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Old 06-09-2009, 09:04 PM   #1
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Are there any Reformed/Sovereign Grace/Calvinist Christians here? I would love to talk to Christians who DO NOT believe that having good 'self esteem' is the key to having a healthy body, but submitting to the Lord and obedience to the Savior in good stewarship, and thanksgiving to God and to be a reflection of His Glory as we spread the gospel in this fallen world should be our motivation for being healthy. Not that we can't have fun doing it, but the underlying motivation is different from the world's. Anybody else on board with me?
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Old 06-09-2009, 09:14 PM   #2
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If you are referring to John Calvin who is considered to be the father of the Presbyterian Church. I am a Presbyterian and Christian and am in fact an Elder at Westhope Presbyterian Church.
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Old 06-09-2009, 11:06 PM   #3
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I'm reformed. Member of the PCA. Children's Catechism teacher. I hold to the Westminster Confession of Faith (the old one, not the revised).

Big RC Sproul fan. Also love Calvin, Owens, Gerstner, Piper. Working on reading Augustine's City of God right now.

Theology is my passion, and unfortunately so is food. Working on the food part.

I don't think I need more self esteem. I need to love God more and food less. My sinful disobedience shows on my body. I want to be able to glorify God in everything I do, including my eating.

Soli deo gloria!

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Old 06-10-2009, 10:49 AM   #4
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I don't think I need more self esteem. I need to love God more and food less. My sinful disobedience shows on my body. I want to be able to glorify God in everything I do, including my eating.

Soli deo gloria!

That is exactly it Qualera. We are on the same page. I don't want to be under constant condemnation of the law, but I think that my life under grace should show on the outside, too!
I'm also a big fan of theology, I spend several hours a day listening to strong reformed preaching; Sproul, Piper, etc.. online radio teaching and others... Now I just need to be straight on my theology regarding my body and food. I am so glad you are here!
Soli Deo Gloria! indeed!

So how do we address this?
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Old 06-10-2009, 10:54 AM   #5
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i found an online program called "shrink yourself" that is by a psychiatrist who specializes in eating disorders. It is not so much about improving your self esteem, but about figuring out why you eat when you know you shouldn't. I just started it, but I have found that so far, although by necessity, it is "man centered" I think it is something that can be useful even to us. He stresses finding alternative ways to address your stresses and problems. Although he does not offer any godly alternatives, I think what he offers is certainly not ungodly or unacceptable to me. It is healthy. Google it and tell me what you think.
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Old 06-10-2009, 12:57 PM   #6
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It does seem that much of what is offered there would be acceptable to me. Learning what foods trigger overeating and examining what makes you overeat emotionally could be useful. Though I think you would need to exercise your discernment when trying to use any program that isn't focused on getting a right relationship with God. I think it could serve to help you better understand why you do what you do. But keep in mind, that at its core, your food issues are issues about your relationship with God. Food is an idol for me, and that is an issue that no man-based program is going to address. But I see nothing wrong with taking from a program what you can, especially when you are exercising discernment and not accepting things that don't fit with your worldview.

I don't know of any good Christian programs. Long ago I tried Weight Down Workshop. I took a few good things away from that, but then learned how scary her theology was. And if I try pure portion control strategies like she suggested, I start to slip and slowly add more until I'm back where I was. But one thing she said that has helped me is that the problem is mostly with you, and not with the food. You should not be making the food behave (using tons of "diet" products), you should be making yourself behave.

This is where I am probably going to come off as extreme or weird to you. I try to eat as close as possible to how things existed when God created them. So I pay extra money for grass-fed beef, because cattle were not meant to be fed corn and soy beans. There is a nutritional difference in the meat, especially in Omega-3 fatty acid content. I try to buy organic grass-fed milk, when that is too much trouble, I buy organic at the store. I buy wild caught seafood, because salmon and other marine animals were also not meant to eat grain. And the thing that makes most "diets" difficult for me, I won't use artificial sweetener. Though recently I did buy some stevia-based sweetener, that is herbal, but still it isn't a normal thing to eat, so I've only used 1 packet of it. And that was to try something I thought was required on the program I'm using, which I hated. I'd eat a slice of 100% whole wheat bread preferably sweetened with honey instead of corn syrup, long before I'd even think about eating 2 slices of "diet" bread with filler and low calories. I don't enjoy diet food, and it leads to its own problems of overconsumption. Most of this I have thought about for a long time, but have only recently really started to apply it. It does seem to help me to focus on what is healthy for me and eat that, rather than using food for gratification.

