On Sunday I'm speaking at Godfirst in Cheltenham and will touch on gluttony.
In my sermon prep I came across Pope Gregory 1 teaching on gluttony (600AD in the ascetic Middle Ages) ... I found it first amusing, then provocative:
#1 Gluttony is Eating before the time of meals in order to satisfy the palate.
Biblical example: Jonathan eating a little honey, when his father Saul commanded no food to be taken before the evening.[1Sa 14:29] (Note that this text is only approximately illustrative, as in this account, Jonathan did not know he was eating too early.)
#2. Gluttony is Seeking delicacies and better quality of food to gratify the "vile sense of taste."
Biblical example: When Israelites escaping from Egypt complained, "Who shall give us flesh to eat? We remember the fish which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers and the melons, and the leeks and the onions and the garlic," God rained fowls for them to eat but punished them 500 years later.[Num 11:4]
#3. Gluttony is Seeking to stimulate the palate with sauces and seasonings.
Biblical example: Two sons of Eli the high priest made the sacrificial meat to be cooked in one manner rather than another. They were met with death.[1Sa 4:11]
#4. Gluttony is Exceeding the necessary quantity of food.
Biblical example: One of the sins of Sodom was "fullness of bread."[Eze 16:49]
#5. Gluttony is Taking food with too much eagerness, even when eating the proper amount, and even if the food is not luxurious.
Biblical example: Esau selling his birthright for ordinary food of bread and pottage of lentils. His punishment was that the "profane person . . . who, for a morsel of meat sold his birthright," we learn that "he found no place for repentance, though he sought it carefully, with tears." [Gen 25:30]