This Just In: Jesus Makes You Fat!

All right, now the gloves are off!
I wondered when the persecution of Christians in America would take a serious turn but now, at last, here it is. This week, they’re saying Jesus makes you FAT!
In a report on World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer, ABC news produced a segment called “Faith and Fat” based on research that says: “According to research from Northwestern University, youths of a healthy weight who frequently participated in religious activities were twice as likely to become obese by middle age than their less-religious peers.”
That’s just evil. I mean, what more reason do teens need to give up on church than the notion that Jesus makes you fat?!
Youth leaders were already having enough trouble dealing with the fact that youth group is uncool but if it makes you fat, too, there’s no hope of getting young people off the streets and into church on a Friday night!
The researchers have many theories about why religious activity may be associated with obesity but they readily admit there is much more to research.In fact, it could be, in this particular study, that the brothers and sisters in Alabama skewed the results.
“While Feinstein’s study draws on populations from around the country (Alabama, Minnesota, Illinois, and California), researchers did not control for location and, hence, it may have been that the Alabama participants skewed the association by having large populations of overweight and highly religious participants.”
(Because you knoooww those California Christians run light and lean!)
I guess what worries me most about this report is the tendency of the visible church to react foolishly to such headlines. Can’t you just see it now? 
Church bulletin boards across the country announcing a slew of sermon series on gluttony and the body as a temple. Christian fitness gurus headlining in every mega-church venue calling the body of Christ to “Exercise evangelism.” The Daniel Fast and the 90-Day Fitness Challenge outsell the Bible on the best-sellers lists. Rick Warren and Joel Osteen team up to produce “The Biggest Loser for Jesus” TV series. Churches advertise Weight Watchers approved communion wafers and optional grape-juice “lite.”
As the Bible says, we are a peculiar people and we just love to put our peculiarity on display.
I do believe that Christians should be as fit as possible in each of our given circumstances. We should live a fat-burning faith focused on the things that glorify Jesus, taking our needs to Him not to food or sedentary lifestyles.
BUT, we are an easily distracted people and this headline is likely to distract us from our charge to be light and salt in the world building the kingdom of God. News stations, like puppies, latch onto the shiniest toy of the day and snarl it around for a moment until they catch the scent of a rabbit on the wind or a ball whizzes past. The church should be careful not to let the tail wag the dog.
But, it’s more likely that we’ll be so eager to prove to the world that “we’re not fat, we’re pleasingly plump” that many churches will chase the rabbit right along with the media pups and we’ll be dragged into a bit of a weight-loss circus. 
That is, until a new study proves that reading the Bible causes presbyopia and churches start marketing special glasses and eye-muscle conditioning exercises except for the Presbyterians who spend months in debate over a possible name change to appease the optometrists in their congregations.
Of course, the study only discusses “religious activity” and doesn’t specify Christians. Could it be that Buddha and Mohammed make you fat, too? Bet you won’t see that headline anywhere. (What do you suppose people bring to a Hindu potluck?)
Please take this post in the light-hearted vein in which it’s written, except for this – don’t be easily distracted by the headline de jour! Rise above, brothers and sisters, rise above! Our calling is to keep our eyes on Jesus not to gaze into the freak-show mirror of the world’s view of us and make adjustments according to that distorted reflection!

Jesus does not make you fat.
Overeating makes you fat. Sitting around on your backside makes you fat.
Jesus sets you free.  
Those of us who know the truth should be the ones determining the headlines of the day – not the other way around. Don’t you agree, loved ones?
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2 Comments

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  1. This message really touched me. I have been battling weight most of my life due to some health issues. I dont overeat but I also dont make the best choices and I for sure need to get moving more. “If the Son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.”
    -John 8:36

  2. sheri says:

    Will written and spoken for the cause…

    Obesity in American isn’t caused by anything other than ‘someone’s’ defination at the time.

    Thanks for your observations and conclusions !