I vaguely remember reading Aldous Huxley's Brave New World when I was a junior in high school. The year is way off in the future and man has managed to create a utopia through genetic engineering, promiscuous sex, and mind-altering drugs. Religion is replaced with Soma, a drug that effectively eliminates pain.
You want to guess what is the most prescribed type of medication here in America? The answer is not high blood pressure medication nor is it medication for diabetes. The answer is anti-depressants. I learned this by watching a special report on CNN this morning. The reporter voiced her official concern that depression is overdiagnosed by family physicians not wanting to take the time to tell the 25 year old woman who just broke up with her boyfriend that eating right, excercising, getting more rest, and dealing with the emotional pain by watching Pink Panther and getting a new boyfriend is the likely solution to her temporary grief. It seems that most physicians nowadays instead of saying "Just deal with it!" are saying, "Here's a pill. Take two of these and you'll feel better in the morning."
Are anti-depressants the new Soma? I find it interesting that the word sorceries in Revelation 9:21 is the word "pharmakeia" in the Greek, from which we get the word pharmacy. In my opinion, I think this verse is referring to the practice of mixing drugs with magic charms and spells, a common practice in nearly every developing country (especially Africa). I highly doubt that God would send someone to hell for taking Paxil, but the broader question is this, are modern physicians the new medicine men? Are anti-depressants the 21st century version of Soma? Regardless of how one answers these questions, I have a feeling that America and the Western World are fastly turning into societies that would make Aldous Huxley proud. I can almost see the T.V. commercial in the near future, Hooked on Soma worked for me!