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But what follows is nothing less than a direct challenge not only to Martha, but to each one of us: Do you believe this? What does life mean for us? How much power do we give to death? What does resurrection mean for us? Do we believe that as we non-cooperate with death and live fully in a generative way, aligning ourselves with the God of life and what is good for all , we will never die? And if we do believe, how do we demonstrate our trust in the God of life in a world given over to the power of death? I believe that you have deprived death of the last word.

Lo and behold, Martha believes! Or so she says. The only other such declaration comes in chapter 9, from the man born blind. For John, the model believer and disciple seems to be a woman. But on closer look, we discern in Martha a hint of evasion. Trouble is, Peter in the Synoptics hopes for a messianic revolutionary, one armed to the teeth, ready to take on the empire. A person, in other words, still using the means and methods of death.

A violent Christ. We must try to listen deeply to Jesus and let his question linger. Do you believe this? As we stay with it, we can live our way into the answer, into faith, into action. And so I will live life to the full from now on. I will not cooperate with the culture of death. I will live in the resurrection from now on, and so be with you who are my life, my hope, my resurrection, my peace, my joy, my God.

If we take Jesus at his word and know that he is our resurrection and life, then all will be well. Our deepest desire will be to sit at his feet, take in his wisdom, and dwell in his peace. We know that from now on we will live, which means we will have nothing to do with death. Jesus, our resurrection and life, is with us. It suggests a big transformation. Presently for Lazarus, but imminently for Mary. Not only will Lazarus be raised, but in a sense she will too.

She arises, walks from the culture of death, and heads toward the God of life. It seems she too is on intimate terms with the power of death, convinced like everyone in town: death is lord; nothing can be done. So far, no sign of her rising. She seems as squarely stuck in the presumptions of death as everyone else. She echoes the voice of utter hopelessness. But to her credit, she keeps her bearings.

She does engage him, and she tells him how she feels. More, she falls at his feet—a profound gesture of intimacy. And there he stands: steady, self-possessed, nonviolent, and compassionate. Jesus longs for true worship. To worship Jesus is to follow his way and to unleash a godsend of security, forbearance, and peace. But there is little worship among the crowd. Jesus remains composed and centered, nonetheless. He does not get flustered; he does not press.

Jesus is the Mount Everest of life. Immovable, unshakeable, a rock. There at his feet she feels his healing peace. She was at his feet once before as she listened to him teaching. She lies at his feet now in tears of grief. She will soon bathe his feet with fragrant and costly nard and dry them with her hair.

She knows his feet well. This latter episode, of Mary perfuming his feet, marks something of an inner change for Mary. Shortly, after he raises Lazarus, Jesus will be in Bethany again, this time during a Passover charged with resurrection celebration. Her perfuming his feet publicly displays her honor and love. And perhaps her sorrow for her slowness of heart. At any rate, her costly outlay manifests her hard-won understanding. She understands all of a sudden something of the paschal mystery. She quietly appreciates that he must return to Jerusalem. Against common sense, he must return to the culture of death and there risk martyrdom.

Finally, a disciple who understands and will brace him in his hard choices. Mary of Bethany is on a journey of resurrection with Jesus. She moves from darkness to awareness, doubt to faith, despair to hope. Jesus is in anguish, in great turmoil. And out of his distress, he engages for the first time the people who had previously tried to do away with him. He wants to see where Lazarus is laid. Come and see. They call each of us into radical discipleship and the hard choices we must make to convert our culture to one of life for all. But in the mouth of the mourners, his own words are used against him.

As if they would recruit him into their culture of violence and death! Mythically one can imagine the scene. Their spiraling eyes are mesmerizing. Come and see: death does get the final word. Come and see: the place of doubt, despair, domination, empire. Learn the ways of death. Become a disciple of violence. See and believe in death! In ways subtle and flagrant, you and I hear this very summons every day. On all sides we are badgered to believe in the efficacy of death and what promotes or results in death, for some people, somewhere, and sometimes, unexpectedly, our own when pollution, poisoning, debt, home foreclosures or landgrabbing come closer than we expected.

