Why Christians Should Care About Fitness

Why Christians Should Care About Fitness


– [Jeremy Treat] Well,
when it comes to fitness, sports, I’m going to defer to Dr. Thoennes here
because when I was a student at Biola University I would play intramural
football and you would play intramural football and he would school all the
youngsters. So you clearly must have thought a little
bit about fitness, sports, in the
life of a Christian. – [Erik Thoennes] Well,
that was a long time ago. And I think definitely a Christian should
take fitness seriously because our bodies are these incredible gifts from God that
are masterfully designed. Just the human hands, just
the way the body works is a tremendous gift and we are embodied souls and the
resurrected state will be embodied. And so we can’t slip into a mentality that
overvalues the soul or the spirit or the immaterial over against the material or
the physical. We need to realize that there’s a holistic
view biblically of human beings as body and soul and so we need to care for our
bodies and our souls and also realize that those two work together,
that often the health of your body has an effect
on your soul. The Psalms talk about that. Proverbs talk about the effects,
the relationship between body and soul. So if we don’t take care of ourselves
physically it can have spiritual, emotional, physical effects on us,
even relational and practical effects. You just can’t do certain things,
go for hikes with your family, play with your kids,
do the sorts of things you can. I was thankful that I was able as a young
professor to play sports with the students because
that had a social, relational bonding effect so I was very
thankful for that. And, yeah. To steward our incredible gift of our
physical bodies I think is expectations Christians should
have on themselves. – [Jeremy Treat] Yeah. I feel like for me, personally,
I’ve wrestled with this question throughout my life because I grew up
loving sports, loving fitness, but I felt this tension between my love
for basketball and my love for Jesus. And I felt like
I was given categories from the church that didn’t
help resolve those at all. It was one or the other and often times
what I was doing with basketball, it didn’t matter to God or so I perceived
unless I used it for spiritual purposes to share the Gospel with people on the
court or to win a championship and thank God
after the game. And now I look back on that and I think in
a lot of ways I was working with a sacred-secular divide that didn’t value
the place of the body and only saw the soul and this idea that God cares about
spiritual things and not other things. So for me when I look at the doctrine of
creation, you know, you open up to the opening chapters of the Bible and you see
God creating everything good, not only in the spiritual
and physical but even the dynamic of creativity and developing
and all of that. So for me, I feel like I’ve grown to
appreciate sports whether that’s shooting around with a basketball, doing gymnastics
in the front yard with my kids. But there’s a tension in that as well
because it can quickly veer the opposite way which I think we see in our
culture a lot with fitness and sports. – [Erik Thoennes] You have to wonder even,
I was just thinking if even the question of whether or not we should take fitness
seriously is a pretty modern question. I bet for all of human history,
going out and doing something in addition to bringing the crops in and doing all the
manual labor people would do that would naturally
to keep themselves fit. Now, it has to become a separate category
to stay fit when it just was a part of natural life for most people very often
but it is. It’s reality. We can be incredibly sedentary. Our lifestyles allow us to be sedentary
and so to realize our bodies were made to be used and God has given us the gift
of being able to do that and to steward it and to not have a sacred-secular
perspective on these things. Obviously,
we can be inordinately concerned about our appearance
and I think that’s an important distinction,
that our appearance cannot be what’s driving it but
stewarding the gift God has given us has to be
the main thing we’re about. – [Jeremy Treat] Yeah. I think the point about cultures is
interesting because even fitness and beauty and health in our culture gets
defined in some ways by
this unrealistic standard. I mean, LeBron James says he spends a
million dollars a year on his body, right? So to aspire to that… – [Erik Thoennes] It’s a good investment
for him. – [Jeremy Treat] For the time,
the resources, the expertise around him. I mean, you think of how different it is
for us and how we think of
stewarding our bodies. But let me ask you this,
if we think that fitness can be a good thing and is meant to be a good thing in
sports, how do you see the idolatry of that
then playing out? If an idol is taking a good thing
and making it an ultimate thing how do you see that
playing out in our culture? – [Erik Thoennes] Well, one is being
driven in our efforts at what we call fitness but it’s really just an
impression, an appearance that we’re trying to give to people of youthfulness
which is an idol in our culture of an appearance that is impressive in
some ways. Talk about something that’s affected
ministry in really troubling ways is such an
importance on appearance. And so, again, that can be idolatrous but
to put an inordinate amount of time on something, even fitness,
whatever it is can be out of control if we don’t keep it in perspective and realize
that our bodies are wasting away. And it’s tragic to see guys my age
clinging to anything that represents their youthful vigor when the outer man is
wasting away and hopefully the inner man is growing stronger
in the midst of that. – [Jeremy Treat] Yeah. I feel like for me growing up I definitely
saw how fitness and sports became an idol. And I wasn’t self-aware enough to see it
but wanting to find my identity and success, wanting to build my community
around that. And so for the athlete or for someone who
is very involved in fitness it’s not that different that than different realms in
life, that the Gospel isn’t into that, that I find my identity in Christ,
that I care whether I win or lose but that doesn’t crush me or build my whole life
around that. So I think the Gospel gives us a whole new
framework for thinking about fitness where it restores us to a place of seeing our
bodies as a gift from God that we’re called to steward
but not as an idol that we’re ultimately going to find
our identity in. – [Erik Thoennes] Amen. Amen.

