Cruise in for a Bruisin'
Unfortunately for Matt Lauer and some others before him, they aren't Dave Letterman. This morning on the "Today" Show, Matt apparently stepped over the line and suggested that Tom might actually be wrong about his recent comments that people should not use prescription drugs to counter conditions like ADHD. Cruise seemed to have to restrain himself a bit and then lit into his interviewer by telling him how much he didn't know about drug testing.
Hmmm . . . let's think about this a little bit, shall we? Here's a guy who is a public figure, in an organized religion, and now is suggesting that prescription drugs are not only useless for treating psychiatric conditions, but even harmful. And he is doing it all on national television! Now imagine someone like, say Al Mohler (or any other well-known evangelical leader for that matter), getting on national television and saying that prescription drugs shouldn't be taken by kids who have Attention Defecit / Hyperactivity Disorder. He says that he's read the reports and that his interviewer is just "glib." You know what would happen? The entire American Psychological Society would roast him on a spit. CNN would find about 15 medical doctors to come out against him on "Larry King Live" and there would be picketing outside his house on Lexington Road here in Louisville. And yet this guy, this movie star (who honestly isn't well known for his intellectual prowess -- not to say he isn't smart, but, come on, he's definately not a medical practitioner!), goes around saying all this kind of stuff without anyone correcting him. Is he right or something? I mean are millions of members of the APA wrong?
Now, don't get me wrong. I am not for medicating society to the hilt like we have done the past 25 years, but surely someone in the medical field disagrees with Cruise. So why won't they speak up? I find this interesting to say the least.
Cruise's main point of argumentation in the past has been basically, "I have seen people get off drugs and alcohol with Scientology. The stuff works. It must be true." This past weekend I attended the Pastor's Conference of the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Nashville, TN. Voddie Baucham spoke on why he chooses to believe the Bible. In one of his points he said that those who say they believe the Bible is true because they tried it and it worked for them have just opened up a hole in their logic "big enough to drive a Mack Truck through." He illustrated his point by saying that everyone who goes through a 12-step program has to choose a higher power to help them, but their higher power could be a squirrel if they want it to. So according to the "it worked for me" logic, if they are successful in breaking their addiction, then their squirrel would then carry as much weight as would the Bible (specifically Christianity) or Scientology or Buddhism, or whatever else.
And that is the danger of the New Age Movement. When I was in seminary at NOBTS, one of our final exam questions for "Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion" was "What do you see as the biggest threat to Christianity in the 21st century?" We could pick a number of problems ranging from Christian cults like Mormonism to the debate over the reliability of the Bible (which is what I chose) to the New Age Movement. Dr. Robert Stewart, our professor for that class, said he believed it to be the latter. I think more and more I agree with him. New Age stuff works. It always has. God, in instructing the Israelites regarding worship of other gods, never indicated that there was no supernatural activity in the religions of the Israelites neighbors. In fact, in the accounts of the plagues of Egypt, the sorcerers of Pharoah were able to duplicate many of the acts of Moses, yet not all of them. And when Paul and Silas encountered the slave girl in Philippi, whom Paul healed, Luke records that she had a "spirit of divination" and that she "was bringing her masters much profit by fortune-telling." Thus, we can conclude from this passage that the New Age stuff (which at that time was Old Age) was working for her.
Christianity isn't about doing something that works, it's about worshipping and connecting with the One, Living and True God and about being saved though the vicarious death of His Son, Jesus Christ, at whose name "every knee will bow . . . and every tongue will confess" He is Lord. We can't present Christianity as a 12-step program. We must present it as life-giving truth to a lost and dying world who have accepted lies that work for them, but ultimately will lead to destruction. If Tom Cruise never embraces Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord, then one day he will learn that life was about more than works. Let's pray that God would reveal to these men and women trapped in darkness and demonic religions "the light of the glory of God in the face of Christ."
Until Christ is Formed in Us All,