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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Real Food and Religion series: Lutheran meets Seventh-day Adventist

Our guest blogger for today is Meg Dickey. Her blog is about Godly living, health/ nutrition and children.
My name is Meg Dickey.  I am the wife and helpmeet to my husband, Brian.  We are the proud parents of three beautiful children, aged 4, 2, and 3 months.  I am happy to stay at home and minister to our family.   I blog at Cracking an Egg with One Hand. You are welcome to browse our family’s menu plans, and my Titus 2 Thursday posts, where I pass along articles that give encouragement to wives and mothers.
            When my husband and I first began dating, my parents expressed the belief that our married religious experience was going to end up like a bad joke – “A Lutheran marries a Seventh-day Adventist…” Exactly where do you go with that?  As the years of our marriage have passed, we’ve navigated our way through with much prayer, fasting, and sincere desire to worship our Lord.  We attend the children’s service on Saturday mornings at the Adventist church, and then attend the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran church for services on Sunday morning.  It’s convoluted, but it works, and gives us a completely different mindset for the entire weekend, rather than just “church time”.
            One of the biggest differences we first noticed in our respective religions is the Seventh-day Adventist approach to food & eating.  It is a predominantly vegetarian/vegan lifestyle (which I was raised on).  After our marriage, in attempt to conjoin the bacon-loving Lutheran and the soy-loving vegetarian, we began actively seeking God’s guidance for our eating habits/choices.  Through our study of the Scriptures, we felt that there was no real command, or even suggestion that vegetarianism was “best”.  We did find, however, that there are specific commands for what types of meat are “best” for God’s people – a way to set themselves apart from the world in all things, be it eating, drinking, or manner of dress.  We also began to delve deeper into how we wanted to approach health in light of a soy allergy (in our oldest son), a dairy allergy (in our second son and myself), and a genuine desire to eat, live, and feel better.
            We chose to eliminate all pork products, soy, and most pasteurized dairy products.  We were blessed enough to discover that raw dairy does not affect our son or myself, so we drink plenty of raw goat’s milk from our own goats. 
            I find it slightly amusing that the other two things we chose to eliminate from our diets (pork/soy) are hardest to avoid in the respective churches – when we attend potlucks at the Adventist church we are greatly limited by the soy products, while at the Lutheran church, we are usually hard pressed to find something that does not contain pork.  Food is such an integral part of fellowshipping with other believers – potlucks are the most definitive example of this, although there is also a “coffee break” after service at the Lutheran church, which usually contains several items of the “high sugar” variety… something else we strive to limit in our children.  My husband and I try to be vigilant with our family’s food goals, but we are careful to never allow it to become a stumbling block, in either our lives or those around us. 
            We have learned over the years to base our choices in life, whether it be regarding food, dress, raising children, or any other thing, to base our decisions on the Word of God, and not on what the “latest research” might say.  My husband is fond of quoting Isaiah 40:8 [“the word of the LORD endures forever”] to me when I’m showing him an article on a new fad, or new approach to something – a constant reminder that I should balance everything with the word of God before considering how to apply it to our family.  It keeps not only myself in check, but it inspires me to dig deeper into the Word.  And really, isn’t that what our greatest aspiration should be? :)

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