Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

There's No Friend in Death Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to World Events and Daily Life

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

There's No Friend in Death Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to World Events and Daily Life

Article excerpt

Current debate over whether to assist someone in committing suicide to end suffering raises troublesome questions. Assisted suicide is based on mistaken premises-among them that because medicine has found no cure for an illness, there is no healing possible; and that death is somehow our friend.

Both these notions find no support in Christianity. Christ Jesus never considered death a friend. He worked to overcome the threat of death, as proved by his frequently healing individuals of sickness and more than once raising them from death.

At one time, one of Jesus' closest friends, Lazarus, had grown sick and died in the town of Bethany. The book of John says that when he heard about this, even before he went there, Jesus assured his followers, "This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby" (11:4). Jesus arrived four days after Lazarus had died. The Bible continues, "Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. . . . And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth" (verses 41, 43, 44).

If you read the New Testament in the Bible, you see that Jesus expected his followers to heal as he did. In the early Christian period of about three hundred years after Jesus' ascension, faithful Christian followers often did perform such deeds. But then such instances of healing became uncommon.

What brought Christian healing-of the nature that Jesus practiced-to this age was Mary Baker Eddy's discovery in 1866 of the universal truth that Jesus taught. This deeply religious woman healed many people with this knowledge in her day. She called her discovery Christian Science. Her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, which dispels the myth that our lives are based in matter and saved by material means, is still healing people today. Referring to God as Soul, Science and Health says this: "The educated belief that Soul is in the body causes mortals to regard death as a friend, as a stepping-stone out of mortality into immortality and bliss. …

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