Tuesday, July 17, 2007

A Weight Loss Cult?

It's called the Weigh Down Workshop and since 1986 it has been held in over 30,000 locations around the world. Even more remarkable is the fact that out of this God based diet has grown an actual evangelical church.

I'll get back to the church in a moment, but first let me help you with the question, "How will God help me lose weight?"

Well according to the Weigh Down website,

"God is broken hearted over the fact that so many of His children have learned to run to the food instead of to Him for comfort, companionship, and acceptance."

"God does not care about what we eat, so we should no longer feel self-righteous about following any man-made rules. Instead, what God cares about is how much we eat; He cares very much about - and is displeased with - overindulgence."

"Typical diets have not worked because everyone is using man-made rules instead of God’s rules. God has never asked anyone to eat food off of a list, count fat exchanges, or take an appetite suppressant! Weigh Down doesn’t have any of those things. What we DO have is a future-a future to be filled and fulfilled. Hunger will be filled and appetites will be under control, given to God
Ok, a little weird that these folks feel that God cares how much I eat, but to ask God to help them with weight loss, what's wrong with that?


Interestingly however, the Weigh Down Workshop actually spawned a church called the Remnant Fellowship (130 worldwide and growing) and on the Remnant Fellowship website they describe the role of the Weigh Down workshop as,
"The Weigh Down Workshop Productions creates the Bible material for its members and is the evangelistic arm to these Churches that are now scattered across the USA, Canada, Europe and Australia."
Now I'm no cult expert, but Rick Ross is and The Rick Ross Institute has a collection of articles regarding the Remanant Fellowship including some which detail how the church apparently teaches that over eaters court eternal damnation.

Oh, and did I mention that the Church was featured prominently in the beating death of an 8 year old by two of its members? Apparently the Church is a big fan of corporal punishment for children. They funded the defense of the two parishioners Joseph and Sonya Smith who were each given life plus 30 years for the death of their son who prosecutors said was kept locked in a wooden box and confined to a closet for hours at a time before he died in October 2003 from a blow to the head. The Church has stuck by the convicted parents and have set up a website to help pay for their appeal.

So let me get this straight, their version of God hates over eaters and damns them to an eternity burning in the fires hell but has a soft spot for child abuse?

I think I like my version better.