One of these is gluttony and it’s rampant amongst Christians. A few years ago, Christie and I were in Queensland working on some evangelistic meetings. In the Green Room one evening there were three evangelists chatting with each other. Their combined weight must have been close to 500kg. “Bless God, we don’t drink, smoke or swear” – but you should see them eat! They reminded me of Friar Tuck in the old Robin Hood series. They tuck in a bit too much.
The word “gluttony” is derived from the Latin gluttire meaning to gulp down or swallow. It means over-indulgence and over-consumption of food, drink, or wealth to the point of extravagance or waste. In some Christian denominations, it is considered one of the seven deadly sins—a misplaced desire of food or withholding food from the needy. The Bible describes this as one of the sins that led to the destruction of Sodom (Ezekiel 16:49).
This week some Australian researchers have linked religion to obesity. They found Christians had a higher body mass index (BMI) – or were fatter – than non-Christians. Doctor Michael Kortt, of the Southern Cross University on the Gold Coast, and Professor Brian Dollery, of the University of New England, found the connection when analysing data from the federally-funded Household Income Labour Dynamics (HILDA) survey.
Their findings, published in the Journal of Religion and Health showed Christian women had a one unit higher BMI than non-Christian women. Baptist and Catholic men also had a higher BMI than men with no religious affiliation. Further studies will be done to see if religious organisations could play a greater role in fighting Australia's obesity epidemic.
I find it strange – and hypocritical – that we can pronounce judgment on some people in society while committing acts that are equally wrong in the sight of God. I guess that’s what the apostle Paul was addressing to the Roman Christians when he said, “You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things” (Romans 2:1).
That’s why Jesus commands us not to judge and to leave judgment up to him, because He is the only one who can make a judgment based on truth.