Can Natural Living Become an Idol?

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This post is the finale of our TOP 10 CELEBRATION here at Passionate Homemaking. This post received the most general comments over the last 5 years then any other post on the blog, so I thought it fitting to republish this article for you all.
Originally published on January 21, 2010.

Please note: I want to express my heart from the outset of this post to assure my readers that these are musings that the Lord has been working in my heart lately, and I felt compelled to share them with you. I in no way desire to condemn anyone, but my motivation in sharing is to challenge us all to guard our hearts in this matter.

I recently encountered two stories that have challenged me in the motivation and out workings of my pursuit of natural living. The first account began with a friend desiring to throw a baby shower for an expectant mother in her church. This friend was expecting her first little one. The hostess simply wanted to bless and encourage this new mother in her pursuit. When she asked for gift ideas, the new mother stated that she only wanted organic baby clothing, wooden natural toys, organic cloth diapers, and the like. Half of the guests could not afford these products. One lady missed the memo and came with a few plastic toys.

How do you think this made her hostess and guests feel?

The second account took place when I heard a couple share that they had not been tithing for several months and wanted to begin again. They had not been able to afford it. I knew that this family ate all organic and natural foods. This appeared like it could not be sacrificed.

What is more important?

I have had conversations with friends or family members on various occasions when I tried to persuade them of the health consequences or benefits of a certain product. What has resulted? Relationships have been hurt. I have left others feeling condemned or inadequate. Or at a shared meal gathering, when another mom instructs her son not to eat that food item because “it’s not food”, relationships are damaged because we exalt food over fellowship.

Do I consider myself superior to others because we have adopted a more natural lifestyle?

In the past I have skimped on hospitality because I did not want to spend the money to buy good quality food for my guests or when bringing a meal to another. I made the excuse that I couldn’t afford it. In all honesty, I wanted to keep the best of our budget for my family. This is not true generosity. True generosity takes place when I joyfully give the best that I can following the Scriptural command to do unto others as you would have them do to you (Matt. 7:12).

Where is my heart?

The apostle John’s last words in 1 John are, “Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts (1 John 5:21).” These last words are significant…He wants them to be remembered.

How often do I turn a good thing into a god thing?

As Tim Keller states in Counterfeit Gods, “Most people know you can make a god out of money. Most people know you can make a god out of sex. However, anything in life can serve as an idol, a God-alternative, a counterfeit god…What is an idol? It is anything more important to you than God, anything that absorbs your heart and imagination more than God, anything you seek to give you what only God can give.”

Natural living can become an idol when we willingly give our emotional and financial resources to achieve it.
Natural living can become an idol when we think that it can give us significance, security, safety and fulfillment.
Natural living can become an idol when we hoard the benefits and not freely offer it to others.

What is my motivation for eating healthy and living naturally? Because I have desired to be a good steward of creation and for the health and wholeness of our family.

Can preserving the safety of my family become an idol in my life? Yes!

When I give my money first towards the purchase of good healthy food prior to giving it back to the Lord in my worship of tithe, natural living has gone too far. When I am more concerned about the safety of my family to the extent that I sacrifice relationships, the service of my brothers and sisters, than natural living has become an idol.

Eating healthy will not guarantee my family a more peaceful longer life. It will not add a single day to my life than God has already determined. Only God knows the number of my days. (Psalms 139:16) He calls me to be faithful to care for my physical body, and this includes being wise in what I put into my body, knowing that it will affect my ability to serve the Lord; but when I raise that to a god-level, it is no longer a good thing. My security must only be found in Christ. He controls my family’s health and wellness.

Eating healthy and living naturally does not make me any more honorable in God’s eyes than any other. We are all in equal standing before Him.

Our first fruit of income should always go to tithe and not food. (Lev. 23:10; Numbers 28:26). Where your money is, there your heart will be also. (Matt. 6:19-21) If I put more money towards my health and wholeness before God and giving unto others, than that is where my treasure lies. It will burn up at the end.

Unity in the body is more important than the safety of our family. (Rom. 14:1-3; Psalms 133)

God calls me to be generous, not to hoard the good stuff for myself. Am I only concerned about my health and not the well-being of my friends, family, and fellow brothers and sisters in Christ? God loves a cheerful giver. I am challenged to serve the best to my guests as I possibly can. The more you give the less hold it has on your heart. (2 Cor. 8:9)

I have seen and confess to these evidences of idolatry in my heart. Am I implying that organic food, clothing, or wooden toys are bad? In no way. It is a matter of the heart. What is my motivation? Is that a God-glorifying motivation? My challenge to you all…let’s not raise being a good steward to a god position. Let’s not make others feel guilty, discouraged, or overwhelmed because they cannot afford the natural lifestyle or only in part. It’s about relationships. Let’s keep God first, love one another, and pursue giving generously to one another as we are able. Jesus commanded in Luke 10:27 states, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.” I hope you understand my heart in communicating this message. There is no condemnation here. This is just a challenge to go further up and further in in our pursuit of Christ Jesus with me.

“Accept other believers who are weak in faith, and don’t argue with them about what they think is right or wrong. For instance, one person believes it’s all right to eat anything. But another believer with a sensitive conscience will eat only vegetables. Those who feel free to eat anything must not look down on those who don’t. And those who don’t eat certain foods must not condemn those who do, for God has accepted them.” - Romans 14:1-3

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of four, homemaker, and writer. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

451 Responses to Can Natural Living Become an Idol?

  1. megan January 19, 2014 at 12:59 pm #

    This post is exactly what I needed to read! This is a battle that was raging inside me and The Lord was speaking to me exactly what you wrote, this is great confirmation and I feel such peace. Thank you!!

  2. Halley Caldwell November 20, 2013 at 8:05 am #

    Hello, I wanted to take a quick second to let you know how very poignant this post is. This gives an excellent example of truly serving God in all of our circumstances. It is so easy to fall into the trap of making everything that God has blessed us with an idol. By no coincidence I also ran across a quote today from R.C. Sproul Jr., “When I stand before God’s throne I won’t, nor would my friends, claim my commitment to homeschooling, or children as blessings. Just Jesus.

    Excellent post! Thank you for taking the time to share your heart!

    • Joy Gfeller November 27, 2013 at 9:33 pm #

      Hi Lindsay,

      I just finished reading your post. I stumbled onto your blog because of your pinterest post=12 days of gifts :) I am currently teaching a series on idols with our youth at church and the material has been a little dry. The crazy thing is I didn’t really predict the direction that your post took and it has really inspired my for my next lesson and I love the Romans 14:1-3 verse that you pointed out. I didn’t really believe it existed so I verified it…it’s there. Thank you for putting your faith out there in such a public way, showing compassion and understanding without being confrontational.

      Keep it up!!

  3. Kay October 6, 2013 at 4:35 am #

    My take on the article is a little different than a lot of the others’. I feel strongly in making the healthiest food that we can afford for my family. This is not always the very best available (organic), but I do organic every chance I reasonably can, and everything that is not organic is still the very healthiest that I can find. We are on a budget and can’t afford just anything that we want to buy for food. I personally feel that my family comes first before others, and I have to admit that I do not feel badly about this. The reason is this: we are already used to eating healthily and having bodies that are detoxing and getting healthier all the time. However, the majority of American families do not really care about true health, eating pretty much only processed food, restaurant food, and the cheapest non-organic foods. How is it even helping these people to serve them only one meal in my home or one side dish at a gathering, that is a very expensive, organic choice made my me, that will be their only truly healthy food in a long time? They aren’t used to already eating healthy food, so the one offering isn’t going to help their health (except possibly to make them sick due to their own detox reaction that may kick in from eating something very healthy). In my view, this is actually a waste of my family’s tightly-budgeted and hard-earned money, not an offering to God, because it isn’t even going to benefit these people to best of that particular food’s ability (that’s where I’m getting that it is a “waste”.) And they will be perfectly happy and appreciative of a lower-cost, lesser-quality meal that still tastes very good and has some good health to it but just isn’t the very best and most expensive. These foods I save for my own family who can benefit the most from them.

    And as for the woman who requested only certain healthier materials as gifts at her baby shower, if the items are expensive, why couldn’t 2 or even 3 people go in together to purchase one healthy item for the woman? Wouldn’t this be a better use of their money than buying her something she feels is dangerous or unhealthy that she will want to throw away? I feel this would be a more responsible option, being a good steward of the money that you’ve been allotted.

