Campus wide, Office of the President

CSU discovers miracle cure

By President Dondi Costin | September 17, 2019

How would you respond if someone sent you a link advertising a miracle drug that would transform your life in every meaningful way? Sounds like clickbait, I know. But what if?

What if the link claimed that this revolutionary cure all but guaranteed longer life, more satisfying relationships, better mental health, greater resiliency, more effective parenting, and even higher productivity at work? Would you be inclined to discover, or delete?

If you’ve spent any time on social media or digging through your email account’s Junk folder lately, chances are you have been tempted to click on links just like that. Please don’t ask me how I know. But I know you know.  

There it is, staring you down in all its glory, daring you to learn more. Claims that seem so over-the-top that not even the Internet could invent them. Yet “too fantastical to be false” consistently devolves into “too good to be true.” But what if, just this once, the data drove you to the discovery of a lifetime? What if this time the radical was real?

Spoiler alert:  There is at least one intervention miraculous enough to support its claims with a record of results. Undeniably so.

The miracle cure? Faith.  

The data in its corner? Irrefutable.  

Too good to be true? Not on your life.

Harvard epidemiology professor Tyler VanderWeele and former religion editor John Siniff summarized the evidence just over two years ago in a USA Today piece aptly titled, “Religion may be a miracle drug.” Citing mounds of modern research, this duo declared what millennia of faithful folk have always known: “communal religious participation” acts like a miracle drug from a public health perspective. Populations committed to religion—in communities of faith—reap physical, mental, social and spiritual rewards that simply cannot be explained by other means.  

In other words, statistically speaking, the devout do better. Radically better. Devout is the operative word here, because nominal religion—religion in name only—is no more effective than any medicine confined to the cabinet.  

As it turns out, we humans have been wired to worship. Which is why everybody worships something—self, status, success, something else. According to the Great Physician, however, the cure for what ails us is found only in the God who created us, the Savior who redeemed us and the Spirit who empowers us.

Truth hurts sometimes, but it’s no less true. If you don’t take the medicine, you can’t claim the cure. The Bible delivered the diagnosis and prescribed the pill ages ago, so it’s exciting to see that science is finally catching on. It’s about time.

The secret cure has never been all that secret, but the mountain of evidence now towers so high that covering your eyes is the only way to miss it. Why wouldn’t people want to live their lives in a way that gives them more of what they really need and less of what they don’t? For the same reason the Surgeon General’s decades-old warning about the dangers of smoking (and countless other vices) falls on so many deaf ears. 

The apostle Paul nailed the answer in the first chapter of Romans, where he observed that some simply “suppress the truth” and “exchange the truth of God for a lie.” Our own experience validates this travesty. We don’t always do what’s in our best interest, even when truth slaps us in the face. But what God wants is always best for you, even when that truth rubs you the wrong way. When you want what God wants, the Truth will set you free.

Loving God and loving others, Jesus said, is the only sure way to satisfaction. This may be a tough pill for a secular society to swallow. Besides, we’re talking about a miracle cure, not a magic pill. Dramatically, the resurrection of Christ is the life-giving miracle that adds faith to the formulary.

Charleston Southern dispenses this miracle cure every day in all sorts of ways. Here, believing and belonging is the path to becoming. Believing God made you for a mission. Belonging to a family that inspires you to do immeasurably more than you ever imagined. Becoming the person God meant for you to be. Because at CSU the doctor is always in.

CSU discovers a miracle cure? It really is true. Just like oxygen is the key to living, faith is the key to life. The Savior’s solution is far more satisfying than suffering with the symptoms, even if you’ve grown accustomed to being sick. Remember, the Truth will set you free.

Every now and again, clickbait lures and lands a whopper. A big fish that’s best for you. It’s no wonder Jesus urged his friends to become fishers of men. This prescription is just what the Good Doctor ordered. Down a dose and call him in the morning. What if?

Published in CSU Magazine, Vol. 29, No. 2

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