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Counsels on Diet and Foods

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    The Relation of Diet to Morals

    Moral Pollution in Early Times

    87. The people who lived before the flood ate animal food, and gratified their lusts until their cup of iniquity was full, and God cleansed the earth of its moral pollution by a flood....CD 60.1

    Sin has prevailed since the fall. While a few have remained faithful to God, the great majority have corrupted their ways before Him. The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah was on account of their great wickedness. They gave loose rein to their intemperate appetites, then to their corrupt passions, until they were so debased, and their sins were so abominable, that their cup of iniquity was full, and they were consumed with fire from heaven.—Spiritual Gifts 4a:121, 1864CD 60.2

    88. The same sins exist in our day which brought the wrath of God upon the world in the days of Noah. Men and women now carry their eating and drinking to gluttony and drunkenness. This prevailing sin, the indulgence of perverted appetite, inflamed the passions of men in the days of Noah, and led to general corruption, until their violence and crimes reached to heaven, and God washed the earth of its moral pollution by a flood.CD 60.3

    The same sins of gluttony and drunkenness benumbed the moral sensibilities of the inhabitants of Sodom, so that crimes seemed to be the delight of the men and women of that wicked city. Christ thus warns the world: “Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; but the same day that Lot went out of Sodom, it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.”CD 60.4

    Christ has here left us a most important lesson. He does not in His teaching encourage indolence. His example was the opposite of this. Christ was an earnest worker. His life was one of self-denial, diligence, perseverance, industry, and economy. He would lay before us the danger of making eating and drinking paramount. He reveals the result of giving up to indulgence of appetite. The moral powers are enfeebled, so that sin does not appear sinful. Crimes are winked at, and base passions control the mind, until general corruption roots out good principles and impulses, and God is blasphemed. All this is the result of eating and drinking to excess. This is the very condition of things which He declares will exist at His second coming.CD 61.1

    Will men and women be warned? Will they cherish the light, or will they become slaves to appetite and base passions? Christ presents to us something higher to toil for than merely what we shall eat, and what we shall drink, and wherewithal we shall be clothed. Eating, drinking, and dressing are carried to such excess that they become crimes, and are among the marked sins of the last days, and constitute a sign of Christ's soon coming. Time, money, and strength, which are the Lord's, but which He has entrusted to us, are wasted in needless superfluities of dress, and luxuries for the perverted appetite, which lessen vitality and bring suffering and decay. It is impossible to present our bodies a living sacrifice to God, when they are filled with corruption and disease by our own sinful indulgence.—Testimonies for the Church 3:163, 164, 1873CD 61.2

    Prevailing Corruptions Due to Unrestrained Appetite

    89. Many marvel that the human race have so degenerated, physically, mentally, and morally. They do not understand that it is the violation of God's constitution and laws, and the violation of the laws of health, that has produced this sad degeneracy. The transgression of God's commandments has caused His prospering hand to be removed.CD 61.3

    Intemperance in eating and in drinking, and the indulgence of base passions, have benumbed the fine sensibilities, so that sacred things have been placed upon a level with common things.—Spiritual Gifts 4a:124, 1864CD 62.1

    90. Those who permit themselves to become slaves to a gluttonous appetite, often go still farther, and debase themselves by indulging their corrupt passions, which have become excited by intemperance in eating and in drinking. They give loose rein to their debasing passions, until health and intellect greatly suffer. The reasoning faculties are, in a great measure, destroyed by evil habits.—Spiritual Gifts 4a:131, 1864CD 62.2

    91. Irregularity in eating and drinking, and improper dressing, deprave the mind and corrupt the heart, and bring the noble attributes of the soul in slavery to the animal passions.—The Health Reformer, October, 1871CD 62.3

    92. Let none who profess godliness regard with indifference the health of the body, and flatter themselves that intemperance is no sin, and will not affect their spirituality. A close sympathy exists between the physical and the moral nature. The standard of virtue is elevated or degraded by the physical habits. Excessive eating of the best of food will produce a morbid condition of the moral feelings. And if the food is not the most healthful, the effects will be still more injurious. Any habit which does not promote healthful action in the human system, degrades the higher and nobler faculties. Wrong habits of eating and drinking lead to errors in thought and action. Indulgence of appetite strengthens the animal propensities, giving them the ascendancy over the mental and spiritual powers.CD 62.4

    “Abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul,” is the language of the apostle Peter. Many regard this warning as applicable only to the licentious; but it has a broader meaning. It guards against every injurious gratification of appetite or passion. It is a most forcible warning against the use of such stimulants and narcotics as tea, coffee, tobacco, alcohol, and morphine. These indulgences may well be classed among the lusts that exert a pernicious influence upon moral character. The earlier these hurtful habits are formed, the more firmly will they hold their victim in slavery to lust, and the more certainly will they lower the standard of spirituality.—The Review and Herald, January 25, 1881CD 62.5

