Church Attendance/Membership Saves Your Soul Is a Lie!

There are many religious groups that teach you MUST attend and be part of their body to go to heaven. Unbiblical false groups like Roman Catholics, Baptists, Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses all teach this in their man made doctrines.

There are also various groups that have things very correct biblically but still teach this ill theology they use to control people in their pews.

One such group is Mark Bullen at Living Faith Christian Fellowship in Brookfield Mo
See this testing link on them:

This article below challenges and teaches why going to or being a member of a church does NOT save you.


In my first teaching/video I did to refute Mark was on his role as the lone Bishop in charge and he calls himself chairman of the board there.

 In that article/video we covered the unbiblical teaching of one Bishop ruling over everyone. In that video/teaching we showed it is NOT the model of the true NT body but one made up by man. We also warned of that kind of false teaching and unchecked power leading to even more dangerous ways over time. Well sadly here is the proof of that warning.

The subject of our next video/teaching here is to get at truth and lovingly help others out of error is one that actually perverts the gospel saying;

God's way to save your soul is being in and going to a church.

In Mark Bullen's writings he makes some good biblical points of truth and we applaud him for that. But amazingly he also makes some claims that we would be in complete sin if we did not speak out against such ways and teachings that will (and is) deceive others.

Mark likes to use the word program over and over claiming God has a church program to save your soul. The word program is NOT found in scripture nor is "Marks idea" of God's NT body. Marks program is a bishop ruling system of the assembled body. While we agree 100% with Mark that God designed the NT body and how it should function ( which he leaves in various places ) he has twisted the gospel of Jesus Christ now adding to it..... church membership and attendance.

Here is a quote right from Marks own book: Apostolic Faith and Biblical Christian Living pg 18

    This is an amazing statement that needs to be addressed and tested:

*First, what is it that God promises will save His people?

In the old testament there was animal sacrifices and now in Christ we have the final perfect sacrifice!

It is the gospel good news of Jesus Christ and His work on the cross and faith in Him not a church system that saves a man. (Good works and obedience do follow a true faith no doubt but it does not save you. It is evidence God is in you.)

*If you search the word gospel (means good news) in the writings/epistles of Paul who God called to labor for the NT body, you will see it is always associated with faith and obedience to and in the cross of Christ NOT, a church system.  

Paul does say this in 1 Timothy 3 and it is often abused by power hungry church leaders.
 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

If we use scripture to interpret scripture, who is the truth?

The church or Jesus Christ?

John14:6 says He is the truth and He saves His people not a church system!
(His body does act as a pillar and what does a pillar do? It upholds things and in this case its the truth.)

Jesus nor Paul ever preached you must join a local church; to be saved.

There is ONLY one body of Christ not MANY to join all over.
1 Corinthians 12

Mark Bullen has over laid his bishop ruling church program / theology and has added to the saving gospel of Christ by saying you must be in a church system under men to be saved!

This is not biblical and it deceives people. It is a left over false way of roman catholicism, Luther/the reformation, many cults to come and even the Baptists that Mark once was part of.

Mark is acting as a blind guide here and Jesus warned about those. Sadly, they all go into the ditch and we want better for them.

Note: to be clear, scripture does say we are to obey God's Word as fruit we know and love Him. Hebrews 5:9 and John 14:15 and many others others; that is biblical. But to tie one's hope of salvation to men and a church system is more than unbiblical, it is a plain demonic lie.
(Again baptist, mormons, jehovah witnesses and roman catholics all teach that as well but God's Word just does not teach it. )

*The issue is this:
To say you MUST be under a human leader and in his church system program to gain salvation is totally  un-scriptural and beyond even simple twisting the Word to get there.  It is a false gospel/added to gospel; that Paul warned of in Galatians 1 and it is accursed.