We thought droughts and intense storms were for other places, that health catastrophes were not our lot. Violence, excessive consumption, corporations unleashed from any and all restrictions—these, the message is, will benefit and save us. And we go along complacently, some of us eagerly. We ride the stiff current like driftwood.

Even those who would register an objection feel powerless. Death lords over us, saying it has the last word.

What Happens to a Christian After Death?

What hope can we sustain against it? The idea of transformation seems almost laughable. Relying on nothing but our own resources we quickly give in. And the minute we do we become unwitting disciples—no longer to the God of life but to the culture of death. Each of us from our toddling days has been recruited into the culture of death. Discipleship exceeds our comprehension, even among churchfolk. New life and generative systems, life for all, baffle us.

We are, in fact, quite contented with the ways of death, thank you very much. The glory of death—come and see, we tell one another. And indeed we do. The more we succumb, the less our chances to envision the possibilities of resurrection life. The human task of disarming our world, and our own hearts, falls beyond us.

Our capacities for objecting to destruction of our atmosphere and life support systems, starvation, deprivation, or killing get beyond our reach. What we serve, in sociological terms, are systems of death. In biblical terms, we worship idols. The empire possesses us. We have no understanding of our own man-made predicament. We have rejected his invitation to new life and have been happily recruited into the culture of death.

How does this make Jesus feel? This question opens up new insights into discipleship and life. If Jesus is the God of life, as the Gospel of John insists, then our focus should be on him. We have only the four Gospels as guidebooks for our discipleship, so we need to stay with them, read them daily, make them part of our lives. Over time, our daily Gospel study puts Jesus at the center of our day-to-day attention. In our psychologically aware culture, we place high value on feelings. But Christians rarely consider how, in the Gospels, Jesus feels.

I believe if we want to know Jesus more and more intimately, we need to ask how he feels about what is happening to him in every Gospel episode. We need to stop clinging narcissistically to our own piteous feelings and join our hearts with his. He is devastated. Finally, he acts like a disciple. When Jesus weeps, the professional mourners, the Judeans, everyone in the crowd, shake their heads in wonder. Love, that is, in the brotherly sense—philia. This taunt recurs in all four Gospels and follows him to his last day.

There, in his hour of agony and abandonment, the religious leaders and passers-by shake their heads in disbelief. Come down from your cross. He shows compassion to everyone. Few show compassion to him. Nobody believes in Jesus. Everybody puts their faith ultimately in the power of death. This even though Jesus offers good news. He comes with the gift of life. He invites us to the fullness of lif e and care for all, much further than we can imagine. He stands with the God of life, as the God of life, inviting us into eternal life beginning this very moment.

He tells us that we are no longer captives of death. We can be free of empire, of oppression, of destruction and domination. We can make life-giving choices, not those that rely on and excuse death and ruin. We need not harm. We can learn how to care for one another, even so far as to love our enemies. We can all live in mutuality and peace. But the crowd rejects his invitation. We prefer death. Come and see how effective are our ways of death. Jesus weeps—but not because Lazarus has died!

And not because he is powerless in the face of death. Jesus weeps because everyone in the scene—the crowds, the rulers, his male disciples, even Mary and Martha—have gone only so far with him. In the end they reject his invitation to life and put their trust instead in the tyranny of death. Maybe, Jesus thinks, just maybe, we will come to believe in him. Instead, Jesus finds everyone given over to the power of death. And he breaks down crying. Like a good dramatist, the Gospel writer leads us to the very brink of tragedy. The body now four days in the grave; the soul vacated; all faith and hope are lost.

And all the characters are persuaded: death is invincible. But to the contrary, precisely here the story takes flight. The presumptions of the culture are about to expire. At this moment of total despair, Jesus takes action!

By no means is it enough to read the words. The tomb is no place for a good Judean or Galilean. Still, he approaches. He goes because he lives in an enlightened reality. More mythically put, resurrection is stronger than entombment in our culture of death. Jesus approached the tomb. Alone, unarmed, vulnerable, weak, peaceable, loving, faithful, hopeful. Jesus confronts the culture of death head on. He does not shy away or run away from death. He faces it and takes action.

