Romans twelve and verse two contains this sentence. “Do not conform outwardly to the standards of this world, but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind.” God is not interested in his people merely “going along in order to get along.” Salt and Light do not become tasteless and darkness so as not to disturb their surroundings. Read the following parable and meditate on the current realities as they have developed over the last several decades.
For between three and four thousand years there have been passages of Scripture that teach us about self-control. Many of those passages refer to gluttony. Gluttony is akin to the breaking of the commandment of God concerning covetousness. It also is comparable to sins of sexual immorality in that one refuses to be constrained in the proper control of bodily appetites. As time moved into the late twentieth and early twenty first century, world cultures that had long acknowledged the authority of Scripture decided to excise any prohibition of gluttony from the public discourse. They, of course, did so with other prohibitions as well, but for our purposes let us consider the process in regards to the sin of gluttony. The first step in this change involved the campaign to prove that gluttons were merely born that way. Great efforts were made in the study of genetics to prove that there was a gluttonous gene that predetermined one to be inclined to over indulge. In spite of all efforts, no scientific evidence for this could be found. Only shoddy and speculative science would even suggest such a thing. The decision was made to affirm that people were “born that way” not on the basis of science, but solely on the basis of feelings. Step two involved a campaign to change the public sentiment toward gluttony. A tremendous ally was found in the entertainment industry. Situation comedies were able to use humor and entertainment to soften the public feelings towards gluttons. Movies were made that portrayed gluttons as heroes and those who challenged their gluttony as villains. Along with this campaign came the political efforts to assert the rights of gluttons. They were not to be discriminated against in any way in the public square. Their behavior was to be regarded as equal and honorable as were those who exercised self control. Laws were passed to give assent to these realities. Wherever people refused to go along at the ballot box, the courts intervened and sided with the gluttons. Step three was to compromise all public institutions. The military could no longer enforce self control and gluttony was to be treated as normal and acceptable. Political office was opened up to the openly gluttonous. Many denominations were infiltrated with activists who worked tirelessly to come up with novel interpretations of Scripture that endorsed the trend toward the acceptance of gluttony. Gluttonous pastors and leaders were accepted in many of these communions. Step four involved the celebration of gluttony and the suppression of dissent. The president from time to time would call those who openly acknowledged their gluttony to congratulate them. Public ceremonies were conducted to celebrate the practice of gluttony by consenting adults. Dissent would be regarded as violating civil rights. Strong analogies would be made comparing the sin of slavery to the continuance of the stand against gluttony. Public schools would use the theme of “bullying” to permit clubs to form of gluttons of various kinds. Special days of observance would happen in public schools to celebrate the long suppressed truth of the dignity and worth of gluttony. Many schools would force children to read books that affirmed gluttony as normal behavior. Glutton pride parades would be held at which many gluttons would openly gorge themselves as they walked down the street carrying signs that proclaimed the great freedom of gluttony. One more step became obvious. In order to bring division among those who still believed gluttony to be a sin, a campaign was begun to differentiate between the inclination toward gluttony and the practice of gluttony. To be sure, there is a difference. To be inclined toward gluttony is not a sin, but rather a challenge to be overcome. However this campaign was couched in such a way as to remove any shame from being a glutton or any real desire to suppress or change the inclination. Drawing upon the first step of seeking to prove that gluttons are “born that way.” This step affirms against all evidence that one has no choice about the matter. The effect of this is to give a special status to gluttony so that it is off the table when it comes to any discussion of what it means to be morally straight. A glutton may speak freely of his gluttony as he or she awaits a future of unrestricted gluttony in a culture now welcoming, affirming, and celebrating gluttony. Those who do not go along will be derided in the media. They will be classified among the bigots and persecutors. The next step is to prosecute those who dare to say anything about gluttony even if they are reading from the Scripture as they do.
Let the one who reads understand.