Virtual Reality

Went south a few miles yesterday to meet Scott and Darla Frantz and Deb (somethingorother). We had a great time of fellowship and getting to know one another (and being picked on by Deb).

These are people I have only known through their blogs and their comments on other posts.

Yesterday we were able to turn “virtual” into “reality.”

It is great to be able to meet other members of the Body of Christ from other parts of the country–especially when I find out that they are being led the same way I am. (something about “confirmation” I like)

Scott is the grillmeister–steaks done to perfection. Darla is the perfect host–avoiding any social faux pas by just being herself. (nothing fancy and no airs) Their children, Lacey (sp?), Derek, and Katrina were able to join in on adult conversation as well as do “kid things.”

The air in that part of Mt. Joy, PA is filled with the love of God and we were refreshed.

And, (all seriousness aside) Deb is a refreshing person to be around.

The New Morality of Food

This article was sent to me by a friend who receives the Daily Commentary from Chuck Colson of Prison Fellowship.

Mindful Eating, Mindless Sex 
Our Inner Sense of Right and Wrong

March 24, 2009

Imagine inviting some new neighbors to a dinner party.  The first couple tells you they’d love to come. But, they warn, they think it’s immoral to eat animals, so please—vegetarian options only.

The second couple also wants to come, but—they’re almost embarrassed to mention it—they only eat locally grown food. No strawberries from Chili, or shrimp from Asia. Importing food from faraway countries damages the environment, they explain.

Couple number three also wants to attend—but, they ask, you aren’t serving genetically enhanced vegetables, are you, or meat produced by industrialized breeding practices?

At this point, you might be tempted to cancel the party and go out for a cheeseburger, followed up by a banana split—made with bananas from Ecuador. But you might wonder, as you bite into that greasy hunk of beef, just why it is that people have become so moralistic about food. Especially when so many are immoral in other areas—like their sex lives.

One person who has wondered about this is Mary Eberstadt, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution. In her article “Is Food the New Sex?,” Eberstadt notes that food is cheap and plentiful in the West. The same can be said for sex. Technology has tamed many of the dangers associated with sex, like pregnancy and disease. Moreover, social and religious strictures have all but disappeared.

Which leads to an interesting question: What would happen, Eberstadt wondered, when, “for the first time in history . . . [people] are more or less free to have all the sex and food they want?”  Would they pursue both food and sex with equal ardor?

Oddly enough, they don’t. Instead, many engage in a sexual free-for-all—but put stringent moral strictures on anything to do with food. A modern young woman might think nothing of living with several different men, and having abortions when she gets pregnant. But she would not dream of eating anything from a factory farm. That would be immoral.

In effect, some people have reversed the “moral poles” of sex and eating, Eberstadt writes. They are engaging in “mindful eating and mindless sex.”

Why is this happening? As Eberstadt writes, “It is hard to avoid the conclusion that rules being drawn around food receive some force from the fact that people are uncomfortable with how far the sexual revolution has gone.”

“Not knowing what to do about it,” she says, “they turn for increasing consolation to mining morality out of what they eat.”

Or, as my former colleague Jim Tonkowich notes, “For all our relativistic talk” about encouraging people to make their own moral choices, “we cannot get away from an inner sense of right and wrong and the desire to codify [it].”

Jim is right. As the apostle Paul put it, God’s law is written on our hearts. We can deceive ourselves into believing it doesn’t exist, but when we do, we find our God-given sense of morality breaking out in other forms.  In this case, in food—though it would be better the other way around.

This is what we ought to lovingly share with our unsaved friends—maybe over dinner—people who may think nothing wrong with living together out of wedlock, but who wouldn’t dream of eating mandarin oranges from Spain. 

How Expensive is Cheap?

In a previous post, I wrote about how the concept of getting things for free has begun to warp our minds. I related it specifically to financially supporting the ministry that spiritually supports you.

But, there are things in our physical life that are connected with this concept also. The idea of free so permeates our thinking, that we continually look for the things that are so listed. It has become a major ploy of marketers to get our attention. Hardly anything is offered without something FREE being attached.

Moving up the ladder of expense, the next step is CHEAP.

Another thing that most of us have learned about CHEAP is that the price reflects the quality. Yet, we continue to buy cheap.

We shop for lowest price. And often find ourselves disappointed at some level with our decision.

This was a common experience when I was in the home repair business, both as a contractor and as a materials salesman. Homeowners would call me for a “free estimate” for a job. They were always looking for the “best price.” More than once, I was called back to repair what was not done by the cheaper guy.

But, we have allowed “cheap”to determine our stewardship–as was mentioned in the previous blog.

Is buying the “cheapest” a proper stewardship? Is it the way to properly use the resouces God has blessed us with? Is “saving money” the equivalent of “good stewardship?”

This ‘cheapness’ has entered into the way we care for our body. And now we find ourselves in trouble.

We’ve bought cheap food. And we got what we paid for. Now we find that the cheap food is also addictive. And we are hooked.

We are eating things that do not make the temple glorious, so we are not glorifying God with our body. (1 Corinthians 6:20–for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. )

We find ourselves overweight, low on energy, battling depression, angry, confused and then ask God for healing. All the while, we cannot quit our habits.

Have you ever bought cheap gas? Ever had bad gas? The car does not run well, does it? So, we buy an additive. Works for awhile; but then something else begins to go wrong. We hear of a new product that will fix the symptoms we have in the car; so we buy the new product. It works for a while.

The same thing happens with our body. Feed it poorly, and it will run poorly. Run out and buy the latest supplement, and you are repaired for awhile. But, then something else begins to show up and we need a new repair (fix).

We have gotten to this place because of our ‘cheap’ mentality.

Examine yourself to see if this might not be true for you. It is for me.