keep you happy and well.
    Didn’t CS Lewis also cite as gluttonious making a show of your eating habits? I could swear in the Screwtape Letters he used an example of a woman who always made a big show of eating very little portions. Perhaps a fan can correct me on that.

  • http://solidfood366.wordpress.com Lance

    We Southern Baptists like to enjoy an abundant potluck (a term that combines superstition with the potential for gluttony) after celebrating an alcohol-free Communion.

  • Michael

    In the Southern culture of my upbringing, food is eaten for fuel, but the kind of food you eat is chosen because it is good. If we accept that food must be eaten only for the purpose of fuel, then most of our food choices are sinful even when we are eating because we are hungry and need fuel.
    Also, since when is being big as bad as being homosexual? I weigh 40 pounds more than the govenrment says I should (like they’d know) but I only eat around 2000 calories a day and am still more fit than many skinny people I know.
    I can get up from my seat right this minute and run two miles, walk six miles or bike 15 miles (I know because I do each of these regularly). Any one of these activities is more than most people I know are able to do, even the skinny ones. I just can’t seem to end up slimmer around the waist.
    I was skinny until I was 30 and I kind of like being known as “the big guy” for a change.

  • Nick

    While we may not have special theaters where food in seductively unveiled (at least not yet)
    One could (and people have) argued that the Food Network is the functional equivalent.

  • http://jasonchamberlain.blogspot.com Jason

    I don’t think anyone is saying that being obese is sinful. The point is that the mechanism through which most become obese is sinful. Clearly there are exceptions, but most who are obese are also gluttons.
    Food is fundamentally fuel, but it is also a gift from God to be enjoyed. I try not to waste my time with eating anything that I do not want to eat. I think my diet-obsessed friends and family are surprised when they see how much “bad” food I do eat and yet remain thin.
    Sex is a gift from God and we have perverted it. I think the same is true for food. I believe that one problem with acknowledging that is that our gluttony is pretty public. We can hide a habit of surfing porn, but if we’re eating too much it’s going to show up.

  • Nick

    People don’t seem happy about the comparison of gluttony and homosexuality (perhaps it is easier to comdemn sin that one is not oneself prone to?), so how about comparing gluttony with drinking? It’s pretty clear to me that neither eating fatty food nor drinking alcohol is necessarily sinful, but overindulgence in either is. Many U.S. Christians, particularly here in the South, unreservedly condemn drinking alcohol in any quantity, yet they think nothing of eating huge portions of food at a church potluck. Heck, many of those Christians might be healthier if they drank some wine along with their gut clogging cuisine. I suspect that the sin of gluttenous eating kills many more Americans than gluttenous drinking, and as Joe points out, the church seems oblivious.

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    Nick
    Many U.S. Christians, particularly here in the South, unreservedly condemn drinking alcohol in any quantity, …
    I’ve always wondered how they square condemning all alcohol with the fact that Jesus turned water into wine at the Wedding?

  • http://oldvirginiablog.blogspot.com/ Richard Williams

    No argument about what I refer to as “buffet-butt Baptists” (I’m a Baptist by the way), but (no pun intended) feasting is a biblical concept. And “fat” is seen as a blessing throughout Scripture.
    Obviously, obesity is a real problem in America and I deplore the soft-bellied and soft minded American male who over indulges in everything. However, that burger would not be inappropriate for my neighbor farmer after he’s worked from dawn to dusk in the hot sun bailing hay. He’ll burn that many calories before 10 am. And I would recommend chugging a quart of Hardees ice-cold sweet tea as well!
    But that burger WOULD be inappropriate for the soft-belly.
    Bottom line: eat up if your body needs it. Otherwise, stick to salad and lean meat.

  • http://www.takeanumberplease.blogspot.com Bonnie

    Several years ago I spent a month on tour with an orchestra in Germany. When the bus would arrive at each destination, most of my traveling companions immediately set out to sample the local fine cuisine. My husband and I chose rather to save as much of our per diem as possible and explore historic sites instead. Still, when we did eat “better” (when there wasn’t a DonerKebab stand or cheap Italian restaurant nearby), we were impressed by the tastefully-sized portions and richness (preparation with quality ingredients, nicely seasoned, never heard of “low-fat”) of the food itself, sating both our empty stomachs and palate.
    Upon our arrival home, we were shocked by the contrast of the American presentation of food — supersized everything and all-you-can-eat buffets bigger than a bus station with a ridiculous amount of choices. It is truly obscene.
    And, though I sat on a bus (or concert stage) for hours and ate rich food (I did exercise), I actually lost weight while on tour.

