[ JBEM Index / Volume 3 / Number 2 ]

Editor’s Note

Speaking of radical differences, we are a bit surprised that more readers have not responded to some of our articles. While we’d like to think that we are nearly perfect and convincing in all that we choose to publish, we realize that there are diverse viewpoints which proceed from Scripture and empiric observations in medicine. If you disagree and have biblical and/or medical reasons for your differences, we’ll consider an article setting forth your contrary views. If you’re not up to an article, a letter might do.

We have received encouraging information from a ministry called The Medical Strategic Network. It is designed to equip medical professionals to penetrate strategically into all spheres of influence with the gospel. The ministry recognizes the key position of professionals in medicine and that healing involves body and soul. Means employed to end include training professionals to effectively communicate our faith in the context of our profession, networking individuals and organizations, development of leadership, and field exposure to medical missions. To find out more about the Network, you may write them at P.O. Box 2052, Redlands, CA 92373, or may call (714) 794-9545. Workshops are being offered July 19-23 in San Diego on the topic: “Medicine & Marriage: Can You Succeed in Both?”

It seems to have become de rigueur for medical periodicals to have an article on “assisted suicide.” The issue is explored from many angles: legal implications, opinion polls, the official positions of various groups, what is happening elsewhere in the world, and speculations as to where it might lead. Almost uniformly lacking in the discussions of the issue is any mention of a standard by which the issue is being judged. Instead, the provision of multiple angles substitutes for a stated moral standard; a choice is there to suit anyone. The manager of the local Pick-Your-Own strawberry farm would be right at home here. Just as you decide for yourself which are the choicest strawberries, you move down the rows to the ethical choice of your taste.

In debates upon such ethical issues, it is sometimes less fruitful for Christians to begin by setting for a biblical case in favor of the correct position, as we are so tempted to do. We may give over the argument when we do that. The person who is allowed to frame the question is the one who will usually prevail. Sometimes a better technique is to engage the adversary at the issue of the fact that the issue is primarily a moral one and requires a moral standard. Humanists are not usually practiced at defending their standard. In fact, they rarely even recognize that their standard is simply themselves. They are used to Christians joining battle on their own turf – matching opinion poll to opinion poll or scientific study to scientific study. They are taken aback when asked, “If 99.9 96 of the world believed that bestiality was morally correct, would it, in fact, be so?” Or, “If the law said you had to turn in your Jewish neighbor to be gassed, would that make it ethical?” “If the Society for Stealing Whatever you Want stated that burglary was okay, would it become okay?”

All but the consistent, hard-core materialists will answer “no” to such queries, and it is a quick step to the demonstration that moral judgments require a standard which cannot be chosen the way one chooses strawberries.

[ JBEM Index / Volume 3 / Number 2 ]