Pretty Little Gentlemen and Angry Women Part 2

Continued from Part 1.

So now what? We have a world full of glamorous milk-toast men and bull-headed angry women. And it’s not getting better, I can assure you.

A time will come, with a few more generations under our belts, where the masculine man will be the oddity and the “gay” looking man will be the norm. People will point and snicker at the likes of men like me. My “type” will be looked at as someone to feel sorry for. The men of the world who stand for truth and Christ will be forced underground or treated for a mental condition. The delicate effeminate man will be the norm who will look at us with disdain and disgust.

I look at my children and feel sorry for them somewhat. They are growing up in a world where the walls of discretion have fallen. Society, at one point, had rules, written and unwritten to live by. Men were men, and women were women. Children were children. Families were families. Divorce was a blemish. Homosexuality was something no one talked about. It was practiced behind closed doors and was never celebrated. But unfortunately, it is a symptom of failing parents. We as parents have been blessed and entrusted with the greatest of treasures. Our children are worth immeasurable value. They are our future. Period. But if we are teaching them to be something they are not, then how does this affect society?

The church of Jesus Christ has a mandate. That mandate is to proclaim the Gospel to the world. The church also has rules it must abide by. We see it throughout the New Testament. We have standards we must govern our lives and families by. These standards have been put in place for our good and for the good of society. Take away these standards and something will take their place. Hence the mess we find our world in today. Ruled by the worship of self and relativism.

At one point if you went to church it was because you were either saved or desired to be so. Now the church is a place where no matter who you are, are welcomed with open arms. Regardless of your faith or belief system, as long as you can get along and bring your tithes, you are welcomed.

cruise-ship-far-away-meme-doneLeonard Ravenhill said it well:

 

“The Church used to be a lifeboat rescuing the perishing. Now she is a cruise ship recruiting the promising.”

Well said. We allow the congregation to live the lifestyle they want. Men and women can live together and not be judged. Muslims and Catholics can call a so-called Christian church home. The LGBTQ+ group can and usually feel quite safe and comfortable in most churches today. Why? Because the Gospel has been replaced by a message that has had its corners rounded over and its edges covered by the protective foam of non-judgmentalism. Repentance and revival are things that most churches know nothing about. Many modern churches today don’t even know who Jesus is. Oh, they have heard about Him here and there, but they don’t KNOW Him.

Between the family and the church, no wonder the world is in the mess its in. No one wants to discipline and correct anymore. No one wants to touch the hot potatoes anymore because they know that the consequences of standing for the truth are dire. So the men who once stood strong and kept the sin and compromise out of the church have been shut down and shut up by the feminists who have been trained by their aggressive and non-submissive mothers to take charge and not let any man stand in their way. Over the course of a few generations of men being pushed around and degraded, we now have “men” who naturally won’t confront and stand against evil. It doesn’t even occur to them to do so. It’s become natural for men to be non-confrontational and non-judgmental. It has also become natural for women to be the ones who crack the whip and make decisions. The whole dynamic has been flipped. Men are seeking out relationships and women are leading.

Where does this leave the children? God help them.

How can the church spread the Gospel and do the Lord’s bidding if they are so messed up? They can’t.

What’s the answer to all this? The Bible gives us a clear warning to those who refuse to stand for the truth and do the right thing.

Revelation 21:8

“But as for cowards and the unfaithful, and the polluted, and murderers, fornicators, and those who practise magic or worship idols, and all liars–the portion allotted to them shall be in the Lake which burns with fire and sulphur. This is the Second Death.”

This is the point. If we are Christians then we MUST follow the Bible and conform ourselves to what it teaches. This is vital if we want to change the world. Unless we follow the commandments of God, then we will fall into sin and deception and won’t be worth our salt (Matt. 5).

 

“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” 1 John 2:15

 

If the Bible says homosexuality is wrong then don’t practice it. Don’t allow it into your church. Don’t allow it into your home. Don’t embrace it for anything. Look upon it as God does. An abomination (Romans 1, Lev. 18). 29872624_1746130625408314_2458210620326685598_o

The Bible commands us to run from fornication and all that that definition implies. It also commands us to separate ourselves from the unclean thing.

