The Lamp

Where truth can be shared.

Christ, not Suicide, is the Answer to Pain

Posted by thelamp on February 26, 2007

Three Democratic lawmakers in California introduced a bill in the state legislature last week that would allow doctors to prescribe life-ending drugs for terminally ill patients. The Compassionate Choices Act, modeled after an Oregon law upheld last year by the U.S. Supreme Court, would make California the second state in the nation to permit doctors to assist in suicide.

If the measure becomes law, the so-called “right to die” could be exercised by adults who have six months to live or less. Under the statute’s provisions, the patients must be mentally competent, must make oral and written requests stating their wish to die, must be informed of other options and must wait through a “cooling-off” period before they can obtain the lethal dose of prescription drugs. Doctors can only prescribe the drugs, not administer them.

Supporters of assisted-suicide insist the bill would give the terminally ill an option to end painful suffering. Life is not something that the government can give, take or convey. Bible-believing Christians know that enacting such a policy would devalue life, particularly when it comes to the uninsured, poor and disabled.

How long will it be until assisted suicide becomes the cheapest possible “medical treatment” for those perceived as burdens to their families? Such a result isn’t hard to imagine, particularily among this generation of Christians who are easily swayed by empathy rather than by moral standards and biblical principles.

“Life belongs to God,” said Pastor Rod Parsley. “It is never the right choice to take a life – not our own, and not someone else’s. The solution to despair and hopelessness is not suicide, but faith in God.”

Still, more than 240 people have killed themselves using lethal drugs prescribed by doctors under Oregon’s law. It seems that Americans have forgotten that each body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, received from God. As Scripture instructs in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20: “You are not your own, you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.”

Remember, Jesus Christ opened his comforting arms to all who suffer when he said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). Whether the human condition is characterized by physical pain or emotional suffering, those afflicted must wait in hope for the Lord.

When the urge to give up seems like the only solution, the Bible offers hope. The inability to cope with failure, the inability to deal with relationships, the perceived loss of position or status and the unbearable pain of humiliation and a meaningless life all were reasons given for those who committed suicide during biblical times.

However, 2 Corinthians 12:9 is society’s assurance that in times of individual weakness, God’s grace is enough: “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

God is the source of hope when life becomes intolerable. When nothing we try works, God has promised that He is able to sustain us.

Suicide is not the answer to life’s pain, whether it is physical, mental or emotional. Christ is the answer, and in Him alone will we find healing from the problems that ultimately cause a person to end life before God has chosen to do so.



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