I just read an article entitled, “The Latest Dieting Trend is Not Dieting.” This awesome new discovery is called “intuitive eating.” I read it with great interest and felt the need to share it with my many readers (all three of you). It was a gratifying read—wonderfully revealing and full of insight and practicality. As I read it, I found myself both inspired and vindicated.
As it turns out, I have been on this diet for most of my existence. Intuitively not dieting is one of my best successes in life. After reading this marvelous piece, I’m convinced that the growing expanse around my midriff is merely some sort of mirage, and one day I will arise to find it miraculously gone (probably when I wake up in Heaven).
To be honest with you, I don’t really buy it. The whole idea is undoubtedly the result of some amateur psychologist attempting to make us all feel good about ourselves. That’s all well and good, but it’s probably not going to help me lose my extra poundage—just sayin’.
Let’s look at this logically. This is a bit like saying, “The next trend in avoiding speeding tickets is by not avoiding them.” Under that scenario, you hit the accelerator every time you see a cop parked alongside the highway. Yeah… I’m sure that would work. At the very least, it would quell my many urges to become more like Mario Andretti. There’s nothing quite like feeling good about yourself—even if you go broke doing it.
Amateur psychotherapy has become big business in this country. It’s everywhere you look. You find it in the newsrooms, the bars, and even in the church. Myriads of ex-pastors are becoming “life coaches.” That one has always amazed me. The thought of someone hiring another person to help them decide if they should apply for a job is mind boggling to me. I’m not putting these life coaches down, mind you. If they can get folks to part with their hard earned money, more power to them. Nevertheless, I prefer the old fashioned way of making up my own mind.
The part that really bothers me, however, is the fact that it’s made its way into today’s preaching. We used to hear sermons entitled, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” and “It’s Friday, But Sunday’s Coming.” Now you’re more likely to be fed stuff like, “Ten Ways to Improve Your Marriage” or “Three Steps to More Godly Parenting.” Self-help is good, but there’s nothing like a line-upon-line exposition of the Scripture to feed one’s soul.
A name has been given to this sort of preaching—Moralistic Therapeutic Deism. It contains a lot of good advice, but it’s missing the sovereignty of God—no authority, and even less salvation. The word, Gospel, means Good News. It doesn’t mean good advice. It’s great to pass along some good advice, but if that’s all you want to do, I suggest you become a life coach.
[Dave Zuchelli is a graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and currently resides in Aldie, VA.]