It is a given fact that most Malawians are fully aware of the wonderful spiritual heritage that Malawi has received from Scotland through Dr. David Livingstone who was the first missionary to come to Malawi. Later, through his efforts and appeals to Christians back in Scotland, many of them (especially college students), followed his steps to Africa where they laid their lives down for the Lord, His Gospel and His people in Malawi. As a Malawian I am humbled by this and I give praise, glory and honor for such men as David Livingstone and his colleagues for their passion and commitment to see the gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ spread to my home country. Through their sacrifices people like me have received and are now experience salvation from sin and its eternal consequences and have come to know Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior of our lives. To Him be all the praise, glory and honor now and forevermore! Amen!
I think I saw about half of Scotland yesterday. I am here to see the work of 20schemes, an organization dedicated to providing gospel churches for Scotland’s poorest. Scotland’s poorest tend to live in schemes, government housing that is free for the destitute or subsidized for the poor. Hundreds of thousands of Scots live in such housing and these neighborhoods extend through every Scottish city. Very few of them have churches where the gospel is believed, honored and preached. Continue reading
I was greatly shocked when my wife shared this article with me this afternoon. Al Jazeera published this article on their website. I encourage you to read it here. Independent Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP), Margo MacDonald has launched a fresh attempt to give terminally ill people in Scotland the right to choose when to die – which in my mind is outrageous and grossly immoral, cruel and careless. It totally degrades the intrinsic value of human life as given by God the Almighty, who is our Creator (Genesis 1:27) and the Creator of heavens and earth! This “End of Life Assistance” Bill sets out that anyone over the age of 16 could request assistance to die if that person was diagnosed as terminally ill and that he/she finds life unbearable. Ms. MacDonald tried to get this bill passed in December 2010 but it was defeated. According to the Huffington Post (UK), “A series of scrutiny sessions were held at the Scottish Parliament, taking in evidence from doctors in countries where forms of assisted suicide are permitted.”
I find Ms. MacDonald’s arguments flawed and unconvincing – but that’s not all that disturbs me. The bill that she is pushing is in direct violation of the Sixth Commandment: “Thou shalt not kill” (Exodus 20:13). This bill seeks to give man the legal freedom to take one’s life or that of another with impunity.
Here are some quotes from the article:
Assisted Suicide (“Mercy Killing”) – currently banned by law in Scotland & the UK:
In Scotland, as in the rest of the UK, it is currently a crime to help someone end his or her own life. A doctor who injects a patient with lethal drugs in order to kill them could be prosecuted for culpable homicide or even murder.
Margo MacDonald wants that legal ban repealed:
“If it came to the worst and I was faced with a very bitter and protracted end, I should have the right to ask for help to end my life earlier than nature intended,” Macdonald told Al Jazeera.
She added: “I would like the insurance policy of knowing that if it gets near, and I would like to shorten it, I would not be putting my family at risk. It is not about pain, it is about making sure you are still yourself.”
Margo wants autonomy not dignity – She has a warped view of “dignity” according to what she says here:
She told Al Jazeera that the same debate is going on all over the world and if her bill is passed: “Scotland would be seen as a place where humanity, above all, and individual autonomy is respected. This legislation is really about the right of a person to see their life through and keep their dignity to the very end.”
Some church leaders are fighting against this:
When this issue was last debated, the Archbishop of Glasgow, Mario Conti, told a special Mass for Healthcare workers: “Laws need to be objective in their statement of principle. It is wrong in principle for someone to take their own life; it is wrong in principle for someone to help them to do so.”
Peter Kearney, Director of the Scottish Catholic Media Office, told Al Jazeera: “Nothing has changed. Deliberate killing, even when assisting someone who is in a state of despair, is always wrong.”
Many doctors are concerned:
Many doctors are also concerned that legalizing assisted suicide could lead to frail or elderly people being coerced into taking their lives.
I hope that this bill is defeated once again in the Scottish Parliament. I also hope and pray that Christians in Scotland and around the world will continue to speak out against this and similar violations of God’s law and order for His people. From a human stand-point, Ms. MacDonald seems “unstoppable.” She probably thinks so. She is quoted as saying:
Since the defeat of my original proposal in December 2010, the volume of correspondence I’ve received on the matter, coupled with the continuing public interest, stimulated in part by some high-profile statements in favour of the general principle of assisted suicide, indicates to me a consistent level of support for individuals suffering a terminal illness or condition, for whom life becomes intolerable, to have the legal right to request help to end their life before nature decrees.
But those of us who believe in the Sovereign LORD who rules over the universe, know that the LORD is ultimately in control and that He has the power to stop this and all ills that have plagued Scotland and the world (see Proverbs 21:1).
Why Am I So Concerned for Scotland?
Just for the same reasons that I would be concerned if this was happening in any other country primarily because it goes against the will – it goes against the Law of God clearly stated in Scripture. That’s the main reason why this disturbs me. But there is more:
As one who has not in the least sense benefited from what the Lord has done through Scotland over the years, I cringe when I read this kind of stuff about Scotland or coming out of Scotland. I feel a special affinity to Scotland for various reasons. Let me mention three:
1. The first missionary to bring the gospel to my home country (Malawi) was Scottish. His name was Dr. David Livingstone. Malawi is replete with monuments in honor of Dr. Livingstone and his work there – not the least of which is Blantyre, Malawi’s commercial capital which was named after Blantyre, Lanarkshire, Scotland where Dr. Livingstone was born. I had the privilege of visiting Blantyre (Scotland) a few years ago and saw the house in which Dr. Livingstone was born and raised. This house is now the home of the David Livingstone Center.
2. As a Presbyterian and Reformed Christian and church minister, I owe a lot of that to what the Lord has done through Scottish men like John Knox, Samuel Rutherford, Robert Murray McCheyne, Professor John Murray, from centuries gone by (just to name a few) – but also from contemporary theologians and preachers like Dr. Sinclair Ferguson, Dr. Alistair Begg, etc.
3. I am now a gospel minister with a denomination that is rooted in Scotland, the Associated Presbyterians Church (APC) – and I feel for so many of my dear brothers and sisters in Scotland as I consider all the challenges and the spiritual battles that they face in their pursuit of Christ, His will and purposes. I am concerned and this moves me to pray more fervently for the work of the gospel across Scotland and the UK.
Let’s Pray for Scotland, the UK and the World
Prayer is ultimately the answer – and our sure hope. “Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain” (Psalm 127:1).
Please join me in praying that God’s will may triumph over evil and that Scotland may be turned back to the Lord. He has done it before, He can do it again. Even though it seems like a dark cloud is hanging over Scotland and much of the western world, the LORD God can change that. May the Light of Christ once again shine in Scotland even from the “farthest” corners of the world (like Malawi and such places where the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ is now flourishing). Perhaps it’s time to send missionaries back to Scotland! Our God is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we can ever ask or imagine according to His power which is at work in us (see Ephesians 3:20-21).