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Friday, January 27, 2006

Ted Haggard: "Pastors are the Single Fattest Group of People I Know"

Haggard I often get accused of using provacative article titles or of posting controversial things, but this quote and start of this article really made me laugh (and suprised me!)

Seems Ted Haggard has a new diet book out.  Huh?  Yeah, that's right... Ted Haggard has a new diet book out.  Here's the press story... you'll find the quote right at the beginning!  Here goes:

"Pastors are the single fattest group of people I know," declares the Rev. Ted Haggard, a Colorado minister, in his new book, "The Jerusalem Diet."

And not only pastors but also, perhaps, their flocks.

A Purdue University researcher found that religious people were more likely to be overweight than their secular peers. There seem to be specific risk factors for Baptist women who often watch or read religious media.

Sociology professor Kenneth Ferraro theorizes that religious adults have a sense of well-being and acceptance unrelated to body image.

The Bible advocates moderation and lists gluttony as a sign of moral weakness, yet until obesity became a critical public-health concern, few religious leaders were preaching against overeating, Ferraro adds.

That is starting to change, as faith-based diet programs and Christian authors tackle the battle of the bulge.

"The proper motivation for staying in shape is to be a good steward of the body God has given you," says fitness guru Dino Nowak, author of "The Final Makeover" and founder of ESP Fitness (Emotional, Spiritual and Physical).

Physician Don Colbert's "What Would Jesus Eat?" advocates a diet based on biblical principles and the unprocessed, whole-grain foods of ancient times.

"The Jerusalem Diet," while inspired by the produce, nuts and grains served in abundance during Haggard's 1998 trip to Israel, also allows followers Big Macs and Mountain Dews when their weight is at or below a predetermined weekly target.

Faith-based membership programs include Weigh Down, which adds prayer to the dieter's routine, and The Maker's Diet, a 40-day diet and lifestyle regimen.

First Place, a leading Christian program, approaches weight loss from emotional, spiritual, psychological and physical perspectives.

"Jesus said the greatest commandment is to love God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind. If we just tackle the physical side of losing weight we're missing the three others," says Carole Lewis, national director of First Place and author of "STOP IT! Simple Solutions to Weight Loss."

Started as a small group in Lewis' Houston church in 1981, First Place now has chapters in 12,000 churches in every state. Its goal, says Lewis, is to put God into the diet equation.

Over 13 weeks, First Place participants read and memorize Scripture passages, engage in Bible study and prayer, and chronicle their progress in diet and exercise.

"We don't make weight loss the most important thing because other things may have to happen before you start to lose weight," Lewis says.

The name of the program comes from Matthew 6:33, "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you."

That means, says Lewis, "We must give God first place in every area of our life."

Deana Rivera, who facilitates a First Place group at Evangel Church in Scotch Plains, says the first two sessions are devoted to issues of portion control, healthy eating and exercise.

"After that, it's about going within yourself to see what you need to do to really keep your body as a temple of the Holy Spirit," said Rivera, a mother of three young children. "We have to take care of our bodies like a precious jewelry box that you wouldn't throw junk into."

The stresses of life often make people lose touch with that image, adds Lewis.

"When painful things happen, most overweight people use food as a sedative. Others use alcohol or drugs. Our program is saying, 'Turn to God for healing and strength.' But we have to learn how to do that."

Although First Place is designed for a group setting, materials are available online at firstplace.org.

"It's not a miracle program," says Rivera. "But it's successful because it focuses on how to change yourself for the long run -- how to get closer to God -- rather than focusing on the one goal of losing weight."

Any thoughts?  Are you fat?  And do you need Ted Haggard to bring that to your attention?  :)

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January 27, 2006 in For What It's Worth | Permalink

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And I believe it is sad, but true. Ted Haggard: "Pastors are the Single Fattest Group of People I Know" brought to you courtesy of Monday Morning Insight Weblog, by Todd Rhoades on For What It's Worth. [Read More]

Tracked on Jan 28, 2006 5:41:50 PM

Comments

Todd,

What in the heck are you trying to do? The thread before this one is GREAT...I am not commenting on it for now...

But I could not let this one go...and yes, I am laughing.

Here is what is strange...I agree, IN PRINCIPAL, with Haggard. I do not believe pastors should be fat people...there IS something we can do about it!!

I am speaking from experience...I used to weigh over 300 pounds...actually, I have always been pretty plump...I wore a size 36 in the 6th grade!!!

I lost weight in high school--but then went to college and in four years put on 50 pounds.

