by David Sisler

Most people want to be able to live like hell and still go to heaven.

If you don't believe that statement, ask any dieter if he has ever bought, or ever wanted to buy a product which promised he could eat as much as he wanted and still loose weight. This magical pill would wrap itself around the calories and keep them off of your waist. There's no accountability. Eat, drink and be skinny.

I diet constantly. I have a fat wardrobe and a skinny wardrobe. Sometimes I get tired of counting calories. Then the fat wardrobe gets tight and I start counting calories again. I would mortgage my computer for a diet pill that would allow me to continue eating two hamburgers and a box of macaroni and cheese for a meal. Plus dessert.

Dr. Jeffrey Friedman thinks he may have found the answer. He has developed a new hormone, called "leptin," (from the Greek word meaning slender) which, when injected into laboratory rats, caused them to eat less, burn more fat and trim their weight by 30 percent--in only two weeks! The drug appears to dissolve fat tissue while leaving lean tissue intact. Andwhen the obese mice reach optimal leanness, they stabilize both their food intake and their metabolism and stop losing weight!

Don't run down to the pharmacy and ask the druggist for a supply of this possible wonder drug. It could be five or ten years before leptin is approved for human use. It appears to benefit rats, but researchers must demonstrate that leptin befits humans, and without any harmful side effects. Just days after it was announced, Dr. Friedman's research was attacked as worthless.

Our society seems to increasingly adhere to the doctrine of deniability--that is, no one accepts responsibility for his or her actions, hence the excitement about leptin.

We operate on the same principle outlined by the mysterious voice who told Mr. Phelps, of "Mission: Impossible" fame, "If you, or any of your IM Force are caught or killed, the secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions." In other words, we are sending you to do a job, but if they catch you, we've never heard of you. Deniability. No responsibility.

A few years ago, the Internal Revenue Service announced a cute little deduction for professional athletes. If they were fined for misconduct by their leagues, the IRS said they could claim the fine as an income tax deduction. Cheat, misbehave, violate the rules and be rewarded for it in April 15!

Liz Renay was a gangster's moll. She spent 27 months in a federal prison and had more affairs than she could count. She called her book, My Face for the World to See, because after all she has experienced, you could not tell it by looking at her. No trace of her hard life showed on her face.

The editor who reviewed her book headlined, "If Liz Renay sinned, it left no mark."

Liz was married for the first time at age 15. She had a series of affairs (affair is a pretty word; fornication is God's word; adultery is God's word) with various soldiers. Overcome by a sense of guilt she sought psychiatric help.

Her doctor consistently disputed God's Word.

"You've done no wrong," he assured her. "You have no reason to feel guilty. You have simply loved and received love in return. You have given only joy."

Liz said, "For the first time I was relieved of guilt."

Deniability. No responsibility.

Overeat and loose weight.

Violate the rules and take the fine off of your income taxes.

Those are symptoms of the attitude that says, "I can live like hell and still go to heaven."

The Bible talks about the consequences of forgiven sin. The Bible says that the only way to go to heaven is to live like Jesus. The Bible says that the things we do in secret will always come to light.

I know if I sin against God, He will forgive me. That knowledge, however, does not give me liberty to live contrary to Him or His Word. To continue to live in deliberate disobedience of Him, and to do so in spite of His forgiveness, is to exhibit the attitude of deniability.

The editor said that if Liz sinned, it didn't leave a mark. Don't you believe that. It surely did, unless God is liar.

Liz Renay did not understand. Guilt is a gift from God. It is a warning. It is a declaration of His love. It is the first step towards living like heaven and then going to heaven.

Published in the Augusta Chronicle 11/11/95

Copyright 1995 by David Sisler

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