J.C. Ryle says: “The standard of the world, and the standard of the Lord Jesus–are indeed widely different. They are more than different–they are flatly contradictory one to the other. Never be satisfied with the world’s standard of Christianity!

A crucified Savior will never be content to have a self-pleasing, self-indulging, worldly-minded people!”

These are simple commands yet the church has allowed the world to dictate what she should believe and that’s the reason why the church is weak and powerless.

“For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world.” 1 John 5:4

The family needs to get back to its roots. There needs to be a mom and a dad. Not two moms or two dads or three of this and five of that. Your children need a real old-fashioned mom and a real old-fashioned dad. Not only is this important but our children need parents who think of them more than they do of their jobs and careers. How many hours do you spend with your children a week? Actual quality time. One on one time. “Oh I can’t do that, I’m working too much”.

Do your children accept that? Do you think your children want the money or you? My wife and I have made adjustments to our lifestyle in order to be there for our children. Yes, it means trimming the fat and tightening the belts, but they know that we are always there for them, spending quality time with each every day.

If you walked through my home on a daily basis, you would see me playing Nerf wars or doing something in the workshop with my boys. Or you would see me sitting with my daughter listening to her endless adventures about her rabbits. You would see me conducting Bible studies and training my children in the right way to deal with people and problems in a humble and God-fearing manner.

You will see my wife spending her days homeschooling, teaching piano and taking care of the house as a wife should. You would see her nurturing and loving and teaching and guiding in the ways of God.

Yes, I work but I made sure I had a job that gave me the freedom to either include my children in my job and/or make sure I was home to help train and guide them.

If my work gets in the way of training my children then something’s got to change. If I’m not there to lead my family, then someone else will. Many women have been pushed into living both roles and most fail miserably because they are not made to be both parents. My wife has been sick from time to time, and when the whole burden of the household fell on me, I was beside myself with the tasks. I realized that my amazing wife did more than I thought. She kept the house running, kept the meals on schedule and kept things moving at an even keel.

When I’m on the shelf with an injury or sickness, my wife realizes how hard my job is and appreciates all I do. You see, it’s a balance. A dance, if you will. A choreographed ballet of talents and skills and I couldn’t do it without her.

This is how you train good, healthy children who will one day contribute to society and make it better.

Otherwise, we have children who have no identity, no worth, falling into gangs and lifestyles that only damage and destroy.

Parents, your first mission field is your family. Get your family in order and then you can go out into the world and clean it up.

In this society where all hell is breaking loose, we, as Christians must stand up and place that candle in our windows, showing the world that there is hope. A warm, inviting light in the darkness will inevitably draw the lost, as a candle draws the moth. God will draw them to you, but how can He if there is no difference between you and the world? Why should the world change if they look at the church and see carbon copies? Divorce rates are the same, so-called Christian men view pornography just as much as the world, there are even Christian atheists taking up pew space. And we expect the world to come to Jesus when we are His ambassadors?!

In closing, I think a Grace Gem by Horatius Bonar is quite fitting.

 

There is much worldliness among the saints! There is worldliness in their motives and actions; worldliness in their domestic life and in their interaction with society; there is worldliness in the arrangements of their households and in the education of their families; there is worldliness in their expenditure, so much being laid out for self, so little for God; there is worldliness in their religious schemes, and movements, and societies; there is worldliness in their reading, and in their conversation. There is, in short, too much of the spirit of fervent worldliness about their whole deportment, and little of calm, happy superiority to the things of earth.

They are fretted, disturbed, bustled just like the world. They grudge labor, or fatigue, or expense, or annoyance in the cause of Christ, or in serving their fellow men. They have much of earth, little of Heaven about them.

They are not large-hearted or openhanded; not willing to spend and be spent, unmoved and unruffled, as those whose eye is ever set on the incorruptible inheritance on which they so soon shall enter. They are low and unaspiring in the things of God.

Perhaps there are few things against which we require to be more warned than against this spirit of worldliness. The Church is very prone to forget her pilgrim character in this present evil world and to live as a citizen of earth. Her dignity as the eternally chosen of the Father is lost sight of; her hope as the inheritor of the glory and the kingdom of the Son is obscured.