  4. Sue August 17, 2013 at 6:29 pm #

    Just remember this: God calls all of us to something, right? If I know what is healthy to eat, and I allow myself to eat otherwise, for whatever reason, and I end up unhealthy and unable to do what God called me to do, how is that ok?

    Of course, some are unwell for various reasons, and we are surely not called to judge them, but I know when I am not able to do something God wants me to do, because I didn’t follow the health path that I know is right for me. There is no glory for God in that.

  5. Jayne August 17, 2013 at 1:00 pm #

    This has got to be one of the dumbest things I’ve read in a long time.

    My body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. I am supposed to take care of it. I am at a loss where Jesus said to eat poison? Reference anyone?

  6. Nicole July 24, 2013 at 6:57 am #

    Amen! Just what I needed to hear right now!!

    • Pamela August 7, 2013 at 6:15 am #

      I think Natural Living connects us to the divine. Appreciating and promoting nature as it is made available to us is a daily reminder of the blessings of the Earth. There will always be extremists; I don’t think you are a bad person if you don’t eat organic at every meal, or if you give your child a plastic toy, but if you do your best to protect nature, nature will do its very best to protect you. <3

  7. Sabrina July 20, 2013 at 3:10 pm #

    Well, I have only read through the first page of comments and I probably can say, “Me, too!” to a lot of them. I am guilty of spending way too much time and energy on “healthy living” – at some point I need to just get out there and live! Our story’s like a lot of those I’ve read – my daughter had a brain tumor and surgery got out not quite all of it. She was on a healthy, natural diet previous to this – primarily breastfed, actually, and my diet was good. One of the things I’ve tucked in my heart is another parent’s quote that “Food is not magic!” It didn’t prevent this. At the same time I want to be faithful in giving her a diet that I know gives her body the best chance it has at keeping those tumor cells from reproducing.

    We walk a line as a family – people often want to give her things I’m not too keen on, and sometimes I allow it and sometimes I gratefully refuse. Tact, humility and wisdom are things I’ve had to grow in. And dependence on God – if I pray for His help and then find myself depending on the things I control to keep her well, I am ignoring His sovereignty.

    On a less personal note, one of the things that I have thought about a lot is the working conditions of those who produce our foods. I try to buy organic/natural/etc when possible, cutting certain things when necessary, but is it fair for me to eat cheap food because those who are producing it are earning low incomes and working harder than most anyone I know personally are dealing with a work environment that subjects them to much higher levels of chemicals than any of us end consumers? I see being a socially responsible consumer as part of the responsibility we bear as members of this incredibly wealthy society we live in simply by virtue of our birth (And particularly as a Christian who claims to want to help the needy as we are commanded). I balance this with my family’s needs and our planned giving (not necessarily in that order!) so it may come out looking different probably each paycheck, but it is another consideration.

    Blessings, balance, wisdom and peace to you all as you figure out your own path with this issue – and every issue that may rear its head as you go.

  8. Devin July 18, 2013 at 8:49 pm #

    Wow….The Holy Spirit brought me to this article because I was being such a fool this past year or so. I felt my family couldn’t give more,too, because of our ‘need’ to buy the healthiest food…And I’ve been laid off for awhile. I’ve only been contemplating this for only a few days because I got into passive aggressive wrestle over cleaning products with my sister in law because the smell of her Lysol and bleach drove me into a rage. (we had to move in with my brother-in-law’s, yet I still didn’t realize organic didn’t have to be in the budget)But then I thought, Isn’t God the ultimately authority over my and my family’s health? I was and am still embarrassed that I wasn’t representing my Father really well, but I am so grateful he loves me enough to correct me.

    • Parikeltias July 27, 2013 at 6:52 am #

      God is, but he also wants us to align ourselves with his creation, not with man’s. If you get ill from Lysol or perfumes and whatnot, stay away, avoid them. No one should be around them let alone use them. We aren’t meant for them at all. The trees, the plants, they’re all suffering. Mass animal deaths. God’s warning us about what we’re doing. Petroleum, cigarettes, GMOs, oil, all are negatively impacting what God has given us. We as humans are meant to be good stewards of the Earth. As a Christian, we’e meant to get back to the land and start farming as God desires us to, and live beside nature and follow in his laws and commandments. The thing is, what’s happening is a downward spiral, and as we continue down this route we lose our morals and we forget the romantic and cultural values of God and this land. It’s all alignment, and God will not be there for those whom don’t follow in him and follow in his son’s footsteps.

  9. Andrea July 8, 2013 at 11:22 am #

    I love your post and the expression of your heart. You spoke the truth gently and humbly. This is so much of what I have been thinking and I believe you are right on. I had to quit reading the comments because so many of them completely ignored your point and blatantly defended the idolatry of health. How many people believe that you have to be healthy or pain-free to give glory to God? We need to remember that the apostle Paul had a thorn in his side (surely some sort of malady or discomfort) for much of his ministry and he chose to trust God and believe that it was for his good and God’s glory. We are told to rejoice in suffering! How different this teaching is from those who would say we need to avoid pain at all costs. It’s a very sad deception to think that only truly healthy people can honor God with their lives. How many people believe that we have to eat certain foods, prepared in certain ways to glorify God? We need to remember that we are not to worry about these things. After all, God provided manna from heaven for his people (not exactly a balanced diet but it sustained them). I pray that there will be more voices like this standing up for the true “heart” of these matters. The Bible says that we are like a vapor and that we shouldn’t store up treasures here on earth (surely this includes our physical bodies). Stay strong in your convictions! This view, I think, will become more and more unpopular but we know that Christ was never popular and that God’s wisdom is foolishness to those who don’t believe.Thank you for the encouragement!

  10. RMstiegler June 8, 2013 at 5:39 pm #

    This is one of the best things I’ve read in a long time. It’s so refreshing to find an honest, objective perspective on this, and I’ve been thinking along similar lines for a while. From (foolishly) reading some of the previous comments, you’ve obviously struck a nerve with some people, but it makes perfect sense to me that caring for your body and your family can indeed be idolatrous if we presume to know better how to care for ourselves than God does. As much as we know about what’s healthy nowdays, God knows so much more. Not being humble enough or willing enough to think outside of our natural lifestyles can be imprisoning, when God wants us to serve him freely, willingly, and humbly.

  11. Lauren June 4, 2013 at 1:05 pm #

    Love this article, it was almost as if they were my own thoughts incarnate! Well done Lindsay!

    I view healthy living as a hobby, not really a “necessity,” as God is the only thing, or rather the only One we need!! Christ is the only one who can sustain us!! “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Not “I can do all things through health which strengthens me.” But I am so, so guilty of believing the latter…

    The people in the Bible days were not without sickness, many suffered horrible diseases and many illnesses. Yet they ate ancient grain full of nutrients, lots of fish and food straight from the earth, and the air they breathed and soil they plowed was pure and clean. It didn’t matter. We all get sick. We all die. There will always be mal-nourishment and pathogens and disease because of the fall of man, because of sin. There will always be SOMETHING, until the kingdom comes in its fullness. Ancient civilizations used to drill holes in peoples skulls to try to cure headaches. They had a virgin diet, yet they still suffered the effects of the fall of man: sickness, pain and death.

    Yet, there is Good News: Jesus conquered death and we can have a new life in Him in which we will be sustained. We will be fulfilled if we drink from the living water, and we will be nourished by the bread of life! And better yet, we will never hunger nor thirst any more! How spoiled we are to have so many options and to bicker about such petty things, all for the “name of health”?! While people are starving in third world countries, and are longing just for bread! The wheat we speak so badly about is like gold to other countries. There is a bigger world out there, and some of us are not apart of it apparently, we are just nestled in our cozy little corners. God has called us to come out of our comfort zone and to spread the gospel of the kingdom.. not the gospel of health!

    We will not be free of the physical effects of sin until Jesus comes in his fullness. Meanwhile, I try to eat God’s food, but if one day my family is in need of food and God sends some “manna,” may I swallow my pride and not complain of what its made of, nor say, “Enough of this stuff! I need meat! And make sure its organic!!” God will sustain me through sickness, and I will be able to still do His will if I am ill, maybe even MORE so! If we are sick and shining a light, how much more will you be a witness for Christ! How much more we would be able to show them Jesus through our tribulations and trials! And be a LIVING testimony!

