During almost 20 years in the pastoral ministry, I founded two and pastored several other Baptist churches. In addition to the churches I pastored, I have been a member of and faithfully attended several other churches. When added up, I have pastored or attended churches for over 54 years since becoming a Christian in 1957.
In addition, I have also had opportunity during the past 20 years to share God’s health message in hundreds of churches across America and in a number of foreign lands. These churches were of more than a dozen different denominations.
As a result of being in so many different churches over such a long period of time, I have a pretty good handle on what is and what is not being taught concerning the physical body, and what is offered to the children and adults in those churches to eat and drink.
In short, when I say that “Churches Promote Ill Health” I know what I am talking about.
In fact, for most of the years that I pastored, I must confess, I personally participated in, encouraged, and was responsible for “promoting ill health” in the various churches I pastored.
I did it in ignorance, but that doesn’t alter the fact that I was responsible.
You likely attend a church that “promotes ill health” as well.
“How can this be?”you may ask.
I’ll explain, but first here’s a little biblical foundation:
We Are Triune Beings
Just as the God Head is comprised of three persons (the Trinity), “God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit” (See I John 5:1-20), we humans are triune beings as well, comprised of: “spirit, soul, and body”:
“I pray God your whole spirit and soul and BODY, be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (I Thessalonians 5:23) Notice this scripture says that we should pray that all three parts, “spirit, soul, and BODY, be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Now stick with me! Does not the Bible also admonish preachers that they preach the whole counsel of God?
Here is what the apostle Paul had to say about the whole counsel of God in Acts 20:27-28:
“For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.”
When Was The Last Time…
Now, in most churches the messages coming from the pulpit center on the “soul and spirit” of man and how to protect the soul and spirit from the world’s influence! This type of preaching is right and proper.
But when was the last time you heard a preacher preach on the “BODY,” the physical BODY that houses the “soul and spirit?”
When was the last time you heard a preacher share how to maintain it in wellness and protect it from the influences of the world?
Or rather did the preacher make a big joke about that double dip chocolate concoction they ate last week?
I remember a very obese evangelist whom I asked to hold a series of meetings in a church I pastored a number of years ago. During his message said that he wanted to die drowning in a great big bowl of chicken gravy.
He said it in jest, but how many times do we hear preachers make jest of some unhealthy food they ate the past week?
And when was the last time you heard in a Sunday school class how to maintain that physical body so that it would be a fit vessel to house the “soul and spirit?”
Is not a fit and healthy physical body a necessity for the body to be a fit vessel for the Master’s use?
If this earthly house (our body) is not kept healthy and strong, how can we ever fulfill the earthly ministry God has called each of us to?
And yet from the pulpit and the Sunday School classroom we hear nary a word about this. There is absolute silence on the subject of how to maintain a physical body that is fit for the Master’s use in our churches.
Why Is There No Teaching or Preaching About This?
Why is there no teaching or preaching in the church on how to maintain our physical bodies in a state of wellness so that we can have a healthy body with which to serve the Lord?
Why are some 90% of the prayer requests in our churches for the healing of those in our churches who are sick?
Do you not see a relationship between how we nourish these physical bodies and the physical problems the people in our churches experience and pray to be healed from?
Has Satan blinded our eyes to this glaring and obvious relationship? Should not wellness be of the highest priority in our church and should not wellness be the testimony of our church people?
Does not the Bible admonish us in Romans 12:1 to take proper care of these physical bodies? It says that we should “present [our] BODIES a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is [our] reasonable service.”
And with regard to these physical bodies, does not the Bible tell us in Romans 12:2 how “not” to take care of these physical BODIES: “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
There are further teachings on how to take care of our bodies in I Corinthians 6:19-20: “What? Know ye not that YOUR BODY is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own. For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in YOUR BODY, and in your spirit, which are Gods.”
Yet In The Church…
Sadly, in the church, in spite of all the biblical warnings we have just read, we have done just the opposite of what God admonishes us to do in Romans 12:1-2.
