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Pains and Pills

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 3:16-17
Cancer is a deadly disease attacking many people. Stopping smoking would eradicate much of this terrible curse. Other cancers (stomach) are discussed and avoiding abuse of different organs of the body. The consumption of sugar is also discussed.
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One day in 1899 a man stepped off a street car in New York City and was struck and killed by a horseless carriage. That first traffic fatality marked the beginning of a carnage which now annually exceeds, by far, the victims of two world wars. In one year alone twice as many Americans were injured in automobile accidents as were wounded in five years of World War II which was our bloodiest war to date. If America's eleven billion dollar annual economic loss from traffic accidents were spread equally, each family would get a bill for $208.00.

These alarming statistics of slaughter on the highways constitute only a part of the over all picture of physical loss and suffering which afflicts our 20th Century like an incurable plague. ln spite of tremendous advances in medical research, and new discoveries for prolonging human life, the fact remains that one out of eight Americans will be a hospital patient during this year. We are not a nation of healthy citizens, by any means. At least 75,000,000 Americans have chronic illnesses of smaller or greater degree, and that's more than a third of our total population.

It seems passing strange that one of the most deadly diseases continues to rampage and destroy life with increasing force. I'm talking about cancer, of course, which continues to increase as a killer of every age group. I'm not going to dwell on the well-known facts of lung cancer which destroys more than 120,000 people every year. Suffice it to say that this deadly statistic would be almost entirely eliminated if the American public had the simple moral purpose and strength of will to quit smoking cigarettes. Should time last and should America change its course soon enough to survive, future generations would probably look back on this mass-suicide smoking age as the most unbelievable in world history. Probably there has never been a period since time began when so many people, with such full knowledge of what they were doing, followed a course of self-destruction. When life means so little that a person prefers to smoke and die rather than live, we are far along the road which ancient Rome followed before us.

This cancer-smoking picture is more than a physical dilemma for those who choose lingering pain and death. It is also a moral problem. God's Word says this in 1 Corinthians 3:16,17: "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you. If any man defile the temple of God him shall God destroy for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are." Please notice that those who defile and destroy their own bodies are sinning against God, and will be punished for that sin by being destroyed. There is no question about this point. The Bible speaks with clarity and conviction. If human language has any meaning at all we can understand the Word of God on this.

In the Old Testament God often accused His people of being destroyed for lack of knowledge, and held them guilty of not searching to know the truth. But friends, today we face a situation that is far worse. What must the God of Heaven think as He looks down upon an indulgent generation of weak-willed transgressors of their own bodies, who do have a perfect knowledge of what they are doing. And yet they do it! With all the terrifying facts of lung cancer before them millions continue to invite death by the dubious pleasure of burning out their lungs. Why do they do it? This is the question that goes begging for an answer. The amazing fact is that this soft generation prefers to indulge its perverted appetite than to exert the effort and will to curb any fleshly pleasure, even if lingering torment and death will be the result.

But now let's consider another aspect of the cancer problem. Even with the astronomical rise of lung cancer the fact remains that 1/3 of all cancers of the human body occur within the stomach, and 1/2 of all cancers are found in the organs of digestion including the liver, pancreas, small intestine and colon.

Friends, the reason for this cancer concentration must be obvious to all of us. Except for those who bombard their lungs with hot tobacco tars, the stomach is the most abused organ of the body. Dr. James Ewing, one of the founders of the American Cancer Society made this statement in a tract entitled "The Prevention of Cancer": "The perpetual abuse of a normal stomach frequently gives rise to cancer, and an abnormally weak stomach may suffer the same fate from less abuse. In both instances abuse and overfunction must be regarded as the exciting cause. The stomach is not lined with copper, but by a single row of rather delicate epithelial cells. The sole safe conclusion to be drawn from these data is that all forms of abuse of the stomach must be avoided if the high mortality from this very common disease is to be reduced."

My friends, it is simply hair-raising and blood-curdling to see what goes into the stomachs of American men, women and children. The great test seems to be whether it tastes good, or else whether it gives a pleasant after-effect. No wonder 50% of the population is suffering from obesity, and that $300,000,000 is spent each year on diet formulas and exercise gadgets.

No wonder also that 25 tons of aspirin are swallowed every day in the United States of America. According to the National Observer this is 2 1/4 tablets for every man,woman and child in the nation; and that's every day, friends, If you didn't get your 2 1/4 tablets today, somebody else got a double supply, you can be sure of that.

And now let's take a look at the acid-forming irritating effects of concentrated sweets. One of the largest exhibits at the 1962 World's Fair in Seattle was a huge cake two stories high, 60 feet in circumference, weighing 25,000 pounds, that is 12 1/2 tons. This cake contained two tons of cane sugar. Was not this cake symbolic of America's huge sweet tooth?