    Never will I think when I pass on to the next life, God would ever say, “Good job taking care of your physical body!!” But I KNOW he would say, “You were more concerned for others rather than yourself. You denied yourself, and took up your cross with me, even though you could barely walk or think straight. You trusted in me to nourish you, not the world. Well done my good and faithful servant.” And if you have a thorn, please take heed of His words, “My Grace is sufficient for you.”

    2 Corinthians 4:16-18: “Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

    Too many of us are looking to feel good instead of looking for what really matters. Lets rejoice in our suffering!! It will produce perseverance, patience and longsuffering! (Romans 5:3)

    Much Love, and God Bless!! <3

    • Ladonna June 5, 2013 at 6:38 pm #

      The food eaten in Bible days was NOT full of chemicals and pesticides. Yes, people were sick and died. They, like us, lived in a sin cursed world.

      The Bible clearly indicates that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit and it even says we are not to deliberately harm them. I know it is in the context of immorality in 1 Corinthians, but it is still a principle that can be carried over into what we eat and drink.

      Eating healthy, chemical free food will not prevent us from all sickness, but it will give us more vitality to serve HIM.

      Eating unhealthy, chemically laden processed food will NOT keep us from heaven, but in fact, may get us there sooner than we expected.

      When the Scripture tells us to rejoice in suffering, in context, it means when we suffer for Christ’s sake. In other words, the suffering in which we rejoice is because we took a stand for Christ. We are to rejoice when we are persecuted because of our open stand for Christ. It does not mean that we should rejoice in sickness!

      The autoimmune disorders and illnesses in general are becoming more frequent than ever. For some of us, eating healthy, chemical free foods is not an idol, it is a necessity to be able to get out of bed in the morning and serve the LORD and our families.

      I spent 20 years in chronic, constant pain and for 10 of those I could not drive more than a few blocks and had to have someone take me places. The pain in my arms and shoulders got so bad that I was unable to hold my Bible and had to have it on pillows or sit at the table to read it. The pain gave me a terrible brain fog and I could not think straight.

      Eating healthy, unprocessed foods reduced my pain and gave me back clarity of mind. It took months of healing before I could drive long distances, but I am thankful to be driving again. I am thankful to hold my Bible in my hand and be able to sit on my sofa to read it each morning.

      Eating healthy for me is a choice of whether I am able to function or not. I eat healthy for God’s glory that I can have vitality to serve Him.

      The Scripture says whatever you eat and drink, do it for the glory of God.

      • Lauren June 8, 2013 at 12:05 pm #

        I agree completely, maybe I’ve said what I said the wrong way. Please let me clarify.

        The purpose of this article was that one shouldn’t obsess over organic vs non-organic. Yes, we live in a chemically overwhelmed world. But where does the organic obsession end? Chemicals are everywhere, and can someone still eat healthily without going organic? I believe so. In no way was I talking about natural vs unnatural. I strongly believe in only eating natural foods and whole foods and my response was not about that. It was about organic obsession. There are millions of chemicals in our bottled natural spring water and air, too. So do we run to rural America and seclude ourselves for the sake of health? Or should one go to the city, to preach the gospel? Self health or the Gospel, what’s more important?

        I do agree that health is important, and if you can afford organic, that’s awesome. But if you can’t, then what? I eat naturally but not organic, and I feel great. I think if we have the right beneficial flora in our bodies, it can withstand much, but that is besides the point. One day I hope all farming will be organic like it was back then. However, I am not convinced that pesticides will make me ill. Maybe someone else is? In Romans 14:23, Paul says, “But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.” So, I have faith that my non-organic eating is harmless. If someone else believes differently, faithfully, I presume that is their conviction and their obedience to God. But I think our spirituality is more important than food. Organic food is very pricey, and I see it as wasteful, as I have more important things that I have to contribute to.

        I guess it all boils down to this: What would Jesus do? Jesus went on long fasts, not for health but for spirituality, and I’m sure was a little mal-nourished. I’m sure His body was in pain and His mental clarity was not up to par. God sustained Him. If He was here on Earth today as a man like He was back then, I don’t think we would find Him at health food stores, or preaching about GMOs or organic foods. On the contrary, I don’t think we’d find Him eating cupcakes regularly either. Much of what He did was for spiritual discipline, to get closer to God and for the Glory of God. The majority, if not all, of His time would be focused on saving people’s souls.

        Many people want to do research and know everything, but knowledge puffs up. There always seems to be something wrong with everything. Too much wheat is bad. Gluten is evil. Don’t eat this fat. Do eat that fat. Citrus causes migraines. And where does that end? Must we really know about everything, and all the bad things in the world? Or can we trust in God to give us wisdom about the things that matter to Him? And where is our heart? Luke 12:33 says, “Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves money belts which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near nor moth destroys.34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

        So, yes, I believe that giving money is more important than eating organic. Jesus says not to worry about what we will eat or drink (Luke 12:22). In any case, correct? Because life is more important than ourselves, and way more important than food, and this is not what its about. Jesus is what its about.

        There are people in Africa that are mal-nourished, and missionaries go over there to feed them; natural food, yet non-organic. Do the Africans care? Absolutely not! They see food that will provide nourishment, not chemicals. They have no knowledge of pesticides or GMOs or anything like that. They are innocent, and knowledge has not puffed them up (made them arrogant) nor made them second-guess God’s “manna” sent to them. They are overwhelmed with happiness and gratitude just to get some food instead of eating mud-cakes day after day! They are overwhelmed with happiness and gratitude when they hear the gospel. Eating those foods gives them strength, not sickness. We all could use a day in the life of them to curb our obsession, with food and ourselves.

        1 Corinthians 10:23-33 “All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify. Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbor. Eat anything that is sold in the meat market without asking questions for conscience’ sake; FOR THE EARTH IS THE LORD’S, AND ALL IT CONTAINS. If one of the unbelievers invites you and you want to go, eat anything that is set before you without asking questions for conscience’ sake. But if anyone says to you, “This is meat sacrificed to idols,” do not eat it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for conscience’ sake; I mean not your own conscience, but the other man’s; for why is my freedom judged by another’s conscience? If I partake with thankfulness, why am I slandered concerning that for which I give thanks? Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense either to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God; just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit but the profit of the many, so that they may be saved.”

        The complete context of that verse implies that whatever you eat, whatever you DO, glorify God. He is talking about food sacrificed to idols. If we know it was sacrificed to idols, we should glorify God by not eating it in order to be a witness to the unbelievers. But more importantly, we should focus on seeking good for our neighbor (charity) instead of ourselves. Show them the glory of God in our loving kindness, not arrogance. So that many will see our/His peace and love and will be intrigued by it.

        And yes we do need to rejoice in sickness. By that I mean praising God. Sometimes sickness is not caused by unhealthy food, but by all-natural, organic pathogens. And sometimes it is. Even so, does not Satan attack us in sickness as well? To prevent us from being filled with joy and other fruits of the Spirit, thus quenching the Spirit? Job had his whole family taken away as a test to see if he would still praise God.

        Auto-immune disorders and illnesses are very complicated and can be caused by many things, including food I agree. One would need a doctorate in order to properly understand the causes of diseases. People with auto-immune diseases and horrible illnesses can still honor, serve and praise God fully and whole-hearted-ly; regardless of their condition, just as well if not better than healthy people. My sister does. She is amazing. She knows that the Lord will take care of her, and that He is what will prolong her life.

        Unhealthy people can function too and serve God completely and fully. I see no difference between their service and a healthy person’s service.

        Sorry for the ramblings; this is my last post. I just want to close with this: Lets focus on the important thing- spreading the gospel. Lets stop researching everything on the internet and start living like Jesus. He will give us wisdom and strength. Where is our heart and mind and soul and strength? I hope it is in the Lord and not in organic food. <3

        • Prudence Dagg July 8, 2013 at 5:57 am #

          As I’ve been learning more about health and how things affect us, I’ve become more strongly convinced about prioritizing myself. I don’t have the physical pain, but I DO have a mentally handicapped sister who greatly improved on a diet…her moods and behavior problems made my family so miserable for YEARS. (To clarify, this wasn’t primarily about eating organically…but I am sure that others have had the same experience with various dietary changes.)

