It is often hard to realize just how artificial our lives have become and the destruction it has caused in all areas of life—physically, mentally and also spiritually.
“Our artificial civilization is encouraging evils destructive of sound principles. Custom and fashion are at war with nature. The practices they enjoin, and the indulgences they foster, are steadily lessening both physical and mental strength, and bringing upon the race an intolerable burden. Intemperance and crime, disease and wretchedness, are everywhere.” The Ministry of Healing, 125.
Artificial is not genuine or natural. We are right in the middle of this artificial civilization, which is encouraging evils and destroying sound principles.
Artificial is something that is fabricated—a counterfeit. The devil is destroying our minds and bodies through the artificial, which all seem so real. Look around and you will see the fruits of the devil’s labor:
- Artificial snow, artificial ice, artificial flowers.
- Artificial lighting creates more awake time, making it easy to cram more activities into each day and ignore the health law of good rest, which ends in health problems.
- Television creates artificial scenarios and “encourages evils destructive of sound principles.”
- “Custom and fashion are at war with nature.” Most of the material in our clothing is of manmade synthetics that are destructive, preventing good ventilation that allows the pores of the body to breathe.
- “A fashionable life is a hard, thankless life. How often time, money, and health are sacrificed, the patience sorely tried, and self-control lost, merely for the sake of display.” Christian Education, 168.
- Modern farming practices using genetically modified seeds (GMO) and the abundant chemical fertilizers and pesticides have stripped most of our food of its natural nutrients and often flavor. Results of this can be seen in the overweight population of the West and the increase of diabetes, heart conditions and cancers that are affecting people younger and younger each year. Our bodies are suffering from its effects. We eat more but get less nutrition. In fact, we are being gradually destroyed.
“Our artificial habits deprive us of many blessings and much enjoyment, and unfit us for living the most useful lives. Elaborate and expensive furnishings are a waste not only of money, but of that which is a thousandfold more precious. They bring into the home a heavy burden of care and labor and perplexity.
“What are the conditions in many homes, even where resources are limited and the work of the household rests chiefly on the mother? The best rooms are furnished in a style beyond the means of the occupants and unsuited to their convenience and enjoyment. There are expensive carpets, elaborately carved and daintily upholstered furniture, and delicate drapery. Tables, mantels, and every other available space are crowded with ornaments, and the walls are covered with pictures, until the sight becomes wearying. And what an amount of work is required to keep all these in order and free from dust! This work, and the other artificial habits of the family in its conformity to fashion, demand of the housewife unending toil.” The Ministry of Healing, 367.
The opposite of artificial is genuine or natural. When you look around, there is not much that is natural or genuine to be seen. We really do live in an artificial society. But, there are certain things that are unacceptable when faked and must be absolutely genuine. One is faith. Is your faith genuine or is it artificial? The artificial or synthetic manmade faith, also known as presumption, can seem so real but is so dangerous to spiritual health.
“Only he who has true faith is secure against presumption, for presumption is Satan’s counterfeit of faith. Faith claims God’s promises and brings forth fruit in obedience. Presumption also claims the promises but uses them as Satan did, to excuse transgression.” Mind, Character and Personality, vol. 2, 534.
Father: Help me to recognize the artificial in my life and turn toward the genuine. I do not want a counterfeit faith presuming on Your mercies in the midst of my disobedience and yet still claiming Your promises. Forgive me Father; keep me from presumptuous sins; let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight. Amen.