Many medical authorities are asserting that Americans have a definite obesity problem. We Americans are quite simply among the most overweight people groups on the planet. Along with this excessive weight comes increased risk of disease. Diabetes, hypertension, and cancer are just a few diseases that may be triggered by “a bulging belly.” I think that perhaps we who make up the “American Church” also suffer from an obesity problem and that rampant false doctrines, heretical teachings, immorality within the leadership, etc… are the diseases this obesity has produced and perpetuated.
Here in America we are inundated with Christian programming, Christian radio, Christian Bookstores, mega-churches, how to do this & how to be that instructional teachings, and all of this has served to produce an overweight, self-indulgent body more concerned with her own glory and beauty than that of the Lord who purchased her with His own blood. We have fed to the point that we have come to resemble the “fat cows of Bashan” spoken of by the prophet Amos.
All of this “feeding” has produced a people who worship the way God makes us feel instead of worshiping God Himself. We scramble to and fro to find the preacher with the “fresh word”, the worship leader with the “heavy anointing”, and we feed upon that which only makes us fat and diseased. We have ceased to eat the “true Bread which came down from heaven” and crave the “raisin cakes” of our own idolatry instead. Sure, we are to come together, be built up, be encouraged in the Lord, exercise our gifts for the building up of the church; but, that’s not where it ends.
The Church is not designed to be a “social club” comprised of people who have received their “get out of hell free cards” and now, while waiting to be raptured out of here, indulge themselves in an endless feeding frenzy. No, we are called to the work of ministry. There is a world filled with people who need to hear of the love of God that is only found in Jesus. There is a hurt and desperate world (not to mention those who fill the pews) waiting for someone to minister to them. Can we not push ourselves away from the “table” long enough to feed someone else?
Just like the physical body has to have exercise and proper diet to combat obesity, the church must also utilize these elements in a spiritual fashion. Hebrews 12 tells us, “let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us…” Perhaps the sin which so easily entangles the American church is the sin of gluttony, and this constant feeding has produced an over weight body wrought with disease.
Let us pray that the Lord will grant us mercy, that we may again fix our eyes solely upon Him, that we may be filled “with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit [instead of fat] in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.”