          So I think for some the more-organic lifestyle is a hobby, or an ideal…for others it truly is a necessity. Praise God that Ladonna found what she needed to ease her pain!

          The beautiful thing is that GOD will provide exactly what our needs are. If I need to completely eliminate processed food, God’s able to help me do that and provide the means to buy more expensive, garden, whatever. I shouldn’t look down on someone who is faring okay NOT doing that, nor should the other person look down on me for an “extravagant” lifestyle that may in fact be the bare minimum of what I need. :)

          Also–something I’ve wrestled with lately–I feel that sometimes people “feel judged” when judgment is not taking place, just because someone is passionate about things that can ease some of the suffering in the world. Can we also (not talking about you, Lauren) let each other be passionate about things we don’t fully agree on at this point?

          Thanks so much for you wonderful posts!

          • Ladonna July 8, 2013 at 6:04 am #

            Thank you, Prudence! I am thankful that we can be passionate about the LORD and every good gift He has given us, including food and other basics of life.

          • Lauren July 8, 2013 at 9:53 pm #

            Yes, very true. I truly believe God will provide for all areas of our life, and thank the Lord he has directed you, Ladonna, to what you need. The Lord has also directed me, as I have had horrible digestion problems in the past, and he revealed to me that milk was the culprit. What a blessing it was to finally feel normal! God will give us wisdom if we ask Him. I just don’t want people to suffer mentally from stressing about things in life that in all reality don’t matter that much. But the most important thing in life is to love God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind, and to love your neighbor as yourself. If we just take our focus off ourselves and onto others, then we will finally see clearly. God Bless!

    • Andrea July 8, 2013 at 11:29 am #

      Lauren, I love your comment just as much as I loved the original post. Well said and right on! My thoughts exactly. I just told my husband the same thing about it being a hobby. I am in agreement with everything you said!

      • Lauren July 8, 2013 at 9:30 pm #

        Thanks Andrea! I wrote so much, but only because I thought so much about this subject. I have struggled with making healthy living a high priority in my life, but God has revealed to me that its not as important as we make it. “Food is for the stomach and the stomach for food, but God will destroy them both.” God Bless!!

  12. Denise May 24, 2013 at 10:31 am #

    I just wanted to put in my opinion here. People should be allowed to believe how they want to believe, but not putting your health in high standard is not following God’s word. Eating naturally and making sure that for the sake of preserving what you were given and not desecrating your body by consuming a ton of chemicals is one thing that we have to do. I don’t think that God wants you to shorten your life that he gave you for the sake of money to give to the church, giving your service in volunteerism and time and effort should be enough and you can’t do that if you are unhealthy.

  13. Mama of 6 April 12, 2013 at 6:24 am #

    Thank you for this article. I know you will get replies of people defending their “natural” lifestyle. But I agree with you that it is an idol in many (not all maybe) people’s lives. One of my daughters has been into this a bit and I have been telling her these same things. God is sovereign over all and we will die when he has appointed us to die whether we live natural or not!

    • Ladonna April 12, 2013 at 6:40 am #

      Yes, we will all die at our appointed time, but we don’t have to have a sickly, miserable existence until God calls us home.

      My daughter and I had SERIOUS health issues. I reached the point where I could no longer drive and was living on pain pills and still had constant pain. I was unable to serve God and going to church was mostly miserable.

      Since we corrected our diet and eat more foods like they did in Bible days, more fresh food and less processed and cut out the chemicals, my pain is gone and I can drive again.

      I am serving the LORD in ways now that were totally impossible for the ten years before 2009.

      For some, maybe it is an idol, but for many of us, it is a necessary way to live, so we can function. Does God receive glory from someone incapacitated due to a processed diet? Sadly, people will even say God ordained them to be sick!

      When diet affects our health and ability to serve God, and we can make changes to that diet to improve our health, we are responsible for our bad health and it is totally a lie to blame God for it.

      It is not easy to be so restricted in what I can eat, but no one criticizes a diabetic for their dietary restrictions, so why would I be criticized when my autoimmune disorder was just as serious and painful to me?

      Just to be clear. I attend church and pay my tithes and I have had open houses and served my entire church family my natural, healthy cooking. I will not serve people food I will not eat.

      It costs me to stand up for my eating principles, but I can do no other and be right with the LORD God.

      Serving the LORD through my healthy lifestyle,

  14. Coreyanne Armstrong April 4, 2013 at 7:47 pm #

    Hi! Thanks for the great post – the direction of the comments surprised me so much that I felt compelled just to send you some encouragement and tell you I agree completely with all your thoughts and didn’t find them to be at all our of line. The hospitality thing as well – I am TEMPTED to not buy organic when feeding a crowd (we have 6 kids of our own and often have 6-10 more for lunch on Sundays) but have instead moved to looking for the best deals on big organic things at Costco. Also, some of my easier “make ahead” things like what I prefer to have ready for Sundays have less expensive products in them anyway. We’ll still have the organic ground turkey for a huge taco day with guests, but I buy the biggest pack of corn tortillas I can find – just like I keep around for my own family because, hey, I haven’t found organic corn tortillas anyway – a few organic veggies for the toppings, the rBGH-free cheese, homemade refried beans, and it ends up that the turkey was the only big pricetag, so I don’t feel badly about the “splurge.” Anyway, I didn’t mean to ramble – just wanted to tell you I enjoyed the post. :)

  15. Salem April 2, 2013 at 8:43 pm #

    This is a really great post. I must say though, I have come to realize that I can contribute to food at gatherings without breaking the budget. Depending on what event it is and who will be there, I will typically just grab something SAD if those at the gathering are pretty much eating SAD. I haven’t seen anyone be offended by it since they stock their own pantries with such items. We typically have to bring a bit of our own food anyway. I have gotten irritated when they have really sugary goodies there because my son is addicted to the stuff but can’t handle it (he’s on the spectrum). I don’t think I’m being idolatrous to expect that others respect my sanity since food effects me & my family on a deeper level health wise than most people. However, it was a source of stress & it did come across like my granola ways were my religion (but mostly because I think some in my family tried to make it a battle as if to defend eating candy– sorry but it is as addictive as cocaine). Anyway, I found out that I could curb all of our sugar cravings with amino acids. (Check out “The Diet Cure” or “The Mood Cure”- can’t remember author at the moment & mom has the book.) Anyway, along with the amino acids, we try to have more natural sweet treats with us & this has made a HUGE difference in how my son acts when he sees the other stuff. If he doesn’t crave the sugar as much & knows he can have a healthier sweet treat, he is much nicer. I hope I would never make the comment that their stuff isn’t food. (I’ve probably said that about packaged stuff, but only with those I’m pretty sure aren’t offended of that opinion.) I try to applaud people for using any real ingredients. For example, my MIL made a birthday cake from a box, but used coconut oil, so (even though we didn’t eat it) I made sure she knew I thought that was groovy. Anyway, I think there are tactics we can use. If you’re going somewhere that others eat similar to you, then it is a worthy investment to make something healthy to share. Otherwise, I’d say just grab a bag of chips or a box of cookies & tote your own food separately. If people are offended that you’re putting your health as a priority, they might need to consider why they are so defensive of their unhealthy habits. If they think they are healthy but eat differently than you, then they will most likely understand the struggle of being choosy about foods & trying to be social. All in all, this is a very timely, appropriate and well-written post. Thank you!

  16. Aaron March 31, 2013 at 12:37 pm #

    I just wanted to say, “Thank you.” Ignore the vitriol on here; that’s usually what happens when people find their gods threatened. Keep speaking the truth in love, and you’ll receive a “well done, good and faithful servant.” Great article.

  17. Dana March 25, 2013 at 7:22 pm #

    Remember the Bible was written during a time when chemicals weren’t added to food and the only food they had to put above The Lord was “real food.” Now, we HAVE to be cautious about food because food is full of drugs and chemicals. I’m very sensitive to chemicals and so is my son. For anyone to ever tell me I need to just eat what we want and not worry and trust in God is offensive. God gives me wisdom and if I’m not utilizing that wisdom, I’m not serving him.

    • Rebecca March 26, 2013 at 4:07 am #

      I completely agree!

