Are obese men qualified to be pastors?

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Daniel David, Mar 23, 2003.

  1. Daniel David

    Daniel David
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    I wondered about this when I read what Paul had to say about disciplining his own body that he not be disqualified.

    Many people imagine Fundamentalists preachers as fat men because of one too many dinner on the grounds events. Is this right? How can a man ever preach on self-control when he himself weighs way too much?
     
  2. rsr

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    Much obesity is genetically determined, so there's no way to make a general statement. I have two cats that eat the same amount; one is scrawny and one looks like a Poland China.
     
  3. rlvaughn

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    rsr, I'm waiting to see who knows what a Poland China is? :eek:

    I think obviously none of these would apply to a genetically obese person. Would any apply to someone who is obese due to greed and lack of self-control?
     
  4. donnA

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    There are many forms of greed and lack of self control, how about a thread on those, start nameing those and ask whose qualified for anything.
     
  5. Artimaeus

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    I can remember the last five pastors we have had at our church (one was for nearly 30 years). 3 were trim, 1 was overweight but not obese, and the other one was clearly obese (perhaps not morbidly obese). It is definitely a negative. I know two people can be eat the same food and one be trim and the other overweight but it is always, and I mean always, because they are both eating too much and it is just that the trim one has a faster metabolism. That is no excuse for the obese one to continue overeating because his metabolism is slower. I am about 25 lbs overweight myself and I can tell you it is ALL my fault. I am almost exactly the same size that my father was and I could blame genetics but the truth is I eat too many sweets, my diet isn't balanced, and I don't get enough exercise. Don't get me wrong, I have plenty of sympathy for those making the effort and do not put them down, I just don't excuse it either. Are they qualified? Not while they are making no efffort to change that situation. Their qualification is reinstituted when they are making the effort even if they have not yet succeeded in solving the problem.
     
  6. C.S. Murphy

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    Thankfully God knows the heart, I stand before Him unqualified and unworthy except for His grace and power.

    Murph
     
  7. Abiyah

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    I vote for ME to be able to tell all the overweight
    pastors to step down from their posts, just as
    soon as I get perfect.

    Yeah, and I second that motion.

    8oD
     
  8. Su Wei

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    But don't you think it'll be difficult to preach about certain things as an obese person? :confused:
     
  9. Su Wei

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    Is obesity a big (pun unintended :rolleyes: ) problem in the States?
     
  10. TheOliveBranch

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    I think the problem with an obese pastor comes more out of the persons feelings toward obesity, rather than the pastor. I have seen a very obese pastor preach. Get over the fact that he is fat, and the message was very good. This is what happens to people when he steps up in front of all. But if that pastor is in front of the people every week, they start to see him as a man of God, and no longer see the fat. [​IMG]
     
  11. Artimaeus

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    So, TOB, if he is smoking in the pulpit, I should just get over it and listen to him preach. If he is drinking a beer, I should just get over it and hear him preach. If he uses a few mild expletives, I should just get over it and hear him preach. Since a lifestyle of gluttony must be one of those sins that we should overlook (after all nobody is perfect), then I take it I have your permission to indulge myself in some of the "little sins".
    I am being a smart-alec just to make a point not to be mean. I know you aren't saying what I said you were saying but it does look like you are saying that this sin is acceptable with you.
     
  12. Helen

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    About obesity: so much has to do with the foods you were brought up on. Without surgery you cannot lose fat cells; you can only shrink them.

    If you were brought up on southern fried fat cooking, you are going to have a lot of fat cells unless you have some kind of genetic disposition AGAINST that! The vast majority of fat people are fat from childhood and losing it later takes more than simple self-discipline; it is as much of a changed life physically as being born again is spiritually.

    Now, if a preacher starts out as an adult without being heavy, but becomes obese through the years, that very well may be a different story!

    But while everyone here is arguing about gluttony, please remember that can be different from obesity, especially if the obesity was started in childhood by the child's mother's cooking!

    Gluttony can refer just as much to the bulimic! It can refer to any of us women who go on a chocolate or sweet binge! It can refer to any of the men who down a bag or two of potato chips in a sitting! It does not always have to do with weight.
     
  13. TheOliveBranch

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    Not really. I am stating that people tend to become desensitized after sitting and accepting. But, as has been stated earlier, because this man's gluttony shows, and the other man's doesn't, can make this call a little difficult. Maybe we should never go to an all-you-can-eat dinner, or even a smorgasbord. Follow where your pastor goes, or invite him over for a meal. See his true colors at your own dinner table!

    Maybe he should be told, and you should then leave the church, because his gluttony has now become the stumblingblock for Godly preaching. How, for that matter, can we ever listen to anybody that is overweight? We expect obesity to be caused from gluttony, when it is not always the reason. My son has Prader-Willi Syndrome. He will be on an extremely low-cal diet for the rest of his life. Gluttony over one candy bar will add pounds to his body. But then, I'll never have to worry about him being a preacher because the congregation would never put a fat preacher in the pulpit. He has to be openly showing his gluttunous behavior.
     
  14. RomOne16

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    Change the sin of gluttony (a lifestyle choice) to the sin of homosexuality (a lifestyle choice) and I bet you wouldn't have many people (here anyway) excusing it.

    I agree with the person who said that if the person is making a real effort to change, then they should be allowed to remain as pastor.

    Some sins are more difficult to control for some people. But that doesn't give an excuse to not control them.

    Remember, to us fundamental baptists, there are no degrees of sin, Amen?
     
