Published on October 31st, 2014 | by Brett Harris

Clayton McDonald: The Boy Who Knew He Was Going to Die





UPDATED 11/06/14: Our website has been crushed with traffic to watch this video. Why is that? Here’s my best guess after reading hundreds of comments on Facebook and in the comment section below:

Almost every Christian in America has heard the story of Brittany Maynard — a brave and beautiful person whose life was rudely interrupted by a malignant brain tumor. Rather than continue to deteriorate, experience tormenting seizures, and allow her family to watch her suffer, she ended her life on her own terms.

This story has captured our attention because it is so heartbreaking. It is heartbreaking to think of what Brittany and her family went through, how difficult of a choice she had to make, and of how many shameful accusations of cowardice she had to endure.

At the same time, as Christians, it is heartbreaking to think that Brittany most likely made that choice without God in the picture, without the hope of eternal life, and without trusting in Jesus Christ for her salvation. You see, with Jesus in the equation the stakes shift from this life to the next — and I don’t think Brittany saw that.

And yet we’re torn. Because Brittany’s story is so poignant and her reasoning rock-solid. Having watched my mother die from cancer and having cared for someone with chronic pain for several years, I can understand exactly how a non-Christian girl (and her family) would reach the conclusion they did. If there’s no Heaven, no Jesus, no higher purpose for our suffering, then escaping it and helping our loved ones escape it is the only sensible (the only LOVING) thing we can do.

Only the example of Jesus would teach ANYONE to willingly take up their cross like Clayton McDonald did. And that’s why this video resonates so strongly. Clayton is the counterpoint to Brittany, not because he was a better person or made a braver choice — but because, by God’s grace, he saw the bigger picture.

Some viewers have taken this comparison as demeaning to Brittany — and I never meant it to be. Brittany’s death wasn’t less than Clayton’s. Both were heartbreaking. And that is why this comparison is not about how two people conducted their deaths, but about how they entered eternal life. And it does matter how you do that. Not all choices are equal.

From the Christian point-of-view the only loving thing to tell anyone is that Clayton’s choice was better. Not because he was a more courageous or noble person. He wasn’t. Both of them faced death with dignity. Both used their platform to impact others. Both loved their families and friends ferociously and considered them to the end.

But as the video states, being an amazing person doesn’t get you into Heaven. Only trusting in Jesus can. And that’s what I wished for Brittany.

I posted this video and the original article, because I wanted the young people on this website to see the difference Jesus makes when facing a terminal diagnosis. He does make a difference! And if they ever have to face a choice like Clayton or Brittany’s — I hope they take full advantage of the difference Jesus makes.

Now, our audience has exploded. Hundreds-of-thousands of people, including many non-believers, have flooded this page. They have raised legitimate concerns about the wording of my original post and helped me see that my heart towards Brittany and the nature of my disagreement with her decision weren’t coming through. Not only that, but I feel they helped me gain more compassion and understanding for Brittany and others who make the same choice.

Thank you to Troy, Brandon, Chessa, APROFFESHUNAL, and everyone else who engaged with me in the comment section. I don’t want anyone to leave this page thinking less of Brittany — only more of Jesus and the difference He can make.


For more about Clayton check out our post from last year: Have You Met Clayton McDonald?

You will find more videos, including of his memorial service at: ClaytonsStory.com

The original post can be viewed here. I still agree with what I wrote, but it failed to make the nature of my disagreement with Brittany’s choice clear and was open to misinterpretations, especially by non-believers and other people I didn’t expect to see this post.

clayton_mcdonald_brittany_maynard1


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Photos courtesy of Brittany Maynard Family File and Clayton McDonald Family File. Video courtesy of Jacob Lewis.


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About the Author

is co-founder of TheRebelution.com and co-author of Do Hard Things, along with his twin brother, Alex. He is married to his best friend, Ana, who blogs at AnaHarrisWrites.com. He is the founder of the Young Writers Workshop — an ongoing coaching program for serious writers.



  • Sam the programguy

    I remember Clayton from the last year’s article about him! Thanks for bringing up his story again. It really makes us think about making our lives count. Clayton did more in his last few months than countless people do in their entire lives.

    PS. Ya’ll can find it the old article here:
    http://therebelution.com/blog/2013/05/have-you-met-clayton-mcdonald/

  • Woah…

    I’m almost crying because of this video. I am shocked. This is exactly what I need.

    You see, I am very similar to Clayton in his personality. It would not be very far fetched for me to see myself in a video like “Cooking with Clayton”. It’s how I’m wired, I guess.

    Something I don’t share in common with him is that he lived every day like it was his last and I do not. And to be honest, I’m not sure how.

    With all this talk about “Doing Hard Things”, being a “Soldier of God”, and following Jesus unconditionally, at first glace, you might say “Trent’s got it”.

    Truthfully, I act as a “normal Christian teenager”, maybe even above average. With my blog, and getting involved in my church more, I feel pretty good about myself.

    But, then I watched this video. Clayton shows us that what we’re doing, isn’t enough. There isn’t a point where you’re like “Okay, now I’m at the highest point I can get.” We have to keep striving to let God change us, with total abandon. It starts with Salvation and never ends, until we reach Heaven.

    • Sam the programguy

      Let me know when you find out how to live every day like it’s your last.

      • cara d

        perhaps you could post it as a discussion question?

        • Sam the programguy

          I just submitted it! Thanks Cara :)

          • Hey Sam, I don’t think I’ve received any of your submissions. How are you submitting them? What name/email address are you using?

          • Sam the programguy

            OK, I just sent an email to your account on therebelution.com
            I didn’t really want to post my address here :)

          • Thanks. I responded via email. I also went ahead and posted a discussion question based on what I expected you submitted. Let me know if you’d like to add or change anything about what I posted. I still gave you credit for submitting it.

    • So glad to hear how this video impacted you, Trent.

      • Sam the programguy

        Brett, how would you say that we could maintain that kind of perspective?

        • I was thinking about that this afternoon after reading this, and I thought that if today was my last day, and if I knew that after today I would die, how I would live.

          And I came up with this. I would live every moment to it’s fullest. I wouldn’t spend as much time on Facebook. I wouldn’t yell at my brothers when they drive me nuts. I would spend time with my friends and family. If my family knew what I knew, I would comfort them with bible verses and i would write. A lot.

          All those things that the world says is important (like travel) I don’t think would feel that important in that moment. I think that the impact that I made on the world would be very important though.

          I would want to know that everyone that I knew would know that I went to heaven.

          And to live my whole life like that? wow. Can you just imagine how the world would be changed forever?

          • Madeleine Grace

            that would impact the world in a big way!!!

        • Cry out to Jesus for that perspective every day. It’s not something you can work up. The Bible says we have not because we ask not — and then gives examples of asking over and over and over for things. Many of us long to be more Spirit-filled, eternally-minded, loving, patient, etc. But fail to ask over and over and over that God would fill us with His Spirit, give us the fruits of His Spirit, change our perspective, etc. We have not because we ask not. We give up too easily.

          • Sam the programguy

            Thanks Brett! A little wisdom from the book of James goes a long way. I will pray.

      • Hey Brett, what’s the protocol for posting this video on my blog. Is that possible?

        • Of course it is! Just mouse over the video, hit the share button (looks like a paper airplane) and copy the embed code.

          It would be nice if you mentioned that you found the video here and linked back to this post. That will help this page show up higher in search rankings.

          • Thanks, Brett! If I end up posting it, I will definaly mention therebelution.com

      • Madeleine Grace

        Brett thank you so much for posting this video it has changed my life and i believe it will also change my brother’s life.i can’t wait to meet Clayton in Heaven when we finally go to be with our Savior. thanks Again Brett!!

