Monday, March 15, 2010

What the Bible Says About Healthy Living

I've just finished reading a book called What the Bible Says About Healthy Living, by Rex Russell, M.D.
It gives three biblical principles that, if followed, can make you much healthier.
Here are the book's three principles:

Principle I: Eat only substances God created for food.  Avoid what is not designed for food.
Principle II: As much as possible, eat foods as they were created - before they are changed or converted into something humans think might be better.
Principle III: Avoid food addictions.  Don't let any food or drink become your god. (from page 29)

To follow principle #1, try to avoid animals designated "unclean" (including pork, shellfish and others).
They were designed for purposes such as being cleaners.   
As to following principle #2, try to avoid eating genetically modified foods, processed foods, etc.
For the third, the author recommends periodic fasting.  Does it strike you as slightly odd that some Christian denominations or groups condemn drunkenness but neglect to mention gluttony, which is also a sin?  


Lillian said...

Do you think eating such "unclean" animals is sinful? I believe the original command not to do so was given to the Israelites and later basically retracted. (Acts 11)
Just wondering what your personal thoughts on the subject were - I have met some people who blatantly say you will go to hell if you eat pork. They mention nothing of Christ's saving grace. (Though I am certainly not accusing you of such legalism!)

P.S. I have never liked any shellfish

Max said...

Aha, the big question has finally arrived.
Well Lill, Dr. Russell says something about this issue in the book...I'm trying to find it but haven't yet - I'll say what it is when I do. I'm not sure if the he sees this issue in a different light than I do, but here is my conclusion:
1) Much of the clean/unclean distinction was for Jewish ceremonial law; however, laws such as the prohibition against eating unclean animals was put in the Bible for a reason.

2) As for whether or not eating unclean animals today is "sinful", I say it depends.
First, the Bible says if you believe something is a sin and do it anyway, it is a sin for you to do it, even if it wasn't otherwise.

3) If you don't believe it's sinful to eat unclean animals, I would not say it's sinful. With that being said, just as with the consumption of alcohol (which has many warnings given against it in Scripture but is not specifically wrong), eating unclean animals might no longer be a sin as it was to the OT Jews, but since it's not healthy, it's not a good way to keep "your temple" in good condition.

I'll admit it, I do eat things like pork sometimes, but if there are a variety of things on the menu, I try to eat the healthier things when practical. The author highly advocates fasting, but if I do a complete food fast, I don't want to do more than a meal, usually - I like to be able to concentrate on whatever I'm doing...
Call me weak or whatever; these are some things I'm still working on.

You've never liked shrimp?
I kind of liked shrimp sometimes in fried rice or whatever, but not when the shells and heads were still on...just like when I was younger I found dead fish in the market rather gross.
Just me, I guess, since I don't like bugs and a whole bunch of other stuff either.

Lillian said...

Very good!

I agree, especially about the personal belief thing. We don't eat pork that often, but I certainly don't feel convicted to give it up!