Culture of Death: Pediatric Euthanasia

As Belgium is about to pass child euthanasia into law, Delight in Truth will offer a quick review of such practice in light of medical standards and Scripture.

Pediatric euthanasia is the practice of medically assisting in the suicide of a usually terminally ill or hopeless child.  In cases where the child is an infant or a toddler, the euthanasia is no longer an assisted suicide, but a “mercy” killing by a medical professional or the parents.

Pediatric euthanasia is legal only in the Netherlands under the following requirements:

  1. The presence of hopeless and unbearable suffering
  2. The consent of the parents to termination of life
  3. Medical consultation having taken place
  4. Careful execution of the termination

We must specify that euthanasia is NOT what we think about when we consider letting a loved one pass away as they succumb to disease.  I do not endorse aggressive medical interventions in someone who is at the end of the road.    Euthanasia instead is a volitional act of terminating someone’s life prematurely, in this case a child who may not even give their CONSENT to be euthanized.

That is outside of standard medical practice, common sense, and Christian faith.

We have come a long way in alleviating suffering using medications, nerve blocks, nerve and ganglion ablations, epidural and intrathecal medications and many other techniques.  Depression and psychologic hopelessness can also be treated using a variety of interventions.

But to terminate children based on the reasons above!?

That is abominable.

In his sermon in Acts 3, Peter makes a pro-life statement in accusing the Jews of killing Jesus: “you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead.”  The Bible clearly states that God is the the Author of Life, the same author who raised Jesus from the dead.  He alone has power and rights over anyone’s life.

Euthanasia is a satanic act because it accomplishes the purpose of Satan which is stated by Jesus in John 8:44 “[Satan] was a murderer from the beginning and has nothing to do with the truth”

On the other hand, Jesus came to give live, He came to regenerate, He came to bring hope and He came to save.

The Holy Spirit is the “Spirit of Life” who along with the “Author of Life” and “the Way, the Truth and the Life” form a Holy Trinity of Life.

To allow a child to expire is natural, but to euthanize a child is an act of rebellion against the Author of Life.

 

Evidence of Heaven and Hell… on Earth

“So you are not sure whether or not you believe that heaven and hell are real places. OK. Try this. Do you believe that America and North Korea are real places? Start with what you can see. God will help you to believe in what you cannot see.

If you want to get a small glimpse of the immeasurable difference between heaven and hell, just compare America to North Korea. One nation was founded largely upon the Bible and Christian principles. America is a free land, and we owe our freedom to Jesus Christ. The other nation is held captive to satanic control, and it has produced hell on earth for those who dwell there.

Camp 14 in North Korea is believed to hold 150,000 people doing hard labor while barely existing on the brink of starvation. It is a modern-day concentration camp. If you dare to question the North Korean government, you can be sent to that camp for the rest of your life. It is like hell on earth for those who dwell there.

Shin Dong-hyuk was born in that camp, and he escaped in 2005 at the age of 23. Shin was brainwashed to believe that life was only about obeying the prison rules. He actually witnessed his mother and his brother being killed right in front of him. Shin was so empty of any love that he admits he felt no sadness watching his mother and brother die. He felt they were getting what they deserved. After all, they had broken the prison rules.

Shin stated in recent years that he was actually the one to turn in his mother and brother to the authorities. At the time, he felt it might get him some preferential treatment.

That is a picture of what Satan gives a person.

No empathy. No love. No compassion. Shin, like the rest of his family, was a victim of cruel leaders and a spiritual adversary who has worked hard to turn North Korea into a living hell, and people into zombie-like robots.

There is another hell, which is also “living.” It is a place of eternal existence. And there is a real heaven, and its residents will never leave that place. America is not paradise to be sure, but it is a far cry from North Korea. The Gospel of Jesus Christ produces freedom in hearts and in nations. Satan produces hatred, control, and the killing of innocent people.

If you are someone who doubts the existence of heaven and hell, just compare America to North Korea. Who would have guessed that a world which God created could end up with such opposite experiences? One is free, and one is under cruel control. One allows people to live in happiness, and the other forces people to live in constant fear. One is an earthly portrait of heaven in a way, while the other is an earthly portrait of hell. The actual heaven and hell are just as real, and far more extreme in terms of the joy and the pain which people experience in those eternal destinations.

Shin escaped from Camp 14 and from North Korea. No one will escape from hell. At the same time, no one will ever want to leave heaven. Just because you have never been to North Korea does not mean it doesn’t exist. The same thing is true about heaven and hell. If you can trust a YouTube video showing North Korea, how much more can you trust God’s Word as it tells you about heaven and hell?

Start with what you can see. God will help you to believe what you cannot see.”