One night in a seminary class the pastors were all bashing people in their "flocks" that smoked and drank...and this dude in the back stood up and said, "I think we are being hypocritical...we are all talking about the sins of others and most of us are way overweight!"

There was automatic conviction...and I began to diet and exercise. It's personal for me--I don't feel that I can speak to someone about self control and discipline while my gut is hanging over my belt.

And the Bible has quite a bit to say about gluttony as well.

Just my two cents...and oh yeah, way to keep things "interesting" here on "controversial Friday!"

Posted by: Perry | Jan 27, 2006 1:50:42 PM

Perry:

"I do not believe pastors should be fat people...there IS something we can do about it!!"

Why should pastors be singled out? It sounds like to me that Haggard is jumping on the latest Christian fad.

I wonder if Haggard mentions in his new book that one of his greatest mentors was a man by the name of Danny Ost, a very obese but extremely Godly missionary who died of cancer about 20 years ago.

Haggard worshipped the guy and would comment to those of us who were in his original youth group in Louisiana that he considered Ost to be a "fat Jesus."

Now, it would seem, that Haggard would have little respect for Danny Ost who was also a role model of humility and servanthood to me as well.

Haggard should be ashamed of himself to imply that the gospel is somehow hindered by someone who is overweight. If he's going to draw that line then he must also include the wealthy (such as himself, et al), balding, loud, quiet, tall, short, blind, lame, etc., Christians that "hinder" the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Posted by: Ricky | Jan 27, 2006 2:20:03 PM

Perry, Thanks... I do what I can. :)

Ricky, lighten up. Man, you're a downer.

I'm sure that Ted would not have been happy that the article writer chose that one quote to base the whole article on. That's what I found funny.

Todd

Posted by: Todd Rhoades | Jan 27, 2006 2:42:12 PM

It's our reasonable service just like smoking, drinking, cursing, etc. to Sacrifice these things in serving God but it has no bearing on a person's Salvation? It may however effect your witness, as pointed out, witnessing about self-control and discipline, etc.

Posted by: BeHim | Jan 27, 2006 2:45:39 PM

"Ricky, lighten up. Man, you're a downer."

Todd, it's just more of the asceticism of the American Church where looks matter more than character, thus the jazzy, high-tech monstrosities we call "churches."

It's just more of the same glamour is God, although the way of Jesus is far from glamorous but rather difficult...and very rewarding.

Posted by: Ricky | Jan 27, 2006 2:58:48 PM

Todd responds once again to Ricky:

"Ricky, lighten up. Man, you're a downer."

Posted by: Todd Rhoades | Jan 27, 2006 3:01:37 PM

I could stand to lose about 20 pounds, to be honest. But most of the pastors I know are in really good shape, actually. I must travel in MUCH different circles than Ted.

If he can write a diet book, then maybe I can write on on airplane mechanics!

Posted by: Peter Hamm | Jan 27, 2006 3:02:37 PM

Did I miss something? I don't see where Haggard implied that fat people are hindering the gospel.

I don't know how wealthy, balding, loud, quiet, tall, short, blind and lame fall under the same catagory same gluttony.

At any rate, I think it's something to think about as long as we work on edifying the spiritual as well as the physical.

Have a great weekend.

Posted by: Ed Mooneyhan | Jan 27, 2006 3:33:03 PM

It's a new market. The "Maker's Diet Book" was free, to seed the market. We have Christian Jazzercise, Christian Movies, ... etc. Time for Christian diet and Christian self-help (oops, Osteen has the market cornered on Christian self-help already).

...Bernie

Posted by: Bernie Dehler | Jan 27, 2006 3:35:30 PM

Shame on you Bernie... :) You know as well as I do that the corner turned when they "voluntarily got off of a Continental Airlines flight."

Posted by: Jeff | Jan 27, 2006 3:37:05 PM

I think this (getting back to the original post) is a good reason to be thankful that you're not a tremendously popular pastor/teacher. Everything you say can and will be reported on. Even (and especially on blogs).

Can you imagine having everything you say being fair game publicly?

For me, that's a highly scarey thought.

What do you say after you've insulted every pastor by saying that they're fat?... that they have a nice personality?!

Todd

Posted by: Todd Rhoades | Jan 27, 2006 3:40:34 PM

Todd said:
"What do you say after you've insulted every pastor by saying that they're fat?... that they have a nice personality?!"

Haggard knows what he's doing. He believes it, and it's creating a marketing buzz.

...Bernie

Posted by: Bernie Dehler | Jan 27, 2006 3:44:54 PM

Interesting viewpoint, Bernie...

Guess I took the bait.

