In 1976 I was introduced to the teachings of a Philosopher/Teacher by the name of Francis Schaeffer. He and his wife Edith began a work in Switzerland, the “L’Abri Fellowship.” “L’Abri is the French word for “shelter” and this word was adopted because the Schaeffer’s essentially opened their home as a shelter to mainly christian students from the concerns and interruptions of the secular world.
I remember well in those days the issue of abortion was a hot topic and was surrounded by much opinion and controversy. Now, it’s so much a part of our American culture it’s just accepted as normal and to speak against it brings the disgust, the ire and wrath of many people. I will never forget the words of Francis Schaeffer back then, “If we accept and legalize abortion, the next step will be euthanasia, first among the elderly and eventually assisted suicide for anyone wishing to die whenever they decide to die, then spreading to the mentally handicapped and those living any kind of what might be deemed as a “lesser life!” I think Adolf Hitler had this in mind during his campaigns to bring his philosophies to the nations….by force!
Francis Schaeffer wrote these words; “If there is no absolute moral standard, then one cannot say in a final sense that anything is right or wrong. By absolute we mean that which always applies, that which provides a final or ultimate standard. There must be an absolute if there are to be morals, and there must be an absolute if there are to be real values. If there is no absolute beyond man’s ideas, then there is no final appeal to judge between individuals and groups whose moral judgments conflict. We are merely left with conflicting opinions.”
As some folks I have talked to are exploring the possibilities of life however one might like to have it, I have been dropping the word, “standard” and the response is quite interesting. The word “standard” is kind of like the word “principle” or God forbid, “law!” The words “morals and ethics” also draw responses of anger as well as defensiveness and the guarding of newly formed boundaries in the acceptance and lessening of moral standards or moral principles, moral laws as it were. Of course for many this means disqualifying major portions of biblical scripture and principles deemed to be untrue or no longer pertinent to our society. This inspires me to perhaps write my own book someday entitled, “Things I made up about it!”
The words of Francis Schaeffer gently wafted through my memory this morning as I read this headline in the paper, “Assisted suicide for healthy may be legalized!”It read, “In the Netherlands, a country vaunted for its liberalism, a proposal to legalize assisted suicide for older people who are generally healthy but feel they have led a full life has stirred up an ethical storm in some quarters.” So, would there need to be a standard?” Oops, there is that word again. What would it be, how would one define, “older?” I am 74 years old, that is really getting up there, would I qualify to take myself out because I have decided I have lived a full life and there is no more life needed? But of course there would be a standard. Let’s see, I think we will pass a law that no one under…… let’s say, the age of 70 may be assisted in their suicide, they will just have to do it without assistance. Wow, now there is a standard that we create for ourselves and now we feel really good about the whole thing. What if I blow my brains all over my backyard one day and I still exist, looking down at my torn body realizing that the best years were yet to come. The presuppositions in our culture about life and death are just that, “presuppositions!” What if we are dead wrong?
The bible has a lot to say regarding the blessings of God over the elderly. Maybe we just need to throw those scriptures up as irrelevant also. Wow, pretty soon we will have a whole new bible. I know, let’s call it something like “Watchman” or how about “The Watchtower?”