Excerpts from Christian Post article by Dan Delzell

Keep Oklahoma in Prayer Tonight

Children pulled out the rubble dead.

Many pulled out alive.

Many missing.

I tried to tune out the terrible news, a typical suppressive defense mechanism that many of us employ in trying to stay sane.  Than the article stated that there are dead children.  Missing children.

One cannot but image oneself in that situation.  Trying to find your children in the rubble.

An AP photographer wrote graphic details about taking pictures of children being rescued and passed from arms to arms.  Oklahoma trauma center pictured as a disaster zone.

Why does this happen so often?  Natural disasters, tragedies, shootings, epidemics, struggle to survive?

As Christians we turn to the Word of God for answers.

We find this in Romans 8:

18I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21thath the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.

22We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

As we pray for the victims let’s focus on this message of Truth.  Creation is subjected to fall, as humanity is subjected to sin.  But it does not end there.  If it were to end there we would be the most wretched people alive.

There is a hope in Christ, a hope of Redemption that goes beyond this temporary groaning of Creation and Flesh.

Keep Oklahoma in prayer tonight.

photo: FoxNews

Abortion as Murder in the Legal System

The horrible case of kidnapper/raper/murderer Ariel Castro is one of the most sickening news events of the past year.

In a long list of despicable things this man did was the alleged act of violently causing his victims to miscarry their babies when he got them pregnant. It is alleged that he did this by punching the pregnant abdomen of his victims in addition to starving them.

It caught my attention that prosecutors are considering charging him with the murder of those unborn babies.

Lets break it down and see how inconsistent our society is with respect to abortion.

An evil man like Castro induces the death of a number of unborn children.  He will likely be convicted and spend a lifetime in jail as he should.  The issue here is between three parties: Castro, the unborn children who have been murdered, and the LAW.

Let us switch scenarios and examine what happens in Planned Parenthood every day.  Abortionists induce the physical death of millions of unborn babies and society gives them a pass.  Why? Because the pregnant mother says it is ok to murder her unborn child.

The result of Castro’s actions and the esteemed abortionist’s actions is the same: death.

Yet we treat them so differently as a society.  Castro will go to jail.  The abortionist will live the high life.

This schizophrenic morality which we practice as a society is the reason for this paradox.  Maternal consent for abortion DOES NOT IN ANYWAY change the outcome of that abortion.  It matters not if the abortionist is a violator like Castro or an abortionist in Planned Parenthood.

Abortion is an active process that kills someone.

Abortion results in death.

Abortion is murder.

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What to Do When You Are Faced With the Opposite of the Gospel

It was an early Saturday afternoon when we decided to take the kids for a walk and some lunch on beautiful Pacific Coast Highway in Laguna Beach.

As we were walking we heard a strange chant and percussion-type music behind us.  It was  a procession of Krishna worshippers coming through.  In Hinduism and other eastern religions, Krishna is an avatar, or a physical representation of the supreme god Vishnu.

One of the members of this faith came over to me to invite my family to their family friendly temple.  Having studied the Bible and Christian apologetics more intensely in recent years I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to engage in theological discussion and see where these folks come from.

From the very beginning I told her that I worship the One and only Triune God as revealed in the Bible.

This led to a startling revelation.  The woman informed that she too is a Christian (Catholic) and that she worships Krishna and Christ… and that Krishna and Christ really come from the same “root word.” This of course is the opposite of truth.

She went on to explain how their supreme god is incarnated in different avatars, our Savior Jesus Christ being an example, and how they invite everyone to worship their personal avatar collectively with them.  Everything was about positivity and love, blah, blah, blah… Again the opposite of biblical truth.

Whenever a syncretic discussion of this sort ensues, I highly recommend to Christians to focus on one part of the Gospel: the depravity of man.  

I am referring to the fallen state of man, the evil that men do, the suffering and depravity that exists in the human race.  Expose their way of tackling this most central issue and how man can be redeemed.

She said she believes in the purity of the human soul (whatever that means) and that our mind is merely under influence.

Really?  If that is so, if the human soul is that pure, how is it that a Boston Marathon bomber or a Newtown shooter premeditated and carried out such evil acts out of his “pure” heart?  Why can’t one’s purity overcome such “influences?”

Of course she had no coherent answer, because the real answer lies in human hate and disobedience toward the Real God, our Creator. These people are blinded and they are not able to see their fallen nature.  If they stopped for two minutes to analyze the anger, the jealousy, the adultery, the greed that we all harbor in our hearts, they would realize that we are not pure at all.  They would realize we are in dire need of a perfect Savior.

There is no faith or religion on this planet that is able to resolve this depravity of man, other than the faith that claims that the perfect God Himself redeemed us via His Own sacrifice.

