Wilson And The Whole Food Thing

Explaining his recent exhaustive analyses* of the correct Christian approach to food and liberty, Doug Wilson insists that his concern is that no believer ever feel condemned by another believer over their food and drink choices, and that all food be welcomed and eaten with genuine thanks to a Holy God.

I agree. I just wish that in making this point, he’d not criticize people who really do just want to eat better — “better” as defined by more healthy, in most cases — as petty and insecure food moralists suffering from father hunger, an inability, because of poor experiences with their earthly fathers, to receive good things from the hand of God, and a catch-all diagnosis applied with astonishing regularity to anyone who strays from Wilsonian orthodoxy.

“Father hunger” has always seemed to me to be an odd conclusion to reach when encountering someone who thinks carrots, organic ones especially, are a better lunch box addition than Ding-Dongs. Wilson can’t possibly be in a position, other than his self-assigned one, to correctly analyze his congregants’ and critics’ experiences with their fathers, or to plumb the depths of the pathology he presumes has harmed their understanding of God. Most pastors wouldn’t dare, but Wilson regularly rushes in where reasonable men, even angels, fear to tread.

There is, of course, an undercurrent of carelessness in his counsel as well. He encourages not gluttony, but a liberal enjoyment of fudge and beef and enormous breakfast platters and all sorts of other things that are implicated in heart disease and other problems, foods and drink that might well be indulged in contrary to a doctor’s caution. And while we all think doctors ought to be listened to, there’s a strong expectation of obedience to pastoral counsel at Christ Church.

And who wants to feed father hunger once diagnosed? Especially in front of the other guys? What mom deserves scorn for feeding her kids food that science and common sense dictate is good for them? Should a parent labor under the accusatory, confidently diagnosing eye of Father, father, AND pastor — in the name of Christian liberty? That makes for an unnecessarily crowded kitchen.

The door to that kitchen really ought to be closed to the pastor until and unless he’s invited. And when he is, he no doubt will partake eagerly of the plate in front of him. As he should. My concern, though, is if cheerful discussion of the recipe evolves into a cheerful dissection of the host or hostess’ religious pathology. That’s a feast no one should have to endure.

(note to C.N. — “analyses” is the plural of “analysis”)

One Response to “Wilson And The Whole Food Thing”

  1. Ashwin says:

    Mr. Wilson is not far from wrong in his analysis. It is true that he may be painting with a broad brush, but he is not writing a scientific treatise and is permitted a little hyperbole for the sake of impact.

    People who are inordinately fastidious about what they consume are victims of a sort of legalism i.e. idolatry. Mr. Wilson is right to call them out. You should do the same.

    And please note that Mr. Wilson expresses these PERSONAL opinions on his PERSONAL blog. He is entitled – even welcome – to these. You are free to disagree with him. You may not however call him names.

    And you need not fret over the tender feeling of his congregation. If they find Mr. Wilson as unpleasant as you find him they can find other, more agreeable, pastures.

    YOU should concentrate on writing beautiful heavenly posts – as we know you are well capable of. This sort of mud-slinging – which may be understandable in some people – is not tolerable from you.

    From you we expect more excellent fare.

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