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The Reformation Herald Online Edition

Impeach Sin

Impeach Sin!
Emil Barbu

As a medical doctor, I judge sickness from cause to effect. For obvious reasons, I am inclined to believe that in our world, regardless of the social, religious or political profile, we have the same pattern of reasoning as in the medical realm. The relationship between cause and effect passes the test of common sense in every dimension. It doesn’t matter if you call this a cause-effect relationship or a choice-consequence relationship, in reality we are conveying the same message.

Sickness is and always will be an intruder to humanity. As physicians, we can choose to treat it with a quick fix, covering up of the symptoms—or we can treat it on the reasonable, honest and professionally ethical way, from the cause to effect. The latter option requires responsibility and cooperation on the part of the patient by giving up unhealthy behaviors such as smoking and/or drinking alcohol, replacing the “junk food” diet with a healthy one, starting a program of physical exercise, and exchanging negative thinking with positive thoughts. All these, combined with the proper treatment, will impeach the cause and the effect will disappear naturally. The wise man says, “As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come” (Proverbs 26:2).

In my daily work with patients, I find joy in merging sound science with intelligent faith. So, from this perspective, I would like to share my personal view in regard to how our spiritually sick society can get rid of corruption, immorality, greed for power, and other such symptoms. How can we convince people from all social spectrums, beginning with the average worker up to the highest level of leadership, regardless of political and religious affiliation, to balance in their character, trust, power, and responsibility?

In the medical world we have an accurate process to define what normality is or is not. For instance, in cardiology I have learned that in order to define the term, we have to operate with precise and measurable data such as blood pressure and pulse rate.

If health and sickness are precisely defined by exact information and accurate standards, in the world of psychiatry the criteria are dramatically different—and that made me wonder how normality vs. abnormality are defined in this branch of medicine.

An interesting observation

I was in the amphitheater of the psychiatry unit on a beautiful afternoon summer day. The professor was explaining what is considered normal by definition in the realm of this branch of medical science.

You take a control group to be subject to a specific battery of tests, and that will generate a personal reaction from each individual. For example, if the professor tells a joke and everybody laughs—yet one doesn’t—that individual can be suspected of being “atypical” or not passing the test of normalcy.

If the professor tells a sad story and the majority typically react—while one is laughing—this last one can be suspected of being atypical.

But this way of defining what normalcy is or is not, is extremely relative, and in many respects, could be inaccurate or even dangerous. Why? Because there are people that respond in a different manner to the same circumstances without having any real problem of abnormality.

If in a control group, you share a mathematical problem to be solved, and the majority will choose the traditional pattern of solving it, while Albert Einstein would use a different way of solving it, would we suspect Einstein of being abnormal or atypical?

Due to these elements, I decided to study and dig deeper into the issue of what normalcy is or is not. I was very impressed by a patient who was suffering from schizophrenia. I was quite surprised by the fact that this person was living a normal life without medication, just because he was reading the Bible daily.

The shift in normalcy

As a matter of fact, there is a new science that has appeared in recent decades, called Epigenetics. This new science has demonstrated that the solution for our physical, mental and spiritual healing consists in the change of our environmental factors in order to stimulate the “resurrection” of our normalcy. On the other hand, the same science suggests that if we continue our so-called “normal” course of life and do nothing to help ourselves, we’ll deepen more and more in the illusion that we are “normal people” having a normal life, when in fact we become sicker and sicker every day. What is very ironic is the fact that we are the very ones deciding what type of genes will be activated—the good or the bad ones. We are the deciding factors; either we connect our minds to the source of Life, our God, or we connect our minds to the source of His enemy. The result will be the inevitable consequences that can go as far as self-destruction.

In his book, Pastoral Psychotherapy, author Sorin Sandulache affirms that theologians are called upon to accept the fact that sin has produced such trauma that it affects the structure of the human soul and can cause it to be in need of psychological therapy and psychotherapy. As a result, even physiologists understand that often the cause of psychological suffering is not due only to a dysfunctional mechanism—but rather it may be deeply rooted and related to the reason of our existence and the purpose of our life on earth. The profound relationship through which humanity is connected with the image of God is reflected within ourselves, in connection with that part of us that relates to the worship and adoration of God.