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One of the most astonishing, hopeful images of history. From it other such images have multiplied. It was on June 5, , the day after the government cracked down on student agitation for government reforms. The young man stood there alone, unarmed, in the middle of the street, showing himself fearless and determined. The lead tank veered one way and so did he. It veered the other way and so did he. The tank driver was baffled, the tank in effect disarmed. What became of the student no one knows.

Some think he is hiding from the deathly powers he embarrassed. Most think he was arrested and whisked away secretly to face execution. Whatever his fate, his action symbolized the best of creative, nonviolent resistance against the forces of death. Another instance of Jesus approaching the tomb.

It was also an early step in the struggle for Indian self-determination. The British seized Gandhi the night before as a kind of preemptive arrest, but the marchers proceeded undeterred. In front of the gates, Indian guards in service to the British clutched steel truncheons, and every grade-school child knows what happened next. As the marchers arrived, the guards struck fiercely. Skulls were fractured and shoulders broken. Thirteen hundred crumpled to the ground and in the end four died. But not one raised a hand in retaliation. Not one fled as they faced possible death. Each mirrored the nonviolent Top of Form.

Jesus as he approached the tomb. The marchers exposed British cruelty. And think as well of Dr. King on Good Friday It was the spring that thousands marched nonviolently for an end to segregation and faced water canons and police dogs trained to snarl and bite. The jails in Birmingham were full; the prisoners crowding the cells languished. City leaders were determined: no inroads were to be made in their fair city. On Good Friday the situation looked particularly bleak. Hundreds were in jail, and though King had promised bail, his funds were all but gone.

And more, from a local court came the injunction: no more demonstrations permitted. The movement was on the verge of collapsing. Meantime, Birmingham was bound and determined. They would yield not an inch. King arrived and convened at the Gaston Motel with his staff and other church leaders, and the arguing heated up. They were stuck. If they folded, Jim Crow would declare victory. If the demonstrations proceeded, Birmingham had finagled the legal clout now to all but crush the movement. Either way the cause was lost. Troubled like Jesus before him. And at the height of the squabbling he arose, retired to another room, and prayed.

Thirty minutes later he emerged, no longer wearing ministerial black but a new set of denims. His meaning was clear. He decided to risk arrest, prison, even his life. As for his friends, they thought: here is the end of the movement. They managed four blocks before the police, in none too gentle of a mood, raced to the crowd and lurched to a stop.

Film footage shows on officer seizing King by the rear of his belt and hurling him into the side of the van. His imprisonment inspired New Yorkers to raise an enormous sum and local activists to mobilize hundreds of school children. These would make up the next wave of marchers to court arrest. As for King, he neither despaired, nor did he squander his time.

But none of that was apparent on Good Friday All he could foresee was arrest and jail. And in southern towns where due process applied to people of lighter hues, he reasonably understood his chances of being murdered. Still, he took action. I know the feeling: the beautiful and terrible steps toward the tomb. The first time for me was toward the Pentagon. The police arrested me for blocking a doorway. It was on April 17, , under a leaden gray sky and with a chill in the air.

The weather fit my mood. I was tense and nervous and a little scared. Yet I was determined after two years of struggling to witness for peace to take my stand. The more centered and peaceful I became the surer became my steps. When I finally arrived, my heart was ready. I sat down, obstructed the doorway, and read from the Gospels. As they hauled me away I prayed for disarmament. For me a whole new beginning. Jesus as he approached the culture of death. I want to carry on his legacy, to imitate his daring action, to model his fearless confrontation of death.

We do not know the outcome of our actions, but we know that as his followers, we too are free to approach the tomb. We deny the reality of death. We do not admit that we are embedded in the culture of death. We rarely even think about our own approaching deaths. So to walk toward the culture of death, to those places where death has become big business or we justify the deaths of others as a necessary cost of doing business or our need to defend ourselves or our ability to make the profit or save the money we want.

