Tuesday, August 4, 2015
How Churches Promote Ill Health

How Churches Promote Ill Health

This may sound like a crazy title for a message, but I trust you will seriously consider its content and take action on what you are about to read.

 

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.

19 comments

  1. Hallelujah once again for a great message. Since 2002, when I first learned the truth about nutrition, I have been hearing those “90% of the prayers” in churches everywhere — prayers for divine healing of diseases that we have unknowingly brought upon ourselves.

    But to be fair, we have all grown up within a system of education that promotes the regular use of meat and dairy at almost every meal. Since 95% of the people think our Western diet is healthy, that means we’re probably talking about 95% of the doctors, 95% of the governors, 95% of Congress, and yes — 95% of the Christian ministers and Sunday School teachers across the land.

    As I always say, “Forgive them father; they know not what they do.” But now, with the help of people like Reverend Malkmus, Dr. Campbell, Bill Clinton and Sanjay Gupta, all of that is beginning to change. In my opinion, the saddest part of our current dilemma is the poison that we continue feeding our precious children. For my July 4th post on that topic, I have provided a link below for your convenience. Be well and God bless you, J. Morris Hicks, author of Healthy Eating, Healthy World.

  2. Good article…and yes it is true, that it seems every church dinner, hospitality hour, etc. is almost all foods that are not good for you….especially donuts & pastries.

    What has been helping me in taking care of the body, is what the Bible teaches on gluttony. I try to keep “gluttony” in my for my eating habits. I remember one time a guy who I hadn’t seen in a while got up to give a talk — it was on gluttony. He was overweight & one day while reading his Bible, he read about gluttony and realized that he was guilty so he just quit being gluttonous. He was half the size of the last time I saw him!

  3. Thank you for this article, Mr. Malkmus. I agree that the church largely is not teaching people the importance of caring for the temple of God. The full Gospel, which is our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ (Gal 3:24), has been replaced with a gospel which only puts forth the love and grace of God; this makes no sense without knowing what the bad news is, that we have committed crimes against God (breaking each of the 10 Commandments) and deserve the punishment Jesus spoke of more than any other person in the Bible. When one understands the disease of his/her heart, one understands the necessity of grace and God’s incredible kindness to offer it. The lack of this complete message has thoroughly affected every aspect of our culture and I pray fervently for the Church to come back to Jesus’ purpose in coming to us: to seek and save that which was lost (Luke 19:10)!

  4. Great article George. All of what you wrote must be discussed because is is true and Biblical. Our church (worldwide) has promoted a health message including vegan and vegetarian diets for decades. I am an RD, and CDE working at a VA hospital. I strongly urge my patients to eat high fiber, high nutrient density, (mostly raw) foods. I, like you, have seen my patients reverse diabetes with this approach. Thank you for this important ministry. Keep spreading the word!

  5. I am a health minister and since 2008 i have tried to get the hallelujah diet message to my church and its been the hardest thing to do. My pastor has completely refused this message though he has a number of health issues which he is struggling through. The last meeting i had with him and his wife he said he didn’t want a hallelujah church. He said i am not allowed to speak to anyone about this and that i should only do the diet in the 4 walls of my house. I have become so frustrated with this church i have decided to leave so i can find a place to express what God has laid in my heart. I have helped quite a number of people and i believe i will be more released to do this powerful ministry when i find my FREEDOM!

  6. Praise the Lord I feel like shouting right now, I’ve been saying this and saying this .we go up for pray get hands laid on us, and that all good, but we go right back to our seats and to our house and eat the same as befor and never chang or do our part. We do have a part to play in our healing, there for we never receive our healing. I in facted was that person but when I got tired of being sick and tired . I got on my face and cried out to God to help me from my heart, and every sent that day I’m not the same person what a wonderful change that has come over me. I was 198 pounds today I am 134 pounds I was on 12 medications to day I’m on one on my way to none at all to God be the Glory for the things he has done.

