OK, so that got your attention? I compare that to how some atheists twist and turn Scripture for their benefit.
So, the question is: does the Bible really talk about exercise? Of course it does!
Bodily exercise profiteth little – 1 Timothy 4:8a (KJV)
So, if we understand that correctly – it purely means we shouldn’t work out right?
Well, not really…. We know our Doctor’s and it seems any health advocate encourage physical exercise, so let’s put this in perspective and read it again (this time in a different translation AND in context):
Physical training is of some value….
but Godliness has value for all things,
holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. – 1 Timothy 4:8 (NIV)
So, if we put it in context, it’s very similar to the passage in Luke 14:26 that reads “hate your father and mother” – which was really meant to compare how much love we should have for God. It’s not that we should hate our parents, but relative to how we love God, the love for our parents doesn’t compare. Jesus follows this statement in Luke 14 with a metaphor that reminds us that we must follow through on our discipleship and commitment to the Lord above all else.
In 1 Timothy, I believe Paul is doing a similar assessment: in comparison to how we ought to train our spirit for the Lord, any training for our body doesn’t compare, relatively speaking.
Thus it is that although you might have thought you were going to have a reason not to work out, instead, this passage very clearly shows (when read in context) that we should work out, BUT even more so, we need to prepare our bodies spiritually for our life to come.
[Some other Scripture passages on body health: Psalm 18:32-36, Romans 12:1, 1 Cor 9:27, 1 Cor 6:19-20, Eph 5:18, Hebrews 12:11-13]