I sent this open letter to the CPSO. For more information about Bill C-7 (Euthanasia) and to learn what you can do visit: Canadians for Conscience | The Coalition for HealthCARE and Conscience
Dear College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO),
I wanted to respectfully add my voice to your consultation regarding Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID), specifically the matter of forcing medical professionals to make arrangements or be complicit in euthanasia/medically assisted suicide should such participation be against said professionals conscience or religious conviction (My arguments are limited to this and do not extend into the realm of what I consider to be the immoral nature of the subject generally).
I make this recommendation on a fourfold argument:
Rev. Dr. Chris W. Crocker (Markdale Baptist Church; Professor- Toronto Baptist Seminary)
Reading through the opening chapters of the Book of Acts reveal some key marks of the early Church. These are helpful to recognize to see what ought to be the marks of the Church today:
May we pray that the Church of today will reflect our glorious beginnings!
Among the 120 that made up the earliest body of believers after the Resurrection, were not only the Disciples, the women, but “His brothers.” (Acts 1:14b). His brothers! You mean the brothers who it says in John 7:5 didn’t believe in Him? His family who thought He was mad (Mk 3:21). Those brothers, James, Joseph, Simon and Judas (Mt 13:55)? Yes!
They grew up with Jesus, no doubt beholding His uniqueness, but also His commonness. They had difficulty believing He was their Messiah. Perhaps difficulty seeing what their mother, Mary, saw.
Yet, somewhere in the 40 days between the Resurrection and the Ascension they saw their Risen brother and came to believe. Everything that had happened to Him, including His perfect life lived before their eyes, now made sense when the one they’d [presumably] seen slain, they now saw risen from the dead in glory.
The most famous of these, James, went on to be a pillar in the Jerusalem church and author of the Book of James. He came to be a slave of the very brother he had once not believed in (James 1:1).
The mere words “His brothers” should cause two things in us:
 Joseph and Mary went on to have other children and then, presumably, Joseph had died before Jesus’ ministry.
If salvation is only found in Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12), what about all of those people who lived before Him? That is a good question.
In Mk 12:26 Jesus spoke about the subject of a future Resurrection. He referred to the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, whom the LORD said to Moses that He was the God of. Jesus said, “He is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” (v. 27). The patriarchs, who lived long before Christ, are alive in Him. How is this possible?
Faith in the Lord and His promises and covenants, which since the Fall (Gen 3:15) have always pointed to Jesus, is how those of long ago could be saved long before Christ came. All of the OT was pointing to Jesus (Lk 24:44b). By virtue of these forward looking promises the people of old who trusted them were saved (That is what Ro 3:25b is speaking of).
Specifically, to reverse the curse of the Fall God chose (when He didn’t need to choose any) to do so through one man’s family, Abram (Gen 12). God would bring about a blessing to the nations through Abram’s offspring, Jesus (Mt 1). From this time, specifically, God’s Covenant promises of salvation became caught up with this people, the Jews, until Christ came when it was opened more fully to the Gentiles. This didn’t mean all Jews were saved, only those who had faith in the promises (Gal 3:7). This also didn’t mean that non-Jews, or Gentiles, couldn’t be saved either. The OT has a number of examples of Gentiles who came to fear God and join this Covenant community. People like Rahab and Ruth and the Queen of Sheba. God has been saving a people unto Himself ever since the Fall.
Just as salvation is exclusive to those who trust in Christ since the coming of Christ, the same was true before Christ came, but it was by faith in the promises of Christ that they too were saved.
Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. (John 21:25)
The Bodleian Library at Oxford University is one of the most famous libraries in the world. It contains some 12 million books.
A local library averages some 8000 books and a household some 50–100 books (though today that is certainly declining).
Though “books” have changed in their form over the years, it is interesting why John would end his Gospel talking about them.
He’s already alluded to the “signs” recorded in the Gospel so that the reader “may have life in [Jesus] name.” (Jn 20:30–31). How is it that all the works of Jesus, were they written, would not be able to be contained, not simply by the libraries of the world, but the world itself? (The world is pretty large!).
Surely all of the stories of Jesus’ life, ministry, miracles and teachings, could be captured, if not in a local library, in something like the Bodleian! Not so, why? Because Jesus is the eternal Word (Jn 1:1), He created the world, of course the world couldn’t contain all His works, for as its Creator He is greater than the world (Col 1:16)!
Jesus is not just a man but Lord and God (Jn 20:28), as John demonstrates in His Gospel. This ought to lead us to worship, submit to and follow Jesus. The beautiful thing in this story is that because of the greatest of Jesus the believer has an eternity to get to know Jesus’ story (Himself); one in which, as C.S. Lewis said, “every chapter is better than the one before.”
 Ironically, even though fewer libraries have Christian content, all libraries speak about things that Christ created in this world and so are full of Christian things, even though people don’t acknowledge them (Ro 1).
What precisely happened on the Cross? The momentous events surrounding it like the darkness, the earthquake, etc, all point to the fact that something of cosmic significance took place.
We call what happened on the Cross the atonement, what Christ did in His life, and ultimately His death, that earned the believer’s salvation. Put another way, what He did to enable sinners to become right with their Creator (at-one-ment, the act of making someone at one with someone else).
The atonement, because of the infinite criminality of our sin against a holy God, has a certain wonderful multifacetedness to us. Not only does it have a depth but a breadth. This is borne out by the number of different pictures of the atonement that Scripture uses to convey just what transpired on that day. Knowing these helps us contemplate the wonder of the Cross.
* Moral Example: I don’t include this in the numeric list because this is less what Jesus accomplished and more the example He set. Nevertheless, in His death, Christ did set an example for us of self-sacrificial service. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. (1 Pet 2:21).
Author: Chris Crocker
Pastor, historian and beekeeper.
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