        God Bless
        ~Madeleine

    • Kate

      Wow. Agreed. Life is so short. Sorry that I’m typing in such small sentences… but… Wow.

      This really is sparking so many questions for me about how I’m living. Am I living life to the fullest? If I died right now, would I be ready? Am I being a good true friend to my classmates?… Etc…

      I am really in shock right now. Sometimes I think that I just ignore these questions because they are too hard to answer. I don’t want to do hard things sometimes. I just want to be lazy.

      Boy, life is short and, truthfully, if I died right now, I don’t think I’d be ready. I need to start loving.

      Thanks Brett and Alex for this article/video.

      • Madeleine Grace

        Hey Kate
        yes i thought along those lines as well as i watched. am i being good to friends am i loving them like Christ would. if i died this second would i be satisfied and what i came up with was no! i wouldn’t be satisfied because I’ve spent so many days hating people choosing not to forgive people because they hurt me. and saying cruel words to people because i’m hurting and it feels good. I’ve been trying to refocus my life on Christ to love those that i don’t like and to forgive those who have hurt me. right know I’ve been counseling er encouraging one girl in my class who is struggling with stuff in her life her personnel struggles are getting her down and she came to me and asked my forgiveness cause she was a little disrespectful to me in one of our classes. and i forgave her.but if it was last year i probably would have just left it at that and not taken the time to tell her about how i struggle to and what gives me hope and encouragement. know this girl is not vary popular what i mean is she has a reputation of being annoying disrespectful and all that. and I’ve just kind of ignored and stayed away from her for these four years but know i’m like God has called us to love everyone. i need to love her and other’s so I’ve made it a point to love those who no one else does. Because i’m tired of following the world i want to be different and follow Christ whom i love!

        ~Madeleine

        • Kate

          Yes! Agreed! Let’s go against the flow! :-)

    • Sarah Phillips

      Thanks for your honest and powerful testimony, Trent. This really had me thinking. :)

  • Liam

    Like Sam I do remember the last article on Clayton. It was very touching!

  • Hannah Brown

    I wasn’t able to watch the video, too triggering — my brother passed away from cancer a little over a year ago. But the impact of a life faithfully lived, in spite of sorrow and suffering, is more powerful of a testimony than almost any other. As a healthy 10 year old, he was just another boy. As a 13 to 15 year old fighting cancer, he touched hundreds of people’s lives, and his memory lives on through missions aviation.

    One thing that’s struck me more than anything else, is the contrast between those who say that suffering shouldn’t happen because “Jesus loves us”, and those who embrace it. Faithfulness through suffering is the most powerful witness we can give… and it is NOT without purpose or reward.

    • Exactly right!

    • I’m so sorry to hear about your loss, Hannah. My family lost my mother to cancer in 2010. Thank you for your wise words about suffering.

    • Abigail McCoy

      Good for you, Hannah. So sorry for your loss.

  • alana

    Wow… I am stunned. I can recall several stories about people dying, and they’re from people I know. Yesterday, at chapel (it’s a Christian school and middle and high school have chapels on Fridays), our school’s pastor shared the story of his mom. She died of brain cancer at age 52. Then he shared this verse: “The righteous perish, and no one ponders it in his heart; devout men are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil.”-Isaiah 57:1. I read a book many months back. It was called A Garden Full of Butterflies. The story that inspired this one is sad. The author’s daughter died when she was only five years old. Then the author said that God placed this story on her heart. Others, including myself, think that this is tragic, but the author disagrees. She knows her daughter is in heaven and that God must have had something more important planned for her. My mom’s dad died when he was 42, when she was only 11. My mom’s entire family has suffered and is still suffering from this loss. My mom is now 56, but she still cries when she talks about them. These were just the stories that went through my head when watching Clayton’s video.

  • Brett. Where you trying to make everyone cry? Because if so, you got me weeping.

    • Well… Weeping wasn’t exactly my goal, but I’ll accept it as proof the video impacted you deeply — which was my goal!

      • Your mission was a accomplished.

      • Madeleine Grace

        well you achieved it!!

    • Madeleine Grace

      me to!!

  • What an incredible legacy to leave behind. I’m honored to have been able to even watch this video, let alone be a part of the same Family as such great people. I’m going to go forward in my day feeling encouraged and inspired.

    • That’s great, Alexandra. That’s what I hoped it would do for people.

  • Abigail McCoy

    Incredible. I’m crying right now.

  • Sarah Phillips

    Isn’t it weird how our immediate response to Clayton’s story is, “Wow, that’s so sad. He died?” And then it hits us, “Wait. I’m going to die, too.” That realization is what makes us stop and listen to him. This young man- who had every opportunity to sit down and quit, to sulk and be angry at his situation, to seek selfish attention and pity from others -tells us to live life. As in, really live it. Seek the most of every opportunity. Love like crazy. Make an impact with every move, every step, every breath. That’s what he did. Of course, he wasn’t perfect, but like the video says, that’s not the point. The point is that he honored Jesus’s gift of eternal life to him by sharing it with literally everyone he could. In Clayton’s life, Jesus won. The cancer didn’t defeat him. Jesus won. That’s absolutely amazing to me. Will I live in every second? Will I let Jesus win in my life? Or will I get caught up in the useless things and become mediocre while Satan jeers at my uselessness? It’s something to think about. It’s something to live about.

  • tmselden

    I am deeply disturbed by Brittany’s choice to publicize her death. The difference between her and Clayton is that Clayton used his death for a witness to God. Pray that Brittany might come to know her Savior and that she will change her mind.

  • Hope Dan

    Life for us is a privelege not a right. We got to live like everday is our last. The book of Romans says the only reason were alive is because of Jesus. I think we should be using these days to give back to Him for allowing us air to breathe. It shouldn’t take a sickness to bring us to our knees and to realize that our whole purpose is to worship and glorify God.(i mean no disrespect or anything)

  • Isaac Kitchen

    Wow………………… As I watched this video I told myself over and over again I’m not sick, I have a longer lifeline than that, but will I choose to be like him: sharing everything I know? Or will I do what I have been doing for way too long, I am 14 years old. Older than old enough to share the gospel. But I still have have “put a basket over myself” and I have not been letting my light shine.

  • Preston Vaughn

    While looking at that growth chart on door casing i thought ….”I’ll never out grow Clayton” …. Thank you for sharing.

  • Daniel Jukes

    The video really made me think about how you can use a situation like Clayton’s for God’s glory. I guess the younger we are the less we think that one day we will die but the thing is not many of us know when but Clayton did and he used it for God’s glory. None of use know what will happen to us in the future but i guess what this is teaching me/us that we need to use every situation for God’s glory.

    I’m praying that Brittany will come to know Jesus as her savior and Lord before it’s to late.

  • TW Wright

    This, I don’t even know how to stat plainly what this just did to my life. It flipped it over. Steered it in the right direction. Whatever you want to call it. I live in a foreign country. I pass by people every day that don’t know Christ.
    I want to live like every day is my last.
    I’m going to live like every day is my last.
    Thank you for sharing this video.

    • Sam

      That’s great! What will it look like for you? What will be different?

      • TW Wright

        I’ll be investing in my relationships with non-believers. I’ll really invest time into God related posts on my blog. I’m going to share God’s unconditional love with everyone. I want to take the time, a lot more time, in my devotions and reading His Word and praying. Even when it’s hard, I’m going to push through from now on.

        • Sam S.

          Hi TW, how has it been going for you these past few weeks?

