Should God heal all Christians who pray for healing?

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June 16th, 2018 Atonement, Healing, Holy Spirit, Hot Topics

 

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By Spencer D Gear

Is it the will of God to always heal people when we pray for them?

A Christian friend wrote to me asking for recommendations concerning  a situation in which he was asked to pray for healing for a sick person. My friend was impressed in his heart that instead of praying for healing, that he should trust the Lord for what God was doing through the sickness. When this information was revealed to the person who asked for prayer for healing, my friend was accused of this giving an ‘almost heretical response’. Why? It was because my friend had an inner impression that God had a bigger issue in the sick person’s life than physical healing.

There are dangers with ‘impressions’ because they are subjective and I find it difficult to discern if my friend is hearing from God or if this is a personal view. We know that God gives the gifts of the Spirit that require ‘some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or teaching’ (1 Cor. 14:6 ESV). The safety of the church gathering that enables discernment of the manifestation of gifts is much more suitable than to receive a private impression. However, we do read in passages such as First Chronicles 14:10, 14 where ‘David inquired of God’ (ESV) and received the answer that he should go against the Philistines and God would give them into his hands. On another occasion (1 Chron. 14:14), God’s answer from David’s inquiry was that he was not to attack the Philistines.

Does the Bible teach that during the ministry of Jesus there was no person who wasn’t healed by Jesus? Let’s examine the Scriptures with a few examples, but they are enough to cause us to question the ‘almost heretical’ statement that a person does not believe that God always heals.

A few fundamentals are happening with the ‘almost heretical’ statement that are very different from when Jesus walked this earth and contrary to what we should expect from God when we ask for physical healing.

  • The Scriptures do say on occasions that Jesus did heal all who came to him in verses such as Matt. 8:16; 12:15; and Luke 6:19. But there’s another dimension.
  • On other occasions Jesus healed, not all, but “many” who came to him. See Mark 1:34; 3:10; 6:13.
  • BUT, there were circumstances in which Jesus did not heal people. I’m thinking of Mark 6:4-6:

‘Jesus said to them, “Only in his hometown, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honor.” He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. And he was amazed at their lack of faith’ (NIV).

  • What about the events like that at the Pool of Bethesda according to John 5:1-9? Verse 3 says that at that pool ‘lay a multitude of invalids-blind, lame and paralyzed’ (ESV) but only one invalid who had been at that Pool for 38 year was healed. The facts are that Jesus did not heal all who were sick in Israel at the time of his life and he didn’t even heal all invalids at the Pool of Bethesda. It is false information to say that Jesus healed all. He clearly didn’t.

People may ask why Jesus didn’t heal all. My understanding is that healings are pointers/signs to God’s greater healing of the human soul through salvation and God’s ultimate healing of the universe that will happen with a new heaven and a new earth at the end of time.

However, I do need to say that I accept the gifts of the Spirit are available for today’s Christians and one of the gifts is the gift of healing (1 Cor. 12:28-29).  We must not overlook the biblical fact that God’s gifts to Christians function according to the “measure of faith” that God has given to believers:

‘For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you’ (Rom. 12:3 NIV).

According to James 5:14-15, the ministry of healing is available through the local church (and it is sadly neglected in most churches) in the anointing of oil by the elders of the church:

‘Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven’ (NIV).

Again, the emphasis is on “the prayer offered in faith” will cause the sick person to be raised up by the Lord.

I do not find any indications that Jesus healed all people. Nor do I find examples in the New Testament where all people were healed whenever there was a prayer for healing. I do find this in James 4:2b-3:

‘You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures’ (NIV).

There are many reasons why we do not receive physical healing when we pray and when others pray for us. The major reason is that God is sovereign and we are puny, fallible human beings who can have the wrong motives.

There is also the further biblical truth that most Christians find hard to bear as stated in James 1:2-4:

‘Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing’ (NASB).

God has a greater plan for our lives than physical healing. The trials of our lives are meant to be considered with an attitude of ‘all joy’ by the Christian because God knows what trials are instrumental in achieving. Difficulties in our lives are are designed for the testing of faith to produce endurance of the faith so that we will be “perfect and complete, lacking nothing” when we face Jesus. This is a hard dose to take for many Christians.

May I say personally that I would not have reached this point of growth in my Christian life if it were not for the many trials of sickness that God has put me through. This has included 3 bouts of rheumatic fever when I was a child, aged 6, 10 and 12, that left me with a leaking mitral valve in the heart. This has resulted in 4 open heart surgeries in my adulthood to replace (3 times) the valve with 3 mechanical ones and one surgery was for a repair around the valve.

As an adult, I have prayed on all four occasions for healing so that I would avoid the surgeries, but God has not chosen to heal me. God has a greater purpose in my life and that is Christian maturity and endurance in my faith.

It is not biblical to demand that God heal others or oneself when you and others pray. Jesus did not do it and there is ample evidence for God’s greater plan of development in Christian maturity.

The demand for God to heal all people can come with a diminished view of what life in the presence of God is all about. For believers, to have a desire to continue to live in this present evil world has some irony about it. Why is not living in the presence of God at death, and living for Him through trials in this life, not the way God plans for all believers?

As I update this article on Saturday, 16 June 2018, I share that on Thursday night last week after I came home from a Bible study, in the semi-darkness I tripped and fell on my side on the concrete floor of the garage. I was so stunned I didn’t know what to do. My medialert did not trigger an SOS as it should do. I eventually pulled myself up and closed the garage door and then it was off to bed.

About 1.30am on Friday morning, I was woken by extreme pain in my left leg. It was so bad I couldn’t stand to walk to the mobile phone to contact our emergency services on 000. I cried out to the Lord for healing of the pain and that no damage was done to my leg.

The pain stopped immediately, for which I praised the Lord with jubilation.

When I visited my Dr this week for an assessment of my leg, all he could say was that it was all clear and I was ‘lucky’ I didn’t have a break or hairline fracture as I also have osteoporosis (brittle bones).

