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N.va. Pastor Joins Ranks Of Faithful Eyeing Scales


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I don't know if this is more "News" or "Theology" oriented, tossed it here.


Pastor uses a low carb diet, and excercises, makes sense the HollieSpookie would reward him with a smaller waist line.. Doesn't it?

Read on...







N.Va. Pastor Joins Ranks Of Faithful Eyeing Scales



Saving souls is serious business for Annandale pastor Steve Reynolds.

So is losing weight.


Which is why he stepped out from behind the lectern during a service

one recent weekend to deliver a blunt message to those crowded into

the pews below.


"About 40 percent of you need to lose weight," he told his

congregation at Capital Baptist Church. "When you love potluck more

than God, it's serious."


And with that, the preacher, who has lost 70 pounds by relying on God

and low carbs, launched a mission to lead his followers into the

burgeoning world of religious dieting. "Our body was given to us by

God and for God," he said. "He is the owner. We need to take care of

what He's given us."


Reynolds, the pastor of Capital, is joining a movement that got its

start in Christianity but has picked up steam and spread to other

religions. Faith-based diet clubs, books and advice programs are

prospering. Books advise Buddhists to practice "transformational

nourishment," Hindus are told to eat low-fat vegetarian fare.


A recent book for Jewish dieters advises avoiding high-fat holiday

and bar mitzvah foods. Some Muslim doctors offer advice on how to use

the traditional month-long Ramadan fast for losing weight.


Many faiths condemn overeating and gluttony. "Be not among

winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh: For the drunkard and the

glutton shall come to poverty," reads one Old Testament verse. "Eat

and drink and be not extravagant; surely He does not love the

extravagant," the Koran advises.


But no faith has seized on the religious approach to weight loss as

emphatically as Christianity. Best-selling books such as "The Maker's

Diet" (more than 2 million copies sold), weight-loss plans with names

such as "What Would Jesus Eat?" and the Web site FatFree4Jesus.org

(which this year is expanding into church-based workshops in six

states) have attracted millions by using Christian imagery and

theology to promote weight loss.


"It's about turning to God to fill up this yearning instead of the

refrigerator," said Gwen Shamblin, founder of Weigh Down Workshops,

which enrolled several hundred thousand people nationwide last year

in a diet program that encourages participants to transfer their

focus from diets and calories to Jesus Christ.


Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson has developed a $15 weight-loss

shake that is marketed nationally through Vitamin Shoppe. More than

1.3 million people have ordered a free diet program he launched in



Despite all the praying, recent studies have questioned whether

faith-based diets work. One 2004 University of Texas study found few

links between Christian programs that promote weight reduction and

actual weight loss, according to the study's co-author, Mark DeHaven,

an associate professor at the University of Texas's Southwestern

Medical Center.


Several recent studies have found that Christians are fatter than

those of other faiths.


Baptists have the highest rates of obesity -- 30 percent, according

to a Purdue University study using information from a national survey

that gathers data on lifestyle issues. That compares with 17 percent

of Catholics and 1 percent or less for non-Christians -- Jews,

Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists.


The study's co-author, Purdue sociology professor Kenneth Ferraro,

said the reasons for the higher incidence of obesity among Baptists

aren't clear. But he speculates that many Baptists' traditional

eschewal of alcohol and tobacco might translate into higher food

consumption than in other denominations.


Or, as his article says: "Baptists may find food one of the few

available sources of earthly pleasure."


For Reynolds, 49, the pastor of Capital Baptist, the study's results

ring true. "I can see that," he said. He wonders whether high-fat

church suppers among many close-knit Baptist religious communities

and the Southern food beloved by many Baptists also contribute to the



Whatever the issue, Reynolds said, "it's not talked about."


He is determined to change that in his church. And he started with



Fourteen months ago, he faced the fact that, after a lifetime of

worshiping at the altar of greasy Southern cooking, he was morbidly

obese -- 100 pounds overweight -- and diabetic.


"My belly was god," he recalled.


Reynolds said he asked the Lord for help. He answered, Reynolds said,

by bringing him to a passage in Matthew 16: "If any man wishes to

come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow



"God just burned that into my heart," Reynolds told worshipers on a

recent Sunday in the drawl of his native Lynchburg, Va.


He started denying himself -- forgoing his favorite treats, such as

Southern cooking and late-night bowls of ice cream -- and started

walking on a treadmill and lifting weights. God responded: After

losing 70 pounds, Reynolds hopes to shake off an additional 30.


And he is leading a 22-week blitz to help others achieve a "Bod for



The church sent out 25,000 fliers advertising the program to Fairfax County residents and advertised on five local radio stations.

Reynolds designed a four-week sermon series and is organizing program

participants into groups of 12 (like Jesus's disciples) to meet

weekly to support one another.


On the stage at Capital Baptist's auditorium on a recent Sunday, a

"Bod4GOD" poster hung over the baptismal pool. As worshipers entered,

video screens flashed ads for Christian-themed exercise classes

called Body & Soul.


A chef was scheduled to take the stage for a low-fat cooking

demonstration yesterday, between the hymns and the sermon.


Among the more than 200 who jammed the church's gym for an

introductory luncheon after the worship services earlier this month

was Sylviana Nica, 28, a Falls Church office worker. It was her first

visit to Capital Baptist, and she came after hearing radio ads for

Bod4God. She has struggled for years to lose weight and live

healthier and, as a Christian, she said, the religious slant of the

program appealed to her.


"I've been praying for this," she said.


Mary Knisley drove 85 miles from her home in Cross Junction, Va.,

where she works for a missionary organization, to sign up.


"For me, the Bible is in first place in my life," said Knisley, 58,

who, like Reynolds, wants to lose 100 pounds. "Because of that, this

is a natural thing for me to use the word of God."

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It's about damned time a Baptist preached on obesity. Too bad they don't spend as much energy on that as they do condemning homosexuality, which as far as I have read is less condemned in scripture than is obesity.


You fat, slothful, lazy-ass obese Baptists. Too bad the truth hurts so much.

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What Would Jesus Eat? LOL



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You know, a lot of the whole "ZOMG WE MUST ALL BE THIN!!!!!1!" hype reeks of cultness to me. Ever go to a Weight Watcher's meeting? I swear it's like being in church, except the triune god is thinness, youth, and beauty, and the sin is eating anything other than what the WW cult dictates.


Maybe if people wouldn't make food such a bloody issue, and actually exercised instead of doing one stupid fad diet after the other, they wouldn't be fat.


Seriously, I am fed up with obesity hype. The fact that fat people exist is not news, and it's not like hyping it up with end of the world type headlines is making anyone any skinnier. The media needs to go find something else to report on, IMO.

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Just as Amethyst say's, It's another fad and yet another way (IMO) the Xtian Church can guilt and milk members out of more money and time by capitalizing on the latest fad.


Which begs me to ask, I wonder if Pat will be selling his shakes and doing 700 lbs bench presses at local meetings? :scratch:

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