One thing I've found that helps (when I do it, and I am bad on this) is to pray before each meal or snack I eat and ask God to help me to honor him through my eating. And then make sure that I pay attention to what I'm doing, and try to stop when I'm satisfied. And if I overeat or eat when I shouldn't, then I repent of it and ask God to strengthen me in the future. However, knowing what I should do, and doing it all the time are two different things. When I get lazy (which is often), I use Weight Watchers points to help me exercise control over my eating that way. And the WW thing can be trouble for me, since as long as a stay within my points, then I can feel like I'm doing good, even when my heart isn't where it should be. I know it is sinful to eat when I am not hungry and to eat more than I need, yet I will do it if I have the points to. But even this, isn't a bad as a how much and how I was eating before trying to get some control... so its a marginal improvement. I'm still trying to work on my heart issues. I am glad to have someone from the same perspective to talk to here. It is making me refine my thinking even as I try to explain things. And convicting me of what I've been doing.

Anyway... I'm very glad to meet you and look forward to hearing from you.

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Old 06-10-2009, 10:23 PM   #7
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Sounds like we are on the same page. I also like to eat foods the way they are made; organic, whole milk, whole grains, fresh eggs and veggies. No additives if I can avoid it.
I remember the "weigh down" phenomenon, and what a heretic that woman was. Wow. No Thanks.
Are you aware that most of John Piper's sermons are available on his website? I am going to look through them for something that might be related to this topic; he might not address food per se, but the odolatry that it becomes for food addicts; can't be too different from other types of addiction, which I think he does address. If you run across something to read, please pass it along.
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Old 06-11-2009, 04:50 PM   #8
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Listening to my favorite online radio program (wretched radio) today, and in the 2nd hour.. was a piece from Paul Washer about loving something ... anything.. more than God..
very convicting.
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Old 06-11-2009, 05:37 PM   #9
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I've been to Piper's site a couple of times. Mostly I've read his books. Desiring God is a masterpiece. I don't have a lot of time right now, but I did look at the site. I found one lecture from one of Piper's conferences on God, Psychology, and Christian Care of the Soul. But so far it doesn't address the issues we were looking for.

Right now I"m not doing much that I should be. Quite tied up with running errands today. Had to take my grandma out to lunch and shopping today. Then come home, make a list and go out with my husband. Grandma needs help, so we can't do our shopping with her. And once we get back from shopping I have to cook dinner with my husband.

Have a blessed day!
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Old 06-11-2009, 06:43 PM   #10
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Paul Washer is great. My husband has watched quite a few of his videos from YouTube. He is often convicting and inspiring. And so passionate.
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Old 06-12-2009, 10:02 AM   #11
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I know at least a dozen people who thought they were Christians for 10, 20, 30 years or more.. and after they listened to Paul Washer's "shocking youth message" realized they were false converts, and got saved! I wonder what Paul Washer would have to say about all this unhealthy eating I do. He has chronic health problems. Terribly severe for such a young guy; has had several joint replacements already; I will search around and see if I can find him addressing the stewardship of our bodies.... I bet Piper does somewhere.. he has hundreds of sermons available online. I got to the gym yesterday, but ate and ate and ate.... ugh :-(
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Old 06-12-2009, 04:44 PM   #12
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I not a big fan of fasting, but I found this article by John Piper to be interesting. I generally trust Piper's teachings, and thought this would be worth a read. I have never fasted as a form of prayer/worship, and wonder if a fast would not change your view of food. Just thinking... http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceL..._in_1984/Array
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Old 06-12-2009, 05:18 PM   #13
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I have fasted for up to 3 days at a time. It isn't something I like to do, so I only do it when I feel strongly called to. Usually after I have committed some sin long term and God has just brought it to my attention.

I read the article. I was really struck by this:

Quote:
Fasting reveals how severe is our bondage to food. Gluttonous Christians are a disgrace to the gospel. Fasting is a thermometer under the tongue of our appetite to measure the fever of our own gluttony. “Self-control” is a fruit of the Spirit. Self-gratification is a fruit of American advertising. O how much spiritual weakness there is due to our slavery in this area.
I probably should be fasting more. But I am so generally miserable when I do that I hate to even think about it. I will have to prayerfully consider it more. Which of course I won't want to do, since I know what conclusion I will come to when I do.

