Posts Tagged ‘euthanasia’

Bill O'ReillyMany people attempt to speak for God.  But it is a dangerous thing to play fast and loose with God’s Word.  Bill O’Reilly, who consistently reminds his listeners that he attended Catholic school, is one example.  He recently told his guest, a priest, that the whole homosexual thing doesn’t trouble him.  Really?  And, I wonder, why might that be?

Two thoughts come to mind.  O’Reilly is a deceived creature who has raised himself above the Creator. He dangerously follows the example of Eve who, after putting herself in God’s place, spoke for Him.  When Satan asked, “Did God really say . . . ?” Eve responded, adding words that God never spoke (compare Genesis 3:2-3 with 2:16-17). Does O’Reilly doubt that Jesus Christ is The Word (John 1:1-5, 14)?  Jesus, who is God, calls homosexuality a sin in both the Old and New Testaments.

Second, it’s quite possible that O’Reilly has no difficulty with two men or two women living a gay or lesbian lifestyle because of another deception.  It is much easier to accept homosexuality as just a personal form of sexual expression when we are deceived by false identity.  That false identity is sexuality.

Identifying humans as primarily sexual beings is what motivates women to aggressively support “reproductive rights” and an American president who blesses Planned Parenthood.  But with little or no fear of God, men and women worship the created rather than the Creator.

Once we have been deceived to see ourselves as “sexual from birth,” our thinking, speech, clothing and behavior soon reflect the lie.  When we celebrate our sexuality — rather than the God who made us — we are more easily captive to the flesh.  We may, indeed, proclaim: This is who God made me to be!

Homosexuality is accepted when we believe the lie: “my body, my choice.”  At the core of all issues of life — abortion, marriage, homosexuality and euthanasia – is identity.   We will most certainly have an identity problem when we deny or doubt the Word of God.

God identifies us not as sexual beings, but as holy beings.  God is holy.  He calls us to be holy.  Holiness means seeking after the things of God, not the things of the flesh.  It means denying self and, instead, being a vessel for noble purpose.  This goes against the grain of the world’s thinking.  “Express yourself,” we’re told.  “Satisfy your natural desires.”  And, in this present culture, what could be more natural than expression of our sexuality which appears to be the sum total of who we are.

O’Reilly (and the rest of us who call upon the name of Christ) should take care.  It is a dangerous thing to play fast and loose with things of God.  Our identity – and with it, our behavior – is defined by God.

To everyone who is called by God’s name, who has been created for His glory, He says, “. . . I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine” (Isaiah 43:1, 7).

Read Full Post »

For now, I’m putting discussion about sex education aside to consider another life issue.  Michael Cook of MercatorNet writes:

“The classic 60s family-friendly cowboy TV series Bonanza, about a patriarch and his three sons on a half a million acres in 1870s Nevada may not seem like a place to look for lessons about euthanasia. But this episode, which screened on November 17, 1963 is an example of how far society has changed. A friend of Little Joe confesses to him that he administered a mercy killing to his future father-in-law after a mining accident. Little Joe has misgivings, but is sympathetic. Then he talks to Dad — Ben Cartwright — who explains to him why no one ever has a right to take a life. Very nostalgic.  ~ Thanks to Walter Pless.”

Please watch the Bonanza episode here.

My appreciation to Careful, a MercatorNet focus blog on euthanasia (8/9/12),
Editor Michael Cook

Read Full Post »

It is not that Christians can make this a Christian nation.  Or a Christian culture.  We may not be able to prevent laws, such as nationalized health care which appears to mandate many practices a Christian doesn’t and can’t Biblically support.  But, Christians can choose to not do wrong things and, thus, affect their family,  neighbors, and community — one person at a time.  History records that it is possible for small groups of people to make wrong things unthinkable and even, eventually, illegal.

In Rome, it was culturally acceptable to take an unwanted, newborn baby outside the city gates and abandon the child to the elements.  It was, basically, legal.  But, Christians helped to make that behavior unthinkable by rescuing the newborns.  They took them home, adopted them, and founded orphanages.