The most ironic thing is that the various avatars and incarnations of the gods of their religions suffer from the same shortcomings as humans: sexual desire and sin, jealousy, hate, war, etc. The very beings they worship are not perfect beings.

Be aware that they quickly turn the discussion to extremely abstract terms.  Instead of wrestling with real issues like why murder and adultery exist, they will go off on abstract tangents of dualism influence, mind over matter, meditation for purity, and such.

Instead of wasting precious time in discussing things in complex philosophical terms, be simple, and be direct.

Man was created in the image of God, but man fell due to disobedience and deserves eternal death.  In His Sovereignty and by grace, God made possible the redemption of man only by believing and obeying Christ, the perfect God-Man who redeemed us by His sacrifice.  Believers in Christ are saved from damnation and are made perfect again in the image of God upon their glorification.

That is the simple and direct gospel that non-Christian worshipers must hear.

How much more simple is this “foolishness” (1 Corinthians 1) compared to thousands and millions of gods and their stories and abstract explanations?

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Scientific and Medical Facts Found in the Bible (part 3)

Read part 1 (here) and part 2 (here)

Again, the Bible is not a scientific book, but the truths it contains are inspired by the One who created the physical laws that govern our universe, and the One who understands every medical aspect of our bodies.

In a moment of stunning revelation the writer of Job understands a physical concept thousands of years before it was defined: that air has weight.  He states in Job 28:25 “he gave to the wind its weight.

Air is made up of 21% oxygen, 78% nitrogen and 1% carbon dioxide and other gases.  Combined, these have a weight of 14.7 pounds per square inch at sea level. There are also gases that weight much less than air, hydrogen and helium being examples.

How is it possible that someone thousands of years ago would have the insight to write down such a concept if it wasn’t for divine inspiration?

As for the Second Law of Thermodynamics it is found in the Psalms.  This law states that any system is headed for entropy or disorder unless energy is applied to it to prevent disorder.  In other words, breakdown towards equilibrium is a continuous universal process.

Here is what Psalm 102:25-26 says:

“In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment.  Like clothing you will change them and they will be discarded.”

Thousands of years before we understood the biologic basis of infectious disease, God instituted the concept of quarantine in ancient Israel in His Law. Long before we discovered pathogens like bacteria, fungi, viruses, prions and mycobacteria, as the transmissible agents that cause infectious disease, God commanded a critical process for prevention of these diseases in Leviticus 13:45-46

“Anyone with such a defiling disease must wear torn clothes, let their hair be unkempt, cover the lower part of their face and cry out, ‘Unclean! Unclean!’ As long as they have the disease they remain unclean. They must live alone; they must live outside the camp.”

But skeptics will not listen to such arguments.  They would rather falsely accuse God of instituting slavery and committing atrocities throughout the Bible.

to be continued…

Boston Terror: Why Humanity is Inhumane

April 15th. Taxes are due.

But evil has his own plans to tax us with death.

In a span of 10 seconds the two blasts culminated what was months, perhaps years of premeditated mass murder.  Blood was splattered, lives were lost, and amputees will now have a daily reminder of this evil.

I am not necessarily interested in the political or religious reasons for this heinous act.  To give an ear to the perpetrator’s pretexts for doing this is to appease him.

There is only one reason for this: humanity has lost its… humanity.

To understand this we must go way back to the beginning.  Humanity was created in the image of God, and the image of God is perfect.  But one act of disobedience on behalf of Adam made world wars, 9/11, and now the Boston Marathon bombing inevitable.

They came to Jesus in Luke 13 to tell Him about an act of terror.  They told Him that Pilate had murdered a group of Jews as they were worshipping.  Think of it as a bomb going off in a public place like the Boston Marathon finish line.

Jesus’s response was frank and unanesthetized:  “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way?” Luke 13:2

He is in fact saying that such hate and violence is here to stay because of sin, and anyone of us could have been a victim!  He follows with the command to repent of sin.

Humanity will always be broken because we lost the initial image that God bestowed on us.

Political and religious motives for this crime are secondary as long as the evil impulse in the hearts of men remains unquenched.  There will always be a cause, a revolution, a motive, an impetus to rebel and kill.

The only solution is repentance of the broken humanity that is in us.

That is where salvation by faith in God begins.

Do Christians Who Commit Suicide Lose Their Salvation?

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In a somewhat superficial way, in one of their blogs, the Christian Post is asking this question in the wake of Matthew Warren’s suicide by a self-inflicted gun shot wound.

The following questions are put forth to show that a Christian cannot lose his or her salvation:

So since suicide is a result of mental illness, then the question is whether or not God holds illness against a person when deciding whether or not to allow them into heaven?

Does He hold it against cancer patients that die of cancer?

