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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Gluttony and Southern Baptists

The issue of gluttony in Southern Baptist circles has been discussed by some of late. There has even been a resolution or two sent to the resolutions committee of the Southern Baptist Convention in the past two years addressing this particular issue. However, the resolutions have failed to make it to the floor of the Convention by recommendation of the committee.

Baptist Press released an article yesterday titled Prof tries to help Baptists improve health, touching upon the issue of gluttony and its severe prevalence among Southern Baptist pastors. Jim Florence, Professor of Public Health at East Tennessee State University (my alma mater), and member of Calvary Baptist Church, Erwin, is aware of the growing trend of growing waistlines of Southern Baptist pastors and is currently working in his own local association to educate and assist pastors with this issue. One of Florence's own motivations for going into public health was the death of his brother by heart attack at 37.

The article also reports that a Purdue University study released in 2006 found that Southern Baptists are 30 times more likely to be obese than non-Christians, and are more obese than any other Christian denomination.

For some helpful information about your personal health, the following websites may be referenced (these are listed through the Tennessee Baptist Convention):

How though does a pastor address the issue of gluttony from the pulpit? When was the last time you heard a preacher address this issue on Sunday morning from a Southern Baptist church? Certainly much care needs to be used, but simply avoiding the issue because it will hurt peoples' feelings is not the proper choice either.

I recently listened to two messages on gluttony preached by Paul Matthies at The Village Church. You can find these two sermons in IPod by selecting Podcasts, Religion & Spirituality, The Village Church. They are sermons 37 and 38, Defeating Gluttony and Defining Gluttony. These sermons provide some clear thinking on gluttony, and may help you to think about the issue more comprehensively.

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