The Phalanx men recently did a couple of hours of work on this under-studied topic. It was harder than we expected, because there is so little in the Bible on the topic!
There are two ways of treating gluttony as a topic:
1. It is an over-arching character flaw that is basically connected to over-indulgence of any kind. When viewed this angle, Gluttony is basically the opposite of self-control. Gluttony would be any kind of unwillingness to accept the appropriate measure of God’s provision of any kind – so, from this perspective, lust, adultery, drunkenness, addictions, etc would all be forms of gluttony.
2. Gluttony is only about food and drink. In other words, there is a virtue: self control. To fail to choose self control with alcohol would be drunkenness; possessions – lust; sex – adultery or fornication; emotion – intemperance, etc. (in fact virtually anything could become an addiction), and to fail to choose self control with food would be gluttony.
In either case, connecting descriptors could include lavish, riotous, squandering, excessive, without regard for the needs of others and grotesque, when referencing gluttony. We decided that fundamentally, it would be very difficult if not impossible to create a universal measurement for the moment when something would turn from “eating a lot” to “gluttony.” The best measure as a character trait may be mostly internal. Just as we defined self control as “winning the battle against oneself” or “being stronger than oneself”, maybe we have to describe gluttony as “eating or drinking when one believes that one should cease.”
Though scripture does not clearly label Gluttony as “sin,” there does seem to be a strong connection to it as somehow in antithesis to “self-control” which is certainly a virtue. It has become such a common and almost required thing in our culture to over-indulge in almost every way, that it is even hard to separate it from what might be “normal” indulgence. However, though the word “gluttony” isn’t used in the passage, the most damning connection to it might be in Paul’s letter to the Philippians. In his description of “the enemies of the cross of Christ,” he mentioned that their “god is their stomach.” (Phil 3:19). Enough to make me pause, I hope.