*Warning* This may be offense to some. Please proceed with caution.
I was sitting in church, listening to a sermon that was on theheavy side of boring. It was warm and I was uncomfortable. I was suffering from eating too much fried food the night before. Have you ever been in public when that natural occurrence, that natural relief of gas, that bodily function that just shouldn’t be there, just won’t go away? I was sweating. There are two options to this function: one makes a horrific sound that everyone hears, especially in a quiet place like church; the other is a deadly odor that lingers and seems to never go away.
What do you do in these situations? I thought briefly about trying to get up to leave but I was in the middle of the pew. The name “pew” seemed like a terrible joke at this moment. I was worried that by just moving I may “bless” everyone around me. This may seem funny, but at the time it was far from being funny.
The long sermon finally came to an end but to my dismay, the pastor led us into a time of silent prayer and meditation on the word that was shared. My meditation was on the unspiritual topic of “Is God offended when we fart?” due to my suffering.
God created us. He knew well before we were born that we would have unpleasant body functions. He also said that He would be with us always. So it’s not like we can slip away from God for a minute to relieve ourselves when we are suffering the way I was. I don’t know whether God can smell the offense but I’m sure that He hears them. There are times when it may be funny, just like there are times when it is funny with friends. In my case, I like to blast my sons when we are in the car and I lock the power windows so that they cannot get relief!
But what about those special moments with God; Those times when we are in prayer, mediation, or Bible study. Could this be offensive when we do something so rude while trying to worship? I have read the Bible through several times and I have not found a scripture to list this as a sin. Neither have I found any mention of it at all. In fact, I believe God is silent on this subject altogether. This is very frustrating to me. I like a God that dictates everything we do. I don’t like to sit and suffer but I most certainly don’t want to offend Him while praying.
How do we bow and pray saying “Dear Heavenly Father, we love you and worship you. . . “bleep”. . . and praise you above all else.” This can’t be appropriate can it? Should we excuse ourselves from prayer, go outside for a moment and then continue with the prayer? Isn’t that silly? God is still outside hearing and possibly smelling. I wish there was some guidance in the scripture.
I finally went to my pastor and asked for his wisdom to this challenge. He began laughing and thought I was trying to be funny. This only added to my dismay. There is a mention in the New Testament about offending the Holy Spirit. Could this be it?
I asked the sales clerk at the Christian bookstore if she knew of any writing on the subject. She blushed and walked away. Am I being ridiculous? Doesn’t anyone else wonder about these issues? Am I the only one who has bodily urges while trying to pray?
Life was in a downward spiral. I was becoming more depressed every day. No one could help me with my spiritual quest. My family was becoming distant. How could they respect a man that farts while praying?
After all my searching, I still don’t have an answer. Do we offend God when we fart? Will we fart in heaven? Is farting a sin? Ok, I know that farting can’t be a sin but maybe when we are in prayer or worship? Is there anyone who can help me find wisdom in this?