Sadly, to notice that medical science and other “revolutionary” branches of medicine today have radically changed views in regard to what abnormality is. Comparing statements made by the same sources in the 1960s on the same topic, one will be amazed to see that what was a “no-no” for science at that time, today is “OK”; what was abnormal back then today is passing as a normal, typical behavior. Things that were unimaginable and unacceptable back then, today are part of the norm, being simply a matter of contemporary social conduct.

What pushed the world of “any kind of science” so drastically to the other side? Can it be that the world of science may have failed the test of objectivity? Or perhaps science formed a world of its own? I am inclined to believe that science is very much affected by a new concept called “scientism,” an atheistic form of propaganda which indoctrinates the scientist with the concept of exclusivism. You cannot be a scientist and believe in creationism. Scientism has created an artificial incompatibility between science and the God of the Bible.

Scientism vs. Creationism

Let us take a look at how scientism is removing creationism from the face of the earth and from the mind of the individual by considering a sample of the ideas out there:

“We can be proud as a species because, having discovered that we are alone, we owe the gods very little,” boasts author E.O. Wilson.

“The more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it also seems pointless,” writer Stephen Weinburg asserts.

“The cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be,” claims astronomer Carl Sagan.

Society produces atypical behavior and sells it as normalcy; the normality becomes abnormal and the result is that whole society sinks in an ocean of relativism. The traditional family is out of fashion, pushed to the verge of abnormal, while the modern “new style” is heavily promoted as the norm.

This has prompted physicist Ian Hutchinson, to warn: “The health of science is in fact jeopardized by scientism, not promoted by it. At the very least, scientism provokes a defensive, immunological, aggressive response from other intellectual communities, in return for its own arrogance and intellectual bullyism. It taints science itself by association.”

Albert Einstein commented: “A contemporary has said, not unjustly, that in this materialistic age of ours the serious scientific workers are the only profoundly religious people.”

Evidence of the cultural innuendos

Here is an example of the cultural sea change in most of science: Books, dictionaries, and relevant magazines that define marriage according to the original design of God, are quietly removed from the public market as inciting abhorrent and horrible “anti-everything” declarations. Any person that would voice support for the Biblical marriage could be accused of “discrimination.” Some segments of society have gone so far as to consider illegal even portions of the Scriptures such as this: “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four footed beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: who changed the truth of God into a lie and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet” (Romans 1:22–27).

The Bible—even Jesus—becomes illegal in our professedly Christian world. Christians are persecuted by their own children educated in the scientific socialite era. What a dark premonition for our future! Let us not lose courage; God will make His statement soon.

There was a time when words like “mother” or “father” were regarded with profound respect by the children. There was a time when bringing a glass of water to your parent was an honor and a privilege. Today all these values are disappearing. The commandment of God that says to respect your mother and your father is considered to be almost irrelevant. Today, we have modern socialism where parents should submit to their children. Parents teach their children to speak and children teach their parents to be quiet. The big current of evolutionism invites everybody in the “universal pot” of RELATIVISM, where SIN does not exist. The God of the Bible is replaced with “Mother Nature.” Since we have removed sin from the consciousness of the individual, there is no point in asking what morality is or how we can define an act as being immoral. Just as an example: In Chinese culture, abortion is a patriotic act, but for the Christian Bible believer, it is murder. Where is the standard of morality in this case? Some might say, “Well, that is relative; the truth is somewhere in between.”

Why is all this happening?

Over 100 years ago, the most translated American author of all times, said: “Wherever the divine precepts are rejected, sin ceases to appear sinful or righteousness desirable. Those who refuse to submit to the government of God are wholly unfitted to govern themselves. Through their pernicious teachings the spirit of insubordination is implanted in the hearts of children and youth, who are naturally impatient of control; and a lawless, licentious state of society results. While scoffing at the credulity of those who obey the requirements of God, the multitudes eagerly accept the delusions of Satan. They give the rein to lust and practice the sins which have called down judgments upon the heathen.”1 

“Already the doctrine that men are released from obedience to God’s requirements has weakened the force of moral obligation and opened the floodgates of iniquity upon the world. Lawlessness, dissipation, and corruption are sweeping in upon us like an overwhelming tide. In the family, Satan is at work. His banner waves, even in professedly Christian households. There is envy, evil surmising, hypocrisy, estrangement, emulation, strife, betrayal of sacred trusts, indulgence of lust. The whole system of religious principles and doctrines, which should form the foundation and framework of social life, seems to be a tottering mass, ready to fall to ruin. The vilest of criminals, when thrown into prison for their offenses, are often made the recipients of gifts and attentions as if they had attained an enviable distinction. Great publicity is given to their character and crimes. The press publishes the revolting details of vice, thus initiating others into the practice of fraud, robbery, and murder; and Satan exults in the success of his hellish schemes. The infatuation of vice, the wanton taking of life, the terrible increase of intemperance and iniquity of every order and degree, should arouse all who fear God, to inquire what can be done to stay the tide of evil.”2  