It is a good and godly thing to have a fully biblical body with godly elders to oversee. That was indeed in existence in the first century via the powerful move of God's Spirit, but today in most all areas, sadly it is not so. Where are all these godly bodies with true godly men as examples NOT over lords? (Mark disqualifies himself from that list via poor doctrine.)
It is so rare today to find the true biblical body as we may well live in the falling away that Paul spoke of. Jesus said FEW will find eternal life and He asked will there be any faith on earth when I return, see Matthew 7 and Luke 18.

God's Word can NEVER contradict itself and yet Mark makes the Holy Word do that here.
Let me explain why:
Mark says you MUST be in a body and under a man to be saved.
The bible never teaches this at all.
In truth, there are many cases where men / people who profess/born again in Christ are NOT part of a biblical body/under a bishop and here are some examples:

*People converted in jail
*People in muslim countries who are born again and surrounded by only Islam
*People in America where apostasy is on every corner and there is no fully biblical body around
*People who start home fellowships and only have a few followers of Christ to start
*Wives and children of a unbeliever man who cannot find or even allow to go to a body
*Evangelists who travel and preach the gospel on the go without a body
*People who leave their body over sin in that body and have no other biblical body to unite with
*You live in a spiritually dead apostate area of the world ( for us that is called America )
and on and on....

A question to consider?
Has Christ abandoned those people (to hell) in those situations?  Those who obey Him in every way but are left without a biblical body/ elders/bishops to be accountable to and unite with?

No and it is more heresy here folks....

Marks theology does not work in all situations so it is false!

Study in Context

I fear Mark has lost the concept of studying God's Word.... in context. 

When Paul said all he said about the body's established in the New Testament Word they were alive and striving in body's and in the Word. Even in great roman persecution God's spirit moved powerfully via signs and wonders to get the body of Christ formed. Paul then appointed godly multiple elders to oversee and guide them in each city. The Apostles had such power
Men were elder/leaders but there was NO lifted up clergy class as (Mark holds to) as all men took part in gatherings. That is indeed God's design no doubt!

Now fast forward to today and the warnings of Paul and Jesus about the last days.

*In 2 Timothy 4 Paul warns of a time when they leave sound doctrine.
(there are 30,000 denominations today all teaching lies)
*Paul says when I leave wolves will come in.
(false teachers abound today like no other in history)
*Jesus warns the love will grow cold
(we see that all over the claimed body of Christ... little to no love)
*In Matthew 24 Jesus says massive deception marks the last days and false teachers saying He is the Christ will deceive many.
( America is full of massive deception... we see it as we preach all over the nation)
*Revelation speaks of an evil world system that is rising up to control and persecute God's people.
(that system is forming fast )
*The bible also talks of a time of great tribulation and scattering of His people all over the earth, man being killed and cut off from others no doubt.

You do not need to be a bible scholar to figure out the latter days will not be like when the early body was formed. God's body was forming then in power while in the last days it is dying on earth, though He always has His faithful few.

Meaning this... we can strive for the model God ordained in a NT body yes, but without other true believers (united in His Word and ways) in one location, you cannot have the body today as it was then. Paul would tell the Christians in a body with biblical elders to obey them and serve God. In the same strong voice Paul would tell a Christian striving alone in jail or cut off from other true believers around them to strive on and over come by looking to Christ as their Savior and Lord and serve God.
Same command but in different context.

It is clear, the bible warns of a great falling away NOT a revival and more biblical bodies all over the earth!

Mark is situation teaching, NOT biblically teaching and could it be it is to:
*Hold people to him and
*Draw others to move near him?

You decide....

Being in a godly body is best but NOT required by Holy scripture for the hope salvation.

Baptism as a great example.
It is God's design/best for you to be baptized once you're born of God. It is a symbol of faith.
But if you could not be baptized and you died God does not withhold your hope of salvation.

 The same is said for going to a body and being part of a true body of believers.
If you have it and can partake, you should. If you are cut off from it, God is  able to save you still and so you strive on to serve God in obedience to scripture not MAN!

