Sermon Questions from the Week of March 6th, 2016

SO two questions from the sermon and one from last week’s scripture readings.  I hope you find the responses helpful.

 It bothers me that we even need to discuss guidelines for euthanasia because our Canadian government has passed this law of Doctor assisted suicide

That is fair that it bothers you we need to discuss this, but the government didn’t pass the law.  The courts have said it is a human right to have a doctor assist your suicide.   The courts have requested the government to create legal guidelines around that right.     It should be deeply concerning that the courts are determining our ethics in this way, however it is the way our system is setup.  Now the goal we need to have is to have the best guidelines possible in place.

questPastor as a church or as a body, I believe we should not only lobby a petition against euthanasia, but as well as the million of unborn babies being euthanized around the world. Do we still have Esther in our generation that will save babies from annihilation?

This is a fair point.  I’m actually glad you said ‘as well as’ as at times the discussion becomes ‘instead of’.  Both are important conversations.  The Euthanasia one is elevated a bit currently as the legislation is expected anytime in Parliament and is a very hot topic.   Unfortunately we have become complacent and numb to the issue of abortion in our culture.     Actually the issue on abortion is interesting as the courts asked the government to legislate when abortion can happen and can’t happen after saying abortion was a legal right.  The government did no such legislation leaving all sorts of abortion including late term abortion as permissible.   I mentioned in my sermon that Randy Hoback our MP here’s very little on the topic of abortion.  That said Randy Hoback is pro-life.  He would love to hear from you.   Also if you are interested here is some contact information for our local Pro Life organization:

Also there are many unique organizations that work to prevent abortion and many lives are saved.  One reason we support Family Futures/Kids First in Prince Albert is because these are moms who choose to keep their babies rather than abort the baby.  We want to support and encourage them and affirm those choices.

Deut 21:23 pollution – the comment regarding pollution seems like it’s tagged on to the previous sentence.  Is there an implication that this pollution relates to hanging?   Or arew we talking about pollution the ways we talk about it today?  Many of the laws and case laws are similar to modern law.   I’m wondering if these types of laws existed in other cultures or if the Israelites were very unique in their approach to the law?

So this is a question from our Bible reading plan many of us are doing and is from the week of  March 1st.

This is where different translations can be a huge asset to understanding a text below are a number of translations.  I accessed all of them at for free.   So an easy tool to use.

Deut 21:23
23 Then you must not leave the body on the pole all night. Make sure you bury it that same day. Everyone who is hung on a pole is under God’s curse. You must not make the land “unclean.” The Lord your God is giving it to you as your own.

(NIV) 23 you must not leave the body hanging on the pole overnight. Be sure to bury it that same day, because anyone who is hung on a pole is under God’s curse.You must not desecrate the land the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance.

(KJV) 23 His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.

(NLT) 23 the body must not remain hanging from the tree overnight. You must bury the body that same day, for anyone who is hung[a] is cursed in the sight of God. In this way, you will prevent the defilement of the land the Lord your God is giving you as your special possession.

(Message) 22-23 When a man has committed a capital crime, been given the death sentence, executed and hung from a tree, don’t leave his dead body hanging overnight from the tree. Give him a decent burial that same day so that you don’t desecrate your God-given land—a hanged man is an insult to God.

(CEB) 23 you must not leave the body hanging on the tree but must bury it the same day because God’s curse is on those who are hanged.[a]Furthermore, you must not pollute the ground that the Lord your God is giving to you as an inheritance.

(ESV)  23 his body shall not remain all night on the tree, but you shall bury him the same day, for a hanged man is cursed by God. You shall not defile your land that the Lordyour God is giving you for an inheritance.

(NRSV) 23 his corpse must not remain all night upon the tree; you shall bury him that same day, for anyone hung on a tree is under God’s curse. You must not defile the land that the Lord your God is giving you for possession.

You can see the word Pollute used in the CEB but more commonly desecrate or defile   are used.  So not pollute the same physical way, but in a spiritual sense similar to what we see physical pollution as being.      I hope that makes sense.    Sin doesn’t just affect a person but defiles and desecrates what God gives us when we turn to sin in that place.   If something is set aside as holy, sin defiles it and cleansing is needed.

In terms of whether the law was unique?  I would say yes.  It was far more grace than one would expect in that day (or even today) and it was designed to set the people of Israel apart from the rest of the world  and be a witness to who God is.  There are items in there far more gracious than our law today including the forgiveness of debts,  the idea of the jubilee year and slaves set free, and also  rules regarding caring for fields in such a way that we don’t pick them clean so those who are without food won’t starve.  There is also the constant reminder in the law that Israel should not forget that they were once slaves in Egypt and that should change how they see others.

So a bit of a longer answer, but I hope it helps answer your question!