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On the back cover of the book, "Rising Above The Magnetic Pull of the Refrigerator", by Gwen Shamblin (copyright 1993, student guide, 4th edition) it says,
Gwen Shamblin, M.S., R.D., has had extensive experience in the field of nutrition both as a consulting registered dietitian and as an Instructor of Nutrition at Memphis State University. Since 1980 she has focused her consulting practice in the area of weight control utilizing both her formal training in Dietetics together with a strong Christ-centered orientation in her counseling. These efforts led her to become Founder and Director of the Weigh Down Workshop. Presently, she and her husband, David, and their two children, Michael and Michelle, live in Cookeville, Tennessee.
The "Weigh Down Workshop" is a supposedly "Christian" approach to dealing with the sin of gluttony, and it has had wide acceptance within the "Christian" community. On the back cover of the Weigh Down Workshop book, "Finding the Buried Keys" (copyright 1996), it is written,
In 1992, after years of experience as a registered dietitian and an instructor of nutrition at the University of Memphis, she [Gwen Shamblin] introduced Weigh Down into churches. Since then, the Bible-based program has changed the lives of participants in classes that number over 3,000 in all 50 states, as well as in numerous locations outside the United States.
The fact that this program is so widely accepted by the false Christian world (Luke 6:26; 2 Timothy 3:1-5) should immediately be a warning to the true believer. Gwen Shamblin is just one more among the "heap" of false teachers that prevail in our day (2 Timothy 4:3; 2 Peter 2:1-2). The following are some examples and documentation that reveal that Gwen Shamblin and her Weigh Down Workshop are among those who "deny the Lord who bought them" (2 Peter 2:1; Titus 1:16).
To begin with,
I. Gwen Shamblin is Without The Wisdom of God
In her tape, "Dodging the Draft" (copyright 1992, side B) Gwen states,
Look, I hate to be the one bringing the subject of punishment and hell back into the 1990's. I think I was in the 3rd grade the last time I heard one of the hell-fire and brimstone type messages. But what deceit is this that we have gotten that this is a God who can push waves around, lava through mountains, can form towers of killer winds and yet not be afraid of Him. I certainly don't live in fear, because perfect love casts out all fear. But a healthy dose of it until we turn from our sinning ways is absolutely necessary.
This is very deceitful. Gwen says she doesn't "live in fear" (in the context of the fear of God). This is foolishness and a twisting of 1 John 4:17-18. Job, who feared God rightly (Job 1:1,8; 2:3), lived in fear!
But He is unique, and who can make Him change? And whatever His soul desires, that He does. For He performs what is appointed for me, and many such things are with Him. Therefore I am terrified at His presence; when I consider this, I am afraid of Him. For God made my heart weak, and the Almighty terrifies me. (Job 23:13-16)
Perfect love does not cast out all fear (as Gwen stated)! Job feared God! Yet, he did not fear eternal torment (1 John 4:17-18), because his hope was in God, as Job 13:15 and Job 19:25-27 exemplify (see also 1 Peter 1:13). Yet, Gwen promotes this false temporary fear of God ("until we turn from our sinning ways", see the above quote) that is not the true fear of God. Because, the true fear of the Lord (which Job exemplified) endures forever (Psalm 19:9; Job 28:28). Gwen is without this fear (as she stated, "I certainly don't live in fear"). In this, she denies the Lord who bought her (2 Peter 2:1). "For our God is a consuming fire." (see Hebrews 12:28-29)
II. Gwen Disobeys The Word of God (2 John 9).
In 1 Timothy 2:11-12, Paul gives this command to Timothy that he might "know how to conduct" himself "in the church of God" (1 Timothy 3:15).
Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence.
Gwen completely rejects this Scripture (as well as 1 Corinthians 14:34-35). Contrary to the above living Words (1 Peter 1:23), Gwen does not practice being "in silence", but on the contrary, she teaches men in the church, either personally (noted in the 1995 audio tape, Inner Sanctuary, side B, where she states, "There's men in here, I know."), or via video tapes in churches. Gwen does not abide in the doctrine of Christ (2 John 9; Revelation 19:13).
III. Gwen Flatters
One of the descriptions given in Jude 16 for those who promote falsehood is that they flatter people to gain advantage. In her tape entitled, "The Heart of the Matter" (copyright 1992) on side one, in the context of speaking to those who are gluttons ("over-eaters") Gwen says to them, "You are not a failure."
