The Message

Gluttony

Gluttony – is a sin.

Many things in this world are supposed to benefit humanity but also become distractions, hindrances, or idols that replace God in our hearts. From romance to money to even the bare necessities, anything can become an obsession of having possession, from too much consumption of food to the accumulation of wealth at the expense of the less fortunate.

Food is the primary maintenance of our body, and we cannot just give it up as our body will suffer. A moderate approach to eating can give our body enough energy to function properly and, if monitored correctly, can delight the whole well-being. However, if eating becomes a priority, among other things, it can become a habit and a big part of a person’s life, leading to addiction. We cannot live without eating, but we cannot live longer without excessive eating. When food controls our mind, It is time to refocus.

The Bible condemned Gluttony as a sin, which leads the soul to die. And the body’s desire to over-consume can lead to the body passing with the soul. If excessive eating is called Gluttony, a sin, what about compulsive eating, a disease? Can we also call it Gluttony? Hoarding the food may be closer to being called Gluttony, which is denying the needy, buying more than you can consume, eating more than the belly can take, and eventually throwing it out is a waste of food, a wicked behavior, and a sin.

Are all overweight a sinner? Is the love of food a sin? How can we justify that the people who love to eat are sinners? The love of money is the root of all evil! Is the love of food a root cause for people to be evil? Money can buy many things, including food. But buying more than you can consume and wasting is a sin, and money cannot prevent evil. Gluttony is not easy to define as there are various defenses. If we base it totally on the Bible to get to the bottom, many Christians would say it leads to idolizing the food, which is an overboard statement.

Food goes to the stomach; it catches all the mouth receives, mainly solid and liquid (food and water). The stomach is where the food is processed (metabolized); it serves as a processor, storage, and distributor of vitamins and minerals it gets from the food; it is the storehouse of our body and a holding area of our waste. Our stomach complains both when empty and when we overeat. It is a logistics center that coordinates and moves waste to one desired destination.

Judging the body by how people see it is false and a sin. To be gluttonous is how God sees it, not the human eyes. God sees us in and out, so we cannot lie about how and what our thoughts testify about our eating behavior. Is it a disease? Yes, and it is called Bulimia, an eating disorder. Should we continue eating even when our stomach says, “I am full,” and our mind says more? The mind, when not tamed, dominates the body. Then, it ends up purging because the mouth cannot hold it. The mind has so much power to give up or fight temptations. We need to discipline our minds, which is natural, with the help of what is spiritual in our hearts.   

Christians must be aware not to be judgmental; it can lead to a sin we are unaware of. We can be responsible Christians by following James. “There is one Lawgiver who can save and destroy. Who are you to judge another?” James 4:12 (NJKV). Our body is for the Lord because whether we are obese or not, God will not deny anyone to serve and love Him. So, what does it mean to you? Sinners or saints, believers, and non-believers, you are most welcome if you come to Him. How about those ministers who never cease asking for donations even though they are already set in life and have more than enough to survive a simple living for many years or even for a lifetime?

Gluttony is not limited to food or excessive eating and drinking but also links to greed and all of its kind. Gluttony is not just a sin but a deadly sin in Catholic teachings, although rejected by the Protestants and Orthodoxy; a sin, big or small, still needs the intervention of the Holy One for forgiveness. Lying and stealing using the name of God in vain to support their luxury lifestyle can lead to greed. John Ritenbaugh describes greed as a “ruthless self–seeking and an arrogant assumption that others and things exist for one’s benefit.” Any excessive desire to acquire something to satisfy its yearning is greed, and, most of the time, it leads to the sin of Gluttony – Joseph Vitug

How about those living in luxury that depend on donations and use their sanctuary to receive tithes and offerings to support their lifestyle? Is that not considered Gluttony? Taking the food from the mouth of the believers is stealing, and when stealing becomes excessive, when it comes to a point when enough is not enough, but to have more than enough can be called Gluttony. Leaders from any congregation promise a better life for their members that their donations will not come back void but with the return of hundreds of folds. Instead of buying food, believers donate what they have. The prosperity gospel is no longer attractive to members, and instead, they decided to leave the traditional church and make their way of connection with God. Christian ministers or church leaders in a general congregation, be still. God sees you and watches every sin you do.