William Wilberforce and a small group of Biblical men and women in England determined to obey God and help their country stop the practice of slavery.  It took 30 years of Wilberforce’s life.  Slavery did become illegal but, first,  it had to become unthinkable.  Christians who knew slavery was wrong helped others see the practice as economically and morally unthinkable.

What can we learn from this as we Christians in America face legalized abortion?  Legalized euthanasia?  Legalized embryonic stem cell research?  Legalized national health care?  We can choose not to engage in the procreative act of sex outside the faithfulness of marriage.  We can choose to see every human life as God sees it: so valuable that Jesus Christ would die for him or her.  We can choose to live in ways that honor the Creator of life so that even non-believers are encouraged to make choices that build a moral society.

Read Full Post »

It’s possible that very soon my friend, Gladys, will be called home.  Poison in her system cannot be contained.  Her kidneys are shutting down.  Her lungs are weary.  She is in pain.  My friend is impatient to go home, yet — a faithful servant of God to the end — she does not ask anyone to send her before her time.

What Gladys does ask is that she be kept as pain-free as possible.  In an article I wrote years ago, I quoted Dr. Matthew Conolly.  He acknowledged that the greatest fear of most patients — and, thus, the reason that “mercy killing” or euthanasia grows ever popular — is pain.  Too many physicians believe their most important role is to heal or cure.  When they cannot, the patient may become a reminder of the doctor’s “failure.”  At such times, some physicians abandon the patient.  What they could do, as Dr. Conolly pointed out, is learn the art of caring for the patient even when the prognosis is not good.  What they could do is to learn the art of pain control.  Appropriate pain control does not hasten death, but brings dignity to both patient and family.

Today, my friend’s daughter — my dear friend, Rita — is talking to the hospital chaplain and hospice care workers.  Rita does not want to decide when her mother should die.  That is up to God.  But, she does want to do all she can to keep her mother comfortable.

I am reminded of a story I’ve shared when speaking about end-of-life issues.  A pastor’s wife, in her battle against cancer, was undergoing extensive treatment.  She was placed on a rubber cooling blanket to keep her temperature down.  It was very uncomfortable.  “I don’t know if I can stand this,” she told her husband.  “If you cannot,” he told her, “tell the nurses you want to discontinue this treatment.”  Then, anxious and exhausted, he left to get a few hours sleep.  When he returned, he was greeted by a nurse.  “Boy, does you wife have something to tell you.”  The pastor rushed in to his wife’s room where he found her smiling.  “What happened?” he asked.  “It was wonderful,” she said.  Sometime after you left, I could bear it no more.  I prayed that God lift me from this suffering.  And, you know what?  Angels appeared.  I felt warm; snug as a bug.  I slept.”

Does God know our pain?  Does He hear us when we ask for comfort?  For strength to endure?  For courage?  Think about Jesus as He was preparing to take on the sins of the world.  On the night He was betrayed, He took His disciples with Him to the garden.  He told them, “Do not fall into temptation, but pray.”  Then He went off by Himself.  He was in anguish.  His sweat was like drops of blood.  “Father,” He prayed, “if You are willing, take this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.”  Do you know what happened?  An angel from heaven appeared to Him and strengthened Him.  (Luke 22:39-43)

When our physicians cannot heal, may we encourage them to comfort.  To seek better pain control.

And, when we feel that we are falling into temptation — ready to ask someone to end our life and send us on our way home — may we, instead, call upon the Great Physician.  The One who knows pain.  Who carried sorrow.  Who endured every whip and lash for our benefit.  If God heard the plea of His own dear Son, Jesus Christ, and sent an angel to strengthen Him, won’t He also hear us?  Won’t He give us exactly what we need, when we need it, until His work through us is done?

Read Full Post »

How great is this!  The Beach Boys are set to perform a “Life and Hope Concert” on June 12 at 7:00 p.m. at the Fraze Pavilion in Kettering, Ohio.