In her book, "Rising Above The Magnetic Pull of the Refrigerator" on page 3 she writes, "One of the main lessens to learn from this first video is that you are not a failure." On page 18 in the book, "Finding the Buried Keys", in a "testimony" by Elizabeth Brower (from Memphis, TN), it is evident that Elizabeth bought this lie. In the context of her "first night, wearing a size 26 that was bursting at the seams" she writes, "I learned that I am God's treasured possession, that I am not a failure." In this same book (on page 53), another person (Anne Marie Bisner, from Castleton, New York) gives "The Lord" the credit for this deceit. She writes, ". . . He impressed on me that I am not a failure."
Telling gluttons that they "are not a failure" is not only flattery, but it is the direct opposite of the Word of God. Gluttons are failures! They are ones (among many, Romans 1:28-32) who have failed completely to live for the very reason they were created. All things were created for Christ (Colossians 1:16), and gluttons (overeaters, bulimics, etc.) have completely failed to live for Him (Romans 3:10-18). They are failures. To teach them otherwise, is to move them away from the very truth that would lead to the salvation of their souls. This truth is found in Matthew 5:3. "Blessed are those who are poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Realizing you are a failure, is synonymous with being "poor in spirit."
In the notes for the audio tape (copyright 1995), "Spiritual Marines" (tape and notes on file), the following flattery can be found towards gluttons [at this point in the program, at least some, if not most, are still not "delivered"].
So the picture of what you are is something very wonderful and you should be extremely proud to be among this group of "spiritual marines".
In the audio tape Gwen is even more emphatic.
So the true picture of what you are is something really wonderful, and you should be extremely proud, extremely proud, to be among this group. And I don't want Satan to ever get a hold of you anymore, and lie to you and say, "You're unworthy".
Besides the flattery here, it is not a virtue to be proud (Please see 2 Timothy 3:1-2, "proud"). "God resists the proud" (2 Peter 5:5). Plus, it is a godly concept to realize (especially if you are a sinner, i.e. a glutton) that you are unworthy (please see Luke 18:13-14 and Isaiah 66:1-2). Gwen makes it out to be a lie of the Devil, when in reality, it is the truth of God (e.g. Genesis 32:10; Luke 7:6-7-9; Acts 13:25; 1 Corinthians 15:9).
Moreover, in the audio tape series notes for week three, this flattery towards gluttons can be found,
1) Did you wait till you were hungry some this week?
2) Did you leave any food on your plate this week?
3) Did you eat a little less than normal?
4) Did you feel a little bit more in control?
If you say 'yes' to any of these, you had a great week!
A glutton could say "yes" to any of these and still be living in gluttony, and thus still be an enemy of the cross (Philippians 3:18-19)! Continuing to be an enemy of the cross does not equate into having "a great week!"
In the audio tape series notes, for week one ("Rise Above, Part 1"), it reads, "Let's practice encouragement ONLY in this program!" This fits well with the flattery above, and not so well with Proverbs 27:5-6 and Psalm 141:5.
IV. Weigh Down Turns The Grace of Our God into Lewdness (Jude 4).
The Weigh Down Workshop says the right things at times (Matthew 12:34). For example, in the audio tape notes entitled, "Emotional Eating (Part 1)" they write, "You cannot serve God and money or food or work, etc." On more than one occasion, Gwen has even mentioned Philippians 3:18-19. Yet, at the same time, Gwen and The Weigh Down Workshop deny the truth of Philippians 3:18-19.
Philippians 3:18-19 says,
For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame-who set their mind on earthly things.
Philippians 3:18 clearly calls gluttons ("whose god is their belly") "enemies of the cross of Christ". There is no way a person can be an "enemy of the cross of Christ" and at the same time be saved (i.e. on their way to heaven, a child of God, a Christian). Yet, in the Weigh Down Workshop material it is clear that they believe otherwise.
In the notes (for the third week) entitled "Resurrection power" on page 3 they write (remember, this is speaking to gluttons),
So right here, we'll all agree that we're saved. But, we still have a problem.
And what is that problem? Their god is their belly (Philippians 3:18-19)! Enemies of the cross of Christ (gluttons) are not "saved"! In fact, if they were saved, what would they be saved from? Their sin! Yet, they are still in bondage to it. Such "salvation" is no salvation (1 John 3:4-10; Romans 6:1-2).