God’s cure for worldliness is the bringing before us of another, eternal world, more glorious than that which He calls on us to forsake. There is no thorough cure for worldliness but this. It is lack of faith in eternal realities, that makes us worldlings! When the believing eye gets fixed on the world to come, then we learn to set our affections on things above.

So long, however, as all here in our present sphere of existence is bright, we are content with this world. We allow ourselves to sink down and settle quietly among the things of earth. Why should we whose home and treasure are above, ever again seek our home or our treasure here on this poor earth?

Why should we stoop from our heavenly elevation to mingle again with the company which we have forsaken? Are we ashamed of our pilgrim staff and our pilgrim road? Surely not. To be a pilgrim on earth is to be divided from sin and sinful appetites, from the seducing vanities and worthless mockeries of the world, from the fascinating beauty and perilous splendor of this decaying scene. To be a pilgrim on earth is to be a friend of God, a member of the heavenly household, an expectant of the kingdom, an heir of the crown of glory.

The opposite of worldliness is heavenly mindedness or spiritual mindedness. This, the new relish which the Holy Spirit imparts at conversion, in some measure produces. But it is feeble. It easily gives way. It is not strong enough to withstand much temptation. God’s wish is to impart a keener relish for eternal things, and to destroy the relish for the things of time.

This He effects by blighting all objects in which there was earthly sweetness, so that by being deprived of objects to “mind” on earth, it may of necessity be led to “mind” the things above. He dries up all the “nether springs” of earthly joy, that we may betake ourselves to the “upper springs” which can never fail.

When God unroofs our dwelling, or tears up its foundation by an earthquake, then we are forced to look upward and seek a better and more enduring portion! Many such shocks, however, are often needed before our souls are broken off from their cleaving to the dust.

What are this world’s allurements to us? What to us are the sights and sounds of earth, who “shall see the king in his beauty,” and hear His voice, into whose lips grace is poured? What to us is the green fertility of earth, who shall enter into the possession of the new earth? What to us is the gay glory of a city’s wealth and pomp, who shall be made citizens of the New Jerusalem, where dwells the glory of God and of the Lamb, whose foundations are of precious stones, whose walls are of jasper, whose gates are of pearl, whose streets and pavements are of transparent gold?

Be zealous and repent and do your first works. Come out, be separate, touch not the unclean thing! Put off the works of darkness! Put on the armor of light. Be done with wavering, indecision, and compromise.

Church of the living God! Be warned. Live for Jesus, not for yourself, for Him, not for the world. Walk worthy of your name and calling, worthy of Him who bought you as His bride, worthy of your everlasting inheritance. Consider the LAMB and walk in His steps!

Men? Be men. Be courageous, strong and stand for what is right. You will have a battle on your hands and you will come up against the feminist juggernaut in your struggles. But stand anyway. You owe it to your family, the church and to the world.

Women? Don’t allow the lure of power to turn your head for it is a deceptive enemy. Embrace the calling of being a wife and mother. This is your greatest and most rewarding job. You also will be met with all sorts of trouble and resistance from an enemy who wants nothing more than to destroy you and your beloved family.

Parents, stand firm as a team. Two awesome people linked arm in arm, hand in hand, heart in heart, mind in mind against a common foe. Stand against the flow of society and perhaps a few generations of children who have been trained, disciplined and loved properly can right this ship before it sinks beneath the waves of compromise and modernism.

 

Pretty Little Gentlemen and Angry Women Part 1

“If you will describe yourself as a pretty gentleman, I shall find nothing in the Bible wherewith to comfort you; but as long as you have black words and condemning words wherewith to daub yourself, I feel that you are Christ’s man…”

 

An excerpt from The Complete Works of C. H. Spurgeon, Volume 36: Sermons 2121-2181.

 

download (7)How many pretty gentlemen do we have in the church today? Never mind the world, as they are supposed to be messed up, deceived and running around blinded and dead in their sins. But we are being inundated by pretty, effeminate men climbing into the pews and seats of authority all over Christianity. These men are delicate, soft, glamorous. They speak nothing of the men of yesteryear who were strong, bold, courageous.

You may shy away from this sort of criticism because it seems normal for you to see such men dolled up and looking beautiful, but if you are middle age and older you remember a time where this wasn’t so.

