Archive for Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Death, suffering

April 25, 2012


To the editor:

The April 15 article about physician assisted suicide sounds attractive except for Christians who believe that the Lord gives and the Lord takes away (Job 1:21). I do not believe that suicide is an unforgivable sin but one where Christians (and non-Christians) are deceived by Satan. Christians, who take their own lives, fail during their time of desperation to remember God’s truth that all things (even the trial they are going through) work together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purposes (Romans 8:28). Even in the darkest times, we can still cry out to God and He will deliver us and we will glorify Him (Psalm 50:15).

Unbelievers should consider crying out to God because their condition; regardless of how bad it is, is much better now than it will be in eternity, separated from God and in hell.  Foxhole prayers are common among soldiers who are in a death situation. Both thieves on the cross with Christ mocked him, but one changed his mind and it changed his eternal destiny. God will never reject someone who sincerely cries out to Him. He will deliver in the way that is best for us.

Lastly, as Christians, we will suffer. It’s part of sharing in Christ’s sufferings. Don’t waste an opportunity to know God’s faithful care during living and dying, and especially, throughout eternity.


cato_the_elder 6 years ago

Professor Burkhead, thank you for once more submitting a thoughtful, courageous letter reminding us of God's love for all. You will be mocked on this forum, just as Christ was, but your faith will stand as a beacon to all who have the good sense to listen.

Kendall Simmons 6 years ago

Apparently it never seems to cross your or Carl's minds that maybe, just maybe, suicide is EXACTLY what God has planned for that person. That, instead of thwarting God somehow, they are actually doing God's will. That God WANTS their suffering to stop at that time and in that way. After all, Carl did say "He will deliver in the way that is best for us".

Unfortunately, he then goes on to presume that he, Carl Burkhead, knew what that way was. But, one thing I can two haven't a clue what God's will truly is, so maybe you ought to stop presuming you know so much? Stop being so holier-than-thou? Otherwise you might find yourselves in for an ugly surprise someday.

JayhawksandHerd 6 years ago

I "cry out" to government people like Governor Brownback and his Republican Jesus. Do (sic) you know government people know what's best for the rest of us(?)

There, fixed it for you.

tomatogrower 6 years ago

I cry out to morons who can't stay on subject. Sttttooopppp!!!!

JayhawksandHerd 6 years ago

I'm curious, how is existing - I certainly wouldn't term it "living" - through months of agonizing pain that often results from terminal illness or descending ever deeper into a state of dementia part of "His purposes?" If God does indeed pick and choose those who are diagnosed with terrible diseases as part of his "plan" for those individuals, then I'm not sure that's a God I want to follow.

The point Mr. Burkhead is trying to make eludes me as well. Is this letter about God's love, or fear of hell? I suspect the latter, and I don't see how the two are compatible, anyway.

deec 6 years ago

You don't believe in suicide? Then don't kill yourself. Your mythology has nothing to do with how other people choose to live or die, however. If you choose to think that your deity wants you to suffer, then go for it. Agonize away. But don't force others to suffer.

jonas_opines 6 years ago

"The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away" sounds a little bid odd, all in all, when its largely the medical sciences of man (and not God) that enables, and sometimes forces, these terminally ill patients to live far beyond the span that their diseases (God's will?) would have them live on their own.

Those medical science advancements are from God, you say? His gift to mankind? Fair enough. But then, if we're to take that tack, so is the science that ends someone's painful existence. If we're given them by God's gift, then its still our own choice how, and when, to use them.

somedude20 6 years ago

" I'd rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints the sinners are much more fun...."

Believe what you want but keep it in your head don't push it down other's throats. Look at the stats, less and less believe that child's tale you call the bible and in my lifetime, there will be an atheist or agnostic in the White House.

Kendall Simmons 6 years ago

I'm sure there already have been atheists and agnostics in the White House...but I'm assuming you mean someone who will actually admit to this current culture :-)

Joe Hyde 6 years ago

Physician-assisted suicide is one of those deals where the only patients interested in doing it are people suffering from long-term health problems that are incurable, sometimes excruciatingly painful or otherwise debilitating, and they just want to take command of the problem and "go out standing up".

Because people seeking such deaths are carefully screened by physicians, we can assume the condition that prompts the desire is real. We may also assume that the person about to execute the action on himself/herself has given the matter considerable serious thought for a very long time and has reached a private understanding with their God. That private understanding may be doubted and regretted by others not involved, but still it should be respected.

Indeed, given the controlled conditions surrounding physician-assisted suicide some relevant religious questions need to be asked:

Is the physician-assisted suicide method of entering Heaven any less honorable than was Christ's method (who provoked His own death by defying Rome, knowing well in advance that He would be killed for refusing to renounce His beliefs)? Clearly the circumstances are different, but with faith won't the destination be identical?

Paul R Getto 6 years ago

Hmmmmmmm..........interesting perspective. Never thought of it that way. Still not sure what to make of the letter, but to each his own. Just don't pick a god/book/tradition and try to use it to shoehorn one's beliefs into public policy.

verity 6 years ago

That is an interesting perspective which I had not heard before. Kind of the same thing with religious martyrs.

Patricia Davis 6 years ago

Carl, Carl, Carl, when will you ever learn that you can believe whatever you want and we, the non believers, have the same choice? I don't try to tell you that religion is what Steven Hawking calls "fairy tales for grownups" and that Christianity has been the root of most evil in the last 2000 years. And you don't get to go around spewing your claptrap dogma without thinking people thinking you are nuts.

tbaker 6 years ago

This reminds me of the abortion argument. I'm pro-choice. I just hope the choice made is for life. That said, all I think anyone can do is "hope" becuase like abortion, the choice to die isn't up to me. I think it is wrong to kill yourself, just like I think it is wrong to ride a motorcycle without a helmut, but I also believe with equal vigor that it is not up to the government to decide whether or not people have that choice. People should have the choice, and we should respect that they do and be glad they have the choice, whether we agree with it or not.

This is not to be confused with unplugging Grandma becuase we're sick of the bills - that is abhorent. If Grandma didn't have a living will that said so, you're stuck with the bills.

Ragingbear 6 years ago

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jonas_opines 6 years ago

You're not really helping, just in case, through some twisted and tortured logic, you thought that you were.

Ragingbear 6 years ago

During the Inquisition, the Christians thought they were helping through some twisted and tortured logic, but they weren't. Go back to church and keep your opinion to yourself.

Liberty275 6 years ago

Tell your god to butt out of my business. I would, but i don't talk to imaginary entities.

Liberty275 6 years ago

Good question. I'm like a little backwards from your normal atheist in that I hold no contempt for religion or their tenets in general. I think all of the are beautiful frameworks that people build wonderful lives upon.

The concept of a "god", OTOH, is a barbaric lie some use to justify their existence and actions. I realize religions mostly have a god at their core, but everything about that god is made up by men, some with the most compassionate intentions, and some that are wicked. Either way, you might have noticed I defend religion at every turn because Americans are generally free to believe as they wish.

Any time I see mention of a blatant lie like god, climate change or actual human caring by our more livid leftists, I can't help but point out the lie.

Also, keep in mind that religion is protected by the constitution, god isn't.

Look up "radical nihilist" and you will see exactly where my thought are rooted. I happen to have latched onto Buddhism, at least in it's most simplistic and untaxing form. I'm a poor fake Buddhist, but I'm getting better.

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