Pro-Death Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing

I guess it is the nature of wolves to be pro-death – certainly as far as sheep are concerned. And of course when a wolf pretends it is a sheep, simply to attack real sheep, that is bad news indeed for every sheep. It is a real enough fixture of nature that famous sayings have been based on this.

Jesus for example used this imagery when he was warning against false teachers and false prophets who would come in and seek to deceive and destroy God’s people. He put it this way in Matthew 7:15: “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.”

And as an interesting aside, the socialist Fabian Society has as its symbol a wolf in sheep’s clothing. The Fabians seek to subvert democratic nations from within by gradually eroding and undermining their institutions. Instead of a full-frontal assault, they think it is preferable to sneakily destroy a society internally.

So where am I going with all this? There is a decidedly pro-death lobby group masquerading as a Christian organisation, and it is a perfect example of wolves in sheep’s clothing. Indeed, one has every reason to think they might even be a bunch of atheists feigning to be Christians.

Their publications are not only patently illogical, irrational and misleading, but they are also basically indistinguishable from what an atheist or a secular humanist would produce on this topic. In fact, I have written about this rather bizarre group before: billmuehlenberg.com/2009/09/22/enlisting-jesus-for-the-pro-death-lobby/

Simply looking through their website and publications leaves any biblical Christian shaking his head in sheer bewilderment and disbelief. You would expect this sort of errant nonsense from a Dawkins or a Hitchens, but not from anyone calling themselves Christian.

Consider just one eerie example. This Adelaide-based group, “Christians Supporting Choice for Voluntary Euthanasia,” has a just plain weird 16-page booklet called “I Want the Choice of a Peaceful Death”. I provide the link for this document below.

Take as an example this early paragraph found in this booklet. Remember, this is supposed to be a “Christian” group giving us the “Christian” reasons why we should be allowed to legalise euthanasia – to kill the sufferer, instead of relieving his suffering. Get a load of this:

“Opposition to Voluntary Euthanasia is often based on the Commandment in the Old Testament ‘Thou shalt not kill / murder’, which could more accurately be expressed as ‘Thou shalt not kill fellow Jews.’ As any reader of the Christian Bible would be aware, the Old Testament is awash with bloodshed. We have the genocide of the Canaanites, the Lord drowning every living person except Noah and his family, and the Angel of Death killing the first born in every family in Egypt, to give just three examples.”

What an absolutely bizarre mouthful! What in the world do they mean by redefining the Sixth Commandment from a binding universal absolute to some parochial and limited bit of advice? That in itself is enough to tell you we are dealing with some real theological fruit loops here.

And what is all this OT bloodshed business about? This is standard fare from atheists of course, seeking to accuse God of being a bloody tyrant. Those issues certainly can be debated and discussed, and I have done so elsewhere. But what exactly does any of that have to do with euthanasia?

Or consider this complete non sequitur: “There was little respect for human life as Christians fought Muslims during the Crusades.” This is again something we expect to find in the anti-Christian bigotry of the new militant atheists. And the pros and cons of the Crusades can be debated, as I have done in part here: billmuehlenberg.com/2009/10/11/a-review-of-god%E2%80%99s-battalion-by-rodney-stark/

But again, whatever one thinks about the Crusades, it has no bearing whatsoever on whether or not euthanasia should be legalised. All that the very confused and bigoted authors of this booklet are trying to do is undermine Scripture as a whole. They know that the Bible clearly condemns suicide, and is clearly pro-life, so the only way they can weasel around this is to attack the authority of Scripture holus bolus.

Indeed, much of this quirky and irrational tract is one long sustained attack on the Bible. Here is another example: “The Christian Bible is often used to support opposition to change, just as it was used in the past to resist the abolition of slavery, as proof that Earth was flat, to resist university education for women, and resist the vote for women.”

This is once again the standard pap we hear so monotonously from the mud-slinging atheists. But why in the world are so-called Christians parroting these foolish and easily answered objections? What purpose do they have here, except to argue that the Bible is completely unreliable when it comes to matters of faith and practice?