If you walk through the grooming section of your local drug store, you will undoubtedly see the usual shaving creams, safety razors, deodorant and the like. However, along with the usual old-fashioned toiletries, you will now see a large selection of face putties, under-eye creams, wrinkle erasers and worse.

Society is training its boys to be pretty and delicate, and this horrid philosophy has crept into the church and made the so-called men snowflakes.

I have seen this in sports as well. I catch baseball and hockey highlights from time to time, and when someone gets hurt or hurts someone else, these men tend to fall apart. I watch in shock as the athlete wanders around, head in hands, getting hugs from his teammates, crying and shaking from the horror of it all. I see soccer (football in Europe) players drop like someone shot them when they get pushed or knocked over.

This is a disturbing trend I have found permeating the world. Men are quickly becoming cry-babies!

 Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary on the Definition of the word Effeminate.

 

1. (a.) Having some characteristic of a woman, as delicacy, luxuriousness, etc.; soft or delicate to an unmanly degree; womanish; weak.

2. (a.) Womanlike; womanly; tender; — in a good sense.

3. (v. t.) To make womanish; to make soft and delicate; to weaken.

4. (v. i.) To grow womanish or weak.

What does the Bible have to say about this sort of man?

1 Corinthians 6:9
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind (homosexuals)…

No longer do we see the loggers, sailors, and miners of yesteryear who were tougher than nails, working, struggling against all odds, standing up against the evil powers of the world. Now we see men talking about relationships, emotions, and male bonding.

I look to the Bible for most of my examples and this is one occasion where the Bible can be used for evidence. Look back into the Old Testament and you see Abraham and Moses. Tough, leading armies against the enemies of God. You see David, a slayer of thousands. You go to the New Testament and see John the Baptist. Nothing pretty or delicate here. Then you see the Champion of our Faith, Jesus of Nazareth. Glamorous and polished? Not a chance. Paul the Apostle? Nope. Peter? Are you kidding?!

The Bible is full of men who were strong and rugged. Courageous and bold. Standing up for truth, defending what was right no matter the consequences.

Remember Peter and John in Acts 4? They stood courageously against the religious leaders and refused to be quiet. They were going to preach the Gospel come hell or high water and it didn’t matter one iota what the consequences were.

How about Stephen? He was stoned to death preaching the Gospel.

The Apostle Paul?

2 Corinthians 11: 23. Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. 24 Of the Jews, five times received I forty stripes save one. 25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.

Did Paul cower and lay in the corner in a fetal position hoping Oprah had the answer? No. He kept going. He poured himself out for the Gospel and when he was finally killed, he left this earth with nothing more to give.

What happened?! Where are these men? Where are the leaders and warriors of the faith? 

I read of men and hear it throughout my day where men have arguments or go through trials and they break down and run to their drugs, games or some sort of fantasy to help them cope. No longer do men stand strong in faith and the assurance that God is sovereign and is leading them through the valley of their lives. No longer do men humble themselves before God and pray. They run to Google for their answers. They allow the world or their aggressive, feminist wives to dictate what they should do. This is a modern-day atrocity that can only spell ruin for future generations.

What is happening in the church today is symptomatic of what I am seeing. The feminist movement has marched in and taken over. We see it all the time in the church and because women are being trained to take charge and “be the man“, the men have backed down and kept quiet.

Why? Because parents have dropped the ball. Because parents in my age group are a product of the no-discipline philosophy. They were raised with no correction in their homes and now they have passed it on to their children.

I see it with my wife and her piano students. Children today cannot take criticism. They don’t even know what “NO” means! If my wife tries to correct something in regards to their piano playing they whine and cry and pound the piano in frustration and anger.

If these children are being raised to run the home and get away with whatever they want, what will happen when they are grown up? If children today do not have godly, old-fashioned role models to copy, they’ll copy media, video games, music stars and the like.

I see families where the mom is trying to fill both roles. What happens? Their children, many times decide to embrace a homosexual lifestyle. The same goes with dad trying to be mom. The family has been attacked on all sides and the children are the victims.

I see parents teaching boys to dress up like glamour girls and girls to be men. I see boys feathering their hair and wearing skinny jeans with their delicate ankles showing and girls driving dump trucks.  The whole core of the family has been twisted around and perverted.

