Monday, September 10, 2012


I want to say that we have been insulted, but I am a preacher of the philosophy that one cannot be insulted unless one wants to be and gives permission for what is done or said to be an insult.  And, frankly, we see a lot of that today, especially in the realm of Political Correctness.  So… I am rethinking… How about, “we have been slandered, defamed, vilified?”  Is that better?  No.  But slander is a one of the synonyms for insult:  Reviled, persecuted, insulted, defamed, vilified, cursed.  We were warned of this and we were shown by Christ Himself how to react, which is basically, don’t react.  We can trust the Lord to take care of HIS and our reputations.  Arguing or planning revenge is not our job.  But I think that discussing what is going on may be very relevant to keeping ourselves and each other healthy in our thinking.

So, this is what came up in the Not News, as I like to call it because it is hardly ever not already known while being shouted out as something we possibly missed the last 300 times it was told to us.  And, no, I am not sure that anyone else even heard this news that is not news, let alone felt insulted by it. It was quick and sharp and hidden under the guise of a news story.  (Imagine that.) 

But to the point:  It seems that some mindless “study takers”, took it upon themselves to compare evangelicals (especially those in Mega Churches) to dope addicts.  They have concluded that going to a big church is a “high” very much like that of a drug addict and that we become so dependent on the “high” that we make excuses to meet frequently during the week in order to keep our “high” going.  This refers to “small groups” and other gatherings of smaller portions of the church throughout the week.  Hmmmm  They actually indicate that we are “jonesing” for (craving) these get-togethers the same way druggies “jones’ or “die for” the substances they abuse.  Honest.  They said that.  At least CBS Evening news reported it that way.  :)

*For those of you who are not familiar with “jonesing” it is the overwhelming desire to repeat an experience of being “high” on drugs or whatever.  Frankly, I will never argue that worshiping Christ is not the best “high” ever, but calling it an addiction and comparing it to the evil of substance abuse is going a bit far.

For one thing, the various definitions of addiction are absolutely negative in terms and description of results:
1.  noun
the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma.

2.  Addiction is the continued use of a mood altering substance or behavior despite adverse dependency consequences, or a neurological impairment leading to such behaviors.

3.  Public Policy Statement: Addiction - Short Definition of Addiction:

Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations. This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors.

Addiction is characterized by inability to consistently abstain, impairment in behavioral control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response. Like other chronic diseases, addiction often involves cycles of relapse and remission. Without treatment or engagement in recovery activities, addiction is progressive and can result in disability or premature death.

In some ways this is just supporting what we often tell people who are looking for excitement about how exciting it is to be a part of Christ’s family.  However, I think it goes a bit far to accuse God and Christ of being addictive substance and that following our God is somehow an overwhelming addiction comparable to seeking relief from the pain of this earth into a misguided, evil practice of blowing one’s mind with chemicals.

King Sennacharib of Assyria defamed God while King Hezekiah trusted God about as well as anyone could (see II Kings 18):  And God set Sennacharib straight: “Who is it that you have insulted and blasphemed?”  “By your messengers you have heaped insults on the Lord!”  Sooo… perhaps it can be said that God, being who He is, can be insulted and has every right to take offense.  I am not convinced that we have the right  to take personal offense, but I am pretty sure we can take some offense on God’s behalf in this particular absurdity, though He will be the one to avenge this blasphemy against Him.

I will be attempting to write a response to this whole idea… something for discussion.  Perhaps you would like to consider what your own response would be if someone asked you about this study.  Let’s put on our thinking caps just in case someone besides me noticed this story at all.  (to be continued)  :)

No comments:

Post a Comment