If Nostradamus would have made such a statement that would surprise the world with its fulfillment, the world would be on its knees, praising him as a great prophet, but when a Christian author makes that remark, society rebuffs in ridicule and scourges against the message and the messenger. But we should consider impeaching SIN, which is biblically defined as transgression of the moral law of God (1 John 3:4) and then we’ll not be in a state of mind to demand various other dramatic forms of impeachment.

What is the very secret that makes a nation a bastion of freedom in the entire world? The timeless word of God explains: “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34).

Let’s give as an example a lesson from the founding fathers of the United States:

“ ‘The framers of the Constitution recognized the eternal principle that man’s relation with his God is above human legislation, and his rights of conscience inalienable. Reasoning was not necessary to establish this truth; we are conscious of it in our own bosoms. It is this consciousness which, in defiance of human laws, has sustained so many martyrs in tortures and flames. They felt that their duty to God was superior to human enactments, and that man could exercise no authority over their consciences. It is an inborn principle which nothing can eradicate.’—Congressional documents (U.S.A.), serial No. 200, document No. 271.”3 

“In that grand old document which our forefathers set forth as their bill of rights—the Declaration of Independence—they declared: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.’ And the Constitution guarantees, in the most explicit terms, the inviolability of conscience: ‘No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.’ ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.’ ”4 

Let us keep in mind the old adage, that “like produces like.” The society cited above produced great leaders like George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and so many others. They were the products of a society that used the Bible, the word of God, as the supreme rule of moral conduct. Today, that nucleus may have evolved into an empire, but without those values promoted and believed in by the forefathers.

When a society produces leaders, in fact, they are the reflection of the character and morality of the people. Society should take upon itself the responsibility to impeach itself—not be the effect of its creation. Otherwise that would be a great paradox.

A bitter lesson from the Roman Empire

Rome was a small republic till it became an empire. Their government was made by the people for the people, till they became the absolute power of the world. The republican ideals were forgotten and instead of the SPQR (the senate and the people of Rome), it became “The Caesar.” The transfer of power from many to few resulted in an era of intolerance and bloodshed. Rome was admired for its art, sadly, without morality; Rome was loved for its beauty without truth; and finally Rome was feared for its glory without character. Are we in danger of building on the same shaky concept? Are the people of the leading nation of the free world—along with allied countries with similar values—truly and sincerely behaving and believing to be operating “under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all”? I hope that the time will never come when the most prominent nation on earth will exchange the principles of having religion without popes and society without kings for an Empire. Looking with the eyes of scrutiny to these three expressions: art without morality, beauty without truth, and glory without character, can we foresee the rise and the arrival of another “Caesar” under the garments and the power of Barabbas, leading not only one nation but the entire world? Some say that we as people never change and yet we are never the same.

Humanity loves with passion or hates with passion. If it is not convenient for the general interest, the same society will hate with the same passion the things they loved a few moments ago. Human love is usually circumstantial and very self-oriented, yet . . . history records a very special event that occurred in Palestine more than two thousand years ago!

A different kind of picture

There was a man called Jesus. He was simple, very loving and compassionate. He was known as a man of truth and great valor. Children sensing Christ’s nobility of character would often rush into His arms, sitting on His lap, admiring His smile.

The adults listening to Him were astonished by His pure, harmless wisdom. The way He spoke, the way He walked, the way He fed the people, the way He forgave and befriended sinners, the way He healed, made many of that generation to wonder if this Jesus might be that Promised One, the Messiah prophesied a long time before. Some were thinking that He would fit pretty well on the throne of Israel. After the great miracle of feeding five thousand people, the politicians in the person of the priests and the rabbis of that time were very much convinced that He was “THE ONE,” at least as long as He would cooperate with their agenda.

They loved Jesus because they desired His powers to be under their control. They loved to see Jesus as their king, but only because they hated the Romans so much. As long as Jesus would banish the Romans out of Palestine, avenging the cruelty of Roman system, society would welcome Him.