See these related articles:

snowflake-red-smallWere miracles meant to be temporary?” (Jack Deere)

snowflake-red-small St. Augustine: The man who dared to change his mind about divine healing (Spencer Gear)

snowflake-red-small Are there apostles in the 21st century? (Spencer Gear)

snowflake-red-small Are miracles valuable? (Spencer Gear)

’Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer’ (Romans 12:12 NIV).

 

Copyright © 2015 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date:16 June 2018.

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One Woman’s Legacy

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June 16th, 2018 Church, Compassion

 

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By Spencer Gear

My ex-wife Desley and I supported children through Compassion International for many years.

In 2010, we supported 6 children. I urge you to consider sponsorship in this Christ-centred ministry to the children of the world who are in desperate need.

Today we received the Autumn 2010 edition of Compassion magazine that includes a touching story of “One Woman’s Legacy”.  Dr Ranu’s story is told in, Let Your Compassion Live On. Here’s a portion of it:

Perhaps to Ranu, it was a simple gift to the children of the world. We will never know, but what we do know is that Dr Ranu Basu, a sweet and humble lady originally from India who worked and settled in Australia as an anaesthetist, has left a powerful mark on the world.

When she passed away, she left Compassion Australia a donation of $1 million–enough to distribute more than 66,000 malaria nets to African villages, to provide fresh water to hundreds of Indian villages or perhaps to fully fund the tertiary education and Christian training of 50 Leadership Development Students.

Dr Basu has left an undeniable mark on the children of the world and on the work of Compassion. With one gift, she allowed us to help so many.

To this beautiful woman who sponsored six children with Compassion before she died, who overcame great personal adversity including serious illness, and who was described as “the most kind, compassionate and caring person, we say thank you (Compassion magazine, Australia, Autumn 2010, p. 27).

I thank God for this incredible example of a woman who loved the Lord, suffered greatly, and was able to leave of her wealth to help underprivileged children through Compassion.

May the Lord bless her legacy. Should you wish to sponsor a child with Compassion Australia, please email: compassion@compassion.com.au.

About Compassion

Compassion is a Christian international holistic child development organisation. Through our Child Sponsorship Program, more than 1.8 million children are currently being released from poverty in Jesus’ name. With over six decades of experience, Compassion’s unique approach to solving poverty works: research proves it.

 

Copyright © 2010 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 16 June 2018.

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Kill yourself if life is meaningless: Dr David Goodall’s dangerous precedent

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May 27th, 2018 Assisted Suicide, Assisted suicide, Ethics, Euthanasia, Moral absolutes, Moral relativism

Image result for photo Dr David Goodall euthanasia public domain

(Dr David Goodall, courtesy www.hit.com.au)

By Spencer D Gear PhD

This is a reply to Peter FitzSimons, ‘David Goodall leads the way with choice we should all get to have’ (Brisbane Times, The Sydney Morning Herald, 13 May 2018).[1]

What a way to start an article! Where are the pro-lifers and fierce opponents of euthanasia?

Peter, we are in the cities, towns and streets across the nation. The mass media generally don’t seek us out to give the reasons why we oppose assisted suicide and euthanasia. Our views don’t get much air-play. They’re not accepted in an Australian culture where people do what is right in their own eyes.

FitzSimons promoted his pro-euthanasia view triumphantly, asking if Dr David Goodall got it right or wrong and whether we are on a slippery slope in our culture.‘David Goodall ended his life at 104 with a final powerful statement on euthanasia’.[2]

If I accept this reasoning, I should have quit counselling suicidal youth and others through 30 years of counselling. Many considered life was pointless and they could be aged 14, 44 or 84.

I should have forgotten about my suicide awareness training programmes. Disregard referring suicidal people to Lifeline (ph 13 11 14) and Beyond Blue (ph 1300 22 4636) for counselling.

Why bother with trying to show there are better alternatives and providing compassionate support in making those decisions? Getting assistance in killing oneself is better! Right?

If they wanted to kill themselves, my advice should have been, ‘Go ahead and do it ASAP. That’s your choice. Good luck!’

Dr Goodall and those who promote assisted suicide set dangerous precedents. They place life and death decisions on the level of everyday choices.

Think of the ramifications!

FitzSimons asked: Where is the problem in any of the Swiss procedures and the way Goodall died?

Many! I will address only four of them:

1.   World views make a world of difference

Worldviews have consequences.

FitzSimons promotes moral relativism. In his words, ‘It’s not your choice (opponents of the right-to-die). It’s our choice (euthanasia supporters)’.

What is a world view?

A world view is a way of viewing or interpreting all of reality…. A world view is really a world and life view. That is, it includes within it value indicators or principles by which one makes value judgments…. One set of world view “glasses” can be exchanged for a different world view. In science this kind of major change is called a “paradigm shift.” In religion it is called a “conversion” (Geisler & Watkins 1984:11-12).

Image result for clipart moral relativismFitzsimons’ reasons to support euthanasia provide an example of the world view of moral relativism in action. Ethical decisions and choices of right and wrong are determined by individuals or group choices in this world view.

2.   The logical consequences of moral relativism

What are the logical consequences of such a view?

Dr Goodall and Exit International consider that euthanasia ‘supports an individual of sound mind’s right to choose and implement a peaceful death at a time of their choosing’.[3]

The late Labor MLC of the NSW upper house, Paul O’Grady, maintained ‘voluntary euthanasia is a question of basic human rights. It is about the right of individuals to choose for themselves the quality of life they want and when they no longer enjoy that quality of life’.[4] Should such a view be applied to people of any age, including teenagers who claim life has no meaning?

The University of Southern Queensland (Toowoomba) published, ‘Business Ethics: boardroom pressures in an age of moral relativism’,[5] affirming this world view in Australia.

Outside of the life/death sphere, history and contemporary experiences tell us that moral relativism has had serious or deadly repercussions, such as paedophilia, terrorism, the Nazi holocaust, Port Arthur massacre, alleged bribery and fraud of the financial sector, mayors unfit for office, cricket ball-tampering, etc.

3.   There is a better way

Some will call this better way a choice because it is not forced on anybody. Australia was built on the moral ethics and government has its foundations in the absolutes of the Judeo-Christian world view.

