Six years ago, Sean Tagert of British Columbia was diagnosed with ALS, better known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease.”
An ALS diagnosis is essentially a death sentence. There is no known cure. People with ALS eventually lose control over most of the muscles in their bodies–including the ones that enable them to breathe.
Despite his grim diagnosis, Tagert decided to live as long as he could for the sake of his son, who was six-years old at the time. For five years, he advocated on behalf of ALS patients and became a symbol of someone who refused to give up.
Then, last month, Tagert informed his friends he had decided to opt for physician-assisted suicide under Canada’s Medical Assistance in Dying law.
One of my all-time favorite quotes comes from Abraham Kuyper and was repeated over and over by Chuck Colson: “There’s not a single square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry out: ‘Mine!’” Working out the implications of that grand truth in the reality of our everyday lives will take a lifetime.
Many know all too well the debilitating effects of mental illness. We do a great disservice when we tell those struggling to “just get over it and think positive thoughts” or “read your Bible more.” Although positive thinking (the right kind) is biblical, and it’s crucial to meditate on God’s Word, one cannot simply turn depression, anxiety, and hopelessness on and off like a light switch. But on the flip side, there are factors that contribute to mental anguish. After many years of praying with, talking to, and counseling thousands of people, I’ve found five factors that stand out that may cause mental pain. (Watch the short video here outlining these same points.)
As China continues its restrictive grip on Christian churches, believers are feeling the pinch. Reverend Song Yongsheng, a pastor of a church in China’s Henan province, committed suicide earlier this month when discussions with the government over his church’s freedom resulted in “a failure.”