Do We Have the "Right to Die?"

Enlarged October 2, 2014 (first published in O Timothy magazine, Volume 8, Issue 1, 1991) (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org;)

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In the last quarter century we have witnessed a dramatic increase in the number of headlines focusing on the “right-to-die” or euthanasia issue. Consider just a few of these:

* In 1985, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that all life-sustaining medical treatment can be withheld from terminally ill patients, whether incompetent or competent. In that ruling the court included feeding tubes as “medical treatment.”

* In 1985, a Virginia woman who killed her cancer-ridden husband with an ice pick was sentenced merely to two years’ probation and psychiatric treatment.

* The Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled in 1986 to allow a woman to stop the feeding of her comatose husband.

* In 1987, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled unanimously that an alert, mentally competent but dying woman, suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease, a fatal nerve disorder, should have been allowed to order her respirator disconnected. The woman had died a few days before her case reached the Court. The same court ruled to allow a man to remove the feeding tube from his 32-year-old wife.

* A U.S. District Court in Rhode Island ruled in 1988 that the feeding tube could be removed from a 49-year-old woman. The woman was in a coma as a result of a brain hemorrhage, and since she could not swallow, she received nourishment and liquids through a feeding tube. Her family had sued in court to compel the hospital to terminate her food and water. The medical workers who were caring for the woman were unanimous in opposing the action, but the court ordered them to remove the tubes so the woman would starve to death.

* A man severely crippled by a 1985 motorcycle accident went to court in an attempt to gain the “right” to kill himself. In 1989, the Georgia Supreme Court unanimously ruled that he could kill himself by shutting off the breathing apparatus that kept him alive.

* The parents of Nancy Cruzen, a young woman who suffered severe brain damage in a 1983 car crash, spent three and a half years in court in an attempt to remove the feeding tube which was keeping her alive. Though severely disabled, Nancy was not comatose nor did she require any life-support equipment. She even smiled at funny stories and cried when visitors would leave. In spite of this, on December 14, 1990, County Circuit Court Judge Charles E. Teel, Jr., ordered Nancy’s caregivers to withhold all food and water. Twelve days later, the 33-year-old woman died of dehydration.

* On June 4, 1990, Jack Kevorkian claimed his first victim when he assisted in the administration of a lethal dosage of drugs to 54-year-old Janet Adkins. She was in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, and her own doctor said she had at least ten years of productive life ahead of her. She had never met or talked with Kevorkian until she arrived in Michigan two days before her death. All arrangements were made by her husband, Ron, (64) who subsequently became president of the Oregon Hemlock Society. In the year before her death, Janet Adkins and her family were counseled by a family therapist who was coordinator of the Oregon Hemlock Society. According to an aunt, “She did not want to be a burden to her husband and family” and a friend explained, “She felt it [her death] was a gift to her family, sparing them the burden of taking care of her” (“The Real Jack Kevorkian, International Anti-Euthanasia Task Force, http://www.iaetf.org/fctkev.htm). Kevorkian, who went on to participate in a reported 137 assisted suicides, does not have a license to practice medicine. His Michigan license was suspended in 1991 and his California license was suspended in 1993. According to the California Attorney General’s office, Kevorkian is “fundamentally unfit to practice medicine” (California Medical Board,
Complainants Brief, 12/28/93, p. 19). Kevorkian proposed a “auction market for available organs” taken from “subjects” who are “hopelessly crippled by arthritis or malformations.” Part of the money from the dead disabled person’s auctioned organs could go to relatives whose financial burdens would be eased and “their standard of living enhanced.”

* A poll of adults conducted by CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll published January 1991 found that 58% believe doctors ought to be allowed to help terminally ill patients die if the patient asks for assistance.

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Bruce Lackey: Baptist Pastor, Educator, and Bible Conference Preacher

Reprinted October 1, 2014 (first published July 10, 2007) (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org)

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Bruce Lackey (1930-1988) was a great blessing in my life and I count it a privilege to offer the following biographical sketch of this man of God. The objective is not to glorify a man, but to glorify the God who saved and sanctified and used him.