30 comments on “Why Christians Should Care About Fitness

  1. Jonathan Grandt Post author

    The best workout is to be out working. If you just get up off your butt and work hard you won’t have to be worrying about how hard your butt isn’t.

    Reply
  2. Gloria P. Post author

    I definitely care about fitness and how I look. It's hard to not focus on the appearance part when you want to be in the best shape of your life.

    Reply
  3. D Muolo Post author

    I know a lot of Christians who don't value fitness, and consequently, it negatively affects their relationship with God and people.

    Reply
  4. jessy jonas Post author

    " for bodily exercise profits very little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come" 1 Timothy 4:8. Everything should be done in moderation. Like anything else the motive behind what we do is the issue. Why am I doing what I am doing? What is the state of my heart? Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, all thy soul, with all your mind, all thy strength. Deuteronomy 6:4, Mark 12:30. 🙏

    Reply
  5. GRACE is my GOOD WORKS Post author

    It is vile and pukeworthy how the sons of the devil speak of their temple of Satan.

    Reply
  6. GRACE is my GOOD WORKS Post author

    Modern churches are self help centers for antichrists needing everything from fitness and self care to assurance in self justification.

    Reply
  7. Michael Barton Post author

    Thanks for a great video. I appreciate how you covered both sides, stewardship and idolatry. I was never much into fitness until I was told it's importance for mental and emotional health.

    Now that it's part of my life I am grateful for what it's taught me overall about discipline. I believe that mastering my body and learning how to deal with the smaller pains of exercise has taught me how to deal with the way my body rebels against other disciplines like fasting or praying for any length of time.

    Reply
  8. Bob Taylor Post author

    I guess you'll just have to excuse those of us who have been disabled for 90% of our lives. Joni Eareckson Tada is so much more bracing in her teaching because she understands that God uses our bodily weaknesses to draw us to Him, and to remind us continuously of our absolute dependence on Him. This was a seven minute waste of video.

    Reply
  9. Timothy Kim Post author

    I would like to have seen the conversation more balanced; one side arguing the significance of dieting and the other donuts and frappuccinos.

    Reply
  10. GRACE is my GOOD WORKS Post author

    If your flesh is your temple, you worship in the temple of Satan. If you’re a member of the body of Christ, the temple of God is the perfect body God provided as a Gift for you. Offer your Body from God—Christ—as your living sacrifice to God if you believe Christ is the Sacrifice and if you believe Christ is Alive.

