A Fundamental Excess

An Examination of an Accepted Indulgence Among Fundamentalists

 Timothy S. Morton

The following article has been several years in coming. It was one of the first topics your author considered when he first created the Taboo Topics in 1998, but it was not written until now [8/2005]. Probably one reason it was so long in coming is it will hit a lot of preachers right in their "gut" where it hurts, and he hesitated. You author is not an enemy of Fundamentalist preachers. It should be obvious from his other writings he is in the Fundamentalist camp himself. Many Fundamentalist preachers are godly men who serve the Lord at considerable sacrifice, but a few, however,  as in any group, are less desirable. 

The emphasis of this article is on the fact that the sin it exposes is seldom mentioned within the ranks of Fundamentalism. It is a sin that is "swept under the rug" and tolerated by the vast majority because it is obvious many of their friends and peers have succumbed to it's tentacles. This article is primarily aimed at "preachers" because by the very act of preaching they are identifying themselves with Christ and His word, thus setting a high standard for themselves. However, the message can apply to any believer, male or female. Each reader will know if they are involved.

Indulgence and Intemperance

 "Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand." Phil. 4:5

It should be clear to any unbiased observer that America is a nation of indulgence. Its citizens indulge and even gorge themselves on all types of activities, behaviors, and substances. "If it feels good, do it," used to be a motto. Another is, "You only live once" implying an individual should indulge himself in what he likes or desires without thought of the potential consequences. This is to be expected of the world. The hedonistic society the Devil oversees is replete with "justifications" for people to indulge themselves to excess. But what about the Bible Believing Christians? What about those who claim allegiance to the Scriptures as the inerrant word of God? What is their revealed position as a whole concerning these excesses to a lost and condemned world?

Fundamentalist preachers have a reputation among the lost [and believers as well] as primarily being "negative" and constantly preaching against things. Some complain by saying, "That preacher says I shouldn't drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, go to movies, watch television, wear pants [women], play cards, gamble, sleep too long, swim in public, and on and on. All he does is tell me what not to do." Some preachers preach against things from a legalistic perspective insisting those who don't adhere to their "godly standards" are out of the will of God or even lost [see From Liberty To Legalism], but most preachers I have heard who speak against things as a warning of the potential harm. Only a couple of the "vices" in the list above are expressly forbidden in the Scriptures, but the others can be detrimental to the Christian life. Nevertheless, Fundamentalist ministers are known as "nay-sayers" in a world of indulgence, and that is more honorable than not.

Most Fundamentalist ministers can be counted on to routinely preach against certain indulgences or gratifications. Sexual relations outside of marriage is one. Drinking alcohol is another. Some will proclaim the real dangers of smoking or chewing tobacco and others the danger of gambling. But there is one common indulgence your author has never heard a sermon on. It is a vice that is pervasive among many Fundamentalist churches, especially the pastors. Unlike smoking, gambling, or watching television it is a practice the Bible clearly detests and the obvious indulgence of it by many preachers with seeming impunity causes their words to have little affect. That unmentioned, tolerated, and even desired sin is—gluttony.

The Not So Hidden Sin 

Gluttony is to be expected from the undisciplined in this "land of plenty." With little incentive for self-control the present hedonistic society doesn't restrain itself in much of anything. The term does not speak of just the over-indulgence of food, although that is its primary meaning; it speaks of the over-indulgence of anything. One can be a glutton of pleasure, sleep, leisure, sports, NASCAR, parties, etc., as well as food. None of these things are evil in themselves. Needless to say, food is a requirement of natural life. Thus it is not a sin in itself. It is man's misuse of it that is a sin, and its misuse is very evident among many Fundamentalists.

How can an overweight preacher [some overweight by 100 or even 150 lbs.] expect to preach an effective sermon of temperance when it is obvious that he does not practice any temperance, at least with food, in his own life? How can he expect teenagers to restrain themselves from sex, drugs, alcohol or anything else when he can't restrain himself from "Whoppers," pizza, hot-dogs, and even steak? How can he continually make jokes and speak lightly about his huge size and then expect believers to be serious about their vices? In fact, the levity towards his own self-gratification and indulgence essentially destroys anything else he says and much potential power in his ministry.