The concert, sponsored by the Terri Schiavo Life and Hope Network, recognizes all people who, like Terri, are challenged by cognitive disabilities.  What a night it should be!  The Lettermen will be joining The Beach Boys.  I encourage anyone who lives within driving distance of Dayton, Ohio, to get tickets for this event.  You can call 1-855-300-HOPE begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            1-855-300-HOPE      end_of_the_skype_highlighting or visit Life and Hope Concert.

I first heard Bobby Schindler several years ago at one of our Lutherans For Life conferences.  Bobby, the brother of Terri Schiavo, speaks nationwide on behalf of many who, like his sister, suffer brain injuries.  He admitted that he never would have imagined himself speaking up for life were it not for the premature and unnecessary death of his sister.  Today, Bobby speaks nationwide for life and directs the Schiavo Foundation.  Terri’s former husband chose to end her life rather than letting her family care for her.  Terri’s parents and siblings all sought the opportunity to work with her and care for her, but that opportunity was denied.  You can learn more by visiting Terri’s Fight  Or, you can watch The Schiavo Story on DVD.

The Life and Hope Concert will raise funds so that others won’t have to endure what Terri did.  Terri was subjected to a painful 13-day starvation and dehydration death by  her former husband who refused to provide her with proper medical care and rehabilitative treatment.  Not wanting other patients to endure the same ordeal, the Terri Schiavo Foundation was founded in order to help others with disabilities receive proper care.  The Schiavo Foundation supports the New Beginnings Community of Medford, N.Y.  New Beginnings provides state-of-the-art outpatient rehabilitative care for veterans, traumatic brain injury survivors, and other cognitively and physically disabled persons.  The building is dedicated to the memory of Terri Schaivo.  Terri’s brother, Bobby Schindler, says, “. . . [J]ust because someone experiences a cognitive disability and their physical appearance may change, their human dignity does not.”

(Josh and Alison… Dayton is a short drive for you.   How about taking Maxwell Thomas to his first concert!  Grandma thinks he would be delighted by the tunes of the Beach Boys.  Besides, Max loves life!  Maybe Grandpa will spring for tickets!)

Read Full Post »

A long time ago, I began to wonder: Would the generation that ushered in legalized abortion be ushered out by legalized euthanasia?  Maybe… because so many of the people that could have supported us in our senior years are missing.

Since 1973, over 50 million babies have been aborted in the U.S. alone.  What is the impact of so many missing persons?  So many heads to think?  Hearts to love?  Hands to serve?

There are approximately 76 million in my generation of babyboomers.  There are only 17 million of my sons’ generation.   (Can you get your arms around that one?)

Ask anyone in my family and they’ll tell you I’m not good with numbers.  But, with some 2008 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Social Security Administration, Guttmacher Institute, and National Center for Health Statistics, I’ve got some big numbers for your consideration.  If abortion had not been legalized in 1973 . . .

  • 17,250,839 more people would have been employed
  • $398,900,760,733 earned by those employees
  • $11,105,397,179 contributed to Medicare
  • $47,485,146,558 contributed to Social Security
  • 3,432,000 more retired workers could receive average monthly social security benefit check
  • 2,165,707 more people could receive Medicare Hospital Insurance

What is the economic impact of abortion?  What do 50 million + missing persons mean?  It has been said that the basis of any economy is its population, or human element.  Consider that the parents of 50 million children are not shopping for diapers, toys, or school books.  50 million children won’t require teachers.  50 million children won’t grow up to work, spend, save, marry, start families, build houses, invest wages, be innovative or use their skills.  50 million children won’t become adults who pay taxes.  50 million children won’t think, love or serve.

Perhaps, in missing these persons, we will be sorry and ask for forgiveness.  A Cross beckons us to journey from hopelessness to hopefulness.  From deception to truth.  From death to life.  When I look at my grandchildren, I see the promise.  I see heads to think.  Hearts to love.  Hands to serve.

It’s true that the consequences of our sins carry to the third and fourth generations.  But, God’s mercy in Christ is to thousands of generations that love Him.

(I am grateful to my friend, Chuck Asay,
for his editorial cartoon.)

Read Full Post »