  • Troy

    Wow…published 2 days before Brittany passed away. Someone was itching to compare stories. I understand Brittany was having seizures twice a day and unable to formulate words often. Indescribable pain. Claytons is a great story, but not one that can be compared with. Bleeding of the nose for 10 hrs…1 day?

    • msdeb

      I totally agree! Apples to oranges.. No one has a right to say anything about this lady. It was her choice!!

      • I’d respectfully disagree, Deb. Particularly because Brittany chose to be the public face of a political campaign to legalize physician-assisted suicide. She wasn’t “discovered” by the media. She put herself out there to spark discussion.

        • msdeb

          So she should have. Many people would love to have this ability instead of suffering and just lingering. I’ve watched it and watched hospice come in and up the morphine till the breathing stops. They are all wonderful people and so kind to the family. I mean everyone loves their animals and when they get injured or in their last years most people will take them to the vet to be euthanized. Because we don’t want to see them suffer. Of course we may always differ in opinion but people are still going to do it.

    • Brandon Kyle

      Agree. I’m sad for both that their time had to come so soon. I’m happy for both that they feel they did best for them and THEIR families. This is not a competition, let’s not treat it as such.

    • Hey Troy, I wasn’t trying to compare their suffering at the end of life. I was comparing their response to a terminal cancer diagnosis.

      Everyone was talking about Brittany’s situation and I happened to stumble across this video of Clayton last week. I wasn’t itching to make a comparison. It suggested itself very naturally.

      Our audience is composed of Christian young people. I wanted to show them how a Christian young man responded to a terminal diagnosis since many of them were already aware of Brittany’s story.

      In all honesty, you are the one making an insensitive comparison. I said very little about Brittany at all. I didn’t downplay her suffering or try to compare their situations beyond that they both had terminal cancer.

      You on the other hand chose to belittle Clayton’s pain, while actually having no idea what he dealt with in the 12 years he battled cancer — or in the months, weeks, and days leading up to his death. Perhaps your life has been untouched by cancer, but I’m surprised you’d assume that Clayton’s nosebleed was the only suffering he experienced.

      • Troy

        Brett, you may not have been itching to make a comparison…but it suggested itself very naturally. You didn’t just share a great story, your opening sentence suggests very strongly that you are comparing. You published this article 2 days before Brittany killed herself, yet your opening words are “Brittany has killed herself.” So if you weren’t waiting to make a comparison, I don’t know what you were doing. Either way, you were eager to do so and unwilling to wait until her deed was done.
        As a Christian myself I don’t condone the practice of terminating life early or before it has begun. The story of Clayton is awesome. I have been touched by cancer, from loved ones. My intent wasn’t to belittle Claytons pain. The nosebleed was a point of emphasis in the video, in the first minute or so. They said that the nosebleed was the beginning of the end, lasted all day on his day. I have no doubt, none at all, that Clayton had to endure and overcome obstacles everyday along the way. But so did Brittany. I somehow think that her everyday struggles were that of Claytons on his final day. Yet she was expected to endure that for months on end? She was a newly graduated, newly married, just getting started in adulthood and her new chapter. Again, I somehow think it must have been pretty bad to end her life and leave so early with so much going her way.
        Without the comparison to Brittany, the article being published early and the “death with dignity? Hardly” type statements, this video is as good as it gets. I mean no harm or disrespect to Clayton and his family. Powerful story, powerful family. But each story is unique in it’s own way. It stands on it’s own. Don’t compare one to another. People and circumstances are different. And are you assuming that Brittany publicized her story and intended it to be as big as it is? Maybe she did, I don’t know. But I do know that people are often times frowned upon b/c the media makes more of something than the person ever intended.

        • Sam

          Hi Troy, I just wanted to let you know that the article did not originally state that Brittany has killed herself. The article was edited after the fact. It originally said soming like “Brittany plans to kill herself.”

          • Troy

            Sam, that may very well be accurate. But perception is reality. If at the top of the page it says “published Oct. 31 2014 by xx and xx” and the opening line says something happened that didn’t, then you have mislead me. And if it wasn’t your intent to mislead, then it strongly implies that someone was eager to use that story to promote another. Which is what Brett said he wasn’t doing but was, and what he said he didn’t like that Brittany was doing.

          • Sam

            You’re right, there is no way you could have known that. It could be beneficial to show the date of the last edit in addition to the date of publishing.

        • Hey Troy, Sam was right that I edited the post after news came out that Brittany had followed through on her plan. It originally stated, “Brittany Maynard plans to kill herself.” I certainly didn’t intend to mislead anyone, but I understand how you took it. I will added a “updated on” note to the beginning of the post.

          In answer to your question, yes, I think Brittany was trying to publicize her story — at least by the time I heard about it. Her original video went viral, true, and maybe she never expected it to all be so big and public. But she didn’t retreat from the spotlight, teamed up with an advocacy organization, and continued to release videos and do interviews with national media. She wanted to spark a national conversation and she did. This was my contribution and a pretty mild one at that.

          I also understand the appeal of posting Clayton’s story by itself. But the truth is, Clayton’s video had been up for four months already on Vimeo and YouTube and only had a few hundred views. His story and example takes on a new significance when contrasted with Brittany. Now it has reached tens-of-thousands of people who would never have heard of him otherwise. You would most likely never have seen it, Troy, if it weren’t for the comparison.

          Finally, I agree that Brittany’s suffering had to be pretty bad to want to end her life. But once again, I wasn’t comparing their suffering — just their response to a terminal diagnosis. The way Christians handle death and suffering has always been at the forefront of our witness. Clayton is a particular good example. And his example shines brighter by way of contrast — at least it has for the vast majority of people who have read my article and watched his video.

          Thanks for engaging in a respectful way, Troy, and taking the time to communicate your concerns.

      • Brandon

        It was a comparison. Don’t try to deny it. You are trying to capitalize on her fresh death for page views and comparing two completely different illnesses for your own gain.

        • Hey Brandon, of course it was a comparison. I never denied comparing the two stories. I was just clarifying to Troy that I wasn’t comparing their suffering, just their choices.

          Also, you’re throwing some pretty heavy accusations around. Everyone in the country is talking about Brittany. She was trying to spark a national conversation. This is my contribution and a pretty mild one too — and I had no idea it would get the attention it has.

  • Jipner 16

    I have tried to join the forums a few months back, but I never was written back. I am an MK in SA. This is a really cool guy.

    • Sam

      I sent an application as well. It was either never reviewed or simply rejected. That’s OK, I don’t think I did a very good job answering those hard questions. They don’t want everyone in the forums anyway.

      • Jipner 16

        I think either the forums are shut down or they are short staffed.

        • Sam

          I bet they are short staffed. I think those who are already on it can still post, but I have no way of knowing.

          • Hey guys, the forums are no longer accepting or reviewing applications. You certainly weren’t rejected! They were profoundly understaffed and were largely inactive.

          • Sam

            Thanks for clearing that up Brett. It’s unfortunate. I had imagined that the forum was a lot like the new discussion section on the blog. Which is super cool by the way! Anyway, good to know :)

          • Yeah, part of the idea behind the new discussion section was to recreate that aspect of the forums.

  • Leah B

    I’m sorry, but I find it very disrespectful that the beginning of the article patronized the decision that woman made.
    This isn’t a competition to see who can be more humble or closer to God.

    Very insensitive.

    • Hello Leah, I’m sorry you found the article disrespectful. I was purposefully trying to avoid patronizing Brittany’s decision and if you read my comments on Facebook you’ll see that I took serious issue with people who called her a coward. What exactly did you find patronizing about what I wrote?