In the "Coordinator's Guide", by Gwen Shamblin and Staff (copyright 1995), on page 32 they print a letter they received (dated June 8, 1994) in which it is stated,
I am convinced now that I was in a complete bondage to sin and the enemy. I was a committed Christian all this time, but I had closed my eyes to the sin that enveloped me.
So, they promote a letter in which it is stated that you can be "a committed Christian", yet be in "complete bondage to sin and the enemy" (i.e. be in complete bondage to the devil!). This is so contrary to Scripture it is not funny (Colossians 1:13, 21-22; 1 Corinthians 6:9; Ephesians 2:1-5; 1 John 1:5-6; 2:4; 3:4-10; 5:18; etc.)!
In the book, "Feasting on the Will of the Father", Vol. 1 (copyright 1993), on page 94, Nancy Seaman gives her "testimony", in which she turns the grace of our God into lewdness. At the beginning of the article she writes,
Several years ago, I was participating in a nationally known weight loss program but stopped it after I became a child of God.
After this she tells of how, after she "became a child of God", she got involved with The Weigh Down Workshop. Yet, even after being involved in The Weigh Down Workshop and supposedly becoming a child of God, she writes,
The Lord has revealed much about my true character this year, and I know He loves me and wants me to be free from gluttony.
So, she is still not "free" from the sin of gluttony (i.e. she is still a glutton), yet she claims to be a "child of God". She writes further,
This is an incredible journey to me; and I sometimes wonder where, how, and if it will ever end. My heart aches and yearns to be the living and walking example of what our Lord can do for a believer in the area of obesity, but unfortunately I am not there yet.
What my picture will not show is how much more I love Jesus, and how grateful I am that He has been patient and persistent with me." [Her picture shows her to be quite large.]
The reason her picture "will not show how much more [she] love[s] Jesus", is because pictures don't lie (at least not in this case)! She doesn't love Jesus, she is still an enemy of the cross of Christ (Philippians 3:18-19). By her own testimony, she admits that she is still a glutton (not "free from gluttony")! For Weigh Down to promote this kind of material, is to turn the grace of our God into lewdness (Jude 4). It is also blasphemy against the Savior, because the essence of her message is, "Jesus isn't enough to save you from your sin. At least, He hasn't saved me!"
In the notes for the audio tape, "The Heart of the Matter - Part 1" it is written,
This will be a 12 week journey from the slavery of dieting through the desert of testing all the way to the promised land which is no desire to overeat. Your passion or obsession for food will be gone.
So, here we are, in week one, where these people are still obsessed with food (still gluttons), and the following is said to them (three paragraphs later).
You are sons and daughters of the richest, most powerful being in the universe and you have God the Father, Jesus our Brother, the Holy Spirit our comforter, all the heavenly host and all of your brothers and sisters on this winning team to cheer you on to victory. [victory is finally being freed from the sin of gluttony]
This is a lie! Gluttons, enemies of the cross of Christ, people whose god is their belly, are not "sons and daughters" of God, they are sons and daughters of the wicked one (1 John 3:8,10).
V. Weigh Down Promotes The Basic Principles of the World.
In the audio tape, "Rise Above" (side A), Gwen says,
How will you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is right? Because it's going to work.
Pragmatism (it working or not) is no way to determine whether something is right or not! Proverbs warns, "There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death." (Proverbs 14:12; 16:25).
In Colossians 2:8 Paul warned,
Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.
Instead of relying on the power of the risen Savior and the work of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:16), Weigh Down sets standards that are based on human wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:20), and are not found in the Word of God (Proverbs 30:5-6). For example, anyone involved in the Weigh Down Workshop knows that the teaching about eating is that it is sin (disobedience) to eat when you are not hungry, and to eat beyond being "satisfied". In the video tape notes entitled, "How the Thin Eater Stops" (week 4), this is written,
If you're eating when you're not feeling stomach hunger or if you're not stopping when you're satisfied, you are not being obedient. (notes on file)
This standard cannot be found within holy writ (Genesis to Revelation). This is human wisdom, based upon the basic principles of this world. In other words, this will "work" (physiologically) in an effort to lose weight, but it is not a Biblical teaching (i.e. it is not according to Christ, Colossians 2:8).
Yet, those caught in the Weigh Down Workshop "philosophy" have been "taken captive" to this "empty deceit" (Colossians 2:8). This is exemplified by Delores Vaughn (from Cookeville, TN) in the book "Finding the Buried Keys" on page 55, where she writes,
The longer I do as His Word tells me to do, eat only when I am hungry and stop when satisfied - not always full, but satisfied - I will never be overweight again.
