Seeking Thoughts on Setting Captives Free and The Lord’s Table Course

By January 10, 2013

Have you heard of this online Christian course? I took their course entitled “The Lord’s Table” and found it pretty helpful. But it does seem to say that eating disorders are only, or at least mainly, spiritual problems. While I agree with that generally, I also do feel that there is some evidence that one can become “addicted” to sweet tastes (and I feel I have that problem, as well). What are your thoughts on Setting Captives Free and their “The Lord’s Table”? Thank you!

Dear visitor,

First, I must tell you that I am not familiar with the program you referenced. I have known people who express that they are “addicted” to sugar. Generally, I have found that there is not necessarily a true physiological addiction to sugar but perhaps a psychological need for the taste of something sweet.

For instance, persons cutting calories may not eat appropriate intake but relish and save a sweet desert, or a diet coke, or other snack item because the comfort of that sweet taste is how they have now decided to nurture their body (versus feeding it appropriate with a range of foods). And there is a wide spectrum of events, issues and spiritual conditions that could be behind this person’s need to keep sweets as their friend, their nurturer, their safety.

I am glad to read that you apparently research and take courses that you believe may provide insight on a spiritual basis to your experience. Equally interesting is your openness to deep healing by God. It is possible you will gain something from the experience of the course. And you may learn more and receive more healing over the next few months or year.

When searching, listen inside for the gentle nudging of the Holy Spirit guiding you as well as the word God provides on any teaching or program. I am a firm believer that I do not know all the answers. And I believe God reserves mystery in who, how, when and where He heals. But we do well to seek and ask for healing that removes us from any conditions that evil would wish us to surrender to.

I realize your initial writing was feedback on a specific program. I am not able to do that. And I am aware that your concerns around sugar may be real for you. It may be very helpful to speak with a dietitian about your desires for sweets and find out whether your use of sugar is more than what would be recommended for optimal health or if you use sugar-tasting foods instead of consuming a variety of foods for your body. See “Finding a Nutritionist.”

It would seem silly for you to live with a belief that you are a person who misuses sugar or has a “sugar problem.” So, one step to experiencing freedom may be to challenge the notion that you are “addicted” and to come into full understanding of how you use food and what it does for you.

I trust God as well as licensed, good standing professionals, to be able to partner with you and assist in your healing.

Good luck!

Leanne Spencer, LPC, MAMFC, CGE

Dear Visitor,

Adding to Leanne’s thoughtful comments on “The Lord’s Table,” I’ll give you my perspective. I really like their emphasis on turning to Christ to fill the void in our lives and to meet our emotional needs–instead of food.  However, although they state that they take a non-diet approach because they don’t count calories or fat grams, I find their weekly eating plan to be too restrictive:

– 2 days during which portions are divided in half for all 3 meals
– 2 liquid days
– 2 “normal days” without overeating
– 1 fast day with only water.

I believe this does not take into account God’s design for our bodies to eat intuitively–listening to our hunger and satiety signals. It doesn’t allow for fluctuations in our activity levels and our busy lives. There is nothing magic about drinking only liquids for two days a week, but they recommend only V8 juice, which means it is a very low calorie diet for those two days. I don’t see how this encourages healthful, nourishing eating which can be a permanent lifestyle change.

I also don’t think a structured one-day fast per week for the point of losing weight is in keeping with biblical fasting–which is instead, to spend an intimate day with God and seek his direction. Those of us with a history of disordered eating are vulnerable to turning a spiritual fast into a purge.

I prefer the Thin Within book and program by Judy and Arthur Halliday. Their approach is much the same as FINDINGbalance.

I hope this helps.

Ann Capper, RD, CDN