Why do we need absolute standards of right or wrong in the euthanasia debate? Imagine living in an Australia where murdering anyone either voluntarily or involuntarily was considered right for the country.

We need standards that are beyond fickle human decisions. This does not require us to toe the line of the Judeo-Christian world view. It invites us to participate in upholding the absolute standards of all human beings who are made in the image of God.

So to kill such a person is to take over the sovereign God’s authority in life and death decisions. It is an attack on God’s sovereignty, in the name of human freedom.

John Piper summarised God’s view of life and death and whose right it is to take human life. ‘It seemed to him that in the euthanasia discussion, ‘Human life, which is distinct from all other earthly life in being created in the image of God and designed to exist forever, is the gift of God. And he owns it and may do with it as he please, take it any time he please without wronging anyone, and this is his unique prerogative’.

These verses of Scripture (from the ESV) support that view:

  • 1 Tim 6:13, ‘[He] gives life to all things’.
  • Deut 32:39, ‘See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god besides me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand’.
  • 1 Sam 2:6, ‘The Lord kills and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up’.
  • James 4:15, ‘Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that’.

He gained the understanding from these passages of Scripture ‘that giving and taking life is ultimately God’s right. Human life in its fullest sense is a miracle that only he can create and only he has the right to take, unless he has given the state the right to use the sword in various settings to take life. But as far as medical things are concerned, I think it is clear that God’s rights are at stake here and we dare not intrude on what he alone has the right to do’ (Piper 2016).

Why invoke the commands of the Deity, the Lord God? Put simply, it’s because He tells the truth about life and death decisions. The New Testament use of ‘truth’ not only means the difference between true and false facts, but also that which conforms to reality, as opposed to mere reality.

I recommend this interaction on the need for God and moral absolutes: Ravi Zacharias – Absolute Moral Law & the Existence of God (YouTube).

Read the Scriptures and see the diagnosis of truth (reality) for Australia. They fit like a hand in a glove. You will find the cause of the problems of sin, evil and disease (Genesis 3), the impact on creation and on human beings all around us. From where do crime and violence come? The solution to the moral madness is found through God’s absolute moral standards (10 commandments, Exodus 20; the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5-7).

TRelated imageThe solution to the human sin dilemma for individuals is found through Jesus Christ’s salvation (John 3:16; Acts 4:12) and the ultimate end of the wretched condition on earth will come at Jesus Christ’s second coming (Acts 1:9-11; Revelation 1:7).

What about the diseases inflicted on human beings, the deformity in vegetation, and animals who suffer?

Chantal Sébire is an example of a beautiful looking French woman who became a picture of gross facial deformity when a cancer from her left eye spread to engulf her face. This could be used as an emotional example to support assisted suicide. However by doing that, I would commit an ‘Argument by Emotive Language’ (see below) and it is false reasoning. Why? It does not provide evidence of the benefits and disadvantages of assisted suicide in any society. I do not provide this example as a reason to promote euthanasia, but it is the type of example used to persuade people and governments to legalise assisted suicide. I oppose such irrational thinking.

Related image(photo courtesy slideplayer.com)

‘Chantal Sébire was a French schoolteacher who developed a rare form of cancer which severely disfigured her eye-sockets and face. She also lost her senses of sight, taste and smell’. She died in 2008 from a drug overdose when the French government would not grant her the right to euthanasia’ (courtesy Ranker).

In the euthanasia debate, the Christian world view lays out the reality of life and death decisions, as opposed to mere appearances. It declares the truth of reality.

That’s not how euthanasia promoter, Philip Nitschke, sees it. He remonstrated with this insulting attack on religious freedom, ‘Just bugger off christian lobby’.[6]

Our nation was built on the Judeo-Christian foundation of the 10 commandments and Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. But euthanasia takes life and death decisions and places them in autonomous hands.

Former medical practitioner and now Presbyterian minister, Neil Chambers’ Christian response to euthanasia got to the more foundational issue: ‘Who rules: God or [people]? Who has the right to determine who lives and who dies?’

His assessment rocks the foundations of human freedom: ‘The euthanasia proposals being discussed in Australia and other parts of the world today seek to give to one group of humans—doctors—the right to end human life. They do this without reference to God, or to the circumstances under which God has said human life may be taken’.

They justify the morality of euthanasia by giving human beings ultimate authority and freedom, ‘accountable only to themselves and thus free to do as they wish with their own lives’ (Neil Chambers).[7]

In a Quora forum, Ken Creten gave a typical objection to moral absolutes: ‘I agree with others here that there are no absolute moral values’.[8] What did he do? He created his own absolute in trying to deny absolutes. This new absolute is, ‘There are no absolute moral values’. That is a self-defeating argument.

Where would Australia be if we stuck to God’s sovereign and absolute standards of right and wrong in life and death decisions?

4.   Appeal to the use of emotive language is a fallacy

FitzSimons’ choice to promote euthanasia by an appeal to a 104-year-old scientist who considered life had no meaning, commits an ‘Argument by Emotive Language’.[9]

It is faulty reasoning when he used an emotive example of an aged man euthanised in Switzerland and emotional language such as, ‘So where are you now, you fierce opponents of euthanasia and the right-to-die? How many of you, honestly, can look at the triumphant -you heard me – passing of the 104-year-old … and say that he got it wrong, that society is on a slippery slope, et cetera?’ .

This argument provided no logical reasons to support or reject euthanasia. He replaced reason with emotion to try to win the argument. ‘It is a type of manipulation used in place of valid logic’ (Dr Bo Bennett).[10]

We know from countries with legal euthanasia, no matter the safeguards, they have moved from voluntary to involuntary euthanasia and many cases are not reported in the data.[11]

FitzSimons asked what my choice would be regarding death and my farewell hymn. This article should make that obvious. I have asked my children to sing these songs at my funeral service: ‘How Great Thou Art and ‘I’d Rather Have Jesus’ (Jim Reeves), and ‘What a Day That Will Be’ (Jim Hill, the song’s composer).

