For several years my father worked with several people who were trying to overcome alcohol addiction. Not only were these people fighting their inner demons, they were continually bombarded by “friends” to join in drinking parties. Time after time, they succumbed. The remorse was always genuine, but the strength to resist the inside/outside double-barreled assault was often not sufficient; the conspiracy of friends too overwhelming.
Recently my nephew and his family committed to abandon the western food culture of processed and packaged foods, with its heavy reliance on meat, dairy, salt, fat, and sugar. They took their own natural, nutrient-dense food to a huge church encampment and experienced both curiosity and criticism for being different and for rejecting the local church-approved/-provided menu.
I have already written about our distressing food addictions.* Despite our Word of Wisdom, too many of us perpetually dine at the tables of Babylon. And are mad as hoppers at the charge. We cling to our addictions and are offended when others comment. (Holier than thou, eh?!)
We not only feed, but love our addictions and claim that science has proven “so-called” toxic ingredients as safe, as we blissfully ignore/reject all contradictory science. We go to Church dinners & suppers, encampments, reunions, cafeterias, campuses, etc. that are meat-heavy, jello-laden, soda-loaded, and dessert-saturated. (Not to mention the bliss-points of BYU candy-central.)
How long will the food sins (and addictions) of the fathers and mothers (and other saboteurs) be passed on to unsuspecting children—so they can pass them on in turn? How déjà vu world history!
How déjà vu former days when the children of Israel (all Twelve Tribes) went after the gods of their neighbors! How déjà vu when those who become peculiar to the culture soon become men and women of strife and contention because they don’t conform. Shades of Jesus? of Jeremiah, etc.?
Woe is me, my mother, that thou hast borne me a man of strife and a man of contention to the whole earth! I have neither lent on usury, nor men have lent to me on usury; yet every one of them doth curse me. (Old Testament Jeremiah 15:9-10)How many repentant sinners have been made to feel unacceptably peculiar—becoming unintended agents of strife and contention—in the house of friends and Church family? From my observations, most of us (including myself) have become too casual about God’s justice AND mercy in our rush to satisfy addictions and to conform to the norm. What is it we don’t get about:
For I the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance; (Doctrine and Covenants Section 1:31; see also Alma 45:16)?So, if “a man's enemies are the men [and women] of his own house,” where do we turn for support?
Therefore I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me. Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me. I will bear the indignation of the LORD, because I have sinned against him, until he plead my cause, and execute judgment for me: he will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold his righteousness. (Old Testament Micah 7:6-9)So when we see contrarians to our culture, let us not be too quick to judge. Maybe they are just looking for the light that has gone dim in our own house?