Though it doesn't specifically have to do with food issues, I did recently read a really convicting book about sins that Christians often find to be acceptable in their lives. It is Respectable Sins by Jerry Bridges.

I feel deeply for those who feel that they are saved and are not. I could say they are the hardest to reach, but all people who aren't elect are equally impossible to reach. I would say that they are the hardest to talk to. Where an atheist will happily or angrily reject God, to tell someone who thinks they are a Christian that they are rejecting God is heartwrenching, both for them and for you. I praise God that he uses Paul Washer to accomplish his purposes.

I was brought to faith by Jed Smock, a crazy full-Pelagian campus preacher. It was the first time that I had heard the message that I was sinner and needed to repent. It was years before I finally got my head screwed on straight. But he started me on the path. Hank Hannegraaf pushed it along a bit years later, and RC Sproul finally got me put together right.

I do think that fasting does change your view of food some. As does eating more naturally. I have been realizing recently that I crave things that are totally bad for me. Refusing them and replacing them with healthy things is changing how I view food as well.

If you decide to try fasting, you might want to try fasting for a meal or two and see how you do. I am pretty sure that the Jews in Biblical used to fast twice a week only eating dinner on those days. My husband jumped right in to a three day fast and had some blood sugar problems.
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Old 06-17-2009, 08:48 AM   #14
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Peace and Grace, Mercy to you all through Jesus Christ, our precious Lord. I also am of the doctrine of Grace (which I prefer to either Reformed or Calvinist), and have been struggling with my eating habits as well.

Up till a couple weeks ago the past year found me in a very dark dessert. Yet, with nowhere else to go, no one else to turn to, I continued to call upon and seek Christ, my Lord. The more I rely on Him, the more spiritual food I intake, the less I rely on physical food. As we all know, yet do not like to hear, gluttony is a sin, one ranked right up there with the others such as drunkenness and sexual sins. Also, the more physical activity I do, the less eating of the garbage occurs.

I also have a condition known as insulin resistance. What that means is that my body reacts to carbs in such a way that I have to be very careful as to which carbs I intake. If I allow myself a little it has to be 100% whole grain, but I prefer to intake it in the form of fruit or veggies, and it MUST be accompanied with protein. In fact, the protein must be at least twice the amount of the carb. So, instead of bread, I'll enjoy my tuna salad on a tortilla. I can not eat cereal, as that sends my body into drive that I can not control, wanting to devour every carb.. to the point (because I do not keep them in the house) that I go and buy crap like pizza.

For me, the plan that seems to work is a combined one. I have followed the south beach for a few years, and lost 30 lbs. on it. recently I read the Insulin Resistance program... and incorporated some of it's principles for more proper balance. The issues with the IR diet, however, is they allow white breads and potatoes, and other things. This, hand in hand with a prayer/scripture life is what works for me.

Now that i've shared what works for me, I'd like to add to the discussion on fasting. The purpose of fasting ought not to be to lose weight. Fasting doesn't stop with foods we eat or don't eat... fasting is abstaining from anything that stands between us and Christ, and seeking Him. It could be TV, Internet, family, friends. Yes, we tend to seek family or friends when things happen that we want to discuss, rather than run to Christ, our savour! When faced with a difficult situation that happened at work, where do we run, a spouse? A friend, a sister? or do we run to Christ? Or when something awesome happens, like losing ten pounds, where do we go for that "pat on the back" rather than run to praise God for His help in the matter.

As believers in the reformed theology we must always remember that God IS in control of all things... When Christ healed the ten, only ONE returned to give Him Thanks! Oh Lord, forgive me, for forgetting the very same!
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Old 06-17-2009, 09:09 AM   #15
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PS... have either of you lady's ready anything by A. W. Pink? I HIGHLY recommend him! You can get his "Studies in the Scripture" through Mount Zion. They send out "Free Grace Broadcaster" as well, both quarterly magazines of the great reformed, puritan authors!

At present I'm greatly enjoying "The Christian in complete Armour" by William Gurnall. Of this book Spurgeon was quoted saying if he could only have one other outside the Holy Scripture, it'd be this one! If you check it out be sure to get this one "http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0851511961/ref=ox_ya_oh_product" and NOT the three volume, as the three volume is abridged and leaves out a lot!



ALSO: Sermonaudio.com is an awesome sight to download sermons! They only post "reformed" teachings..
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Timothy 4:8 (King James Version) 8For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.


Nov weight loss goals

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