Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Some Cultural Changes Are Not Bad
Christianity contributes a distinctive understanding of the importance of food and, by extension, the importance of cooking and hospitality. We understand that human beings are made to require food for sustenance. Our need for food is a reminder of our finitude. The food in our fields and all in our tables is a reminder of God's loving provision for us. The Bible dignifies the loving preparation of food as one of the distinctive gifts of women. While cooking is not limited to women, throughout human history wives and mothers, sisters and daughters, have shown their love for and commitment to their loved ones through the careful preparation and celebration of food. When this is lost, something more than culinary knowledge is lost.Look, there are some fine points made here. I love to cook, from scratch, from the garden even. I think it is a worthwhile endeavor, and I too bemoan the fact that it is often a lost art. I even think that meal times are important for community building and conversation - families should eat together.
But to imbue the rise of processed foods with a loss of spiritual depth seems a step too far for me. Despite problems with obesity and other food related health issues, ours is the best fed, most nutritiously sound civilization in history. Much of that has to do with the food industry and the plentiful, inexpensive availability of pre-processed foods.
It seems that Mohler here longs for the days of sustenance farming. Where we worked hard to raise sufficient food to feed or families, and the quality and plenty of our meals was dependent on the weather and weeds.
Bottom line is this - not all cultural change is bad. Some of it is just change. It matters not what changes, rather it matters how we, as God's people deal with the change. You see the problem is this - rather that devote the time freed by the availability of processed foods to activities that build families and improve lives, we have used them as instruments to fragment families and watch a little too much Dr. Phil.
The food is not the problem, the cooking, or lack thereof, is not the problem - WE ARE THE PROBLEM.
Christians that blame the "decline of society" on externals are missing the point of the gospel. Society declines because we are sinners. Only the church has the cure for that that particular ailment. Maybe, instead of bemoaning some cultural shift, we need to be building people truly devoted to Jesus Christ - people that use the advance of technology and the associated cultural change to the benefit of God, not sin.
When we bemoan things like this I worry that we lack faith. It seems that we feel our message is so weak that it cannot survive such onslaughts. NONSENSE! We rely on the God of creation, the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings. Our message can withstand any onslaught.