It means staring down our normal ways of doing things. Jesus trusted in the God of life and realized his calling to be bringing life to others. As his followers, we are called to be people of resurrection and life, which means, at some point, we too must approach the tomb. We too need to face the culture of death. At last Jesus reaches the tomb and stands before it. You want us to do what? Does he intend to exhume the body? Or open an inquest like a coroner? Why take away the stone? What good can come from that? Imperial aspirations, climate change , destruction of the Earth and water that sustain us, corporate greed—these cause the vulnerable great harm—and ourselves as well: economically, psychologically, and spiritually.

God does not leave us for dead but takes initiative to rescue and save. The commandment issues like a thunderclap. Take away the stone! I hear these words as one of the fundamental commandments of the New Testament. Roll back the stone from where humanity lies dead, Jesus commands. The God of life is here. I urge Christians to hear this commandment as never before and begin to obey. Can we locate in ourselves a glimmer of desire to see life prevail?

Have we ever been astonished by an instance of death-defying, life-giving action? Where in our world is such a thing happening? How might we contribute? Imagine joining such efforts communally, nationally, globally, coming together with others to take away the stone in front of our culture of war and injustice. God will not let us stay entombed. God grapples against the culture of death. God has come to shatter the culture of death into slivers and shards and set things right that all might live life to the full.

The stone budged. A dramatic display occurred in the Philippines in the mids. Dictator Ferdinand Marcos had rampaged and oppressed for twenty years, sending opponents and dissenters to early graves. But in , the popular exiled Senator Benigno Aquino challenged him for election. Rarely has a dictator shown himself so brazen. But a dictator willing to assassinate a political opponent has no intention of stepping from power. Election results notwithstanding, Marcos proclaimed himself the winner. Aquino responded by calling the people to engage in nonviolent rallies, marches, vigils, and civil disobedience.

What the rest of the world did not know was that during the previous year, church activists throughout the country had held hundreds of workshops on active nonviolence. Hundreds of thousands had been trained. When it came time to roll away the stone, they were ready. Enormous crowds took to the streets … On February 12, , over fourteen million people in over cities on every continent demonstrated against the impending U. The largest single peaceful demonstration in the history of the world. The war went on. But February 12 opened our eyes to the strength of ordinary people.

As the New York Times conceded the next day, there are now two global powers—the American empire and the global grassroots movement for peace. Today, grassroots movements carry on in nearly every corner of the planet. If they persist in rolling away the stone, they will one day bear the good fruit of justice, peace, and new life. Eventually, if people hear the commandment, take it to heart, and maintain the struggle, the stone will be rolled away before every culture of death and people will walk toward resurrection and life.

Many shake their heads. What difference can anyone make? But on reading the history of the grassroots movements, one finds quite the opposite. The Vietnam War ended, apartheid ended, communism ended, the Berlin Wall fell, the Soviet Union collapsed, and dictatorships have scurried into exile. Most of our environmental laws were passed during the administration of an ardent conservative who awoke to public opinion. There is hope. The stone can be rolled away. Even in the United States. We live in the most exciting, hopeful era imaginable because we will be the people who will lead humanity away from the brink into a world of life and justice for all.

This was the message of Martin Luther King Jr. We can change the world; we can, with our friends, put our shoulder to the stone and see it roll. Join the movement, Dr. King said. Be part of this salvific work. Do what you can to let light into the tomb. Do we want the stone rolled away?

Jesus stands in the midst of our culture of violence, looks us in the eye, and issues a challenge. He wants the stone taken away. She tries to stop him! Face it, death has won. Even the Son of God must admit the reality of death. Leave us to our misery and despair. In Luke, Peter affirms Jesus as the Messiah, but objects to the idea of Jesus facing torture and execution. Here in John, Martha issues a similar objection. Likewise she objects to his confronting death. Her objection helps us understand our own predicament. Evil powers always get the upper hand.

In her objection, Martha tries to prevent Jesus from raising Lazarus! She does what we all do: object to, resist, and disobey the commandment to take away the stone. She knows that exposing the body will be a messy, unseemly affair. She has in mind the scene to follow—the putrid flesh, the swarm of flies, the crusted membranes.

