Jason B. Ladd

Ask the Questions. Embrace the Answers. Make the Leap.

Organic Evangelism: Nutritional Intolerance as Evidence for God

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A recent article about healthy foods made me think about the Organic Crusades.  Any student of history knows the Organic Crusades were a response to violent muslin expansion of waistbands throughout Europe and later, the Americas.

They’re not on the corner holding signs.  They’re not passing out tracts on Halloween night.  They probably don’t have a radio ministry.

But they’re out there: Organic Evangelists.

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They may be nutritionally intolerant, but they may also help prove the existence of God.

I’ll start by saying the desire to pursue a healthy lifestyle by choosing the best foods for your body is admirable.

But cost and convenience can make it difficult.  The divide between organic shoppers and lovers of Whoppers is largely economic.

I don’t think the homeless shelter is going to pay $4.18 for a half gallon of organic milk when they can get regular milk for .99 cents with price-match at Wal-Mart.

The organic and whole foods movement has blossomed into a multi-billion dollar industry.  It may also provide an opportunity to reveal God’s presence in their lives.  When you realize that certain foods may cause your body harm, it is a logical choice to investigate alternatives.
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But organic evangelists go one step further.

They believe choosing organic is a moral imperative. 

Let me explain with an example based on a real conversation.  I was having a discussion with someone on the topic of belief.

They were of the mindset that every belief could be valid and that you have to go with which belief “is right for you.”

I did my best to illustrate the objective nature of truth and the importance of ideas to meet the tests of logical consistency, empirical adequacy, and experiential relevance.  They continued to insist that there are no right or wrong beliefs.  They believed anyone who judges another’s belief is being intolerant.

I knew this person was passionate about nutrition.  So, like Paul, I tried to become all things to all people, and I began to speak on nutritional terms.

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“You believe in the importance of eating all-natural, organic, whole foods, right?”

“Right,” they replied.”

“And you also believe we should refrain from putting toxins and unhealthy chemicals into our body via junk foods, right?”

“Right,” they said.

“But I like to eat junk food and drink soda.  What if I believe there’s nothing wrong with that?”

“No, no, no.  Everyone knows that’s bad for you,” they said.

“I’m just telling you what I believe.  Are you saying my belief is invalid?”

“Well, yes.  Your belief is wrong,” they admitted.

“Now you’re being intolerant of my beliefs.  What if this is what I need to believe?  What if I believe this is ‘right for me’?”

I sensed frustration and decided to disengage.  The point was clear.

One of the strongest arguments pointing towards the existence of God is the existence of objective moral values.  There are values that hold true for all people in all places at all times.

These universal values can be compared to laws, and since laws can’t write themselves, any law that exists must have a law giver.  The God of the bible has the necessary attributes, the authority, and the power to bring such laws into being.

We were unknowingly discussing a candidate for an objective moral value:

it is wrong to cause unnecessary harm to your body. 

Many cultures have rites of passage which include harming the body, but there is a reason behind the pain.  It is seen as necessary pain leading to a greater good, in this case the strengthening of character and entrance into adulthood.

As always, the debate between organic food and satanic food apologists is fueled by interests groups, with big business and science one side, and big business and pseudo-science on the other.

Pick your poison.  You can die from food or you can die from stress.

The time spent thinking about what happens after death is far more valuable than the time spent trying to avoid it. 

(Click here to Tweet that!)

 

Spoiler alert: you will fail.

After this exchange I learned that while religious pluralism is celebrated with euphoric fervor, nutritional pluralism is shunned like a 17 oz. soda in New York City.

What do you think of the Organic Crusades?  Worthwhile pursuit, or faddish luxury?

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About Jason B. Ladd

Jason is an author, speaker, Marine, and father of seven. He has flown the F/A-18 Hornet as a Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron 1 (MAWTS-1) Instructor Pilot and the F-16 as an Instructor Pilot. His award-winning book One of the Few: A Marine Fighter Pilot’s Reconnaissance of the Christian Worldview has been optioned for film adaptation. He is represented by Julie Gwinn of The Seymour Agency.

5 Replies

  1. Love it! The Organic Crusades–worthwhile pursuit or faddish luxury? A bit of both, I’d say. It is mind-boggling the zealousness of some on this topic. And yet the inconsistency of their reasoning when applied to something like moral relativism seems to be incomprehensible to them. Well done on making your point and disengaging too—that shows an admirable restraint.

    1. I think you’re right. Probably a bit of both. Thanks for commenting.

  2. Sue Nash

    Love how you used this as an apologetic technique. In terms of where I stand on the organic thing, I lean more toward the camp of it being a faddish luxury. Our entire world is under the curse of sin, including our food supplies. Plus, no matter how hard we try to care for our bodies, and I do believe that we should, none of us can avoid death. Where one spends eternity matters more than any attempts we use try to extend our lives. thanks, Jason

  3. Rachel Gregg Howard

    WELL SAID!!! I totally agree with you! Here’s my spin on this issue- I am in the throes of turning my family (slowly) to a whole foods diet (which is not easy for me as I could live on chocolate cake) but the motivation driving this decision is 1. Health, yes, of course. But as a Christian, one must go deeper than that, otherwise obsession with nutrition just idolatry. What really changed my mind was 2. a clear focus on creation, because whole food was God’s original design for our diet. If that was His original plan, there must be a REASON. Bingo. It’s good for you. The best for you, in fact. Perfectly designed by our creator to meet our physical needs. And just like anything truly GOOD for us, it’s hard to do. So we take one step at a time and try to move in a positive direction. The other end of the spectrum is our sin nature, which desires all things oozy, gooey and smothered in chocolate. (Oh wait, that’s just me…) But you catch my drift. Some days I could swear that processed sugar is just another tool the enemy uses to imprison us in our own desires! It can be an addiction like any other- video games, television, alcohol… you name it. And in the end, it leads to bad behavior (specifically in school- aged children!) ill health and disease… The bottom line is, there truly is a spiritual component to everything. Change can only occur from the inside and can not be mandated from without. Sadly, this is a truth only true believers can comprehend. Real change occurs only through Christ Jesus, and in focusing on Him, we desire to change our lives to live according to God’s plan!!! Even if that means whole foods!

    1. Rachel, Thanks for the very thoughtful comment. I think you’re spot on with all your assessments. Natural foods are best, and anything worth doing will be hard. I really agree with your comment that sin affects everything from what what we do, to what we say, to what we eat. Ganbatte! (Good luck!) -Jason