This week, before I start on this week’s subject, I have been inspired to make a few comments about this work of obligation that I have been working on for the past year. Yes, I started “Politics and the Church” a year ago at the inspiration of a comment that politics did not belong in the church. I just could not let that comment go unchallenged having studied history from Biblical times right up through the past couple of years. Politics had a major influence on the original Christian churches and politics in the church led to the crucifixion of Jesus. Politics and the church have led to the death/murder of millions over the years and still does to this day. My writings thus far have seemed very negative and they have been because one side of the issue is very negative and that cannot be concealed. Before a problem can be solved and moved toward positive outcomes it must first be admitted to be a problem. Constant denial will keep the problem in ‘shoal waters’. We must know just what the problem is and how it came about. Saying that ‘evil’ is the cause and then ‘c’est la vie’ will get us nowhere. ‘Politics’ is the system by which the policies, laws and rules that a society is subjected to are established. They can either be God inspired or ‘otherwise’. The ‘church’ is not a building, but the compilation of God’s people. The ‘church’ can either function in a world of politics that is friendly to God’s principles or it can struggle to the point of ineffectiveness because of overbearing secular laws. Fortunately our Founders understood this and gave us a Constitution that favored God’s laws. As our founders stated…we were given a constitution that supports freedom as long as we can maintain it. The single largest protector of that freedom is the ‘church’. If the ‘church’ ignores that responsibility, freedom will be lost and once lost extremely difficult to regain. This is not my opinion but based on history throughout the ages. Thus, I continue to focus on the problems until I can believe that I am inspired to move into the corrective phase…extrication from the shoal waters.
The subject this week is ‘Physician-Assisted Suicide’ or as it is also known, ‘Physician Aid in Dying (PAD). What is the difference between this and euthanasia? With one the ‘supposed’ doctor gives a gun to the patient and says…”Here, shoot yourself!”. In the other case the doctor himself holds the gun and pulls the trigger. Just as unborn life is no longer viewed as a gift from God, neither is life outside the womb. Instead, it is adjudged to be the personal property of each individual, who is then free to do whatever he/she wants to do with it. As a consequence, PAD is on the rise in America. Significantly, a core tenet of the Hippocratic oath…at the heart of the medical profession since 400 BC…is “I will give no deadly medicine to anyone if asked, nor suggest any such counsel” [“The Oath by Hippocrates”, http://classics.mit.edu/Hippocrates/hippooath.html]. Despite this binding oath by physicians, PAD is now legal in Oregon, Washington, Montana, Vermont and New Mexico with several other states considering it. The growth of this new policy, which is the consequence of rejecting God as the author of life, is not surprising given current citizen beliefs. Today nearly 70% support PAD…including 48% of those who attend church weekly and 74% of those who attend church multiple times a week [Justin McCarthy, “Seven in Ten Americans Back Euthenasia”, Gallop Politics, June 18, 2014]. For previous generations, there were two problems with physician-assisted suicide: first physician-assisted, and second suicide. Suicide is a Latin term that means “self-murder”. Murder was a violation of both Biblical law…sixth of the Ten Commandments…as well as common law…incorporated into the Constitution through the Seventh Amendment in the Bill of Rights. Man was not to murder anyone…not even himself. It is Christ, not individuals, who holds the “keys of hell and of death” (Rev. 1:18). The Bible affirms that everyone has an appointed time of death, and that time is set by God, not chosen by the individual (Heb 9:27). Blackstones Commentaries on the Law , the most famous law book in American founding, eludes to the Book of Esther when Mordecai urged Queen Esther to present herself before the king where she reminded him that it was a deadly offense to show up before the king uncalled for (Esther 4:10-11). Blackstone alludes to this practice, explaining not only that “no man hath the power to destroy life, but by commission from God, the author of it” but that those who committed suicide were guilty of ” invading the prerogative of the Almighty, and rushing into His immediate presence uncalled for.” [William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England, Oxford Press 1769,vol.4, pg.189]. As America becomes more secular, the less it holds to the Biblical position of Jeremiah 10:23: “Lord, I know that peoples’ lives are not their own: it is not for them to direct their steps”. Think for a minute; when was the last time you heard any of the past subjects discussed in the pulpits of your churches? It seems that it is no wonder our ‘ship of state’ has drifted into ‘shoal waters’ and that the longer it stays there the more difficult it will be to perform extrication.
Next week we will take a look at a subject that has found itself much at the forefront in the past few years…Gun Control.
– Bob Munsey