A Memorable Fortnight, With Food

I thank God every day that we have a Savior in Christ Jesus.

Usually it’s because of something that reminds me that I’m a sinner whose righteousness shines forth like a fuel-starved Zippo on Everest, or because I study the Word and marvel at the power of my God in reconciling the world to him in Christ — a power that can make brothers and sisters of Israel, Egypt and Assyria as well as the U.S., al-Qaeda, and the Taliban, so great is its loving reach. There is nothing about the Gospel, or about the One to whom it points, that doesn’t strike at my heart with wonder.

For the last couple of weeks, though, I’m praising the Lord in particular for coming into our world and showing us the love of God himself, as God himself. Because if I had to rely solely on the ignoble and ignorant who speak in God’s name to discover him, I’d find myself further from truth than I was at the worst of the worst of my nightclubbing, pot-smoking, skinny-tie-wearing days three decades ago.

It’s been two weeks since the horror in Haiti, where more than 200,000 people likely were killed in the earthquake that put an already desperate nation into upheaval unlike anything most of us will ever experience. The election of pretty boy Republican Scott Brown to the Massachusetts Senate seat previously occupied by Ted Kennedy has put President Obama’s healthcare plan in jeopardy, and many on the Religious Right have turned from making inexcusably stupid comments about God’s seismically-wrought punishment of poor Haitians to making equally ill-informed, perhaps even more practically dangerous, remarks about God’s hand in keeping the Democrats from enjoying a 60-vote supermajority — a majority that might prevent millions from finding themselves completely without access to reliable, quality health care. The inimitably hateful, but Christian-ish, lieutenant governor of South Carolina has equated his state’s welfare recipients with endlessly breeding stray animals, and we find today, oddly enough, that Pope John Paul II evinced a terrible understanding of the Gospel through whipping himself and sleeping on the floor in penance.

But any comfort I might take in realizing that Andre Bauer is in South Carolina, Scott Brown is up the coast in Massachusetts, John Paul II is presumably in Heaven, and Pat Robertson is in his own odd little world, so that I’m not likely to have to deal personally with them, has been dashed. The weirdness (she said with restraint) is in Moscow, too. Wouldn’t you know.

Doug Wilson is back on a food tear. His preoccupation with making sure that nobody feels condemned for the food choices they make — a goal he achieves by, ummm, mocking the food choices they make and the reasons behind those choices — is in full force yet again. He seems to have nothing but derision for those who cling to the notion that food that “remembers where it came from” — fresh, healthy, unprocessed and maybe even organic — is better for them than that which comes from boxes and cans whose list of ingredients barely mentions anything anyone without a Ph.D in chemistry can recognize. Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the Co-Op, he weighs in on the rationale for your healthy food choices, just as he does with any particular concern you might feel for the environment.

Drop that heirloom tomato, Saint. You’re part of the “Hipster Stewardship” scam of our day, and it’s high time you see what you’re doing — whether by design or by accident.

That movement of food-conscious, environmentally-aware “stewardship” Christians is carrying the banner, Wilson intones, of the homos and abortionists and sexual relativists with each deliberation over each packaged, canned, farmed, and processed bite. They are, in Wilson’s book, pathetic and weak and, per God’s Book, guilty of succumbing to the sin of moral fussiness, a food fastidiousness that he has diagnosed, because you were evidently needing for him to, as an attempt to be hip and cool, part of the whole left-leaning “stewardship” movement. Wilson’s decided that these foodie hipsters choose broccoli over pork rinds and local food over Con-Agra starch-and-chemical compounds in order to run away from their part, their culpability, in the morass of immorality into which our nation has sunk. These poor wretches appear not to realize the connection between the sexual guilt of a lascivious nation and the desperation on the part of those who try to run away from it by eating food that’s better for them, better for the environment, and better for those around them. They’re trying to assuage their blood guilt with blood oranges; you’ve just bought into the whole thing, even if you’re not steeped in sexual sin, because it’s cool.

And you thought it was just father hunger. How 2009.

On this, I think it’s best to let the Bishop of Bacon speak for himself. From Blog and Mablog, January 23, 2020:

“In short, a sexually guilty people have accepted as “normal” the most unnatural practices imaginable, and they have then demanded that their food be “all natural.” Wisdom is vindicated by her children. This guilt-driven desire has resulted in an entire industry springing up that caters to the deep desire that a morally inferior people have to feel morally superior . . . And the people who are morally indignant about industrialized food chains are the same ones whose definitions of “natural” change radically as we move from the dining room to the bed room. If all the foodie people who were living in onoing sexual disobedience had a heart attack one day (because, as it happens, little known fact, tofu causes heart disease), the whole hipster food industry would collapse, and the “stewardship” Christians would find out that their stewardship movement had been subsidized the whole time by moralistic scam artists.”

Goodness, Mr. Wilson. How you do go on.

In a perfect world, no one would even dream of teaching that all things literally edible are equally appropriate for your body’s health and are God-honoring to eat. In a perfect world, no pastor would dare suggest that you eat what you eat because you’re trying to follow the (sin-soaked) crowd around you in outrunning the guilt sin brings. And in a perfect world, the stewardship of the believer would be honored, and those who called themselves “pastor” would simply encourage the flock to trust that the Lord is good and wants good for us — and then get out of the way so the believer can hear from God herself. That pastor wouldn’t equal thankfulness in receiving God’s gift of food with the undiscerning consumption of any and all that’s in front of them.

In a sinful world, however, men who gild themselves with the mantle of pastor insert themselves into the kitchens of their congregants not as guests, but as watchdogs on the lookout for anything that might look less than fully libertine. In a sinful world, people mistakenly believe he has that right, and they either follow his lead, consciences shaken, or exercise restraint in things for which he counsels none, and feel guilty and perplexed in having gotten it wrong. And in a sinful world, pastoral presumption results in diagnoses unbidden and unsubstantiated, leaving good people feeling bad, for no reason other than their having exercised maturity and restraint in the company of one who abides neither.

We do live in a fallen world. I would suggest, though, that the contents of your cart in the checkout line at Safeway isn’t the primary evidence thereof, especially if all you really ever wanted to do in filling it is try to keep your body healthy and strong.

That Baptists, liberals, and women who’ve had abortions are in line with you really doesn’t condemn you at all.

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