  • Nancy Scott

    “To work off those calories a person would need to jog for over 3 hours, walk briskly for 7.5 hours, or simply sit in front of the TV for 31 hours straight.”
    Is it the actual consumption of the food that makes it sinful…or the fact that we do nothing with it??? Under option #3-the 31 hours in front of a screen…could that work with computers as well??? Maybe we might only have to sit there for 29.5 hours since we are “using” keyboards and mice??? Is it scientificly proven that there are only 24 hours in a day???

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    Nancy,
    Sounds like if you space out your monster burgers so you let at least 31 hours pass before you buy another one you are gluttony free!
    BTW, does anyone have the answer to my question in #13?

  • Nancy Scott

    Boonton,
    Obviously you did not grow-up Baptist! It is well known in Baptist circles that when the Bible says “wine” it is simply grape juice!

  • Nancy Scott

    Boonton,
    Obviously you did not grow-up Baptist! It is well known in Baptist circles that when the Bible says “wine” it is simply grape juice!

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    Nancy,
    Listen, Christianity exploded in the Roman Empire. Romans were Italians. Don’t tell me Italians didn’t know the difference between wine and grape juice!!!!!!! ;)

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    I wonder if grape juice could even exist in Biblical times? Without refridgeration could you even keep grape juice for any length of time without it starting to ferment? Even if you could why would anyone make grape juice? I would think grapes would be very valuable for making wine.

  • Nancy Scott

    Boonton…That only happened at a wedding…they drank it up immediately!

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    OK but if every other time they had drank ‘grape juice’ it was really good Italian wine they would have noticed that Jesus’s ‘grape juice’ wasn’t good wine but just grape juice! The miracle seems a lot less if you knew what wine was.

  • http://oldvirginiablog.blogspot.com/ Richard Williams

    Boonton – answer to your question re: wine. Its unfermented wine – “grape juice.” At least that’s the argument.

  • Darrell

    Gluttony, Greed and Graft: three topics I never hear preached on or rarely discussed in most Christian circles. I honestly try to fight cynicism in a big way but I can’t help but feel these topics are entirely too American to be touched on by most in our churches.

  • http://www.soberdiscourse.blogspot.com Michael

    Nick:
    I think you are on to something. I agree that it is true that it is easier to wink at a sin when you are prone to it yourself, but that overlooks the problem with the analogy it self.
    While gluttony is a sin, gluttony is not a perversion of the created order as is homosexuality.
    Nowhere does the Bible say that gluttony is an “abomination” as it does about homosexuality.
    The analogy to drunkenness is a better analogy because, as you say, both are similar abuses of the gifts of God. Homosexuality is not an abuse of sex in the same way that adultery or fornication is because usually we think of them as taking place between a man and a woman and sex is supposed to be between a man and a woman so adultery, for example, is a crossing of the boundaries God has set, not a twisting of the gift itself. Likewise, gluttony and drunkenness are abuses, a crossing of the boundaries, not abominations or perversion.

  • Jack

    Is it gluttony for 5% of the Earth’s population to consume over half of it’s oil?

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    Richard
    Boonton – answer to your question re: wine. Its unfermented wine – “grape juice.” At least that’s the argument.
    Ok then I think they would have called it that. If grape juice was basically unheard of in that day…as it would be if you couldn’t stop it from fermenting then suddenly being served grape juice at a wedding when wine is normally served would make you notice that and say something.
    Again no religion that can’t tell the difference between wine and grape juice would have ever won over Italians.

  • Nancy Scott

    “New Wine” has always been much better than the old!”Old Wine” tends to eat-up its containers!That is why “New Wine” requires a new container!

