Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Kidney for a brother?

Here's a question someone wrote to Billy Graham that made me feel sick...
Q: My brother has kidney disease, and unless things change he'll probably need a kidney transplant. Is there anything in the Bible to keep me from offering him one of my kidneys? I want to help him, but I don't want to do anything God forbids. -- Z.J.
So let me get this straight... His brother has kidney disease, yet he takes to time to send a letter in to an advice column, waits for them to read it, waits for them to write a reply, and waits for the newspaper to (maybe) publish the reply. All the while he mentions that he'll probably need a
transplant soon. Talk about mixed up priorities...
A: No, I find nothing in the Bible that would prevent you from offering one of your kidneys to your brother.
His doctors would, of course, need to be sure it was medically possible, but you shouldn't worry about it from the Bible's standpoint.
In fact, I commend you for your willingness to do this. Often today, people are asked (perhaps when renewing their driver's license) if they're willing to be organ donors when they die -- and I encourage people to do this if their family agrees or there isn't any other barrier.
Countless thousands today are alive because of blood transfusions, and I'm always thankful when I see a sign outside a church advertising a blood drive. What you're considering is similar to these efforts.
Actually, while I'm happy that ZJ is considering donating one of his kidneys, the whole situation makes me sick. His brother is sick, and is possibly going to die without a transplant. ZJ considers the possibility of a life-saving transplant, but first wants to see what the Bible says. If the Bible says it's okay, he'll offer. If not, he won't. So ZJ is actually placing the Bible of higher importance to him than his own brother's life! This simply sickens me. How can someone be happy to just stand by and let their brother die when there is some way they may be able to help? Oh, well an old book says... Thankfully the Bible didn't stand in the way this time, but I do still worry about all the time ZJ wasted by writing into a newspaper advice column first...
I couldn't help but think of Jesus' familiar parable about the Good Samaritan (you will find it in Luke 10). You probably know the story: A man was robbed on a lonely road and left for dead, and the first people who came by ignored him.
Finally, a Samaritan stopped, tended the man's wounds, put him on his donkey, and took him to an inn where he could recover -- at the Samaritan's expense.
It may be costly to help those in need (like your brother), but God calls us to do all we can to assist them.
After all, Christ didn't abandon us, but gave His life for our salvation. "Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another" (1 John 4:11).
You know what, after the first half of this letter, I'd rather reply by simply posting some intelligent comedy from the great Mitchell & Webb. If you want a laugh, and an analysis of the good Samaritan story, give this a look.

-Brain Hulk

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Read more here: http://www.bradenton.com/2014/04/19/5110817/billy-graham-column-april-19-2014.html#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.bradenton.com/2014/04/19/5110817/billy-graham-column-april-19-2014.html#storylink=cpy

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