I could write a blog or two every single day about someone somewhere who has accidentally overdosed on opioids because of the alarming rates of accidental overdose deaths (note: these are not suicides but accidental deaths due to taking too much of a drug). On the same day that my blog entitled “Gospel Hope for an Epidemic” was posted on the Biblical Counseling Coalition’s website, sadly, we also found out more details about the late singer Prince’s toxicology report related to his 2016 death apparently related to the synthetic opioid, fentanyl. The fentanyl levels provided in the toxicology report were “exceedingly high” according to this article. The fact that Prince was taking fentanyl at all was alarming and his choices demonstrate that God’s warnings about drugs and alcohol are true (see Prov. 23:29-35; Eph. 5:18-21). His untimely death was just another reminder of the enslavement of addiction for all types of people, rich and poor, and that no one is immune from the consequences of addiction.
As I wrote in the Gospel Hope for an Epidemic blog mentioned above, the church has an opportunity. It may not seem like an opportunity to some who think the issue of addiction is purely a physical, medical problem, but the Church can reach out to those who struggle with addictions of all types and offer them real hope, opportunities to transform their thinking and behaving, truth to know the One True God, and an authentic community filled with love. The Church has the answer for the addiction problem because it is considered a “spiritual problem” even in so-called “non-religious” programs like 12 step meetings. I believe the Church should offer its spiritual remedy to those enslaved to the idolatry of addiction.
Many times throughout the last century, the Church often has had opportunities to platform the Gospel message of truth and grace when societal issues have arisen (like the Civil Rights movement of the 60’s and beyond). Let’s pray that the Church will not miss a chance to be part of the solution for the addiction epidemic since almost everyone agrees it is a spiritual problem with a spiritual solution. Christians should believe that, too, yet our solution is found in the Person of Jesus Christ and not any other so-called Higher Power.
-Mark (praying that the eyes of the Church will be opened to see both the problem and the solution correctly and from the One True God’s perspective – as found in His Word of truth)