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Oreos as addictive as cocaine

Dr. Jim Denison is a cultural apologist who helps people respond biblically and redemptively to the vital issues of our day. He is also the co-founder and Chief Vision Officer of the Denison Forum, a Dallas-based nonprofit that comments on current issues through a biblical lens.

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Small boy sitting at a table dipping Oreos into a glass of milk (Credit: Jaimie Duplass via Fotolia)

Studies show that Oreos are as addictive for laboratory rats as cocaine.  (Like us, they eat the filling first.)  In fact, researchers have discovered that Oreos activate significantly more brain neurons than even cocaine or morphine.

Now we learn that monster cereals are making a big comeback this Halloween.  You may remember Count Chocula, Frankenberry and Boo Berry.  General Mills discontinued them in 2010, bringing them back only for Halloween each year.  Now the cereal manufacturer has announced plans to bring Yummy Mummy and Fruit Brute back from the dead as well.

A bit of history is in order.

Count Chocula, introduced in 1971, was the first chocolate flavored cereal of its kind.  Frankenberry was the first strawberry flavored cereal.  Fruit Brute was modeled after a werewolf, and was replaced by Fruity Yummy Mummy.  The former was discontinued in 1984, the latter in 1993.  Now they’re all back on shelves for the Halloween season.  Fortunately for our sugar levels and waist lines, they’ll go into exile again on November 1.

What do we do if we’re addicted to Oreos, sugary cereals and the like?  According to counselors, our first step is admitting that we have an addiction.  Then we should practice portion control, educate ourselves with regard to good vs. bad foods, and eliminate soda, high fructose corn syrup and sweeteners that cause us to binge eat more often.

I see a parable in this phenomenon.  Like Oreos and monster cereals, Satan tempts us with that which is appealing today but damaging tomorrow.  Thomas Brooks was right: “Satan promises the best, but pays with the worst; he promises honor and pays with disgrace; he promises pleasure and pays with pain; he promises profit and pays with loss; he promises life and pays with death.”  I’ve often said that sin will always take us further than we wanted to go, keep us longer than we wanted to stay, and cost us more than we wanted to pay.

How do we defeat our enemy?  Scripture is clear: “Submit yourselves to God, resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).  Note the order: we must first submit ourselves to God.  Name the specific temptation you’re facing, giving it to your Lord and asking for his power and guidance to defeat it.  Then, enabled by his Spirit, we can resist the devil.  When we do, he “will” flee from us—guaranteed.

What “Oreos” are you tempted to consume today?