Believe In Jesus And Drink Fermented Cod Liver Oil And You Will Have Eternal Life

photo by thebittenword
photo by thebittenword

photo by thebittenword

I recently started taking a daily dose of fermented cod liver oil. It’s as bad as it sounds. It’s flavored with cinnamon to make it “bearable”, but the cinnamon actually makes it worse. It takes a significant amount of self-control to not gag and/or possibly punch a wall when I shoot the oil down my throat. Why am I inflicting this upon myself? Because cod liver oil has numerous health benefits, including reducing anxiety, which I regularly battle. I’ve also been drinking raw milk lately. I’ve had long term sinus problems and raw milk supposedly can reduce sinus problems.

The more I’ve looked into different health remedies the more I’ve discovered that there are an infinite number of options. I could eat a raw diet, organic diet, paleo diet, founders diet, South Beach diet, and Atkins diet. I could go gluten free, wheat free, dairy free, meat free (NEVER!), or sugar free. All of these diets probably offer legitimate health benefits. But I’ve also realized that there are two significant temptations when thinking about improving my health.

Worry and Fear

There is a lot of frightening, alarmist literature out there about the dangers of processed food, sugar, beef, wheat, and just about every thing else. Some of the information may be true, some of it may be bunk, a lot of it is conflicting. That’s not my main concern here. My concern is that all the alarmist literature may cause us to forget about our sovereign God.

God has numbered the days of my life. He has my children in the palm of his hand. He cares very much about me and my family. Yes, it’s good to be concerned about the food that goes into the mouths of me and my children. But if this concern morphs into fear and worry then it has become an idol. I have begun trusting in my diet rather than in my God. My diet has become my refuge and strength, not my sovereign God.

It’s good to be concerned about health but health cannot be my God.

The Search For Everlasting Life

My other concern is that in our search for optimal health we’ll miss the big picture. We live in a fallen world. Our bodies are slowly crumbling and collapsing. Our ultimate hope is not in this world. Our ultimate goal is not perfect health in this world. We’ll never have perfect health in this life. Perfect health will come on the glorious day when we receive our resurrection bodies! On that day it won’t matter if we’re vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, wheat free, or anything else free. We’ll have new resurrection bodies that will never die! I can’t wait for that day!

Finding out which foods are “good” and which foods are “bad” can take a tremendous amount of time and energy. We need to be careful that the search for optimal health doesn’t consume so much of our time that we neglect the weightier matters of life, like our walk with the Lord, time with our family, fellowship with other believers, and serving in the church.

When we are on our death beds we won’t regret spending time with our family. We may regret that the amount of time our health research took us away from our family.

Don’t get me wrong. I believe health is important. I want to be a generally healthy guy. But I always want to make sure that I keep my priorities straight. And I want to keep that final day in mind, when all this health research won’t matter one bit.


  • arwen says:

    my mom used to regularly make me take a spoonful of cod liver oil when we lived in Holland, cause it wasn't particularly sunny and she worried about my vitamin D. i'm pretty sure i've never forgiven her, and in my unforgiveness i am likely forfeiting my eternal salvation, so cod liver oil can be dangerous stuff!

  • Stephen Altrogge says:

    It really is horrendous. I mean it's just awful.

  • Hillary says:

    Really excellent post, Stephen. I keep going to the website and adding the FCLO to my cart, but then I chicken out before I actually buy it. Seems most people have a reaction like yours to it :o) LOL!

  • Elaine says:

    Hahahaha! I had to read this title twice and it did provoke, "What on earth is he talking about?" It's great to try to be healthy but we will never achieve perfection in our eating habits. Do what you can and trust Him in all of it. And like other "good things," it does nothing for our salvation – it's only by the blood…not the cod liver oil!

  • Stephen: So let's discuss some positive motives. One pastor I had encouraged us to eat healthy, so that when we grow old we can work hard to serve the local church. Wow!

    I personally have a number of things I believe God is calling me to, but am chronically fatigued. My goal to improve my health is so that I can have the energy to make Jesus look great in the earth. But even if I stay sick, I can make Jesus look great by trusting Him instead of worrying.

    Everyone, be sure to read "Don't Waste Your Cancer" (Google it.) It's as provocative as it sounds.

  • Ezekiel says:

    Wow what insight. Chanced upon this. Thanks sean

  • Blaine says:

    Great point! I’m a guy who stays fit and eats pretty well generally, without getting nutso about it. The Lord graciously reminds me quite often, while I’m doing just 20 more push up or running one more half mile, that this body is temporary, and my ultimate destiny is in His hands. Makes the exercise somehow more enjoyable, and more effective at keeping at bay my own depression and anxiety. Might hafta try to cod liver oil…. :p.

  • Vicki says:

    I make Emma take it. I hold her nose while she takes it and them praise her for how brave she is. She does pretty well. I think she will get even some day though when I am old and she is taking care of me…

  • Vicki says:

    I started giving cod liver oil to Emma when she texted me at work because I forgot to give her a gummy vitamin and she wanted one as an after school snack. She has never had a gummy vitamin again, and she has never texted me at work to give her cod liver oil either. ;). I’m such a mean mom…

  • Stephen Altrogge says:

    Oh it's terrible. I mean, really bad.

  • Stephen Altrogge says:

    Right! What can wash away my sins? Only the blood!

  • Stephen Altrogge says:

    Yes, I really want to be healthy so that I can work hard to serve my church. Great positive point.

  • Stephen Altrogge says:

    She deserves more than praise. She deserves money!

  • Stephen Altrogge says:

    Don't try it if you don't have to. Not worth it!

  • Aslan's Daughter says:

    Have you considered taking cod liver oil in a gel/ pill form? Much easier to get down. Also if you have allergies constantly I would suggest getting an allergy test. I had sinus infections as a kid come to find out I was allergic to milk. Stopped drinking milk and no more sinus issues.

  • Dr. Catton says:

    Good post. There’s common grace in supplements (including the long-term benefits of cod liver oil), medications, and therapies. As believers, we can receive these as gifts from God (1 Tim 4); the daily battle, however, is to make sure we acknowledge God as God.

    As I sometimes say, Christians may take different therapies, but make sure Prozac doesn’t replace prayer.

    Regarding the. Of liver oil, have you tried freezing the capsules first? Supposedly it helps mask the nasty flavor. Works for omega 3’s and may do the same for cod liver oil!

  • Lynette Him says:

    I struggle with Lyme Disease, Chronic Fatigue and all sorts of food sensitivities (and a myriad of other ailments). My main motivation for seeking to be healthy and eating healthy foods is for furthering God's Kingdom. Thank you for posting the positive point. I get a lot of people judging me for the healthy food I eat, but earnestly, I am seeking to be a good steward of this body God has given me. It is the temple of the Holy Spirit after all. But, as you say, if I am to remain sick, I have full confidence that this is for God's glory too. God is glorified as we display faith and endure to the end, looking to Christ the author and finisher of our faith (Heb 11-12). So whether healthy or sick, I yearn to be faithful, setting my mind on things above and not on things of earth. But while on earth, to live is Christ, and I am responsible before God to not just bury my one talent, but to go and seek to multiply the talents He has given me. Maybe my exegesis isn't correct, but I take that to mean I need to 'work out my faith with fear and trembling' and seek improvement of health with the graces given to us. For me that means trying to eat 70-80% vegetables (in raw food, juices, smoothies, etc). Anyway, I just thank you for the word of hope and for encouraging me as I eat healthy in the hopes of growing old to work hard to serve the church. May God bless you and be glorified in your life.
    However, I do have to confess I just cannot stomach cod liver oil, as hard as I try. The lemon flavour is best, and I can get it down, but the rest of the day I feel like I've got fish in my mouth. Yuck!

  • Dan lyle says:

    Thanks for the post…. I have struggled with anxiety off and on for years. I'm dealing with a high stress situation at my church right now and for the most part very well. But anxiety has been knocking at my door over the past week. Your post was a good remainder to trust God.

  • Abel says:

    Remember what God gave us as food wasn’t anything junk but precribe. Friut,nut and greens. What good is it to be heal and go and do the same thing that brought becos you have a healer. The says go for anything of good report.

  • Jennifer says:

    Lol, my little ones take the cinnamon fermented cod liver oil like champs! I like this post a lot. I love how God has filled our world with all kinds of natural, wonderful, healing foods and plants that can keep us feeling healthy and better able to serve him. To me the health of my family and children is a pretty weighty matter but it's just part of our walk with God and lifestyle. I want to be a good steward of my own body and the children he has entrusted me with and I love having the opportunity to help my family in the Lord feel better by sharing what I've learned. But anything, even something so good as eating heathy, can become an idol. At the end of the day we've got to do our best and pray in faith to the One who is always faithful.

  • Keith says:

    Try mixing fresh orange juice with it, give it a stir and down it. Tastes fine then!

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