Legalising euthanasia in Australia would have ramifications way beyond the apparent ‘goodness’ of such decisions.

See also my articles:

5.   Works consulted

Arndt, W F & Gingrich, F W 1957. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press (limited edition licensed to Zondervan Publishing House).

Geisler, N L & Watkins, W 1984. Perspectives: Understanding and Evaluating Today’s World Views. San Bernardino, California: Here’s Life, Publishers, Inc.

Piper, J 2016. ‘Ask Pastor John: May Christian Doctors Help Patients Die If the Law Permits? Desiring God’, 10 March. Available at: https://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/may-christian-doctors-help-patients-die-if-the-law-permits (Accessed 28 May 2018).

6.   Notes


[1] Available at: https://www.smh.com.au/politics/nsw/david-goodall-leads-the-way-with-choice-we-should-all-get-to-have-20180511-p4zeu4.html (Accessed 25 May 2018).

[2] ABC News, Brisbane Qld, 11 May 2018. Available at: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-10/david-goodall-ends-life-in-a-powerful-statement-on-euthanasia/9742528 (Accessed 25 May 2018).

[3] Exit International. ‘Our philosophy’, available at: https://exitinternational.net/about-exit/our-philosophy/ (Accessed 25 May 2018).

[4] The Sydney Morning Herald 2015. Paul O’Grady, campaigning politician, dies at 54, 19 January. Available at: https://www.smh.com.au/national/paul-ogrady-campaigning-politician-dies–at-54-20150119-12t9p1.html (Accessed 25 May 2018).

[5] Presented in 2004. Available at: https://eprints.usq.edu.au/1401/1/Eddington_Searle_Temple-Smith_AWBMMD.pdf (Accessed 25 May 2018).

[6] Available at: https://twitter.com/philipnitschke?lang=en (Accessed 25 May 2018).

[7] Neil Chambers 1995. The Image Disaster: Euthanasia and God’s view of human life, The Briefing, 18 July. Available at: http://matthiasmedia.com/briefing/1995/07/the-image-disaster-euthanasia-and-gods-view-of-human-life/#f1 (Accessed 25 May 2018).

[8] Quora. What is an absolute moral standard, and how is it different from a non-absolute one? Available at: https://www.quora.com/What-is-an-absolute-moral-standard-and-how-is-it-different-from-a-non-absolute-one (Accessed 25 May 2018).

[9] Bo Bennett 2018. Argument by Emotive Language. Logically Fallacious. Available at: https://www.logicallyfallacious.com/tools/lp/Bo/LogicalFallacies/45/Argument-by-Emotive-Language (Accessed 25 May 2018).

[10] Bo Bennett 2018. Appeal to Emotion. Logically Fallacious. Available at: https://www.logicallyfallacious.com/tools/lp/Bo/LogicalFallacies/29/Appeal-to-Emotion (Accessed 25 May 2018).

[11] Pereira, J 2011. Legalizing euthanasia or assisted suicide: the illusion of safeguards and controls. Current Oncology, April 18(2). Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3070710/ (Accessed 25 May 2018).

 

Copyright © 2018 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 31 May 2018.

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The Fear of God

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May 24th, 2018 Fear of God, God, Holiness of God

Image result for clipart Fear of God

By Spencer D Gear PhD

 

‘Bertrand Arthur William Russell (1872–1970) was a British philosopher, logician, essayist and social critic’ (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Bertrand Russell).

Russell, in his lecture on ‘Why I am not a Christian (1927)’. stated:

Religion is based, I think, primarily and mainly upon fear. It is partly the terror of the unknown, and partly … the wish to feel that you have a kind of elder brother who will stand by you in all your troubles and disputes. Fear is the basis of the whole thing—fear of the mysterious, fear of defeat, fear of death. Fear is the parent of cruelty, and therefore it is no wonder if cruelty and religion has (sic) gone hand-in-hand.

(image Bertrand Russell)

If Christianity is based on Russell’s kind of fear that leads to cruelty, it is a country mile from what the Scriptures declare. He’s the biblical evidence.

1.  THE STATE OF THE TRUE BELIEVER (Ps. 112:1)

Blessed are those who fear the LORD”. The truly godly person is one who fears the Lord. This is a radically different relationship than God being your daddy. your mate, or the one who causes cruelty. Some people have told me that when we pray to Abba Father, we are praying to one who is like a daddy or mate.

If you are ever going to be blessed, you must be one who fears the Lord. What does it mean to “fear the Lord.” This verse provides a window of understanding

1.1 Isaiah 8:13

“The Lord Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, he is the one you are to fear, he is the one you are to dread” (NIV).

When we fear people it is very different from the fear of God.

When we fear people, we fear their power to hurt us:

  • hurt our reputation,
  • damage our property,
  • hurt those we love,
  • hurt us physically if they are more powerful,
  • we may fear the power of the government over us to tax us, punish us when we break the law, take away our freedom, etc.

On the human level, we may have sound reasons for a healthy fear of people and government

Jesus said to Pilate: “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above” (John 19:10).

Human beings are absolutely powerless against God. God can shatter any plans they have against you. God could strike them dead at any moment. How many people died in the 26 December 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean? ‘The tsunami killed at least 225,000 people across a dozen countries, with Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Maldives, and Thailand sustaining massive damage (Encyclopaedia Britannica).

Fear of human beings may cause us to do many things, even ungodly things.

The fear of human beings is condemned in Scripture. This is but one example, I Peter 3:13-16 (NIV): “Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. `Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened. But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord.’”

Returning to Isa. 8:13, “The Lord Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy.” In contrast to the fear of human beings, the fear of God, according to Isa. 8:13, is based on two convictions:

2. He is “the Lord Almighty.” We fear him because of his power.

Never forget this: Human beings can only injure you as far as temporal things are concerned. The most human beings can do to you is “kill your body.” God’s powers go beyond the grave.

As Jesus put it: “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matt. 10:28).

We fear him because of his might.

2.1  Isa. 8:13 emphases

  • We fear God because of His absolute holiness.

