Thursday, August 17, 2006

How about a resolution on gluttony?

Todd Brady, minister to the university at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee, had this to say today in a Baptist Press First Person article entitled, "Vaccinating our indulgences:"
Obesity in America is a weighty problem. Approximately 30 percent of children and adolescents (ages 6 to 10) are overweight. Nearly 65 percent of adults are considered overweight or obese.

Even more discouraging is the fact that the problem is bigger among clergy. Several years ago, a survey by Duke University's Pulpit and Pew, a pastoral leadership research initiative, revealed that 76 percent of clergy are overweight. In addition, in his book "High Calling High Anxiety," Guidestone Financial Resources President O.S. Hawkins cited statistics saying that 75 percent of Southern Baptist pastors eat fried foods at least four nights a week and that 40 percent snack two or more times a day on cookies, chips or candy.
Joe Thorn toyed with the idea of submitting a resolution on gluttony to this year's Resolutions Committee of the SBC (just for the record, it was a resolution against gluttony). I think he ought to do it next year. In fact, I think several people should plan to submit such a resolution. The Bible does speak of gluttony as a real sin, even though we don't speak of it nearly as much as we do some of our own culturally manufactored "sins." By addressing it publicly perhaps many of us who have rather mindlessly imbibed very worldly attitudes about eating will be helped to reconsider what the Scripture actually says about this actual sin, and will be granted strength to repent.

Read the rest of Brady's article here.


hashbrown said...


When was the last time there was a resolution on divorce? I haven't been to a lot of conventions and I am curious.

To me that is the next Elephant in the room that needs to be pointed out. To me it's right up there with your resolution on integrity in membership.


Aaron L. Turner said...

This definitely makes me rub my chins and think

Ben Keller said...

Fantastic proposition, Dr. Ascol! The only problem is, gluttony is a sin that is nigh impossible to hide. So it would fail miserably, even though I think it should be offered as a resolution. Adultery, financial misconduct, alcohol, and even beating your wife can all be hidden by clergy who are dedicated and deceptive enough. Your point exposes a huge blind spot, though. As a Baptist, nothing perturbs me more than my brethren who describe themselves as "Biblicists" but then pick and choose which scriptural admonitions apply to them.

peter lumpkins said...

Dr. Ascol,

Glad you are back! The article is interesting. I think what is similarly interesting, if I may say so, is the fact that Joe Thorn "toyed with the idea of submitting a resolution" this past convention and your recommendation he ought to do it next year.

How funny we Baptists are. Somewhere I read that the Kingdom is not about "eating and drinking" but about much more significant matters of the Spirit. We dealt with drinking this year so next year, I suppose we'll vote eating down to. :D

Have a gracious Lord's Day. With that, I am...


Tom said...


I am not sure about the answer to your question. But we should be humbled at how poorly we have taught and encouraged biblical living in our homes.


You crack me up!


I know what you mean. It is certainly my propensity rant about those sins with which I do not struggle so much and to ignore the ones that I do struggle with more. Resolutions on obvious, real sins, of which we are genuinely guilty and for which our Savior died, might help breed more humility which in turn would strengthen faith for the fight.


I never really went anywhere, just had to keep my priorities in order. Blessings to you.

chadwick said...

Bro. Ascol,

My sin of "eating" gluttony was first brought to my attention about 3 months ago. Preparing for church, I slipped into my pants and I realized that they were so tight that the zipper was on the verge of blowing out. (That moment reminded me of the movie trailer for Mr. Incredible: it shows Mr. Incredible trying to put his "super belt" around his bulging belly; finally after trying frantically to get his belt on, he snaps it together. With a sigh, he wipes his brow. . . .then, suddenly, the belt buckle flies apart and ricochets around the room, finally knocking out the light.) I also noticed that my tight pants were causing me to be short-breathed in the pulpit, and I caught myself almost doing the "holy grunt" as I preached:) (Maybe this is the root cause of the "holy grunt")! And UUUHHHHH. . .A few weeks later. . . .UUUHHHH, after an ice cream binge,. . .UUUHHHH. . . I was next to my wife's sowing machine and saw a tape-measure. I curiously measured my waist and saw that my waist had "mysteriously" increased 2 inches over the course of 6 months. At first, I selfishly sought to lose my belly because I didn't want to have to pay to get all of my suits altered and I didn't want to promote the "holy grunt." Then the Holy Ghost convicted me that it was not a "money" or "appearance" issue, but a sin issue. Therefore, about six weeks ago, I cut out all of the "junk" food (ice cream, especially)from my diet, started doing sit-ups and push-ups every morning and every evening. . . all for the glory of God. I have since lost almost an inch, my suits are looser, and I haven't barked the holy. . .UUUHHHH.... grunt from the pulpit. Therefore let us all mortify the sin of overeating for the glory of God!!!


C. T. Lillies said...

Thats a dandy idea. My current pastor runs about five miles a day but he's the first. Most couldn't run to the fridge without getting winded.

I hate to say it but I'm probably guilty of gluttony too. "Exercise" may very well "profiteth little" but just think of all the ministries that have been cut short because of too many trips to that greasy chicken joint up the street.

At least proposing the thing would get the issue out there. I wouldn't post this if I didn't think it'd help but I posted on the idea here. While I was writing it I found some good links to info from CDC mortality report regarding cardiovascular disease and obesity (I was actually comparing them to the miniscule numbers associated with drinking.) Might help if you decide to write one.

Much Grace

martyduren said...

I'd prefer a resolution against resolutions.

Jeffro said...


