A Plan of 'Salivation'

It was late in the evening. After a long and tiring trip my beloved and I finally arrived at our hotel room, famished and tired. I quickly scanned the "in-room service" menu and spied the perfect item, described by an unfamiliar term: "Crudite—An assortment of fresh, raw vegetables with hummus and flat bread."

Using my manly initiative as provider, I picked up the phone and dialed room service. "Yes, may I help you?" came a cultured voice. "Sure," I jauntily replied, "I'd like to order the crudite, please." I pronounced it as it looks— "CRUD-ite." Just like the other "-ites" I knew of—Hittite, Israelite, Moabite. There was a long pause at the other end, then a patronizingly disdainful tone: "Uh…that would be CREW-de-TAY—it's a French term." "Uh, yeah, that's it!" I stammered, feeling the shame of a commoner at the table of royalty. I mumbled my thanks and hung up, while my supportive wife led out in gales of immoderate laughter in honor of my faux pas (see, I CAN do French).

Food can be fun. I have friends who have radically changed their health for the better—all through careful dietary choices. But be wary of letting a focus on food become fanatical. Some Adventists, in an effort to faithfully serve the Lord, have made food into a plan of "salivation." But will raw vegetables (CRUD-ite in my vernacular), or soy milk, or avoidance of dairy products, or the two meals a day diet, make us clean before God?

Jesus said it plainly in Mark 7:18–23. "Nothing that enters someone from the outside can make that person unclean. It does not go into the mind, but into the stomach." Then He named the real culprits, including evil thoughts, sexual sins, adultery, greed, lying, jealousy, speaking evil of others, and pride. You can eat right and still be a slave to pride. You can avoid the cheese and gorge on gossip. You can stock up on soy milk and cheat on your spouse. Change your focus, Jesus says, because every level of healthy living leaves us still short of the mark. We all need...Him.

While millions in this world would like just one solid meal a day, some of us have made food an idol in the guise of spirituality. Are you following a plan of "salivation?" In his early fanatical years, Paul tried that. But when he wrote to the Philippians in chapter 3, he characterized his efforts at perfection as CRUD—well, he used another word, but maybe you get the point.

As for me, I still like a good assortment of fresh, raw veggies. Every now and then, I'll grin at my wife and say, "Please pass the CRUD-ite." But I now know better.

I have met Adventists who, in an effort to serve the Lord, have made food into a plan of "salivation."

October 01, 2008 / Let's Talk