  7. I posted a rant on Facebook… I am sitting here reading an article that I completely agree with and will share with you momentarily. But first, I want to rant for just a moment. On Sunday, my husband and I went to get our kids from kids church. Here we are trying to do something good for ourselves and our children by going to church and every week they are offered candy! This week it was Skittles which is my youngest’s favorite candy and he has not had it since being in public school where it was offered daily to him. So the first words out of his mouth is that they had bags of Skittles at church today. Poor guy, he wants a strong immune system, especially during this time of year when people are going to church sick “spreading the love”, and he wants to do what is right for his temple, but at church, of all places, ill health is being promoted. It’s not bad enough that my husband and children and I have to walk past the pastries and coffee week after week, a temptation that is very hard for us to pass up, but come on a double whammy for the kids! All there friends are doing it and it just doesn’t seem right that it is thrown in their face in a holy place! Doesn’t the Bible tell us not to do things that cause others to stumble? What do we do? Stay away from church, like an alcoholic who can no longer go to the bar because he quit drinking? …People responded very defensively. They thought I was being judgemental and one commented that if it makes the kids want to come, we should do it!

  8. to mariaobl: I have been to lots of churches & several different denominations, even Spirit-filled ones speaking in tongues and everything — one thing I don’t understand is why so many, in fact most, churches think they have to “dumb down” the Word w/ candy, junk food, turning the preaching into a comedy session w/ all kinds of jokes and something that REALLY bothers me — “Christian” rock-n-roll music. Don’t these churches realize that Jesus DRAWS them — we don’t have to give God a hand by providing junk food or trying to “drum” up the Spirit w/ rock-n-roll or any other help — I think God can manage just fine on His own.

    One suggestion I have if you like the church you attend is to tell the Sunday School person that you prefer they don’t give your children candy as they have health concerns & your keeping them off sugar & dyes.

    Another suggestion if that doesn’t work is to have home church. I just found a FABULOUS, Non-denomenational church called Times Square Church, NY which has most of their preaching on-line & it’s the best preaching I’ve ever heard. Also, there’s many others that put their preaching on-line — find one you like and have your own church at home where you can view the preaching and serve your family healthy snacks.

    I sympathize w/ you — like I said — I’ve been to many different churches and I’ve yet to find one to serve healthy food — and they look at you like your crazy when you try to tell them how important diet is.


  9. mariaobl:

    I posted a rant on Facebook… I am sitting here reading an article that I completely agree with and will share with you momentarily. But first, I want to rant for just a moment. On Sunday, my husband and I went to get our kids from kids church. Here we are trying to do something good for ourselves and our children by going to church and every week they are offered candy! This week it was Skittles which is my youngest’s favorite candy and he has not had it since being in public school where it was offered daily to him. So the first words out of his mouth is that they had bags of Skittles at church today. Poor guy, he wants a strong immune system, especially during this time of year when people are going to church sick “spreading the love”, and he wants to do what is right for his temple, but at church, of all places, ill health is being promoted. It’s not bad enough that my husband and children and I have to walk past the pastries and coffee week after week, a temptation that is very hard for us to pass up, but come on a double whammy for the kids! All there friends are doing it and it just doesn’t seem right that it is thrown in their face in a holy place! Doesn’t the Bible tell us not to do things that cause others to stumble? What do we do? Stay away from church, like an alcoholic who can no longer go to the bar because he quit drinking? …People responded very defensively. They thought I was being judgemental and one commented that if it makes the kids want to come, we should do it!

    @mariaobl, I feel your pain & will rant with you. Our last children’s minister was grossly obese. When you would mention bringing in healthy snacks for the children, the conversation would eventually lead to statements like – I was being judgemental, I needed to meet people where they were, I needed to be a little more compassionate…However, when other sins were preached, such as homosexuality, etc. those adjectives were never an issue. The church as a whole has missed the mark. Even my friends church, which was known for bringing vegan & vegetarianism to the forefront, is now serving meats in their potlucks. Satan’s scheme is so sly….if he can’t get us overtly, then he will get us in one of the most controversial areas of the church…..what we eat & our health.
    George, I feel your pain as well. It is a crying shame that pastors are not more welcoming to the H.D. message-actually God’s message on health.
    In summary, my entire concern is for the people that can and are delivering the health message to the church that we will humble ourselves and pray and KNOW that this is the only hope for the church and the only way their eyes will be opened. The same way the early church’s eyes were opened….by the power of the Holy Spirit! God help us to become MORE burdened to earnestly pray and seek your face. Yes, it’s okay to rant and get it out but the more important issue is for the one’s of us who’s eyes have been opened…..is for our heart’s to be burdened to PRAY! And never cease praying for OUR CHURCH!!! Blessings in our journey~Rita

  10. AMEN! Thank you for posting this! It’s about time someone said it. You have just expressed my thoughts completely!!

  11. I thank God that my church provides a classroom and allows my wife and I, both Halleujah Acres health ministers, to teach classes on Food and Nutrition. About a third of those attending are from our church with the others being from other churches and there are some who do not attend any church. We have a mailing list of about 50. Notices are also posted in local health food and grocery stores.