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    On More Serious issues:
    Jack
    Is it gluttony for 5% of the Earth’s population to consume over half of it’s oil?
    I’m going to say no because this is a deceptive way to describe it. The image this brings to mind is sitting in a pizza parlor with a bunch of friends and the waitress brings over a pie. You excuse yourself to wash your hands and when you get back not two minutes later your annoying fat friend has eaten the whole pie and only left you with a slice!!!
    But that’s not quite how it works. It’s not like there’s a big pool of oil and we are gobbling it up each year leaving none for the helpless fellow who went to the bathroom. We use most oil more than other people so we buy most of what is produced each year. It’s more like going to the pizza place and you order a single slice but your fat friend orders a whole pie for himself. Yes maybe he ate 90% of the pizza at that table but you could have ordered a pie too if you wanted (or if you had the money). If he had refrained from ordering the pie it’s not like they would have given it to you for free.
    If we stopped buying oil tomorrow everyone in Africa wouldn’t start to suddenly drive cars. Yes maybe they would drive a bit more since the price of oil would almost certainly fall but at the same time a lot of oil wells would simply be turned off just like the cook would simply make fewer pies if people order less pizza.
    So I think the best way to understand gluttony as a vice is to see it as being unbalanced. If you’re consuming too much that is gluttonous. That doesn’t necessarily mean you’re hurting others but you are hurting yourself. I’d say most people in the US are not gluttonous with oil. We consume what is reasonable given our current circumstances. Yes as a whole we can change policies so we don’t need to use as much and we are going to be doing so as long as gas stays over $4/gal but I know very few people who really can be described as gluttonous with gas.
    Joe
    While we may not have special theaters where food in seductively unveiled (at least not yet), there is certainly something “queer about the state” of the food instinct in America.
    The difference is that when it comes to sex we are visually stimulated but when it comes to food stimulation works better when it comes in the form of smell. We don’t really have ‘food porn’ but the food industry does put a lot of effort into pumping as much ‘food smells’ as possible at us whenever we pass buy a food court. No doubt Hardees would love it if someone could invent a HD TV that could emit the scent of meat cooking whenever one of their commercials came on.

  • Robski

    “The appetite for sex, thought C.S. Lewis, is in “ludicrous and preposterous excess of its function.” How else, he wondered, can we explain the fascination men have with watching a girl publicly undress on a stage?”
    If people walked about naked, like the other animals, I suspect the strip joints would go out of business. Unless, of course, they offered more than visual stimulation.

  • jd

    Boonton:
    As much as I hate to admit it, you’re right about C.S. Lewis seeing gluttony in “making a show of your eating habits.” And it was in Screwtape.
    Maybe you could explain how the “food industry does put a lot of effort into pumping as much ‘food smells’ as possible at us whenever we pass buy (sic) a food court.” Care to back that up with some facts? I was always under the impression that the exhaust fans pumped the smells OUT of the building–not AT the customers.

  • jd

    C.S. Lewis also said that he could not look at ham and eggs without committing breakfast with it in his heart.

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    Care to back that up with some facts? I was always under the impression that the exhaust fans pumped the smells OUT of the building–not AT the customers.
    Bad smells yes but good smells you’d want to vent out to the potential customers. The people walking by who smell fresh coffee, steak or will be more enticed to come inside and order something. I have no idea how much effort they put into doing this purposefully. I remember it mentioned in a marketing class I took in college a long time ago. I don’t doubt that a lot more money and effort is put into visual based advertising.

  • jd

    Boonton I have no idea how much effort they put into doing this purposefully.
    Then why did you write “food industry does put a lot of effort into pumping as much ‘food smells’ as possible at us whenever we pass buy (sic) a food court”–as if you know something about the food industry that the rest of us don’t.
    For all you new posters here, this is standard operating procedure for Boonton. He writes about subjects in a way to suggest that he has special or inside knowledge. Keep this in mind whenever you are tempted to discuss anything with him.
    You might also want to watch how he explains that one post which says the opposite of another is not a contradiction.

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    Tsk tsk, just when were being civil there jd goes again.
    What I should of written is that I know restaurants will pipe pleasing smells onto the streets so people walking by will be tempted to swing in. How do I know this? Because it was mentioned in a marketing class both by the professor and one or two students who worked in the business. Do I have any knowledge of how much money has been invested in this? How much science has been put into figuring out what smells make people buy and what puts people off? No and I never said I did.
    Is it a ‘lot of effort’? I would say so considering that it’s pretty hard to ‘manage smell’. Unlike music or video you can’t just put it in a room or on a street corner by setting up a speaker or monitor. You also can’t just vent the kitchen into the street otherwise you’d end up hitting people with smells that aren’t so pleasent. I don’t know how they do this, if it is all trial and error or if there’s technology they purchase to do it. Didn’t claim I did know.
    I probably should have written restaurants instead of ‘the food industry’. The reason I didn’t I must admit is simply that I don’t like the word restaurant since I tend to misspell it a lot so ‘food industry’ is a lazy writer’s out.
    I do know unlike sex, where we operate more with our eyes, a huge portion of our experience of food comes through our nose which is why if you’re going to do a ‘food striptease’ better to do with using smells. This is why stuff doesn’t taste right when you have a cold.