If a resolution on gluttony is ammended in the way that the resolution on alcohol was, then I am with you.


Puritan Fan said...

So the SBC reasoning goes...If I am not a tea totaler, I must be a drunkard. If I am overweight, I am must be a glutton.

Interesting hermeneutics.

C. T. Lillies said...

But then what would they do at the Convention?

Puritan Fan said...

On another note and while we are on convention matters. Johnny Hunt preached a Wednesday evening sermon recently on Calvinism.

Though we differ on some things (me being a "slobbering 5 pointer", I thought he tried to be fair in his comments. In my opinion, he presented Calvinism as a legitimate doctrinal position though one that he would beg to differ with at points. The weakest point of his message was perhaps his loose definition of hyper-Calvinism.

He also said he regretted a remark that he made in a sermon on the subject that he characterized as partially tongue in cheek because in hindsigt, the remark proved to be inflammatory. I commend him for this statement.

He also went out of his way to heap praise on some Calvinist he respects and quoted Mark Dever at some length.

It is a good sermon, and worth ordering from FBC Woodstock.

slmayes said...

If the resolution forbids the consumption of fried chicken and alcohol together, I think it may have a chance. After all, if we Baptist preachers can't have fried chicken, isn't that the same thing as complete abstinence?

Jeff Richard Young said...

Dear Dr. Ascol,

It would be intended to make sport of the 2006 alcohol resolution, but I bet many messengers would miss the joke.

Aaron, that cracked me up. I jiggled for a whole minute.

Love in Christ,


iamchief said...

Hey, I got an idea...instead of a resolution on drinking, AND a resolution on gluttony AND a resolution on any other particular sin, why doesn't somebody propose a resolution to re-establish church discipline & biblical accountability among the brethren to curb all of the above mentioned issues.

Tom said...

Puritan fan:

Thanks for letting us know about Johnny Hunt's sermon. That is most encouraging.

irreverend fox said...


I already have an outline for this very type of resolution and I plan on submitting it when it is finished.

Jamie Kiel said...

You can order the sermon that Puritan Fan cited by calling FBC Woodstock at 770-926-4428. Request Hunt's sermon on Calvinism from the "7 Summer Sizzlers" series.

Nathan White said...

I have the Hunt series on CD. Puritan Fan, what you said is pretty accurate. This was a whole lot better than what we have heard from the past. It was encouraging.

It is interesting, however, to hear Hunt in light of a sermon that I have from him preached just over a month before. Two sermons, same topic, similar outline, completely different in tone and attitude.

Oh, and if you have a copy of that Wednesday sermon, listen real close to the last 10 minutes of the Q and A. Hunt mentions an interaction that I had with him on a blog last year, and he doesn't exacly tell the truth. In fact, he says anything but the truth. I'm not trying to ruin the good things that Hunt said on the subject that night, but it does kind of put a damper on things if you are a blogger and you've had people misrepresent you before...


kradzo said...

Now you've gone to meddling! :-)

Actually, this has me thinking very hard on this as I can echo what aaron said. Not only does being well overweight possibly harm my witness, but the health effects will just hinder my ministry, even more as I continue to age.

Resolution or not, I do need to bring my weight down and since it doesn't appear that God is going to miraculously remove it, I guess it is down to less food and more exercise.

Hey, if I can lose enough weight, I wouldn't feel like a hypocrite voting for it.

SavedandSure said...

Resolutions? Bring them on!

Other than the individuals making the resolutions, some bloggers with little else to do, and the media (both church and secular), not much serious attention is ever given to resolutions at our annual
SBC across the nation.

But what is wrong with some good clean fun and humor at our religious gatherings?

Puritan Fan said...

Nathan, please share the date and title of the sermon you mention that was about a month prior to what I have referenced. Was it preached at Woodstock? I'd like to hear it. Thanks.

Nathan White said...

Puritan Fan,

Hunt preached it during the middle school summer camp at the beach. He preached on several theological topics so I hear, but I only have one on TULIP and the one on sanctification. The one on TULIP is pretty much the exact same sermon as the Wednesday night one you heard -in outline that is.


Pressed said...

Being one who was for the resolution on alcohol I would also vote yes on a resolution on gluttony, divorce, and any of these issues. Just because we voted on alcohol doesn't mean we all ignore the other issues. Gluttony is a real problem and should be an issue dealt with in our churches today.

george d. said...

I have often wondered about bringing it up in my Sunday school class, but have never done it. Being a person who is skinny it seems that I might get the "Oh yeah, we'll your skinny so you don't have to worry about it." Of course, I am skinny b/c I work out 5-6 days per week.

So my question is...

How do you bring it up in a class to talk about it?

I still don't have an answer so I am not going to do it. :)

Micah said...

As a fat, alcohol drinking, tobacco smoking baptist... I must concur.

Beware the tyranny of the "weaker brother".

Tim said...

Either way this turns out, we will find out if our god is our stomach or not.

Nathan DeFalco said...


That is a very tricky thing to try and do: to bring up gluttony in a small group setting, knowing that more than half your class is probably overweight.

Dr. Gregg Allison, theology professor at Southern, said he brought it up one time in a S.S. class. A man stood up in the middle of his lesson and said, "Brother, I have to ask you to stop." Allison asked why and he said, "Because this is WAY too convicting."

Dr. Allison politely told him to sit down and stay quiet (if you know Dr. Allison personally, you'd know he is that passive-aggressive type).

Apparently it worked though. So maybe just tell it prophetically. Tell it even though you might get shouted down for it. Of course, I wouldn't do such a thing without bathing it in prayer first.