Monday, July 12, 2010

Selling Health - Miracles in a Bottle

I love westerns...John Wayne has always been one of my favorite actors. In a western there’s always a hero, a villain, a doctor, and of course a mortician to do the real clean up after the obligatory gunfight. There is also another interesting character of the western that always shows up on the prairie...The Snake Oil Salesman. In the movie “Outlaw Josey Wales” the character is found selling his wares at local trading posts, on the trails, and outside the general store. He describes the tonic as an “elixir for all your ailments”, “a cure all for any problem” and “only a dollar per bottle”. Now the days of The Snake Oil Salesman have long since been past - or have they?

I was recently viewing a prominent Southern Baptist website and clicked the "Drink Your Way to Better Health" link when I came across a remnant from the past. No it is not the dollar bottle of “elixir for all your ailments” for now the miracle cost $39.00 per bottle. Miracles for sale have always plagued the church. All we need do is follow the raised tents of the depression-era to the mega churches of the 21st century. People have always tried to feed off the desperation of a person looking for a healing. This miracle elixir I found promised to increase one’s energy, decrease stress, give better sleep, build the immune system, as well as decrease aches and pains all for the stated low price. WOW! All of this for less than $50.00! Why had I not been led to this site before?

The real question is why is this miracle tonic being sold on a notable Christian website?

Matthew 7:15 reads “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves”. False prophets always come looking for payment in some form or fashion. Whether it is worship or money from the people, there will always be a fleecing of the spirit. The church has made itself susceptible to victimization by groups looking to “Sell Good Health”. Because of our poor health, we are easily lured into buying cures that are disguised as “being from God’s Garden”. The church is a grifter’s dream because we are so willing to take a pill, drink a juice, eat a special diet and do all this on faith while our money is being lifted right from our wallets. Acts 20:30 reads “Some even from your own group will come distorting the truth”. Many of these products are marketed within the Church, often by well intentioned Christians who have been deceived by the outrageous claims made by the manufacturers of these products. They often promote the belief that God wants Christians to take and distribute these “natural” products in order to make Christians healthy.

Why do we believe untruths? I’ll tell you why - because Christians, like the world, love the easy way.

Many Christians pass over the proven basics of good health:
- not smoking
- not becoming obese
- regular exercise (150minutes/week)
- eating fruits and vegetables (5 servings/day)

for unproven, and often dangerous, quick fixes:
- vitamins
- supplements
- miracle juices.

These miracle cures claim to give us an easy way of staying healthy without any of the work. If I have Type II Diabetes, and my doctor says “Lose 30 pounds, exercise daily, quit smoking, and eat 5 servings of fruits or vegetables everyday and you will no longer have Type II Diabetes or take pills, but you will eventually end up on insulin and die an earlier death” what choice do I make? The majority of people I have encountered said, “Give me the pills, the other way is too hard”. Christians are such prisoners of the socially acceptable sins of gluttony and sloth that we pass over the discernment of the Holy Spirit - the ability to look at a situation and know truth from lie - and we believe the lie.

Your health is a gift from God!
With a little maintenance, these miraculous bodies God has given us will take care of themselves. If on these Christian websites salvation was for sale, the site would be boycotted and closed down so fast it would make your head spin. Yet we continue to buy into the delusion of the quick and easy way out – a Pill, a Drink, a Lie. These are easier to swallow than the truth!

Your health is a free gift from God!
And just like all gifts from God it can be accepted or rejected – BUT IT CAN NEVER BE BOUGHT – not even for the amazingly low price of $39.00 plus shipping and handling.

Ray Morrow
(Thanks to Pam for her help)

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