The following scripture led the faithful to entrust their souls to leaders/ministers; “Obey your leaders, and submit to them; for they keep watch over your souls, as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not grief, for this would be unprofitable for you (Hebrews 13:17). God holds Both the leader and the followers accountable. Suppose you witnessed something wrong being practiced and did nothing to stop it. In that case, you become an accessory to the abuse or violation of trust committed by your leader. All Christians are ministers of the Good News, and we are responsible for correcting what is wrong in a humble, respected, and acceptable manner. God gives no license to sin to anyone. All our sins are known to God and will be dealt with and judged according to their magnitude.

Christians have heard so much about Salvation and Love doctrines, and sometimes you feel that it is not weighted evenly; salvation has more weight than love. No matter how the ministers/pastors start, their message/preaching always leads to salvation in the end. We already know that salvation for the righteous leads to eternal life, but how about love? Too much love can lead to sin. Gluttony has a more extensive scope that we can subdivide to have its division. Gluttony also leads to Idolatry. 

Some Christians receive teachings that Gluttony leads to Idolatry or idol, but many disagree. Let us check what we can get on this topic.

Idolatry is worshiping an idol or cult image, a physical image, such as a statue or a person in place of God. In Abrahamic religions, namely Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, Idolatry connotes worshiping something or someone other than God as if it were God— Wikipedia.

It is our take. Idolatry is worshiping an idol in place of God and is not limited to physical objects or images in the form of statues or framed pictures, praying to inanimate objects, offering food believing that the idol will provide their request. Kissing the statue is a sign of Idolatry. Worshiping something or someone other than God is a sin and is listed as one of the commandments of God. “Do not worship any other gods besides me.”- Exodus 20:3-5.

Christianity, Judaism, and Islam are three large groups of Abrahamic religions. The belief in one God is recorded in Matthew 22:32: “I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. God is not the God of the dead but of the living.” Many Christians are involved in developing various ideas about what and how to consider idols a sin and when to reconsider it or not sin. God told Moses that the Israelites worshipped a golden calf, and Jacob’s father-in-law worshipped idols.

Idolatry cannot be Gluttony, but we cannot put this aside without some knowledge and understanding. Any sin that offends God is a sin that needs our conscience’s attention, or we are going to sleep at night and waking up in the morning with a sin that hinders the morning blessings. It is better to make it a habit to go to bed at nighttime, ask for forgiveness, and become a new man, refreshed with a morning blessing. Psalm 143:8-10 “Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. I was hoping you could show me how I should go, for I entrust my life to you. 9 Rescue me from my enemies, a Lord, for I hide in you. 10 teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.”

Psalm 90:14: “Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.” Psalm 29:11: “The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.” We have all the chances to be filled with the Holy Spirit of God by calling the name of the LORD and asking to be blessed. Trusting His word will determine how He answer the request. However, remember that God responds in His ways and time, not ours.

If the excessive desire for food goes to waste and causes it to withhold a chance for the needy to fill their body’s needs, that is a sin. It is a true story; After holding the 2nd highest-ranking government member, a powerful individual decided to take a private job that took the job away from a less privileged person. Because of money, that is Gluttony, and it is a sin. We need well-spirited wisdom to bring knowledge and understanding of why this is considered Gluttony. Gluttony is not about being overweight; Over-consumption is not only for food but for anything that will lead to greediness, and over-possession with a wasteful end is Gluttony. For those addicted to smoking cigarettes, eating becomes the replacement, and the withdrawal from smoking causes eating habits until it develops; overeating becomes a medical issue. Withdrawal from smoking can cause anxiety and change behavioral mood. It is not just eating to the maximum capacity of the stomach; purging to get the excess food out is not a joke, which could be a gluttony.