Power hungry men use "fear tactics" to hold people to them vs being a sound examples of a godly biblical man as the bible describes in true leaders. 

Mark admits there was a time he left the Ind Baptist faith and wandered about seeking truth and a more biblical body. Was Mark lost to hell during that time? Why did Mark leave the Baptist faith anyway? It was over their false ways; per him. Mark did good in leaving them no doubt but today he has made a false way that he teaches that props up his lone ruling bishop system (like the baptists) and the church building system he has built right onto his house.
He is a lot more like the Independent Baptist lording over way then he will admit but his fruit is made known.

Fact is, the Apostle Paul does command true believers to LEAVE anyone ( a body or leader ) that allows or teaches sin and bad doctrine. See Titus 3, 1 Timothy 5  and Romans 16:17

A little leaven or sin ruins it all. Galatians 5:9

And Peter says we obey God before we obey any man. Acts 5:29

Paul says leave to them be in the truth and pure but Mark says if you leave you lose salvation?

I will go with Apostle Paul's and Peters inspired words thank you not that of uninspired men.

To be clear; the biblical gospel and hope of eternal life is not found in programs of man.
(Accountability, learning and training can be found there but ....NOT salvation itself via them)

It is in a saving faith in Christ's work, repenting of your ways for His Holy ways, being born again, obeying Him as fruit in holiness and enduring in that saving faith, till your end.
See the gospel in full here with scripture:

You cannot find what Mark is preaching (church system salvation via a lone bishop ) in the Holy Word as he added it to the saving gospel. Mark has blurred good New Testament body ways with salvation itself and that shows a terrible bible study form or purposeful deceit? You decide....

Revelation 22 says do not add to the Word or you may be taken out of the book of life.

Quite a warning to us all!

What Mark is describing in general (being part of a biblical body) is indeed God's design to grow up believers, we do agree with that. But it is NOT what gets you in His eternal body nor does it keep you there. It is God in you and a saving faith with obedience as fruit that does that and then; enduring in that life with good works as fruit your His, then you will obey Him.  No Bishop, program or system can make you do that. The power of God is in His truth and the Word ( Christ ) not systems of men.

Listen to Apostle Paul... what is the purpose of the body gathering together in Ephesians 4
For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
It is a training ground for those in Christ yes, but without it if you do not have one, you can still be FULLY in Christ via His Word and Spirit. He is enough.

Like Noah, we are called to be faithful and strive on even if we are alone in the faith.
Many in America and the world are indeed alone in their faith and Mark is confusing and causing them to stumble I fear. Is his goal to encourage people into moving near him so he can grow his religious system and program? (He teaches the unbiblical tithe so they do collect money.) He tried to tell us that we should move there too but thankfully we kept testing and saw through to God's truth. And yes, we do still have the hope of salvation, praised God!! (We love and obey God's Word as fruit we are His.)

While godly biblical elders do play an important role no doubt, it is the Holy Word and Holy Spirit of God that guides His people to all eternal truth/eternal life, not programs in religious buildings.

More Holy scripture:

But the anointing which ye have received from Him abideth in you, and ye have no need that any man teach you. But as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in Him.
1 John 2:27

Jesus said it leads us to all truth

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
John 16:13

I know that Hebrews 13 will be raised in this discussion and we do love that verse.

Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

Let me be very clear:
If you have a biblical body and true godly biblical elders, indeed you should obey them IF they are in line with the Word. Who would not? God will hold those leaders accountable for how and what they teach precious souls as overseers. But in the absence of such godly multiple elders, what are true believers to do? Give up? Lose all hope? Drive around till they run into a true body?

Per Mark Bullen they have they lost their hope of salvation but it is a lie.

That is a ploy of man to gain control over people in the pews and we see it all over the nation.
Jesus said DO NOT DO THAT  in Matthew 20 ...NO lording over allowed in His body.

Every believer should play a part in helping us all be accountable as Christs people.
It is not only Bishops and leaders that can help save a sinner from hell.
James 5:20 says ANYONE CAN:

Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.