Or heart disease patients who die of heart attacks? Is that reasonable?

The blogger who wrote this for the Christian Post is taking a dangerous position with the assurance of salvation.

First of all he groups all mental illness with other illnesses such as cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Then he classifies suicide in the same way as death from a heart attack as a result of cardiovascular disease, and death from complications of cancer. He cites Romans 8 where it states that nothing can separate us from the love of God, and he implies that even taking our own life is subject to this declaration made by apostle Paul.

The big difference is that unlike suicide victims, cancer patients and heart attack victims for the most part do not premeditate their death, and they do not carry it out by volition.

There will be cases where believers have completely lost their mind as a result of some medical or psychiatric illness, and they are effectively unaware of the consequences of the suicidal act. They do not have the reasoning capacity to discern the gravity of what they are doing. In those cases, their actions cannot be held against them. But those cases may be more rare than we imagine.

Most suicides take place after prolonged suicidal ideation, and some of these victims have an elaborate plan on how to accomplish the act. Euthanasia is an example of this type of premeditated assisted suicide.

In those cases of suicide where the person is aware of their actions and understands the consequences, and more so is a professing believer, and THEN proceeds to destroy the temple of the Holy Spirit by self-murder, there is no excuse.

Such an action actually may be evidence they are not believers. One who has the Holy Spirit living inside him will not destroy the temple of the Holy Spirit willingly.

There is one other possibility. Gabe Bogdan brought this up in a previous comment. Depression and suicide may not be a sin in themselves, but they may be the consequence of unrepented sin. One’s refusal to be convicted by the Holy Spirit may lead to depression and then suicide, and in that case the spiritual devastation is evident.

Now… It is not appropriate for us to say in which group suicide victims belong. Whether they have lost their mind and are victims of lack of understanding, or whether they have premeditated and meticulously carried out the act.

We cannot speculate whether they go to heaven or hell, because that is the domain of the Omniscient.

Image credit: istockphoto.com

Depression: Physical and Spiritual Perspectives

Major Depression is a state of sadness and apathy which lasts at least two weeks, and typically longer, and is severe enough to interfere with daily life.  In order to have the diagnosis of major depression, five of the following must be present:

(1) depressed mood

(2) markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day

(3) significant weight loss weight gain

(4) insomnia or hypersomnia nearly every day

(5) psychomotor agitation or retardation nearly every day

(6) fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day

(7) feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt

(8) diminished ability to think or concentrate

(9) recurrent thoughts of death  and suicide

A medical doctor can make the diagnosis after a careful physical and mental status exam.

These are the physical and emotional aspects of depression and a way for us to diagnose it.

What about the spiritual aspects?

I ask this question because to this day we only have THEORIES with respect to the pathophysiology of depression.  There is no concrete lab test, neurodiagnostic test, imaging test, or any other type of medical test accepted into standard practice TODAY which can diagnose depression.

There is not any palpable, measurable physical test accepted as standard to help with this problem…

Could it be that this particular psychiatric disturbance has a spiritual cause?

I do not endorse the idea that every illness is caused by an evil spirit.  Most of the diseases we are facing whether genetic, infectious, or others, are based in our broken bodies, a brokeness we have carried with us since our fall in the garden of Eden.

But in the case of depression (and other psychiatric disorders) something dark is at work.  In medicine we theorize about neurotransmitter imbalances and impaired synaptic transmission; and we have developed drugs to flood brain synapses with these deficient neurotransmitters with some success in treatment.

But the emotional and spiritual darkness associated with depression raises the possibility of demonic influence over the victims of depression.

This explanation will not be found in the DSM-V, the diagnostic manual for psych disorders.

But the Bible gives us some clues.

The absence of the fruit of the Spirit from one’s life may lead to a state of depression.  Galatians 5 gives us the list of the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace…

Without the fruit of the Spirit in one’s life, it could be that the person may not have the Holy Spirit and His power of regeneration.  We can make this judgement based on the evidence at hand since we cannot know for sure what is in that person’s heart.

The absence of joy and peace are mainstay characteristics of depression.  The absence of the fruit of the Spirit could indicate the absence of the Holy Spirit.

This is key to the demonic influence over the persistent emotional state in the setting of major depression.

Christians are not immune to doubts, trials, illness, even feeling down.  But losing hope and losing the fruit of the Spirit in a persistent depression brings into question the presence of the work of the Holy Spirit in their life.

The Holy Spirit is our Intercessor, the One who stands in the gap for us, based on Romans 8, and as His subjects we must appeal to Him when we are down.

Depression must be fought against “by the Spirit.”

Christians have an eternal hope they cannot lose.  They should not persist in a state of depression.

Psalms 42:11 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.

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