Summary: Christians are offered a great deal of ’junk food’; but it is the individual’s responsibility to go to the Word and eat right.
“See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.”
I have to begin by telling you where I got the title for this sermon, “Supersizing”. Because I normally come up with my own titles, and part of the fun of preparing sermons, for me, is thinking of a title that is catchy, and that relates to the main point of the message.
But while eating my lunch of canned ‘Beefaroni” today, I had the T.V. turned to the news, and watched an interview with a man named Morgan Spurlock. Morgan has entered his first feature film in this year’s Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.
Now, I’m not sure how anyone could manage to create a full length film on this subject and hold the viewer’s interest until the end, but the name of his film is “Super Size Me”, and I borrowed the idea from him (it would be stealing, except for the fact that I’m giving him credit; so it’s only borrowing), because of the subject matter of the film and the great illustration it gave me.
I offer my profuse ‘thanks’ to Mr. Spurlock.
You see, Mr. Spurlock said in this interview that last year, meaning 2002 Thanksgiving I surmise, he was relaxing, full and happy on his mother’s sofa, and on the news he saw a story of some women in New York who were suing McDonald’s for making them fat.
Of course, the fast food chain was aghast at the idea, since in their estimation, their food is all healthy.
So Morgan Spurlock had an idea. He decided that he would embark upon an experiment, using himself as the test subject, and film the whole process.
For 30 days, Morgan ate breakfast, lunch and dinner at McDonalds. And although I have not seen his film, I will assume at this juncture that he supersized everything, since that is the name of his film.
At the end of the 30 days, Morgan claims to have gained 30 pounds, felt terrible physically, and says that his cholesterol had ‘sky-rocketed’. He said his Doctor, after examining him, ordered him to stop the experiment immediately.
I finished my nutritious bowl of Beefaroni, washed it down with a glass of cold water, and beat it back to my study while everything was fresh in my mind, vowing to go for a long walk and do sit-ups later.
In the course of this interview Mr. Spurlock observed that over the past year it seems we can hardly turn our television on without hearing some commentary on the fat epidemic in our country.
Well, Christians, I’m afraid we have a fat epidemic in the church too.
Now I could, I think, without much opposition or criticism except from the ones doing it, indict the many liberal and worldly preachers in many liberal and worldly churches, who use the pulpit for a political platform, or simply tout their blasphemous, un-Godly form of religion, that leaves out the essentials and appeals to the prideful flesh of their congregations of nominal Christians.
I could do that.
But I think, instead of blasting those who are not going to change their ways, even if by some miracle they actually heard or had access to this sermon, we’d be better served today by taking a critical look, not at the place that dispenses the fast food, but at the choices we consumers make.
Just so you’ll know where we’re going, let’s break it down like this:
1. JUNK FOOD TASTES GOOD, 2. MORE IS NOT NECESSARILY BETTER, 3. FEED THE FLESH, STARVE THE SPIRIT, 4. STEP AWAY FROM THE FRIES AND NO ONE GETS HURT.
First then, let’s note that;
1. JUNK FOOD TASTES GOOD
I think most of us would agree with that general assessment. Some may not like certain types of junk food, but with very few exceptions I think that for each person, anywhere, there is some type of junk food that appeals to them.
Usually, while admitting that we like that kind of food, we’re saying it with a sheepish grin on our face; but we have to admit it, nonetheless.
Sadly, whether we realize it or not, what is appealing to our taste in those things is sugar and fat!
What Paul is warning against in the second chapter of his letter to the Colossians, is a sort of spiritual sugar and fat.
It sounds nice, and it sounds logical, and it appeals to the senses. It appeals to the flesh.
He calls it ‘philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men”.
I read an essay by David Keithley on this, and in it he is careful to point out that this is not a condemning of all philosophy, but a warning against ‘hollow’ philosophy. He says, “Not every idea is a good idea. Not every new thought is a true thought”.