(Hope my check's in the mail)

Todd

Posted by: Todd Rhoades | Jan 27, 2006 3:50:20 PM

Todd

[Can you imagine having everything you say being fair game publicly?]

On a micro level, sometimes I feel that way when I post here, which is why I'm ULTRA-careful with my words. I KNOW you know how I feel even MOREso...

But I still enjoy the banter... Go figure...

Posted by: Peter Hamm | Jan 27, 2006 4:31:11 PM

My Great Grandpa had a hairy big belly...
My Grandpa had a hairy big belly...
My Dad has a hairy big belly...
I have a hairy big belly...
My Son of 2 years does not yet have hair or a belly! PTL!

Is it genetics? sin's of the fathers? Wife's good cookin? Lack of self control? Maybe all of them! :-)

I am laughing so hard right! I would be messing up my family line if I did'nt have a hairy big belly!

I better go exercise and enjoy the weekend!

Posted by: Bill | Jan 27, 2006 4:34:40 PM

I am thirty pounds over weight. I have been dieting since Jan. I have lost 10 pounds so far and I plan to lose twenty more. I not sure if it is a sin to be over weight, but I do think God wants us to take care of our bodies. I know gluttony is a sin. I do what I can do.

Posted by: Jade | Jan 27, 2006 4:45:44 PM

Bill,

LOL! I'm going home for some dinner!

;-)

Peter

Posted by: Peter Hamm | Jan 27, 2006 4:55:43 PM

Bernie:

"Haggard knows what he's doing. He believes it, and it's creating a marketing buzz."

Precisely the point, Bernie!

I'm convinced that if Rick Warren would put out a book claiming that people who wear glasses or those horrid Hawaiian shirts that he wears receive more blessings, they'd be a stampede to the nearest "Christian" bookstore.

What's really sad is that such gimmicks work...on the gullible.

Posted by: Ricky | Jan 27, 2006 5:17:06 PM

You know what you're doing too, Ricky. (and I for one, am not falling for it).

Todd

Posted by: Todd Rhoades | Jan 27, 2006 5:27:56 PM

What am I "doing," Todd, except to illustrate the absurdity of how commercialism has not just crept into the Church but has been embraced with open arms?

Todd, you must admit that if one of the superstars of the American church, such as Warren, Hybels or Haggard, writes or endorses a book its value (i.e., profit margin) increases dramatically. We see the same thing with Oprah Winfrey and her "book club."

Posted by: Ricky | Jan 27, 2006 5:36:00 PM

It seems we've gone with the "outrageous" quotation but ignored the headline. Why is Ted Haggard putting out a diet book in the first place? If I want to lose weight, I'm going to go to a personal trainer and a nutritionist, not a pastor. If I'm wrestling with a tough theological question, then I'm going to go to a pastor, but not because I can't keep myself away from Ho-Ho's.

Posted by: Rusty Shackleford | Jan 27, 2006 6:04:20 PM

Randy said:
"If I want to lose weight, I'm going to go to a personal trainer and a nutritionist, not a pastor."

Oh, but don't you want to do it "God's way???"

BTW, biggest recent controvery-book: The Da Vinci code. Look at all the Christian response books to it, like "Cracking the DaVinci code." I think it's good to write response books, but it's all feeding into the pocket of Dan Brown... and promoting his book and soon released movie... Oh well...

...Bernie

Posted by: Bernie Dehler | Jan 27, 2006 8:45:07 PM

Ted Haggard: "Pastors are the Single Fattest Group of People I Know"

I disagree. I think the fattest group might be the members of "Weight Watchers"...? Or buyers/followers of Jennie Craig...?

...Bernie

Posted by: Bernie Dehler | Jan 27, 2006 8:48:05 PM

Of course they are! That's why we call them

"A FULL GOSPEL PREACHER"

Posted by: Clairvoyent 1 | Jan 27, 2006 9:26:04 PM

Bernie writes [I think it's good to write response books, but it's all feeding into the pocket of Dan Brown... and promoting his book and soon released movie... Oh well...] Good point, Bernie. I hadn't thought of it that way. I did read Brown's book, his claims of what happened in history are laughably ridiculous, and we'll have a whole new round of questioning "semi-believers" (forgive me for that term--you know what I mean I think) who will get all confused again. Is that an evangelism opportunity like Passion and Narnia were?

Jeff... "Full Gospel Preacher"... Dude, quit your job and take up comedy. You are a HOOT!

Good night, I think I'm finally getting tired now.

Peter

Posted by: Peter Hamm | Jan 27, 2006 11:50:02 PM

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