Back in high school, I had a friend who was Jewish. Whenever we had a conversation about food, he would say: “You are what you eat. If you eat pig, that’s exactly what you are. ” Back then, I thought he was just being Jewish, but now I tend to agree, but with a twist.
"If you eat like a pig, that's exaclty what you are."
The way you go about food says a lot about you as a human being.
Jesus was once in conversation with the Church leaders of his day. The topic: The holiness of eating. Jesus made a very good argument that it is not what goes into your mouth that determines your holiness, but rather what goes out of your mouth. The point being that the criteria for one’s Faith is to be found in the way we treat other people. Our words are far more toxic than food gone bad.
This is still true today.
But I think that if Jesus lived today, in a world with extreme gluttony in the one hand and extreme hunger in the other, his argument would have been slightly different.
The problem Jesus had with the church leaders was that they were missing the point about holiness and food. The first intention with the food regulations found in Scripture was HEALTH. When a group of people coming out of slavery wander off into the desert, they need to find a common set of health regulations that can keep them safe and healthy. But somewhere down the line, as this group of people moved from desert to city, from poverty to wealth, the health code turned into a holiness code. It moved from common sense to superstitious religiosity.
By the time Jesus arrived on the scene that first intention was long forgotten. Jesus tried to bring them back to the ancient common sense truth(s) of Scripture.
He’ll do the same today.
The only difference is that our battle is not with moralistic religion, but rather with modernistic greed.
We are eating ourselves to death.
But not just ourselves, also others. The more we selfishly consume, the more others will die. Think of an old school scale. The more you stack on one side, the more unbalance the whole thing becomes. Or think of a seesaw, the fatter the child on the one end, the less fun it is for the skinny one at other end.
We need to spread the butter better, more evenly, into all the little corners.
At this stage of time the butter is one big knob smack bang in the middle of the slice of toast.