Abhishek-Bachchan-in-Bol-Bachchan-380This reverberates straight through into the church, where the pastor dares not mention sacrifice, sin, and hell. Instead, he tells a story full of emotion and emphasizes relationships and staying relevant to the world. All the while the enemy stalks through the sheep-fold unmolested.

The church is supposed to reflect Christ and His teachings. Islam understands this. Buddhism understands this. Talk to any religion out there and they all get this. Their religion reflects its founder.

Why doesn’t Christianity? 

The Pain of Cancer in a Child

Preaching and teaching about handling the trials and tribulations of life is always easier than the day you personally encounter those difficulties. When our family spoke of going to Liberia as missionaries, we were not prepared for the very real eventuality that it came close to taking the life of my daughter and myself.

However, through that painful time, we had a small handful of family and friends who supported us financially as well as in prayer. One of those is my dear friend and close brother in Christ, J.L. Pattison, and his lovely family.

J.L. has been a long-time contributor to this blog since the time that it was Defending Contending. I have had the privilege of being their pastor in the past when we lived in deserts of Nevada, and have watched them grow.

Yet, nothing could have prepared us for the news that we received this last November.

This was the beginning in his words —

On November 15, 2019, an x-ray for persistent leg pain in our five-year-old son’s left leg revealed a large tumor that originated in the bone of the upper portion of his femur. After an MRI, we were told by an oncologist in Reno, Nevada that it is likely Ewing Sarcoma. A week later a biopsy was conducted in Salt Lake City, Utah where we were told it was Osteosarcoma.

With only a 70% survival rate, our family has moved from the mourning phase of this life-shattering news, to the action phase where we are fighting for Kohen’s life.

Kohen is a precious little boy and has one of the sweetest personalities. His brothers and sisters have been very supportive through this painful process, but this is taking a toll on everybody. They are all aware that this cancer may end this little life at the worst scenario, or that during his upcoming surgery in March, may require the amputation of his entire leg.

While J.L. and his family are not perfect, they have learned to depend on the sovereign purposes of He who alone is Perfect in every way. They know that the wrong question is “Why did God…?” The Biblical question that they are praying for strength to ask every day is “God, how will you use this to conform us to the image of Jesus Christ?”

I want to encourage each of you to go to “The Kohen Chronicles” and follow the Pattison’s journey through this valley.

Pray for them. Pray for strength, for grace, for healing, for wisdom for the medical teams, and most of all that God will be glorified through this trial. Send a card or gift to them and to Kohen. Any outpouring of support would be greatly appreciated.

Our hearts ache with each new blogpost. While our tears will never match those of the Pattison family, we know that in Christ we share a bond that is anything but common.

J.L. asked us to hold off until now to share this news, but we will now be posting regular updates to Truth in Grace.

Brother, you and your family are dearly loved! There is nothing else I can say right now, except to share this short poem written many, many years ago by a British minister, and the beautiful hymn from the Gettys.

“We cannot Lord, Thy purpose see,
but all is well, that is done by Thee.”

Is Your Wife Your First Ministry?

Is Your Wife Your First Ministry?

At DefCon, we holistically support men who support their families. Men who make discipleship and love a priority for the home. The home is one of the central building blocks for a society, and the marriage is the sun by which everything in the home orbits. Having said this, there are many priorities that pastors, open air preachers, and everyday christian men have that may sometimes burden us. We can become anxious, stressed, and overwhelmed with the multiple obligations that we are to tend to. And yes, wives are included in this list of feelings. And the one thing that is not helpful are Christian cliches like, “Your wife is your first ministry.” It has a nice ring to it, and for the most part it is well meaning, but it does not properly convey the responsibilities and obligations a Christian may face on a day to day basis. It has also been abused by certain preachers that wish to exclude certain men from ministry.

I have attached a blogtalk episode that I and a pastor friend of mine recorded about this topic. My hope is that we would all take into consideration the biblical model of men not just in ministry, but just being men in general. All the material discussed in this episode may or may not reflect all the views of contributing bloggers here at DefCon. Here is the narrative and link of the episode below.