The excessive possession, of the powerful, the influencers, the dictators, and anyone who hold a powerful position that when they open their mouth, there is money coming in, they raise their hands, it is money, someone asks for a favor, it is money, and to control the people under his watch again it involves money because money is power over possession or excessive possession is destruction to exemplary work. People overwhelmed with such power for some reason will develop a pleasure of self-indulgence, making excuses for themselves when awareness comes to their senses to save their souls.

Nevertheless, it does not work like that; it is more passion of the flesh. The desire for the flesh, sinful thoughts, and an obsession to love, instead of defining love as respect, is more of a lust. The love of money is a mark of the sinful nature of humankind, and possessions overflowing with material things for pleasure or dominance will drive a person to miss the mark. Is it Gluttony? Do I need to answer it, or do you want to do yourself a favor and solve the mystery of Gluttony in its natural meaning? And, of course, if you want the help of the Holy Spirit in you, do it spiritually through meditation.

Indulging ourselves for our pleasure is harmful to our souls. Nothing twisted is straight, so it will not go anywhere, and if it does, it will only lead you to self-destruction. Nothing that does not spring from faith involves genuine compassion. Our passion for God will lead us to righteousness, where glory awaits those who believe. The passion of the flesh only harms the soul. Here is what David said in 54:4: “Turn, O Lord, deliver my life; save me for the sake of your steadfast love.” David asks the LORD to turn toward him because the LORD is not in his presence, and David feels, at that moment, that he is not after his physical life but is more worried about his soul longing for the LORD’s blessings. David’s prayer in Psalm 41:4: I said, “LORD, be merciful to me; heal my soul, for I have sinned against You.”

We have to be more worried about our souls than the borrowed flesh that will eventually return to where it came from. From dust to dust, it will return. God said it in Genesis 3:19. “Dust you are, and to dust you will return.” We need to consistently include in our prayers our souls that will be blessed with eternal life when God’s ultimate purpose is met for His children to be with Him in eternity. Notice that when David prays, most of the time, he is concerned about his soul. “Revive me, Yahweh, for your name’s sake. In your righteousness, bring my soul out of trouble.”

Yahweh is the revealed name of the God of Israel. I did not change how it is written in the World English Bible (WEB), a public domain I can use without violating copyright. Yahweh and LORD, all capitalized, are interchangeably used to address the God of Israel. “YHWH,” pronunciation of Yahweh, the Hebrew name revealed to Moses in the book of Exodus. Yod, Heh, Waw, and Heh, are known as the tetragrammaton. Notice the consonants.

Gluttony is over-consumption of not only food but anything to the point that it will lead to waste. Storing excessive amounts of oand od, drnks, and unnecessary collections of wealth items aims to fit in as status symbols for being rich. Is impulsive buying Gluttony? How about panic buying due to a pending lousy weather forecast? Is buying extra food for future consumption a sin under Gluttony? With all these buying things, using our resources, claiming that God provided all these things and not on my o so I can theme it in time of need and not be blamed for hoarding, naturally and spiritually. Will that be considered Gluttony? We must consult the Holy Spirit for guidance if our conscience bothers us. I do not foresee it as a problem as long as our heart is pure and our mind is clear without any cloudiness or dark spot when thinking not for ourselves alone but also to help others incapable of doing what we can do when it comes to preparedness.

With all these things available, not all can afford to save for future consumption, and it may look like taking advantage of the situation when it turns out to be an excessive acquisition. With wicked intentions, it can be a sin; without bad intentions, it could be an exemption, and saving it for the less fortunate is rewarding and commendable. The Bible reminds us of what we can do and where we go from here. We would be better off saying that if there is confusion, presents yourself to God, and He will direct us to get the answer. If there is any hindrance to the believer to act rightly, let the Spirit remove the fear and doubt. The Holy Spirit frees us from obstructions as we continue to walk righteously, and all the way, it will be all right.

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will also be.”

Let us set our minds on the things above us, refocus on the Blesser and Promiser, and not the blessings or the promises, and do not divert on the things on earth which are lusty desires. When we do so, we will be out of the command of the flesh, and with the guidance and protection of the Spirit of God, when you feel it receives it, and shall have it. Amen  

Bishop Joseph

Bishop Joseph Vitug, Ph.D. - Bishop Emeritus

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