Unhealthy eating habits affect spiritual health, says California pastor

Christians should have healthy eating habits because an unhealthy appetite can affect one's spiritual life, according to Westside Christian Fellowship pastor Shane Idleman.

(REUTERS / Andrew Kelly)Joey Chestnut (L) and Matt Stonie (R) consume hot dogs during the annual Fourth of July 2015 Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest in Brooklyn, New York July 4, 2015.

In his New Year's Day sermon titled "A Prisoner of Appetite: Is Unhealthy Eating a Sin?," the California-based pastor said he believes one's physical health is closely tied with his or her spiritual health. Pastor Idleman urged believers to reflect on both the content and food that they consume, Faith Wire relays.

"The physical affects the spiritual," said Pastor Idleman. "What quenchs and grieves the holy spirit in our lives? Disobedience."

Idleman defined unhealthy eating as an act of choosing not to take care of one's body even if he or she has the ability to do so. He went on to say that "the modern American lifestyle promotes gluttony" and encouraged the listeners to heed God rather than their appetites.

Pastor Idleman acknowledged that sticking to healthy eating habits is difficult and revealed how he also struggled with it. He said he weighed around 240 pounds the same time last year.

"When I'm overweight it's because of neglect in this area," said Idleman. "And it's hard to preach on what you're not 'living out.'"

Ahead of Christmas Day, Christian Today published an article warning Christians against falling into the sin of gluttony. The publication said the season of feasting makes a lot of people vulnerable to eating too much.

Gluttony is not just about what one puts into the mouth, but it's also about the values that sit in one's heart. These include selfishness, an uncontrollable desire to satisfy oneself, idleness, attention-seeking and wanting gifts - attitudes that could manifest in excessive consumption of food and beverage.

CT says gluttony goes against God's will because it exudes selfishness and "self-idolatry." Jesus teaches His followers to be selfless and to think of others more than oneself. The Apostle Paul also gave a reminder in Philippians 2:3-4 about having nothing to do with selfishness and instead look out for others, and doing this can help a person avoid falling into the sin of selfishness and gluttony.

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