“On this exciting episode of G220 radio, George will be joined by Pastor Tom Shuck from Pilgrim Bible Church. Pastor Shuck is a graduate of Master’s Seminary and Columbia Evangelical Seminary and was a missionary to India for 12 years. He holds both a Masters of Divinity (MDiv.) and a Doctorate of Ministry (DMin.). He has been a pastor of Pilgrim Bible Church for 4 years and helped start a seminary in India as well as planted a church there. He enjoys sports, music, family trips, and George’s personal favorite, linguistics. He has evangelized in cities like Oakland, Orlando, Mumbai, Pune training believers how to evangelize, preach the gospel, and make disciples. His wife is Lisa Shuck and two children.”

“This episode we’ll explore the cliche “Your wife is your first ministry.” Is it Scriptural? Are there other primary biblical responsibilities? Can you make ministry your idol or mistress? What should a man who is called to preach do with this kind of cliche? What about missionaries and evangelists of old that we look up to that sacrificed much, even their marriages, for the gospel? What about Matthew 22:35-40, 1 Corinthians 7:32-34, Ephesians 5:22-33, and 1 Timothy 3:5?”

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/g220radionetwork/2016/05/10/ep-157-is-your-wife-your-first-ministry

-Until we go home

 

Teach Your Children Well

Little children parade to the front during worship service to toss money into an offering plate as quote-Anita-Baker-applause-felt-like-approval-and-it-became-94311music is played. As they march out to children’s church, people clap.

“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” (Matthew 6:1-4)

What are these children being taught?

Give me four years to teach the children…

Vladimir Lenin infamously declared, “Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.” The national indoctrinationgovernment of this country, formerly known as these United States of America, wants our children from age 5 – 18, 22 if they can get it. Do we think this education is morally neutral? Or is there a system within and of the world that works iniquity and never sleeps?

Colin Gunn has published a movie that aims to educate Americans about the dangers of government education. Parents are not to be condemned but educated about this arena. To that end, Gunn offers this movie for free viewing from 22 – 31 December.

Here’s a note from Colin:

This season, as people spend time at home together, we hope that families will take the time to watch and share our movie with loved ones, especially those that need to hear the truth about the American public school system and decide whether they should continue using them.

Even in the last few years we have seen a dramatic decline in the school system making our message all the more urgent. We’ve recently seen astonishing moves by the educational establishment, with the Department of Education’s full-on support of the Supreme Court ruling on homosexual marriage, and in recent months, a significant campaign to normalize transgender lifestyles to our youth. The public schools have gone from bad to worse, and there are no excuses left.

Now is the time to act.Please take the time to share our message through your emails and social networks. Go here: www.watchindoctrination.com/free

I pray you take the time to watch the movie. Don’t allow the prince of the air to rule your children. Be informed and prepared.

What Does God say about Bioethics?

Christian Bioethics 517UykgR7dL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_

A review by Stuart Brogden

This book, subtitled A Guide for Pastors, Health Care Professional, and Families, is part of a series on Christian ethics published by B&H Publishing Group. I dare say anyone within each of those groups would be challenged to think more biblically about the relevant issues as well as being better informed by reading this book. In the preface, the series editor tells us the thesis of this book by asking this question: “How do we move from an ancient text like the Bible to twenty-first-century questions about organ transplants, stem-cell research, and human cloning?” This book, written by an ordained minister of the gospel (C. Ben Mitchell) and a physician (D. Joy Riley), gives solid counsel and these emotionally charged issues in 9 chapters, and is broken up into four parts: Christian Bioethics, Taking Life, Making Life, and Remaking/Faking Life. The format of each chapter is a look into a real life situation immersed in the subject, followed by questions for reflection, and Q & A between the authors. Other than a too frequent quoting of Roman Catholics as though that Church is Christian institution, this team provides solid insight from God’s Word on each of these topics.