Amazing! Although there is no record of such a teaching anywhere in the entirety of Scripture, Delores has been duped into thinking that God's Word teaches that she needs to "eat only when [she is] hungry and [she needs to] stop when [she is] satisfied - not always full, but satisfied". Scripture does not teach this! Not one verse can be found stating any such thing!
On the "Rise Above" audio tape (side B, copyright 1992), the deceiver (2 Timothy 3:13), Gwen Shamblin, says,
I personally think all sin is equally bad, equally luring and all have the same steps for overcoming.
Besides the lie that "all sin is equally bad" (which is contrary to Matthew 12:31-32; Matthew 23:14; Luke 12:47-48; 20:46-47; John 19:11; Hebrews 10:29; 1 John 5:16), Gwen Shamblin believes that it takes "steps" to overcome sin (on the tape she is talking about overcoming the "bondage" to food, "materialism', "drugs", etc.). Scripture says it takes, not steps, but the Savior, Jesus Christ (John 8:31-36; Matthew 1:21).
On the audio tape, "Stay Awake" (week 2, side D), one of the "steps" Gwen gives to overcome the desire for food when a person is not hungry is to,"#1) Bind the father of confusion, Satan and quote God's Word or the truth to him." [This binding of Satan can also be found on page 23 of her book, "Rising Above the Magnetic Pull of the Refrigerator", under 1. A.]
First of all, Scripture never tells us to bind Satan. Secondly, Scripture never tells us to talk to him! 1 Peter 5:9 (and James 4:7) tells us to resist him. And how do we do that? By being "steadfast in the faith" (1 Peter 5:9).
It is not sin to eat something if you are not hungry (this is a man-made standard). But, nonetheless, Gwen's first "step" in overcoming this perceived "sin" is not even Biblical. The teaching about the "sin", and the teaching about how to deal with it is all wrong. So, Gwen gets people to deal with "sin" that is not really sin, and then she gets them on a wrong "step" in dealing with this "sin", when, in reality, there are no "steps" to begin with!
More man-made "steps" can be found in the second week notes "Stay Awake (Part 2)" in which 7 "steps" are given in combating the "magnetic pull" towards food.
1) Note the time on your watch
2) Get out of the kitchen
3) Tell Satan to get lost in the name of Jesus
4) Quote the truth, you're not hungry! Food will make you feel worse if you're not hungry. Remember that man shall not live on bread alone but by ever word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. Somewhere along the line, especially in America, Satan started us out on our first so-called overindulgence. It has since become a stronghold.
5)We need to get on our knees and submit our will to God. We need to tell Him exactly what we want to eat and how much we want of it, but admit that what God wants is for us to submit our will to Him telling Him how we know that's what He wants for us and asking him for the strength to do it.
6) Get up and do not touch the food, any food, until we feel hunger. When we do this, we will begin to feel that magnetic pull weakening.
7) Note the time on your watch.
How long did that last battle last? Most battles last from 10 minutes to an hour depending on how quickly we go through the steps.
Most are not attuned to the truth, but the fact of the matter is, these "steps' replace the simple gospel (2 Corinthians 11:3; i.e. faith, trust, in Jesus Christ, Romans 10:10) with a good sounding man-made approach to dealing with sin.
More "basic principles of the world" (Colossians 2:8) can be found in the notes for week one (video tape series) entitled, "How to Eat Like a Thin Eater". Remember, this is being taught in the context of "Overeating" (i.e. gluttony) and overcoming (being saved from, or "delivered") from this sin (being addicted to food, i.e. gluttony, is indeed sin, e.g. Deuteronomy 21:20; Proverbs 23:21; Philippians 3:18-19).
What are the steps toward permanent weight loss?
1. Promise to stop dieting and depriving yourself of the foods you want.
2. Identify stomach hunger.
3. Use your thirst mechanism; only drink non-caloric beverages in order to find hunger. . . ."
4. Eat and savor the foods you really want to eat and start with your favorites. Rate your foods in a circle on your plate and eat only what you want on the plate, saving room for desert if it's there, taking tiny bites and savoring each one.
5. Stop eating when you're satisfied. Until you can identify full, cut your food in half, eat that amount and stop and see if you're full.