And the stench. The Mosaic cleanliness laws will be shot to hell. The month of mourning will be knocked off course. She strives to keep things under control—Jesus included. In the face of death, she tries to manage and control the God of life. Why would she do this? Why do we? It could yield unexpected and messy things. Better the misery we know than new wineskins or the chance for new life.

The idea of new life sets us on our heels. The implications overwhelm us. We prefer the comfortable predictability of the culture of death. Anyone involved in peace-and-justice work knows this first hand: the minute you publicly raise discomfiting questions, you inevitably make a stink. People get upset. Why mess everything up? Everything was fine the way it was. Stop rocking the boat. Stop disturbing our peace! Think of the stench! For anyone who cares about the spiritual life, the human family and the fate of the earth, understanding is crucial.

God wants us to walk out of the tombs of death where we are stuck and unaware. The spiritual life is a long journey of learning not to resist God. We will move closer toward oneness with God and creation. When we learn not to resist God, and to do what God wants, we discover deeper sources of life. To return to the metaphor, we find ourselves raised to new life. We find ourselves walking out of our own tombs. The commandment is not rescinded. Leviticus helps us to understand how this can be done. God makes it clear that, because we are creatures of flesh and blood, the only way to pay the penalty for our sin is if blood is shed to take away our sin.

But if death and suffering were natural, and occurring for millions of years before Adam, then why should blood-shedding have this sin-removing property? In the Garden of Eden, God killed an animal and clothed Adam and Eve as a picture of a covering for our sin. A blood sacrifice was needed because of our sin. Because the Holy Spirit overshadowed His mother Luke , He was a perfect man, one without sin, despite having been tempted in every way that we are Hebrews , who thus could shed His blood on a cross for our sin.

No sinner could pay for the sins of others Hebrews , but this last Adam—Jesus Christ—was a perfect man. God in human flesh was able to bear the sins and sorrows of the world; a perfect sacrifice of infinite value. He can now give eternal life to anyone who receives it by faith John , Ephesians —9. God dwells in eternity, and He is lovingly preparing His people to spend an eternity with Him.

Those who put their trust in Christ as Saviour have a wonderful hope—they can spend eternity with the Lord in a place where there will be no more death. Also, in this eternal state, there will once again be a tree of life, as in Eden, and no more curse Revelation —3. Indeed, death is really the path that opens the way to this wonderful place, called Heaven.

If we lived forever, we would never have an opportunity to shed this sinful body. But God wants us to have a new body, and He wants us to dwell with Him forever. Most of us have heard about Hell, a place of fire and torment, and eternal shame. None other than Jesus Christ warned of this place more than He spoke of Heaven. He also made it clear that the torment of the wicked was as eternal Greek aionios as the life of the blessed Matthew God does not delight in the death of the wicked.

God takes no pleasure in the afflictions and calamities of people. He is a loving, merciful God—it is our fault that man is in the current state of suffering and death. This is only right: for those who cling to their sins, God will grant them their wish, and separate them from Himself, the source of goodness, for eternity. So He must punish violations of His law. Since our shortcomings offend His perfect, infinite holiness, the punishment must also be infinite.

Because we are finite, it follows that the punishment must be of infinite duration Matthew The only way out is for a perfect divine and human substitute to take our place—see Good News! As we face horrible suffering, such as the tragedy at the World Trade Center or the Holocaust, let it remind us that the ultimate cause of such calamity is our sin—our rebellion against God.

Our loving God, despite our sinfulness, wants us to spend eternity with Him. Christians need to stretch forth a loving, comforting arm to those who are in need of comfort and strength during times of suffering. They can find strength in the arms of a loving Creator who hates Death—the enemy that will one day be thrown into the Lake of Fire Revelation Some think that they go automatically to heaven, which would be what I would like to believe, and this would comfort parents who have lost young children or miscarried, and those with mentally handicapped children.

However, this actually leads to a serious problem: moral hazard. This would lead to the perverse position that the greatest soul-winner in history would not be the Apostle Paul, Wesley and Whitfield, or Billy Graham, but the abortion industry Planned Parenthood. This seems to indicate that this infant would be in Heaven, where David would go. Another moral hazard can arise concerning this question as well.