    I will fully admit that the church cafe serves the standard SAD diet food between services, but I thankful for what God has given us.

    Unfortunately, many churches focus on verses such as those from Romans 7:18 – 8:8 and others and think that we shouldn’t be dwelling on the flesh, which they believe is the cause of our sinful behavior. The point that is missed is that, for a Christian, the flesh needs to be put into subjection to the Spirit so that the whole body can be used as an effective instrument in God’s hands to perform His work while we’re in this world.

  12. Thank you for your encouragement Rita and Pat. I am currently in a debate/discussion with my Aunt who has turned this into a discussion about being saved and being judgemental. Obviously we know that is not the point. I like what Food4Life said “The point that is missed is that, for a Christian, the flesh needs to be put into subjection to the Spirit so that the whole body can be used as an effective instrument in God’s hands to perform His work while we’re in this world.” But we also know “the curse causeless shall not come” and offering children with obesity, and possibly diabetes, candy and pastries is not serving them. As Pat said “we don’t have to give God a hand by providing junk food or trying to “drum” up the Spirit w/ rock-n-roll or any other help — I think God can manage just fine on His own.” And Rita, you are right, we need to PRAY!!!! It is encouraging to know that I am not alone :)

  13. The Seventh-day Adventist Church has a beautiful health message. Many members are vegetarian and the average life-span for an SDA is between 7 to 10 years longer than an average American.

  14. God Bless mariaobl, and for Rita: right on w/ the praying and seeking His face…..it seems it’s been replaced w/ “food” (of course), entertainment & socializing….it’s actually hard to even find a prayer meeting these days — even at the Spirit-filled churches — but you sure can find plenty of candy donuts & rock-n-roll……but Rita, what you said was very well said…AMEN!

  15. Rev. Malkmus: I wholeheartedly agree with you. But, I think you left out one thing in your comments. Food IS a GOD. Sometimes it’s the MOST WORSHIPPED GOD in churches.

  16. Thanks so much for the article. Wherein I do agree that our churches should be emphasizing the care of our Temples (and in that I’m new to trying to live the HAcres way myself), in light of the posts regarding this so far, I’m hesitant but convicted to remind us that we must approach others in Love. Seems to me that, while we are all concerned with our church families’ health and wellbeing, especially in light of the Scripture, we could remember that we all are still being attacked by the world. Until we build positive relationship and perhaps invest in providing healthier selections ourselves at children’s churches, classes, and an alternative choice to coffee and donuts (giving to them, loving them, and then, sharing our testimonies and hopes for their health), we can expect to be feeling as though we are casting our pearls before swine. I don’t like to think of my friends and family as pigs. I myself was “beaten up” with this truth and almost turned my back on it completely. All of us have experienced the results of those hearing the Holy Spirits leading better when shown love and caring instead of being accused or, in their understanding, beaten over the head with the Word. Just my thoughts. Maybe we could each invite our pastor for a lovely healthy meal in our home and share our heart with him.

  17. Praise God for this awesome message, Dr Malkmus! I often preach the same thing as I educate others about honoring God with their temples.

    Miriam Moss

  18. While HA has healed many folks and I love their passion for healthy food, the Bible sees it a lil bit different. The Maker’s Diet is a book that talks about how God instructed us to live, eat, reproduce, cleanse ourselves, handle the dead, birthing and every single thing under the sun. God laid it out specifically and it’ll work today as it did back then. He said we could have meat…it needs to be from a grass fed cow that hasn’t been shot up with hormones and antibiotics. He said many other things as well pertaining to what we can and cannot eat and drink. WE must not eat animals that were meant to clean up the earth like pigs, shrimp, crawfish, crabs, catfish and such, but we are invited to have fish that have scales and a fin that’s caught in a place that’s not polluted with growth stimulants and so many fish that it becomes part of the problem instead of part of the solution. The Jews were blessed because though the nations around them were stricken with things, they were not because their Maker laid out the plan for them to have a healthy life. They were farmers, having cattle and chickens and the like. So many were healed by just following The Maker’s Diet. Hallelujah Acres has a love for God and a passion for just vegetation and I don’t think God has a problem with that :o) I am

    happyfarms

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