How many of you reading this have heard an overweight preacher complain of his back and/or knees hurting him? Of course they will hurt. They were not designed by the Lord to support the weight of two people. How many times of stomach or abdominal problems? It's simply cause and effect. Can you imagine the amount of food their system processes in a week? It is overloaded. Some deceitful brethren try to explain their sin by claiming to have a "glandular," "thyroid," or "metabolism problem" but when you happen to see them at McDonalds with three "Big Macs" in front of them and they are dining alone their excuse fades away. That is not to say there are not problems such as these, but they are relatively rare. Many more people use them as an excuse as actually have them.

Although he gets picked on a lot by all sorts of people, I saw a video on the news of Jerry Falwell getting released from the hospital recently. He looked like an hippopotamus sitting in that wheelchair. He was admitted because of "breathing problems." No wonder. It takes a lot of lung power to simply move that blubbery chest up and down. Is his "weight problem" mentioned as a cause of his ailments by Thomas Road Baptist Church? Are you kidding? The obvious is completely glossed over. He represents the typical Baptist, Fundamentalist preacher to much of the world.

We used to know a preacher whose whole family was very heavy. Several years ago I was building a deck on our house and my wife asked me why I was using such heavy boards on the steps and deck. I told her, "In case preacher [so-and-so]  and his family come over." She thought for a second and understood. Don't laugh, the combined weight of that family would be as much as a full grown horse! I felt sorry for that "mini-van" they rode around in. I'm sure when they went to an all-you-can-eat restaurant the manager cringed.

A Joking Matter?

I once heard of a notable preacher who was grossly overweight and joked to a congregation that the way he wanted to die was to "drown in a bowl of chicken gravy." Yes, he got a lot of laughs, but that is not the way he died, many years before his "time" [Eccl. 7:17]. As we said gluttony is not just tolerated but is an accepted sin among Fundamentalists and others. It is a vice that is very rarely branded as sin. But worse than that, many actually make jokes about their fleshly indulgences. In some ways this levity is even a greater sin. Several times I have heard "horizontally enhanced" preachers say things like, "You can see I'm just a skinny preacher" when he is actually wider than the pulpit or, "You can tell I don't eat much" when it is obvious he eats nearly everything in sight. They will also wrest Scripture to try and ease their insecurity. "All the fat is the LORD'S" [Lev. 3:16] is a favorite saying of many, but they conveniently omit the part of the same verse that says the priests are to "burn" the fat. "But he that putteth his trust in the LORD shall be made fat," [Pro. 28:25] is another pet verse. However, for some reason they overlook, "They are waxen fat, they shine: yea, they overpass the deeds of the wicked: they judge not the cause," [Jer 5:28]. That some feel the need to even bring up the issue of their size indicates their conscience is bothering them. But instead of dealing with the problem they make light of it.

Other portly preachers, though, don't seem to have a conscience about their sin at all. They gloss over any mention of their weight and sometimes reply with sarcasm. One brother said,  "One big fat preacher I know came to preach a revival at my church.  The church ladies put together a pitch-in dinner for him, and his preacher’s plate was stacked up with home fried chicken.  In front of everyone his wife got on him about being so fat.  He blustered, “I’m only fat because I am trying to follow scripture perfectly.  Haven’t you ever read 1 Cor 9:26-27?  It says, ‘I’m not beating the air when I fight: but I buffet' my body, and bring it into bondage’?  I take that literally and buffet' my body as often as I can.”  Even though this preacher was using a "new" translation, he made a complete mockery of the Scripture. As any reader of 1 Cor. 9:27 can see, Paul was actually talking about how he "keep[s] under" his body with restraint and discipline. The exact opposite of this preacher's mockery.

Some reading this may think I am making a "mountain out of a molehill," and the fat preachers are just telling us with their jokes that they are not taking themselves too seriously, but think a minute. What if a believer stood up in church and made jokes about other sins and vices? 
What if some other intemperate believer made jokes about getting drunk the night before or about what they saw in a pornographic movie while they were scratching off their lottery tickets? What if they wanted to tell a funny story about what they did when they were "high" on some drug or how they cleverly cheated somebody? Would that be proper or funny? Then why should any believer make jokes about their lack of self-control, indulgence, and intemperance regarding food? One thing is true, these fat brethren do not take themselves seriously. The fat hanging off them is ample evidence.  