    93. You need to exercise temperance in all things. Cultivate the higher powers of the mind, and there will be less strength of growth of the animal. It is impossible for you to increase in spiritual strength while your appetite and passions are not under perfect control. Says the inspired apostle, “I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection; lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”CD 63.1

    My brother, arouse yourself, I pray you, and let the work of the Spirit of God reach deeper than the external; let it reach down to the deep springs of every action. It is principle that is wanted, firm principle, and vigor of action in spiritual as well as temporal things. Your efforts lack earnestness. Oh, how many are low in the scale of spirituality, because they will not deny their appetite! The brain nerve energy is benumbed and almost paralyzed by overeating. When such go to the house of God upon the Sabbath, they cannot hold their eyes open. The most earnest appeals fail to arouse their leaden, insensible intellects. The truth may be presented with deep feeling; but it does not awaken the moral sensibilities, or enlighten the understanding. Have such studied to glorify God in all things?—Testimonies for the Church 2:413, 414, 1870CD 63.2

    Influence of a Simple Diet

    94. If all who profess to obey the law of God were free from iniquity, my soul would be relieved; but they are not. Even some who profess to keep all the commandments of God are guilty of the sin of adultery. What can I say to arouse their benumbed sensibilities? Moral principle, strictly carried out, becomes the only safeguard of the soul. If ever there was a time when the diet should be of the most simple kind, it is now. Meat should not be placed before our children. Its influence is to excite and strengthen the lower passions, and has a tendency to deaden the moral powers. Grains and fruits prepared free from grease, and in as natural a condition as possible, should be the food for the tables of all who claim to be preparing for translation to heaven. The less feverish the diet, the more easily can the passions be controlled. Gratification of taste should not be consulted irrespective of physical, intellectual, or moral health.CD 63.3

    Indulgence of the baser passions will lead very many to shut their eyes to the light; for they fear that they will see sins which they are unwilling to forsake. All may see if they will. If they choose darkness rather than light, their criminality will be none the less. Why do not men and women read, and become intelligent upon these things, which so decidedly affect their physical, intellectual, and moral strength? God has given you a habitation to care for, and preserve in the best condition for His service and glory.—Testimonies for the Church 2:352, 1869CD 64.1

    Temperance an Aid to Moral Control

    95. Your food is not of that simple, healthful quality which will make the best kind of blood. Foul blood will surely becloud the moral and intellectual powers, and arouse and strengthen the baser passions of your nature. Neither of you can afford a feverish diet; for it is at the expense of the health of the body, and the prosperity of your own souls and the souls of your children.CD 64.2

    You place upon your table food which taxes the digestive organs, excites the animal passions, and weakens the moral and intellectual faculties. Rich food and flesh meats are no benefit to you....CD 64.3

    I entreat you, for Christ's sake, to set your house and hearts in order. Let the truth of heavenly origin elevate and sanctify you, soul, body, and spirit. ‘Abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.” Brother G, your eating has a tendency to strengthen the baser passions. You do not control your body as it is your duty to do in order to perfect holiness in the fear of God. Temperance in eating must be practiced before you can be a patient man.—Testimonies for the Church 2:404, 405, 1870CD 64.4

    96. The world should be no criterion for us. It is fashionable to indulge the appetite in luxurious food and unnatural stimulus, thus strengthening the animal propensities, and crippling the growth and development of the moral faculties. There is no encouragement given to any of the sons or daughters of Adam that they may become victorious overcomers in the Christian warfare unless they decide to practice temperance in all things. If they do this, they will not fight as one that beateth the air.CD 65.1

    If Christians will keep the body in subjection, and bring all their appetites and passions under the control of enlightened conscience, feeling it a duty that they owe to God and to their neighbors to obey the laws which govern health and life, they will have the blessing of physical and mental vigor. They will have moral power to engage in the warfare against Satan; and in the name of Him who conquered appetite in their behalf, they may be more than conquerors on their own account. This warfare is open to all who will engage in it.—Testimonies for the Church 4:35, 36, 1876CD 65.2

    [Effect of Flesh Diet on Moral Power—658, 683, 684, 685, 686, 687]

    [The Country Home—Its Relation to Diet and Morals—711]

    [Lack of Moral Power Due to Indulgence of Children in Eating and Drinking—347]

    [Foods That Cause Irritability and Nervousness—556, 558, 562, 574]

    [Indulged Appetite Enfeebles Moral Powers—231]

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