      • Brandon

        Your entire article is about comparing what Brittany did to what Clayton did — and holding his choice up in higher regard than her’s. That’s completely bogus and tacky. Her situation was her own, as were her choices. Just as Leah says, it’s not a competition — it’s individual choice. Saying things like, “Clayton did not try to escape or shorten his suffering. He used his suffering to point many people to Jesus,” and, “Let’s heed Clayton’s call to fully live,” are statements of implied judgement on your part — no matter how much you try to mask your sentiment in soft characterizations.

        And just who are you to make grand assumptions on a person’s character or faith? You have zero life experience as a 23 year old. You may be surrounded by people patting you on the head and cheering your boastful views, but you know nothing of the real world and have no position to judge anyone’s actions or motives.

        • Brandon, I never denied comparing the two stories or that I prefer Clayton’s choice over Brittany’s. Perhaps in your opinion that is the height of bigotry. That’s too bad. Brittany wanted to spark a discussion. Those are usually two-sided.

          I also think you misinterpreted my response to Leah. I said I was trying not to be patronizing. I never denied that I disagreed with Brittany’s choice. I do, as do many others.

          Now, given that I disagree with her choice, I think my post was pretty mild. Others have spoken much more strongly. Some have accused her of being a coward or said other shameful things. I have publicly rebuked them.

          Finally, I’ll admit I have less life experience than many people. But you make a pretty grand assumption yourself to think I lack the experience to speak to these situations. What do you know about me? What do you know about my life? You can’t even get my age right. 😉

          For example, I was my mother’s primary caretaker as she wasted away with cancer. I held her insides in place with my hands for over an hour after her intestines ruptured and we waited for repeated doses of morphine to kick in (she was at home in hospice care, waiting to die from Stage IV colon cancer). My wife has been bedridden for two years and has dealt with indescribable pain and nearly every symptom Brittany faced for months-at-a-time. We have other close friends who are even sicker.

          Perhaps it is easier for you to assume that anyone who disagrees with you is ignorant or inexperienced. But I actually have great compassion for Brittany, her husband, and her family based on real suffering. Though my experiences pale in comparison to many, I can still completely understand why they chose what they did. And if I wasn’t a Christian I would do exactly the same thing.

          As I explained on Facebook, without the example of Jesus it makes absolutely no sense to embrace suffering or have hope in the midst of it. Christianity is counter-intuitive. It allows people like Clayton to transcend what any sane person would call an unfair, horrible situation.

          Perhaps this means nothing to you. But for many believers like me, Brittany’s story required a response — a counter-point example. I felt Clayton was that example and I tried to make the comparison as mildly as I could. Obviously it wasn’t mild enough not to offend anyone. But then again, I wasn’t expecting so many people to read it. =P

          • Madeleine Grace

            Brett i’m sorry for your wife and mother! i know how hard it is to lose loved one’s. i pray that your wife will be healed if it’s God’s will. And may he be glorified through all of this.
            ~Madeleine

          • Thanks Madeleine. That’s very kind.

          • Madeleine Grace

            :) Your Welcome Brett! don’t give up hope don’t give up the fight God’s got a plan and nothing is outside his will. even when we don’t understand why something is happening he does and we can trust and rest in that it’ s not always easy believe me it’s not, but we can do it! don’t give up hope!
            God Bless
            ~Madeleine

          • Madeleine Grace

            Hey Brett i just opened my bible and their was a great verse i wanted to share with you:

            “As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in Him.!” 2 Samuel 22:31

            i hope that brings you some encouragement today.
            May God Bless You
            ~Madeleine

          • Sadie Clements

            There are no words to describe how much I wish I could say something really powerful and potent right here as an encouragement. Words that are my own and not borrowed. However, as happens on rare occasions, words fail me.

            I wanted to say, Brett, that I’m sorry. I didn’t know Ana was bed-ridden, and had no idea what you went through with your mother. God bless you, I can’t even imagine the effort you’ve put into taking care of those whom you love, and I admire you for that. I wish there was something else that I could say, but there isn’t.

            I guess I’ll just leave you with a Bible verse and the assurance that I will be praying.
            Isaiah 53:3-12 doesn’t seem like an entirely encouraging passage to me but following a nudge I would share it with you in knowing Christ shares in the suffering of your loved ones.
            And one last thing, Matthew 1128-29.
            God bless you, Brett. I pray that you would find comfort and rest.

            https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/commentaries/IVP-NT/2Cor/Encouragement-Midst-Suffering

          • Thanks so much, Sadie.

          • I’ll be praying for you Brett!

          • Brandon

            While your personal situation is a sad one — it’s still not Brittany’s situation. Yes, you may know pain, you may know people who know pain, you may have been there for your mother’s terrible illness and death — but that doesn’t mean you know what Brittany faced or what her situation felt like to her. For that, you are indeed ignorant of her plight. That is why making comparisons is improper. That is why using her in this manner is tacky.

            The difference in what Brittany was doing and what you are doing is simple: she was using her situation as a means to change laws to allow others the CHOICE of ending their lives with dignity. You, basically condemning her choice and using her as the example to your argument that ‘suicide is bad’ is an attempt to prevent others the choice through legal means (i.e. preventing laws in other states from allowing assisted suicide).

            That stance is where I really take issue. I may find it incredibly tacky for you to have a boastful opinion on Brittany’s choice, but that just means you’re a product of growing up in the 21st century where you’re programmed with the idea that your opinion is required on every subject. But where I really take issue is with the idea that many Christians have that their personal beliefs should be turned into law for all to follow. Advocate your beliefs to the followers of your faith — but don’t force your beliefs or judgement onto those who have different ideology from your own.

            And I should not have made assumptions on your life. I still stand by the idea that someone in their early 20s has had little life experience — which is true. I’m very sorry your mother had such a terrible illness.

          • Chessa

            Very good point. Brandon. I 100% agree. It did come off very judgemental about the decision she made when not one of us was in her shoes. I love the lord but I still can not say that I would not make the same decision she did. Also to say you were not trying to compare the two but then saying yes I do disagree with her decision automatically makes you biased and though we can all have our own opinion on the matter the point it Brittany made that decision not us and she clearly felt comfortable with it and believed in it as did the people around her and thats all that really matters. You can’t say you aren’t trying to compare them when it was a direct comparison.With that being said its a very touching video but to say one was right and one was wrong isn’t the way to go about it. She made her decision and we have NO right to make that decision for her.

          • Brandon

            I agree Chessa. I think what Clayton did was great, and I’m glad that he was able to do something that made him feel empowered in the face of a terrible illness. But I’m also glad Brittany was able to do the same. Thank you for understanding my point of view.

          • Mitch Godfrey

            Brandon,
            By saying that Brittany wants people to have a choice of ending their lives with dignity implies that if you choose to do what Clayton did, you are dying without dignity? The phrase dying with dignity is a really cute way of saying committing suicide.
            And every law ever made is pushing the beliefs of some people onto all people. The belief that murder is wrong and a crime is enforced on every American through laws. Thou shalt not kill is a Christian (Jewish as well) Commandment, yet I would hope that you have no problem forcing that on others. Many people that I hear from who play the “Christians forcing views card” are only opposed to it when it’s the Christian views they disagree with (assisted suicide or gay marriage) not murder or stealing.

          • Brandon

            Mitch, ‘dying with dignity’ catch phrase is just that — it’s a way for folks facing a terrible illness to feel better about ending their life on their terms and not running the risk of carrying on while unconscious or through the assistance of medical equipment. That was Brittany’s fear, that through the course of her illness she would eventually lose grasp on reality, who people were, who she was, control over her body, etc. and be unable to end her own suffering. Simply put, you’re getting caught up on semantics.