A Testimony to the World?

If we believers can see the obvious excess of these fat preachers, what about the "good-ole-boys" in the world? They see it as well and are usually not as charitable as Christians in expressing their opinion. The lost examine preachers under close scrutiny, and that is to be expected. Often fat preachers are given nick-names of derision such as, "Pus-gut," "Fat-so," and others I can't repeat. Preachers claim to be the representatives of Christ. Christ, however, did not have a big gut hanging over his belt nor did He have the soft, delicate hands that many preachers today have. I remember shaking a preachers hand one time, and I don't think I ever shook a ladies hand that was as soft. He was preaching to working class people, not pampered royalty, thus his softness was a hindrance.

It seems anymore that as the world goes so goes the church. America as a nation is getting heavier. All one needs to do is go to a Walmart or nearly any other public place and just look around. He will see an abundance of fat. Some are so fat they must ride around the store in motorized buggies to pick up their potato chips, candy and "pop" [we call soda "pop" here in the hills. I know some of you uncultured readers have not heard that]. No wonder in the last five years sales of oversized coffins at the nation's largest casket company have risen 20 percent. Sadly, though, Fundamentalists have increased in indulgence and intemperance at the same rate.

Although it is more the exception than the rule, one need not be physically fat to be a glutton. Some people [who are the envy of the obese] can seem to eat anything in nearly any quantity and not gain much weight. This is usually when the person is rather young, and it often catches up with them when they get older. Nevertheless, these thin gluttons are still gluttons. They eat much more than they need, and usually "junk-food" at that.  I know people who are not large, a little hefty, maybe, who talk food nearly every waking moment. They are either just coming from eating or going to eat it seems all the time. They talk about cakes, pies, hams, pizzas, etc., like they are intimate friends. Food consumes them. They are gluttons regardless of their size.

On the other hand there are people who eat a large amount and it is justified. Quite a few years ago I worked at a sawmill here in the hills of the Alleghenies and was amazed at what some of the fellows brought for dinner [you uncultured call it "lunch." You probably call "supper" "dinner," too]. They would have a Coleman cooler, paper bag, or box filled with food for the day. A normal sized lunch box couldn't begin to hold the food they would consume. Some of these guys worked on the "green chain" pulling freshly sawed boards from a conveyor onto a lumber stack, and it was physically demanding. They burned so many calories that they could consume a half dozen sandwiches, various cakes and pies, a couple candy bars, and a large thermos full of coffee or tea during a 8 or 10 hour shift and not gain a pound. Work started at 7 am and before 9 am they would start in on the sandwiches, all neatly stacked in their lunch-cooler. By 4 in the afternoon their supply was depleted. I know some preachers who need to work there a while.

The Bible's Position

Gluttony is actually a sin of rebellion. It is rebellion against God's wishes that believers live in moderation and temperance. Furthermore, it is not a minor or secondary sin, as if such a thing exists. Notice the first mention of gluttony in the Scriptures,

"And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. " [Deut. 21:20]

The Lord told Israel to stone this fat, drunken slob calling him "evil"! The second mention is similar,

"For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty:" [Pro 23:21]

Solomon was even more forceful with these words,

"And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite." [Pro 23:2]

He later spoke of how a person's appetite is never completely satisfied.

"All the labour of man is for his mouth, and yet the appetite is not filled." [Ecc 6:7]

The Scriptures mention "fat" men because it is not the norm,

"And he brought the present unto Eglon king of Moab: and Eglon was a very fat man." [Jdg 3:17]

The New Testament hits even closer to home with the modern practice of church dinners and banquets. Some preachers can never have enough church socials and dinners. One local fat preacher finds a way to talk about food and dinners during nearly every service. By no means is merely having a dinner occasionally sin, but Peter lists  "banquetings" [plural] with other vices to shun,

"For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:" [1Pe 4:3]

"Banqueting" is defined as, "A feast; luxurious living; rich entertainment." That can easily fit some church dinners.

Jude continues the thought,

"These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear..."  [Jude 1:12]

Paul speaks about being "temperate" and restrained, keeping his body under subjection,

"And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things...But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway." [1Co 9:25-27]

Notice if a minister wants to have an effective ministry to others, he must be temperate in all things, which includes food, and thus rule his body instead of letting it rule him.  Preachers and Christians in general cannot have as effective a ministry God desires for them when they are obviously overweight. See also, Gal. 5:23; Tit. 1:8, 2:2; 2Pet. 1:6

Also gluttony identifies a obese believer with the lost, even though he is saved.

"Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly." [Phi 3:19]

The lack of temperance is one of the sins the Holy Spirit used to make Felix tremble at Paul's words. Notice the other two words it is connected with.

"And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled," [Act 24:25] 

Also, preachers are often quick to point out that a believers body is the "temple of the Holy Spirit," and it is each believer's duty to treat his body as such,

"What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." [1Co 6:19] 

How does a fat, "corpulent" preacher say these words with any effect? Does his body glorify God?

The bottom line is a believer is not to let anything have a hold on him. Whether it is leisure, sleep, recreation, or food, he is to be known for his moderation.

Prepared For War?

 "Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ." [2Ti 2:3]

The Christian life is likened to battle, and any reader of military history is familiar with the plight of the soldier. He is to be hard because he must be to survive. He must subdue the cravings of his flesh and keep his body fit for battle. A fat, slobby soldier is a soon dead, or at least, defeated soldier. Probably the strongest craving of the flesh is for food but Paul said he would "keep under [his] body, and bring it into subjection" so his ministry wouldn't be considered a "castaway." He realized a ministry tainted with intemperance and excess was a severely wounded ministry.

Paul's ministry was characterized by things that are unfamiliar to many today, He said he served the Lord,

"In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness." [2Co 11:27]

Many ministers today would "throw in the towel" if they had to suffer these historically normal conditions of ministry. The ease of today is an aberration. The normal Christian worker throughout history was called on to suffer many things, and they did it gladly.

Sometimes soldiers ate leanly to remain fit, but other times it was simply because there was a lack of food. History books are filled with stories of whole armies fighting and traveling with little food. Suffering the pangs of hunger often was part of being a soldier. Even today some soldiers in the Iraq war said they usually only got one meal a day and that is a single "MRE" ration. The rest of the time they go hungry. During the American civil war soldiers on both sides would often march 20, 30, even 40 miles all night long with nothing to eat and then fight a battle the next morning. They were always hungry, but seldom complained. That is the expectation of a soldier. Even Confederate General Robert E. Lee often had very little to eat. I read once that a single boiled head of cabbage a day would be all he had to sustain him for many days at a time. If his cook could find a small strip of meat, Lee usually wouldn't eat it saying since his men don't have any meat, he wouldn't eat any either. Does this sound like you pastor? Do you forgo things for the good of your congregation and the cause? Even things you may have a "right" to?

Just imagine with me for a minute. Throughout the 6000 years of man's history the vast majority of people only had basic staples for food. In America is was beans, potatoes, corn, some grains,  some fruits, garden crops, and occasionally meat, fish, eggs and milk. By no means did most people have all this all the time. This was just the variety of food usually available depending on the season. Often meals were just potatoes or just beans, etc. This was typical. Even though the selection my be different, every culture was basically the same. Many of you, especially the more seasoned, know this for a fact. The rest can learn this from their parents or grandparents. The modern practice of buying food from a grocery store [now a "Supercenter"] is very recent, less than 50 years old in this area. My parents lived off farms when they were children. They raised hogs for meat, cows for milk, and a garden for vegetables. About all they bought from a store was salt, coffee, and a few spices. Practically everything they ate they raised or got from the wild.

Today, of course, things have changed drastically. Most of us buy our food from strangers at a store, we raise nothing, milk nothing, but we do have a huge variety of "food." However, the basic staples mentioned above are still available and quite cheap at that. You can buy are large bag of pinto beans that will feed you for days for $1. You can buy a dozen eggs for around $1. You can buy cans of corn, beans, and fruit for 2 for a $1. You can get a sack of potatoes for $2, and on and on. The basic foods are cheap. You can feed a family with the staples our ancestors relied on for millennia quite economically. But that won't do, will it? We have to have more, and you gluttons a lot more. We have to have all the modern microwave conveniences, all the instant foods, all the "frozen dinners," all the cakes, pies, and candies. We can't be expected to live on what our ancestors lived on. We are too good; too busy for that. "You don't expect me to send my kid to school with a peanut butter sandwich, do you? He's got to have "Lunchables," [at $3 a pop] ."

