Before I get to my thoughts concerning the issue of fat people and the church I should begin by making it clear that the bible is overwhelmingly against the lust of food and those who practice such wickedness. The activity of gluttony is a sin. (Phil. 3:19, Prov. 23:20-21, Prov. 23:2, 1 Cor. 3:16-17, Prov. 6:16-19) One needs to understand that gluttony is actually the result of two very simple things denying and disobeying God. Fat people are actually a perfect picture of what happens when God “gives them over” (Rom. 1:26-32) to their sin and unbelief. God “gives them over” so that they might experience the hopelessness of a life apart from Him. After this experience of being given over hopefully they will see their error, repent and turn to Him before it’s too late (1 Cor. 6:9). So I want to make it clear that in no way do I condone the fat lifestyle.
God does not create a person with gluttonous desires. We understand clearly from Holy Scripture that a person becomes overweight because of sin (Rom. 1:24-32). A person’s choice is the most important reason they are gluttons and any obesity that ensues is the result of personal moral sin. Many have said “I am fat because I was born with a tendency toward gluttony just as some are prone to rage or violence etc…” But does this really release them from the choice to eat that next hamburger or pizza? It’s actually all about choice. All of God’s grace and salvation rests on a person’s choice. If your mom, dad, grandparents or great grandparents are all big or overweight though it is tempting to think you might be a sinner by nature as well as choice this would be foolish. You are simply a fat glutton because you are making a bad choices.
Now, I think it’s important to point out our need as Christ followers to show grace to those who are fat overeaters. Here are some things to remember.
- The bible does not place the sin of gluttony over any other sin. All sin is very bad and God hates it. Unrighteousness has many forms (1 Cor 6:9-10) and gluttony is just one of them.
- God is a great forgiver. If you are inclined to judge a fat person in your church remember God’s grace is extended to fat people in Jesus. They have the same access to forgiveness that gay’s, murderers, adulterers, thieves and idol worshippers do. Try to encourage fat people with this they may need a reminder.
- Many former fat people or people who “wrestle” with a desire toward the glutton’s lifestyle have pleased God by abstaining from their sin. Because it is much more difficult for those (from what I hear) who were supposedly born with a predisposition toward the act of gluttony we should rejoice with them in their self-control if they choose the lifestyle that abstains from gluttony. I have even heard a story of a pastor who says he is actually a glutton by nature but by the grace of God he has chosen to abstain and remain celibate from his culinary lusts.
- There is plenty or power in the Gospel to break the bondage of any sin including gluttony. Remember salvation is through Jesus for their poor damage souls backsliding toward the pit of hell not your judgment of them. Keep that to yourself. Let God do the judging and saving. Here are three Bible verses that will help you accept repentant fat gluttonous people and the hope they have. Allow these verses (1 Cor. 6:11, 2 Cor. 5:17, Phil. 4:13) to do a deep work in your heart before you use them on the person you are accepting remind them of the hope they have in their choices.
In closing I personally would love to see more people in our church who were once gluttons and fat become worship leaders, deacons, elders, pastors, etc. However, I am afraid that we may not see this with our current attitude toward them as people… as humans. They ought to be allowed in our churches, and have access to the same moral Gospel of choice that we have access to. If we can show them the love of Christ (not for their sin) I am sure we will find many more former fat people included in the kingdom of God responding to the call of Jesus who said “‘Come!’ Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.”. By showing more grace to fat people we will truly be a people of grace and mercy.
Author”s Note: What you just read is pure satire in that I am employing the use of irony, sarcasm, ridicule, etc., in exposing, denouncing, or deriding the way in which some evangelical organizations are attempting to “accept” and “reach out” to the LGBT community in a “biblical” way.