“The Lord Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy.”

a. What does “holy” mean?

(based on Sproul 1992, chs. 16, 17)

We mostly think of the purity and righteousness of God, but that is not the primary meaning of holiness. It is more than a moral or ethical quality.

b. Holy has two distinct meanings:

(1) Its primary meaning is: “apartness” or “otherness.”

“Holy” comes from an old word that meant “to cut” or “to separate.” To put it into contemporary language, we could say He is “a cut above something.”

When we say that God is holy we are saying, by nature, there is a profound difference between God and all creatures. We understand . . .

(a) God’s transcendent majesty;

(b) His absolute superiority;

(c) Therefore, He is worthy of our:

  • Honour
  • reverence or fear
  • adoration
  • worship

He is completely “other.” He is different from us in his glory–radically different. R. C. Sproul put it succinctly:

“When the Bible calls God holy it means primarily that God is transcendentally separate. He is so far above and beyond us that He seems almost totally foreign to us. To be holy is to be `other,’ to be different in a special way” (Sproul 1985, pp. 54-55).

When the angels were calling to one another in Isa. 6:3, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory,” they were not saying primarily “pure, pure, pure is the Lord Almighty,” but “wholly other, transcendent One, absolutely superior, is the Lord Almighty.”

(2) The secondary meaning of holy relates to God’s pure and righteous actions.

God does what is correct. He never does what is wrong. He doesn’t have a sinful nature to tempt him to evil. God always acts in a righteous way because his nature is holy. We find that difficult to comprehend–somebody who is absolutely just and correct in everything he does. But that’s our God.

Thanks to God revealing himself through the Bible, we know and can say that:

  • internally (by nature), God is righteous. Therefore,
  • externally, his actions are righteous.

Because God is holy, He is both great and good. There is no evil mixed with His goodness.

Why then, according to Isa. 8:13 are we to “fear” or “dread” this Lord?

This is the God of the universe who reveals Himself through the Bible and through creation. The Scriptures tell us this about God: “How awesome is the Lord Most High, the great King over all the earth” (Ps. 47:2).

2.2 How do some human beings respond to God?

Politicians may legislate the killing of human beings through voluntary, active euthanasia, through abortion, but it is the Lord Most High who is King over all the earth. He is the one who judges individuals and nations. Australians may think they can thumb their noses at almighty God, but God’s law is absolute. We are finally accountable to this awesome God. The superior, transcendent One.

This is what John Lennon thought of God versus his prominence as one of the Fab Four, the Beatles:

John Lennon quote adapted by BrianMc, myway2fortune.info

John Lennon (1940-1980) did say in 1966, “Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn’t argue about that. I’m right and I will be proved right. We’re more popular than Jesus now. I don’t know which will go first – rock n’ roll or Christianity.” Fourteen years later, Lennon was shot dead by Mark David Chapman in New York City on December 8, 1980.

The American teen magazine “Datebook” reprinted the “We’re more popular than Jesus” interview which caused a stir of protests and a rash of Beatle record and memorabilia burnings on the streets in the US. Beatles manager, Brian Epstein released a statement saying that the words of John Lennon had been taken out of context and while in Chicago Lennon and the Beatles called a press conference and apologized to the world for his comment (Truth or Fiction 2015).

When the Israelites were driving out the Canaanites from the Promised Land, the Bible says:

  • “Do not be terrified by them, for the Lord your God, who is among you, is a great and awesome God” (Deut. 7:21);
  • Again in Deuteronomy: “The Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow. . . Fear the Lord your God and serve Him” (Deut. 10:17-20).

When Ananias and Sapphira dropped dead in judgment because they lied to God (they trampled on the holy), Acts 5:11 says, “Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.”

3. What does it mean to fear God?

Caleb Rosado summarises it pointedly:

“It means … to quake or tremble in the presence of a Being so holy, so morally superior, so removed from evil, that in his presence, human boasting, human pride, human arrogance vanish as we bow in speechless humility, reverence, and adoration of the One beyond understanding” (Rosado 1994, p. 24).

Works consulted

Rosado, C 1994, “America the Brutal,” Christianity Today, August 15. Available at: http://www.rosado.net/articles-brutal.html (Accessed 18 March 2018).

Sproul, R. C. 1985, The Holiness of God. Wheaton, Illinois: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

Sproul, R. C. 1992, Essential Truths of the Christian Faith. Wheaton, Illinois: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

 

[from my article, ‘Blessings through the fear of God’]

 

Copyright © 2018 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 24 May 2018.

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Cynicism about Jesus as an Easter ‘treat’

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May 24th, 2018 Atonement, Cultural Apologetics, Easter, Logical fallacies
 
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By Spencer D Gear PhD

This article is published in On Line Opinion, ‘Cynicism about Jesus as an Easter “treat”’, 4 April 2018.

Please note in the ‘Comments’ section at the end of the article the number of posters who don’t deal with the content of the article. Instead, they pour out their vitriol against Christianity with a string of logical fallacies.

I responded as OzSpen. However, when people are engaged in the use of erroneous reasoning, it’s impossible to have a logical conversation with them.

What are logical fallacies?

Fallacies are common errors in reasoning that will undermine the logic of your argument. Fallacies can be either illegitimate arguments or irrelevant points, and are often identified because they lack evidence that supports their claim. Avoid these common fallacies in your own arguments and watch for them in the arguments of others (Purdue Online Writing Lab: Logical Fallacies, 1996-2018).

 

 

Copyright © 2018 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 24 May 2018.

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Can Christians become absolutely sinless?

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May 24th, 2018 Salvation, Sanctification, Sin

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April 9th, 2018 Salvation, Sanctification, Sin

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By Spencer D Gear PhD

How would you, as a Christian,[1] respond to this provocative question?

Why did God / Christ call us to be Holy and Perfect when he knew we are sinners? What was He exhorting us to do / be?[2]

The Scriptures used for support were:

  • 1 Peter 1:16, ‘Be holy, for I am holy’, and
  • Matt 5:48, ‘Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect’.

Be perfect

This article will pursue the meaning of ‘perfect’ (Matt 5:48).

