Drugs, Diet, and Death - Part 1

Millions are suffering the side effects of wrong living habits and harmful eating and drinking. Is it God's will that diseases plague people? The Bible gives guidelines for us to care for our health. We may be concerned about our bodies, but do we do anything about caring for our health?
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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 of $208.

These alarming statistics of slaughter on the highways constitute only a part of the overall picture of physical loss and suffering which afflicts our 20th Century like an incurable plague. In 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 is more than a third of our total population.

A survey was taken some years ago in an American city when 156 questions were asked every inhabitant. It was discovered that the prime interest of adults was that of health, not politics, history, or even the weather but health, their health and the health of their families. What a paradoxical age is this one in which we live. A time when we have more doctors, hospitals, medicines; more medical knowledge of the care, treatment and cure of disease; more pills, capsules, vitamins, and so forth; yet never has there been a time when more sickness and general ill-health has plagued the human heart.

Millions are suffering the side effects of wrong living habits and harmful eating and drinking. We live in a world which is shattered by pain. The cries of the sick and diseased are the trade marks of modern society. In spite of incredible progress in medical research, the problems of health and longevity are still the most serious our society faces.

Why can't disease be entirely eliminated, friends? Is it God's will for cancer to continue its malignant growth in the obituary columns of our country? It is a fact that many diseases have been conquered and eliminated within the lifetime of many who listen to this broadcast. Yet, others seem to break out in unpredictable patterns to replace those which were eradicated. Here is what the Bible says concerning this matter. "Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.'' 3 John verse 2.

It seems passing strange that one of the most deadly diseases continues to rampage and destroy life with increasing force. I am talking about cancer, of course, which continues to increase as a killer of every age group. I am not going to dwell on the well-known facts of lung cancer which destroys more than 60,000 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 will 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.

One of the strangest paradoxes of American life is found in this area of health. Though people fear sickness above every other enemy, yet they do almost nothing about taking care of their health until after disease has already struck. In a year's time, out of every medical dollar spent by the American people, 95 cents was spent to get well and 5 cents was spent on preventive medicine. Now this doesn't make a lot of sense. But in this field most people don't seem to excel in reason or good sense anyway. It reminds me of a group of tourists in Spain who had gone there to visit one of the historic sites. Up on the side of a cliff there was an ancient monastery which they wanted to visit. After they had toured the monastery, they were being lowered back down the side of the cliff. The only way to get up there was in a basket which was pulled up over a pulley by some of the monks. As they were getting into the basket to be lowered back down, they noticed that the rope was rather frayed. So they asked the monk in charge, "How often do you change the rope?" And the monk said, "Well, we change it every time it breaks, of course." That wasn't much comfort to those who were being lowered down in the basket.

The care and control of one's body requires self-denial and self-discipline. These characteristics aren't very popular in the soft materialistic world that we have inherited. Friends, perhaps you haven't realized it before, but there is a marvelous relationship between good health and good religion. A sick weakened body can't really give full, true service to God and His commandments. But do we realize that human bodies and systems are exactly the same as they have been for thousands of years? Also, the basic laws of our being have been unchanged for generations. Doctors, drugs, and diseases may change drastically as time goes along but the human machine is essentially the same as when God made it at the very beginning of human history. The laws which govern our health are permanent and unchanging. "Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." That is merely repeating an eternal truth which applies to every age and every people.

The practices which kept Grandpa healthy will doubtless be good for us. And by the way, some of the more simple and natural remedies are still recognized as being the most effective, fresh air, exercise, plenty of water, lots of sleep and relaxation are standard prescriptions of modern physicians just as they were a generation ago. Unfortunately under the 20th century scheme of things, people will not slow down to enjoy the benefits of those reliable remedies. Medical doctors also seem to find it easier and faster to just give an injection or a pill instead of utilizing some of those longer treatments more in line with nature's operation. Now don't misunderstand me, friends, there is certainly a need for every new medical aid to combat disease. But there remains a lingering question that we are depending too much on drug medication instead of the slower but more genuine benefits of natural therapy. If the preventive practices of good living habits could be used against illness, many of the emergency drug medications would never be needed today.

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 Weing, 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 abnornally 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.

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 percent of the population is suffering from obesity and that $300,000,000 is spent each year on diet formulas and exercise gadgets.

The amazing fact is that the average American consumes 1488 pounds of food every year. This is undoubtedly a large factor in the 1 1/2 million patients who fill American hospitals every day of the year. Have you ever noticed that three fifths of the word DEATH is EAT?

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