Now imagine the scene in heaven if things are tight financially for a believer and he prays to the Lord to provide for his "needs." All the while he has junk food here, potato chips there, candy bars in the drawer, Pepsi in the fridge, ice cream in the freezer, etc., etc. Can you imagine what the old saints would think if they could hear, and maybe they can? They suffered through famine, pestilence, starvation, and want while this believer sits in his easy chair eating popcorn, drinking "pop" asking for more money so he can buy more "food"? You may say, "I'm not that well off, brother, I ask for things I really need." I'm not saying you shouldn't ask, I'm saying look how spoiled we have become. We refuse to live like the vast majority of people who have lived upon this earth before us. We feel we are entitled to much, much more. God forbid that the electricity be turned off, even though it has only been available for around 100 years. How did the saints of old exist without air conditioning, or the Internet? Sometimes I think we would be better off without it all.

Did you ever think about the fact that Christ sometimes did not have anywhere to lay His head when you ask for things. So you are having a hard time paying your electric bill. I have had at times, but I will admit, it is hard for me to ask. Why do I need electric when Abraham, Moses, David, and the Lord didn't have it? Why do I need the food I'm used to when John the Baptist ate "locusts and wild honey" and many saints much better than me had nothing at all? You say, it's the times we live in, Brother. Really? Are we to be subject to the times?  It seems the more the Lord blesses us the more spoiled we get.

The Great Food Object Lesson

After their deliverance from Egypt and their miraculous crossing of the Red Sea, the Lord allowed Israel to get hungry [Deut. 8:3]. However, instead of asking the Lord to provide them with food to eat, Israel murmured and complained about being hungry and said they were better off in Egypt. Their hunger was a test, which they failed [Ex. 16:8], but the Lord in His abundant grace and mercy fed them anyway. Every day but the Sabbath He sent them a sweet, crunchy food they called "Manna" [Ex. 16:31]. The Lord didn't spoil them, though. He sent the manna every day, but He didn't put it in their refrigerators, so to speak. They had to get out of bed early every morning and pick it up off the ground before it melted [Ex. 16:21]. Also, they couldn't store any of it except on the day before the Sabbath, thus they had to continually rely on the Lord to provide it. If they did try to keep it overnight it became corrupt and bred worms. The Lord was teaching them and us important lessons with this "manna." Among them are,

It is not fashionable for many today to trust the Lord day by day. With their cupboards stuffed with weeks worth of food [for a modest eater], their "fridge" filled with sodas, meats, candies, and ice cream that would amaze a believer from any other century, believers in general have gotten used to not trusting in the Lord. Don't get me wrong, there are still faithful brethren doing the work of the Lord that trust the Lord every day to provide the necessities of life, and they are to be admired, but many today don't. They have decent jobs, plenty of food, insurance plans, social security, 401k, and sometimes even money in the bank. As a result they neglect to trust the Lord daily for their needs. These things are NOT evil, but the problem is many Christians trust them. They can, however, be gone in a day.

What does the Lord need to do to get us to look to Him, again? Raise gasoline prices? [As I write this gas prices are going up about $0.10 a gallon per WEEK!] Raise food prices? [The cost of food will heavily increase sooner or later.] Restrict health care to only the rich? [Health care costs are climbing faster than anything else.] Cause a "stock market crash" to destroy our 401k and retirement plans? [This will happen, sooner or later]. Personally, I have a retirement plan where I work. I also have a 401k account and health insurance. The Lord has been good to me, but do you think I actually trust in those things? Not much. I don't expect there to be much of anything left after the next few years. My attitude is use whatever is offered to you, but don't TRUST in it! Trust in the Lord.

Gluttonous preachers overtaken by "crapulence" [look it up] are telling the world they are NOT living by faith. Instead of trusting the Lord to care for their needs day by day they rebel and gorge themselves to the bursting point. If for no other reason they should loose weight just to make it easier on the pall bearers who must carry them to the grave [Have you ever had to help carry a heavy person in a coffin? It is not easy]. Odds are they will die sooner than they should. How many very fat preachers do you know that are over 70 years old? Most die before they are 60. Do they care that they are going to deprive their family of a father and a husband? Do they care that their ministry will be shortened? Maybe some, but not enough to change their ways.