God is able to see His people through all situations even standing alone in the faith without a biblical body around them.

Paul says this:

Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

Romans 8

Consider this... if what Mr Bullen is saying is true, and you need him/church systems to save you; if he as the ruling bishop there either decides to turn away from his faith in Christ or he dies and if that body ceases to exist at all, all those people at LFCF will be lost without a body to hold them accountable and per Mark.... they cannot hope to save their souls. The truth is by NOT teaching them to rely fully on Christ, the Word and the Spirit and using a open participatory gathering per 1 Corinthians 14; those saints are NOT prepared to live out and minster the Christian life fully as they have sat in a ritual pew week after week and watched Bishop Mark (and his hand picked others preach) do it for them. How sad.

This idea the Mark as a bishop or ANY man has control of the gospel / your hope for salvation
it is indeed man made heresy to be rejected!

There is ONE intercessor between man and God it is Jesus Christ. 1 Timothy 2:5

Please take this away will you:
Neither I, nor Mark or any mere man controls your hope of salvation. It is God alone through Christ our Lord.

It gets even worse in this body:

Mark also teaches if your excommunicated from his church you also have NO hope of salvation.
(That will be our next video so stay tuned.)

Go here to follow all future testing on Mark Bullen:

Do not be deceived folks.

We are here to help you! See our contact info on our main website page:

Listen to the biblical gospel here:

And we have a  10 point test you can use on your own religious body and yourself to see if you are being deceived in other ways.

Let us know if we can help you.

God be praised!

Mark Bullen's Living Faith Christian Fellowship Teachings Refuted

Mark Bullen's Teachings Lovingly Refuted

The following links will take you to articles that test and refute some of the teachings coming out of Mark Bullen at Living Faith Christian Fellowship in Brookfield Missouri. (He has much correct but some very troubling doctrine as well )

Let this be a teaching moment for us all and one that lifts up truth, encourages others to be sound in doctrine and in the end, glorifies our God.

We pray they repent of all false ways and glorify God in all truth.

See their body and Mark tested here:

See these teachings below that take each unbiblical point and goes into depth via the Word:

1) This article challenges Marks lone Bishop rule model: 

2) This article refutes Marks teaching that church attendance and membership saves you

More articles to come over time .... so stay tuned or add your email to our list and be notified when we post more articles.

We are here to help you. See our contact info on our main website.

God be praised

One Bishop in Charge is NOT Biblical

Does God's true NT body have one man that rules and leads it?

This topic comes up from time to time and it needs to be addressed in a direct way so we are not deceived by man made ways vs God's Holy Word.

In the past I have preached and written against the modern pastor role that is virtually used all over denominational evangelical religion today. It is NOT the model God gave to His body in the first century so it is sin to do otherwise. (Does man know better then God?) See this article link that documents why is it unbiblical and should be rejected.

For this article I want to focus on the role of one man acting as a Bishop over a entire body of claimed followers of Jesus Christ. This is a dangerous unbiblical practice as it leads to men rising up in power, unaccountable with no equals, puffed up with pride and usurping authority over a body that God's Word does not ever give them. If you want to see a sad example of that and what it can lead to ( perverted gospels claiming you need a Bishop to have hope of salvation ) go to this thread and read about a man and his body that practices this ill way:

As always we will go to God's Word as our source for truth and practices in the body of Christ.

The Apostle Paul said this in 2 Thessalonians 2:15
Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.

We are commanded to keep those ways NOT mans made up ways, amen?

Does God's Word teach or give a example in ANY way that the biblical body of Christ in the first century had one lone man acting as Bishop that ruled over others in a body?

The answer is NO!

So where does this practice come from you may ask?

If you look at history you will clearly see it was later in the second to third centuries (after the true Apostles died off ) that men started appointing lone men to rule over bodies and then regions called Bishops. This man made practice was taken up by the apostate and pagan religion called roman catholicism and it became its lording over pope system that took the world into the dark ages for 1000 years.

