26 June, 2006

Jesus Says All Y'all Fat People Need To Shut Up!

Boy, who stuck the needle in my tired groove? First it was gun rights, now it's fat people. Maybe Monday just means that I'm on autopilot. Or, maybe, just maybe, I have a point.

The Blogstar, a man by the name of Chad Jarnigan, decided to weigh in on the SBC resolution to deny Southern Baptist Convention leadership positions to people who drink. I've never read Mr. Jarnigan before now, so I don't know where he stands on faith. He may be a disaffected former SBC youth. He may be a songwriter who likes to nip at the ankles of the hypocrites in the church who won't buy his records. He may be a freelance writer who does print graphics in his spare time. I have no idea.

What I do know is that he's adopted the HipJesus® refrain that is, like a game of Telephone, fast getting corrupted into a justification for the new persecution.

I first became aware of the HipJesus® refrain about 18 years ago, when I first became actively involved with the homosexual community. That refrain goes like this:
Even if Homosexuality (or fill-in-the-blank-sin, like drunkeness) is a sin, so is gluttony. And look at all the fat people in the Church. They have no right to criticise the sins of gay people, because they're fat.

While I appreciate that my brothers and sisters in Christ are finally taking a bit more of a loving approach to our homosexual friends, they need to get one thing straight. (hah! pun!)

Nowhere, in any church doctrine, is OBESITY a sin. Yes, "gluttony" is one of the Hell's Hit Parade Hot Platters, but OBESITY is not a sin. Obesity can be a consequence of gluttony. It can be a consequence of sloth. It can be a consequence of greed. But obesity, in and of itself, is not a sin. There are Obese people who may have, at one point, been slothful gluttons but have repented of those sins and changed their lifestyles. There are Obese people who have been ill for long periods of time, requiring medications that cause weight gain. [That's not so far-fetched. This PDF lists 35 medication substances that cause weight gain. It doesn't list others, like various hormonal treatments, that have no chemical alternative.] And I'm not even gonna get into genetics again.

I appreciate that people keep dragging out the HipJesus® refrain as a way to say "don't judge lest ye be judged, Fatty!" I get what they're trying to say. But honestly, is perpetuating one stereotype in defense of another ever a good idea? Could we maybe let our Sovereign God take care of business Himself and just do the TWO simple things He asked us to do--Love everyone and tell them the Good News about His Redemption?

7 Comments:

At 3:53 PM, June 26, 2006, Blogger Exador said...

Just curious, church-lady, is there a scripture against drinking?
I'm not up on my bible-reading, and growing up Catholic, everybody drank. I don't remember any, but there's a lot of the bible I don't remember.

 
At 4:12 PM, June 26, 2006, Anonymous Sarcastro said...

So, um, Kat...just how involved in the homosexual community were you?

Any pictures?

 
At 4:17 PM, June 26, 2006, Blogger Kat Coble said...

There are scriptures against the taking of "strong drink" in Proverbs, and scriptures promoting drink in the New Testament.

The rationale behind the SBC regulation is not one of "anti-drink" as people think. It's actually borne out of the 'stumbling block' philosophy.

In 1 Cor. 8, Paul talks about how as Christians we have very libertarian freedoms to engage in previously-forbidden cultural activities. (Contextually it was the eating of meat that had been offered to idols.) Paul says that Christianity is not about legalist restrictions (1 Cor. 1:8) but about faith in God.

But, the sticky wicket is that there are others in the faith who may have come from a different cultural background and DO have a problem with (eating idols' meat, drinking, smoking, dancing, going to bars), so when church members engage in those activities it causes that person to "stumble" in their faith.

In other words, I'm not an alcoholic. But there ARE alcoholics in all Southern Baptist Churches. So if I sign on to be a Deacon, I shouldn't drink because it could cause a problem for one of the alcoholics in my church who looks up to me as a church leader.

I can understand that rationale from the SBC point of view--especially in the regions of the SBC where alcoholism, drunkenness and resultant poverty/physical abuse are a big problem.

I think it needs to be made VERY clear that the resolution doesn't say that church members shouldn't drink. Only church leaders. And for the Stumbling Block reason.

 
At 4:19 PM, June 26, 2006, Blogger Kat Coble said...

So, um, Kat...just how involved in the homosexual community were you?

Any pictures?


Geez, that wasn't clear, was it?

No Corkergirl pix, no. A lot of close GLBT friends, trips to various GLBT haunts, etc. There are two rhyming words for it that I've been called before. Lots of times.