Some Results of Gluttony

Fat preacher, below are some necessary things to consider as a result of your excess and intemperance,

You are not used to being talked to like this are you big fellow? You are used to your poor wife overlooking your huge gut and pampering you like royalty. You probably think since you are a preacher your indiscretions should be overlooked. By the way how do you know the Lord didn't impress me to write this section about marital relations or even the whole article because of the prayers of your WIFE? If there is any doubt in your mind, it just may be true. That poor woman may just want a real man for a husband, not a food obsessed slob that makes her wait on him. If you were big and lazy when she married you then she knew what she was getting, but if you put the bulk of your weight and slothfulness on since then you are a cheat and fraud no matter how big or small your wife is. Don't blame your "family genes" or your "metabolism." You claim to like hard "preaching," so take it like a man!

Some of you crapulent guys would like to "wring my neck" right now if you could get hold of me, wouldn't you?. So much for your grace and godliness. Unless you can find a way to sit on me or fall on me I don't think I'm in much danger. You wouldn't be so angry and defensive if you didn't feel these words applied to you. I don't know you and God as my witness, these words are not addressed to anyone in particular. But if you are angry after reading this then some part of this article applies to you. "It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks."

The above words may be for only one person who reads this, but I feel compelled to include them after prayer and many reviews.

Your Author's Problem

It seems an ingrained part of "human nature" for people to indulge themselves. I am guilty as the next. That large piece of cake, that bowl of ice cream, we act like we deserve to eat it just because we can. I will admit that I can spare some pounds. When I graduated high school I weighed around 170 pounds being slightly over 6 feet tall. Now I weigh very near 200 pounds. I could lose 20 pounds and not hurt myself at all. But the telling fact about today's bloated society is many people consider me normal or even thin. A thin 200 pound man? Hardly. Maybe if he was 7 feet tall. Since she is only around 110 pounds, I am nearly twice the weight of my wife.

Until I was about 38 years old I wore a size 34 waist pants. Since then I have had to switch to a size 36. However, when I shop for pants the waist sizes usually start at 30 and go all the way to 48 or larger. Size 34 or 36 is still on the small end! Nevertheless, I feel I need to watch what I eat more and have cut back on the sweets. It is not a joke to me. I can easily eat too much and that is sin. One problem today is the deserts and sweets our ancestors had very rarely or only on special occasions, we can eat nearly every day. A child growing up in the 1940s or 1950s may have gotten to drink a bottle of "Nehi" maybe once or twice a month on a trip to "town." Today people don't even think of soda pop as a treat, it is the primary source of "water" for millions.

Excuses, Excuses

I can hear all the excuses coming, "Brother Morton, I have always been big," "My whole family is big," "I have emotional problems," "I am depressed," "I can't stop myself," etc., etc. So are you saying you can not control what goes into your mouth? Sure some people have a larger frame than others and will weigh more than others, it is also expected that a person put on a few pounds with age, but I am not talking primarily about weight. I'm talking about size. Do YOU know you are too big? Do YOU know you have a big gut that hinders you and your ministry? Well, then, who can do anything about it except you? The issue is do YOU believe your are right where you should be concerning the maintenance of God's temple? When you look at yourself in a mirror, what do you see? 

Some of you are pretending to take the "holy" route in your thinking. You believe I am being very judgmental of fat believers and not giving them the benefit of the doubt. You believe if I were in your shoes I wouldn't be talking this way, but just wait a minute.

Fat preacher, have you ever admitted your obvious gluttony and intemperance is a sin? This is the crux of the issue. Are you willingly blind, highly vain and conceited, or just a continuous rebel? You preach that others should admit and forsake their sins, can you do so with yours? Can you at least admit your sin before others and then with the help of the Lord and the brethren forsake it. Is that not what you would ask someone to do that had any other addiction?

As Christians we all need to be known for "moderation." We should not manifest excess in anything except serving the Lord. Modesty is another noble and godly trait. We should live modest lives among this unrestrained and evil world to show we have something they don't. We should have nice but modest homes, vehicles, clothes and other material things, but we should more than that have modest bellies. Our body is the Lord's and He has chosen to dwell in us. How we take care of His temple reveals volumes about what we really believe.