Ways to help find fullness:
1. Try wearing a belt.
2. Tighten 3 layers of your stomach muscles.
3. Stop wearing such loose clothing.
If you've been on a binge, you may not feel hunger for about 24 hours. You may feel hunger one meal a day or some may feel hunger 5-7 times a day. These folks are eating tiny amounts which is strategic in this program.
If you come to mealtime and you're not hungry, just drink a beverage and enjoy conversation with your family or group.
When you eat out, cut it in half, eat only what you want, ask for a carry out and take the rest of your meal home and save it until you're hungry again.
All of these instructions and "steps" would be (and are) useless (and needless) if they followed the Biblical approach to gluttony (given at the end of this article). But, as it is, those in Weigh Down are captive to empty deceit (it profits nothing eternally, 2 Peter 2:17; 1 Timothy 6:3-4) and they are taking captive (Colossians 2:8) others with their own "philosophy" and "empty deceit" which is according to the basic principles of this world (i.e. it "works") and is not according to Christ (i.e. the Word, John 1:1, 14; Hebrews 4:12-13; Revelation 19:13).
VI. The Program Is The Savior (A False Savior)
With "Jesus" and "The Lord" and going to "Him" mixed in with the Weigh Down Workshop program, the deceit is very intense. But, nonetheless, when you boil it down, it is not the true Christ who is the savior, but rather the "program" is the savior and the way of salvation from the bondage to sin.
This can be seen by the shear fact that The Weigh Down Workshop attracts more than just gluttons. This program appeals to other sinful habitués as well (for a way of escape, i.e. a way of salvation). An example of this can be found on the audio tape, "Spiritual Marines" (copyright 1995), where Gwen boasts,
This particular person had been to the Weigh Down Workshop 16 weeks, and, the Lord, (sic) what she had given up was a 15 year long addiction to soap operas the first time through.
Now she was back again to go through the program to deal with her addiction to food.
In the book entitled, "Coordinator's Guide", on page 13 and 14 this is written.
2) Can thin people go through this program? Yes. Welcome anyone in the class who is asking questions about it. Some thin people need deliverance from the dieting and exercise that keeps them thin or it could be that God is prompting them to come for deliverance from some other area of bondage . . . depression, pride, anger, gossip, materialism, compulsive shopping, cigarettes, alcoholism, anorexia, etc.
Obviously, what is this program set up to do? Save from the power (bondage) of sin. In other words, it is a way of salvation (false salvation).
On the tape, "The Heart of the Matter" (on side one) Gwen reveals her mindset toward her program with the words, "You need this class." She is speaking to those who are "bulimic" or "anorexic" or "exerciseaholics", etc. In other words, basically anyone who is in bondage to sin. Instead of a simple, "You need Christ" (and Him alone, Colossians 2:8-10; 2 Peter 1:3), it is, "You need this class." The Weigh Down Workshop gives lip-service to needing Christ, but in reality, it is the program that they promote, because it is the program that "saves".
For example, on the last page of the books "Feasting on the Will of the Father, Vol. 1" and "Rising Above the Magnetic Pull of the Refrigerator", they both state,
Through a series of specially designed classes of videos, audio cassette tapes, workbooks, and Bible lessons, you will learn how to be delivered from the slavery of food . . .
In other words, through this program, you will learn how to be saved from the power of the sin of gluttony. Please consider the "classes of videos", "audio cassette tapes", "workbooks, and Bible lessons", and compare these with Paul and Silas' simple words to the Philippian jailer in Acts 16:30-31.
And he brought them out and said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" So they said, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household."
When the Philippian jailer asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?", Paul and Silas did not say, "Come to our Bible studies and go through a series of classes, and you will learn how to be saved." No, they simply said, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved,". Being saved from sin is that simple. Romans 10:10 says, "For with the heart one believes unto righteousness". The Weigh Down Workshop does not keep it this simple.
In their book, "Finding the Buried Keys" Debbie Auter (from Tallahassee, Florida) illustrates how the Weigh Down does not keep it this simple, but makes the program the real savior. On page 167 Debbie writes,
I accepted Christ into my life at age six, but the rest of my life from then until age 34 I still went Debbie's way instead of following the Lord. Finally, in desperation, I cried out for Him to help me or I didn't want to live anymore. Well, He did! My life began to change in ways that would amaze you. Still I was having this trouble with weight and food obsession. He led me to your program!
