MASS DRUNKENNESS CONTINUES (Article) by Dr. Abidan Paul Shah
(Published in the newspaper Daily Dispatch, Henderson on December 2, 2020)
“Consumption of alcoholic beverages impairs your ability to drive a car or operate machinery…”—so reads part of the warning label of every alcoholic beverage, as mandated by the 27 U.S. Code Section 215. It is evident that when a person is under the influence of alcohol, his/her ability to reason and make sound judgment diminishes. Instead, the person is taken over by memory deprivation, slowed reflexes, loss of inhibitions, and exaggerated emotions. As Solomon warned in Proverbs 29:33, “Your eyes will see strange things, and your heart will utter perverse things.”
As harmful as this is, there is another form of drunkenness that is just as bad, if not worse. It does not come from a bottle or a can, and it does not carry the Surgeon General’s warning. Nonetheless, it severely diminishes a person’s ability to think and discern. It causes one to forget basic truths and weakens the mental reflexes to fend off exaggerated claims and unverified reports. In fact, one doesn’t even realize that he/she is being stripped away of basic rights and liberties in broad daylight! Overnight, individuals become addicted to fear and hopelessness.
Unlike the intoxication that comes from a bottle, this form of drunkenness is highly contagious. Before long, it turns into “mass drunkenness.” I wrote about this over ten years ago and the mental intoxication is far worse today than ever. That label was coined by Thomas Mann, a German writer who had to go into exile during Nazi Germany because of his anti-fascist views. He compared the coming of Hitler and the Nazis to a kind of “mass drunkenness” in Germany, where “virtue sets aside her shield, the mind drops its scepter…Mass-drunkenness, which relieves the individual of responsibility, is an end in itself. The ideology which it exalts, such as the State, or Socialism, or the greatness of the country, is not essential to it. They are only pretexts. The one aim is drunkenness. One must get rid of his own self, his own thoughts – or, more precisely, of morality and reason in general.” Mann was no evangelical Christian but he saw clearly what was happening in Germany and tried to warn others but they were too mass drunk to understand.
A similar kind of mass drunkenness is ruling our world today. Unless we individually become sober, there will be no mass awakening. The Apostle Peter gives us the concoction of truth to get sober in 1 Peter 1:13 “Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” “Gird up the loins” is a Semitic idiom that means “tuck your long robe into your belt so you can move freely, rapidly, and without hindrance.” Today, we would say, “roll up your sleeves.” In his characteristic style, Peter mixed metaphors here by telling them to “roll up the sleeves of their minds.” In other words, start using your God-given ability to reason and discern. Furthermore, the Greek word for “sober” is “nepho,” which originally meant “not be intoxicated” but in time was used for being alert and come to one’s senses. Finally, he reminded them to place their hope fully upon Jesus Christ and his return. If only Christians in America would heed Peter’s warning, we would face our current trials differently. Instead of remaining “mass drunk,” we would see a mass revival. God is still in control and his purposes haven’t failed even for a moment. It’s high time that we come to our senses and help others become sober.