Upholding God’s word, part II: when your child is not your child

Let this be the way that I go,
And the life that I try,
My feet being firm in the field,
And my heart in the sky.

Philip Britt

It was May 2nd, the day the Chruch recognizes St Athanasius, a true defender of the
Holy Trinity, when I caught the latest episode of Anglican Unscripted featuring our
favorite rouge cleric Gavin Ashenden.

Before beginning his interview, the good Bishop made note of the feast day of this
former bishop within the Chruch, St Athanasius.
An obscure saint to most of the faithful but none the less important in the
history of our faith…
His is the story of a man who stood up in defense of the Godhead of Christ
when the early church was being run amuck in heresy.

Not much different it appears from our own current run amuck days.

St. Athanasius
A champion of orthodoxy!
He did not die a martyr, but his life was martyrdom in the truest sense.
Athanasius was the Church’s greatest hero in the battle against Arianism
(a heresy that denied Christ’s divinity).

“the entire Catholic congregation with one accord, as one soul and body,
voiced the wish of the dying bishop Alexander that Athanasius should succeed him.
Everyone esteemed him as a virtuous, holy man, an ascetic, a true bishop.”

Bishop of Alexandria and a great defender of the orthodox faith,
throughout his, life opposed the Arian heresy.
By denying the Godhead of the Word the Arians turned Christ into a mere man,
only higher in grace than others in the eyes of God.
St. Athanasius took part in the Council of Nicea in 325 and until the end remained a champion
of the faith as it was defined by the Council. Even as a young deacon at the Council.
he was recognized as “Arius’ ablest enemy” and the foremost defender of the Church’s faith.
After the death of his bishop (328),
“the entire Catholic congregation with one accord,
as one soul and body, voiced the wish of the dying bishop Alexander that
Athanasius should succeed him.
Everyone esteemed him as a virtuous, holy man, an ascetic, a true bishop.”
In him the Church venerates one of her great Doctors.
He was subjected to persecutions for upholding the true teaching concerning the person
of Christ and was sent into exile from his see no less than five times.
He died at Alexandria in 373 after an episcopate of forty-six years.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The good bishop began the interview with a reflection on the life and death of Alfie Evans–
the young boy I wrote about the other day in the post “When your child is not your child”

https://cookiecrumbstoliveby.wordpress.com/2018/04/30/when-your-child-is-not-your-child/

I found it important to hear the perspective of the good bishop—
the perspective of one who is British and understands better than I do
the workings of the healthcare system and the legal system in the UK.

Bishop Ashenden notes that this all boils down to a pure rank prejudice as to why the
British Court wouldn’t allow Alfie’s parents to be what is their God-given responsibility…
that being Alfie’s parents.
Parents tasked with making those hard decisions for their own children…
and not a legal system who blatantly decrees that it is the one who knows
what is best for a child not its own.

For as parents, it is our Divine responsibility to mirror the parenthood of God the Father,
a Father who sent His only begotten son so that we may have eternal life…

The Godhead of the parent to the Son.

Bishop Ashenden explains that at first, this was basically a case about a power struggle.
It was a struggle for power between the medical professionals who decreed that they knew best
for the child over that of Alfie’s own two parents.

But it turned more sinister and very anti-Christian when Alfie’s Catholic parents stated
that the Pope, along with the Italian Government who had granted Alfie citizenship,
offered to bring Alfie to Rome in order to receive continued care in Italy versus terminated
care in the UK.
No matter if that care was for 24 hours or 24 days, etc.

So wouldn’t any parent, no matter how dire the circumstances may be,
opt for, as well as cling to, any ray of hope???
That hope being, in this case, the generosity of both the Pope and Italy?!

Yet the judge involved, who happens to be an ardent Gay Rights supporter and known for his
outspoken disdain of Christianity, brought in the element of anti-parent and anti-Christian and
anti-Chruch by putting state and secular values before the values of the Gospel.

He ruled that Alfie could not leave the country for care elsewhere and that the hospital
should remove all life support from the child ASAP.

The child would then be expected to die immediately.

But Alfie did not die immediately.

He actually lived for 4 days…

And here is where the sinister enters in…
the hospital, seeing that the child would not die, withheld any and all sustenance, water,
IVs, fluids, noursihment…in essence murdering this 23-month-old child.

With the argument being that he would die anyway so why prolong the inevitable.

But do we mere mortals ever really know the inevitable or rahter merely the assumed?

So let us imagine for this moment the sheer hopeless anguish this young couple felt for
their child.
As his parents, it is their innate prewired disposition to protect, care for, nurture,
console, help, aid, and sustain their child.
It is what we as parents do…
Just as God the Father has so bestowed upon us all with His being the pinacle example.

Baby In My Arms I Took

Baby in my arms I took
Through the gentle night,
Tawny, tawny were the clouds,
By the moon alight.

And we found a golden tree,
All alone and old,
Standing in the tawny light,
Palm tree made of gold.

Golden palm tree, bend your head,
Tell my baby why
Here you stand all tawny-gold,
With your head so high.

Whispered then the golden palm,
Bending low and near,
“Long ago another Child
Found me standing here;

And He gave me leaves of gold,
Laughing in His glee,
Saying ‘When the babies come,
Speak to them of me.'”

Philip Britt
September 5, 1943

11 comments on “Upholding God’s word, part II: when your child is not your child

  1. Well said, Julie.

    As a mom, as a universal mom of some dire circumstances, I really had to get to the point emotionally where I could say, they are actually the Lord’s children, under His sovereignty and not really mine. The Lord lets us borrow them for such a short time, but they are ultimately all His. It occurs to me that so many things wrong in our world have to do with that sense of possession, as if children are objects to be owned in a power struggle of some sort. So abortion, custody battles, socialized medicine, all horrrors that revolve around this idea that children are commodities we can possess. They are actually not “our” children at all, they are people made in the made of God, temporarily entrusted to our care. Parents are the one’s assigned to that job, so when the state violates that sacred duty, interferes with our ability to do our Divinely appointed job, it’s just devastating. Most parents are always going to be far more invested in the well being of that child then any bureaucrat.

    • Thanks IB and might I add, equally well said.
      No, children are not commodities…nor are any other human beings—yet unfortunately we are seeing a mindset of such more and more—
      We are loaned these children as you say.
      I think of Mary, the ultimate mother who has that nurturing caring and protecting fiercely in her being…yet knowing all the while, he is truly not hers alone….
      Not all parents are good nor do they possess that innate abiltiy of care—but the majority do—I could not imagine having my hands held by my own legal system as I watched my child, grandchild, or in this case, the child of another left to die…because the courts, the medical profession, the bureaucracy juggles life like they do money, etc…

  2. Bravo, Julie! Thank you for this excellent indictment of what occurred by way of the UK court system…no justice in their decision for Alfie or his parents. The idea that food was withheld is absolutely cruel and horrible. I am appalled…and sickened by what is being done in the name of “mercy.” Love you, my wise and courageous friend! ❤ Thank you for speaking out against this horrific travesty.

    • thank Lynn—this kind of story makes me nuts—I mean what sort of “civilized” society are we living in???? Why in the heck isn’t there more outrage??? But like Oneta said the other day—when you teach folks from an early age that life is not sacred, what can we expect.
      However, I hope to keep demonstrating my disdain for such despite my bully pulpit being small.

  3. SLIMJIM says:

    I really appreciate Athanasius

  4. Wally Fry says:

    I can only imagine the wild scramble at that hospital when that child didn’t die

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