Lex Rex

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Monday, December 06, 2004

God's Protocol

Thanks to bloggers, there is much being written on the "Groningen Protocol" and this focus has stirred some emotion at Lex Rex.

A few years ago, my wife and I received news that there was something wrong with our baby. We were told of the "options" in which case we immediately explained to the doctor that we were pro life, and that in no case would we end this child's life. The big lie in such wicked counsel is that it is "less costly" (by what calculation?) and less stressful (what comfort is there in intentionally taking an innocent life?). Subsequent visits to specialists confirmed that our baby had Epstein's Anomaly, among other problems. The prognosis in our baby's case was fatal. We prayed that his life be spared. Our baby died shortly after birth. We were able to hold him for a while. He looked like he was sleeping and indeed he was; in the arms of Yeshua. We had a funeral. We mourned. My process was not much different from when my father died. So is our temporal existence on earth; some shorter than others, but an existence nonetheless.

Through all this, I recall a name, El-Shaddai. Some scholars say that the true Hebrew meaning of this name invokes the image of a powerful God who at times changes natural laws to fulfill His purpose. Fully translated, El-Shaddai means, "The Almighty God who pours out sustenance and blessing." Translated into Greek, El-Shaddai becomes "ikanos", which means God is "all-sufficient." "Sustenance and blessing"? "All-sufficient"? How can I associate this name with the death of a baby, this seemingly unanswered prayer, or the broader questions raised by euthanasia? Well, it is quite simple for me and I only have my own experience to attest. I do not have an answer why our baby was not healed on earth. But I do know that in all of this, God never left our side. He sustained us. He blessed us. He indeed is the only nourishment we needed. God's Protocol in these situations is simple; we rely on God alone to change natural laws, and in the event he chooses not to, He sustains us anyway. Not surprisingly, given where it comes from in the spiritual sense, the Groningen Protocol is a twist of God's Protocol. It is the ultimate human intervention in natural law, the consequence of which is no different from when the laws of gravity are ignored.

There is no doubt that the supporters of euthanasia are filled with emotion, a compassion if you will, to end their suffering the sight of a questioned existence. One of the great human frailties is one of pride based on pragmatic instrumentalism. Under the Groningen Protocol, supporters argue that the end of life itself justifies the means to end it. What horrible and cruel circular reasoning! But as for me and my house, we will follow God's Protocol, El-Shaddai.