God made our bodies, so we should care for them

Leslie Leyland Fields on the fitness-driven church:

A 2006 Purdue University study first broke the news that religious people tended to be heavier than nonreligious, with “fundamental Christians” weighing in as the heaviest of all religious groups…

On any given Sunday in all of the churches I have attended, I could reward myself for coming to Sunday school with a sprinkled donut. Between services, I can pick up a latte and a muffin. On many potluck Sundays, the dessert table stretches way past the main-dish tables. My teenagers will nosh on pizza, potato chips, and brownies at youth group. What are we doing? We’re having fun and fellowship, for sure, but shouldn’t the gospel we hear preached every Sunday deliver good news for our bodies as well as our souls?

Churches need to develop – and practice – a robust theology of health:

All this may hardly sound revolutionary, but outside the church, it challenges the prevailing notion that our bodies belong to us alone—either as machines to be hacked and fueled, or as “plastic” to be reshaped, starved, pierced, and used for pleasure or vanity. And inside the church, it challenges the dualistic worldview that God cares only about “spiritual” matters…

Health comes as the overflow of loving God and submitting every realm of our lives to him, including loving and tending the God-made bodies he has given us as gifts—our neighbors’ bodies and our own.

I really should go running more.

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