End of Life instruction and 2 Pet 3:9

The Lord is …… not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”

My 82 year old widow sister, childless, was admitted to the hospital for the third time, after spending 12 days and then 16 days in the hospital and then transferred to a community hospital. The community hospital, after more than a week, called and informed that she has to be readmitted to the acute hospital for dialysis as they could not render proper treatment.

For the next two days, I noticed my sister was not on dialysis. I asked, and was told that there was a misunderstanding (by the community hospital?) whatever it meant.

Then a doctor called one afternoon. Mainly she asked what was my ‘end-of-life instruction” for my sister. I asked  – was this about the AMD? – silence. What was the prognosis? Was there something I need to know? No clarification. The silence was puzzling. So I said “let me think about it and pray about it”. She said she would call back for my decision in a few days.

I became unusually alarmed and alerted family members. That evening I visited my sister. She was alert and definitely it wasn’t terminal or life threatening.

The next morning, I was on the way for a meeting requested by a medical social worker (MSW). I prayed – “Lord, what is your leading – as I have to give a reply about the EOL instruction.” The impression was very strong and clear – ‘resist, until your sister believes in the Lord Jesus!’ I told the MSW and another doctor who sought me out and commented that the 1st doctor was not tactful as it alarmed me.

Unexpectedly again the 2nd doctor asked about the EOL instruction as I was only expected to respond in a few days. He explained about withholding resuscitation. So since he asked I replied – “No, I will not concede until my sister believes in Jesus”. Somehow, to the 1st and 2nd doctor, I became uninhibited about my faith. He said “So it is religious?” I asserted, and said a miracle could happen. But he countered that it would be a medical decision. I also countered – No, I know a little about medical conditions and would like to be contacted and consulted when the need arose. He then said something that it would be the ‘decision’ of senior doctors. I stood firm. He then went off.

Fifteen minutes later, he returned, and said that the 1st doctor had already spoken to my sister that morning and my sister gave her consent! “No, I discount that, as you know my sister has Alzheimer, and she could not have understood.” The 2nd doctor again reiterated that it would be a medical decision by senior doctors.

The good outcome was that I became vulnerable. Normally I will reach out to any who asked for help, but would myself refrain from asking for support. I had to humble myself. I turned to the church’s visitation team and my cell group – for prayer, for support and for my sister to trust in Jesus!

That evening, I became disturbed that they might not render proper due care for my sister! I began to write to the hospital, to the Ministry of Health, to my Member of Parliament who’s also the GPC chairman for Health, etc. Many thoughts and promptings flowed through my mind, which surprised me.

To both doctors, I had brought up the Advanced Medical Directive (see – https://www.moh.gov.sg/content/moh_web/home/legislation/legislation_and_guidelines/advance_medical_directiveact.html)

In the absence of an AMD, I believe proper medical care is appropriate and should not be withheld. There are many safeguards e.g.

 You are not being forced into making the AMD.
 You are of sound mind.
 You understand the nature and implications of making an AMD.

 Validity
It is NOT compulsory. The AMD is valid only when it is made voluntarily. No one can force another person to make an AMD.
No one can make an AMD on behalf of another person, whether child or adult (even if the person is mentally incapable of making an AMD on his own)
 Coercion
It is the doctor’s responsibility to fully explain and discuss the matter with the person and to ensure that he/she fully understands what he/she is signing.
Forcing or misleading another person into signing an AMD is an offence punishable under the law.
If convicted, such a person can be fined and imprisoned and disqualified as a beneficiary.

The hospital called me as I had written. I mentioned my concerns. Why was I asked repeatedly for the EOL instruction? It was akin to the AMD which has many safeguards for the sanctity of life. I said my interpretation and impression was it looks like a Trojan Horse to bypass the AMD already in place. (I just googled and that EOL instruction is a type of a medical directive.)

I realized it is so subtle and insidious – the EOL instruction is a Trojan horse, unknowingly and ignorantly promoted to withhold resuscitation before a person comes to faith in Jesus. A work of evil, in this world of evil, dispensing words of evil against our Lord’s words of life!

Jesus said in John 10 “10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

HALLELUJAH !!!!!! “The Lord is …… not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”

Church members visited, witnessed (in dialects) and prayed for my sister, members whom I have never met or spoken to! On a second visit, after we prayed, a church sister prompted that I should lead my sister to ask Jesus into her life. My sister did so! All these years she was deep into Buddhism, and had resisted. The next evening, I asked her whether she knew what she did, and whether she wanted to be baptized. She assented!

Coincidence or Confirmation?

Two days after my sister prayed, the church’s devotional reading was titled “The Lord saw her, He had compassion on her,….” Indeed! Thank you Jesus!

I began to share with others how my sister had prayed to receive Jesus!

Oh, how I love to hear His story of Salvation, I like to tell the story … (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lelJPwbuFPQ)

Later I received a posting on the Trojan Horse. (https://www.farnamstreetblog.com/2017/07/trojan-horse/).

Yes, for those who have threatening conditions or terminal illnesses and have yet to believe in Jesus, we must pray for their health and salvation, for their health to be extended until they repent and believe in Jesus rather than consider a EOL instruction not to resuscitate.

They Will Kill Us (the two witnesses)

Rabbi Threatens: Messianic Jewish Evangelists Deserve Death

http://www.israeltoday.co.il/Default.aspx?tabid=178&nid=27637

Last week, I read about the death threat by a Rabbinic leader for two staff members from One for Israel.  3 days ago, I went up to Eitan Bar (who was at St Andrews Cathedral), and said that I am praying for him.  He said “Oh, you know?”

