Notes from All Over

The Journal of the American Medical Association is reporting that the U.S. life expectancy has declined for the third straight year. Death rates in all groups increased but the midlife group, ages 25 to 64 were the hardest hit. Drug overdoses, alcohol abuse, suicides, and a list of various “organ system diseases” were blamed.

U.S. life expectancy has been on a steady increase for the last 100 years, from around 47 in 1900 to the current 78. Medical advances and clean living worked wonders. With serious health issues increasingly under control, people were freed to work and innovate, producing the most prosperous nation yet in history. Now we are seeing a peaking. Solomon observed in Proverbs 14:34 that “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.”

For a long time, sin in the U.S. was largely controlled by each generation trained in basic righteousness, by community taboos and criminal laws. About 50 years ago, legalization of sin began with legal abortion and later same-sex was decriminalized. The Law of God is now disregarded, and political leaders cherry-pick which laws they choose to enforce.

Yet sin has its costs. Laws are not effective against alcohol and drug abuse, they require general morality in the people. America’s founders stressed that personal virtue and self-government were necessary for successful “pursuit of happiness.”

Some governments have instituted what they call a “sin tax,” a payment to the government for every pack of cigarettes or bottle of alcohol sold. However, sin has its own tax. Think of what we pay in locks for our doors, burglar alarms, courts and prisons, and medical costs of gluttony and substance abuse. In one way or another each of these takes away from the general prosperity for everyone else.

Soul winners, these statistics show how important witnessing is. If we all worked at it, every despondent person, everyone who turns to drugs or alcohol to escape the pressures of life, everyone who turns to crime could be challenged, even by a simple gospel tract, to cast their cares on their Creator and find happiness God’s way.

Gender Detransition Conference

A “world’s first ‘detransition’ conference” was held in London recently. Women gathered to express their regret for following the path of hormone drugs and mutilation in gender reassignment. The conference was the kickoff of the Detransition Advocacy Network founded by Charlie Evans, 28, a woman who identified as a man for 10 years. She claims that, when she went public with her regret, hundreds of young people contacted her expressing their own dismay at the results.

One 23-year-old woman had had a double mastectomy, hysterectomy, and an oophorectomy (removal of ovaries) before she realized that she would never become male. Her scathing comment was: “What… are surgeons doing, calling this gender reassignment and gender-reaffirming health care? Because my body doesn’t feel healthy anymore!”

This is an example of several movements around the world and in the U.S. by disillusioned people who have made life-changing decisions while young and vulnerable leaving them permanently unable to function in a normal marriage. We need to tell everyone we can that God’s way is still the best way.

200 Million Bibles Printed —in China!

Few people know that one company in China prints more Bibles than any other country. Amity Printing Company just announced that it has produced its 200 millionth Bible. And of these, some 85 million were distributed in churches in China.

While the Chinese government is mounting a crackdown on underground believers, estimates are that there are 100 million believers there, with hundreds of thousands more baptized every year. Experts predict that China may become the most Christian nation by 2030.

History teaches that persecution only brings more focus on the power of the gospel. But we who live in freedom should use it diligently while we can to share God’s better way with everyone we can.

Remember, the three seconds it takes to hand someone a gospel tract can change a life for eternity.