Death in the Kitchen part 1

Scripture: Exodus 15:26, Galatians 6:7, 1 Corinthians 10:31
We have a serious problem in the United States with premature disability and death because of unhealthful lifestyle practices. The Bible gives us guidelines for keeping our bodies vigorous and strong into old age. The more natural the food, the less refined, the better. We often eat with our eyes and don't think about what is best for our bodies.
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Some years ago a survey was taken in a certain American city, and every inhabitant responded to 156 questions included in the survey.It was discovered that the prime interest of adults was that of health - not politics, history, or even the weather - but health, their health and the health of their families. What a paradoxical age is this one in which we live! A time when we have more doctors, hospitals, medicines; more medical knowledge of the care, treatment, and cure of disease; more pills, capsules, vitamins, etc.; yet seldom has there been a time when more sickness and general ill health has plagued the human family.

Millions are suffering the side effects of wrong living habits and harmful eating and drinking. We live in a world which is shattered by pain. The cries of the sick and diseased are the trademarks of modern society. In spite of incredible programs in medical research, the problems of health and longevity are still the most serious our society faces.

The Bible gives a simple, concise answer to the question of premature disability and death. Millions would still be alive today had they but heeded the warning of God in Exodus 15:26: "If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee."

These words make it abundantly clear that anyone can actually postpone his own funeral. By obeying the laws of God concerning health and diet, disease may be mitigated or avoided altogether. It is apparent from this verse in the Bible that it is not the will of God for great, epidemic scourges to sweep millions into their graves. He wants us to prosper and be in health - body, mind and soul.

Why then do we see so much suffering and disease in the world today? The answer is that the majority are violating the laws of their being. Just as surely as the laws of nature operate, so there are laws of our body which are also predictable and certain. "Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." Galatians 6:7. If a person falls from the roof, the law of gravity immediately takes over. Regardless of age, sex, or financial status, that falling body will hurtle downward to be injured or killed. In the same way, if we violate the laws of our body, we may expect the inevitable consequences of sickness or death.

Effect is always preceded by a cause. To those who have seriously studied the counsels of God and the current world health trends, there is no deep mystery. Experts are puzzled that cancer has continued its spiraling increase. While many diseases have been greatly reduced, and some eliminated altogether, cancer has mushroomed. Even with unprecedented funding and research there have been few significant breakthroughs in curbing the growth of this deadly malignancy.

We can easily understand the steady increase of lung cancer in the light of America's smoking practices. This trend will doubtless continue until more people muster the simple, moral courage to say "No" to imbibing a deadly poison. But few people understand that fully one-third of all cancers of the human body occur within the stomach. And one-half of all cancers are found in the organs of digestion, including the liver, pancreas, small intestine and colon.

The reason for this cancer concentration must be obvious to all of us. Except for the lungs, which are bombarded with hot tobacco tars, the stomach is the most abused organ of the body. Dr. James Ewing, one of the founders of the American Cancer Society, made this statement in a tract entitled The Prevention of Cancer: "The perpetual abuse of a normal stomach frequently gives rise to cancer, and an abnormally weak stomach may suffer the same fate from less abuse. In both instances abuse and overfunction must be regarded as the exciting cause. The stomach is not lined with copper but by a single row of rather delicate epithelial cells. The sole safe conclusion to be drawn from these data is that all forms of abuse of the stomach must be avoided if the high mortality from this very common disease is to be reduced."

It is simply hair-raising and blood-curdling to see what goes into the stomachs of American men, women and children. The great test seems to be whether it tastes good, or else whether it gives a pleasant after-effect. No wonder 50 percent of the population is suffering from obesity and that more than three million dollars are spent each year on diet formulas and exercise gadgets.

The amazing fact is that the average American consumes 1,488 pounds of food every year. This is undoubtedly a large factor in the one and a half million patients who fill American hospitals every day of the year. Have you ever noticed that three-fifths of the word DEATH is EAT?

Paul Bragg, in his famous cookbook, stated: "The average person is poisoning himself day by day with the food he eats. Most people eat with their eyes. If the food looks good, they do not question whether it is healthful or death-dealing. Few people know the right kind of food to put into their bodies to keep them well and strong or take the time to select this food if they do know. From birth to old age the average individual never experiences the taste of real natural food. Our tiny sensitive taste buds have been for generations so polluted by unnatural, artificially seasoned and stimulating foods that most of us are unable to appreciate the fine, delicate flavor of the natural foods. Foods must be fixed, hashed, mashed, smashed, boiled, broiled, stewed, baked, pickled, preserved, flavored, salted, creamed, dried, roasted, fried, greased, peppered, vinegar-laden, smoked, toasted, crushed, rolled, mealed, oiled, fermented, beaten, sweetened, spiced, soured, peeled, shredded, steamed, braised, colored and otherwise seasoned in order to offer an appeal to the civilized man." Then, he adds, "Civilized man is not satisfied with the food the Maker has supplied him and must do something with it before he feels it is fit for him to eat."

