Many times in the church world, people like myself who adhere to natural living, herbal medicine and so on, get wrongly accused of being “new-age” and some even liken it to witchcraft hocus-pocus.
Many of my Christian friends think its just a little bizarre that we eat no sugar and negligent that we don’t run the children to the doctor when they get sick. And a waste of time to use food, vitamins, and herbs to heal our bodies instead of getting a quick fix in the form of a pill.
But to us, healthy natural living is an integral part of the Christian life. Why?
One – God wants us to take care of our bodies because our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit (God lives IN US!) 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says this:
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.
So by eating healthy nourishing foods, maintaining optimal vitamin levels, getting adequate rest and exercising, we are promoting health in our bodies. We will also be more effective in our service for him. It’s hard to be in service to the Lord if we’re not giving Him our best – if our brains are altered by sugar, we’re not giving Him our best.
Your Brain on Sugar: Research out of the University of California, Los Angeles, suggests that sugar forms free radicals in the brain’s membrane and compromises nerve cells’ ability to communicate. This could have repercussions in how well we remember instructions, process ideas, and handle our moods.
If we’re eating typical American food, laden with additives and preservatives, we’re not going to be giving God our best. Read more about that here: 5 Common Food Additives That Are Toxic to Your Brain
Also, if our bodies are overweight and sluggish then we are not glorifying Him with our body. We can’t serve him well if we don’t have the energy to get out of bed! Exercising or active lifestyles will keep our bodies healthy, ready to serve. Getting adequate sleep will give us energy and clear, sharp minds. So our goal in healthy living isn’t merely to “be healthy”, but it is to more effectively serve the Lord and to glorify Him in our nutrition and lifestyle choices.
(I have seen others go too far and become “health nuts” – being healthy becomes an idol for them and is their main focus in life. This is obviously not what I’m advocating.)
Two- God has given us amazing immune systems – bodies that are self-healing. If we have healthy functioning body (see point one above), then the vast majority of the time, our bodies will heal themselves! Its true! But, if you are eating sugar, it probably won’t heal itself .
(From www.askdrsears.com) Excess sugar depresses immunity. Studies have shown that downing 75 to 100 grams of a sugar solution (about 20 teaspoons of sugar, or the amount that is contained in two average 12-ounce sodas) can suppress the body’s immune responses. Simple sugars, including glucose, table sugar, fructose, and honey caused a fifty- percent drop in the ability of white blood cells to engulf bacteria…..The immune-suppressing effect of sugar starts less than thirty minutes after ingestion and may last for five hours.
If you are chowing down on junk food and the typical American diet instead of nourishing, real foods, then no, your body probably won’t self-heal.
“What we eat and drink and how we live are key factors in keeping our immune system running at optimal capacity. Recent research on the immune system has demonstrated the importance of vitamins A, C, and E and the minerals zinc and selenium. Vitamins A, C and E are important for the formation of white blood cells. Selenium stimulates formation of antibodies to combat viruses and bacteria. Zinc stimulates the “killer” cells that search out and destroy harmful viruses and bacteria.
We make choices every day that affect our immune system and our health—the foods we eat, the exercise we get (or don’t get), the nutritional supplements we take….Bad choices weaken our bodies and our immune systems while good choices strengthen our bodies and our immune systems. (www.naturalhealthschool.com)”
Three: Being healthy saves oodles of money that can then be spent on spreading the gospel and feeding the hungry. Americans spend 3.8 Trillion on healthcare according to Forbes. 3.8 Trillion in a year! Folks, there’s just something disgustingly sick about that. Imagine the good that could be done with all that money! Our money is not our own to do what we’d like – it is God’s money and we are merely His managers. Are you spending your money in a God-honoring way? Are you spending His money on food that promotes your health, or wasting it on junk that makes you sick that leads you on a road to doctors and prescription drugs?
Now we’re not against doctors and prescription drugs when needed – there are situations where there is just no other alternative. But this should be the rare exception, not the norm.
Four: He gave healing, medicinal plants. There are so many herbs available that can help heal your body, but don’t leave us with the unfavorable side effects of the drug industry. And they just grow! Here on the earth! No chemist involved with the production of them. And they are much cheaper than prescription drugs. So why should we jump so quickly into using man-made drugs when God has provided herbs to heal our bodies? Instead, take some time to learn more about using herbs for healing. Now, you have to understand though, herbs probably aren’t going to help you much if you aren’t adhering to points one and two above. So, yes, it does seem “easier” to just take a pill and carry on with your sugar highs and pizza pockets. But consider the following.
The pharmaceutial industry is a huge money-making industry. Is their goal to make you healthy? I hope you’re not that naive. They would love for everyone to be on daily maintenance medication. And then you’ll need a second medication to counter-act the unpleasant physical side effect of the first medication. And maybe even a third medication to counter-act the emotional/mental side effect of the first drug. And now there are side-effects to drug 2 and 3 to deal with too.
Need more to convince you to stay away from pharma? The Greek word “pharmakia” is where we get our English word “pharmacy” from. It literally means “drugs”, and is translated into our English Bible as either “witchcraft” or “sorceries”. It appears five times in the New Testament: in Gal 5:20, Rev 9:21, 18:23, 21:8, and 22:15.
Now, I realize that some of you have serious health issues where you really need your prescription drugs in order to live. But are you also building up your immune system and promoting a healthy lifestyle in hopes of coming off the pharma? Are you doing everything you can to help heal your body? Or have you just accepted the pharma as an easy fix to your ailments? There are MANY examples of people who were on daily maintenance medications who were able to come off of them once they started eating healthy and exercising.
So, in conclusion, are natural living, herbal healing, and real food diets just a new-age fad? We don’t think so. To us, we see it as a way to bring glory to God and to be more effective in our service to Him.