On numerous occasions, I have written about the Christian concern for the sanctity of life. Rooted in the doctrine of the image of God, the Bible treats all human life as precious. Even though we are fallen and now have a sin nature, and even while the image of God has become twisted and distorted, yet the image remains. And for that reason, human life is to be regarded as precious.
This doctrinal foundation has numerous points of application.
For one, we are required to love people, even our enemies. While we acknowledge the need for justice, the destruction of wicked should give us little pleasure. Proverbs 24:17-18 says, “Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles, lest the LORD see it and be displeased, and turn away his anger from him.” God himself, according to Ezekiel 18:32, takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked.
Another point of application is in the current concern of many Christians over the ongoing practice of abortion. I have noted in this blog that Canada is among only three countries in the world that has absolutely no restriction on any form of abortion. Instead, we’ve adopted a “wild west” mentality, wherein the life of the unborn is not even given the smallest protection.
And a third point of application that is also very recent is the issue of doctor assisted suicide, which will soon be a “right.” While the conservatives were still in power, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down Canada’s law forbidding such a practice. It was not the Supreme Court’s desire that there be no law, only that the Conservative government was given one year to draft a new law. They failed to do so, leaving it to the present Liberal government to take over.
This past week, a committee of the government set forth a series of recommendations, making doctor assisted suicide as readily available as abortions. The committee recommended that doctor assisted suicide should be made available to whoever asks for it – including children. This would mean that an adolescent girl who struggles with depression could request and receive a doctor to assist her in suicide, without any consent from her parents! The wide ranging nature of what is being proposed is so astonishing, one can only believe it will lead to a culture of death.
And this leads me to wonder whether we are witnessing the inevitable fruit of a philosophy of life. For years now, Canadian children have been taught that all of life derives not from the design of the creator, but from random, purposeless chance. And if human life has no intrinsic meaning or purpose, doing away with life is merely a matter of choice, and not of morality.
What are Christians to do? Some of us will be content to shake our heads in disgust, and nothing more. But Jesus taught us that we are the salt of the earth. Salt, in the ancient world, was a preservative. In a world without refrigeration, it was the element used to prevent decay. And that is one of our roles. We must become actively engaged in this issue!
First, we must write to our members of parliament! If Christians all over Canada simply wrote letters to their MPs, strongly urging them to oppose a bill that would permit doctor assisted suicide, it would make an impact. Second, we must teach people why all of human life is precious. And third, we must strongly advocate that it is improper for any physician, who has taken an oath to preserve life, to become an agent of death.