Wednesday, December 24, 2008

I'm Stuffed!!!

Thanksgiving...come Christmas...come dinners...come overeating...come indigestion...come Alkaseltzer*(m.r.)... come misery...come regrets...come illness...come resolutions......come Thanksgiving.....ab initio/back to beginning...
Once upon a time there was a church which took seriously the words of Paul who wrote; "...whether therefore you eat or drink, or whatsoever you do do all to the glory of God." [1st Corinthians 10:31]. And so this church began to tell believers (and the world) that God designed a diet for man at Creation that would promote health, vigor, and longevity.
Some in the church believed and invested their lives, their health, their eating, and everything they did, in the teachings of the word of God.
A book was written offering advice to the church and to individuals how to best eat and drink in order to maximize health. Interestingly, Joseph Bates was a pioneer in what we have come to call "Health Reform." The chronology of Bates' health reform goes like this:
1821 giving up ardent (strong) spirits
1822 gave up use of wine
1923 gave up tobacco
1824 stopped using all forms of alcohol (beer, etc)
1831 swore off tea and coffee because "it is poison".
1843 February: "I resolved to eat no more meat. In a few months after, I ceased using butter, grease, cheese, pies, and rich cakes.
It's interesting that Joseph Bates (the real founder of Seventh-day Adventism [cited in George Knight, Joseph Bates, 2004] practiced (and gently taught) vegetarianism. Interesting too is the fact that the emergent SDA church began to follow a health dietary path more than forty years later. Bates also refused to eat between meals. [ibidem].
It is no secret that Seventh-day Adventists are some of the healthiest people on earth: But not all: Probably no more than 50% of church members walk/jog the path of healthy living.
The penalties for overeating, obesity, snacking, and unwise dietary choices can be unforgiving: diabetes, cardiovascular disease (heart attacks), stroke, cancers, etc. This is NOT to say or imply that one can assign all cancers to diet. Some are cursed with a genetic predisposition to cancer. Moreover, on this earth, bad things happen to good people.
Health reform has a way of sifting one's friends (by default) such that one tends toward those who are like minded. Joseph Bates lived life in its many hues; experienced sea captain, wealthy retiree, health reformer, social reformer (freedom for all Americans), student of scripture, impoverished preacher (following 1844), ardent supporter and promoter of the true Sabbath, church leader, and writer.
One could do worse than to emulate the principled life of Joseph Bates as he lived it to the full in Jesus Christ.
God Bless. e.c.

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