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    Ohhh how do I know that? I read it. Where? No idea.

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    For all you new posters here, this is standard operating procedure…
    For those new here jd is a member of the Trinity of Stupidity. Three presons, jd, smmtheory and ucfengr united in an annoying tactic of demanding backup for any and all ‘assertions’. Most of the time they refuse to actually specify which assertions they want you to back up….don’t try to back up everything you say, though, because they will then get upset and complain about your posts being too tedius to read or respond too. When backup is provided they will invariably ignore it or dismiss it with a wave of the hand.
    They don’t actually disagree with you. Or I should say when they do disagree with you they absolutely don’t want to produce, see or hear about any backup, support or facts. No when the demands come to prove how you know something you can almost always bet they don’t have any actual disagreement with what you said. They’ve stumbled on the idea that endless nitpicking actually amounts to something more than pointless spam.

  • ex-preacher

    From slashfood.com:
    - – - – -
    Have you walked into a bakery and smelled that warm and comforting aroma of just baked bread? My local bakery has an electronic dispenser that sprays an artificial baking scent into the store every few minutes. Mars has been scenting its M&M World retail stores with a chocolate smell to make the experience more enveloping. Verizon recently did the same in its stores with the release of LG Chocolate phones. Do you remember smellavision from old TV cartoons? Well it’s here. ScentAndrea has an 8,000 scent dispensing, flat panel screen monitor available in stores like Kroger’s and Wal-mart to help make sales.
    Scent is the most powerful of the human senses, and the most primitive. This is something I first learned when I was studying psychology in college. The right scent can trigger deep and long forgotten emotions and bring up feelings of every type. Marketers have known about this for a long time, which is why scent is starting to play a bigger role in many products advertising budgets. The best part about it from the sales perspective is that smell can help nudge you in a certain emotional direction without the person even noticing it. Sort of like a nasal version of Vulcan mind control. To boldly go, where no one has smelled before. Keep your eye’s out… Uh, nose, for a lot more scent marketed advertising to come.
    - – - – -
    On a separate note, here’s a question for everyone: Where exactly in the gospels does Jesus condemn gluttony?
    Another question: Where exctly in the Old Testament in gluttony condemned?

  • ex-preacher

    And one more question: Where in the New Testament besides the gospels is gluttony condemned?
    If you do happen to find gluttony condemned (and it is, somewhere) make careful note of what the author meant by it and how it is defined.

  • ucfengr

    Boonton – answer to your question re: wine. Its unfermented wine – “grape juice.” At least that’s the argument.
    That would requiring assuming that the ancient Hebrews didn’t know the difference between wine and grape juice. I don’t think that’s a valid assumption.
    “New Wine” has always been much better than the old!”Old Wine” tends to eat-up its containers!That is why “New Wine” requires a new container!
    No, you are misreading the verse. You don’t put new wine into old skins because the expansion caused by the release of CO2 causes the skins to burst. New skins are able to expand to accommodate the fermentation process.

  • ucfengr

    BTW–Here’s the verse:
    Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.–Matthew 9:17

  • ucfengr

    For those new here jd is a member of the Trinity of Stupidity. Three presons, jd, smmtheory and ucfengr united in an annoying tactic of demanding backup for any and all ‘assertions’.
    I guess if I had your poor reading comprehension and lack of research skill, I’d really on personal attacks too.
    Your real problem is not that most of your arguments consist mostly of unsupported assertions and irrelevant analogies, though that is the case; it’s that most of your assertions are unsupportable. This probably explains why you get so flustered when asked for support.

