Wednesday, December 1, 2010

What Cigarette Do You Smoke Doctor?

Isn’t it ironic when you drive by the entrance to a hospital and see a group of doctors and nurses smoking? It’s amazing how the very people who are responsible for promoting health, are the same one’s who are knowingly polluting their bodies and destroying their lungs.

Smoking wasn’t always viewed as a bad thing for your body. In fact, in 1949 when this commercial was made smoking was a status symbol, and seemed to be as innocent as eating candy. Now smoking commercials are banned, and many American’s would love to see smoking made illegal.

It’s amazing how easily deceived we can be in our culture, especially when we are misinformed. We as a culture, have been socialized into trusting whatever a person in a white jacket tells us is true. We have been trained to look at the “experts”, and follow their guidance. This is not always a bad thing, especially if your doctor suggests by-pass surgery to save your life. But this commercial from 1949 does bring up an interesting question: How many people were deceived into smoking cigarettes and destroying their bodies because a guy in a white coat told them smoking was okay?

Today, our culture is filled with “doctors” and “experts” on every subject. Think about the amount of shows on TV devoted to the medical profession. House, Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, ER, General Hospital, Nip/Tuck, The Listener, Royal Pains, HawthoRNe, and Nurse Jackie just to name a few! Obviously these doctor’s and nurses are just characters in TV drama, but they are still teaching us ideas about life, God, relationships, and our identity in this world. Whether it’s the idea of giving into your bi-sexual desires, encouraging a woman to have an abortion, or simply that not all lives are worth saving, these people are trying to teach us something.

Even CNN and Fox News are filled with “experts” telling us that according to them someone has messed up the way life is supposed to work in this country. Whether it’s in the 1970’s where the scientists were warning about global cooling, or today when they are worried about global warming, they all have an agenda and a message. Eugenics, euthanasia, abortion, and many other “important” medical discoveries and processes come from “experts”, but a few years later, when you turn around and look at them again, it looks a lot like a doctor smoking a cigarette.

So whats the point? The point is not that we need to go into our doctor’s offices, and question everything the stethoscope man says about strep throat. But just because a guy wears a white coat or a woman is speaking from a college platform doesn’t mean that we can simply absorb what they are saying as true without analyzing the content. See, the issue is not unanswered questions, because there will always be a new discovery of something we don’t know anything about. The issue is instead unquestioned answers, the answers that the “experts” of our culture preach that we internalize without deciding if they are true ideas or not. In 1 Corinthians 10:4 Paul says, “Brothers do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature.” We can’t just believe what we hear from an expert, just because it comes from an expert. We have to analyze what they say, to make sure what they are saying is true.

Whether it’s a fictitious doctor from Grey’s Anatomy, or a real expert from Harvard University, we must be on our guard. Trusting the experts can save our lives, but it can also give us lung cancer. Just because our culture tells us to listen to an expert, doesn’t mean we need to shut down our minds and believe everything they say.