The program is the savior. God wasn't enough to deliver her from her obsession with food (i.e. gluttony), she needed the program. And so, she writes later,
. . . I am sharing the basic principles with others and trying to get them to go through the program, . . .
Why? Because the program is what saves! At least, this is what is advertised. "Through a series of specially designed classes of videos, audio cassette tapes, workbooks, and Bible lessons, you will learn how to be delivered from the slavery of food . . ."
Of course, things are not always what they are advertised to be, and the Weigh Down Workshop is no exception. For those who have gone through the program, and are still not "delivered", these words are found for them (on page 159 in the book, "Rising Above the Magnetic Pull of the Refrigerator").
Don't panic. It's all right. If you are not yet delivered and your class is over, that's okay. That's normal. Here are some suggestions to carry you on into the promised land.
1. Remember that 'He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.' 'Philippians 1:6
2. Try going back to the beginning and listen to your tapes again. One a week is plenty.
3. Continue seeking God daily through His Word and in prayer.
The problem with all of this is, if they have not been "delivered" yet, then they have continued to be gluttons. God never began a good work in them. They are still reprobate, enemies of the cross of Christ, and they cannot "continue seeking God" (#3), because they never sought God in truth to begin with!
So, it is seen that this program boasts of deliverance from the sin of gluttony, yet it is "normal" for people to go through the program and still be in bondage to their sin. The program is not much of a savior, because it is a false way of salvation.
In a "Weigh Down Workshop Church Ministries" sheet (copy on file) under "Permanent Positive Change List" it is written,
You may have a new enthusiasm for sharing God and this program. It's an easy way to be an evangelist.
It should be, "God" period! Not, "God and this program." Neither men, nor God, need any program. Men need Jesus Christ, and Him alone, because He is the true Savior who saves from the power and bondage of sin. Nothing else and no one else can save like Him. This program denies this truth. John 8:31-36
Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." They answered Him, "We are Abraham's descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can you say, 'You will be made free?" Jesus answered them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."
VII. Gwen Shamblin Peddles
In 2 Corinthians 2:17, Paul writes,
For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ.
"As so many" Gwen charges for her teaching (which is suppose to be the Word of God). It is rather sick, when you think about it. Gwen seduces weak gullible women (for the most part) who are laden with sins (particularly the sin of gluttony, 2 Timothy 3:6-7), and gets them to pay somewhere around $100 (plus) for her program that promises them liberty (2 Peter 2:19), but only brings deceit (Colossians 2:8).
In the "Coordinator's Guide" the financial aspect of the program is laid out quite well complete with how to accept the funds, a listing of the prices of materials (page 61), a listing of Weigh Down Workshop paraphernalia (coffee mugs, T-shirts, book marks, tapes, CD's, Tote Bag, and "Things To Do" pads), and "Seminar Fee Credit Authorization Form"s. According to page 9, the first 12 week seminar costs $103 (includes a book and 12 cassette tapes). If you want to repeat the seminar the cost is $55 (which includes one book and 4 cassette tapes). After this initial $158, the seminars are free for any Alumni.
The reality to all of this is, Gwen is charging people for information on how they can be saved from their sin. That is wicked! What is even more amazing is that these blind sheep think nothing of paying for their salvation. There is more than one testimony on how the person had difficulty coming up with the required amount of money (e.g. see page 46 and 145 in "Finding the Buried Keys"). Vicky Teeter (from Memphis, Tennessee) put it in the clearest terms. She writes,
. . . I prayed about the class and the money. At this point I wanted the Bible study and God's touch on my life more than weight loss. God did a miracle, providing an insurance refund in the mail that covered the WDW fee.
A little later she writes,
You can't put a price on salvation. The fee I paid for this program was a way I could contribute to help others know about God's plan for weight loss. I am a new creation through Christ. I will never stop sharing about how God saved me from overeating. I am now a coordinator for The Weigh Down Workshop, and Satan is angry! (page 15, "Finding the Buried Keys")
What does Vicky admit here? She paid for her salvation!
Contrary to this, the Lord says in Isaiah 55:1,
Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
Gwen Shamblin has no such message. As of about 3 years ago (we do not know if she is there today) this covetousness (2 Peter 2:14) helped support a lavish mansion in Franklin, Tennessee.
