This article highlights the fact that in some studies euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide is requested for pain relief in only about a quarter of people, with the majority being for reasons of personal autonomy: “this is what I want, and I will have it”.
This should not surprise us. It is clear that significant people in the euthanasia lobby want suicide made easy and intend exactly that.
Ludwig Minelli, founder of Dignitas International, claims that suicide and assisted suicide are human rights and then argues:
If the Right to Suicide is a Human Right… we must accept that, in order to make use of this right, there must be no legal requirements other than that the person has the mental capacity needed to decide to end his or her own life. Any conditions which insisted that somebody must be terminally or severely ill would interfere with the essence of that Human Right. Human Rights are, inherently, unconditional.
Dr Philip Nitschke also argues that anyone – even troubled teens – should have the right to kill themselves:
… all people qualify, not just those with the training, knowledge, or resources to find out how to “give away” their life. And someone needs to provide this knowledge, training, or recourse necessary to anyone who wants it, including the depressed, the elderly bereaved, the troubled teen.
This mindset is illustrated in CS Lewis’ The Great Divorce:
“There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, “Thy will be done.”
And it is probably no surprise that the song “I did it my way” is a very popular song at funerals.
In Scripture, we see autonomy to the exclusion of God in a culture of decline – everyone “doing what is right in their own eyes”. We may hold back the cultural decline in our land, but we will not stop it unless we have a revival.
Yes, we must preach to change our world.
Yes, we must preach to those with an autonomous worldview, who say with no fear of God “I did it my way”.
Yes, we must preach to the dying. Tell them the good news of Jesus Christ, that we do not need to be “good enough”, that we cannot ever be “good enough” anyway, that Jesus has paid the price on our behalf, and that yes, a glorious yes, even at this late stage of your life you can still acknowledge your sin and accept forgiveness and cleansing and be with HIM this very day.
It may be, depending on the circumstance, that you can say “I want to know that I will see you in heaven”.
Surrender gives such immediate peace.
This is such a glorious message to give.
PS (not to detract from the above): A further note re autonomy and self-control and the false dilemma of being “in control” and relinquishing that control to God. The truth is that our “locus of control” can be very internal and yet totally surrendered to God – even more perfectly so than when the locus of control is external and controlled by others around us and false ideologies. See here to explore this further. You can have a good discussion (fight?) about this at your Bible Study. You can compare and contrast the two poems below. Enjoy. And go out and preach.
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole;
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance,
I have not winced nor cried aloud;
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the horror of the shade;
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll;
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.
Out of the light that dazzles me,
Bright as the sun from pole to pole;
I thank the God I know to be
For Christ, the Conqueror of my soul.
Since His the sway of circumstance,
I would not wince nor cry aloud;
Under that rule which men call chance
My head with joy is humbly bowed.
Beyond this place of sin and tears,
That life with Him, and His the aid;
That spite the menace of the years
Keeps, and shall keep me, unafraid.
I have no fear though strait the gate;
He cleared from punishment the scroll;
CHRIST is the Master of my fate,
CHRIST is the Captain of my soul.
Be Awestruck Every Day…
Jesus, who calls us “brothers”, is our High Priest,
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