            As for the laws you call attention to — no. There is a difference. Laws prohibiting murder, for instance, prevent one person from inflicting damage to another. Laws allowing someone to end their own life, or even allowing two same-sex individuals to enjoy rights and protections under the law do not damage or even affect another person. That is the difference. One law prevents a person from damaging another, the other prevents a person from making a personal choice for their own self.

            As for the idea that it’s Christian ideology that developed the concept of not murdering or stealing — sorry, that was around a lot longer than Christianity, even Judaism. Basic morality, as I mentioned on other comment, predates all modern religious beliefs by about 5,000 years. You can thank the Sumerian people for first developing the concept of society and basic human values. They, being the first society, were the inspiration for all human societies that came after them.

          • Age does not equal life experience.

          • Brandon

            Honestly it does. Though it’s not the leading indicator of life experience, with age does come experience and exposure to new ideas, situations, knowledge, and beyond. A 60 year old had had three times the lifespan of a 20 year old. That is a pretty good indication that they will have seen and experienced a great deal more.

          • Sam

            You are very right; that is usually the case.

          • Jacob Carignan

            Age does not always experience life experience. While age can make it more likely that you have life experience (eg Wisdom) It does not mean that you are wise. For instance, would you not agree that are some elderly people that are horribly Racist? And Experiences are the greatest Contributer to Wisdom, not age. would you not agree that a child in India that has a starving Mother and siblings, no father, and has to provide for his family the best he can has more life experience then a 60 year old person who’s never left the country?

          • Renee

            Your right.
            I’ve met lots of people like that.

          • Renee

            I think you are both right.

          • Renee

            That’s… so strong Brett.
            I’ll be praying for you and your family.

        • Sadie Clements

          In Brett’s defense, his wife suffers severely from Lyme disease and he lost his mother to cancer. There is much about him that you must not know in order for you to post such an insensitive, hurtful, arrogant, and scornful comment. See the following article for more information about the young man you are disrespecting, and consider all the respect he has garnered from the frequent visitors of this website and how they will stand up for him in the face of such insults. http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/alex-and-brett-harris-are-doing-hard-things

          • Brandon

            Much in the way admonishing Brittany’s choices was insensitive, hurtful, and arrogant I suppose?

          • Roko

            His response was in direct line with his christian values.

          • Sadie Clements

            No. Sir, if you had been reading his comments and articles for as long as the rest of us have you would recognize a different tone in this article than you are. Not once did Brett directly compare Brittany to Clayton in this article. Not once. Death with dignity was in reference to how Clayton died, not to Brittany. He merely calls us, the rebelutionaries, to live out the higher calling; he does not put down Brittany in anyway. He merely states the facts of two lives of the two people. I see nothing hurtful, insensitive, or arrogant in the way he wrote this article. But you, in the way you put down the faith of others, our attempts at focusing on something more God honoring and positive rather than the death of a young girl, you sound very arrogant. I realize you may not care, but your tone in every comment you’ve made is the same: angry, indignant, arrogant, and scornful. No one on this earth can impact Brittany’s life in anyway by conversing about it. We here strive to encourage each other to make different decisions, which we consider to be better for the image bearers of God.

          • Brandon

            Sadie, you’re clearly confused. Even Brett admits that this article is comparing the way the two ended their lives. The entire article is presenting Clayton’s choice as the alternative to Brittany’s choice.

            “Death with dignity” is a term coined by the Brittany camp — they are even pushing the “Death with Dignity Act” as a means of allowing folks in other states to enjoy the same right she had in Oregon.

            I haven’t put down anyone’s faith, nor have I been so arrogant as to put my beliefs above another’s. What I have said is that no one’s personal beliefs are reason to deny another the right to a personal choice — which is exactly what many Christians seek to do.

            There are several other commenters on this post who suggest Brittany has done something sinful, that she will never get to their idea of heaven, etc. THAT, my friend is some pretty harsh judgement.

            As for my personal emotional state — you bet I’m angry. I’m sick and tired of the self-perceived, “moral authorities” that many Christians insist they are using their own personal brand of faith as a vehicle to compel or outright force others into actions and behaviors on the basis of their unfounded beliefs. I don’t begrudge anyone using their beliefs and values as a means of guiding their own lives, but when you start demanding laws and admonishing others, that’s when I (and everyone who doesn’t subscribe to your ideology) get angry, irritated, and take aim.

            What I’m doing isn’t arrogant, it’s arrogant to insist your beliefs are the only just, correct, and righteous.

          • Sadie Clements

            But you react to that comparison as if he had personally
            demeaned her decision, which if you read the new wording of the post, he had
            not meant to do. Would you argue that
            Clayton’s choice is not the alternative decision? We are only aiming to focus other Christian’s focus on his decision as the
            better reflection of the image of Christ.
            I did not know that “Death with Dignity” was what you say it is…… Not sure what else to say to that.
            Who has denied her? She made her choice and acted on it. She did so without the belief in Jesus and the knowledge of her salvation that many of us on therebelution cling to, and we are sorrowful for that. As are the rest of us, Brittany was a sinner. We would be doing the gospel message a disservice if we were to not admit that. I’m sorry if you dislike hearing it. There is an eternity, and you are either condemned or saved. Jesus is the only
            way of salvation. That is our belief, but we don’t force it on anybody. If it makes you insecure in your disbelief, if it makes you indignant because you wish to believe Brittany went to a better place, I am sorry. The gospel is not for the faint of heart, and it is not meant to make those who disbelieve comfortable in their sin but to convict them.
            You may see our beliefs as unfounded; you do not believe, so we can only assume that you will not find any foundation for our morals, values, convictions, or beliefs. So be it. Compel, yes. Not force. Some may try to coerce, but this is wrong, as it is not our place to force someone into our belief. But we will try to compel. We will try to
            convince and persuade. It is what we are called to. I can only speak for myself and not for others, but I, as far as I know, I have never admonished another who does not believe. We admonish each other, and why should you take issue with that? You are not one of us, so why is it you stand for another one of us who does believe when they are being admonished in the wisdom of the Lord so that we might present everyone fully mature in Christ. Take aim all you want, we will not be shaken; you have little business in our teaching and encouraging each other, and we have not tried to judge one who does not hold our beliefs.

          • Sam

            Thanks Sadie! I learned a lot from that article. I had no idea about some of thosshe things!

          • Sadie Clements

            Me neither, Sam. Some hard stuff they’ve gone through; great inspirations, both of them.

        • APROFFESHUNAL

          Very well put. My thoughts exactly. The comparison gave me a sick feeling in my stomach. So sad that one death should be considered lesser than another simply because of the choices the individual made in what I would imagine to be a very trying, complex and introspective time.

          • Roko

            We are defined by the choices we make. Take on the perspective of a christian and tell me who made the more righteous choice.

          • APROFFESHUNAL

            Well even Christians are capable of empathy. I know plenty of Christians who would not treat Brittany’s death flippantly or as something less than Clayton’s just because of her choice. Christianity is about acceptance regardless of perceived mistakes or flaws.

          • Roko

            Christianity is about devoting your life to God. This is why Clayton’s choice is so commendable. This is not a condemnation of Brittany because of her choice. This a chance to encourage others who may be faced with a similar situation.

          • APROFFESHUNAL

            So if I myself choose to hold beliefs other than Christianity, perhaps not devoting my life to god, am I a bad person? I just can’t agree with being ostracized and told that I’m somehow lesser because I choose to believe something different than you.

          • Absolutely not, APROFFESHUNAL. Believing in God doesn’t make anyone a better or more valuable person. And if any Christian ever says that to you, you have my permission to slap them (figuratively, of course).