That is, some argue that people will be damned only if they reject Christ after hearing the Gospel. But the moral hazard here is: we should thus never preach the Gospel or send missionaries, because then we are giving people the chance to reject the Gospel. In reality:. We have two options: separate from our sins by trusting in Christ, and dwell with God forever; or cling to our sins, in which case God will grant our wish and separate us from Himself for eternity.

When we understand the origin of death and the Gospel of Jesus Christ as proclaimed in the Bible, then we can understand why this world is the way it is and how there can be a loving God in the midst of tragedy, violence, suffering, and death.

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  • Which view of death do you accept? Is it one that makes God an ogre responsible for millions of years of death, disease, and suffering? Or is it one that places the blame on our sin, and pictures our Creator God as a loving, merciful Saviour who wept over the city of Jerusalem, who wept at the tomb of His friend Lazarus, and who weeps for all of us?

    But we showed above, atheism provides the basis for no coherent ethical theory. Thus atrocities in the name of atheism are not inconsistent with it. And the corrective for faulty application of Christianity is not atheism but correct biblical application of Christianity. This was thoroughly documented by Rudolph Rummel b. Between 1, and 4, people were executed for heresy over its year span. Thus its rate of carrying out the death penalty was lower than the state of Texas today, and Stalin killed that many before breakfast. Furthermore, Inquisition trials were often fairer and more lenient than their secular counterparts—indeed, some criminals uttered heresies precisely so they would be transferred to the Inquisition courts from the civil courts.

    They killed fewer than 25 people, and were stopped when Christians protested at the travesty of justice in the unfair trials. While many people attack Christianity for the Crusades, an increasing number of historians regard them as a belated response to centuries of Islamic aggression. The Muslims quickly conquered the Iberian Peninsula well before the Crusades.

    Also, just think about the historic centres of Christianity such as Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria and the rest of North Africa—they are now Muslim lands, converted at the point of the sword. And after the crusades, the Muslim Turks conquered the ancient land of Asia Minor, the birthplace of the Apostle Paul, the site of many of his missionary journeys and home of the Seven Churches of the book of Revelation. In this, they were following the example of Muhammad himself.

    Strive against the disbelievers and the hypocrites and be stern with them. Jesus reserved some of his strongest criticism for the hypocrisy of the Pharisees. But he in no way condemned the righteousness that they stood for in public. Matthew —3 records:. Thus the charge of hypocrisy was not an attack on the morality they preached but on their failure to live up to it. He actually told his followers to be even more righteous than them Matthew We are so upset by hypocrisy precisely because we recognize that something intrinsically good has been debased and let down by a failure to meet the standard proclaimed.

    The atheist criticism amounts to preferring that we both say and do the wrong thing rather than say the right thing and do the wrong thing. We have supplied this link to an article on an external website in good faith. But we cannot assume responsibility for, nor be taken as endorsing in any way, any other content or links on any such site. Even the article we are directing you to could, in principle, change without notice on sites we do not control. Also Available in:.

    Related Media. References and notes Note, my booklet Why would a loving God allow death and suffering? Return to text. See documentation in Sarfati, J. Walker, T. The healthiest people had the strongest immune systems, and this was turned against them. Desmond A. Darwin, C. Sarfati, J, Refuting Evolution 2 , ch. Nora Barlow, p. Norton, NY, Templeton, C. Martin, W. Dawkins, R. Quoted in Oliphant-Smith Debate , p. Hattersley, R. Parris, M. Catchpoole, D. Answering the Euthyphro Dilemma , creation. Wilder-Smith, A. Sarfati, J. Motyer, A. Gurney, R.

    Creation , 18 3 —75, ; creation. For the time frame, see Sarfati, J. See also Refuting Compromise , p. MacArthur, J. The theological implications of the Fall, what was affected, are discussed in Refuting Compromise , ch. Creation , 19 3 —64, ; creation. For a thorough treatment of the implications of the Fall taught by Romans ch. Creation , 21 1 —85, ; creation. Holding, J. There are pluses and minuses of both types of cultures. However, the countries most influenced by the Reformation are the most individualist, with all the prosperity that individual and property rights can bring.