    • Ladonna March 26, 2013 at 5:17 am #

      Amen! Therein is the real problem. We cannot ignore our health and all those chemicals. I spent many years very sick and I know that I cannot do that any more. My body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and I must keep it well for His glory. I was unable to do much when I was ill and am so thankful to be strong to serve Him once I found out the food connection.

    • Salem April 2, 2013 at 9:09 pm #

      I think this article was just meant to point out that we ought to consider others feelings. I don’t think it means you need to eat something offered to you if your body is sensitive to it. Just try not to make others feel bad about being where they are. I have learned from experience (some bad & some good) that people listen better is you’re not shoving stuff in their face. I’m not saying you do this. I don’t know you. But it sounds like you are very passionate about natural living, as I am– I am extremely passionate—, and you probably come across in a strong way to some people (as I do). There is an LDS scripture from Doctrine & Covenants (an excerpt from what we call the “Word of Wisdom”) that says: “Behold, verily, thus saith the Lord unto you: In consequence of evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days, I have warned you, and forewarn you, by giving unto you this word of wisdom by revelation—” (D&C 89:4)
      Anyway, this is just to show you that I strongly believe that most people are very deceived about just how damaging & harmful modern foods are. I also believe that eating a modern diet can make living righteously a lot harder. This isn’t necessarily an excuse to not follow God’s commandments, but with the levels of mental illness being at all time highs it should be obvious that our modern lifestyles & toxic world are not a source of righteousness. Anyway, I want you to know that I totally understand how this article might make you a little frustrated. Most people, even in the crunchy world, do not understand how deeply damaging certain things in our modern world are to some sensitive souls. So, you are not wrong, but it is important that you relay your message of healthy living that will not push people away. Try a little different approach anytime you get backlash to your natural lifestyle and I think you’ll start to see others come around. I do totally agree with this article about the tithes thing, but, then again, I’ve never had to really choose between eating & tithing. I have neglected every other bill, including rent, to eat healthy, but I am learning new ways to both increase my income as well as make natural living affordable. God bless you and I hope this helps!

  18. Marilyn March 21, 2013 at 5:21 pm #

    “Eating healthy will not guarantee my family a more peaceful longer life. It will not add a single day to my life than God has already determined. Only God knows the number of my days. (Psalms 139:16) He calls me to be faithful to care for my physical body, and this includes being wise in what I put into my body, knowing that it will affect my ability to serve the Lord; but when I raise that to a god-level, it is no longer a good thing. My security must only be found in Christ. He controls my family’s health and wellness.”

    This is not only uneducated thinking, this is dangerous thinking. Do you REALLY believe that you could go out and eat whatever you want and it won’t effect a “peaceful longer life” or take any days from your life just because it is in God’s hands?

    YOU control your family’s health and wellness by what you put into their bodies and into their environment. To suggest that regardless of what you do or expose yourself to that the outcome will be the same is ludicrous.

    As for the woman with the baby shower and the folks who don’t tithe…GOOD FOR THEM. They are taking care of the bodies that God gave them. Of that I am sure he is proud. Of this article I am sure he may be shaking his head……..

    • Erin March 22, 2013 at 5:51 am #


      While it is true that we can control (to an extent) what we put into our bodies, it is not true that we control our health. I know of many real-life examples where folks ate and did all of the “right” things and still suffered from poor health – - circumstances beyond their control. We are called to be good stewards of our bodies, these temples of the Holy Spirit, but nothing we do can add one more day to the number of days that God has ordained for us.

      Matthew 6 tells us to not worry about food and clothing and shelter. “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” (Matthew 6:27 NIV) Should we be good stewards of our bodies and lives? Yes. Paranoid, obsessive & neglectful of more important things? No.

      Perhaps you need to take another grace-filled look at Lindsay’s post. You clearly misunderstand the point she is making and are in danger of falling prey to the very line of thinking she is discouraging. Her thinking is “uneducated” you say? Hardly.

      And perhaps you should be a bit more cautious with your blanket endorsements of those who place personal preference over love for others, and those who neglect to tithe. I’m not certain that you can say what God would and would not be proud of.

      • Marilyn March 22, 2013 at 9:09 am #

        Keep living in your world Erin and I will live in mine. And please don’t bother quoting bible verses to me. That book is FILLED with atrocities committed in the name of God. I don’t believe a word of it. As easy as it may be for you to cherry pick a few verses here and there, it isn’t so easy for those of us who choose engage our minds to swallow.

        I am falling prey to nothing. Maybe you better recheck that which controls your life? The God I believe in wouldn’t hear of this foolishness and wouldn’t think for one second that someone who requests organic for their child or buys their families healthy food instead of tithing to be any less than those of you who are living out of your archaic book of contradictions.

    • Heather March 28, 2013 at 8:08 am #

      I feel like many who have responded to this post have misunderstood what I believe her intent was. She is meerly making a point that living naturally should not be put above God as an idol. I have been struggling with some health issues recently which have directed me towards eating organic pure whole foods, and natural personal care products, as well as making my own cleaning products. It’s been very much consuming of my mind and time. It’d been brought to my mind recently that God is my first love and that these things could become idols in my heart. It’s a fragile line. I trust God for healing and believe He’s pointed me in this direction, but He’s reminded me to now allow it to be an idol in my life. He is my Lord, and wants me to take care of my body. Now that I’m aware, I will continiue to pursue these things, but will be conscious about not allowing them to become idols. I

      • Heather March 28, 2013 at 8:13 am #

        I meant “not”, not “now”

    • Salem April 2, 2013 at 9:21 pm #

      If you’re not a believer, you probably shouldn’t be condemning this article because it isn’t even in your realm. They weren’t saying that living naturally CAN’T help one live longer or better, just that it won’t GUARANTEE it. And they are right. You could eat super healthy & live crunchy & get struck by lightning when you’re 35. A natural lifestyle is not a guarantee. Even if you don’t believe in God, you ought to recognize that you are at least susceptible to the laws of nature & chance. There is a chance you could get killed by a car or an airplane– even if you never get in one. The people that think they can’t afford to tithe cause they have to live naturally are just not being resourceful. There are so many abundant, wild edible plants & animals that they could pay tithes & then go gather their food if they had to. By not having the faith to pay tithes, they are sending an energy of scarcity out & thereby blocking themselves from receiving more. The woman with the baby shower was obviously not running a grateful script and we know that when we’re not grateful we get less of those things we think we want. Demanding something is the worst way to get it, but allowing is much more generous. Why couldn’t she just accept whatever gifts and then use them to barter for the more natural ones she wanted? She’d be showing gratitude, resourcefulness & be way less likely to offend anyone. I realize you may still disagree with this article and that’s ok. It wasn’t intended for you if it offends you. It sure helped me correct a few of my issues.

  19. Regina March 10, 2013 at 5:28 am #

    I just found your blog & I just have to tell you how much I love it… particularly this post. Thank you for sharing & for inspiring the hearts of many other women, including myself!

  20. d. odorant macker March 3, 2013 at 7:33 pm #

    So tithing is good, but I feel like nourishment is more important. Being a socially conscious buyer, I feel it best to buy local and support the community rather than big corporation$. HFCS and hydrogenated oils are poisons created by big Ag to lower costs. I want to celebrate God’s gifts and enjoy them.

    • Gaby March 4, 2013 at 11:24 am #

      Honestly, I think what you say (d. odorant macker) is a false doctrine like the book of 1 Timothy speaks of. Nourishment above tithing is an abomination. Putting our comforts and pleasures above obeying God is hypocrisy and not in the bible.
      1 Timothy 6:6-8 “But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.”

      Sister in Christ, I might also recommend this podcast series by Andy Stanley on Balance in finances: I found then very encouraging and convicting myself.

      Our main goal with our finances and resources is not to make life so great for ourselves but to honor God with how we use it. We need to GIVE first, SAVE second, and Live off the rest.

      I do try to feed my family many homemade and wholesome foods so they can be healthy and have energy. However, we don’t buy organic, grass fed, etc. versions of anything simply because it’s not in our budget. I’m still grateful to have enough food to feed my family. If we decided to disobey God and not tithe our 10%… and if we decided not to sponsor our little girl in India….then we certainly could choose to buy “nicer” foods but I think that is not a fruitful lifestyle.