            You see, my relationship with God is not based on anything good about me. It’s all due to God’s love and kindness. And being chosen by God doesn’t make me better than anyone else. In fact, it should make me more humble and consider others more highly than myself.

            But loving others and considering them highly is not the same as letting them do whatever they want. I think it’s easy for non-Christians to misinterpret Christian love, partially because so many of us get it wrong all the time, but also because it’s not a very welcome sort of love. It’s the kind of love that says, “Don’t go that way, you’re heading off a cliff.” And no one likes to be told to stop what they’re doing or change.

            So when I say that I wish Brittany made a different choice, it’s not because I think I’m smarter or better than her. It’s because I love her. It’s just not a very politically correct sort of love.

            P.S. I updated the post based on your input and my conversations with others on here. I hope it communicates my care for Brittany more clearly and my reasons for disagreeing with her choice.

          • Roko

            No one said anything about anyone being a lesser person. A principle of christianity is to view oneself as the greatest sinner and further praise God for his saving grace. I speak from a christian perspective valuing christian ideals. I wrote nothing that indicated that Brittany was a lesser person or that her life meant less. You construed that incorrectly. My point was to merely commend Clayton’s choice over that of Brittany’s. This is my opinion which is based on my own ideals and values which are deeply rooted in my faith. You are entitled to yours, why can I not be entitled to mine?

          • Kevin Wilson

            The problem is that many people are ignoring that her choice leads to a permanent separation from God. There are real consequences for our decisions. I’m sorry that people feel that our concern for the souls of others is “pushing our beliefs on them” but what sane Christian would not give warnings of the dangers of such a decision. It is because we care that we share. God tells us to love our neighbors as ourselves. If I love you as I love myself, then I would be most concerned about your spiritual state. It does not matter to me that you don’t believe in God, because I do. I know that you, as well as all others will one day stand before HIM. I want you to know as much about Him as possible. It is not my job to try to save you, but to tell you about Him. God, the Creator, and His Son Jesus Christ created each of us for a purpose. It is not for us to determine when we exit this life. Regardless of the circumstances, it is not our choice. We belong to Him. Clayton chose to allow God to use him and his illness to reach others. Brittany decided God’s ways were not good enough for her and took her life into her own hands. This is the same as turning your back on God. This is a sin that cannot be forgiven, because you cannot come to truly know Jesus and follow Him after death. The pain she suffered in life is nothing compared to the pain and suffering she will endure in eternity because of her separation from God. Call me what you will for speaking the truth, but I stand firm on God’s word. This is not a topic for debate. If you take issue with these statements, take them to God. But remember how God responded to Job when Job questioned Him. It is not for us to question God’s ways.

          • aidzee44

            Please share with me where the Bible explicitly condemns those who take their own life. And please do not use the “Thou shalt not kill” argument.

          • Kevin Wilson

            There are many things that are not explicitly expressed in the Bible. However, the Bible does define sin as simply that which goes asgainst the will of God. Therefore, choosing to end your life on your terms rather than His would be condmned as it was not His will for you to die yet. I could research specific verses that I feel describe sin as I have defined it above if needed. If you expect to find specific answers to every situation you will be disappointed. The Bible is God’s written word about His creation, their fall, and His redemptive work through Christ. It is not a list of dos and don’ts. It is more of a guide to be used to determine how best to strengthen your personal relationship with Him. Spitting in His face is surely not a good way to do that.

          • Chessa

            You are very right many sins are listed in the bible and as a Christian I know in my life I have made poor decisions but it also says gods hand is always reaching out to you all you have to do is accept it. Everyone has committed what the Bible deems as sins but I would never condemn every one of them. The only person who has the right to determine that is God so personal judgement of a sin when every Christian has committed them is going against his word as well.

          • Leslie Weinberg

            Do you eat shellfish?

          • Whaat?? We as humans (even Christians) spit in His face EVERY DAY. We sin every day. But He is bigger than our worst sin, and continues to draw near to us at all times. He is redemptive. Yes, even redemptive of death. Of course we’re supposed to try not to sin. But that doesn’t have any impact on how He cares for us.

          • Hey APROFFESHUNAL, I doubt you have read all the comments around here (who could blame you?), but I think you are really missing the whole point of why Christians (or at least, why this Christian) disagrees with Brittany’s choice.

            It’s not about consider her death as lesser than Clayton’s. Both of the deaths are heartbreaking, equally so. The difference between the two is their consequences. Clayton died while putting his faith in Jesus Christ and with the hope of eternal life. Brittany died without that faith and hope. And I wish she hadn’t. I wish she knew Jesus because I believe it matters more than anything else.

            You see, from a Christian’s perspective, this is NOT about how two people conducted their deaths — it’s about how they entered eternal life. And it does matter how you do that.

            From that point of view, the only loving thing to tell anyone is that Clayton’s choice was better. Not because he was a braver or better person. He wasn’t. Brittany seemed like an incredible person too. But as the video states, being an amazing person doesn’t get you into Heaven. Only trusting in Jesus can. And that’s what I wish for Brittany.

            Hope that makes a little sense. Thanks for participating in this discussion. I know I’ve learned a lot.

          • Sam

            Brett, I think you meant:

            You see, from a Christian’s perspective, this is NOT about how two people conducted their deaths…

          • Right! Thanks.

          • Leslie Weinberg

            How do you know that Brittany didn’t have a relationship with God?

    • Brandon

      I agree with you Leah!

      • Madeleine Grace

        Brandon what do not like about Brett’s article? is it just because he compares the two or is it something else?
        ~Madeleine

        • Brandon

          I’m sick of hearing people like this kid (who has zero life experience) casting judgement on Brittany. Using their personal belief to suggest what she did is wrong is beyond ridiculous. Brett did this in the article by using the comparison to Clayton, and he does it directly if you read his comments throughout the story. It’s wrong. It’s tacky.

          What Brittany did was her personal choice to make and no one has the right to an opinion on the manner. I know in today’s world of social media everyone feels it’s not only their right, but their duty to make their opinion on every subject known — but in this case it’s unwarranted and just plain tacky.

          Brittany ended her suffering. It was the right choice for her. Clayton didn’t. It was the right choice for him. One choice isn’t better than the other. It’s not a competition. Making remarks that turn their deaths into adversarial functions is only something a petulant child would do for his own gain — and look at the page views it has gotten him.

          • Kevin Wilson

            If you understood anything about Christianity you would understand the need for the comparison. We believe in God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ) and the Holy Spirit. We know that one day all will stand before the Triune God in judgment. Those who are followers of Christ will enter the kingdom, those who are not will be sent to Hell. Our beliefs make this a fact for us. It does not matter if someone else believes, they will one day bow before the throne. God tells us to love our neighbors as ourselves. Now I don’t know about you, but I love myself enough to care about avoiding eternal suffering….this is why I warn others of the potential for their eternal suffering. You may call this “pushing my beliefs” on them, but I call it giving them the gift of love that was given to me by my creator.

            The being said, as a Christian I know that our life choices have consequences. I know that although I follow Christ, I will continue to sin throughout my life. I know that Christ paid the penalty for my sins on the cross. I do not desire to go on sinning, but it is a reality of my sinful nature that now wars against my spiritual nature that occasionally my sinful nature will win the battle. This does not mean it wins the war. Christ won that war on the cross. I am forgiven of my sins, past and future, because I have accepted his payment.