Dr. Lackey* was a Baptist pastor, educator, and Bible conference preacher. He was a Christ-centered Bible Man. He was an all caps Bible Man.

When he was young he attended a weak Baptist church by himself and made a profession of faith, but no one dealt with him carefully about salvation or discipled him, and it is uncertain whether he was actually saved then. His father died in a fire when Bruce was a boy. After attending community college he played piano at dances on Saturday nights for about three years.

In 1954 Bruce got right with the Lord. Gene Payne, the preacher who invited Bruce to church in those days, described his memory of this event to me in April 2007 as follows:

“When I met Bruce Lackey, I was Minister of Music and Youth at First Baptist Church in Thomaston, Georgia. Thomaston is approximately 75 miles south of Atlanta. Bruce worked in the bank which was located on the city square. The church building where I worked was a half block off the square, and every Monday morning I would go up to the bank where Bruce worked and deposit my check. Bruce was the teller, and I would invite him to church. In those days they had a few bars at the window. I have often stated when in a church service with Bruce, that when I met him he was behind bars. Of course I was referring to the bars at bank window! At that time, Bruce was playing in a dance band in some kind of a night club in Griffin, Georgia, which was located approximately twenty miles north of Thomaston. Bruce would get home late at night and that was an excuse he used for a few weeks for not coming to church. Finally, he came and if my memory serves me correctly he got right with the Lord in the first service. He began to attend church regularly, and I got him to go to jail services with me where he would give his testimony. I dare say that the first soul that Bruce ever led to the Lord was one of those inmates.”

The same year that Bruce got right with the Lord he married Helen Gilbert, who was an employee at the same bank where he worked in Thomaston.

He pastored two churches: Hardison Baptist Church in Byron, Georgia, for a couple of years, and Lakewood Baptist Church in Harrison, Tennessee, for eight years.

He taught at Tennessee Temple for 19 years and was the Dean of the Bible School for about 10 years. He was the Dean when my wife studied there from 1968-1972 and when I was there from 1974-1977. (I didn’t get saved until I was 23, whereas my wife went to Bible College right after high school.)

Dr. Lackey trained many classes of “preacher boys” who revere his name to this day and who thank the Lord for the godly influence that this “man of the Book” had in their lives and ministries. A high percentage of the students at the Tennessee Temple Bible School from its inception in the 1950s through the late 1970s were men who were saved and called to preach in manhood, many coming to Temple from the military. A high percentage of the graduates went on to plant churches throughout the world and today these men form a significant circle within the Independent Baptist fold.

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Theistic Evolution

September 30, 2014 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org)

The following is excerpted from AN UNSHAKEABLE FAITH: A CHRISTIAN APOLOGETICS COURSE. ISBN 978-1-58318-119-5. This course is built upon nearly 40 years of serious Bible study and apologetics writing. Research was done in the author’s personal 6,000-volume library plus in major museums and locations in America, England, Europe, Australia, Asia, Turkey, Greece, and the Middle East. The package consists of a 360-page apologetics course (both print and eBook editions are supplied) plus 20 professional PowerPoint/Keynote presentations featuring 2,253 slides dealing with archaeology (ancient writing, Ur, Egypt, Babylon, Assyria, Lachish, Hezekiah’s tunnel, Medo-Persia, evidence from Israel itself, Luke’s writings, the Roman Empire), evolution/creation science (natural selection, mutations, fossil record, homology, peppered moth, Darwin’s finch, fruit fly, Lucy, Laetoli, vestigial organs, Haekel’s embryo chart, the Miller experiment, horse, whale and bird evolution, billions of years, icons of creation), and prophecies pertaining to Israel’s history. (Keynote is the Apple version of PowerPoint.) The course can be used for private study as well as in practically any Bible-teaching setting, such as teen and adult Sunday Schools, youth groups, Bible Institutes, and home schooling. The course is extensive and has a lot of depth, but this does not mean that it must be used as a whole or that it is limited to a “seminary” setting. It can be adapted to any age group from teen and older and can be divided into segments for any length of study, from one month to a year. The course can also be used as a reference manual. Practically any question that arises in the context of evolution, creation science, archaeology, Christ’s resurrection, etc., can be answered from this book. There are review questions and a summary of the course, which emphasizes the major points that the students should master. The major sections include The Bible’s Nature, The Bible’s Proof, The Dead Sea Scrolls, The Bible’s Difficulties, Historical Evidence for Jesus, Evidence for Christ’s Resurrection, Archaeological Treasures Confirming the Bible, A History of Evolution, Icons of Evolution, Icons of Creation, Noah’s Ark and the Global Flood. The course is printed on 8.5x11-inch stock with coated color cover and is spiral-bound so it can be laid flat.
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Probably the majority of professing Christians today believe in some type of theistic evolution. They believe in a Creator God, and they believe in salvation through Christ, but they don’t believe the Bible’s account of six-day creation and they give credence to evolutionary doctrines such as an ancient age of the earth and the gradual evolution of creatures.

