Social Issues (Part 6): Drug Abuse

Social Issues

Drug abuse is a broad topic. It includes illicit drugs (marijuana, cocaine, heroin, etc.), legal drugs (alcohol and tobacco), and even prescription drugs. This lesson is not about the medicinal use of drugs but the recreational use of such substances.

Those who argue in favor of recreational drug use (including “social drinking”) will often argue that as long as they remain in control and do not use these substances in excess or to the point of harming themselves or others, it is perfectly fine. As a way to justify their behavior, it is common for those who want to defend drug and alcohol use to liken it to eating unhealthy foods.Continue Reading

Social Issues (Part 5): Racism

Social Issues

Racism can take on different forms and exist in varying degrees. A milder form of racism may simply mean that one views his own race as superior to other races (or possibly over one race that has been singled out in particular). More extreme forms of racism can include hostility and even violence against others based upon their race.

Those who defend their racist views will often cite common prejudices or negative stereotypes as the basis for looking down upon a particular race. Personal anecdotes are often used to support one’s racism (a negative experience with one person can be used to portray everyone of that race in the same light). Some will even use the Bible (more accurately, they will misuse it) to argue in favor of racism – for example, since Ham’s descendants were cursed (Genesis 9:22-27), those who descended from Ham are to be viewed as cursed as well.Continue Reading

Dr. Daniel Hook: Writing His Own Treatment

Dr. Daniel Hook: Writing His Own Treatment

Dr. Daniel Hook (1795-1870) was instrumental in spreading the gospel in Georgia in the mid-nineteenth century. Though he is not as well-known to us today as men like Alexander Campbell and Barton W. Stone, he helped direct people back to the “ancient order” as “one of the first persons to proclaim the Restoration plea in the Deep South.”

In addition to proclaiming the gospel, he also practiced medicine. The excerpt below describes what he did during the yellow fever epidemic in 1839 in helping others and in dealing with the illness personally.

“In the summer of 1839 a yellow fever epidemic scourged Augusta. Dr. Hook discovered it and remained in town with the stricken. After successfully treating more than 200 patients, and losing only two, he became ill. When he found the fever coming on himself, he sat down on the steps he was ascending to see a patient, and wrote out his own treatment, and directed his driver when he returned to his carriage, to give it to Dr. Johnson (who had adopted his treatment) and tell him to pursue it strictly. He was ill for several weeks, but finally recovered.” (Biographical Sketch on the Life of Dr. Daniel Hook)

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Social Issues (Part 4): Gender Roles

Social Issues

Gender roles are about the responsibilities that men have as men and women have as women. Most instructions in the Bible are not specific to gender – they apply to all people. But there are some that specifically apply to either men or women.

Many argue that there are no specific gender roles. They claim that there should be no difference between what a man can do and what a woman can do. On the extreme of this issue is the “feminist ideology.” In addition to confusing/changing gender roles, feminist ideology also embraces abortion, lesbianism, and hostility toward males (to include the assumption of guilt every time a man is accused by a woman of sexual assault).Continue Reading

Take Courage in the Face of Tribulation

Jesus with His Disciples

Behold, an hour is coming, and has already come, for you to be scattered, each to his own home, and to leave Me alone; and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world” (John 16:32-33).

On this occasion, Jesus was talking with His apostles shortly before His death. He warned them that they would be scattered, which would happen when He was arrested (Matthew 26:56). However, despite the fact that these men would leave Him, Jesus knew that the Father would not leave Him so that He was “not alone.

Jesus encouraged them with the fact that He had “overcome the world.” It is important to note that this was said prior to the crucifixion and resurrection. Yet these events were so certain, Jesus could speak of them as though they had already happened. They were still in the future, yet they were facts. He told them this to give them the courage to endure the trials they would face (cf. John 16:2).

The Lord’s disciples continue to face tribulation even today. Paul encouraged the brethren on his first preaching tour “to continue in the faith, and saying, ‘Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God’” (Acts 14:22). We suffer in this life on account of persecution, sin, hardship, sickness, and more. Yet we can “take courage” just as the apostles were told to do.

So how can we “take courage” in the face of tribulation? Jesus made three points in our text – reasons why His disciples can take courage.Continue Reading

Social Issues (Part 3): Transgenderism

Social Issues

Transgenderism has become a “hot topic” lately. It is often grouped together with homosexual causes (LGBT). However, this is not about sexuality, but identity. Homosexuality involves an attraction to those of the same sex/gender that results in sexual relations. Transgenderism is about how one identifies himself/herself. It is sometimes called “gender dysphoria,” which is defined as an unease or dissatisfaction with one’s gender.

Those who argue on behalf of transgenderism claim that these individuals are being true to themselves and that the sex they were “assigned” at birth is different from who they are inside (how they identify themselves). They claim this is not a choice (for example, a man might choose to wear women’s clothing but not be transgender).Continue Reading

Social Issues (Part 2): Homosexuality

Social Issues

Homosexuality is a compound word that refers to the sexual relations between two people of the same sex (the Greek homo means same). This is in contrast with heterosexuality which involves two people of the opposite sex (the Greek hetero means other or different).

Those who argue in favor of homosexuality will often argue from the standpoint that those in these relationships “love” one another and since it is based upon love their behavior is not to be questioned; instead, it should be celebrated. Many who defend homosexuality claim that homosexuals are “born that way”; therefore, we cannot judge them. However, while the “born that way” argument is common, it is not as popular as it used to be. Why? First, it is simply not true. Second, it is too limiting. The argument was used initially to get more people to accept homosexuality. After it is more widely accepted, the argument can be dropped to get more people to experiment with homosexuality.Continue Reading