VIII. Gwen Promotes Mysticism
In the week one audio tape entitled, "Rise Above", on side B Gwen uses the movie "Hook" (about Peter Pan) as an illustration of how to overcome sin. She correlates how Peter Pan learned to fly again by thinking happy thoughts, and equates this to thinking on the Lord and being able to rise above the temptation of sin.. This is using sorcery, to illustrate how to live for God. This is not a good practice (e.g. Deuteronomy 12:29-32/Romans 15:4). Now, for some, this may seem like it is not a problem. But, take note just how deep Gwen goes into this sort of thing on the audio tape, "Secrets" (week 14, side B).
The animals even know when a storm is coming. We can't explain how. This theme is everywhere. The truth of God ewes from every living pour. Even seemingly [?] godless industries can express God's truths. I think back to the movie called Star Wars where the great yoda was able to teach Luke Skywalker to use the force. The way to let this internal perfect force take over was to submit his own will, turn off the distracting man-made control instruments, and allow this flawless force to take over and lead them to victory, against this black evil force which was lead by Darth Vador.
Disney movies will express that the answers to life will be inside you, and start with the tiny seed. These ideas were expressed in the movie called Fern Gulley. Pinocchio had to prove love enough and sacrifice his spiritless wooden temporary body to be worthy enough to receive the gift of life and a new body by the beautiful blue fairy.
Even the mysterious Michael Jackson who has been given by God incredible gifts of musical and dancing abilities, but who obviously uses his freedom to indulge the sinful nature when it comes to some of his dancing moves (if you ask my opinion), still expresses some of the great truths of life through songs. For instance, in the song called, 'Man in the Mirror', Michael Jackson says, 'I've been a victim of a selfish kind of love, and I want you to know that I'm starting with the man in the mirror. I'm asking him to change his ways. No message could have been any clearer. If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself, and make the change. The truths of God and His word are evident everywhere.
What truth of God was in all of that? Zero! This lines up with "New Age" deceit and mysticism and it is not in keeping with anything in the Word of God. In fact, when you see the kind of god Gwen is propagating here, one which equates to the good side of the force (sorcery), then you can see that Gwen's god is not the God of the Bible, but the god of this age (2 Corinthians 4:4).
With mysticism like the above, it is no wonder Linda Hughes (from Windsor, Wisconsin) can get away with the mystical god she promotes in her testimony on page 38-39 in "Finding the Buried Keys". She writes,
I'm learning just how much He loves and values me. One day I was washing dishes and felt as though sparks were touching the tip of my nose. Now I know this touch, because whenever the Holy Spirit is present and wants me to pay attention, I feel as if an angel is touching the tip of my nose. It's usually just a ping! ping!, but this day it was as if sparks of power were touching about ten times! (for an even more deceitful form of mysticism, see page 110 of this same book)
Do we find any "ping! ping!" or anything like this is Scripture? No way! At the very least, we know Gwen and those who follow her are not in the truth (based on the above), and are therefore caught in Satan's lies on this accord also (1 John 5:19; Revelation 12:9; Revelation 21:8, "sorcerers").
IX. Gwen Teaches Self-esteem.
In the audio tape entitled "Lies" on side A, Gwen states,
Don't waste another day listening to destructive lies, which only bury you deeper under your fat.
Men like Norman Vincent Peale and Zig Ziglar have made careers out of the subject called the power of positive thinking. For a long time, I didn't read those materials thinking that it was really basically humanism, and that they were using different type (sic) of things that people could feed themselves to make them feel better. I finally read the book, and I found that I agreed with everything that they were saying. But let me rename their industry. It's not the power of positive thinking that you create, it's the power of telling yourself God's truth instead of the devil's lies, and there is real power in the truth.
A little later Gwen gives some of these supposed truths.
Here [are] some of the truths: I am a special person loved by God. I am worth it. I will feel terrific about myself.
Later on in the tape Gwen encourages people to place these "truths" (along with some others) on the bathroom mirror and on the refrigerator.
In a Murfreesboro newspaper (on file), Lyn Walker is recorded as accrediting Weigh Down for her new found trust in herself.
In fact, this has restored my faith in myself, and I know that I am not a failure.
In the book, "Finding the Will of the Father" on page 85, 96, and 157, self-esteem and self-confidence are promoted as good things reaped from the Workshop. In the audio tape "Emotional Eating" self-esteem is propagated (on both sides), and on side B Gwen says, "You'll be amazed at your discipline and self-control. It will really raise your self-esteem."
