And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die
We've look at this core lie of the evil one in various studies on the false doctrine of "the immorality of the soul." But today I want to pull back the lens and look at this pervasive lie and how it is currently manifesting itself in the general culture.
News programs and politicians have discovered the power of anecdotes. We do not completely discard the use of anecdotes as they sometimes do reflect a larger reality. However, we want to avoid taking an anecdote and use to make sweeping generalizations without warrant.
Let's put the idea of the lie "ye shall not surely die" along side the use of anecdotes in trying to prove a sweeping generalization.
A friend of mine recently posted a story about the recent increase in the number of people hospitalized and the number of people who have died from COVID-19. The post was meant to illicit fear and suggest that huge numbers of people are dying from the disease. To be sure, many have died (we do not minimize that fact), but the overall numbers tell a different story in terms of how deadly the disease is (in general).
Total cases: 20,346,372
Source: CDC COVID Data Tracker (Jan 4, 2021)
Again, we do not minimize any death and we certainly encourage anyone who perceives any threat to his/her health to take all precautions. I am "at-risk" because of my heart condition, so I am certainly sympathetic to those at-risk (especially the elderly). But the CDC numbers above reflect a mortality rate of less than 2% of cases.
We now turn to more info to help give us context on published death rates you may have encountered.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new data last week that depicts how many Americans who have died from COVID-19 also had other contributing conditions. According to the report, only 6% of deaths have COVID-19 as the only cause mentioned, revealing that 94% of patients who died from coronavirus also had other “health conditions and contributing causes.” (fox8.com, Aug 30, 2020)
With these full-scale statistics before us, let us pivot to the original concern. Just as my friend posted selective numbers to try and illicit an emotional reaction, others post individual stories of those who have unfortunately died from COVID-19 to "prove" either that we need to take even more extreme measures or to pin blame for political purposes. I'm going to leave these alone and instead point to what I believe is the reason the use of anecdotes in this area has proved so successful.
The idea is to get all of us to treat almost every death as preventable. Without the notion being explicitly expressed, the idea that no one one should "surely die" is behind much of the manipulation. Almost anyone anywhere under the age of 70 who dies of almost anything causes the crusaders to find who is at fault.
Health care being deemed a "right" is based on this thinking. That's a large topic we will not examine here, but for millenia people died from everything. We are fortunate to live in an age of fantastic medical advances. We have pharmaceuticals and surgeries today unknown and impossible to imagine in other ages. I'm alive today because of these relatively recent advancements. Yet, I never claimed a "right" to them. We will just have to leave that there.
Back to our premise and a look the Utopian Lie
We are being taught to think that every death is a political death. Every death is the fault of someone. Every death is preventable. Every death is undeserved. This creates anger and emotional responses to reality. It also plays into the lie of the Evil One. Yes, we shall all surely die.
Scripture speaks of death as an "enemy." In fact, when death is finally destroyed, it is called "the last enemy." It is the curse. It is what plagues all humans. It is the result of our birth in Adam and our own sin. It is what Christ came to reverse. We mourn the dead because all deaths are sad. But that does not mean all deaths are preventable.
The two-pronged lie poisons the greatest event in all of scripture: the resurrection of our Great God and Savior, The Lord Jesus Christ. The first prong is the prong of the "immortal soul" which supposedly lives without resurrection. The second denies that all men deserve death (at some point, not that murder is justified, etc.). Yes, the death of a child may be tragic. It may be the result of negligence, etc. But we cannot fall into lie that ALL deaths must have a villain*.
[*We pause here to note that CNN took down its ubiquitous COVID death count graphic after the inauguration [Jan 20]. As of today (Jan 22) it is still not up.]
The double lie of the immortal soul and that almost every death is the fault of a political enemy is part of another two-pronged, hallucinogenic fantasy. One prong the idea of a coming Utopia and the other prong is the misguided concept of collectivism. Where the first goes, the other follows. These are deadly, anti-God, humanistic drugs. They have no place in Christian doctrine.
The anti-Christ murderer (and Catholic "saint") Thomas More coined the word Utopia. Wikipedia offers this brief description:
A utopia focuses on equality in such categories as economics, government and justice, with the method and structure of proposed implementation varying based on ideology.
We see another drug in there: equality. Equality is fine if it merely describes a condition such as "equal before the law," but as a basis for running a society, it becomes an addictive substance which drugs the masses into accepting things like "re-education," the cancel culture, discrimination, and the punishment of success. All of which we are seeing in this current age.
Utopia hates Christianity and its claims of exclusivity of life in Christ alone. Sadly, many in the name of Christianity have abandoned Christ for the drug of Utopian dreams. The same church that puts an "UNDO RACISM" or "LOVE THY NEIGHTBOR (NO EXCEPTION) "sign on its property would never deign to put a "CHRIST IS THE ONLY WAY" sign in their yard.
They are deemed "brave" for the former while the truth is that all they will receive is praise from a Christ-rejecting world. The real act of bravery would be to put up the latter. for that, they would receive scorn and have an opportunity to suffer for the Lord. But, alas, the praise and the self-righteous, self-glorification (virtue signaling) are powerful and addictive narcotics.