  15. Wisdom Seeker

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    Pastors and other men of God aren't any less human than anyone of us. How can a pastor preach on self control if he is overweight? Are you kidding me? The same way he should preach on everything else in the Bible, from a human perspective, much study and the Lord's leading. I didn't see in the Bible where the only people who could be pastors had to be perfect, in fact from the examples in the Bible, most men of God had something they battled that was less than perfect.

    D.L. Moody was a pastor who would be considered overweight by today's standards. He had one of the biggest followings of the time, many souls were saved in his services.

    I think this concept of physical perfection is a recent standard brought on by societies decision to put vanity at a greater value than character and godliness. Sure we should strive to take care of the temple of the Holy Spirit, sure we should exercise and eat right if we are to be good stewards of the gift God has given us. But even when these things are done, a person can be overweight for other reasons.

    I hope that none of us would consider a pastors calling to be invalid because he is not asthetically perfect. I've seen many preachers who were in tip top shape, I've seen many that had a weight problem or who were battling an illness...and I never considered not listening to them preach based on what I saw with my eyes?! Does the outer man now determine whether the inner man is valued?

    It's our imperfections that help us to relate to each others human qualities. We should all try to do our best in every area. But if a person has not attained perfection...that doesn't mean that he isn't striving forward to do his best? Character determines a person's value, not appearances.

    In Christ,
    Laurenda
     
  16. Helen

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    The confident ignorance shown in this thread is mind-bending. You want to prevent an obese preacher from preaching in your church? Go arrest his mom instead, OK? She's often the one who got him started early in life. Or check out the mother who worked all day, so her kids go home and drink sodas and watch TV. Or picket the schools who are cutting out physical education programs, and making kids sit all day.

    There are your major causes of obesity, right there. Long before the child ever had a clue about what was going on, he or she was well overweight.

    Then, later, one of these boys turns to the Lord and becomes a born-again believer. He studies, is educated fully, but is never able to lose the weight successfully that was planted on him in childhood.

    So, for that reason and no other, he is denied the pulpit.

    Right. How intelligent.

    There are a couple -- at least -- of overweight pastors on this board. I have seen their characters and I have read their posts and I have the highest respect for them. If I am EVER in their areas (respectively), we will go to their churches -- because I know I will get straight Bible teaching there.

    Keep in mind, also, that those who have grown up with weight problems are more likely to be sensitive to other folks' problems than the perfect-looking leaders. The pain they have been through with their personal battles helps them recognize pain in others. And this way Christ shines through them with compassion and understanding and love -- and others are then attracted to Christ.

    Wanting a preacher to be a good-looking studley dudley is right next to the prosperity gospel in its roots.

    The adult who is obese now and was obese as a child may be eating less food than others at the table. This is not gluttony. The adult who is overweight and just gets on with his or her life regardless is not concentrating on food. This is not gluttony.

    However, the lovely lady who eats and then purges is a glutton. The man or woman who obsesses about food -- whether or not to eat this or that or what is the calorie content or the fat content or the salt content or the fiber content or.... -- this person is a glutton. His desires and thoughts and life are centering around food and what he or she looks like.

    I am seeing an incredible obsession with appearances in some of these threads. Are you folks bored or what?

    Here, just for the sake of those who would like to be a WEE bit more educated about obesity:


    http://www.aafp.org/afp/990215ap/861.html

    http://www.obesity.org/subs/childhood/prevention.shtml

    http://www.researchmatters.harvard.edu/story.php?article_id=21

    http://www.unc.edu/news/newsserv/research/mar02/wang030102.htm

    ==========

    Laurenda was posting while I was still typing and I did not see her post until mine was up. I fully support what she said.
     
  17. I Am Blessed 24

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    I have gained weight due to medication and I have tried to lose it, but I don't get very far.

    Should I be asked to leave my church because of this?

    Who would like to throw the first stone?

    [​IMG]
    Sue
     
  18. Helen

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    Hey, Sue, there was a time when a woman with some extra weight was a compliment to her husband's ability to support her and provide enough food for the family and even servant girls to do extra work.

    How do your servant girls look? :D
     
  19. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24
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    [​IMG] [​IMG] Helen [​IMG] [​IMG]

    My servant looks just like me! :D

    Oops! It IS me! [​IMG]

    (My grandchildren tell me Grandmas are SUPPOSED to be "fluffy")

    [​IMG]
    Sue
     
  20. Maverick

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    Many preachers over the years have been obese. At the least you would have kicked out Moody and Spurgeon who were both over 300 pounds. Since God blessed their ministries greatly maybe God does not see weight as a lack of self-control.

    Fat was once seen as a sign of prosperity and God's blessings. Indeed, look at a Reubens painting and his "babes" all have celluite. A man with a skinny wife was thought to be a bad provider or she was sickly.

    My current pastor is about 350. He comes from an Italian-Cajun background and eating is about culture as much as it is nourishment. He is one of the finest pastors I have ever known.

    I had fewer weight issues as a Methodist because our spaghetti suppers were not near as often as Baptist fellowships. And what do we usually bring to a Baptist fellowship? Fat and sugar laden foods. What do you usually feed your pastor when you have him over? Fat and sugar laden foods. What do they have on the menus where you take him out? Fat and sugar laden foods. Most would be offended if he did not eat.

    Eating is a problem with most American Christians so aren't you glad it is not Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and weigh 160 pounds and thou shalt be saved?

    I have become a almost vegetarian (fish allowed) to overcome my cholesterol and such. That will really limit my social life because few filks will want to have me over now and I will have to bring what I want to eat to fellowships or not eat at all.
     

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