 
At 5:56 PM, June 26, 2006, Blogger John H said...

Yesterday I read in Lee's blog something about cornholing in the back and now I learn that you were heavily involved with the homosexual community...

The mind reels..

One thing that I can say about Episcopalians and drinking is the Episc. motto: wherever two or more are gathered in his name there is a fifth..

 
At 1:17 AM, June 27, 2006, Anonymous Mister Nashville said...

"What I do know is that he's adopted the HipJesus® refrain that is, like a game of Telephone, fast getting corrupted into a justification for the new persecution."

I gotta be honest Kat, I feel like you kind stepped outta line on that one. I'm not one to argue about many things, but I feel as if you made a very unfair judgement about someone when you don't know anything about that person. I have known Chad for many years and also know that the purpose of his blog is to stimulate conversation and forward thought, not to provoke arguement. Perhaps if you had read more of his blog posts you might have seen that.

I was(and technically still am) a member of the SBC as well as in leadership. While the recent resolution does not say that church members shouldn't drink, I know that the majority of SBC members in churches across the South would tell you very quickly that they don't and shouldn't drink. If you disagree, then I say you are disconnected from the majority of the SBC from Texas to South Carolina.

Regardless of recent resolutions, and sadly... what scripture says, there are some cultural things(especially in the Deep South) that someone stepping into the SBC can't and won't understand. I know that in your response to Exador you mentioned the regional aspect. For the most part... that regional aspect is a gigantic source of identity for Southern Baptists, hence the "Southern". I understand both points of views, but I think that you missed Chad's point(inability to reach others because of hang-ups) because of the "drinking" issue.

 
At 1:50 AM, June 27, 2006, Blogger Kat Coble said...

I have known Chad for many years and also know that the purpose of his blog is to stimulate conversation and forward thought, not to provoke arguement.

Fair enough. But when the conversation he stimulates springs from things like

I'm not sure how wise it is to pass resolutions that functionally condemn the actions of Jesus(Luke 7:33-34; John 2 ) and Paul (1 Tim. 5:23).

I tend to bristle a bit. (bolded emphasis mine)

Let's be clear. I have nothing against social drinking and I've been a member of the Southern Baptist Convention for 2 of my 36 years. But I've been a Christian for 32 of those 36 years, and I am really really tired of Christians denegrating the choices their brethren have made prayerfully. Last Sunday morning I spent 10 minutes talking with a good friend of ours about this issue, how it came up at the convention (any person can make a resolution--the SBC is very democratic), the debate that surrounded it and how it eventually passed. It was a decision made for the reasons I stated, even though the points Chad himself raised were repeatedly asserted by many in attendence. The decision wasn't made to be seperatist. It was made to be consciencious servants of Christ to our bretheren. It's about church policy for dealing within the church.


The tone of Chad's post was, to me, very judgmental, especially as it ended with

There are many other issues that need to be addressed as well. Gluttony (& obesity) for example is affecting many families all over the USA. What about pornography addiction, lust, and ethics?

That's a whole lot of fingerpointing. And to answer that seemingly rhetorical question, I've heard my SBC preacher preach on every single one of those issues within the last 6 months, often more than once.

There are HipJesus® people everywhere. They've got some good ideas and some ideas that make me bristle. The biggest idea that makes me bristle of late is all this talk of emerging church, implying that all those who stay behind in the traditional church are a dry husk. I have a lot of appreciation for the old ideas of my Mennonite tradition that are being remade by "emerging church" fellows. But I would never presume to mock others whose faith is more fully realised within the structure of a traditional church.

I know that the majority of SBC members in churches across the South would tell you very quickly that they don't and shouldn't drink

Sure they would. As do many people I know. I don't think this is a problem.

I think that you missed Chad's point(inability to reach others because of hang-ups) because of the "drinking" issue.

If Chad had that point he wanted to make, he could have made it without throwing the entire Southern Baptist Convention under the bus, I think. Ironically it seems that his apparent prejudice against the SBC may be a hang-up that prevented him from reaching me with his idea.

Of course, I could be wrong. It wouldn't be the first time.

On May 5th, Chad posted Maya Angelou's poem Christians

That poem says, in part,

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I don't speak of this with pride.
I'm confessing that I stumble
and need Christ to be my guide.


I think what many people may forget is that the SBC is made up of these very Christians that the Angelou poem speaks of.

 

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