Man’s Desire to be Like God: A Debate of Life and Death

“For in him (Jesus) the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily and you have been filled in him . . . “ (Colossians 2:9-10). What marvelous words these are! By them, believers are assured of their position before God. It’s interesting though, that some would take this to mean that humans have the propensity to be like God. This is untrue of course, since we have a different essence, but that’s another discussion. The misinterpretation highlights a great desire of man though. Rather than believe in God, many people would rather be God.
It’s interesting how debates over life and death matters reveal just that point. After doing some quick numbers, it was released this week that with the passage of a California law allowing prescriptions to end a person’s life, 111 people opted for this scenario within the first six months of the law’s implementation. This story follows along the lines of another story from the New York Times in April about a family suing doctors for saving a woman’s life. Yes, you read that right. The doctors are guilty of saving a life. Their reason for suing is that this particular woman had an order in place to not be resuscitated.
We are a people who seek absolute control, and this is most prevalently uncovered in the medical field. Continued advances in medicine have promoted agendas from groups seeking to initiate more personal autonomy with less oversight. Matters of birth are determined by personal desires. Some seek to design children that meet certain criteria, while others seek to terminate children in the womb who don’t conform to expectations. Even death has become an issue of self-determination as people set forth personal guidelines for how and when they will die.
These aspirations of power are extremely fascinating when we consider one major point. There is a great desire to control life and death matters, yet most cannot even give an adequate account for the source of life or life after death. How is it that a secular world can desire to control something that it does not even understand? Yet, the reality is that a right understanding of both concepts takes away the eagerness for authority over life and death matters.
One thing is certain: the medical advances that have been made over the years, especially recent years, are quite profound. While there is much we still do not know, the difference in knowledge and application we have now versus even 50 years ago is substantial. For that, we can be thankful to the Lord and give him praise for such revelations. Things like c-sections and inductions have certainly done much to save lives, and so medical progress has helped promote the glory of God. Therefore not all progress is bad and we praise the Lord for such a gift. However, like any gift of God, these advances should be stewarded for the glory of God, not the glory of man. Thus, we should leverage these appropriately for rightful purposes that do not subvert the Lord’s authority.
Ultimately, we can conclude, the desire to have anything but God’s will in these circumstances indicates an inclination to dethrone God and enthrone man. Themes of life and death will always be matters that require the contending of the faith. No doubt as medical progress is made, these issues will necessitate more interaction and conversation. To be rightly considered requires a thoroughly biblical worldview, therefore we must be well-versed in God’s creation, God’s sovereignty, and God’s value.
To read the stories referenced above, click the following links:

Image “Cardiac Operating Room” courtesy of user Ruhrfisch and Flickr.