This post is part of my series, “Kickin’ It Old Skool: Why and How We Are Old-Fashioned” or KIOS for short. If you’re new to the series, please read my disclaimer before continuing on. I’m keeping a table of contents to this series here so you can see what I’ve already written about and what more there is to come.
Before getting into the nitty gritty of how we eat, I want to share some thoughts about the theological implications of what we eat. A couple years ago, one of my friends (and one of her friends) had the following conversation on Facebook (edited by me for length and reprinted here with her permission):
N:I’m enslaved to the food industry via processed food. My eyes are open now and with the Lord’s help, I will learn how to live without the evil talons of this industry.
J: Did you ever think about the fact that Satan’s very first deception of man was centered around food? I think you’re on to something that the church at large misses or ignores. I would never want my consideration of food choices to distract me from walking with Christ in His strength or from winning souls to Christ, but I fear that we ignore this area of deception that hinders our fitness and hence ability to serve Him as much as we could.
N: I’ve been blind to this up until now and never fully understood the problem. Amazing deception really. Now the hard part is finding the way out.
Until I saw this conversation on Facebook, I really hadn’t stopped to consider that there were any theological implications to the way that we eat. I am certainly not contending that by eating all organic food, one can work himself into heaven or that by eating locally, someone can claim to be holier than another. What I am arguing is that just as we can make more or less holy and God-honoring decisions in any other aspect of our life, the same is true with the food that we eat.
If we believe that we were created in God’s image (Genesis 1:27) and also that we are God’s temple (I Corinthians 3:16), then I believe that we must also accept that what we put into our bodies affects who we are and whether or not we are honoring God with our actions.
I am not contending that every Christian has to eat all organic food in order to honor God. Or that if we slip up and eat a whole bag of Oreos, somehow we’ve fallen out of God’s favor.
I’m simply saying (like N and J discuss above) that we need to mindfully consider the food that we eat, just as we should mindfully consider the media we consume (and any other aspect of our lives).
Additionally, the food we eat has great impact beyond our own bodies. When we choose to eat food that is grown or raised sustainably and ethically, we are also choosing to obey God’s command of stewardship and dominion of the earth from Genesis 1.
I definitely don’t have this all figured out. I welcome any thoughts that you have in the comments!
There’s an interesting discussion in the comments of this blog post: Should Christians Do Their Best to Only Eat Organic Food?
A couple perspectives on stewardship and Christianity: