In which I step briefly onto my soapbox

*This post has been edited to remove a word that was causing offense to too many. I asked you to push back on me and you did. It’s not offensive to me personally, but quite frankly it’s not worth fighting for. I stand corrected.


Dear people,

Could we all please stop kidding* each other by claiming that X has solved all of our problems?

Let me tell you something. There is nothing you can eat [gluten free] or drink [oxygenated water] or blend [Plexus] or otherwise imbibe [marijuana] that will heal the broken places of your world.

This power belongs only to Jesus Christ.

Stop telling me that if we moved illegal immigrants out of America we’d have the perfect nation. Stop telling me that if I ate carbs and proteins separately I could have the perfect body. Stop telling me that if I got my hormones in line I’d feel like a million bucks forever.

It’s just not true. No matter how worthwhile a cause or product is in itself, it’s simply not making your life complete.

You and I live with broken bodies in an imperfect world.

End of story.

Please consider the gospel you preach. There is no cure for human suffering except the one found in the person of Jesus and His final redemption. It’s coming, folks. Wait for it. And don’t confuse it with the next political bill or diet book—

Love as always,

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8 years ago

Except LSD. It really works. Seriously.

8 years ago
Reply to  The Boss

I’m confused. Are you referring to the hallucinogenic drug LSD, which has led to the death of many a person? I’m hoping I am misunderstanding, as I was greatly troubled to read this comment.

8 years ago
Reply to  Questioning

No, you cannot be misunderstanding, as there is no way anyone can possibly be sarcastic. Also, please note the info available at the following link, which cannot possibly be correct.

8 years ago

Thank you!

Suzi Weaver
8 years ago

The truth totally! Did you just take the words out of my head and put them on paper?!! Thank you for being honest and blunt!

8 years ago

Amen, sister.

Finally. A voice of reason.

The longer I live (now that sounds like I’m old) the more I’m convinced of how little I know. And how little anyone else knows. And how foolish it is for me to tell you how to solve your problems. Or vice versa.

But if you are going to tell me about Jesus. Then I want to listen hard with both ears.

8 years ago

I’m with you here, Shari. Totally. But I have dear friends who love some of these products/ideas and those people will be dear to me always. But you were going to say that in your next post. 😉 Jolynn

8 years ago
Reply to  jkschmucker

Yes, that’s right. 🙂 Thanks, Jolynn.

I do want to clarify that I see some of the things I named as “worthwhile” myself. I am not objecting to products, but to the evangelical ways we are talking about them.


But why oh why do you feel like it adds strength to the message to play around with words that our parents used to wash their children’s mouths out when they used them!!!! It weakens the message, sister!

Mary Yoder ….. Mrs Coonskin Merle

8 years ago

You are brave to speak up and I thank you. They are not words for children, and rarely for adults either. I took your husband’s rebuke to heart and did not use a one on this site for months and months. Now I have used my allotted one for the year and will abstain again.

I don’t feel they are to be avoided on every occasion, though I may be in the wrong. The Apostle Paul called a few things dung himself, without even abbreviating it. But only if they were truly worthy of the label (which is where I sometimes get in trouble). I hate causing offense, and thank you for raising the issue.

8 years ago
Reply to  Shari

“they are words not meant for children” . Is it fair to say I’m hoping my daughter doesn’t read this post?

8 years ago

can i share this? powerful message, thanks!

8 years ago

I don’t appreciate the idea either that one product has the capacity to change our lives to the fullest extent. I actually had a similar aversion when i was unable to admit to myself that ppl were offering these things out of their experience, and i just didn’t have the energy or commitment to try it or research it for myself, so i lumped them all together as a confused bunch. Truly i think there are ppl out there like you are describing.But then there also the ones who don’t believe this is a cure for all evils but actually are willing to challenge their own habits and mine in hopes that we can do ourselves a favor in feeling better or healthier. I like what Jolynn said. Some of these ppl are our friends. I can hear their heart and story or i can lump them all together. That’s my challenge to myself as i read your post. And i wonder, does what i live and portray of Jesus and redemption have the same amount of convincing power than these hypes do?

Brenda Troyer
8 years ago

I read this three times before I found the key word “Complete.” If I am reading you correctly, you are saying that no one product is the answer outside of Jesus Christ. I share your passion but am uncomfortable with the reaction I sense.

8 years ago

I see your point. And yet. After years of really awful winters full of bronchitis and SAD, I am now breathing and functional. Part of me wants to shout it to the world. How much can I share without sounding like my solutions are Jesus in a pill bottle? Do I have an obligation to share at least a little bit so someone else might be helped? Just curious where the tipping point is for you. I think for me it’s after the third exclamation mark.

8 years ago
Reply to  Shari Zook

Thanks for clarifying. And I really like the term “courteous evangelism.” It says it well.

Mim Yoder
8 years ago

I think you need to watch how hard you come down on people using products for health reasons. A person could get the impression from what you wrote that if they have health issues it’s a spiritual problem. I’m sure that people who use products like you mentioned would say it’s not a cure all…but if it makes them feel better…go for it! Also, if people go on and on about how good a product is or how it makes them feel, etc., they have the liberty to do that…we’re not required to read it. We probably each have or do something that is irritating to others but where does love come in? Also, using the term “BS-ing” should never be in a Christian’s vocabulary!

Joanna Yoder
8 years ago

Oooo, you’ve opened a can of worms now! 😉
I’m going to keep reading…my brain is too foggy tonight to talk/type sensibly.

8 years ago

I had to laugh when I read this. I totally get it.

And I like your colorful use of language. You say things publicly that I would think or maybe whisper to choice people. 😀 Love it! I enjoy the variety of subjects you dip into on your blog.

In other words, I think both you and your writing totally delightful.

8 years ago
Reply to  Rosina

I will also add that word usage does change over time. Obviously, some things are always bad. But, for instance, when I grew up, “poop” was a naughty word. Now, “poop” is a perfectly normal way of talking about, well…poop. So what seems offensive to some people may not feel dirty to the person using it. I must confess, though, that I am partial to honesty above propriety.

8 years ago

I love it! You took the words out of my mouth. . .I often wonder why so many Christian people fall for so much BS. 🙂 Whatever you do, do not feel like you have to follow up with an apology post because of some criticism, either because of your opinions or the words you used. 🙂

8 years ago

Very Good!!
Obviously hit a nerve with this one.
That indicates it was a necessary post.
Strongly approve of the “BS-ing” Glad nurse used it because I was going to if no one else did. Words have multiple meanings people. This one refers to intentionally obscuring the truth.
Thank you Shari!

8 years ago

I’m shocked at the language used seeing that we train our children not to talk that way or read things with such languageso why should I???

8 years ago

While you have a point and there is nothing that can heal everything there are things that can def help us a lot. Sometimes it’s easier to deny that because it would take much effort and commitment to follow through with doing whatever it is someone is talking about. Like taking a product which helps the depression that haunts one. Or separating carbs and proteins ( Trim Healthy Mama) . But my testimony is that separating carbs n fats along with the rest of THM has allowed me to lose 50 pounds in ten months even tho I was not 100% committed the entire time. And my hormones to function properly like they haven’t in ten years. Why would I not share this with others who are struggling with the same issues? And share it with those who say….how did you do it? I would never desire to return to the way I was. Yes, Jesus heals our hearts but there are many different things that can help to heal our bodies. So while there might be some things that fall into the category of the word you felt you needed to use…please don’t lump everything into the same boat. I enjoy reading your blogs but this time I needed to stand on my soapbox as well…

8 years ago
Reply to  truthseeker

Just what I was thinking.

Gloria Croutch
8 years ago

I understand where you are coming from Shari – I am the first to be disgusted by telemarketers and people who are too pushy with their products. So I’m with you that I get tired of people pushing their stuff in a manner that says, “this will solve all of your problems”.

However, after fighting at times debilitating depression off and on and to greater and lesser degrees for 14 years ~ God has given us a cure! I struggled through some very dark days, we abbreviated the size of the family we dreamed of, I couldn’t participate in life as I dreamed I would. Many years of pain and struggle. Many years of praying for the answer – counseling, seminars, Dr’s, pills, blood tests and on and on…. And then finally Jesus gave direction to see a more natural Dr – still and MD behind his name but a little more open minded. He did testing and found that my hormones were WAY, WAY, WAY off! He explained why I have felt like I did for all these years. I cried with relief! Then he put me on his plan of action for these types of issues!

For the first time in 7 years I was able to sleep without a handful of pills, the weight that had been creeping on year after year literally fell off, the brain fog lifted, the depression lifted…. the list is LONG.. so I won’t bore you. Just google ” low progesterone symptoms” and hypothyroidism” and you’ll get the idea. I am so incredibly grateful! Why would I not talk about it? I can’t help it! Jesus answered my prayers. I’m that lady in the Bible who was looking for her lost coin and celebrating and calling my friends to celebrate with me!

However, I can’t push this down everyone’s throat. I can’t say this will cure everyone’s problems. But I think it’s important to rejoice with them who do rejoice, it doesn’t mean we have to buy their products or try their eating plan or see their Dr. But they just want a voice. They want to be celebrated with (unless they are trying to push products in order to make money off of you 🙂 )
Now let me just say one more thing – I don’t feel critical of you at all. I love your blogging ~ keep it up! Just thought you might like to hear another point of view. 🙂

8 years ago

I agree with you and am glad you put this on here.we will never have a perfect body or life until we get to heaven.thank you

8 years ago

Amen to this post. I find this phenomenon of miracle products troubling, and in opposition to true health and wellness. btw I’m an herbalist/nutritionist with a goal to promote health awareness in the Anabaptist community.

8 years ago

Anytime I hear someone say they “guarantee” that their product will heal x, y, or z, I automatically quit listening. Esp when it’s someone who has fallen for all the latest, newest products out there. When I was going thru a threatened miscarriage and I had a lady, that I didn’t really know and she went to a different church in the community, call me and first I was so blessed cause I thot she was calling to see how I was doing. Instead she was trying to sell me an expensive product that, in her words would “guarantee that I would keep this baby”, I quit listening after that. I didn’t use her product and still kept the baby who is, now, an energetic 6 (going on 16) year old girl. It bothers me that some of those people will travel far and wide to spread the word and, every chance they get, are telling everybody about their product but yet have a hard time getting involved in their churches and speaking up for Christ.

8 years ago

Well written. While most of these things are ‘good’ – to base our salvation on them is so wrong. However, the problem is not at all a new one. Social media has made all of these things so accessible to us – including the powerful testimonies of those who utilize the programs. It also allows you to share this post, when in the not-so-distant past your options for sharing would have been in church periodicals that reached a relatively small group of people. Can’t wait to hear what your next post will be.

8 years ago

Thank you for sharing. I agree. Completely.

8 years ago

I liked the first word better, but it’s your blog. Do what you like.

And Amen to the rest of it!

8 years ago

Love your style of writing! Don’t change it. 🙂
And I agree with this post, too. Not against all of these things, but pushy people really turn me off.

8 years ago

Well said, brave one.

8 years ago

Interesting blog and since its your opinion you’re entitled to it but what do you even know about what you’re bashing? My wife has been to the DR several times to no avail and since being on this product has seen a great improvement and I personally for the first time in 13 yrs am off of steroidal inhalers and prednisone. So what may not work for you or what you may think is a scam may not really be what you percieve it to be. So before you write something as brash as this try it and study it for yourself personally.

8 years ago

Well said. 🙂

8 years ago

Your post is so refreshing! Thanks for sharing!