Nothing wrong with that – atheists and secular humanists do this all the time. But this group is calling itself a “Christian” group, and is somehow trying to convince us that Jesus would support legalised killing of the infirm, the elderly, the depressed, the vulnerable and the suffering.

But wait, there’s more. “We have Christians committing murder and atrocities against fellow Christians. So much for their concept of the sanctity of life!” More terrific reasoning here. We have at least three logical fallacies being committed here, the non sequitur, the red herring and the category mistake.

The fact that some Christians may have killed other Christians says nothing whatsoever about the morality or otherwise of legalised euthanasia. Indeed, by dragging up all these examples of blood shedding, all they are doing is shooting themselves in the foot. If it is wrong to kill others, then it is also wrong to kill sufferers.

And get a load of this doozey: “We must all respect the diversity of opinion on Voluntary Euthanasia, but no religious group should seek to impose their dogma, their interpretation, on other people.” Yeah right. By this point one does not know whether to laugh or cry.

Just what exactly is this group doing with this booklet, their website and their organisation? They are of course seeking “to impose their dogma, their interpretation, on other people”! So it is quite fine for this group of wolves to push their unbiblical agenda, and pretend they are doing it in the name of Christ, but if biblical Christians seek to make their case, they are simply not allowed!

But things get even much more freaky: “Suicide was well accepted by early Christians as an instant path to Heaven, until Saint Augustine decided around 400 AD that too many Christians were dying needlessly.” If telling fibs is OK to make one’s case, then why not just tell outright lies?

Sorry, suicide was never accepted by the early church. Martyrdom, which is altogether different, was of course a common occurrence, given the regular persecution the early church faced. And even that was never viewed as a quick pass to heaven, but the only alternative to denying one’s faith.

But probably the most idiotic thing to come out of this booklet is its treatment of Jesus on the cross. The authors incredibly claim that Jesus may have been “helped to die” by being offered a cup while on the cross. These guys can’t even read straight.

We are told quite clearly that Jesus refused to drink of the cup, once he had tasted it (Matt. 27:34 = Mark 15:23 = John 19:28-30). So there is absolutely no hint of euthanasia here, or of Jesus in any way indicating that shortening one’s life is the way to go. If anything, his example proves the very opposite.

The booklet ends with these words: “Endorsed by Rev. Trevor Bensch, group co-founder, hospital chaplain and former Minister of North Adelaide Baptist Church, South Australia, who says ‘My call for legal Voluntary Euthanasia is compassionate and thoroughly consistent with the teachings of Jesus’.”

Evidently this “Baptist” has never actually read the words of Jesus. As I have argued elsewhere, Jesus always cured the sufferer. He never killed them. Love and compassion mean dealing with the suffering, not bumping off the sufferer. ‘Caring enough to kill’ may sound like a good pro-death slogan, but it has absolutely nothing to do with the ethics of Jesus.

As I said, Jesus warned about false teachers who would come in his name. This outfit is as good an example of this as any.

Click to access C4VE_Booklet_I_Want_The_Choice.pdf

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22 Replies to “Pro-Death Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing”

  1. It is amazing how people can be led into error by seducing spirits, but they must be led away from truth by their own lusts, for power, money, fame? what ever it is by their own desire. The sad reality is that non discerning people, new Christians, non Christian and the young can be deceived, satan is always saying did God say? Well we know that God values life and that of the innocent, He also steps in by invitation to protect His own.
    Lynda McGregor

  2. Thanks Adam

    Sorry, but you are dead wrong on this (no pun intended). There is absolutely no way you can get a pro-euthanasia message out of the tragic story of Samson. Indeed, for most of his adult life he went from one major mistake to another, well and truly out of the will of God. It was because of his disobedience and carnality that he found himself in this situation. Hardly a ringing endorsement, or an example for us to follow. With all due respect, your mishandling of Scripture in this instance is not all that helpful.

