The Flipside of Heaven
In the past six months I have come to learn about the growing epidemic (we call it like it really is) of Heroin use AKA Opiates. This terrifying use has caused numerous overdose deaths especially among young people. It has a mind altering effect that challenges any possible effort someone tries to make to break free from its addiction.
In 2015 (this year will be far more) there were more than 30,000 deaths just from this drug or some derivative of it. It is truly like the Flipside of Heaven. One minute you feel like you went to heaven and the next minute and forever after you seem to be in pure hell. How is it worth it to trade a life or a few moments of a high for a death or a life long battle to recover?
Then, think of this. In a poll of 1000 respondents who were Christian, 50 percent of men and 20 percent of women said they were addicted to pornography. Not too many people die from this, but how many families die because of it? How many churches are in turmoil from its effects? Is it worth a few minutes of a picture to lose your family or your job? Then we look at all the recent shootings and realize that we are in an era where we are feeling the effects of a broken and torn society.
Why? We have simply gotten away from God and into god. The cable and TV networks promote violence, promiscuity, and glorify conflict between people of all genders and races. God is being pushed out or just to the side. Those gods that our forefathers built bronze statues of, glorified in Greek mythology, and celebrated in religious wars, have now taken a different but more powerful form.
The Flipside of Heaven is that we are now seeing hell play out first hand on this earth. And it is all so simple why it is happening. We are in pain, not always sure of where it comes from, not always sure of what we need to heal it, so we turn to something we can touch and feel because we have no patience to wait on the real God and his power to heal that pain. The more we generate faster speeds of culture, internet, and communication, the quicker fixes become available so waiting on God becomes too hard, even for Christians. So we microwave!
The solution? Not sure I have one, but I have a couple of suggestions. Be authentic about who we are. Be honest with ourselves and others. Let people know what we need from them. D & A addiction comes usually from escaping pain, withdrawing and wanting to be somebody different. Pornography addiction comes from (you guessed it), the same as the D & A reasons with a slight tweaking for being simpler than actually being intimate with someone.
And how about some real dirt level teaching about God instead of all the glorified churches with sermons on screens and paid entertainers that give us great encouragement for about an hour but fail us for the rest of the week? Forget Sunday and Wednesday, how about praying together every day, talking to each other every day, and living life to the potential God made us to be instead of trying to be somebody else?
Sorry, just being honest and authentic because when I look out here in this world of loneliness, isolation, constant texting instead of talking, and attention spans the size of a pin head, my soul begins to be distraught. I have been there, and I do not want to go back, because I feel the presence of a power far greater than me who now lights up my life where there was darkness before.
Doesn't make me or anybody else who feels this way any better than someone, just opens up our eyes a little bit more to see the Flipside of Heaven!.
Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.