C.S. Lewis, one of the most influential names in “evangelical” Christianity today, believed in theistic evolution. He called the Bible’s creation account a “Hebrew folk tale.”

“[T]hat man is physically descended from animals, I have no objection … For centuries God perfected the animal form which was to become the vehicle of humanity and the image of Himself … The creature may have existed for ages in this state before it became man … [I]n the fullness of time, God caused to descend upon this organism … a new kind of consciousness which could say ‘I’ and ‘me,’ … which knew God … [and] could make judgments of truth, beauty, and goodness” (Lewis, The Problem of Pain).

Billy Graham has long allowed for theistic evolution, claiming that it doesn’t matter how man was made:

“Either at a certain moment in evolution God breathed into one particular ape-man who was Adam, or God could have taken a handful of dust and created a man just like that” (“Cooperative Evangelism at Harringay,” United Church Observer, the official paper of the United Church of Canada, July 1966).

“I don’t think that there’s any conflict at all between science today and the Scriptures. I think that we have misinterpreted the Scriptures many times and we’ve tried to make the Scriptures say things they weren't meant to say, I think that we have made a mistake by thinking the Bible is a scientific book. The Bible is not a book of science. The Bible is a book of Redemption, and of course I accept the Creation story. I believe that God did create the universe. I believe that God created man, and whether it came by an evolutionary process and at a certain point He took this person or being and made him a living soul or not, does not change the fact that God did create man. ...whichever way God did it makes no difference as to what man is and man’s relationship to God” (Graham,
Personal Thoughts of a Public Man, 1977, pp. 72-74).

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Friday Church News Notes, Volume 15, Issue 39

