“Our once great western Christian civilization is dying. If this matters to followers of Jesus Christ, then we must set aside our denominational differences and work together to strengthen the things that remain and reclaim what has been lost. Evangelicals and Catholics must stand together to re-establish that former Christian culture and moral consensus. We have the numbers and the organization but the question is this: Do we have the will to win this present spiritual battle for Jesus Christ against secularism? Will we prayerfully and cooperatively work toward a new Christian spiritual revival ― or will we choose to hunker down in our churches and denominationalisms and watch everything sink into the spiritual and moral abyss of a New Dark Age?” - Mark Davis Pickup

Monday, November 19, 2007

"Whoever receives this little child in My name receives Me."

An article recently appeared in the local newspaper regarding a children’s palliative care specialist.[1] Dr. Dawn Davies is the only palliative care specialist at the University of Alberta (Canada).

Pediatric palliative care is under-recognized and under-subscribed, it is an area that is sorely needed at this ominous juncture in time. Disabled newborns are often left to die -- denied food and water -- at the advice or cooperation of hospitals, and consent of their parents. Perhaps this is the way and sway of secular hospitals but Christian health care facilities must never cooperate in the killing of any human being regardless of how hopeless the case. As Malcolm Muggeridge said,

"Jesus healed the sick, raised Lazarus from the dead, gave back sanity to the deranged, but never did He practice, or include, killing as part of the mercy that occupied His heart. His true followers cannot but adopt the same attitude."
Christian hospitals
A disabled child in utero must never be killed in Christian hospitals -- nor can Christian hospitals legitimately cooperate in attaining such an end. Once born, a disabled baby may only live an hour, but in that hour the child must be welcomed into a tender embrace of Christian love and palliative care -- and not abandoned by withholding food and water. That may be the way of the world of bioethics but it has no place in the actions of a follower of Christ, or institutions that align themselves with His name.

The child's family must also find themselves in the same tender embrace of loving Christian care throughout their bereavement and recovery. This is the call of authentic Christianity to health care professionals, in cooperation and support of Christ's Church. I can think of no more powerful witness to Christ's love. It is shoe-leather evangelism at its finest.

It is time for health care facilities everywhere bearing Christian affiliation to examine their policies and practices to ensure that they are life-affirming and never life-denying. If they are not prepared to do this … then cease their Christian affiliation and stop maligning the holy name of Christ and His Church!

In this new Dark Age of early 21st century North America, authentic Christianity has the opportunity to shine the light of Jesus Christ, showing His love and mercy to the “least of these.” Remember our Lord’s words:
“Whoever receives this little child in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me  receives Him who sent Me. For he who is least among you all will be great.[2]
It has been the same for every child throughout the centuries since our Savior uttered this truth.

Mark Pickup

[1] Jodie Sinnema, “Children’s palliative care puts focus on living: Edmonton’s only specialist spearheads one-year training program,” Edmonton Journal, 18 Nov. 2007, A1.
[2] Luke 9.48, NKJV.

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