On this one point alone, Gwen is leading people down the road to destruction, because, "He who trusts in his own heart is a fool." (Proverbs 28:26; see also Proverbs 3:35; 26:12; Jeremiah 17:5; Luke 9:23; Isaiah 66:2; Matthew 5:3)
X. Weigh Down Adds To The Word (Proverbs 30:5-6)
In the book, "Finding the Buried Keys", Gwen writes on page 8,
You need to know that you already have a heart of love [This is a lie to gluttons. Gluttons are enemies of Love, 1 John 4:8.] - you just have to pull it away from food (or anything in this world) and give it over to God. You have exhausted your love in food. Now, you fall back in love with God by obeying Him. I repeat, you fall in love by obeying God. Every time you give up your second half of the plate of food, He rewards you with a 'happy.' Every time you give up your sexual lust, gossip, anger, or self-focus, or every time you surrender to your spouse, He gives you a 'happy' back
Scripture teaches no such thing. Gwen goes on (a little later),
You surrender a little bit of trust to God; he gives more back to you. You give some more back to God; He gives you a lot more back and you develop this love relationship with Him as you trust Him more and more with His decisions for your life. In other words, God is going to make sure your efforts at seeking Him will be rewarding so that you will come back for more.
Again, Scripture teaches no such concept (and Gwen does not even attempt to back up her statements with Scripture). In fact, read Psalm 88. There, the holy man of God (2 Peter 1:21) received no 'happy' or reward for a long period of time (in fact, no 'happy' or reward is indicated at all through the whole Psalm). Actually, this idea that God will "make sure your efforts at seeking Him will be rewarding" is contrary to Psalm 11:5, John 15:1-2, and Hebrews 12:5-6.
One main theme that Gwen teaches that is adding to the Word (i.e. not taught in holy writ) can be found on the audio tape "From Slavery To The Promised Land" (side B) were she says,
When you are coming out of slavery of any kind, whether it be food or alcohol, workaholics, cigarettes, or self, or bad tempers, or sexual sins, there's going to be a desert time, a wilderness that is not much fun. It may be very dry spiritually, and it is not the funniest experience of your life. Every child of God must go through the desert, however.
The above are the dead words of a dead woman (Luke 9:60). Scripture never says any such thing. Yes, indeed, God tests the righteous (Psalm 11:5), and He chastens every son whom He receives (Hebrews 12:6). But, a person is not righteous, nor His son, until he has repented from such wickedness and the Son has set him free (1 John 3:4-10; John 8:31-36). There is no such teaching in the Word of God that "coming out of slavery of any kind" dictates a "wilderness" experience. In fact, this analogy doesn't even fit with what Scripture says about the Israelites. For 1 Corinthians 10:5 says, "But with most of them God was not well pleased". In other words, they were not righteous and they were not saved as they went through the wilderness. In fact, 1 Corinthians 10:5 continues with, "for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness" (i.e. God judged them!).
XI. Weigh Down Speaks The Opposite of Christ
In the book, "Feasting on the Will of the Father, Vol. 1" on page 4 they write,
Our job description is not to be perfect but rather to seek the Perfect One.
In the book "Finding the Buried Keys" on page 33 Dani Waites (from Nashville, Tennessee) writes,
God is truly patient, loving, and especially merciful. He doesn't expect any of us to be perfect,
Both of the above quotes are lies and the exact opposite of the Words of Christ.
Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:48)
Finally, as should be seen from the documentation above, Gwen Shamblin (and her Weigh Down Workshop) preaches "another gospel" (Galatians 1:8-9, let her "be accursed"). With her "program" savior, and her "basic principles of the world" ("steps"), and her other aberrant doctrine, Gwen is leading many away from a true trust in Christ for their salvation ("deliverance", "freedom", "victory", "promised land"). In this Weigh Down Workshop, Gwen Shamblin is leading people to hell (Matthew 7:13-14; Revelation 21:8), by deceitfully getting people to trust in the dead opinions of men (Colossians 2:8), instead of the living Word of God (John 1:1, 14; Revelation 19:13; 1 Peter 1:23; Hebrews 4:12-13).
So what is the answer to gluttony? Actually, the question should be Who is the answer to gluttony? The answer is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He saves from sin and the power of it (John 8:31-36; Matthew 1:21). Once in Christ, Galatians 5:16 says, "I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh." It is that simple.
If you wonder, "How much, or what, may a believer eat?" Please note Romans 14:22-23.
Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin. (see also 1 Corinthians 10:31)