      Again, organic foods are not bad, but putting them above tithing or becoming a “food snob” is exactly what Lindsay warns when she says natural living can become an “idol”. I pray we will all find these idols in our lives, be aware of them, and be willing to let God break us and mold us into more like him.

      What would Jesus do?

    • Heather March 28, 2013 at 8:19 am #

      The Bible instructs us to give our tithe joyfully to the storehouse (church). A tithe is 10% of the first fruits, meaning gross pay. Also it should be given to God right after you get paid -

    • Salem April 2, 2013 at 9:24 pm #

      There are always ways to nourish naturally and still show gratitude. If you honestly find yourself thinking that you have to choose between both of them, say a sincere prayer and you’ll know what to do. I can’t tell you how many times I have gotten the answer to just pay my tithing anyway and then unexpected blessings came that allowed me to be true to my lifestyle. Speaking of which, I need to go pay my tithing…

  21. Ladonna February 20, 2013 at 11:22 am #

    I DO tithe first before I buy groceries. I feed my friends the same food I eat when they come to my house. However, I have health issues that mean I cannot compromise my diet.

    Before I discovered the eating plan that I am using now, I was too sick to serve the LORD. I was miserable and unable to even drive a car to take a meal to someone.

    While I do agree that anything can become an idol, I must say that there are situations like mine where eating right is a necessity for functioning. I was of little use to God or my family when I could not drive or do my household chores.

    I resisted the move to healthier eating for years because I was addicted to sugar and just didn’t want to do it, so I DO understand how hard it is to make the change. Sure some cannot afford to eat natural or healthy, but more just choose not to make the change out of preference, stubbornness or disobedience to the LORD.

    I still socialize with others who don’t eat my way, but I bring my own food. I don’t EXPECT others to provide for my dietary needs. I have learned how to order at certain restaurants so I can be with friends without compromising my own health.

    I don’t condemn others who cannot or choose not to eat like I eat, however, I cannot, even to get along eat like others eat. This is not idolatry, but self preservation.

    So, is it idolatry for a diabetic to stick to the diabetic diet, even when it hurts someone’s feelings for them not to eat their dessert? Of course not.

    It is neither idolatry for me to refuse dessert or other foods that make me sick, even though my sickness is not one so easily diagnosed or understood as diabetes.

    It was TOUGH for me to make the changes I needed to make to overcome my health issues. It meant I could no longer just casually eat out or eat at the homes of others without careful planning and preparation. It is a whole lot easier to just eat the way every one else eats, but then, I would go back to being sick again.

    Many times people who “can’t afford” to eat healthy can actually make healthier choices by substituting produce for a packaged product at the grocery store. I do all I can to help those who ask to make better choices for themselves and their family. We even have a food buying club to help us get better prices.

    Though I hear what you are saying about not letting our natural, healthy lifestyle become an idol, it is just as dangerous for the health and well being of some to be careful not to just accept all food as equal just to get along or not be offensive.

    • NicoleW February 24, 2013 at 7:59 pm #

      I totally agree. My children (one whom is nursing) both have corn allergies. Almost everything anyone else serves is not okay with them – - even some plastic toys are made from corn-containing plastic and is causing reactions in my son. So while, yes, you need to tithe, etc. first, it isn’t always okay to compromise. I would have two very sick children if we did that. Ever.

      • Brittany @ The Pistachio Project March 3, 2013 at 11:01 am #

        I would even say that even if it’s not something as serious as allergies that it is ok to have your rules. I was one of those who sent out an email to family when we went plastic free. I sent it out mostly for their sake. I did not want them wasting their money on plastic toys that I will not allow my children to play with. I don’t go as far as not allowing my kids to play with plastic if they are at someone else’s house or church (although I’d love it if everyone was plastic free) but if it comes into my house (long term..not like someone bringing over a meal) then it goes by my rules. Letting people know my rules is my way of loving that person (and my kids) because I’d rather them be able to buy something that my kids can actually play with. I don’t compromise on things like that for the sake of someone’s feelings.

  22. Stephanie February 12, 2013 at 9:16 am #

    Thank you! This post beautifully expresses my own feelings on the subject. I just couldn’t put them into words like this. You’ve nailed it with such clarity. Wonderful post!

  23. Victoria February 9, 2013 at 11:51 am #

    Tithing can become an idol too. :)
    Have a read of this free online book. The author sent a copy of his book to Derek Prince, who subsequently changed his mind on the matter and ordered another 20-odd copies for his staff. You will find tremendous freedom when you embrace this truth.
    Blessings – Victoria

  24. Jackie February 8, 2013 at 12:34 pm #

    Well said! Couldn’t agree more. You’ve put words to my heart on this issue. Thank you! Just shared this post to my FB page and people are going crazy over it :)

  25. valerie lafleur February 8, 2013 at 9:47 am #

    it’s hard to not lose sight of your faith.. things in everyday modern life get so hectic that you forget what is important and you begin to worship your life rather than the glory of God. we’ve been discussing something similar on – a community for the new Bible series on History Channel – we’d love to hear some of your input.

  26. Becca February 8, 2013 at 8:28 am #

    I agree that natural living may be more expensive (isn’t always though)…and we shouldn’t place that as a priority over serving the Lord…but honestly, if I ate super cheaply, forgoing organics and such, eating the processed cheaper stuff, I know my health would decrease. Not to mention that I have a serious allergy to hydrogenated oils…Also, people are typically sick more when they don’t eat as healthy. Albeit, organic and natural foods don’t guarentee good health, bad foods almost always can be sourced as the reason for bad health. God wanted Daniel to eat differently than the Babylonians for a reason…He wanted His people healthy(seriously, check out all the dietary laws!) I am pretty sure that loading up on GMO’s, processed foods, and “cheaper” items, is not necessarily glorifying to God. Many of those products are damaging to the earth! GMO soy destroys the soil it is in, causes cancer and degenerative diseases, systemic pesticides are killing bees worldwide, commercial farming is really changing localized ecosystems(God told us to have dominion over the earth…not destroy it)…even if you use that minimal excess money to “help” people, perhaps, taking money out of other areas is better. Most moms get manicures, pedicures, dye their hair, get new purses, an extra pair of shoes….drink soda…have chips around the house….all of those things can be cut out of your budget….and be healthier for it! I believe it is so very important to stay as healthy as possible for the purpose of ministry. I go on missions trips, serve very actively in my church, etc….but I know that the people who do NOT eat as healthy as I do, often cancel from church commitments, can’t participate in church events, aren’t very productive on missions trips because of illness, fatigue, etc. Having a yard sale and REALLY getting rid of extra “stuff” around the house, and giving all the extra money to a local ministry, foreign missionary, etc. would be a great way to give extra money back to the service of the Lord. I am just presenting other options…I do not think there is any right way to look at this particular issue…but personally, I do not think that I will give up eating my natural foods, but perhaps other frivolities and extra time for the Lord’s service…He has blessed me with good health, and I try to use that for Him…even by coaching others in healthier lifestyles!

    • Victoria February 8, 2013 at 7:34 pm #

      That’s a great idea about having a yard sale and coming up with some giving money that way. I love what you’ve written here!

    • Joy February 10, 2013 at 12:31 pm #

      well said. Living our lives squandering our health is also sinful. Gluttony is a sin, idolatry is a sin, and poor stewardship is a sin.

    • Ladonna February 20, 2013 at 9:43 am #

      I so agree, Becca.

  27. Monica February 8, 2013 at 7:42 am #

    Wow, Lindsay, what a thoughtful article. I will print this out and keep it with my other encouraging articles. It’s not so much about food but it’s about putting anything, absolutely anything before God. It blessed my life just reading it. It’s like idolatry and legalism at the same time. I have had to pray myself as I have come obsessive over having a clean home that I need to stop myself from cleaning. I prayed to the Lord and asked him to show me balance and how not to have cleaning my home my God by cleaning it 24/7 putting it above my family. Thank You!

  28. Katie February 7, 2013 at 2:17 pm #

    Sisters, please use scripture in context. I say this in love. 1 Corinthians 6:19 is far too commonly used to support ‘natural’ living in the Christian community. A careful reading of the verses that precede it gives us the proper interpretation of this verse – mainly, as it pertains to keeping the body pure from sexual immorality. Our body belongs to the Lord, and whatever food He has provided for it is sufficient, organic, fast food and otherwise.