We eat the world’s diet, we go to the world’s doctors, we take the world’s drugs, and we suffer the same consequences of ill health as the world’s people who go this same worldly route.
The world’s people are sick, tired, and dying prematurely and needlessly — and so are God’s people.
What should we do about it? Here is what God says: “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing and I will receive you.”
We in the church have bought into the world’s system. Indeed, we have brought the world’s system into our churches and homes, and we are paying a horrible price.
It is high time that we begin preaching from our pulpits and teaching in our Sunday schools, how to properly nourish and maintain these physical bodies we have on loan from God.
How Churches Promote Ill Health
While a pastor in one of my churches, we had a bus ministry comprised of five large school buses plus a van.
What was constantly being given these bus kids to encourage them to get on and ride to church? CANDY!
And in junior church we gave them cupcakes and soda pop, all loaded with sugar.
In our church socials, the tables were heaped with sugar desserts, and animal flesh was the predominate offering – barbecued pork, southern fried chicken, hamburgers, hot dogs, and you name it.
And for dessert there were the high sugar content donuts, cakes, cookies, pies, etc.
And for a beverage is it not sugar-laden sodas and coffee and tea?
Are you aware that these items — that are being offered and served in our churches to this very day — contribute to ill health?
Sugar destroys the immune system and makes us susceptible to colds, viruses, and bacteria and yes… cancer! Sugar also causes our children to misbehave and contributes to depression.
The fat in the animal products clog up the arteries and cause high blood pressure, need for stents and bypasses along with heart attacks, strokes, and diabetes. These animal products also cause cancer, arthritis, asthma, acid stomach, heartburn, gout, liver problems and more.
What Should Churches Do?
Rather than promoting ill health by giving the children unhealthy items to eat and drink, we should provide the children in our churches with health promoting foods like apples, oranges, date-nut balls, and other healthy snacks.
For beverages let’s give them ice water, rather than sugar-laden soda pop and Kool-Aid.
And for our socials, let’s provide our church people with such items as salads of all kinds – vegetable salads, bean salads, corn salads, whole grain pasta salads, etc., along with baked white and sweet potatoes, and a variety of cooked and raw vegetables and fresh fruits.
There are so many delicious dishes that tantalize the taste buds and fill the stomach that are healthy and health promoting. Why do we have to serve our church people at the various church functions unhealthy fare that promotes ill health?
Does this make any sense?
And what is the result of providing all this sickness-promoting food and drink? On prayer meeting night, 90% of the prayer requests are for physical problems caused by placing these unhealthy sugar and animal flesh items into our body.
It’s shocking to realize that the church is contributing to the sickness that necessitates these prayer requests.
Let’s Stop Promoting Sickness In Our Churches
In the church where Rhonda and I currently attend, at our church socials, we have a special table designated “Hallelujah Acres Food”, where healthy foods are available. And it is exciting to see that people whose diet has always consisted of the unhealthy foods come and try our healthy foods, and find out how tasty these healthy foods can be.
Since we started attending our current church, dozens of the people have adopted The Hallelujah Diet and reporting all kinds of improvements in their health – weight losses of over 50 pounds, diabetes gone, high blood pressure now normal, energy increased, and the list goes on.
May every pastor set the example by adopting a health promoting diet and then start promoting health in their churches.
May every Sunday school teacher adopt this 100% plant-based diet and start promoting health in their individual classes.
My dear friends, let’s each of us be challenged to STOP promoting sickness in our own body and the churches we pastor, teach in, or attend, so that we can have a church full of healthy people, people who have bodies fit for the Master’s use!
EDITORS NOTE: If you are concerned about the promotion of ill health in your church, may I encourage you to forward this article to all the pastors, Sunday School teachers and others in your church who need to hear this message. Also, send it to friends and loved ones who attend other churches as well. Let’s each do our part to STOP promoting ill health in the church of Jesus Christ.