Weigh Down Workshop I

I got an e-mail the other night from a friend, and I debated bringing the topic here… I didn’t want her to think I’d just take her concerns and splatter them across Xanga… but it’s something that bothered me, and that’s what I have this thing for – to talk about things that bother me ((and then some!!))  So without divulging information that might hurt her, I’m gonna talk about this topic.  Because if it was eye-opening to me, it’s bound to be eye-opening to you.

The girl who contacted me was involved with a “Christian weight loss” program called the Weigh Down Workshop.  I’d heard of it, but I didn’t know anything about it.  She said that she was concerned, because she’d read that the founder denounced the Trinity and there was a big scandal surrounding her program.  The questions put to me were:  What is your general feeling about the Trinity?  What is your Biblical knowledge of the Trinity?   Is it possible to take some pieces of a ministry and leave the rest without getting wrapped up in false doctrine?

Well you know me… I dove in headfirst.  And this is what I found out about the Weigh Down Workshop(WDW):
Gwen Shamblin developed this program.  It became a huge seller, with workshops all over the world.  Then colleges had issues with the program, because the students are just kids – their bodies aren’t handling it well because they are still transitioning into adults.  Several campuses prohibited the program, stating that it’s not good, because it doesn’t teach self-control, it teaches “eat what you want, do what you want”… and that’s not what the Bible says.  ((Scripture advocates self-control and moderation)).  Christian Nutritionalists came forward to state that in WDW, exercise is put on the back burner, caring about the vitamins/minerals our bodies need is downplayed, and it’s potentially dangerous.  Other Christian programs are compared and , as one source puts it, “Gwen Shamblin is saying…. Eat your chocolate, eat your ice cream. The people in her testimonials may be losing weight, but is it healthy? Is it proper? Is it disciplined? I don’t think so.”   Gwen seethes.
Then she comes out with this letter to her devotees in 2000.  In it she says: …I have led people to bow down to no other than the One True God of the Universe through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior….There is no reference in the Bible to the word “Trinity”… I believe that Jesus and God are two separate beings…. I believe that the God of Jesus is God the Father. Jesus is not God the Father… 
Which triggers an article published in the Wall Street Journal stating that since the publication of her letter thousands of churches have dropped her Weigh Down program. She has also invited people to her Remnant Fellowship church, a church started by herself and her husband. ((How suspicious is that?!?))  The Wall Street Journal reports that “four former employees filed a religious-discrimination lawsuit against her company, alleging that they were fired for refusing to embrace Mrs. Shamblin’s theological views and to attend her church.”   Also, to their credit, Thomas Nelson Publishers cancelled her book contract with them because of her denial of the Trinity. 
And then, as if that isn’t enough, she begins a Remnant” crusade, trying to get people to leave their churches (she calls them Babylon) and join hers (which she calls Jerusalem).  Her church believes that Jesus is not God, therefore our sins are paid for by someone less than God ((heresy!!)) and that we are called to work our way to heaven, even unto keeping ourselves “thin” to please God.
Next she sends out an e-mail (December 2000) telling her followers that God has chosen her to lead His true followers into sinless perfection and that anyone who follows her must separate from all others calling themselves Christians.  ((How whacked is that?!?)) And she dismisses all churches and religious organizations that don’t agree with her as “cults” and “cult leaders”.

So what are we seeing here?  We’re seeing a woman who has first started a “Christian health movement” (that has little to do with health at all)… then slowly begins to deviate from Biblical truth… then moves away from the church… then creates her own church… then coaxes people away from the Bible-based community… then begins a slow attack on the true church, proclaiming herself a ((self-appointed)) prophet and declaring anyone who doesn’t agree with her way a “cult leader”.   

A true cult (as accepted by the church) is any religion that does not adhere to core Biblical principles.  Including the concept of a three-in-one Godhead, an immaculate conception of the sinless Lamb who takes away our sins, on a cross by grace and thru faith alone.  The principles behind WDW state that there is no three-in-one Godhead, that although Christ died on the cross for our sins, we have to do works to be saved, and that includes keeping pounds off in an act of devotion to God, or we’re sinners bound for judgment.  It’s WRONG… and this is cult-behavior to a tee.  Moving slowly into the fold, luring sheep away from the truth.

So can we take the good from something like this and leave the bad?  I look at it like this… if you see a fruit, and it smells good and looks good but when you cut it open, you see it has worms in it… why would you want to eat it?  It’s still bad.  And if you ‘go there’, you’re probably still gonna get a bite of a worm, even if you’re careful. And honestly – what would God say if you saw something that denied His truth, and moved towards it – even just a step – knowing full-well what it is?

Here are some alternatives if anyone wants a “Christian” program.  I haven’t researched them, but it’s just to let you know that they’re out there, available:
First Place 
The Halleluiah Diet

Message board for WDW alternatives

… And what about the Trinity…?
… Is there such a thing?  What does the Bible say…?
… to be continued…

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