            There is however one sin that is unforgivable because you cannot ask for forgiveness once you are dead. No follower of Christ could commit this sin, because Jesus told us and assured us that nothing can pluck a Christian from His Father’s hand. This sin is suicide. You can say that Brittany made the choice that is right for her, but to a Christian this is just not so. Because of our beliefs, we know that the pain and suffering she had in this life are of no comparison to the pain and suffering she will now suffer for eternity because of her separation from God. You say she ended her suffering, but sadly it has only just begun.

            Now because, as Christians, we believe this with all our heart, we feel the need to warn those who may consider doing this that it is the wrong choice, that this choice will lead to eternal damnation. You don’t have to believe this, but it does not make it any less true for us. We share our concern because we care. The thought of anyone, even a total stranger, enduring eternal suffering is sad to us. We would not wish that on our worst enemies. So naturally we are going to respond to this controversial matter. Naturally we are going to point others to people like Clayton who allowed God to continue to work through him and use his illness to reach the lost.

            Sorry if this offends you, but it is our belief, and last time I checked I still have to right to share it in this country. If you take issue with these, feel free to take it up with God himself, but remember how God responded to Job when Job questioned Him. It is not for us to question God’s ways. Just as it is not for me to save you, but to inform you that there is a God and He loves you and wants you to follow Him. But woe be to those who turn and go their own way.

            May the peace and comfort of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

    • Madeleine Grace

      Hey Leah why do find this so patronizing? i don’t think she was a coward but i do think what she did was wrong. i understand that “hey i’m just going to die so why not get it over with” but what i don’t understand is why wouldn’t you want to share this with the world to tell other people who might be going through this that God is sovereign and that His will is just and that his glory and power will be shown through this hardship. if i only had a day to live i would spend it sharing the love of Christ with others. but i do understand we’re your coming from. but i also don’t believe that that was the right thing to do :)

      ~Madeleine

      • Brandon

        I don’t believe it is your place to have an opinion on the subject of how Brittany chose to end her life. Your opinion, your judgement was not solicited. If you should find yourself in her position one day with a debilitating, painful, and life-ending illness — you are free to make whatever choices you want about your life. You strip her of dignity when you admonish her choices, even by comparison.

        • Chessa

          As someone who suffers from Grand Mal seizures due to head trauma. I have anywhere from 9 minute ones to 11 minute ones yet only once a year. If you think what you go through during one is “dignity” you need a wake up call. Peeing on yourself and losing months of memory at a time I can assure you makes you feel extremely undignified. If you read her last days she’s crying saying I don’t want to die. She was young just got married…do you people really think she wanted to kill herself? Now it also said her seizure were getting more frequent and linger which each one causes partial brain damaged and at the end she probably didn’t want her husband changing the sheets and being terrified for her every time she had one. Its one of the most horrific experiences for the individuals around you and hers were only getting worse. Crying and saying she does not want to die but wants to leave her family with only fond memories was not going to happen. I can only speak on behalf of the seizures but I know the damage that extreme of one’s cause and I don’t have multiple ones a day as she was. But comparing a dying girl in pain who says she wants to live and doesn’t want to die to someone who goes outside and shoots themselves because they no longer want to live is ridiculous. Those are very very different. Its the same as saying as most of you probably have told family members if you are ever on life support or a vegetable you do not want to live that way so to make that choice. So it’s okay to then ask someone to pull the plug and what has been claimed on here as “murder” over a decision you made before hand so you made the decision shouldn’t be any different. In God’s eyes you are still alive so therefore I guess you’re committing suicide as well. There’s a huge difference in someone who wants to live but isn’t able to and someone who just doesn’t want to and takes their life. So maybe you should rethink how you wanna go out and live as a vegetable if something happens having your family clean you and do everything for you because otherwise that’s suicide as well. Its about not wanting to live that way any more or be a burden to your family what good are you doing here on earth? So if you condemn her decision think about your own.

          • Brandon

            I don’t think you meant to respond to me with this… I’m one of few who take issue with this article and anyone admonishing her or her choices.

          • Chessa

            No i did it from my phone so when it updated your response I just clicked on it as a reply but no its not to you its to the others……and I meant live* not leave. T9 word isn’t working with me right now

          • Chessa, I’m extremely sorry to hear about the suffering you have endured. And I want to state once again that I do not judge Brittany for making the decision she did. I have repeatedly acknowledged that it makes perfect sense, was reasonable, and courageous.

            At the same time, I wish she had made a difference choice, because for me, belief in God and eternal life changes the equation. When I add those factors into Brittany’s decision I see that her greatest suffering wasn’t the physical torment of her last few months, but an eternity separated from God.

            And out of love for Brittany, I wish she had stayed on earth and had more chances to put her faith in Jesus Christ, than that she escaped some of her awful seizures.

            You see, without Jesus in the equation I have no beef with Brittany’s decision. In fact, I would applaud it as wise. I would probably make the same decision for myself.

            But because Jesus is in the equation, the stakes shift from avoiding suffering on this earth to avoiding suffering for eternity. Does that make sense? Even if you disagree, can you see why a Christian would disagree with her choice and could do so out of care and concern for Brittany?

            Finally, I wanted to clarify that I personally see a huge difference between having an advanced directive asking not to be put on life support and taking a poison pill. The first involves artificially extending your life beyond natural death. The second involves artificially shortening your life before natural death. Perhaps others would disagree, but I am perfectly comfortable with advanced directives of that sort.

            Thanks again for participating in this discussion, Chessa. I wish you all the best.

          • Chessa

            I appreciate your response and I absolutely can see the other side. But I am also a Christian and to me and this is just to me I see the difference in suicide and what she did though others may not. I’ve watched the suffering of others where they were not themselves anymore and to me I just see it differently in that that she did want to live but wasn’t able to and who knows at her age maybe that made her question God? I dont know because I was not there but I just see it different in the choice she made. I see it as a medical decision where I look at suicide totally different and though others may disagree with that it’sjust my oopinion as a Christian too and I can only hope that God opened his arms to her and she went to him before and felt peaceful with her decision but the bible didn’t think of advances we would have in this century so I just see it differently than going out with the intent to kill yourself.

        • Madeleine Grace

          i’m not judging her Brandon my heart is breaking for her family right know and for her. i never meant to be disrespectful and i’m not. it’s not my place to judge my father in heaven does that. But what’s the problem with having an opinion? i’m patronizing her i’m not dissing her or calling her a coward. i’m just saying i wish she would have chose to spend that time with her family or doing something to improve this world. and if i’m coming across as admonishing her choice that’s not what i’m trying to do. and i’m so sorry that i have offended you with my opinion. and i’m not giving Clayton a high five because he chose to make something of himself in the last days he had left. I love it that he would devote his last days to trying to bring others to Christ. and i’m so glad that he made a video because My brother really needs to hear what he has to say. i’m not comparing.
          God Bless
          ~Madeleine

          • Brandon

            Do you not see that your opinion is judgement in itself? “I wish she would have chose to spend that time with her family or doing something to improve this world.” That is judgement — though not a harsh one, it is still indeed judgement.

            You are free to have an opinion, but my question is why? Why do you (or anyone else) feel it is important to weigh in on the life or death choices of someone you don’t know, never met, who (I assume) lives hundreds or thousands of miles away? Mind you, you’re ignorant (as we all are) of all the facts pertaining to her illness, personal situation, and thoughtful consideration that lead her to make this choice. Brittany said on more than one occasion that she didn’t want to end her life. She wanted to live! But sadly, that wasn’t a real option. She had, at most, a few months to live — and her illness began to take away her faculties. She began to forget who people were, she would have seizures, she was in incredible pain. What good is it for her to spend time with family if she doesn’t know who they are or if she is in such pain she can’t engage them? We only saw the videos where she was feeling somewhat good and presented in the best possible light — that wasn’t her daily reality. I can’t even imagine the fear of one day waking up and being unable to move or not knowing who I am, who my family members were, or lacking the ability to speak. That is what her illness was doing to her — and one day she would suddenly lose all control and be trapped in a body.

