It is universally accepted that in the practice of medicine it is both wiser and more effective to treat the cause of a disease rather than merely treating the symptoms. The best doctors are those who can diagnose the cause of an illness accurately and give proper medication or treatment for it.
Our world is not only cursed with physical illnesses, but with even more grave spiritual illnesses. Some of these have to do with mankind’s daily behavior, some with his or her religious doctrines and practices; some of them overlap in both areas simultaneously. In fact, some even involve medical, ethical, and spiritual matters all at once. At one time a radio broadcast commercial message urged smokers to buy a certain brand of toothpaste especially formulated to remove the ugly tobacco stain from one’s teeth. Thus, we have a classic case of ignoring the cause while treating the symptom. Those who quit smoking remove the cause of such ugly stains; they are the wise ones. Even wiser are those who never start. In the same class are the messages urging drunkards to let someone drive them home from the bar or the party instead of driving themselves. The wiser and more effective course is to attack the cause—sober up and stay that way.
Liberal sociologists pretend to decry the plague of teenage sexual promiscuity which has led to venereal disease, unmarried parenthood, and abortions in epidemic numbers in this age group in recent years. At the same time, most of these social “experts” continue to encourage the growth of these problems by their amoral/immoral philosophies. Instead of getting to the root of these problems (violation of God’s moral laws) their “solutions” are entirely symptom oriented: Provide birth control devices (for “safe sex”), ready abortion with or without parental knowledge or consent, and treating the ravages of VD with medication. Will it never dawn on such Godless fools to strike at the cause of these tragedies by insisting on Biblical chastity?
This problem has its strictly religious applications, also. In the religious world that professes belief in the God and Christ of the Bible, each group is a law unto itself, teaching and doing all sorts of outlandish things, from ordaining female preachers and/or bishops (including homosexuals) to denying the necessity of baptism for forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38, etc.). These are merely the symptoms. The cause is a rejection of the Authority of God and His Son by rejecting the Bible as the infallible, inspired Word of God. Likewise, when we as God’s people deliberately refuse to do what we know pleases the Lord Jesus, said disobedience is only the symptom. The cause is far more serious: lack of love and reverence for Christ (John 12:48; 14:15), and we must do our best to treat that cause.