Monday Ministerial Musings
By Rev. Mark William Ennis
2022 Blog #4
January 24, 2022
Who Deserves What?
Last week the news media reported on a breakthrough in science, a heart transplant in which a human received a genetically altered pig’s heart. Most people that I know who heard about this were quite happy and excited by it. This procedure might well have positive impacts on many of us in the future.
Not everyone was happy, with this transplant. however. David Bennett Sr., the man who received this transplant, had been jailed in the 1980’s for stabbing another man seven times during a quarrel. The stabbing victim was left paralyzed by the attack. Several years later the victim suffered a stroke and died at the age of 40. The family of the stabbing victim does not believe that David Bennett Sr. deserved to have a second chance at life through this heart transplant. The family argues that the damage he did to his victim makes him unworthy to receive such a life-giving treatment.
Bennett is no longer in jail. He has served his time. How about current jail prisoners who are serving time for violent crimes? Should they be excluded from medical care?
Just this week in Harlem, NY, Lashawn Mc Neil shot and killed a New York City police officer and critically wounded the officer’s partner. Mc Neil himself was shot by a third officer and is himself in critical condition. Should he receive medical attention after killing a police officer or should he be allowed to simply die because of his actions?
The medical institutions in our nation operate on the premis that everyone is entitled to medical treatment, whether the patient is righteous or not, is kind or not, is a criminal or not. Our hospitals do not discriminate. All those in need of medical care are given it.
Is this just, fair and good?
Grace toward others that we deem unworthy is often a difficult concept to accept. Even in the Church of Christ, where we preach grace, we often find people who talk more about “worthiness” then “grace.” I know many Christians who struggle with this concept. Jesus told the crowds who followed him that “it rains on the just and the unjust.” God is gracious beyond our comprehension or, at times, our wishes. And yet, if we are honest with ourselves, most of us have received more grace that we deserve. We ourselves are alive because of God’s grace to us. Do we dare risk angering God by resisting his grace toward others?
To read more of Pastor Mark’s writings, please order copy of his book: