A trend I see in my work as a hospital chaplain is what I am calling “pagan’s logic” or “atheist logic”, or you could call it “nominalists logic”. It goes something like this. Premise One: I am free to make my own decisions and I will do as I like. Premise Two: Since I can do as I want, I will pursue pleasure and fun. Conclusion: I am hurting and my life is miserable and empty. New Premise One: If I am miserable either god hates me or he is not there! New Premise Two: I am so lonely and life has no meaning! New Conclusion: I just want to die, or I will kill myself.
Monday’s as a chaplain in a critical care unit has been a bit repetitive lately. A high percentage of new admission into the CCU who are under 60 years of age are in for some kind of drug or alcohol related overdose or related incident. If you are over 60 it is usually heart, lungs or cancer that brings you into the CCU. When I left my shift on Friday there were 7 patients in the 20 bed CCU. This morning there were 17. 60% were under 60, and 80% of them were there for drug or alcohol related events. Attempted suicide, or near accidental suicides. Most of these are well beyond the point of wanting to discuss finding help for their life situation. Not all but most. They are Sarcastic, jaded, and or rude, “I’m not interested” are the attitudes that are common.
This common attitude could have a variety of explanations. A person could think they are beyond help. They could think that they have screwed up so many times, certainly God would no longer be interested. Or the deceit of of what I can atheist logic or pagan logic as stated above. Or many other reasons I am sure.
But once again the only answer I see to resolve this ongoing issue for those who chronically use alcohol or drugs to self medicate is the Gospel. But we are all repetitive sinners. I know for me, I have not committed a new sin in years. For me it is the same old thing over and over again. But I know the Gospel well enough to know that it is precisely the repetitive nature of my sin that illustrates my utter bondage and inability to overcome these chronic issues. And it is the Gospel that will renew the minds and hearts of anyone who is willing and able to receive it.
For the Christian biblical covenantal logic works something like this. Premise One: God created me. Premise Two: Christ redeemed me. Conclusion: He owns me, and I do not have the right to just do what I want! New Premise One: If God owns me then He sets the Agenda. New Premise Two: God’s plan is always a plan of life and liberty and love! Conclusion’: I have Joy and life everlasting!
Our life when it is separated from God’s will and plan will always lead to death and self destruction. His will will always lead to life and liberty and love.
Do God’s Plan!