    This is due to the rediscovery of the biblical doctrine of justification by faith, which elevated the independence of the individual. So while biblical culture was collectivist, and must be understood in this context, many of its teachings subtly addressed the downsides of this type of culture and laid the foundation for the positive aspects of an individualist one. See Robbins, J. See Bates, G.

    Creation , 29 2 —15, March ; creation. Wieland, C.

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    • The Greatest Hoax on Earth? Cited in Strobel, L. See also Catchpoole, D. The Creation Answers Book , ch. See also the articles under creation. Cosner, L. Creation , 22 2 —, ; creation. Creation , 23 3 —75, ; creation. Allen, J. Creation , 17 3 —18, , creation. Freeman, T. Creation , 19 2 —90, , creation. McDougall, I. Lubenow, M. Creation , 12 2 —, ; creation. Lennox, J. See also review by Cosner, L. Creation , 26 3 —28, ; creation. Ostrom, J. Chin, K. See Refuting Compromise , chapters 8 and 9 see Recommended reading. An eternal perspective on creation: Lita Cosner chats with Randy Alcorn, writer and founder of Eternal Perspectives Ministries , Creation , 34 2 —43, ; creation.

      Grigg, R. Verderame, J. Creation , 20 3 , ; creation. Moring, M. Wilder-Smith, Ref. Russell, B. Paul Edward, p. See Barnes, P. Lewis and evolution , creation. Lewis, C. See Sarfati, J. For example, if welfare policies mean that a woman is better off financially being a single mother than marrying the working father of her child, then they will incentivize single motherhood and discourage the biblical ideal of a family with a married mother and father.

      Bergman, J. Creation , 22 3 —67, ; creation. It is beyond the scope of this article to take sides on Calvinism vs Arminianism. See also Sarfati, J. Creation , 36 1 —19, ; compare creation. Rummel, R. Kamen, H. Creation , 22 2 —35, ; creation. Spencer, R. Lundstrom, L. Quoted in Lundstrom, Ref. See also Wieland, C. Helpful Resources. Hard cover. Video DVD. Soft cover. Christianity for Skeptics. From Creation to Salvation. Design, Death and Suffering. Why would a loving God allow death and suffering? One Way Journey: Death Please Nana What is death? Walking Through Shadows: A Testimony.

      GB January 14th, Hello Jonathan As discussed, I checked the Hebrew in Isaiah and I would have to say I disagree with you, on the authority of Strongs ra'ah H which means bad or evil it comes from the root Ra'a which means to spoil or take to pieces. God has created everything and without Him nothing was made that was made, yet we maintain the devil created himself apart from God! Revelation is awkward, it says the devil will be tormented for ever and ever easy to say phrase but does it really mean for one eternity and if that wasnt enough then another following it!

      But of course the devil is the bad guy and doesnt ever deserve redemption so we can NEVER translate it that way, he has to be punished. That is why God created evil and that is why even the adversary will be redeemed at the end. God bless you in your search. Jonathan Sarfati January 14th, GB January 13th, Thanks for your answer Jonathan. I will check that word evil in the Hebrew. Which version in English do I accept, and use for everyday use or do we all have to carry many versions around and not trust our translators?

      Please God do not let my tradition, even as it is , which is quite some way off from orthodoxy, make your word void. Why believe only some parts of the Bible, albeit misunderstood, and not the whole thing? Jesus was the only descendant of Adam who never sinned. By grace, God spared only Enoch and Elijah from physical death, as He will do for believers when Jesus returns. That allusion to Matthew —23 should indeed be a solemn warning, but not for the reason you claim. Such assisted suicide is a perversion of genuine mercy.

      Death and suffering is everywhere!

      It is especially tragic when undertaken by physicians whose very professional code charges them never to harm but always to respect life. For several years there has been a continuing debate about the legality—and practice—of assisted suicide in Michigan. On the national scene, the United States Supreme Court upheld laws banning assisted suicide in the states of Washington and New York and said there is no constitutional right to assisted suicide.

