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Hiding ourselves from the truth

Obesity
An obese man sits on a wall in the Canary Wharf financial district of London, April 1, 2009. |

It’s never been a better time to be obese.

Today, it’s not just Sports Illustrated showcasing plus-size swimsuit models — nearly every corporation using digital marketing these days is utilizing large and overweight individuals to sell their stuff. As is the way in our current culture, anyone not participating in the trend is publicly accused of being fataphobic (is that really a word?) and forced to join in.

As to whether that’s a winning plan or not, ask Old Navy, a subsidiary of Gap, how well that financially worked out for them when they went all-in with “clothing inclusivity” (not good).

This thinking has now trickled down to include doctor’s offices where, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal, patients can opt-out of weigh-ins. Says the article: “At One Medical, doctors ask patients whether they are comfortable getting their weight taken at annual wellness visits … If patients do consent to be weighed, doctors give them the option of not seeing or hearing the actual number. Patients may choose to hide their weight when accessing their post-visit summary.”

OK, folks, this isn’t good. Hiding from truth never is.

Before I’m tarred and feathered, let’s be clear: we’re not looking at the person who puts on some pounds via age, through moderate over-indulgences, or struggles with weight due to various medical conditions (to be transparent, I struggle with weight gain as I get older). The risk we’re talking about is with someone who reaches the point of true obesity through lack of personal discipline and constant poor choices and thinks that’s OK.

Maybe you feel the overweight look is attractive and that’s fine, however, you’re missing the point. Author Christopher Bedford puts it well when he writes, “Regardless of whether you think ‘fat is beautiful,’ it’s not healthy.”

As we’re about to see, this isn’t the only area of life being culturally redefined as “healthy.” It’s gotten so bad that there’s never been a more appropriate time in our history to hear the words of the Lost in Space Robot: “Danger Will Robinson, Danger!”  

See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil

There’s a lot of talk today about “health,” but the term doesn’t mean what you think it means. Instead, “healthy” has been redefined to signify that which makes a person feel good about themselves and allows them to have what they want.

The results of such language games, made possible by forerunning philosophers such as SaussureWittgensteinDerrida, and others, are predictable and political. Bedford highlights this when he says, “‘Sexual health,’ for example, is used to justify all sorts of perversions in the classroom. ‘Mental health’ is used to justify feeding hormone suppressants to vulnerable children. ‘Reproductive health’ is used to justify abortion.”

Political leaders and their media lapdogs also routinely redefine “healthy” when it comes to our national well-being. Although our economy currently looks like the aftermath of a Category 5 hurricane, our energy independence is in the dumper, crime is out of control in many cities, our border is a wreck, and foreign heads of state openly laugh at our leadership, we’re told things just couldn’t be “healthier.”

Ditto on the sex front, which at times, borders on the ridiculous. You know things have gone too far when Bill Maher is one of the voices of reason speaking out. Commenting on the impossible-reported surge in LGBT numbers, Maher opined: “Which means if we follow this trajectory, we will all be gay in 2054. When things change this much, this fast, people are allowed to ask, ‘What’s up with that?’ All the babies are in the wrong bodies?”

Disagree? Well, woe be unto you and anyone else who attempts to call attention to such farces. The command from those foisting these absurd reformulations on society is you see no evil, hear no evil, and you certainly don’t speak any evil, which of course, is defined as saying anything that challenges their position.    

A losing spiritual shell game

As you might expect, the tendency for us to hide from the truth through conventionalism (the philosophical attitude that fundamental principles are grounded on explicit or implicit agreements in society, rather than on external reality) extends into the spiritual domain. And just as in every other sphere, it isn’t healthy.

If worshipping the green cheese goddess makes you feel good about yourself and is fulfilling for you deep down, I’m supposed to applaud and encourage you to continue.  

But I’m not going to do that.

Instead, I’m going to politely tell you that worshipping the green cheese goddess or whatever false deity your mind and heart manufacture will result in your eternal separation from the real God when your time in this life is over. I’ll tell you that playing the spiritual shell game where every ball is supposedly under every shell (i.e., every answer is the right answer) is a lie and leads only to a horrific end.

If that hurts your mental health, then so be it if, in the end, you ultimately realize your error and it saves your soul.

Will people hate you and me when we speak truths like that? Sometimes. But then, like author and musician Derric Johnson wrote, “Love sounds like hate to those who hate the truth.”

The truth is, being obese is not healthy. Neither are many things that are heartily pushed and endorsed by those who are far from God. But fooling yourself doesn’t get any worse than when you wave off the one true God for reasons you yourself only know.

So, given that fact, what should we do? The Bible tells us, “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ” (Col. 2:8).  

Bedford says, “The cure to heresy is now as it was then: simple truth.” I agree — you can’t go wrong with that.  

Robin Schumacher is an accomplished software executive and Christian apologist who has written many articles, authored and contributed to several Christian books, appeared on nationally syndicated radio programs, and presented at apologetic events. He holds a BS in Business, Master's in Christian apologetics and a Ph.D. in New Testament. His latest book is, A Confident Faith: Winning people to Christ with the apologetics of the Apostle Paul.

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