The Friday Church News Notes is designed for use in churches and is published by Way of Life Literature’s Fundamental Baptist Information Service. Unless otherwise stated, the Notes are written by David Cloud. Of necessity we quote from a wide variety of sources, though this does not imply an endorsement.
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FAMOUS COMEDIANS AND INSANITY (Friday Church News Notes, September 26, 2014, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from “Robin Williams: The Sad Truth the Media Won’t Tell You” by Joe Schimmel, goodfight.org: “Everybody is currently talking about Robin Williams and his tragic suicide. ... Robin Williams acknowledged that he had opened himself up to transformative demonic powers that aided him on stage. ... Williams also recognized that these powers had manifested a very evil influence on stage and that there could be a hefty price to pay for their assistance. Williams told James Kaplan of US Weekly: ‘Yeah! Literally, it’s like possession--all of a sudden you’re in, and because it’s in front of a live audience, you just get this energy that just starts going…But there’s also that thing--it is possession. In the old days you'd be burned for it. ... But there is something empowering about it. I mean, it is a place where you are totally--it is Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, where you really can become this other force. Maybe that’s why I don't need to play evil characters [in movies], ‘cause sometimes onstage you can cross that line and come back. Clubs are a weird kind of petri dish environment. I mean, that’s where people can get as dark as they can in comedy--in the name of comedy, be talking about outrageous stuff and somehow come out the other side’ (‘Robin Williams,’ US Weekly, January, 1999, p. 53). Williams’ statement answers the question as to why demonic powers use entertainers. Their goal is to promote evil and darkness and increase mankind’s rebellion against God. Williams went on to say on the heels of that admission: ‘The people I’ve admired--Jonathan [Winters], in his best days, was out. Gone. But the price he paid for it was deep.’ Sadly, it seems that the price Robin Williams has now paid is just as deep as that of his idol, Jonathan Winters. ... Like Robin Williams, Jonathan Winters had to contend with the tormenting demonic powers he utilized for fame and fortune. ‘These voices are always screaming to get out,’ Winters told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, further admitting ‘They follow me around pretty much all day and night.’ At the height of Winter’s success, he voluntarily committed himself to a psychiatric hospital for eight months. ... It was in Williams’ stand-up [in clubs] where he would go into his manic, stream-of-consciousness rants filled with vulgar language, perverse sexuality and the glorification of illicit drugs and drunkenness. Many people express shock after seeing Williams’ stand-up, not knowing his act was so perverse. ... The terrible irony is that many of these comics, such as Robin Williams and Jonathan Winters, who are portrayed in their public persona to be happy and filled with laughs, are in fact the most tormented and joyless souls on earth. Jesus gave the solemn warning, ‘For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?’ (Mark 8:36). ... Several other famous comedians have been diagnosed with mental illness and suffered from severe depression. Just to name a few: John Cleese, Paul Merton, Jim Carrey, Stephen Fry, Ruby Wax, Dave Chappelle, Chevy Chase, Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Hugh Laurie, David Walliams, and Maria Bamford. Tony Hancock, who was considered the funniest comic actor of his time, ended up killing himself while filming a television series in Australia in 1968. We cannot truly have peace until we have a relationship with the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). ... Jesus--not drugs or alcohol--is the Savior of the world and the only One who can deliver us from the penalty of sin, hell, death and enslavement from satanic powers. Jesus declared: ‘The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly’ (John 10:10).”

SCIENTIST FIRED FOR AMAZING FOSSIL FIND (Friday Church News Notes, September 26, 2014, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from “Evolutionists Evade Critical Thinking,” Christian News Network, Sept. 6, 2014: “A Christian author from the Pacific Northwest is adding his voice to a growing discussion across the country as a scientist at California State University is challenging his former employer in court after being fired for presenting fossil evidence undermining evolutionary ‘millions of years’ theory. As previously reported, Mark Armitage was…


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Turning Doctrinal Issues Into Personality Issues

Enlarged September 25, 2014 (first published August 15, 2011) (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org;)

"What we need more than anything is deep spiritual revival."One sign of carnality is to turn doctrinal issues into personality issues. The Bible says that carnal believers are man-centered rather than Christ- and truth-centered.

“For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?” (1 Corinthians 3:3-4).

This is evident widely in the Independent Baptist movement. I have witnessed it repeatedly since I was saved and joined an IBaptist church in 1973. I have seen men try to warn about sin and error in the camp only to have the warnings turned into personality issues.

Consider my warnings about Lancaster Baptist Church’s use of Contemporary Christian Music (http://www.wayoflife.org/adaptingccm/index.html), the Sword of the Lord’s error about repentance and Quick Prayerism, and the downfall of the “old” Highland Park Baptist Church. I dealt with these issues on a doctrinal basis. I stated that I appreciate those ministries in many ways. I spoke respectfully of Paul Chappell and Shelton Smith and Lee Roberson.

But a vast number of men have turned these warnings into a purely human thing. Many have made me the issue and have attacked me personally.

My Christian character has been maligned. My motives have been questioned. My family has been attacked. Young people have mocked and berated me, a grandfather preacher. I have been made the object of ridicule. My doctrinal stance has been misrepresented. Lies have been told about me. Preachers have taken cheap shots at me in their blogs.

This is an evidence of widespread carnality.

My reproofs are issued on a scriptural basis. Anyone who has taken the time to view my nine-part video series “Music for Good of Evil” or my 200-page book “Repentance and Soul Winning” can testify of this. And those who haven’t taken the time to review these, aren’t equipped to criticize my position.

When I warned about West Coast Baptist College’s longstanding compromise with Contemporary Christian Music, an error that many men of God believe to be very serious, I did so graciously and with respect toward Pastor Paul Chappell and the church and school. I stated the following, for example:

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