Sunday, March 22, 2009

While Christians slept: The Washington Euthanasia Initiative

In the elections of last November an initiative to legalize euthanasia was passed in Washington State, making it the second state in the United States to do so, Oregon being the first. Below I post the wording of the initiative:

Initiative Measure No. 1000 concerns allowing certain terminally ill competent adults to obtain lethal prescriptions.

This measure would permit terminally ill, competent, adult Washington residents, who are medically predicted to have six months or less to live, to request and self-administer lethal medication prescribed by a physician.

The passing of such a bill in a liberal state, with a predominately secular population is not terribly surprising. The surprising aspect of the situation is the somnolence of Christians in the face of evil.
Neither before the elections, nor after elections did I hear the initiative discussed in Churches. There were no protests, no petitions, no signs of Christians even knowing or caring what was going on. It was as if the Church in Washington fell asleep while the roots of evil were passed into law.
Now you may think I am overreacting, I mean the bill is for euthanasia lite, but in the face of evil there is no such thing as overreacting. Certain nations in Europe passed similar laws many years ago. The allowance of those first laws has led to a situation in which doctors in much of Europe can kill anyone, even against there will, if the doctor deems their quality of life to be inadequate. Think I am still overreacting? Sociologists commonly say that the United States tends to follow trends in Europe with regards to society, laws, etc. If this is true, then one day in the near future, you may go for a doctor visit because of a runny nose, and the doctor will lay you, say that the runny nose makes your life quality poor, and kill you with a lethal injection, no matter how much you protest. If we do not stand now and root out the evil, then it will spread, and doctors may become dealers of death.
We legalized abortion in certain cases, and now women can kill their babies at any point in pregnancy: million of children have been murdered. We are legalizing killing the elderly, soon there will be no retirement as we kill off anyone over 60. And after that? Who is left but those in the middle? If life is not sacred at the beginning or the end, then it isn’t in the middle either, and murder at any state will be legal.
I leave you a poem by Martin Niemoller:

"In Germany, they came first for the Communists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist;
And then they came for the trade unionists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist;
And then they came for the Jews, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew;
And then . . . they came for me . . . And by that time there was no one left to speak up."

Friday, March 20, 2009

A Call to Arms

The world is doomed. The armies of satan are matching over the earth, and most Christians are off hacking at the branches of even, and only a few, if any are striking its root. Injustice, poverty, the legalization of sin, are all branches from the same tree of evil. It is truly good and holy work to be just, charitable, and supportive of holy legislation, but that cannot be all we do. If all we do is help the poor, we are just pruning a branch off evil, while ten more sprout up. We, as the Church must unite and storm the bastions of the devil on earth, overthrow them and trample them to dust in the name of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.
‘What are these strongholds of sin, death, and the devil?’ you may ask. They are the philosophies, ideas and constructs which deny Christ as Lord, and attempt to make man into his own gods. These fortresses were constructed starting with the enlightenment when mankind proudly proclaimed that we can know everything, we are enlightened, and we will be able to do away with God and become our own lords and masters. Parts of the enlightenment were not bad of course, but deep within it was the ever present sinful desire of man to be god. Ever since Adam and Eve ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil mankind has been trying to be god. It is our oldest, and deepest sin. Humans want to be god, they want to be their own master, and so throughout all time we have sought ways of abolishing God and setting ourselves up as gods. The enlightenment did not turn out any differently. Mankind set themselves up as gods in the enlightenment and Marxism, fascism, individualism, modernism, and a dozen other philosophies which are hostile to the Gospel sprang up.
In the enlightenment the forces of evil declared open war on the Church, no longer was it hidden and covert, now it was mainstream, the norm. The forces of evil which are hateful of the Gospel are in control, are ruling our society, and the church for the most part still doesn’t seem to realize there is a war going on! Many church bodies have already succumbed and fallen to the enemy and let the Gospel be distorted and destroyed by the philosophies hateful to it. And those churches which have not succumbed and hold fast to the Gospel are all busy hacking at the branches, or secluding themselves in order to remain untainted!
If the Gospel is truly all powerful as we believe, if demons truly will flee at the name of Jesus as we say, why do we still doubt and hide behind stained glass curtains and never engage the world and be the church militant? Rise up you redeemed! Rise up the baptized believers, incensed by the call of the Spirit to defend the Holy Church! Now is the time for battle, now is the time to engage the enemy strongholds; else the Church will fall in western society, and what was once a bastion of Faith will be claimed by the forces of the devil.

Eucharistic Fellowship

I recently had the pleasure of visiting a Benedictine monastery. It was a wonderful experience, as usual, but with one hijink: it was Catholic. Since it was a Catholic monastery and I am a Lutheran both my governing body, and their governing body forbade my sharing in the Eucharist. Both the Catholic’s and Lutheran’s(LCMS and WELS) practice close communion.
Now some of those who know me may be rejoicing thinking that I have changed my stance on close communion, but I have not. I still support and believe in close communion, but I find terribly frustrating and depressing the reasons we need close communion, namely the schismatic nature of the church. Eucharistic fellowship was never a question in the early centuries of the formal church (after council of Nicea to about the 11th century), there was one catholic church, and therefore no need for close communion in the modern sense. It wasn’t until the east west split, and later the reformation which necessitated the institution of the modern form of close communion. Before the schisms close communion merely meant withholding from the unbaptized and uninitiated, but after the schisms the meaning was changed to being: withholding Eucharistic fellowship from those who believe differently than us.
You may want to argue whether or not close communion is right, but I am not here argue the validity of close communion. I am a supporter of close communion who is here to mourn the necessity for it. Every time we close off the Eucharist to a fellow Christian of a different denomination we are announcing the disunity of the body, and the terrible reality of sin within the Church. I am not saying that all Christians are the same, if I did I wouldn’t support close communion, but I am saying that Christians should be the same. Some of the strongest condemnations in the New Testament are against those who would divide the Body of Christ. It is a sad reality that the Body of Christ is divided, whether by politics, theology, or practice. This does not mean that we should forget all differences and make a goopy form of Christianity, which is a mixture of all. Quite a few denominations stand diametrically opposed to one another on certain issues, and it would be unwise to throw out such distinctions just for the sake of unity.
I desire unity for the Body of Christ. I dream of a day when we can over come schisms and meet in a catholic Church, one in which Christ is present and the True faith is taught unadulterated by the fashions of the times. Such a day may never come this side of eternity, as sin distorts and corrupts the thinking of the faithful, and heresies run rampant and seek to destroy the church. But God in his odd ironic way has turned the plethora of denominations into modern day Athens in which we can argue and discuss the faith, and ever strive toward the perfection, which is the One True Church. We may never be able to realize a true catholic faith this side of eternity, but we can certainly try.