Small wonder, then, that 25 tons of aspirin are swallowed every day in the United States. According to the National Observer, this is 2 1/4 tablets for every man, woman and child in the nation; and that is every day of the week. If you didn't get your 2 1/4 tablets today, somebody else got a double supply, you can be sure of that!

One of the strangest paradoxes of American life is found in this area of health. Though people fear sickness above every other enemy, yet they do almost nothing about taking care of their health until after the disease has already struck. In a year's time, out of every medical dollar spent by the American people, 95 cents was spent to get well and 5 cents was spent on preventive medicine. Now this doesn't make a lot of sense. But in this field most people don't seem to excel in reason or good sense anyway.

It reminds me of a group of tourists in Spain who had gone there to visit one of the historic sites. Up on the side of a cliff, there was an ancient monastery which they wanted to visit. The only way to get up there was in a basket which was pulled up over a pulley by some of the monks. After they had toured the monastery, they were being lowered back down the side of the cliff. As they were getting into the basket to be lowered back down, they noticed that the rope was rather frayed. So they asked the monk in charge, "How often do you change the rope?" And the monk said, "Well, we change it every time it breaks, of course." That wasn't much comfort to those who were being lowered down in the basket.

More and more, the medical researchers are finding out that our diet has very much to do with our state of health. The body machine is actually made up of the fuel we feed into it. The quality of nerve, bone, blood and cell is dependent upon good nutrition and proper diet. The old adage is almost literally true: Millions are digging their graves with their teeth.

Our Bodies Not Our Own

Right at this point someone may be wondering what all this has to do with religion. Why would God be concerned about my eating habits? Isn't it a man's personal business as to how he cares for his body? These are relevant questions and cannot be ignored.

Fortunately, the Creator of our bodies did not leave us without answers to these questions. "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." 1 Corinthians 10:31. Isn't that amazing? God is concerned about such small matters as what and how and when we feed our body system. The Bible reveals that God did not fabricate the delicate human machine and then leave it to operate alone. He has never released His ownership of the creative process or of the product itself.

The apostle Paul wrote: "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." 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20. These words reveal that the proper care of our body is not only a spiritual obligation but a moral requirement. Even though we have control of our bodies, they do not really belong to us. We are only stewards of someone else's property.

No man has a right to say, "I'll do as I please with my own body, and it is my business alone." We can rob God by violating the divine purpose of the body temple to be the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit.

Paul refers to both the church and the individual member when he says: "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are." 1 Corinthians 3:16, 17. This forever settles that a person can be lost for defiling the property of God.

But how much does the average individual know about his own body and how to take care of it? Doesn't it seem strange to you that the average parent knows more about the physical needs of the chickens in the pen, or a dog in the house, than he does about the needs of his own children? The average man knows more about the needs of his automobile than he does about the physical needs of his own family! Why is there such an incredible amount of ignorance concerning the way to take care of this sacred body temple? The Bible assures us that the human body is to be cared for, preserved and maintained according to the rules laid down in the Bible. The trouble is that most Americans simply follow their appetite in matters of eating and drinking.

What are the guidelines laid down in the Bible about caring for and feeding the body? God asks the question, "Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? ... eat ye that which is good." Isaiah 55:2. And how can we tell what is good? Surely not by the taste or the advertising or by colorful labels. Most Americans, following the law of appetite, hastily fill their grocery baskets with the products which have been most loudly touted by the TV hawkers. With no regard to content, they collect everything that appeals to the taste and sight. As little baby birds open their mouths to whatever mama will put in, so the gullible consumers blindly accept the choices of the media marketers.

Body-Maker's Manual

There is only one way to know what is good for this very complex body system, and that is to consult the One who made it. Only the manufacturer has the best operating manual for its products. Automobile makers always provide such instructions for keeping their vehicles in top running condition.

When God made the body, He also gave specific operating instructions, including fuel and maintenance. Notice this counsel in Genesis 1:29, "Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat." No one has been able to improve on it. Nuts, fruits, grains and vegetables are still recognized by the best nutritionists as the finest possible diet.

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