    Reply
  11. Zacharofsky Post author

    If a good god exists and he spends even a modicum of time listening to and acting on prayers to win a game, wouldn’t that seem silly in light of true need? How many children are too malnourished and/or sick to even standup, much less exercise? Otherwise, yeah don’t waste the one life we know we have, and help others do the same.

    Reply
  12. Lee Pretorius Post author

    Good points but I think you may be wrong on training for purely aesthetic reasons.

    If you look at traditional bodybuilding before the advent of steroids it’s very clear that they were trying to achieve golden ratio proportions which is a divine ratio found in all of reality.

    This can be a noble and godly achievement for the human proportions.

    Today this is lost simply because of the perverted state of bodybuilding.

    However this ratio is somewhat achievable in all men and has intrinsic value.

    Otherwise only ball sports and racing sports are valid pursuits for Christians.

    Bodybuilding has an artistic expressive component that needs no further justification.

    Reply
  13. robraver Post author

    sounds like 7th day adventist stuff, they are into keep fit and eating healthy. Not that these things are bad, but didnt Jesus teach about how we should look after one another…and not steal, commit adultery etc etc?

    Reply
  14. Jenna Caruthers Post author

    "Christians" should care about what they shove into their mouths that isn't food. They think erroneously that toxic waste disposal units, aka unclean meats, are "food" just because they can serve them up on their plate. Somehow their guy "Jesus" waved a magic wand and made those things edible–and not poisonous. Uh-huh. You can work out every day and Sunday (Which I'm sure "Christians" do since even their own "sabbath" means nothing to them) and it won't help if you are stuffing your body full of toxic wastes.

    Reply
  15. Holley Johnson Post author

    Your body houses your spirit and is the vehicle by which we experience this life. It's a marvelous gift from God and should be treated as such.

    Reply
  16. randomuser Post author

    VERY important to stay fit and healthy. We are not made to be fat slobs. Working out is like brushing your teeth. It HAS to be done. It's a priority and a responsibility. All you need is at least 30 min a day of excersice . If you're trying to burn fat, don't take 15 min walks and say you worked out. Go out there and sweat!!! Get your heart rate raised.

    Reply
  17. 1thess523 Post author

    If you've never gotten fat then you don't understand how important it is to be in good healthy shape! I was in good physical shape all my earlier life and i was weighing between 145-155 from middle school up till about 3 yrs afterwards when I started working a busy job, got married and had a son coming along plus my wife was an awesome cook. I wasn't able to keep active anymore and i used to play sports, skateboard, roller blade, mountain bike, and olay in a band so i blew up to 200 lbs for 4 yrs and i was miserable not because i wanted to look "good" but because the extra weight is physically draining and u comfortable, I lost 53 lbs and felt great for about 14 yrs and then I got careless and blew up again 😔. I've recently lost at least 20lbs and feel better but not where I should be and at 44 yrs old it's a lot harder because i can't run like i used to so the process is a lot slower 😭. Now don't get me wrong I'm not a "body worshipper" I just know what it's like to get fat then lose it and get fat again and believe me I would rather have not gotten fat!

    Reply
  18. Brandon Blanton Post author

    yea this was a very balanced video. i feel like God is saying thru these brothers that it’s about communion & community; communion in the sense that we glorify God by taking care of ourselves in a reasonable way as well we get to enjoy God and the goodness of the gifts & things He’s created and given to us. (joyful stewardship) it’s community in the sense that we get to fellowship and deepen our relationships with other believers through activities & shared hobbies, as well as strive to fulfill the great commission when we engage with unbelievers who share a similar interest; in hopes that the lost will hear the gospel and come to faith in Christ.

    Reply
  19. JFM JRKM Post author

    Stay strong, our children should try and keep up with us(parents) rather than trying to keep up with them.(no laziness or idleness)..stay fit for the fam, stay fit and Worship the Lord with your bodies
    1 Corinthians 6:19-20

    Reply
  20. ToddGantt Post author

    Bottom line is — do both. Pursue Godliness and spiritual growth and pursue physical health and well being No need to just do one. Unless you are being lazy.

    Reply

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