    I agree with Lindsay that if we are witholding a tithe, inflating our food budget for ‘clean’ foods while eliminating any room to reach out to others for the furtherance the kingdom we have most certainly made our food an idol. Yes, it is wise to consume the most nutrititious food that we can, but not at the expense of ministering to the needs of others. We are to store up treasures in heaven, and pouring our resources into self-preservation is counterproductive to this end. If you have found a way to still consume organic food and give freely to those in need, praise Jesus. If instead you find yourself without anything leftover to share with others because of the insistence to only eat naturally & be healthy, prayerful consideration should be given as to how Jesus wants you to use the money He has given you.

    Remember, the same principle applies to how we spend our time. Are we so consumed with being healthy – exercising, eating right, meal planning, etc. – that we neglect daily time with Jesus, studying the Word and praying? Our health is so highly esteemed in this culture, it is easy to lose perspective on the things of God. Don’t get me wrong, being sick can hinder us as we are running our race, but we worship a mighty God, and He is strong when we are weak. Trust in His perfect will and do not be distracted by the things of this world. Seek first the kingdom of God.

    • Holly February 7, 2013 at 2:42 pm #

      I agree wholeheartedly with Katie and Gaby! As Randy Alcorn says in his book, “The Treasure Principle”: “God doesn’t prosper us to raise our standard of living, He prospers us to raise our standard of giving.” I highly recommend the book to any professing Christian. It will REALLY make you think about how you spend your – I mean GOD’S – money!!! I actually blogged just yesterday about steps we’ve taken to cut our food budget in HALF so we can give more to some missionary friends we support, our Compassion International child, and our church. I buy organic when it fits into our budget, but we give to God first, so if there isn’t enough for Organic, there isn’t enough for organic. I still make smart choices and shop simpler so I can get organic eggs and milk most of the time, but what matters most is that I give to God and recognize that even what I have left over all belongs to HIM!

  29. Gaby February 7, 2013 at 1:11 pm #

    Keep in mind, that organic and “natural” foods are almost always more expensive. Many families can simply not afford these luxuries. I try to feed my family as healthy as I can with the money God’s given to us but we can’t afford organic stuff and that’s OK. I’m content. I try to think globally and think of Christ followers in poor villages somewhere. They’re going to eat the food they have. They aren’t going to analyze it so much. Whole eating is great if you can manage it- but I’m not quite convinced it’s a spiritual matter. Being a proverbs 31 woman and providing for your family and loving your family is important. But it’s a huge turn off to others when some seem superior because of lifestyle choices they make which have nothing to do with the gospel. Great topic.

  30. Lolli S February 7, 2013 at 7:08 am #

    Honestly, I do not see where it has become at idol. Keeping your body healthy is important. Our body is our temple, and I believe that it is important to honor God with my body first, my home second, and out in the world third. Just a thought. Helping to remind others tactfully that their body is a temple isn’t a bad thing. It is also not a bad thing to buy organic food for yourself, even if you cannot tithe, honor God with your body :)
    I do believe however that it becomes a problem when people judge others because of what they eat and force their opinions on them when unwelcomed.

    • Rebecca February 7, 2013 at 7:26 am #

      well said Lolli! I agree!

    • Erin February 7, 2013 at 8:15 am #

      Just a thought… Do you think the Lord will bless you honoring your “temple” if you’re failing to honor Him with the firstfruits of your increase? Don’t neglect the tithe. During almost a year of unemployment and great financial difficulty we still gave 10% of our income back to the Lord and trusted that He would provide the food we needed even though we couldn’t afford to purchase our own groceries. And you know what? He always did provide. And it was often organic and/or natural food that didn’t cost us a penny!

    • Gaby February 7, 2013 at 1:13 pm #

      If you can afford organic food you can afford to tithe. Andy Stanley had a neat quote on money management: Give, Save, Live. (Meaning Tithing, Saving, and then Spending). I love it. Give the first fruits of everything to God.

    • Hannah February 9, 2013 at 12:45 am #

      I’m sorry, but to spend money on anything, even your electric or rent bill and skip paying tithe is very dangerous. You are robbing God (Malachi 3:8-11). We must always tithe on any income we receive. God promises to take care of our needs (Matt 6) and I have seen this and also heard numerous stories of those who had to choose between loosing a home or car, not buying groceries, etc and paying tithe. They gave to God FIRST, even when they couldn’t afford it and one of the previous things had to go unpaid. Guess what, a neighbor would stop by and give them food, not knowing about the situation. An unexpected monetary blessing would come in the mail, etc. God says to prove (test) Him and see what He is capable of.

  31. Rebecca February 7, 2013 at 5:52 am #

    Thank you for sharing! I am a Christian woman who is also a “natural foodie”. I completely agree with most of the blog….I wrestle with many of the same issues. But often, it is my husband that is like “do we have to feed them(guests) organic food?”…but he is willing to spend top dollar on the latest board game…money is such a tricky issues, especially when it comes to food. I truly believe that God wants His people to be healthy, but we need to educate ourselves and make time and money available to that purpose…but I can see where that can take hold and control one’s life. Thank you for your thoughts!

  32. Stormie February 7, 2013 at 4:31 am #

    OUCH!! Sometimes the truth hurts and I’m feeling a little bit of a sting :( I will definitely be watching my choices a little closer in the future. It’s amazing to me how quickly we can fall off the path to God, but, thankfully, he always lets us back on it :)

  33. Lisanna February 7, 2013 at 12:39 am #

    Thank you for posting! This is such a needed post! My family and I are currently serving on the mission field. We have to take horrid malaria drugs… often cannot get vegetables or protein… and certainly nothing like raw milk, whole wheat, etc, etc. While I DO believe that we need to be wise and take care of our bodies and our families in a responsible way, I also know that God has led us here right now and I can be joyfully unconcerned about these things. After all, God didn’t call us to live as long as possible, but to bear as much fruit as we can. Humanly speaking, living here is cutting years off our lives, but spiritually speaking, we are storing riches in Heaven where we will live eternally! I have had comments from people like “I couldn’t live over there because I need (such and such) diet”. Well…. what are our priorities?

    • Erin February 7, 2013 at 8:09 am #

      Thank you, Lisanna, for sharing your thoughts, & thank you to you & your family for making sacrifices on the mission field in order to see souls saved. Praise God!

      When my husband & I began eating a vegan diet about 8 years ago due to some pressing health concerns, we were often asked by other Christians, “What will you do on the mission field if all there is to eat consists of bugs & goat brains?!” This was a valid question, as we had (and still are) committed to go to any field that the Lord calls us to. My response? “Well, then that’s what we’ll eat!” Obedience to Christ & souls saved are much more important to me than making sure I eat a certain type of food. (Although I do pray that the Lord might seriously consider sending me to a country whose main diet staple is goat brains. :] ) I believe, in all situations, that God supernaturally protects His children. I’m trusting that He will do so no matter where I am or what I eat. A missionary to India that we once knew often prayed before eating a less-than-appealing dish offered by the native people, “Lord, kill the bacteria & add the vitamins!”

      Blessings on you & your family, Lisanna, as you serve Him.

    • Alicia March 6, 2013 at 7:58 pm #

      Excellent thoughts, Lisanna. Thank you.

  34. Holly February 6, 2013 at 8:19 pm #

    Lindsay, such a great post! Your heart is so sweet and I admire how you have raised these questions in such a God-focused, non-judgemental way. You are so right. We must be vigilant to guard our hearts against anything (bad or good!) that shifts our focus or desire from God unto itself. Whether it be natural living or even our family, God must be first in our hearts. Thank you.

  35. Sara February 6, 2013 at 6:54 pm #

    I just came across this on Pinterest. Thank you for writing something so heartfelt. It is something I have been thinking on today…..and it has helped me. Thank you. I do believe we have been given this life, these beautiful bodies, our families, our path in life by God. I do believe in caring for our body and families the best we can. But how easily we can put these things before our care of Him. Thank you for reminding me. First love God, second love our neighbor. And I believe as you do, as we follow Him first all other things will come as we need them. Thank you for reminding me not to make an idol of my desire and attempt to live naturally, and for reminding me our love of others should not be damaged because of our desire to live naturally.

