Archive for the ‘Table Talk’ Category

Organ Donation

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008


Table Talk Luncheon
Rev. Brian Henderson
Trinity Lutheran Church
May 25, 2008

Our topic this month is really the answer to this question: “What is our church’s position and the position of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod  on organ donation? Is there any help on this issue in the Bible?”

The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod encourages organ donation as an act of Christian love, but this choice is entirely up to the individual and/or his or her family, and should not be a cause of guilt or regret no matter what decision is made. The Bible has nothing specific to say regarding this issue. Therefore, it is a matter of Christian freedom and personal (or family) discretion.

In 1981, the Synod adopted the following resolution:

To Encourage Donation of Kidneys and Other Organs Resolution 8-05

Whereas, We accept and believe that our Lord Jesus came to give life and to give it abundantly (John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.); and

Whereas, Through advances in medical science we are aware that at the time of death some of our organs can be transplanted to alleviate pain and suffering of afflicted human beings (see Gal.6:10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.); and

Whereas, Our heavenly Father has created us so that we can adequately and safely live with one kidney and can express our love and relive the unnecessary prolonged suffering of our relative; and

Whereas, We have an opportunity to help others out of love for Christ, through the donation of organs; therefore be it

Resolved, That our pastors, teachers, and Directors of Christian Education be encouraged to inform the members of The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod of the opportunity to sign a Universal Donor Card (which is to authorize the use of our needed organs at the time of death in order to relieve the suffering of individuals requiring organ transplants); and be it further

Resolved, That we encourage family members to become living kidney donors; and be it further Resolved, That the program committees of pastors and teachers conferences be encouraged to include “organ and tissue transplants” as a topic on their agendas; and be it finally Resolved, That the Board of Social Ministry and World Relief seek ways to implement this program so that the entire Synod may join in this opportunity to express Christian concern.

Dear friends, when you give an organ to another individual, you perform a service as great as that of any physician because you give sight to the blind, life to those who need a beating heart, or breath to those whose lungs falter. You bring relief from impending loss and, often, incessant pain. You also give a fellow human being greater opportunity to live life, hopefully, more abundantly if through an extended life he or she comes to know the giver of all life, the Lord Himself. Those of us who know the Lord can look forward to His return when our perished and decayed remains are raised from the dead and transformed into whole and imperishable bodies-the physical and mortal replaced with a spiritual and immortal body (1 Cor. 15:42-54; cf. 1 Thess. 4:13-17). Our organs are a part of the earth, a part of our natural bodies, and are, therefore, perishable. Only through donation can these organs continue to serve a useful and more lasting purpose. Our spiritual bodies, which are neither flesh and blood nor mortal, will have no need of them (1 Cor. 15:50).
1 Cor. 15: 42 So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. 43 It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. 44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 Thus it is written, ”The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. 47 The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. 48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.