D.L Moody once said that if you throw a rock into a pack of stray dogs, the one that yelps is the one that got hit. In a similar vein, the wicked flee when no man pursues (Prov. 28:1).
When I attack the trends that are conspiring to introduce food laws into the Church, and I point out that these food laws have a dubious ancestry, coming as they do from a wicked and perverse generation, do I mean to say that any Christians who don’t eat exactly the way I do are wicked and perverse themselves? Of course not. There are Christians who eat way more leafy greens than I do who are much finer Christians than I am. Do I mean to introduce my own kind of inverse food laws into the Church, so that anyone who just wants to eat “just a little healthier” comes under suspicion? Of course not. What other people eat (if it has no higher authority than that they want to) is none of my concern or business. When other believers say grace over foods I think odd, I think it is wonderful. When they thank their Creator for their food, they are not talking to me.
Eating a little heathier is great, just so long as you are eating a little heathier than you were, and it is not cast to yourself as eating a little healthier than he is.
Do I think (or did I ever say?) that anyone who cares about stewardship of agricultural resources is a Marxist hippie who struggles with sexual perversion? No, actually. The
cultural mandate back in Genesis requires careful stewardship of what God has entrusted to us — my central complaint about the stewardship schtick is that most of those urging it today are statists, and the state is the enemy of even the possibility of real stewardship. Stewardship is a basic Christian duty, which is why so many people want to pretend they are doing it. It is much easier to put a green decal on your car, or widen your phylacteries some other way, than it is to actually conserve something for real.
Anyone who doesn’t see Tetzel all over again in the practice of selling carbon offsets (which you can now do at a stock exchange level), doesn’t know the first thing about biblical worldview analysis. And if you don’t know the first thing about how to see what a culture is actually doing, then you have no business teaching Christians what to do. If you don’t understand the times, and you don’t know what Israel should do, then you are not from the tribe of Issachar.
So, if I am not trying to do all these things, what am I doing? Who am I talking about? What’s the point? The answer can be divided up into two categories. In the first place, I am critiquing one of the great spirits of the age, the teaching that is contained in books, articles and documentaries that is being insinuated into the Christian community. The false doctrine contained there can have really destructive effects in the lives of Christians, and as a pastoral counselor, I have more than once had a front row seat. Secular counselors have noticed some of the same pathologies — one doctor has even coined the phrase orthorexia nervosa — “an excessive focus on eating healthy foods.”
The second category would be that of the Christian reader who wonders if I am talking about “his position.” There is no telling from this distance, but if my qualifications are missed, if my point is inverted, if I am made to affirm what I have denied and versa vica, and if it is thought that I must hate farmers, then I probably am.