When I lovingly challenge this lone Bishop ruling over others, I get NO direct scripture to back it up and I get scripture twisting to try and prove it is the biblical model to follow. Lets examine the evidence they give to say it is biblical:

In Acts 15 we have a counsel called to deal with error and sin injected in the body of Christ.
Men today (lording over Bishops)  try to tell me that James was the lone Bishop in charge in Jerusalem. Is that true? No and here is why:

Lets look at the entire text of Acts 15

And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.
When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.
And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren.
And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them.
But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.
And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter.
And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.
And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us;
And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.
10 Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?
11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.
12 Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them.
13 And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me:
14 Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.
15 And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written,
16 After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up:
17 That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.
18 Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.
19 Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God:
20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.
21 For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.
22 Then pleased it the apostles and elders with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas and Silas, chief men among the brethren:
23 And they wrote letters by them after this manner; The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia.
24 Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment:
25 It seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men unto you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,
26 Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
27 We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who shall also tell you the same things by mouth.
28 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;
Some facts we must embrace:

*James was PART of a godly counsel of men not THE lone Bishop in charge.
*Paul was also part of that counsel and he called the meeting to address the issues.
*Peter spoke as did Barnabus.

Then James confirms what they all agreed with and says this:
For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things

Note: In verse 19 the word used in KJV is judgement. This Greek Word Krino can also mean: to think or decide. James was NOT the lone Judge that day he was part of a group of elders.

Where in this text can you come to the conclusion that James was a ruling Bishop that had special authority above all the others? It is not there and you need to TWIST scripture to make it so. James was a important leader in Jeruasalem yes, so his speaking last was him adding his agreement with the others, not a Bishop ruling over them all. 

Rather then adding to God's Word ask yourself; what is the model we see all thru scripture on how God's body was over seen? A lone Bishop or multiple elders?


The example given time after time in scripture is the first century body was multiple elders that oversee the body NOT to lord over it. Even in the text they try to use to make a lone Bishop ruling true, it says multiple elders 4 times ( I put them in bold for you. )

Here are verses that prove Paul ( called by Christ ) taught multiple elders in the bodies of Christ:

And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church.

Acts 20:17

 And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.

Acts 14:23

For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:

Titus 1:5

Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.

1 Timothy 5

James himself says this:

Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:

James 5:14

And Peter this:

The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being examples to the flock. ...

1 Peter 5

As my article on modern pastors showed, Jesus was not fond of men who lord over others in lone leadership and this Bishop rule does just that. It is sinful, prideful, arrogant and it needs to be rejected!

Go look up the sinful man in 3 John who tried to be a lording over leader. The bible speaks ILL of him. 

I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.
10 Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church.

11 Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.

Over and over we see the body of Christ is over seen by multiple elders as evidenced by Holy scripture. You should know that is it the false system of roman catholicism that also fights hard to maintain a single man in charge of Gods body ( Peter in their case) and it is more evidence of this as false and heretical!

Now lets look at the scriptures that teach and lift up one man acting as a Bishop over the body of Christ?

Well, after looking and searching there is NOT ONE verse that teaches or models this to us. (If you know of one please call me will you?)

You must go to the men after Holy scripture was penned and they started assigning men as lording over Bishops and thus leaving Gods plan. It is a practice of man, NOT God. If you are in a body that has this type of leadership you're united to sin. Time and time again we have seen it leads to more leaven ( sin ) in a body as a man who is given total unbiblical control over others, will often go deeper into apostasy leading others far astray. The man in the example we gave above calls himself the CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD in that body. It is shameful!

We want better for others so we speak out in love. 

Multiple elders who over see and lead by example, yes!

A lone man usurping power and twisting God's Word and model to get there, NEVER!

Let God be true and every man a liar

Listen to the biblical gospel here:

And we have a  10 point test you can use on your own religious body and yourself to see if you are being deceived in other ways.

Let us know if we can help you.