  • ucfengr

    Boonton, just to show that I really don’t take your attacks personally (I know they are just a response to a fear of looking stupid. A quite warranted fear, in my opinion) I will show you how to support your assertions. Look at comment 41; I made an assertion that in comment 29, Nancy misinterpreted the Bible verse she was drawing from. I then provided the basis for the assertion, in this case that the CO2 from the fermentation process of the new wine causes old skins to burst, while new skins would retain the flexibility to expand to accommodate the expansion. I then cited the Bible verse to show that she had recalled it incorrectly. Quite simple really. Please make a note of this for future posting.

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    Indeed you performed very well ucfengr. Unfortunately your interaction with Nancy is atypical of most of your posts here. If you find that hard to believe why don’t you show me some other recent posts of yours where you helpfully back up your assertions with well researched quotes. I promise, I won’t find them too tedious to read if you can find them….but right now I’m watching Battlestar Galactica…
    Cheers,
    B

  • Baggi

    I think sometimes Joe posts stuff that not even he believes.
    Let’s pretend for a moment that he does believe we can equate our overindulgence of our food appetite with our overindulgence with our sexual appetite.
    When talking about our overindulgence for our sexual appetite would he post a picture of a naked woman? Of course not, because it would be a temptation which could lead some to sin.
    So why then would he post the equivalent picture of food if he equated the two?
    The answer is, he doesn’t.

  • ucfengr

    Unfortunately your interaction with Nancy is atypical of most of your posts here. If you find that hard to believe why don’t you show me some other recent posts of yours where you helpfully back up your assertions with well researched quotes.
    So now you expect me to provide support for your unsupported assertions? How lazy can a poster be?
    but right now I’m watching Battlestar Galactica…
    I am “Tivo-ed” for viewing tonight. I have gotten to where I hate watching commercials.

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    So why then would he post the equivalent picture of food if he equated the two?
    I remember a long time ago some conservative site had an article on the “most dangerous books”….Joe referenced it too….each ‘dangerous book’ was linked to their Amazon.com affiliate account so they not only were helping their readers to buy these ‘dangerous books’ but were making a $ off it if they did. You gotta take some of this with a grain of salt.
    Even if you equate the two, though, it doesn’t follow that the stuff that may lead to overindulgence in sex is the same stuff that leads to overindulgence in food. A picture of food, even over the top food, is just not the same thing in our culture.
    ucfengr
    So now you expect me to provide support for your unsupported assertions
    No I’d like you to try to find posts you made that equaled the quality of the post you cited about the wine. You’re pretending you do something you almost never do.
    I am “Tivo-ed” for viewing tonight. I have gotten to where I hate watching commercials.
    They finally broke their ‘funk’ and are getting interesting again.

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    As much as I hate to admit it, you’re right about C.S. Lewis seeing gluttony in “making a show of your eating habits.” And it was in Screwtape.
    You know what’s interesting is that we hardly ‘make a show’ of our eating habits in this culture. We scoff down food wherever we want however we want. There used to be a whole protocol about eating, people used to worry about being able to tell what fork was the right fork etc. Eating with your hands was quite horrible and people asked if one had to use a knife and fork to eat a hamburger or sandwich.
    Now there is no show. Bring your egg mcmuffin to a business meeting if you want. Munch on your begel while talking with someone face to face or on the phone….we aren’t so far away from eating steaks and mashed potatos with our hands if only we could find a way to easily clean them afterwards! Perhaps CS Lewis failed to appreciate just how useful those ‘showy eaters’ were really doing for society.

  • ucfengr

    No I’d like you to try to find posts you made that equaled the quality of the post you cited about the wine. You’re pretending you do something you almost never do.
    So, again, you make an unsupported assertion and then expect someone else to do the hard work of supporting or refuting it. If you really think I am asking something of you that I rarely do, provide support. You go through the archives and make your case. Of course, it would probably be easier to support your own assertions rather than trying to prove your case against me, but easier still would be your current tack of whining. So I suspect that is what you will continue with.

  • http://www.globaloctopus.blogspot.com Grumpy Old Man

    An obsession with what you don’t eat is another form of gluttony. Just read the constant flood of diet advice and you’ll see what I mean.