  • The KJV states, ‘Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect’’
  • The NRSV translation, ‘Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect’.
  • International Standard Version (ISV): ‘So be perfect [or mature],[3]as your heavenly Father is perfect [or mature]’[4].
  • Revised English Bible (REB):[5] ‘There must be no limit to your goodness, as your heavenly Father’s goodness knows no bounds’.

These four translations demonstrate how ‘perfect’ as an English meaning may not be the best understanding of the koine Greek for that word. Let’s seek some further information.

If not perfection, what is it?

The problem we have[6] is with the English meaning of ‘perfect’ that communicates the idea of complete or absolute sinlessness. Even with Jesus living in me, I’m incapable of that standard – because I have a sinful nature that God does not have.

What are the alternatives?

(1) Either God is requiring something I cannot attain (perfection) – which makes God a liar (which He is not – Heb 6:18), or

(2) In the original languages, ‘perfection’ has a meaning that is difference from our English connotation.

Teleios exposes the meaning

Related imageThe word for ‘perfect’ in Matt 5:48 is teleios. It refers to a goal and I don’t know one single word in English to convey its meaning. It doesn’t mean absolute sinlessness, just like God cannot sin, because if we go back to Matt 5:6, the disciples are blessed if they ‘hunger and thirst for righteousness’. Verse 7 states, ‘Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy’ (NIV). They are not yet completely merciful but will be shown mercy by God if they engage in merciful acts.

Therefore, I conclude that ‘perfect’ is not the meaning of teleios. In fact, it’s a misleading interpretation of the original. The statement of Matt 5:48 comes from Deut 18:13, ‘Thou shalt be perfect with the Lord thy God’ (KJV), which modern translations render as, ‘You shall be blameless before the Lord your God’ (NKJV). Here, ‘perfect’ is the Hebrew, tham, which means ‘complete’, like a whole number (Lenski).

Westminster vs Wesley

The Westminster Shorter Catechism, Question 35, asked: What is sanctification? ‘Sanctification is the work of God’s free grace, whereby we are renewed in the whole man, after the image of God, and are enabled more and more to die unto sin, and live unto righteousness’.

By contrast, John Wesley in ‘A Plain Account of Christian Perfection’ wrote:

“To explain myself a little farther on this head: (1.) Not only sin, properly so called, (that is, a voluntary transgression of a known law,) but sin, improperly so called, (that is, an involuntary transgression of a divine law, known or unknown,) needs the atoning blood. (2.) I believe there is no such perfection in this life as excludes these involuntary transgressions which I apprehend to be naturally consequent on the ignorance and mistakes inseparable from mortality. (3.) Therefore sinless perfection is a phrase I never use, lest I should seem to contradict myself. (4.) I believe, a person filled with the love of God is still liable to these involuntary transgressions. (5.) Such transgressions you may call sins, if you please: I do not, for the reasons above-mentioned”.

So the Westminster Calvinistic divines maintained that the Christian is renewed in the whole person and is enabled to die to sin and live for righteousness – which is progressive sanctification.

By contrast, Wesley considered that when a person voluntarily committed sins, it was possible to stop these as the person grew to Christian maturity.

However, the Wesleyan Methodist Church of Australia, as an example of a Wesleyan approach to sanctification, states that ‘our mission’ is to …

spread scriptural holiness throughout every land…. [This involves] guiding believers to experience entire sanctification so that they are enabled to live whole and holy lives (Wesleyan Methodist Church Australia, Our Mission).

The Church of the Nazarene adopts a similar perspective on entire sanctification.

Conclusion

We are called to reach the goal of maturity in Christ, to become blameless, complete, and people of integrity in his sight.

There is a divergence of interpretation among certain denominations on this topic. Some believe in progressive sanctification / holiness while others pursue cessation of deliberate voluntary sin, calling it entire sanctification.

Notes

[1] When I refer to a Christian, I mean an evangelical Christian who believes and proclaims the Gospel of salvation through Christ alone (Acts 4:12).

[2] Christian Forums.net 2018. ‘Are Christians called to be holy and perfect?’ Rajesh Sahu#1, 6 April. Available at: https://christianforums.net/Fellowship/index.php?threads/are-christians-called-to-be-holy-and-perfect.75394/ (Accessed 8 April 2018).

[3] This was given as a footnote in the ISV text.

[4] Ibid. CFnet.

[5] This is a revised edition of The New English Bible.

[6] The following is my response as OzSpen#18 on CFnet.

 

 

 

Copyright © 2018 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 24 May 2018

Consequences of screwing up meanings of New Testament Greek tenses

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February 3rd, 2018 Eternal security, Greek, Languages, Once-saved-always-saved (OSAS)

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(courtesy Clker)

By Spencer D Gear PhD

Christian forums (online)[1] have an abundance of people who promote or oppose once-saved-always-saved (OSAS). Here is one example:

Those who have believed. They are the one (sic) who receive eternal life. Jesus said so in John 5:24 – “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.
Notice the present tense “HAS” regarding eternal life….

This indicates an acknowledgement that the Bible DOES teach eternal security.[2]

‘Has’ with a Greek emphasis

I couldn’t let him get away with his statement, ‘Notice the present tense “HAS” regarding eternal life’, and so I responded:[3]

What does tense mean for the NT Greek verbs? What does the present tense ‘has’ mean?
Also, what are the meanings of the tenses in these two verses?

‘My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand’ (John 10:27-28 NIV)?

The Greek tenses have different emphases to the English tenses.

Nonsense that Greek and English tenses are equivalent!

Image result for clipart NonsenseHe came back with these kinds of emphases:

It means “currently” from the perspective of the writer.
Surely you’re familiar with the English tenses, right? The present tense in the English is equivalent to the present tense in the Greek.
So, John 5:24 means that when one believes, they (sic) possess (have) eternal life. That’s when it is received….

