The Weigh Down Workshop's phenomenal success attracts many questions about its nutritional and theological soundness. CT asked Weigh Down founder Gwen Shamblin to answer some of her critics.
What is the theology behind Weigh Down?
The theology goes straight back to Genesis 3, in the garden, where Satan told us a great lie. The great lie is: You will be more like God if you rebel against God. That is the biggest lie in the world. If you want to be more like God, you must die to your will and do his will. When the early Christians came to Christ, they understood that to do his will was to put off the old and put on the new.
Some people have said that the Christian dieting industry encourages women to be fixated on a culturally derived standard of beauty.
I say, "Be fixated on lordship." [Weigh Down is] the opposite of a weight fixation. We don't talk about food. Every video and every message pleads for people to understand that food is a false comfort. Every letterhead that goes out of our office says, "Not my will but thine be done." You can judge Weigh Down by its fruits. Weigh Down is being blessed. Its employees are being blessed. Its participants are being blessed.
What is your message for people who haven't had success with Weigh Down?
My word for them is please don't give up on his lordship. Don't be your own god. Keep looking at me—I'm dying to my own will and picking up my cross daily and getting happier and happier.
Some critics have charged that you do not sufficiently emphasize responsible nutrition and dieting.
At some point, they can't keep arguing with the success of Charlie [a Weigh Down participant], who stood up last week and had lost 300 pounds. I started saying this 10 years ago, and now the government is saying ...1