On June 3, 2012, Dr. Scott Stoll wrote an article titled “The Obesity Epidemic in America’s Churches”. This comes only days before the scheduled launch of my new undertaking, Beyond Fitness. Without copying the whole article, here are a couple of statistics that jumped out at me:
“A 2006 Purdue study found that the fundamental Christians are by far the heaviest of all religious groups led by the Baptists with a 30% obesity rate compared with Jews at 1%, Buddhists and Hindus at 0.7%. “
“The Pawtucket Heart Health Program found that people who attended church were more likely than non-church members to be 20 percent overweight and have higher cholesterol and blood pressure numbers. “
“Finally, a 2001 Pulpit and Pew study of 2,500 clergy found that 76% were overweight or obese compare to 61% of the general population at the time of the study.”
Dr. Stoll goes on to state “The contemporary church culture has unwittingly contributed to the rise in overweight and obese parishioners. Today it is rare to hear a sermon preached on the stewardship of the physical body and even more rare on the vice of gluttony; it has become a secret and acceptable vice in the modern church. “
These are some pretty strong words but unfortunately I believe that they are true. Which is why I have set out on this endeavor. The reality of the Christian life is that we are all human, all subject to the same temptations. The same struggles, just in varying degrees and forms. Yet the calling of Christ is a higher calling. One that puts Christ on the throne of our lives. A life filled with the Holy Spirit, whose fruits, among others, include patience and self-control. Yes, eternity might mean leaving this body behind. But that is not an excuse to abuse it while we are here. And it should be easier for the Christian population. Our motivation for being physically healthy extends beyond the vain and fleeting. We are not on this earth just to “look good”. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10). Friends, the Lord has work for us to do. And in order to do that, and do that effectively, we need to be healthy. Come join me as I seek to strengthen the health of our churches, and help equip the followers of Christ to be the workers that He needs in this world.
For the full article: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/06/03/obesity-epidemic-in-america-churches/#ixzz1wqnZ6mPX