For all flesh is like grass, and all its glory like the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls off, but the Word of the Lord endures forever. And this is the word which was preached to you. Therefore... like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord. - 1Peter 1:24-2:3.
Last night Mary Lee was reading me excerpts from a book called All Natural: A Skeptic's Quest to Discover If the Natural Approach to Diet, Childbirth, Healing, and the Environment Really Keeps Us Healthier and Happier. Nathanael Johnson grew up in Berkley and the Sierra foothills parented by hippie-freaks who were going to raise the perfect child by not going to the hospital for his birth, not using diapers (they make babies bow-legged), and never allowing their son any food that smelled or tasted good. Said Johnson, in such a home every bite of food is a confession of faith:
I knew, from the moment I was old enough to begin exercising some judgment over what I put in my mouth, that we took food more seriously than most families take religion. We believed wholeheartedly in the old aphorism "you are what you eat, which—if you think about it—puts an awful lot of pressure on the eater. (p. 101)
Food is their religion and the central tenet of their faith is "you are what you eat."
The book is quite funny, especially if your own first child was also born at home, also with Lewis Mehl of Santa Cruz fame our OB. But Mary Lee and I had no issue with diapers, we've always thought "family beds" cloying, and we love Oreos, fudge, and ice cream. It's true when we lived in Wisconsin's dairy land we tried getting our milk raw from the bulk tank of a dairyman in our church... Despite persevering with that discipline for quite a few weeks, though, I found my burps growing too very exotic so we went back to the old safe standard of milk without cow manure.
If I hear a Christian say "you are what you eat" today, it's almost certainly their effort to justify the American idolatries of Dietism (good), Naturalism (good), Sugarism (bad), Meatism (wicked), or Glutenism (evil); what I refer to generically as "Foodism." Twenty years ago my brother, David, said "you know you're getting old when all you talk about is food and..." He was right back then, but now he's wrong. Foodism has taken all the young couples and you wonder what they'll have left to talk about when they get old?
Christians turn food into their religion, then justify it by the Apostle Paul's statement that the body is "the temple of the Holy Spirit." This legitimates any wackiness that's selling books or web sites or special breads and rice and communion wafers right now. Twenty years ago it was Gwen Shamblin's Weigh Down, but then she turned out to be a heretic and everyone was all ashamed of having been on her bandwagon. Now it's Fork Over Knives taking churches by storm and what a relief the doctrine doesn't matter at all this time around. Pagans and Christians can both share the same conversion which is quite the relief. Instead of talking about sin, repentance, and faith in Jesus Christ, we can blather on about gluten, sugar, and meat not offending anyone at all—other than fat people who have been hoarding Twinkies ever since their demise was announced, and they deserve to be offended!
God hasn't commanded us to worship our bodies—leave it to the pagans. As Scripture says, since they know tomorrow they'll die, today they're merry, they eat, and they drink. With no hope in death, this is their life, their sex, their sacrament.
So chill out, all you Christian mothers who think sugar is the cause of your son's total depravity. It's not sugar, it's the Fall. It's Adam. Your son isn't disobeying you and hitting his sister because the church nursery workers let him eat a cookie. He inherited Adam's corruption and the solution is faith's discipline, instruction, love, and prayer. Problem is, why give ourselves to those hard works and to waiting on the work of the Holy Spirit when we can seize his eternal destiny right now by yelling at the nursery workers or nana (for giving him a popsicle on a hot summer's day)?
But there's another sense of "you are what you eat" that's incontrovertible. When it comes to the preaching of God's Word, you are what you eat. Dear soul, fix this in your mind and never forget it!
They went out of the city, and were coming to Him. Meanwhile the disciples were urging Him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.”
But He said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.”
So the disciples were saying to one another, “No one brought Him anything to eat, did he?”
Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work. Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest. Already he who reaps is receiving wages and is gathering fruit for life eternal; so that he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together." - John 4:30-36