  36. Jen W February 6, 2013 at 5:45 pm #

    Thank you for this honest and prayerful post!!!

    To God be the Glory Honor and Praise in ALL THINGS!!!

  37. Debbie Vail February 6, 2013 at 5:30 pm #

    God bless you! Amen. Your words are so true.

  38. Shandra Nelsen February 6, 2013 at 2:50 pm #

    I love the aim of not judging. Not making people feel inadequate. I also love the idea of getting to the point in our society where junk food and food-like products that are highly processed are priced appropriately and not subsidized by our taxes. Simple, organic foods should be less expensive.

    Christ doesn’t want 10% or our money, he wants all of it. He doesn’t want x amount of it to go into the offering plate while the rest goes to the beast (one aspect of the beast or empire as understood in Romans and Revelation being huge corporations who produce food-like products and market them as healthy). Buying from a farmer directly helps the needy and oppressed. Those that are oppressed by our current food system.

    Books that helped me process: “Simpler Living, Compassionate Life” edited by Schut and “Animal Vegetable Miracle” by Barbara Kingsolver. Devoid of judgment, full of life! Thanks for the discussion everyone. It’s so nice to process these things with other believers.

  39. Jenn February 6, 2013 at 5:26 am #

    Lindsay, thanks so much for sharing your thoughts again. I was recently convicted that perhaps I’ve made our eating real food and our food budget an idol–or at least given it way more attention than it deserves. Praying that the Lord will give me wisdom to see what I need to hold onto and what I need to let go of–and that He will restore my joy in cooking, as all this focus on being frugal can suck out the joy! Grateful for your blog, sister!

  40. Terri August 11, 2012 at 3:56 am #

    Thank you so much. I too have been struggling with this issue. I do tend to get somewhat judgmental as times. I also have been guilty of hoarding for my family and sometimes just for me! The Lord really spoke to my heart reading your post. I am so grateful for your honesty.

  41. Joy August 2, 2012 at 3:27 pm #

    I think you bring up some interesting points. Anything can become an idol in our lives, even service to others. The point of living a healthy life should always be so I am better equiped in my Christian walk. However, as has already been pointed out, if someone were to ask you what you wanted for your child or a meal, they want your genuine answer. If they cant afford it there are other solutions. No one need be offended. And as for fellowshipping. As a vegetarian I can personally say that there have been plenty of times I’ve dined with people who did not prepare a special meal for me and have been fine. No one is offended if I politely tell them I chose not to eat meat and will enjoy their delicious sides. It’s all about attitude. A Christian can certainly become holier than thou about their diet, but sharing scientifically supported health facts isn’t putting anyone down. If you know something you believe can help someone else, you share it. That is exactly what they are doing by sharing their health knowledge. Just present it in a loving way. If they take it YAY if not, that’s their decision.

    We need to be careful not to swing the other way. God calls us to leave an inheritance to our grandchildren, and if we don’t live healthy enough to be productive with the appointed days God has given us then this becomes hard. As you stated, be a good steward of your health. Don’t squander it though, just because you say “Well it doesn’t make a difference, God has already determined my days.” God determines our days because of our choices. We are forgiven when we sin but we still face the consequences, so equally we face the consequences of our life choices (diet and behavior.)

    Your statement I truly disagree with it this “Natural living can become an idol when we think that it can give us significance, security, safety and fulfillment.” I think this statement needs clarification of perspective. Natural living is an idol if we think it gives us significance. period. But we need to know living naturally wont keep bad things from coming. There may be an unexpected death. But just like obstaning from sexual sins should prevent sexual diseases, so obstaining from unhealthy eating should prevent us from facing problems associated with diet. As for fulfillment, we find fulfilment in God alone. Natural living shouldnt complete us. But it should leave us satisfied we are doing the best we can to live lives that will enable to serve God.

    • Shandra Nelsen February 6, 2013 at 2:39 pm #

      Thanks for your thoughtful response. Dialogue is so important. I’ve recently been asking the question, “what is tithing?” That question leads me to, “what is the church?” A building? A specific place that I go to once a week? The whole universal body of Christ? If it is more than the once building and small community that I meet at/with once a week, if it is the whole community of Christ, couldn’t being committed to buying natural products benefit that whole and be considered giving? If everyone bought organic and natural products they price would go down. Is this not a positive thing for the whole world? Lots of questions but your response to the post really helped me to process, so thanks!

  42. Samantha August 1, 2012 at 1:19 pm #

    As a mother with a special needs child, who is on a special diet, it is very hard to accept invitations to other’s homes as I know this puts them out. We tend to stick with other families who eat the same way we do. When we invite people over, we let them know that we eat a special diet and what we are planning on fixing, also making sure they don’t have any special dietary needs. As I was raised this is common courtesy.

    As for a mom asking for organic and natural things for her baby, my only comment to this is that this woman was asked what she would like. She has made her wishes known. If you don’t want to purchase those things, but things of your choice then don’t be offended when she returns them. I had several boxes of Pampers and generic diapers purchased for my third child and had to return them because he was allergic. I had people who were offended because I didn’t keep them. I also had to put him in clothes that were 100% natural because of being allergic.

    This doesn’t mean the mother shouldn’t be grateful, but it also doesn’t mean the giver of the gift needs to be insensitive or rude. I believe the fault lies in the pride and rudeness of both sides, not just the people who go all natural.

    Over time we have switched to being all natural. Sometimes this isn’t cheap, but it means we deal with less. This is a choice we have made as a family. There are consequences to every decision we make.

    Also we need to consider about our personal relationship with God. I am expecting baby number 5 and am considering a home birth. This will not be my first home birth, but I am older than the last time. I am hearing about it constantly from other people about how I’m denying the modern sciences that God has given us, that I am selfish and unappreciative of what God has given me. My comment about that is this, who are they to judge me and my relationship with God. How can they know I’m unappreciative of what God has given me?

    I guess it comes down to this. We each need to evaluate for ourselves where our standing is with God. We need to make sure we are meeting His standards, not those dictated to us by another human, who is as guilty of sin as we are.

  43. Sheril C August 1, 2012 at 11:43 am #

    while you have some points worth pondering, I would respectfully suggest that their are some points that might look like the other side of the coin which are also worth considering at the same time. I raised a special needs child. One of the reasons I never did the gfcf diet or something similar for him, which I now realize would have most likely been very beneficial to him was this type of opposition that I knew I would face from brothers and sisters in Christ and difficulty over how to handle dinner invitations and potlucks. We did try some dietary interventions that proved valuable for the short time we were able to do them 100%, but ended up being unable to find a good middle ground with others in order to be able to handle those situations. I look back with guilt that I never found the right way to deal with this and do the best thing for my son.

    I, myself, have numerous health issues now. And I can easily identify that I know more people with diabetes, cancer and ‘rare’ autoimmune’ disorders than ever before. If my experience is anything like representative of the general population these problems are increasing by exponential factors.

    I may not have all the answers, but I can easily identify many possible examples where our society has gone off the rails and supports and advocates a ‘normal’ lifestyle that is wasteful of our health, our money, our time and our farmland. I know that God is in favor of men being good stewards, so all this wastefulness definitely in conflict with my need to follow Him and serve Him.

    So I will continue to advocate for a wiser and more Godly lifestyle and try to move more and more in that direction for my family at every opportunity. I pray I will endeavor to help others graciously and never belittle or hurt them along the way, but also that I will be good for them physically with the meals I share with people and the cooking I can teach.

    And I am more grateful than I can express that so many Christians are coming to see these same points and make fellowship easier and more do-able for those who want to eat without poisoning their bodies without man-made chemicals that God never designed for the nourishment of our bodies or our farmland.

    • Alicia March 6, 2013 at 9:07 pm #

      Excellent comments.

  44. Brittany July 12, 2012 at 3:34 pm #

    Thank you for posting this. I have been wrestling in my heart about this very topic. On one hand I feel that in general our society has turned from God and has taken our general morals, standards and attitudes along with it. I believe our food is being modified and warped away from the way God intended it. I have recently entered this natural life prayerfully and slowly and I have sinful tendencies of superiority so I am asking God to lead the way in this venture and I believe he truly has been. It’s nice to see a confessed Christian sister on this path and thanks for the reminder.