God be praised!

The Sin of Gluttony

We constantly hear professed believers berate the sin of abortion, sodomy/homosexuality, physical adultery, and drunkenness and rightfully so.  Tossed in there will be a few other random pet sins of those in the religous organizations but rarely do we hear the rejection of all sin, even the ones that man considers 'little'.  For instance the sin of laziness, foolish talking, jesting, envy, strife, boasting, gluttony etc.

Today we will focus on gluttony which happens to be a big problem in America, the land of plenty.  There are plenty of grocery stores, dollar stores, fast food and restaurants to fit every budget and inside them are many items to tempt people into overindulging.  The human body needs to eat and as we see in God's Word we are to be careful in how we take care of this duty.

Gluttony means 'to gulp down/swallow', to overindulge in food or drink and the greek meaning is to devour/consume/voracious.  This is not referring to someone who is hungry and has not eaten for a while and eats their food fast, this is a continuous issue that a person would have with the consuming power of food having control of them and they constantly consume or lust after too much.

There are many instances in God's Word that show a warning to us today against gluttony:

And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite. (Proverbs 23:2)

Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh (Proverbs 23:20)

For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags. (Proverbs 23:21)

And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. (Deuteronomy 21:20)

Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. (Ezekial 16:49)
We see Easu sell his birthright for some food in Genesis 25.
Numbers 11 shows us how the people were not satisfied with the manna from God but instead lusted for meat.  God gave them more quail than they could eat and while the flesh was in their teeth He killed them.

Go read it for yourself.

The New Testament teaches us to be in control of our flesh (Galatians 5, Romans 13, 1 Corinthians 6) and that our body is not ours but that of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6).
We are to do all things to the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31)

Because we have to feed our body on a daily basis, there will be a continuous temptation to over indulge in which the believer has to learn how to master.

God at one time ordained feasts/festivals and therefore is no sin in gathering together for a time of rejoicing and sharing food with others in a festive nature (depending on the festivities); the warning for gluttony is for an ongoing nature.

Society has encouraged the sin of gluttony through food eating contests where they have contestants who line up at tables and shovel in as much of the featured food as possible and then win a prize.  There are restaurants that feature enormous hamburgers or big plates of certain foods and then give awards if someone who orders it can eat the entire amount in a certain time.  Affordable all you can eat buffets and fast food tempt people to overindulge.  We personally avoid buffets because of that temptation and since we travel a lot we do frequent fast food places but selectively choose from the menu to find the healthy options. 
Let's not forget gluttony can be through drinking.  There are untold amounts of specialty coffee houses, bars, smoothie huts, soda machines etc.  People blindly swollow these liquids in enormous amounts on a daily basis and continuously crave more.
There is nothing sinful about most of these offerings, the sin is in overindulgence.  Just as there is no sin in alcohol, the sin is drunkenness.

What consists of gluttony?  How much food can a person eat before they are gluttonous?  At what point does the sin become visibly evident  and how much is allowable before it becomes sin?

We don't have the answers to this as God's Word does not specify portion allowance or weight limits.  What we need to learn is how to follow the prompting of the Holy Spirit as we ALL KNOW in our conscience when we have an issue of overindulgence and need to do something about it.  We can also learn from Proverbs and Psalms about not desiring the dainties.

On the other hand people need to be very careful that one doesn't become so obsessed with this sin that they commit the sin of being obsessed with it and go the opposite way in weight loss and not eating.  This can be a great concern mostly for women, as vanity runs deep even in professed believers. (Yes men can have this obsession as well but women succumb to it more often.)  Be careful not to jump into the ditch of either and therefore consume your thoughts and take your mind off the things of Christ.

Remember what is important because...
Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body. (1 Corinthians 6:13) 

Our purpose on this earth is to glorify God and be about His work so be sure that in everything you do, you do it as unto the Lord (Colossians 3:23) and not to just satisfy your flesh with the vast temptations of the world.

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God be praised!