Chapter 1 gives the reader an overview of the Hippocratic Oath which opened my eyes to the ancient context and false gods the oath was originally made to and the awareness that most doctors today do not subscribe to this oath, which we mostly know as the pledge to, First, do no harm. This was spelled out in explicit language that forbid euthanasia and abortion. The absence of a doctor’s oath to “do no harm” may cause a patient to wonder how much he can trust his doctor. In summing up this topic our physician author observes (page 22, italics in original) “Doctors should work hard to be trust-worthy and humble.” A few pages later (page 28), as they address stem-cell research, our minister reminds us, after quoting 2 Peter 1:3, “God has not left his people without guidance in every area of life. Although the Bible is not a science textbook, its message speaks to the deep underlying values that can guide decisions about scientific matters. Although the Bible is not manual of medicine, its truths may be applied to medical decision making.” This is a key perspective for every child of God to properly understand how to walk in the light of God’s Word. Much of the rest of chapter 2 is good advice for properly reading and understanding the Scriptures, taking into account literary, historical, and cultural context as well the genre of what is being read.

The chapter addressing abortion is sobering and probably eye-opening for most. The authors make a full-court press to establish the humanity of every life, starting from conception. Mitchell makes the essential connection between our view of Jesus and our view of humanity, developing the humanity of our Lord to show how every mortal is given value by the Creator – above all other life forms – from the time the egg is joined with a sperm. At the end of chapter 3, the authors exhort Christians to be active in opposing abortion and supporting life, but they draw no lines of getting involved with pro-life Roman Catholics. Christians must be deliberate and biblically thoughtful in deciding who to get cozy with in the public arena. The next chapter covers death and dying, providing thought-provoking observations about the details of pain and suffering and how one’s Christian world view informs us. A key element in handling the death of any person, they tell us, is to remember the patient (perhaps a close relative) is a human being, not merely a patient to be treated. “Much of the suffering of dying persons comes from being subtly treated as nonpersons.” (page 85) There is discussion of the efforts to extend life, even at the expense of that life being human. It is a long-held desire of fleshly human beings to grasp eternal life in our present form, without submitting to God’s revealed plan of redemption – which includes our death and resurrection. Being a faithful child of God includes how we approach death – do we trust our heavenly Father in our dying as did our Savior? Again, we get faithful advice (pages 100 & 101): “Through the resurrection of Christ, God has given us grounds to hope that death, however awful, will not have the last word.” Amen!

As they move from taking life to making life, the reader is presented with a biology lesson on how babies come into the world. They take this opportunity to reinforce the Christians view of anthropology (page 113): “Knowing that pregnancy occurs at fertilization rather than at implantation will help us make several important distinctions later.” They then cover several options medicine has provided for artificial this or that, discussing the line we cross regarding family integrity and God’s authority, observing (page 123), “When a third party intrudes on the procreative relationship, the divinely instituted structure of the family is altered. Trouble is bound to follow.” This may be unwelcome by some, who have such a great desire for a child that their love for the Word of God is overshadowed. All of us fall into this pit on one issue or another from time-to-time, so let us not rush to judgment.

The last part of this fine book covers the definition of death and the forces behind the changes we’ve seen in the last 50 years; organ donation and transplants; cloning and human/animal hybrids; and life extension practices. In this last category, we are introduced to trans-humanists, a group that wants to extent life in the human body and beyond. This was the topic of recent movie, Transcendence, which traced the consequences of a computer scientist whose “essence” was transferred into a powerful computer he had built. It gets very ugly before it ends. In summing up how we who profess Christ ought to look at aging, Mitchell provides a contrast between Christians and Trans-humanists (page 181): “Interestingly, the trans-humanists and Christians seem to have some common concerns. We share:

  • The quest for the good life.
  • Longing for immortality
  • Pursuit of the relief of human suffering
  • Appreciation for technology’s benefits.

Where we differ is in the mean to achieve these aims. For Christians the good life and the goods of life are found in God and his presence in our lives. The good life is not defined by the number of years one lives but the reality of God’s presence in however many years one lives. While we, like the apostle Paul, long for immortality, Christians understand that they already possess it. … Another place we differ with the trans-humanist is in loathing every human limitation. Because we are creatures and nor creators, we accept most limitations as gifts from the One who made us.”

And while there is much more in this book that will do the reader much good, I think that is a wonderful point on which to end this review. Christian – are you content with our God’s provision in your life? Do we think we deserve better than YHWH has given us? To quote the Apostle, “Who are you, oh man, to answer back to the One who made you thus?” Let us, as did the Lord Jesus, trust ourselves to the One who judges justly. Trust God, rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. In living and dying – and all that comes between those two finite points.