This link will answer your questions:
http://www.ntgreek.org/learn_nt_greek/inter-tense.htm

The present tenses are equivalent in Greek and English.[4]

That link provides information about Greek tenses that contradicts his statement that English and Greek present tenses are equivalent. This article states:

In English, and in most other languages, the tense of the verb mainly refers to the ‘time’ of the action of the verb (present, past, or future time). In Greek, however, although time does bear upon the meaning of tense, the primary consideration of the tense of the verb is not time, but rather the ‘kind of action’ that the verb portrays. The most important element in Greek tense is kind of action; time is regarded as a secondary element….

The kind of action (aktionsart) of a Greek verb will generally fall into one of three categories:
1) Continuous (or ‘Progressive’) kind of action.
2) Completed (or ‘Accomplished’) kind of action, with continuing results.
3) Simple occurrence, (or ‘Summary occurrence’) without reference to the question of progress. (This is sometimes referred to as ‘Punctiliar’ kind of action , but it is a misnomer to thus imply that, in every instance, the action only happened at one point of time. This can be true, but it is often dependent on other factors such as the meaning of the verb, other words in the context, etc.) (source).

This person who referred me to the link on ‘Greek verb tenses (Intermediate discussion)’ obviously doesn’t understand the emphases in NT Greek tenses so I provided this analysis.

I teach NT Greek and some of what you have stated here is incorrect.[5] In English, the tenses primarily relate to the time of action (past, present & future). We add extra words to indicate kind of action. We could say, ‘I go’, but to indicate progressive action, we say, ‘I am going’.

In Greek (except for the future tense), the tenses refer primarily to the kind of action (continuous, completed with continuing results, and simple occurrence). Therefore, the present tense in Greek is not equivalent to the present tense in English. The Greek present tense refers to continual / continuous action. The time factor is of minor importance.

NT Greek grammarians, Dana & Mantey, stated this important difference when compared with English tenses:

The distinctive function of the verb is to express action. Action as presented in the expression of a verbal idea involves two elements, time of action and kind of action. That is, the action may be described as occurring at a certain time, and must be described, if intelligible, as performed in a certain manner. Tense deals with these two aspects of verbal expression, kind of action being the chief idea involved, for time is but a minor consideration in the Greek tenses…. The important element of tense in Greek is kind of action (Dana & Mantey 1955:177, 178 emphasis in original).?

What is the meaning of the present tense in Greek? The aorist tense may be represented by a dot (•). It happened. The present tense by a line (_______________), and the perfect tense by a combination of the two (•_______________) [Dana & Mantey 1955:179].

The fundamental significance of the present tense is the idea of progress. It is the linear tense. This is not, however, its exclusive significance. It is a mistake to suppose “that the durative meaning monopolises the present stem” (M. 119). Since there is no aorist tense for present time, the present tense, as used in the indicative [mood], must do service for both linear and punctiliar action. But it is to be borne in mind that the idea of present time is secondary in force of the tense. The time element belongs to the indicative [mood], where the present tense is really the “imperfect of present time,” while what we know as the imperfect tense is the “imperfect of past time.” The progressive [i.e. continual/repeated action] force of the present tense should always be considered as primary, especially with reference to the potential moods, which in the nature of the case do not need any “present punctiliar” tense (Dana & Mantey 1955:181, emphasis in original).?

We can apply this understanding of the Greek present tense to John 5:24 (ESV): ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears [present tense] my word and believes [present tense] him who sent me has [present tense] eternal life. He does not come into judgement, but has passed from death to life’.
Therefore the verse means that those who hear Jesus’ word and continue to believe him continue to have eternal life. The verse does not teach that a person who once believed and no longer believes has eternal life. Eternal life is for those who continue to believe. That’s what the Greek teaches because the Greek present tense is not equivalent to the English present tense.

Image result for clipart end of race public domainJohn 5:24 is in harmony with Matthew 24:9-14 (ESV),

Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. 10 And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. 11 And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. 12 And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come (emphasis added).

Conclusion

I urge every Christian who reads English, NOT to make the English verb tenses in an English translation of the Bible to have the same meaning as the Greek verb tenses. English verbs generally indicate time of action while the Greek verbs the kind of action, such as: continual action; action now with continuing results, point action, etc.

So when it comes to examining the verses mentioned above relating to once-saved-always-saved, the continuous action (unbroken action) of believing indicates one has continuous salvation as long as one continues to believe (Greek present tense). It does not teach that if one believes once only (aorist tense) and does not continue to believe, that one continues to have eternal life.

Here, the Greek verbals help to clarify that once-saved-always-saved is not a biblical way of looking at salvation, but perseverance of the saints is biblical teaching on salvation: ‘But the one who endures to the end will be saved’ (Matt 24:13 ESV).

Works consulted

Dana, H E & Mantey, J R 1927/1955, A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament. Toronto, Canada: The Macmillan Company.

Notes


[1] I visit https://www.christianityboard.com/, https://christianforums.net/ and https://www.christianforums.com/ as OzSpen.

[2] Christian Forums.net 2017. Iron clad example proving OSAS from John 10:28. FreeGrace#3. Available at: http://christianforums.net/Fellowship/index.php?threads/iron-clad-example-proving-osas-from-john-10-28.68442/ (Accessed 15 February 2017).

[3] Ibid., OzSpen#30.

[4] Ibid., FreeGrace#33.

[5] Ibid., OzSpen#67.

 

Copyright © 2018 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 3 February 2018.

Photographs of Aussies: Part of the Gear family

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January 12th, 2018 Family

By Spencer D Gear

Spencer with grandchildren, Chr4istmas 2017

This photo was taken on Christmas Day 2017. Spencer with 6 grandchildren. Joseph & Daniel on left are sons of Paul & Angela. I’m in the centre at the back. In front of me is Mackenzie (daughter of Wendy & Glen). She has her hands around Eloise (daughter of Jeff & Amy). On the right is Zeke (Ezekiel) who is holding my youngest grand-daughter, Jemima.

Spencer, ID photo, 4MB, Maryborough, Qld reunion, 19 Aug 17

 

 

This is a photograph taken of me on Saturday, 19 August 2017, at Qld Radio 4MB’s 85th anniversary reunion of staff and relatives in Maryborough, Qld. This was the station where I started my radio career as a DJ in 1966.