    I have discussed the relevant biblical data on this here: https://billmuehlenberg.com/2006/09/14/suicide-a-biblical-assessment/

    And of course there is nothing compassionate or Christlike about killing the sufferer. So I have to differ with you on this.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  3. If I was sick in hospital and got a visit from hospital chaplain Rev Tevor Bensch I would be rather fearful.
    The church Rev Bensch served proudly declares it is liberal in doctrine. Their website says, “Historically, the Baptist tradition has always disavowed creeds and creedal statements. In other words, Baptists have been accepting of a wide diversity of belief and have not wanted to dictate what anyone should or shouldn’t believe… Baptists trace their origins to people who didn’t toe the party line, who didn’t do what everyone else did because it was expedient or popular, and who didn’t believe in mandating what people ought to believe or how they ought to worship. I’d like to think North Adelaide Baptist Church stands strongly in that tradition, with quite a diversity of belief.” In this church you can believe whatever you want and seem to encourage abhorrent beliefs. How can the Baptist Union tolerate such a church and minister in their fellowship is beyond me.
    Des Morris

  4. Many thanks for that Des

    The quote you provide certainly explains a lot. They have clearly rejected the Word of God as being authoritative and reliable. So now they are just making things up as they go along. Ferocious wolves alright.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  5. If only Christians would realise we are under attack – this *is* spiritual warfare. Sadly, as soon as words such as “Jesus”, “Christian” etc. are tagged onto music, politics, beliefs, whatever, many Christians let down their guard. For some reason, they seem unable to fathom that which scripture plainly states – the devil masquerades as an angel of light.

    The more I read, the more I become convinced that naive liberalism isn’t so widespread, and that in fact many leaders have deliberately departed from the truth for their own worldly gain. Thanks for exposing this instance of infiltration – lets pray that God opens His Church’s eyes, so that we may see even when the deceit isn’t so obvious.

    David Orchard

  6. “Thou shalt not kill your fellow Jew”? What did Moses command the sons of Levi to do immediately after receiving the 10 commandments (Ex 32:25-28)? They obviously didn’t read it for themselves at all.
    Grant Vandervalk

  7. This makes me want to weep. I hate it when people who claim to be Christians twist God’s word and teach things that are clearly against the will of God. I struggle even more when members of my own family do it.

    Come, Lord Jesus.

    Kylie Anderson

  8. Hi Bill,
    It is so sad how many ‘Christian’ groups turn the Bible into a rubber nosed thing, moulding and shaping it to say anything they want.
    Surely a big part of the whole ‘euthanasia’ debate is about a clash of worldviews. On the one hand, the secular, atheistic worldview that view human beings as nothing more than just another animal and that life has no meaning outside of ourselves. On the other hand, the Christian worldview that knows that we are made in the image of God and that we are all valued by God regardless of any abilities or lack of them that we have.
    If I am correct in stating these two view like this then it is even sadder that far too many so-called ‘Christians’ either can’t or won’t tell the difference between them.
    David Vivan

  9. I weep then I get angry then I weep again, its a continual cycle. All I can say is lucky I’m not God, because I wouldn’t even have 10% of Gods forgiving heart. Yep, I would build a huge slide that goes straight into the fire filled lake. Oh I would stand there weeping, with a hanky in my hand, waving goodbye.
    Daniel Kempton

  10. This is just absurd. I am stunned that anyone who has supposedly read the bible would ever be able in all good conscience come to the same conclusion that this group has. Its obvious that they are not bible believing Christians at all. I have atheist friends who know more about the pro life message of the bible than these clowns.

    Wolves in sheeps clothing indeed.