Back in 1840 our average annual consumption of sugar in the United States was ten pounds per person. In 1940 the average consumption of sugar had soared to 100 pounds. In 1960 it had climbed to 110 pounds, beside one gallon per person of liquid sweets such as honey and molasses. Allowing for the lighter weight of children, we adults consume our own weight in sugar every twelve months.

In the Journal of American Dental Association this statement appeared, "The Dental profession and other interested agencies have a responsibility to warn the public of the carcinogenic (cancer producing) properties of sugars and their solutions and to point out that many of these products contain no highly important nutritional factors."

Patricia McCormack wrote in 1961, "America's sweet tooth is bulging near jaw-breaking proportions. Filling the craving for sweets now amounts to a billion dollar a year business and during the last twelve months, the per capita consumption of candy hit 18 1/2 pounds."

The ice cream freezer was invented by Nancy Johnson in 1846. Ice cream was first made and sold commercially by Jacob Fussell in Baltimore in 1851. In that year 15,000 gallons were consumed. In the year 1900, the people of the United States consumed 5,000,000 gallons. In 1956, the amount had soared to 650,965,000 gallons besides 36,054,000 gallons of frozen sherbet. In 1960 the consumption of ice cream had risen to 700,650,000 gallons and frozen sherbet to 41,555,000 gallons. These figures are supplied by the International Association of Ice Cream Manufacturers which declares: "Ice cream is the supreme ruler of many a palate." Has ice cream displaced our brains to become the supreme ruler of our palate? Much of this ice cream is eaten upon an empty stomach and between meals. If indulged at all, these frozen dainties should be taken only at meal time and in modest quantity. Then admixture with other foods would dilute the concentration of sugar and warm it up. There is not a digestive juice in the body which can even begin the digestion of any food that is very cold.

I can almost hear some conscientious serious minded youth exclaim, "But can't we have any pleasure, can't we have any good times, can't we have any fun?" Yes, indeed. It is right for youth and their elders to have pleasure, to have a good time, but not that kind of good time which destroys your health while having it. Christian youth are the happiest young people in the world. They have satisfying joy to which other youth are strangers; good times with no aftermath of corroding hangovers, violent headaches, jittery nerves, rebelling stomachs, restless nights, stinging regrets, and bitter remorse.

One of the adversaries' most formidable weapons against us is ridicule. We all like to be accepted by our crowd. We don't like to be different, to be peculiar, to be an odd ball. Decoy youth beckon, "Ah come on, don't be a sissy, don't chicken out, don't be a kill joy, don't be a square. What? You don't smoke, you don't drink, you don't chew, you don't dope. Everybody's doing it. Once can't hurt you. Can't you have any pleasure, can't you have any fun?" Pretty hard to resist such pressures by the crowd. "Can't have any fun." Strange fantasy, fascinating mirage, or could it be a fatal delusion? Is there no fun except in fetters which shackle you? Is there no pleasure except in habits which enslave you? Is there any fun in the gripping pains of a coronary attack. Is there any delight in the terrifying delusions of delirium tremors? Is there true satisfaction in vices which may open to you the gates to Federal prisons and which may close forever the gate to Paradise? Is there any thrill in a leap to suicide? It takes but one step to determine direction. How much is it worth to be well? How much would it be worth to postpone for ten, twenty or thirty years, beyond the expected life span, that last lonely, one way ride in a dark vehicle you neither drive nor own. Yes, we may expect ridicule, but do not be laughed out of your principles, or into an untimely grave.

A Christian doctor just recently, at the age of 82, wrote a book on health. I'd like to quote from that book in closing the broadcast today. "During my medical student day in the University of Colorado, I was written up in the ‘student annual,' as ‘deacon Truman, our sky pilot.' (Not too bad.) At the President's banquet, given in honor of our graduating class, they had a gay time. Sparkling wines and proof spirits flowed freely. Of course I refused to imbibe, which surprised no one. Then came the big tray, loaded with various brands of cigarettes and cigars. Again I refused the ‘President's treat.' A booming voice shouted ‘Truman, you don't smoke?' I replied ‘No I don't smoke.' ‘And you don't drink?' ‘No I don't drink that.' ‘Well, do you eat hay? You wouldn't make company for either man or beast.' Then the big laugh! It was all in fun, but not so funny for the goat (me). However, I had the respect and friendship of every member of my class and could have lost both had I wilted under ridicule.

"Last June we attended the 50 year Golden Jubilee Celebration of the University of Colorado, honoring the 50th year graduating class, and all previous graduating classes of the University. It was the 57th anniversary of my class. I looked about and inquired at the alumni office in Denver, where the medical school is now located, also at the alumni office in Boulder. They had no record and no knowledge of any other surviving member of the 1908 graduating class in medicine. It seems I have the last laugh." Is the price tag too high? Oh no. It's fun to keep fit.

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