  • Drew I

    To Boontoon:
    Don’t know if this has already been said but I’ve heard the arguments attesting that the wine Jesus made was non-alcoholic and I find them lacking. It is pretty clear to me that the according to the Scriptures drinking alcohol is not a sin, it’s the over-consumption, lack of self-control, drunkenness, etc. that is wrong.
    One of my professors, a teetotaller, admit that he couldn’t use the Bible to justify his stance.
    To ex-preacher:
    I couldn’t offer up a verse in the NT or OT condemning gluttony for you. But neither could I offer an explicit verse condemning sex before marriage. I would justify calling gluttony a sin based on the principles that ARE explicitly laid out in the NT: self-control, knowing your body is a temple of the HS, etc.
    There’s some verses on gluttony in Proverbs, but I don’t think they were referring to the kind of gluttony Joe is talking about here. Perhaps you already know the answer, ex? Please enlighten me.

  • GL

    Lest you also forget, not all fat people are guilty of the sin of gluttony. The words “overweight” and “obese” were made up by people in my profession, and they change in definition every year. Yet again and again we cannot find consistent scientific data to support any notion that fat people eat differently than thin people. PLEASE, for the love our God, stop talking about people’s sizes when you want to talk about their behaviors. It’s really not that hard to talk about the sin without talking about how to visually judge people as sinners from afar. In fact, it’s downright easy. Just educate yourself (look up information on fat athletes, for instance, or the science-supported Health At Every Size approach many health professionals now use), check out the very clear fact that the bible ALWAYS mentions fatness as a positive gift from God, and then set aside your modern Western biases so you can talk about gluttony without talking about weight. We’ll all be edified for it.

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    Drew,
    That seems to be what I’m also finding googling it a bit. No one seems to have a Biblical argument for wine not being wine. The closest I saw was one guy whose argument essentially was that wine is bad therefore Jesus would never make anything that could be bad (did the bread, then, have zero carbs in it and cause no increase in sugar levels for the diabetics?)
    Perhaps prohibitionists simply created a bit of folklore about wine being grape juice?

  • Drew I

    Here ya go, Boon, if you were curious this is a pretty thorough explanation of the words translated “wine” in the English Bible: http://www.bible.com/bibleanswers_result.php?id=213
    The article is honest enough to recognize that the wine Jesus made was fermented.
    Incidentally, the article echoes many of my thoughts on the subject. But it does go on to advocate being a teetotaller, which I reject.
    Wait, here’s an even better article: http://www.ccg.org/english/s/p188.html
    ‘This text confirms both that Christ sat at meat and that he was with publicans. We see that he drank wine with them.
    Matthew 11:19 “the Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, `Behold, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.” (RSV)
    To suggest that Christ drank grape juice while the publicans and sinners drank wine in the normal sense, yet was condemned for drinking with them, is ludicrous. These same publicans and harlots believed and were converted.’

  • http://katchoos-korner.blogspot.com/ Kim Lokken

    It seems to me that gluttony probably isn’t one of those eternally applicable sins like murder or theft, but a sin more like running away from your slaveowner or working on Rosh Hoshanah. This is because food was much harder to come by in the days of old. Today we make so much corn, for example, we are turning it into diesel so we can drive our SUV a quarter mile to church.

  • http://ultrapastor.blogspot.com Pastor Mark

    “I couldn’t offer up a verse in the NT or OT condemning gluttony for you. But neither could I offer an explicit verse condemning sex before marriage. I would justify calling gluttony a sin based on the principles that ARE explicitly laid out in the NT: self-control, knowing your body is a temple of the HS, etc.”
    After reading Joe’s article and all the comments I think it’s obvious why we don’t put much emphasis on the sin of gluttony: no one knows what it is and the Bible doesn’t help much either. I preach the Word. So what can I say about gluttony that I can back up with Scripture?
    I can give some vague generalities and everyone will nod and agree and nothing will change (including in my life). Or I can try to be specific and give 33 Pharisaical regulations defining what gluttony is (“One donut with friends is OK, but if you eat a second one or eat donuts alone, you have sinned”), but of course I can only do that if I make stuff up.
    We need a theology of food and meals (and some good work has been done toward this) before we can even begin to talk usefully about gluttony.
    Anyway, I’m in training this month so I’m running two hours a day, six days a week. It’s almost impossible for me to overeat right now!

