Lutherans For Life of Michigan’s Board of Directors recently conducted its annual statewideLife Essay Contest. Interestingly, the two selected winners were both eighth grade students from the same congregation – Trinity, Onekama. The first prize went to Miss Kassie Hook, for her pro-life essay on the topic of Assisted Suicide. The second place winner, Miss Kendra Schalow, wrote on the topic of Sexual Purity. Kassie and Kendra are both second year students in Rev. Ainslie Wagner’s Junior Confirmation Class.
“Assisted Suicide: Mercy or Murder” By Kassie Hook
Mercy and Compassion! Christians need to show mercy and compassion, right? So, with that thought, assisted suicide is the “Christian” thing to do. Wrong! To demonstrate how wrong assisted suicide is I will present three different perspectives. They are thoughts from the patient, the person assisting the suicide, and God. It will become very clear that no matter what perspective you see it from, assisted suicide is wrong.
Imagine you are suffering a horrendous, painful, non-curable condition. You cannot take the pain and suffering anymore. You have tried every option possible, but nothing works and you are just getting worse. The only thing left is suicide. However, your condition does not make it possible to end the suffering and you need assistance to take this final step. You think that this is not what God intended for your life. Who do you turn to? What do you do?
Imagine one of your closest friends is suffering a horrendous, painful, non-curable condition. They are incapable of doing even the simplest tasks on their own. Their independence has been taken, your heart breaks. They have asked you to show mercy and compassion, to help them leave this world with dignity, no more pain. You do not want to say no because you love them and you don’t want them to be disappointed in you. Your mind struggles as you search for clarity. Where do you turn? What do you do?
Imagine God sitting in Heaven watching over all of us. He is seeing the pain and suffering of your dear friend and the turmoil as you struggle trying to understand. God is the one who rules over us, we belong to Him. God sees suicide as murder. Murder is a sin, and sinning is bad. Therefore, we should not commit suicide, nor help someone commit suicide. First Corinthians 6:19 (GW) states, “Don’t you know that your body is a temple that belongs to the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit, whom you received from God, lives in you. You don’t belong to yourselves.” This passage shows us that our bodies belong to the Holy Spirit, not to ourselves. It is not ours to do with what we want, no matter how difficult the situation.
By continuing to imagine what God is thinking, we can be drawn to Jeremiah 1:5 (GW), “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. Before you were born, I set you apart for my holy purpose.” It is pretty awesome that before we were born in the womb God knew us and set us apart! Because of this we are special and loved immensely. God’s love does not mean that everything will be easy or that we will understand His way. Scripture shows us in Acts 14:22 (GW), “We must suffer a lot to enter the kingdom of God.”
We can imagine ourselves in any of the three scenarios and the struggles that would come from them. However, seeing it from God’s view gives us the real reasons why we should not commit suicide, nor help someone commit suicide. Suicide is a permanent decision for a temporary problem. We should always show compassion and mercy and never kill.
Editor’s Note: Due to the nature of this subject, we do wish to be sensitive. To those struggling in this area, if you wish, please contact your pastor, health care provider, or others who are trained to give counsel and Christian Care.
“Sexual Purity” By Kendra Schalow
What is sexual purity? This is a hard topic because there is so much confusion about sexual purity! The Bible is very clear about not having sex before marriage. Hebrews 13:4 (NIV) says, “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure….” So, is that all you have to do to be sexually pure, not have sex until marriage?
Asking that question gives you thousands of different answers. It often has us teens feeling like we are living in a house of mirrors. Each room has a different mirror with a new view point claiming it is the “right mirror.”
As you enter the house of mirrors you walk down a dark hallway and see a mirror and above it is a silver plaque that reads “To be sexually pure you cannot date.” It then quotes 1 Timothy 5:2 (NIV): “Treat … younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.” It also states, “Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires” (Song of Songs 2:7 NIV). You think, “Wow, is this really what I need to do to be sexually pure?”
Further wandering finds you seeing another mirror with a plaque that reads “To be sexually pure: NO kissing” and again you see another Bible verse, this one quoting 1 Corinthians 7:1 (NKJV), “It is good for a man not to touch a woman.” You wonder, “no kissing, will that make me sexually pure?” As you continue traveling, the mirrors seem to be never ending.
Confusing right? That is how we as teens feel; we have all these mirrors and all these different views about what is sexually pure. Many more questions than answers! We often do not know what to do! Do we just find a mirror we like and ignore the rest? No, we must continue to the last mirror … GOD’s mirror!
Finally, after walking down the hallways and seeing so many mirrors you get to the last mirror! This plaque says something completely different. This plaque reads “…but the Lord looks into the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7 GW). You look in the mirror and are surprised what you see! It is all of the good and bad thoughts you have had, what you have imagined in your mind!
Does this mean that you should ignore the other mirrors? No, it means that you should always be examining your heart and mind. If certain actions cause your heart to be impure then you should stay away from them. Always remember “… the Lord looks into the heart” so “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life” (Proverbs 4:23 NLT).
Lutherans For Life of Michigan (LFLMI) believes that all human life is loved and valued by the Creator God — from the moment of conception to the moment of death — regardless of size or condition. Because they believe this to be the absolute truth, they strive to educate children, youth, and adults on Life Issues. LFLMI desire is to see all human life honored and respected in word and deed.
Each year, Lutherans For Life of Michigan challenges 7th and 8th graders to write on topics such as abortion, sexual purity, euthanasia, and assisted suicide. It is their hope that this contest is a valuable exercise in teaching young people the value of human life and the need for sexual purity and marital faithfulness. For more information, visit www.lutheransforlifeofmichigan.org.