      We need such a statutory ban in our own state: to protect the vulnerable, to prevent unscrupulous and unethical medical practices, to guarantee the best possible care for all, and to affirm the value of human life. Above and beyond what civil laws may say, we Christians are ultimately responsible to God our Creator.

      Why death suffering -

      Suicide in any form prevents us from fulfilling the plan God intended for us when we were given life. Yet it is not at all what it seems! By definition, euthanasia is any action that of itself and by intention causes death so as to relieve suffering. As Catholics we believe euthanasia is morally wrong because it is the destruction of life. It also opens the door to other potential crimes against life, especially against those who are chronically ill or disabled.

      Euthanasia is unnecessary as well as wrong because suffering and pain can be relieved in many morally acceptable ways. As Catholics we recognize that life is not an absolute which must be preserved at all costs. We are not required to continue life in each and every circumstance. Dying patients and their caregivers have the right and responsibility to determine whether a particular means of treatment is necessary. If, in consultation with their physician, they rightly judge a treatment to be useless or unduly burdensome, patients are free to undergo the treatment or to forgo it. When death is clearly inevitable and close at hand, a patient or caregiver can make the decision to forgo aggressive medical treatment which would impose an excessive burden on patient and family.

      In such cases, the Church particularly encourages pain management and hospice care for the dying. Further, patients and their caregivers have a legitimate right to insist on the best and most effective pain management and treatment to minimize suffering. This is very different from the direct intention to take life, as in euthanasia. As family and friends gather around a dying person, powerful and mysterious gifts often emerge—reconciliation and healing where once there had been brokenness and division; peace and acceptance for all that has been; and the opportunity to express gratitude for a life well-lived.

      For such things to happen, we need time and the presence of supportive family and friends. These gifts cannot come to fruition when someone dies all alone in a motel room or in the back of a parked van. No human being has absolute control over his or her own life; God alone has dominion over all creation. Since many aspects of life exceed our immediate control, we have to learn to accept gracefully the limitations imposed by time and circumstances, relationships and commitments, economic realities and other factors.

      We find peace of mind and heart precisely when we come to terms with the fact that life is a mystery, a gift from God, a blessing over which we do not have complete control. We are born into a social network, a family of one kind or another, and various communities. Our life story is interwoven with those of our families and communities; we are accountable to them as well as to God. Our individual identity and rights do not separate us from others but should call us into greater communion and solidarity with them. Every right brings with it responsibilities for the good of all.

      Our decisions about life and death are never purely private matters for many other persons are necessarily involved—doctors, nurses, family and friends. Our choices in dying have a profound impact on those we leave behind. They also influence others who are suffering in body or spirit, especially the elderly, the dying, the chronically ill, and persons who are physically or mentally challenged.

      By the way we live and die we can inspire and console them—or we can add to the voices that tell them their lives are burdensome and without value. Being allowed to choose death does not serve personal autonomy. Consider what has happened in the Netherlands where physician-assisted suicide has been legally accepted. Dutch policies allow doctors to suggest and encourage euthanasia while not requiring them to offer alternatives. In this environment, confused and fearful patients have found themselves being led toward suicide without their full awareness or consent.

      In thousands of cases they have been killed without any request on their part. Here in Michigan we are all worried about health care, and especially about economic pressures. In this climate, people rightly fear that decisions about assisted suicide would be driven by cost concerns. Even Dutch physicians who practice euthanasia have said its legalization would be disastrous in our country where millions of people struggle to obtain basic health care supporting life.

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      This is not a healthy understanding of the role of the healing profession. Nor does it reflect authentic compassion. In the Biblical language, compassion has to do with the heart or womb. The heart is moved to love because the heart senses its solidarity with the one in need. Compassion also has to do with the womb; in the depths of our being we make space for the other. True compassion does not eliminate the sufferer but seeks to relieve the suffering. While medicine cannot solve every problem, it can help us to provide patients with the best possible support and comfort.

      Having shared in the experiences of many dying people and their families, Dr. The compassionate presence of family and friends sanctifies the dying process by allowing these steps to occur among loving, supportive people. Our technological society sometimes seems to tell us that our dignity comes from being useful. At the very least, we must be able to take care of ourselves.