Search the Scriptures Daily Program #3603b:
Gary: This is Search the Scriptures Daily, a radio ministry of The Berean Call. Still ahead, answers to your questions in Contending for the Faith, and, in Understanding the Scriptures, Dave and Tom will resume their conversation on God’s salvation. In addition to this radio program we publish a monthly newsletter, which we make available free of charge. We also produce and distribute a variety of teaching materials including books, video and audiotapes, and other items to encourage the serious study of God’s Word. For a complete list of materials or to get a copy of today’s broadcast, contact us at PO Box 7019, Bend, Oregon 97708, call us at 800-937-6638, or visit our website at www.thebereancall.org. Ask for program #3603, and be sure to mention the call letters of this station. We’ll repeat this information at the end of the program.
RELIGION IN THE NEWS
Now, Religion in the News, a report and comment on religious trends and events being covered by the media. This week’s item is from the Associated Press, June 27, 2003, with the headline: “Vancouver Opening Safe Injection Sites for Junkies: Vancouver, British Columbia—Canada will open North America’s first legal state injection site for drug addicts later this year, a decision that drew swift criticism from Whitehouse drug czar, John Walters. The so-called Shooting Gallery will be federally funded, ‘a twelve-seat facility where addicts will be given the equipment they need to inject safely under the supervision of nurses,’ said Vivian Zenocco, spokeswoman for the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, which will run the program. It will open in September in Vancouver’s downtown eastside, an impoverished neighborhood known for crime and drug use, under funding, the federal government announced this week.
“‘They would shoot up under supervision,’ Zinocco said Thursday. ‘After injecting, the users will be monitored in a chill-out room to check for overdoses,’ she said. The site will be exempt from federal drug laws to allow heroin and cocaine users to use it without fear of arrest. ‘It makes us the first health authority in Canada to have this exception that, hopefully, will allow us to establish scientifically whether supervised injection sites can improve health outcomes and reduce harm to drug users,’ Zinocco said.
“Similar safe injection programs have been set up in the Netherlands, Switzerland, Australia, and Germany. While the sites are credited with reducing overdose deaths and the spread of disease, specialists say the effect on addiction rates is unclear. Walters, the Whitehouse Director of National Drug Control Policy said in a telephone interview Thursday, ‘The program shows an appalling indifference to addiction. Drug abuse is a deadly disease,’ Walters said. ‘It’s immoral to allow people to suffer and die from a disease we know how to treat.’ He also called the concept a lie, saying, ‘There are no safe injection sites.’
“About 4,000 addicts live in the 15-square block downtown eastside, which has one of the highest HIV infection rates in the world. Mayor Larry Campbell, a former police officer and coroner, won election last year on a platform that promised safe injection sites as part of a four-pillared drug policy involving treatment, prevention, harm reduction, and enforcement.”
Tom: Dave, people are maybe thinking, what’s this doing in a religious program? You know, the Bible talks about…
Dave: I thought it was a joke, Tom.
Tom: It’s not a joke, and what makes it sad, I mean, there’s a number of things—it’s outrageous, it’s absurd, but it’s also biblical. The last days—pharmakeia, drug use—and now we are seeing implementation of these things in ways that I can understand John Walters being outraged by this, but you would think anybody, any person—reasonable, thinking individual would be aghast.
Dave: I would think so, Tom. The first thought that comes to mind is wouldn’t this encourage drug use? I mean, look now, the government’s going to pay for it. We can go to a safe place, and we can just enjoy ourselves, enjoy our drug addiction.
Tom: But Dave, I don’t think the government supplies the drugs here. Which brings to mind…
Dave: Are you sure?
Tom: I don’t think so,
Dave: It sounds like it to me.
Tom: Well, if they don’t, there’s another problem, and that is, we need then, to add to this program we need a safe robbery site, where the person can go in, get the money that they need, under supervision of course, and then go out and get the drugs, bring them to the safe site, and so on. It’s going to get complicated.
Dave: I thought we were trying to cut off drug use by cutting off the supply of drugs from Columbia or wherever it may be. This is a huge criminal enterprise worldwide. Drugs are illegal, and you have the Mafia and I don’t know what all criminals, drug czars, and so forth. These people are…
Tom: South American warlords, drug lords.
Dave: And coming in, of course, from the Middle East, the Muslims are encouraging this. Afghanistan has been a major supplier. So now, suddenly, this is okay. I guess we will have to have legal means of—the drug dealers will be legalized, too. Those who grow it, those who supply it. It goes back all the way, but to talk about safe? As Walters said, there is no safe site for shooting heroin into your veins and becoming an addict. It’s not good for you. It will eventually kill you. Tom, it is just incomprehensible!
But it shows…you see, I’ve known a number of former drug addicts, and I know that you have, as well, who once—I mean, mainline heroin addicts—when they got saved…Bingo! They were delivered! There is nothing but the power of God that can deliver these people, but these government projects do not want to acknowledge that. You can’t let God into mainstream society. You can’t let God be honored, because that would just ruin evolution, wouldn’t it?
Tom: Well, Dave, again, you don’t want to have an intervention, especially since you know people are going to do it anyway. That seems to be the mentality—not only with drugs but with sex. You know, pass out condoms. Do all these things because people are going to do it anyway.
Dave: So we need the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and we need people to believe it. On the other hand, Jesus said, “Evil men will wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.” So there is no way that society is going to solve its problems, and, as we mentioned earlier, this world is ripening for God’s judgment, and one day God is going to have to intervene.
Tom: And again, we’re talking about fulfillment of prophecy here, which does not mean that we don’t cry out, that we don’t…
Dave: Do what we can.
Tom: But do it reasonably, responsibly…and for Christians, take a biblical perspective on this, a mindset that it’s the truth, and it’s the truth that will set people free from whatever bondages they are in.