Friday, January 7, 2011

Times to fast

While at a friend's house, I happened to encounter a sticky note attached to their computer monitor. Being slightly bored at the time and hoping it was something that would entertain me for a few moments I decided to find out what wisdom it contained. What I found was an ever so informative piece by Chip Ingram entitled "Times to fast". Upon reading the title I knew I was going to be far more entertained and or confused then I had expected.

But before I get into what was written on that little green piece of paper, let me answer the question "who is Chip Ingram and why should we trust him on when it is appropriate to fast?" To answer this I went to his website, here I found this about Chip:

Chip Ingram's passion is to help Christians really live like Christians. As a pastor, author, coach and teacher for more than twenty-five years, Chip has helped people around the world break out of spiritual ruts and live out God's purpose for their lives.

Today Chip serves as senior pastor of Venture Christian Church in Los Gatos, California, and president of Living on the Edge – an international teaching and discipleship ministry. Over the last twenty-five years Chip has pastored churches ranging from 500 to 5,000 and served as president of Walk through the Bible. Chip holds an M.S. degree from West Virginia University and a Th.M. degree from Dallas Theological Seminary.

He is the author of eleven books, including his newest releases: Living on the Edge, Overcoming Emotions that Destroy and Holy Ambition. Reaching more than a million people a week, his teaching can be heard online and through hundreds of radio and television outlets worldwide. Chip and his wife, Theresa, have four children and eight grandchildren.

I'm sure to Christians, that is very impressive. As such, they can take his advice about when it is appropriate to deprive their bodies of necessary nourishment, right? Well let us just see what his advice is and judge it for itself.

1) Sudden calamity. Loss of a job, etc

Well this makes sense. When something horrible occurs like you losing your job or random tsunami (he did say calamity) one should stop eating. And all this time I thought you stopped eating because you no longer had the funds or available food to eat in the first place, silly me.

2) A major decision, school, marriage, i.e.

I'll try and ignore the fact that he put the I.E. in the wrong place for now as I'm sure by now his nutrient deprived body is starting to effect his brain. However I am trying to figure out how starving yourself when you are already stressed out by a major decision would be even close to a good idea. You are already using up more resources because of the stress and will need even more for the event at hand, so he tells Christians to start starving themselves? Does he hope that when the hallucinations start that they will get an answer instead of thinking they have gone insane?

3) spiritual warfare

I generally thought going into combat with a body that is close to feeding on itself to function properly was a very bad decision. After all, wasn't it Napoleon who said "An army marches on its stomach"? Maybe Chip took this quote to literally and took it to mean when the body starts breaking down the stomach for necessary nurishment after being starved.

Though I have to ask, what exactly constitutes spiritual warfare? Has Satan given up on fiddle contests and gotten with the times and settled with a game Dungeons and Dragons? Are the geeks of this world truly to be our saviors against the evil one?

4) increase intercessory effectiveness

Apparently, starvation increases the effectiveness of prayer and such. Because, as we all know, the Christian God thrives off of suffering like some sort of dynamo of anguish. You would think he would get enough from all those starving children in third world countries we see in those television ads. But apparently that isn't enough. Those people are suffering because they have to, what god really wants, what he finds absolutely delectable is the suffering that is self inflicted. God then uses your misery to make a fine wine from your fermented tears...or so I hear.

But as I look around at the world around me, I don't see a single case of supernatural intercession. So either that means their is no intercessory god or the Christians haven't been starving themselves properly. So for a Christian, the option is obvious, the reason there is no action from God as of late is because they have been eating too much, those glutenous believers. And if you take a look around the area where I live, Oklahoma, one of the most religious states in my county, then you start to think that Christians must believe that fasting means a quick trip to Burger King.

5) personal repents

Finally, my personal favorite, personal repentance. Nothing like some good old fashioned self inflicted torment to cleanse you of your guilt. But wait, wasn't that the whole point of the Jesus thing? That he would die for the Christian's sins? Or was that just supposed to be a retcon for the Adam incident? Christians never seem to be clear just how much sin was covered. Based on the accepted idea that God loves him some suffering, perhaps had Jesus writhed a bit more on that cross would we have had more of our sins accounted for? If so, why the hell did he not? He is God, or Gods's son depending on your stance on the trinity, he could endure it with ease. He supposedly could cure the sick and such, what are a few wounds to such a being? But no, because of God's oversight in this matter (what, God make a mistake, never!) Christians have to forcibly starve themselves whenever they feel guilty for something.
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Anonymous said...

So, are there any times Ingram allows his flock to eat?

Cyc said...

That is a very good question. I would ask him, but I'm afraid he'll just tell me to fast until the answer comes to me...