Apologies to my faithful blog readers. I got started on a series of posts related to food then left you hanging. The blogging hiatus was due to my being on a retreat where I was disconnected from the internets for a spell. Retreat food probably deserves a special blog post all its own, but I’ll resist the diversion and stay the course instead.
I need to make a confession as it relates to blogging in series fashion. I’m easily bored. So about two posts in on nearly any sustained subject matter, I start to think… “I wonder how quickly I can wrap this up.” Naturally, this always fails to do justice to the topic under discussion. As a few of you have pointed out, I seem to be missing or avoiding certain ideas. I think maybe I’m coming to them, but I don’t know for sure. I can tell you this. I’m about all done ranting about the ills of food. Pretty soon, we’ll turn a corner and say some more constructive things about the role of food in our lives. I think I’ve got three or four more posts left in me.
Ok, in an attempt to jump back in, I’m going to quickly make a few quick and more or less unrelated observations as it relates to the theology of food.
1) The Bible actually talks quiet a bit about food. I realize that when I got started, I said that the Bible didn’t have much to say about the sinfulness of any particular food or attitude towards food. And I continue to stand by that. However, there are a number of issues that the Bible does address as it relates to food. I’ll list a few.
Exhortations against gluttony. (Proverbs 23:2, 28:7)
Various feasts are described (Numbers 10:10, John 7:37), including the heavenly banquet (Matthew 8:11, Luke 13:29).
Not making food an idol (Philippians 3:19)
Sharing food with the poor (Proverbs 22:9, Isaiah 58:7).
2) Food sacrificed to idols. There are some well known places where the issue of whether or not to eat food that has been offered to pagan gods is discussed. The upshot being that it really doesn’t much matter whether one eats those meats or not. This should serve as some caution against the over-spiritualizing of food. However, that it was an issue at all in biblical times (and possibly today to a much lesser extent) points towards an understanding of a connection between food and spiritual life. Eventually, I’ll get around to outlining a sacramental understanding of food. But in the meantime, let’s just recognize that there appears to be some tension regarding the spirituality of food.
3) Why no exhortations to eat locally grown organic food? One argument would be that God doesn’t give a rip about that sort of nonsense. And as I’ve said repeatedly, there is a sense in which this belief is on the money. I don’t think God gets all tied up into knots when we pick up a burger made with meat that was taken from cattle living in inhumane conditions, injected with all sorts of hormones, then is shipped halfway across the country. Now God might be a tad bit concerned that 30 percent of the world’s land mass goes to support our addiction to meat. “Rampant waste of the world’s resources? Who cares?”
Of course, the other obvious reason that the Bible would be entirely silent on matter was that it was a total non-issue at the time. All food was by default locally grown organic food. Just a thought.
This officially ends the multi-post food rant. Looking forward to more constructive things to say.
One Reply to “Side Items”
Late comment, but I thought it was still a worthy post! If for nothing, it’s always useful to examine what Scriptures says / doesn’t say about the subject.