On Real Time With Bill Maher, the week of 10/4 through 10/11, 2009, Bill Maher had a brief interview with Lisa Jackson, the newly appointed head of the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). Over the course of the discussion, which ranged from hybrid cars to cracking down on Cow Farmers, Bill Maher and Lisa Jackson made the following exchange:
Bill: Now what about water? I mean, I read in the paper frequently that the water in this country is making people very sick. Because what they flush down the toilet - their diet pills, and their birth control pills, and hormones, and you know, all the things Michael Jackson was taking... No, seriously, prescription drugs - our water supply is not good.
Lisa: Yeah, increasingly we know that trace amounts of pharmaceuticals, among other synthetic/organic chemicals are showing up in our water, because they're not treated by the systems that we (the EPA) set up to treat water in this country. We SHOULD be concerned that we don't know enough about clean water.... water is a concern for us.
Bill: I mean, ultimately it's because we're just such a dirty society, isn't it? I mean, I remember one of the first issues we did on my old show in 1993, POLITICALLY INCORRECT, was "America Causes Cancer" - which, you know, people were like, "Oh, how can you say that?!".... but isn't that the truth, I mean, America causes Cancer - our way of life, the way we live, how dirty we are, the drugs we take, the food we eat, the chemicals we ingest - it's just a cancerous country.
Lisa: ..... We know it, but we're always playing "catch up". We're cleaning up, we're not preventing. We have 80,000 chemicals in this country put into commerce.
So let's assess what Bill said. In a nutshell, if I may paraphrase, he said that our behavior is killing us. Our behavior as far as chemical and pharmaceutical abuse, dietary consumption, waste and pollution. Hmmm... I think I've heard this somewhere before.
From the beginning (or at least from the writings of Leviticus - the best Scriptures to reference being Lev. 11 & Deut. 14) God provided us with food guidelines. Basically, we are not to eat 1) blood; 2) Animal fat; 3) scavengers; 4) Carnivores 5) Insects other than those of the Locust family; 6) Reptiles. There are other specific exemptions such as the duck (webbed feet), or the Catfish (fish must have fin AND SCALE)
Many Christians would argue that Christ removed the Old Testament Laws, and therefore we need no longer concern ourselves with these guidelines. I, however, am fairly certain that Christ's death and resurrection did not change the biochemistry of our makeup, nor did it change our physiological reactions to the biochemical makeup of other plants and animals.
In other words, take the Pokeweed Berry, for instance: “The Pokeweed contains traces of phytolaccatoxin and phytolaccigenin which are toxic for mammals.
Consumption of pokeweed berries may lead to headaches, diarrhea and severe abdominal pain. If consumed in large quantities, these berries can lead to complications such as quickening of heartbeats and a feeling of giddiness or seizures, eventually leading to coma or death.”
My guess is (of course, I am only guessing here) that Pokeweed Berries were as poisonous before Christ, as they are after Him. Therefore, what wasn't good for us then, isn't good for us now.
If our diets are unhealthy, our immune systems, as well as other systems in our bodies are not properly supplied with the fuel they need, and would naturally work at less than peak performance.
So, in short, the food we ingest in large quantity is most often not the foods we were instructed to ingest roughly 3520 years ago.
But we shouldn't stop there. There's another plausible variable in effect here. The agricultural laws of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy speak of how we should harvest our food and treat the land upon which we grow it.
Exodus 23:10 - And six years you shall sow your land, and shall gather in the fruits thereof: 11 But the seventh year, you shall let it rest and lie still; that the poor of your people may eat: and what they leave, the beasts of the field shall eat. In like manner you shall deal with your vineyard, and with your olive yard.
Because of our refusal to allow the land to rest every seventh year, we gather less and less nutrients from more and more food because the soil is never allowed time to rejuvenate. Because of this, though we eat plenty of food, we get very little nutrients from the food we eat.
The less the land has to work with, the less it produces, and so we have, as a society, implemented chemicals to synthetically supplement the ground for what it lacks. Unfortunately, though we accomplish the growth of food, it is not adequate food for proper sustenance and healthy living.
Is our body any different than the land we farm? Do we not supplement with chemicals (i.e. pharmaceuticals and chemical compounds) to compensate for the nutrients that we aren’t getting through solid, disciplined dietary means? And do we not need more and more compensation the more we veer from what naturally keeps us healthy?
It is therefore my belief that though many times throughout the day we are seemingly full, our bodies still "hunger"; not for food, per say, but for nutrients. The body processes what we ingest and says, "Wait a second, I still don't have what I need to function". And so, it still hungers, not for food in general, but for specific bodily requirements that we fail to provide it with. In essence, though we eat much, we are in a very literal way, starving to death.
Always keep in mind that there is a deeper level to this. God stated in Amos 8:11 that “Behold, the days come, says the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the Words of the LORD...”
The mind/spirit can starve for truth in a very similar way to which the body starves for nutrients. Unfortunately for us, one is not as easy to see as the other.
To draw another line, currently we are having a severe crisis regarding medical insurance. There is much illness; much need for medicinal and pharmaceutical remedies - both of which are very expensive. The question now becomes (and this is something that the democratic side argues quite regularly - what we need is preventative medicine) how much of a role does a healthy diet play in prevention? In the long run, how much less medicine and treatment would be needed, if we all abided by the food guidelines set before us so long ago? Is it possible that the predominant health problems in this country stem from a complete and utter estrangement from God's instructions on how we are to eat?
People will, and have tried every new fad diet with a snazzy book cover or a celebrity endorsement. Why then, if that is the case, are we so pig-headed about God's original instructions? Is it too simple for us? Does it seem outdated? Aren't we as Christians, by the very definition of the word supposed to be followers of God? Does that not mean that we follow His Ways and Instructions in every sense of the word? Do we honestly believe that God would waste His precious time creating a temporal dietary plan? Did/does His advice have an expiration date? I personally have looked all over the cover of His Book (the outside, and the inside, in fact) and simply have not found one.