The moment arrived. An excess of zeal made the multitudes to lay down their garments on the ground, shouting with a loud voice, “Hosanna, blessed is the One that comes in the name of the Lord.” Jesus knew very well the character of their feelings and that He could never rely on their inconsistent and controversial sentiments. As the history would soon prove, their feelings of “love” were to change quickly, in just a few days, in fact. From the promising king of Israel, suddenly Jesus would be viewed as the national betrayer, especially since He was suspected of giving credit to a Roman centurion, acknowledging his great faith as being such that could not be seen even in Israel. (Matthew 8:10; Luke 7:9.) Showing a “dangerous sympathy” toward the Roman oppressors, determined the society of Jesus to irreversibly demand his “impeachment.”

Jesus was abandoned for a new hope. They called it “Barabbas.” Barabbas had proven his military ability by murdering a few Romans in a recent rebellion against the oppressing power. This Barabbas was evaluated by the “experts of the time” as being much more efficient in fulfilling their purpose. Barabbas was claiming to be the Messiah and his philosophy was to create a New World, using supernatural power. In their view, Jesus the idealist, the “enemy lover,” must be eliminated.

The same people that were crying with a loud voice, “Hosanna, blessed is the one that comes in the name of the Lord” were the same people that were crying now, “Crucify Him, crucify Him,” or for a better understanding of the reader in our language today we’ll say: “Impeach Him, impeach Him.”

I am under the sincere impression that today, we the people, regardless of our church affiliation, regardless of our culture or even nationality, ignorantly repeat that same experience.

What is the purpose of Jesus?

Jesus came to impeach SIN. Society impeaches Jesus. The biblical definition of sin is the transgression of the moral law of God (1 John 3:4).

Jesus knew that sin can be compared to the worst type of virus, destroying not only the body but destroying the image of God in our character, and any trace of human elements would be perverted till humanity would self-exterminate.

Pontius Pilate stood before the people astonished by their coldness and cruelty. He himself was a cruel man, having sentenced many thieves and murderers in the process of crucifixion and death. But this time even he was disgusted by the level of their hatred. As an act of desperation, he asked the hysterical mob: “What shall I do with the king of the Jews?” The answer came like a storm of hell: “Crucify Him, crucify him,” “Do you want to crucify your king?” they answered: “We have no king but Caesar!”

Pilate had known for a long time about their plan to overturn the Roman presence in Palestine by promoting Jesus as a king just to fulfil that purpose—and because Jesus did not comply with their scheme, now by rejecting Christ they were ready to embrace the very Caesar they hated so much. Here they were unmasked; their hypocrisy came to the surface. Based on what criteria did the mob request the impeachment of Jesus, and based on what reasoning did they decide to choose option number 2, Barabbas? The answer can be found in the Scripture: “The chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus” (Matthew 27:20).

Was this choice based on intelligent reasoning or moral virtues? In choosing Barabbas they had chosen with their heart, not with their mind. Barabbas was the reflection of their inner character. Any time we choose a president, usually the society elects a leader that naturally will be the reflection of the character and values of that society. There will always be a few that will be found on the side of truth, and they will mark the presence of God in critical times and in the time of crisis, even though that will not always change the course of society nor the inevitable results.

Impeachment in the air

Hours, days, weeks, and months recently passed as the world was recently exposed to a public debate as to whether or not to impeach the president of the United States. The same process occurred to another president less than 22 years ago. In the scope of American history, that’s really not a very long time.

Much time, energy, and money were consumed to prove the guilt or innocence of the respective leaders. As Christians, we have the duty to pray for our leaders regardless of what political flavor they may embrace. We have to pray for the accused and the accusers. And we do. The problem is that this type of action merely touches the tip of the iceberg, unveiling the unseen part of it. If society is really interested in bringing back the level of integrity of character and regain the lost values in our social backyard, then we must bring the Bible back on the table. A good society will naturally produce good leadership; a bad society will produce faulty leadership.

The Scripture says: “Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.  A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire” (Matthew 7:16–19).

May the Lord help us to impeach sin in our own lives and produce good fruit through the power and influence of Jesus, our Saviour!

1 The Great Controversy, p. 584.
2 Ibid., p. 585. [Emphasis added.]
3 Ibid., pp. 295, 296.
4 Ibid.