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Superintendent Writes

Sunday, 3rd April, 2005

It was a wonderful Easter. We worked hard, proclaimed the Easter message that was heard by hundreds of thousands through our radio and television ministry. Thousands more heard the message in Pitt Street, Hyde Park, The Opera House and Wesley Theatre. They witnessed the music and drama, as we enacted the Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday events. Hundreds of people were involved. Special thanks to our Wesley Institute students for their magnificent contribution. The choirs all performed magnificently and our preachers told the truth.

On Good Friday Jesus died as an atonement for the sins of mankind. In dying, Jesus established, as a defining mark of a Christian society, the principle of human dignity and the sacredness of life. Fallen sinners — all made in the image of God — are so precious in God’s sight that He would sacrifice His only begotten Son for them. But the papers were not filled with messages about His death, but instead about the looming death of Terri Schiavo who is being killed by the judicial decision. For what reason is her death by enforced starvation? Charles Colson says, “She is being killed so that society can get rid of a nuisance. She is being killed so her husband can be free to marry the woman he has lived with for years and who has borne his children. Her husband, allegedly, profited from the damages paid because of the medical injury to Terri. She is being killed so that medical funds can be saved.”

Good Friday marks a day on which God established the principle of the sanctity of life once and for all. One man died so that all men could be free. The Terri Schiavo case marks the triumph of utilitarianism over that Christian view of life. But no life is safe in a utilitarian society.

I am concerned for the aged, the frail and sick in our hospitals, hostels and nursing homes. Many are worrying that their families think about them in the same way — too old, too frail, too sick, too expensive, too much of a nuisance to visit. Medical evidence is confused about whether she is in a persistent vegetative state. She was not being maintained on life support. She was simply being fed and receiving water as any other human would expect. If Terri is expendable, what of the scores of other people we are currently caring for in Wesley Mission Centres? We care for people in coma, people who are profoundly disabled, people who are close to death. Should we just stop feeding them? The death of Jesus makes us think of the worth of every individual. I shudder if the decision to terminate life would be based on concerns of cost, convenience and expediency.


This is Gordon Moyes.

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