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How Many Churches Promote a Healthy Lifestyle?

Cleone Reed

 Cal Samra's book, The Physically Fit Messiah: Wellness Wisdom PAST and PRESENT, gets great feedback from everyone who reads it, often critical, not of the book but of the people in our society who don't heed the wisdom in this book... or promote it as he thinks they should. Here is an email Cal just received from Andy Fisher, former senior writer for NBC TV's "Today Show" and a consulting editor to The Joyful Noiseletter:

It's a great book, calling on Christians to eat right, exercise, laugh, and spread the word. It would be good if pastors would preach The Physically Fit Messiah from the pulpit, but too many of them are out of shape themselves. The vicar general in one Catholic Diocese is so overweight he requires a wheelchair. Turn on the TV, and there's a prominent evangelical Protestant TV personality, morbidly obese. Both of our presidential candidates are out of shape.
My next-door neighbor, friend, and best man walks around the lake with me three mornings a week. A year and a half ago, he weighed in at 343 pounds. He's down to 280, and aiming for 223. His wife and daughter also need to lose substantial amounts of weight, and I hope they can profit by his example.
I am blessed with a wife who has always been very conscious of the importance of fitness, and has encouraged me to get back to an ideal weight of 160. She was delighted by your book!

Then there is this awesome article: Churches must promote good health habits, humor, author says in The Visitor.

Excerpts from this review by David Gibson of Catholic News Service:

...After pointing out that churches sometimes are called “hospitals for the sick,” Samra asks: “If that is so, isn’t it the responsibility of churches to teach people how to live a healthy lifestyle?”

In chapter after chapter, the author highlights religious leaders throughout history who assumed roles in promoting the building blocks of good health.

... Samra’s... challenges churches, asking if they “have neglected Christendom’s centuries-old commitment” to health and downplayed “Jesus’ reputation as ‘the Great Physician,’ who spent many of his days on earth healing people and teaching them healthy lifestyles.”

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