Excerpted from Piper's book Don’t Waste Your Life (pg 115).
Wartime at the Microbiological Level
In recent years Ralph Winter has waved another wartime flag. It’s worth waving here. God may use it to send some of you in a direction of ministry you never thought was ministry. Winter has been calling our attention to the effects of sin and Satan at the microbiological level where some of the most horrific devastation of God’s good creation happens. Satan has, horrifyingly, employed his rebellious freedom in the development of destructive germs and viruses at the microbial level, which today account for one third of all deaths on the planet. What the Bible calls simply “pestilence,” is a scourge to animals and humans alike. Yet our popular theology does not clearly recognize this as a work of Satan which God expects us to combat as part of His mission. But, if missionaries do not preach about a God who is interested in all suffering, all distortions of His creative handiwork, on all these levels we are simply misrepresenting the full scope of His pervasive love and concern—His very nature. . . .
...our popular theology does not clearly recognize [pestilence] as a work of Satan which God expects us to combat as part of His mission.
In Vietnam ten Americans died every day on the average during the entire ten years of that war. And, our government poured uncalculated billions into that conflict to extricate our people from it. However, right now not ten but 1,500 Americans die every day of cancer. Yet our government truly puts only pennies in that direction: 80% of it diverted to HIV/AIDS research, the 20% that ends up in cancer research going almost entirely to evaluating treatments not working toward prevention.
Living to Prove He is More Precious than Life
I understand that all 40 funded projects of the federal National Cancer Institute are focused on chemo and radiation treatment, not prevention. It’s like getting caught up in 150 Vietnam wars at the same time—as far as battle deaths are concerned. And yet we act as though no war exists! How can the consciousness of America be aroused to the fact that one third of all women and half of all men will contract cancer before they die? It fully accords with the intention of this book that thousands of Christians would hear this challenge from Dr. Winter and give their lives in science and research, as well as medical missions, to wage war against disease and suffering, and thus display the beauty and power of Christ. What kinds of sacrifices should we make for such combat with the enemy?