 

 

 

Gear house close up

 

 

This is a photograph of our house in Bundaberg, Qld in about 2005-2006.

 

 

 

Spencer GearI couldn’t accurately guess my age with this photo to the left. I suspect I was about 50.

 

 

 

 

 

 

spencer1

This is a younger Spencer

 

 

 

 

Zeke with Papa Gear on the lawnmower - 2

Spencer mowing the lawn around the Bundaberg house with Zeke (grandson, to Wendy & Glen) on his knee. Zeke was born in 2000 (I think). This was when he was aged about 3-4 years.

 

Spencer Trev & Lorraine 26-10-04

These are the children of Roy Edward & Enid Joy (nee Bubb) Gear: from left to right, Spencer, Trevor & Lorraine (Johannesen), taken about 2004.

 

Copyright © 2018 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 13 May 2018.

 

“If Christianity is valid … “

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January 3rd, 2018 Apologetics, Existence of God, Problem of evil


(image courtesy imgur)

 

Copyright © 2018 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 3 January 2018.

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Diet Coke, Stroke and Dementia

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November 30th, 2017 Aspartame, Dementia, Medical, Stroke

By Spencer D Gear PhD

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My friend Alan phoned me as he was watching the news on TV and saw the promotion for the upcoming story on Channel 9 news, Brisbane Qld. This dealt with the supposed link between diet drinks, stroke and dementia. I turned onto Channel 9 and waited for the item to come on. That item ended by stating that further research was needed.

That was also the information provided in an article in The Sun (UK). The emphasis was repeated that more research was needed. ‘But after accounting for all lifestyle factors, the researchers found the link to dementia was statistically insignificant’ in this British report (McDermott 2017).

The lead researcher of this study, Matthew Pase, said, ‘It’s important to note that the absolute risk for any one person who drinks diet pop is low. Of the 2,888 participants the study followed, there were only 97 cases of stroke and 81 cases of dementia’. The study warned: ‘That will need to be explored further in other studies…. We need more studies to confirm whether the association is true and causal or whether the association is caused by something else’ (CTVNews.ca Staff 2017).

What’s the truth in The Sun (UK’s) headline?

Coca killer ‘Just ONE Diet Coke or Pepsi Max a day can ‘TRIPLE the risk of a deadly stroke’ and dementia, researchers claim’[1]

This Australian news item stated:

Drinking at least one artificially sweetened drink every day has been associated with a three times greater risk of having a stroke or developing dementia, according to a US study.

The researchers of the Boston University study, published in medical journal Stroke, caution that the findings only show an association, but say there is a need for further investigation (The Australian, 22 April 2017).[2]

clip_image003Do you remember a few years ago there was a lot of commotion about the supposed link between aspartame (artificial sweetener) and cancer? After further research, the American Cancer Society reported:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates the use of aspartame and other artificial sweeteners in the United States. In 2007, the FDA stated:

Considering results from the large number of studies on aspartame’s safety, including five previously conducted negative chronic carcinogenicity studies, a recently reported large epidemiology study with negative associations between the use of aspartame and the occurrence of tumors, and negative findings from a series of three transgenic mouse assays, FDA finds no reason to alter its previous conclusion that aspartame is safe as a general purpose sweetener in food (U.S. Food & Drug Administration 2007).

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) assesses the safety of sweeteners such as aspartame in the European Union. According to a 2009 report from its Panel on Food Additives and Nutrient Sources Added to Food:

Overall, the Panel concluded, on the basis of all the evidence currently available … that there is no indication of any genotoxic or carcinogenic potential of aspartame and that there is no reason to revise the previously established ADI for aspartame of 40 mg/kg [body weight].

Though research into a possible link between aspartame and cancer continues, these agencies agree that studies done so far have not found such a link (American Cancer Society, Aspartame).

clip_image004I consider it is way too early to claim a link between diet drinks, strokes and dementia. There is much more of a possibility that I will get dementia from the deep anaesthesia I have been through in my 5 heart surgeries triggering a predisposition to dementia:

“We don’t think that anesthesia and surgery actually cause Alzheimer’s or cause dementia,” he adds. “We think that it interacts with individual vulnerabilities where if you’re already predisposed to getting something like this, this speeds it up.” Scientists are working on ways to identify populations that might be more susceptible to dementia via biomarkers and other tests, and eventually hope to use that information to make surgery safer for them (Scientific American, October 23, 2014).

If the research was certain of the link between aspartame, stroke and dementia, I’d be off diet Coke and Pepsi Max immediately. At this point, it’s more suitable for mass media hype to get our attention – as with Aspartame years ago. That’s how I see it and I drink about 3-4 cans per week.

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Country music legend, Loretta Lynn (pictured here at left on her 1965 album, Blue Kentucky Girl. At age 85 in 2017, she suffered a stroke (but is expected to make a full recovery). The second photograph is Loretta performing at age 82.

Works consulted

CTVNews.ca Staff 2017. Two new studies suggest links between soft drinks, dementia and stroke (online). CTV News, 20 April. Available at: http://www.ctvnews.ca/health/two-new-studies-suggest-links-between-soft-drinks-dementia-and-stroke-1.3377659 (Accessed 29 November 2017).

McDermott, N 2017. Coca killer: Just ONE Diet Coke or Pepsi Max a day can ‘TRIPLE the risk of a deadly stroke’ and dementia, researchers claim (online), The Sun (UK), 20 April. Available at: https://www.thesun.co.uk/living/3376748/diet-coke-pepsi-max-deadly-stroke-and-dementia/ (Accessed 29 November 2017).

U.S. Food & Drug Administration 2007. FDA Statement on European Aspartame Study (online), 20 April. Available at: https://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/FoodAdditivesIngredients/ucm208580.htm (Accessed 29 November 2017).


Notes

[1] McDermott (2017).

[2] When I originally accessed this article online, it was available for open access, but on 29 November 2017 it is available only to subscribers of The Australian.

 

Copyright © 2017 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 29 November 2017.

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