8 years ago

I understand the point you were making but at the same time it leaves some question in my mind. As Gloria mentioned, some have found tremendous help in a certain Dr. or a certain product. And just because some may go and tell everyone they meet, does that mean we need to lump it all together and throw it out? Does it make it wrong? (Yes, I understand if they put their salvation and faith in it, then yes, it is wrong.) But didn’t even the blind man in Jesus day tell everyone he met of how Jesus had physically healed him? Yes, Jesus is the answer to the worlds problems and Jesus is the key to our life and salvation, but as the verse in James says, we can preach all we want to a starving man and wish him to go in peace, but that will not take care of his physical need of hunger.

I realize this subject is very touchy and people feel very strongly about it with many differing of opinions. I feel a level-headed balance is a good key!

I rarely read blogs, but I do enjoy yours. Keep up the great writing.

8 years ago

It seems a general human tendency to make *my* experience universal. I’ve observed that the obsession to create an exclusive vocabulary exists within the manifold theories of emotional/spiritual health as well as physical.

I feel it, too. When something has profoundly impacted my life, I quickly map it onto everybody else’s experience. You know, sort of look for windows of opportunity to shed my new-found illumination on someone else’s darkness. The tendency is not entirely proud and selfish; but to let it go requires, I find, great humility.

I agree with you: the thirst for perfection (inversely, the disappointment over brokenness) never dies and has to be brought to Jesus

8 years ago
Reply to  Marlene

“I agree with you: the thirst for perfection (inversely, the disappointment over brokenness) never dies and has to be brought to Jesus.”

That is well said, and seems like it captures a bit of what this post was trying to say! This is what I heard and what made me stop and think, when I read this post.

8 years ago

Somehow i missed the “word” that has caused such a sensation. Kind of bummed about that….my curiosity is raised. O well….

About the post? Amen and amen. My man and i were saved after 5 years of marriage, 2 kids, and a whole lot of alcohol and immorality. There are a lot of herbs that have helped our physical health (and emotional etc) but at the end of the day, we live in a sin sick world and the only real answer is Jesus. My man has high blood pressure and his father just had his second bypass surgery. (had a 5 bypass earlier) My mother died of early onset dementia and i know too many people who have been sexually abused to ever want to pretend there’s another answer for anything besides Jesus Himself. We use herbs, we thank God for them. We use meds and likewise give thanks. We’re all about healthy food, along with a side of lattes and whipped cream and a healthy dose of common sense.

At the end of the day, what we want for our children and ourselves is not perfect health or to be a superstar in some multilevel marketing game. We want them passionate about Jesus and willing to go wherever He calls them, at any price, including at the cost of their health. And if a product helps them serve Him better, wonderful. But God forbid that becomes their focus.

God bless you for the soapbox. Couldn’t agree more.

8 years ago
Reply to  Darla

Wow. This. Is the. Best. Comment to this blog. Don’t ask me why I read all the way to the end of the list. But after so many people who begged to differ, this comment was like a latte with a heap of whipped topping taller than mug. Your train will go a long ways because it’s on a maintained track.

8 years ago

Jesus is the ANSWER to every question, the HEALER to every hurt, the REDEEMER of every brokenness, the GIVER of all good things…

…things like a diet book that “changed my life” because I tried every other thing out there and nothing was working and I NEEDED to lose weight for the sake of my health (We are called by Jesus to care for our bodies.) *not my personal testimony, but the testimony of a friend

…things like a favorite author, who puts words to the feelings of my own heart that I can’t express

…things like an exercise program that helped me fight off depression in the dead of winter
…things like going gluten-free that keeps me from experiencing chronic stomach pain and bloating
Grace. So much grace. I know many people who do things like drink oxygenated water and eat gluten free and follow the THM diet (the list could go on forever) and just because I may not feel the need to go do the same doesn’t mean it isn’t legitimate OR that those people doing that are looking to something as being a cure-all.
Sometimes I think the real problem is that we all just need more grace.

8 years ago

It seems to me that several are missing the point or reading something that is not there. But as has been pointed out, everyone is entitled to their opinion! 🙂

My opinion is, this is well said and well balanced.

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