In truth, Bill Maher’s statements, and those of Miss Jackson are very accurate - even Biblically so. And as we have seen many times before, modern science is now abundantly proving the truth of God’s statements made so very long ago. And did God not know that this would happen? Of course He did. Did Christ not say in Luke 19:
Luke 19:39 And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples. 40 And he answered and said unto them, “I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.”
Is true science not, by it’s very definition “the rocks crying out”? Does nature itself not declare the truth and existence of God by showing us time and time again how true His Word is? Christ has stated that if man won’t listen and praise God, nature (His creation) will do it. It always has.
So what’s the problem with that? What’s the difference between man’s discoveries and God’s admonitions? Why do we have to rely on faith? Can’t we just figure it out on our own and then deal with it accordingly?
Of course we can. But is that really what we want? The major difference between God’s warnings and man’s discoveries is thus: one comes before we suffer the repercussions of our behavior, and the other comes long after. Is it better to know that you have cancer, or to know what causes Cancer? Must we constantly skin our knees before we desire to avoid a fall?
Do we not chiefly make rules for our children, so that they may, through hearing wisdom, avoid the pitfalls we’ve stumbled into through ignorance? Is it not to make their lives easier by hoping they listen and have a less painful journey through this world?
So now we come to the heart of the issue; the heart to which everything returns. GOD KNOWS ALL. But it requires a certain measure of FAITH to accept that. Herein lies the whole of the matter. Do you believe God? If you do, you will be preserved. Your life will be better. You will dodge most bullets that strike other people, because you live by the rules your Father already knows to be true.
Experiential living ALWAYS proves God’s Word true. But why would you desire to suffer, when you can chiefly avoid it altogether through submission and obedience? This is what your Father offers you - a better way; a cleaner path; less skinned knees and ultimately an abundance of peace, both in flesh, and in spirit.
So where, you might ask, did God warn us of these things to come? Where did He speak of pollution, of the suffering that would befall us because of our lack of obedience to the rules He’s put in place. Well, to put them all in here would make this article roughly the length of our current Tax Code. But I’ll jot a few. First we’ll note the cause, then the effect.
Isaiah 3:8 For Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen: because their tongue and their doings are against the LORD, to provoke the eyes of His glory. 9 The show of their countenance witnesses against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom - they hide it not. Woe unto their soul! For they have rewarded evil unto themselves. 10 Say to the righteous (the obedient) that it shall be well with him: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings. 11 Woe unto the wicked! it shall be ill with him: for the reward of his hands shall be given him.
This is God’s promise, that in the same nation, in the same state, even within the same city, each shall earn the WORK OF THEIR OWN HANDS.
Now you ask yourself, “How can I get good food if all the food is tainted? How can I get pure water if all the ground is full of pollution?” That my friends, is doubt. And doubt is the opposite of faith. You do the best you can to obey His Laws and He will see to it that you are preserved and protected. He HAS PROMISED YOU THAT. Of course we will suffer some of the repercussions of the sins and carelessness of others. But this race, as Paul was inspired to write, is a marathon, not a sprint. And long term obedience breeds long term results. And over the long haul, we will win the day. So it ultimately comes back to the same question: Do you believe God?
Some of you might now say, “Well all of this is from the Old Testament...” So, for the sake of those of you who think the Old Testament no longer applies, I submit to you that Christ has declared the same things.
Matthew 7:24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and DOETH THEM, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and IT FELL NOT: for it was founded upon a rock. 26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and DOETH THEM NOT, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and IT FELL: and great was the fall of it.
APPLICATION! APPLICATION!! APPLICATION!! Did He not also say, “Ye shall know them by their fruits”? What is fruit, but the product, i.e. the produced element of a tree? It is the work of a tree’s hands.
What we see now is the long term produce of a nation void of obedience to God. And did He not tell us what that produce would be?
Isaiah 5:9 Woe unto them that join house to house, that lay field to field, till there be no place that they may be placed alone in the midst of the earth. 9 “In Mine ears”, said the LORD of hosts, “Of a truth many houses shall be desolate, even great and fair, without inhabitant. 10 Yea, TEN ACRES of vineyard shall yield one bath (about 6 english gallons of liquid, i.e. wine/grape juice - a VERY SMALL AMOUNT!!), and the seed of an homer (about 8 english bushels) shall yield an ephah (about 3 english pecks). 11 Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; that continue until night, till wine inflame them (those that seek to party and serve self all day long). 12 And the harp, and the viol, the tabret and pipe, and wine are in their feasts: but THEY REGARD NOT THE WORK OF THE LORD, neither consider the OPERATION OF HIS HANDS. 13 Therefore (here comes the result) My People are gone into captivity, because THEY HAVE NO KNOWLEDGE; and their honorable men are FAMISHED (no nutrients - the wealthiest and most respected men in the land are starving to death - both physically and spiritually), and their multitude DRIED UP WITH THIRST (no living/pure water). 14 Therefore hell (the grave) has enlarged herself (do we not see a mass increase in health problems, disease and illness?! Note the amount of pharmaceutical commercials you see on tv these days. We have constant nagging illnesses at all ages. Always keep in mind that this is both a flesh, and a spiritual statement) and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoices shall descend into it.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. If you really want to get a good scope on where we are, read Isaiah chapters 3-5. Seek through prayer and diligent study to understand them. Ponder and consider His Words.
In a very real way, Bill Maher has declared the truth of God’s Word. Though I’m certain it was an accident.... on his part anyway. :-)