I met him again yesterday at a function, and went up to him and asked whether he is afraid, added that he should not be afraid since the Rabbinical leader is based in New York and not Israel.  Eitan said that he is not so afraid of the rabbi, it is more of his followers all over Israel.  (Dr Erez confirmed that there are regular attacks from the extreme Jews.  So the threat is real, very real.  Let’s pray for our brethren – the messianic Jews.

And yesterday, Dr Erez surprised Eitan by disclosing that yesterday was Eitan’s birthday.  So spontaneously we sang “Happy Birthday” to Eitan.  And at the end of the session, sang again when a sister found a candle and put in on a cut-up banana cake (from which half the pieces were already eaten by us during the break) and walked up to Eitan.  We sang again.  O such a happy day.  I went up to Eitan, and said, without anything for his birthday, I shared from my phone the Youtube song “Rejoice O Israel” composed by NCC, and presented at the Southern Steps of the Old City of Jerusalem.  Both Dr Erez and Eitan has not heard that song, and would watch that video again in their own time. 

In a separate video response to Mizrachi’s threat, Bar and Vaknin asked for prayers for their personal safety, but also expressed forgiveness and love for the wayward rabbi.

“Rabbi Mizrachi, we still love you, forgive your incitement, and refuse to hate you back,” said Vaknin.

Yeshua said “They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever killyou will think that he offers God service.” (John 16:2)

Consumer, Customer or Communer

Exactly a year ago I blogged “The church member – a Consumer, Customer or a Community?” (see Aug 29 2014).

Then a few days ago, I was led to revisit this issue, and googled on the Consumer Church.  The results were more than I expected.  Many others have written on this, mainly on the state of the churches and culture in the west. A sampling is appended below:

“When you read the Gospels, it’s hard to overlook the fact that Jesus attracted large crowds everywhere he went. He was constantly playing to the consumer instincts of his crowds. Let’s face it: It wasn’t the content of his messages that appealed to the masses. Most of the time they didn’t even understand what he was talking about … People flocked to Jesus because he fed them, healed them, comforted them, and promised them things.”  “We are unapologetically attractional. In our search for common ground with unchurched people, we’ve discovered that, like us, they are consumers. So we leverage their consumer instincts.”—Andy Stanley in Deep and Wide (from http://www.christianitytoday.com/le/2015/april-online-only/dangers-of-consumer-church.html)

http://gospeldrivenchurch.blogspot.sg/2009/04/consumer-church.html

http://www.christianpost.com/news/church-growth-when-communers-become-consumers-135321/

 

I am not a sociologist, theologian or pastor to dwell deeply or intelligently into the merits of such phenomena and practices.  But I am concerned to try to discern what is excellent, pure and blameless from what is good (Phil 1:10).

There are principles and practices that are good and wise in the secular sense, but as people belonging to God and living out spiritual values and realities, we need to discern and differentiate the wisdom and practices that are spiritual, secular and satanic (cf James 3:13…  and the following scriptural passages)

1 Cor 2:12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. 13 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. 14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.

Col 1: And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.

 

Purity in Message, Motives, Ministry and Methods

And last night, my son-in-law and daughter shared how they were asked to serve in a minor leadership roles in their church. We discussed at length about issues faced by “operating” ministries in churches today, and my rejoinder was that as we belong to God’s spiritual organic church and not a secular organization, we must flesh out spiritual values, principles, pattern and practices.  At all times, the biblical framework must be our operational manual.  Paul’s life, message, motives, ministry and methods were pure, as indicated in 1 Thessalonians 2 (see blog entry on June 2013 – Motives and methods in ministry

The above is just the background to what I really want to think through.

Many years ago, I asked another daughter whether she would attend Joel Osteen’s meetings in her city.  She would not, and said that people had to purchase tickets to attend, and she wondered why should people pay to listen to the gospel. Two months ago, I informed her that her previous pastor would be touring the U.S. again, and asked her to schedule to fly either to New York or Texas to attend, while waiting for the details.  We talked about this again three days ago, and she said that since the friends she contacted would not be travelling with pastor to go over, she will not attend the Grace Revolution USA Tour 2015.  She was looking forward to commune and engage with fellow believers! Otherwise, she said, it would be just like attending a concert, a talk, a meeting, and not relating and bonding meaningfully with brethren as a community.

…….

I had watched the live streaming of Jacob Prasch preaching in a small church in Devore. I just marvell at how technology has enabled me to listen to him live, and how a small church freely let people around the world consume the message, for freely they have received, and freely they gave to the community. And then the recording would be released in Youtube, Vimeo etc, for the equipping of the saints who can tune in anytime and anywhere. No restriction for people to consuming (The Bread of Life, the Fountain of Living Waters), for His Word are freely received, and as such freely shared. No necessity and agenda for recordings to be made, no marketing for customers – only a community to share with.

When the pilgrims from beyond Israel attended the feasts in Jerusalem, it made sense for them to travel only with currencies instead of towing sheep and doves and rams all the way from Syria, Egypt, Rome etc. So it was legitimate, wise and convenient to exchange their currency to shekels and purchase the animals for the temple sacrifice. Yet our Lord Jesus overturned the tables of the money changers. “Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual”

Secular or spiritual wisdom in our message, motives, ministry and methods? The mandate is spiritual.

Upside?  Downside?  Solutions?  Cautions? – to quote Richard Dahlstrom, pastor of Bethany Community Church in Seattle when he wrote in http://www.patheos.com/blogs/richarddahlstrom/2010/05/05/being-a-church-in-a-consumer-culture/

Should churches view members and attendees as customers to promote their merchandise or as consumers of the Word of Life, or as communers in the community of the King?