Joy in Death

You are valuable, so valuable beyond ability to measure, but only when juxtaposed aside your all-glorifying Creator whose glory spills over on you.

The following is a response to the conclusions drawn by the staff of The Economist Newspaper in their recent article on doctor-assisted dying titled The Right to Die.

In a secular society, it is odd to buttress the sanctity of life in the abstract by subjecting a lot of particular lives to unbearable pain, misery and suffering.

Yes, this is an accurate observation. When the notion of a Creator with authority over the created is removed from a society, it is illogical to cling to any essence of “sanctity.” Thankfully, though society is attempting in vain to remove their memories of a Creator, the umbilical cord of sanctity of life is still a tangible reality in their minds. We cannot, try as we might, scalpel away the image of God imprinted on our personhood.

Doctor-assisted death on grounds of mental suffering should […] be allowed.

Competent adults are allowed to make other momentous, irrevocable choices: to undergo a sex change or to have an abortion. People deserve the same control over their own death. Instead of dying in intensive care under bright lights and among strangers, people should be able to end their lives when they are ready, surrounded by those they love.

This is atrocious. I say this with utmost love and respect for those who would believe it. And yet I can entirely understand from a most human of levels as to why these conclusions would be made. Without God in the world, I must step up to take his venerable place, and this is the most disequilibrious, most unnatural, most disorienting role to assume by a man or woman.

If the core conviction I carry is that I must be the master of my own fate, that God and any religious connotation surrounding his existence must be mythical, then the only conclusion I can come to is that my strokes, my thoughts, my singular and undebated desires must be considered divine, absolute for me and my life and my death. Therefore, the fundamental value is my right to choose all conclusions. I am god. And anything, any choice, any counter argument to my self-existent reality is evil–is the great Satan. Thus God has become Satan, and I have become god.

Dear people, so desperate for self-actualization and self-rule, there is a better way. The more ardently that you feed your own self-determination, the smaller your world becomes as your universe shrinks to the span of 70-80 years and the work of your own hands.

You are valuable, so valuable beyond ability to measure, but only when juxtaposed aside your all-glorifying Creator whose glory spills over on you. Your Father God radiates in self-determining power and glory and goodness, and as his created one you bear semblance to him for the purpose of reflection like light to a mirror, like sunbeams to a full moon.

Under his decisions we find delight. Under his supremacy we find joy. Under his forgiveness we find freedom. We become what we were intended for, oriented as he hand-made us, living as he lovingly directs, and dying as he sovereignly chooses, though understanding that death itself is no more natural than our own pursuit for self-determination. And so we look to him who conquered death to invite us into even deeper depths of knowing him as he walks with us through death’s door to unending joy-filled friendship reflecting his glory forever.

O LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.
Out of the mouth of babies and infants,
you have established strength because of your foes,
to still the enemy and the avenger.
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him,
and the son of man that you care for him?
Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
and crowned him with glory and honor.
You have given him dominion over the works of your hands;
you have put all things under his feet,
all sheep and oxen,
and also the beasts of the field,
the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea,
whatever passes along the paths of the seas.
O LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Psalm 8 (ESV)

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