    Anatolyi Psarev

  11. Hi Bill – I was hoping we might have been able to expose a dirty trick and so I performed a quick search for the registration of the christiansforve.org.au website. It shows that it was registered by Neil Francis for Dying With Dignity Victoria Inc. Upon checking out DWDVI we find that Neil is their CEO. Thinking I might have been onto something I investigated further, only to discover that Trevor Bensch pops up frequently on websites for organisations advocating voluntary euthanasia and currently is shown as the Elder of the North Adelaide Baptist Church. Alas, no conspiracy theory. Despite perhaps having some assistance / funding from DWDVI, it seems that this website is really from the people it claims to be from.

    As a Baptist pastor myself I am saddened that a man who ought to be “a person of the book” (as Baptists used to be called) is completely and utterly back-to-front and inside-out in his understanding and interpretation of the Bible.

    Even worse, by association he may taint the consistent witness of other Baptists who stand for the truth as revealed in the written Word of God and as defended so ably by yourself.

    God bless you Bill for your faithfulness in exposing lies and in expositing truth!

    Chris Cullen

  12. Chris, do you have any disciplinary procedures in the Baptist system?

    Is it possible to mount a formal challenge on the basis of these statements and the website?

    It may take a long time (as it does in the Presbyterian church where I am) but it has to start somewhere…

    John Angelico

  13. Please be aware that the beliefs of Trevor Bensch, a retired minister are NOT consistent with those of the Baptist Churches of South Australia, the Assembly of which has recently adpted a clearly anti-euthanasia statement. Also please note that the minister of the North Adelaide Baptist Church is not a Baptist but accredited in/from another tradition.
    Mike Mills

  14. John, one of the characteristics of Baptist Churches is that each local church is autonomous – it makes its own decisions. Baptists are not really a denomination like the Anglicans or Presbyterians. Baptists do not believe in denominational authority over individual churches.

    Having said that, many Baptist churches associate together with others in “baptist unions”. It is these unions which generally “ordain” or “accredit” ministers. It could perhaps be possible to mount a formal challenge to the union regarding affiliation of a particular church, or regarding the accreditation of a particular pastor. Requires a bit of careful thought …

    Chris Cullen

  15. Well said Chris. The only rider to this is that traditionally Baptists have also valued “association” as a means of mutual support and accountability. The accountability should come from the ‘Baptist family’ rather than from any percieved denominational hierarchy. This is currently the approach being taken with North Adelaide Baptist.
    Mike Mills

  16. “I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God shall add to him the plagues which are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy God shall take away his part from the tree of life and from the Holy city, which are written in this book He who testifies to these things says ‘Yes I am coming quickly’ Amen Come Lord Jesus.”
    Thank you dear Brother Bill for your sound information and building of my arsenal as a prayer for warfare, also do I have your kind permission to pass this information onto the 100 intercessors at the Prayer Tower in Adelaide and to the prayer warriors that are round about the country towns in Adelaide…. there is an awakening of Gods Army and a joining of his body throught this great Southland.
    John and Carole James

  17. The greatest danger in the church is what is occuring in the name of nepotism. Innocent people of extroadinary worth and greatness, as was revealed by Gods revelation and promise, at the hands of spiritual vultures and predators in search of a treasure, the crown, the shoes, the seat for blood related relatives. People violently butchered and extorted of their spiritual treasure. Gods punishments the world over because of sheep scattered, trampled, damaged and extorted by wolves in sheeps clothing.
    Felicity Sharon Gibson

  18. “Historically, the Baptist tradition has always disavowed creeds and creedal statements. In other words, Baptists have been accepting of a wide diversity of belief and have not wanted to dictate what anyone should or shouldn’t believe… Baptists trace their origins to people who didn’t toe the party line, who didn’t do what everyone else did because it was expedient or popular, and who didn’t believe in mandating what people ought to believe or how they ought to worship. I’d like to think North Adelaide Baptist Church stands strongly in that tradition, with quite a diversity of belief.”

    If this was an academic study of Baptist history any serious scholar would consider it historical revisionist rubbish!

    Conor Ryan

  19. Those who call themselves Christians yet preach that devilish doctrine – i.e. euthanasia, are condeming people to an eternity in hell.
    Barb Hoc

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