  • http://www.xerraireart.com/blog Barbara (Xerraire)

    I never thought about it the way you present it before, but it is definately a forgotten sin. Thanks for the thoughtful reminder.
    Barb

  • Nancy Scott

    “ucfengr writes:
    Look at comment 41; I made an assertion that in comment 29, Nancy misinterpreted the Bible verse she was drawing from.”
    Or perchance,instead of quoting the scripture, the intent of the comment was concerning the hardened condition of old wine skins…sometimes, clarification from the author or an “inside source” is required to correctly understand the written word.

  • Nancy Scott

    Here is an article supporting the non-fermented wine theory…seems they could preserve simple grape juice after all.
    http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/books/wine_in_the_bible/1.html

  • ucfengr

    Or perchance,instead of quoting the scripture, the intent of the comment was concerning the hardened condition of old wine skins…sometimes, clarification from the author or an “inside source” is required to correctly understand the written word.
    That wouldn’t support your original statement:
    “”New Wine” has always been much better than the old!”Old Wine” tends to eat-up its containers!That is why “New Wine” requires a new container!”
    You referenced the “corrosive” properties of “old wine”, not the condition of the “old wine” skins as the reason “new wine” goes into “new skins” and “old wine” into old ones.

  • http://blogs.ittoolbox.com/c/programming George

    I find exception to the article in certain things as it clubs people like myself who enjoy the food I eat as gluttons.
    I enjoy eating junk food more than eating “non-junk” food. Yet I am perfectly fit for my age, hieght and in wieght. I eat fried chicken or pizza or a philly cheese steak meal EVERYDAY for lunch for the past 10 months at the least. I thank before every junk food meal for giving me food to eat which I enjoy and like. Believe it.
    Dinners are almost the same. I don’t do all that dieting and going for greens and tons of vegetables and all. Yet healthwise, I am normal by God’s grace (132 pounds for 5′ 6”, Blood pressure: 115/80). I walk around 5 miles everyday for my commutes which helps I guess.
    Yet because I enjoy the food I eat, burgers, steaks and pizza with coke and fries and all, I would look like a “glutton” to joe carter.
    My two cents:
    The article makes the mistake of clubbing gluttony with enjoying food you eat or it doesn’t talk at all about the biblical view that you can and should enjoy the food you eat giving the impression that enjoying the food you eat is also sinful and glutonous at worst.
    Gluttony as explained by scripture:
    Romans 16:18
    For they that are such SERVE NOT our Lord Jesus Christ, but THEIR OWN BELLY; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.
    Philippians 3:19
    Whose end is destruction, whose GOD IS THEIR BELLY, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)
    A glutton’s god(s) is his belly.
    Can we enjoy or are we allowed to enjoy a good meal say a double cheese quarter pounder which I enjoy? According to the article, no. According to the Bible: yes.
    Proverbs 13:25
    The righteous eateth to the SATISFYING OF HIS SOUL
    Is eating “junk food” gluttony or what is not always “needed” by the body gluttony – icecream, choclates, pizza, fried chicken?
    According to the article – yes (eg: Hardees’ Monster thick burger). But who told the fats, proteins, carbs and nutrients, no matter how insignifcant they are in your meal are “not needed”? Who defines what is “junk food”? What if I eat junk food everyday for the past two years and am still healthy and fit. Is that still “junk food”?
    We are to eat “meats” with thanks giving:
    1 Tim 4:3
    …and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanks giving
    ALSO, scripture is loaded with plenty of feasts. We are all invited to the GREAT HEAVENLY FEAST… unless Joe wants to abstain to make sure he doesn’t cross the 2000 calory limit.
    In Christ,

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    George,
    Perhaps gluttony should be NOT enjoying one’s food. Scoffing down food without paying attention to it, without appreciating it would be gluttony. The sterotypical image we have of a glutton is not only someone who eats a lot of junk food but doesn’t really enjoy it. Food has become ‘background noise’ for him whereas the non-glutton thinks about what he is eating and enjoys it for what it is.
    There is overlap with health. Gluttony often can lead to health problems but they aren’t the same thing.

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  • Donna Dillon

    I am amazed at Christians who understand that sin cannot be overcome in the flesh by the natural man, but who simply do not understand that gluttony must be over come by the Holy Spirit’s power also. It seems that most people really believe that this sin of greediness for food just requires a diet and some will power. There is much deception involved in that sin and the devil attacks children with it sometimes before they are even aware of what is going on. This sin requires the grace of God and His Truth which sets men free indeed!