            This is why I think it’s a little outrageous for anyone to have an opinion on the subject. We knew little about her situation or her as a person. So to use personal belief as the vehicle to question her choices while having NO facts about her reality is 100% wrong in my book. Simply put, it’s pure assumption and for no purpose as you (nor I) have/had any stake in her life or death.

          • Madeleine Grace

            Your right! in that it’s not my place to judge it’s not my place to have an opinion. and your right! i don’t know all the facts i didn’t know that this disease was so debilitating. I don’t know what i would choose if i were in her spot. your right in that and i’m sorry if i offended you in any way. Why do we have opinions on this? i don’t rightly know but Brett only wanted to encourage us to display her story as something not to be looked down upon. i don’t believe she was a coward i believe she did what was right for her and i don’t maybe i would have done that but i can’t know until i’m put in her shoes until i know all the fact.
            God Bless You,
            ~ Madeleine

            P.S. i implore you to watch the videos on Clayton if you haven’t already you might find something worth your while in them!

          • Brandon

            Thank you Madeleine. I did watch the videos of Clayton, he was a great kid who showed courage and dignity in his own way. I hope that he met his unfortunate death in the most peaceful way possible, feeling like he accomplished something worthwhile.

            I’m glad you understand my perspective on having an opinion with this woman’s choices, as many do not. I know Brett didn’t directly mean any offense with his story, and his update to the story makes that very clear — but that is a symptom of the problem. I think in this world today, we’ve been trained to think it’s our duty and obligation to chime in on every subject. We went too far on the quest of making everyone feel important to the point where now folks feel their opinion is of the highest regard and it must be known to all. We’ve removed the ideas of privacy, modesty, and filtering one’s thoughts with the modern world we live in… some aspects of that are good, others not so much. I have done it, too. Then one day, I realized that I was investing interest in a person’s story who I didn’t know, and that didn’t affect me at all. I was casting judgement for no purpose — it wasn’t in defense of an innocent, over a cause that affected the country or a segment of the population — I had no pony in that race. That is what I feel has happened with Brittany’s story. It’s sad. Thank you again for taking the time to understand my perspective.

          • Madeleine Grace

            Your Welcome Brandon! i do understand especially about us casting judgement on people whom we do not know, and casting judgment on their decisions when we don’t even know the facts. i confess that i didn’t know all the things that you told me in your last post about her. and i kind of spoke to quick please forgive me for that! i do understand were your coming from. i’m sorry i got so offensive :)
            May God Bless You!
            ~Madeleine

    • Craig W

      I agree with your comment! It is one’s own decision to make. You would have to live a day in either one of their bodies to fully get to make your opinion on the decisions that were made!!

      • Hey Craig, I agree with you to a point. There are many choices that can only be made by the person suffering. However, if a suffering person chose to murder someone else, that choice is open for opinions and judgment. Killing someone is wrong.

        I happen to also believe that killing yourself is wrong — even though it was perfectly understandable why Brittany chose to do so. And when anyone is publicly advocating for doing something wrong (no matter how heart-wrenching their situation) any person can have an opinion about it.

        Furthermore, when someone is publicly advocating for a political campaign to legalize something I believe is wrong, then I definitely have a right and basis for sharing my opinion on it.

        Brittany was trying to spark a national discussion. Those are usually two-sided. People accuse Christians of living in an echo-chamber, but all this “no one can have a different opinion” business is the definition of an echo-chamber.

        • Brandon

          So now you are comparing Brittany’s choice to murdering someone else? Wow.

          It was her life. It was her choice.

          I am so sick to death of religious nutbags like you wanting legal intervention on personal choices on the basis of your personal beliefs. Newsflash: not everyone subscribes to your brand of faith.

          Here is the truth: you can have an opinion that is different than her. You can even blurt it out and look like a tacy person sticking your nose where it doesn’t belong, right in the middle of someone’s life-ending decisions who you don’t even know. But why on earth should your personal beliefs be used as the basis of a law preventing end-of-life decisions between a terminally-ill person and their doctor? There are thousands of religious ideologies in this nation, if you think your’s should get preferential treatment, you’re a foolish child who should have paid more attention in school when you were busy tinkering on your blog of zealotry.

          This is not a Christian nation. This is a nation free from religious oppression. That means our laws are not to reflect or infringe upon the practice of anyone’s beliefs. Allowing others the dignity to end their life as Brittany did does not infringe upon your right to NOT do the same thing. When will Christians learn that their faith is meant to guide their own lives and not be forced upon those who either don’t believe or choose differently?

          • Brandon

            Brett, in reply to your comment that you seem to have removed, “Brandon, can you not see the incredible irony in how zealously and arrogantly you are trying to shove your views on me?”

            No, there is no irony. I’m not trying to force any opinion or view upon you. I’m trying to explain how improper it is for you to have an opinion on the choices of someone you don’t know and will never meet. Further, I’m trying to explain to you that you are entitled to have whatever opinion you want and do whatever you want according to your faith — use your beliefs to guide your life. But maybe, just maybe you can allow others the same dignity.

            Why does it have to be a competition? Why do you have to pull others to your view? Does persuading others to your view make your view somehow more correct in your eyes?

            Religion is a great tool to bring meaning for many. And if your faith gives you something positive, that’s great. But demanding others yield to your beliefs is what is wrong with this world today. Look at the Middle East — the turmoil there is all on the basis of their religious ideology. That is what comes of people insisting that their views are the only just, correct views. While you’re certainly not comparable to Islamic fundamentalists, many Christians are heading in that direction by demanding laws be ascribed to their faith and admonishing folks for making choices that seem contrary to Christian beliefs. What would be better is to direct your faith inward, use those values that you hold so dearly to guide your own life. Brand your faith as a personal path, not a directive that others should follow (or else). I’ve gone off on a bit of a tangent, but this story is just one example of Christian values overreaching today.

            Simply put, personal belief isn’t more important than personal choice.

          • Kevin Wilson

            If you understood Christianity at all you would know that we are instructed to spread our faith to all the nations. Christianity isn’t self-help American garbage, it is a call to the lost of this world to come to God. We are not to focus on ourselves, but to love one another.

          • Brandon

            You are instructed to do so as a means of indoctrinating others for the purposes of control, order, and revenue. The original covenants of the Christian faith weren’t to pull others to believe as you do, they were to live by example, help those in need, and by living a Christian life, bringing others to know your truth. If that is what folks did, I’d not only encourage it, I’d praise it… but today’s world is less about leading by example and more about shaming others for making disagreeable choices and coercing them to fall into line with the current incarnation of the church’s ideology for the purpose of control, power, and revenue. I think your response is full of good intentions, but it’s just more church propaganda. And I say church, not Christian, because there is a difference.

          • Sarah Phillips

            Hi, Brandon. Wow. Have you been reading “That Printer of Udell’s,” by any chance? I highly recommend it to you, not just as a realistic fiction novel, but as an answer to your statements (it has amazing comments from a main character who starts off against the Christian faith). Can I offer some feedback here, not only to you, but others? From an experienced viewpoint?

            I have been hurt and abused emotionally and spiritually by some church members. I will not deny that, and I wish it were not so. Yet, I still am one.

            Why?

            I find God’s love more important and worth seeking above the fact that the Church is *messed up* (for emphasis!). It’s full of redeemed sinners; some are on the right track, and some are not. We are not perfect, and we are also not always as controlling or power hungry as you may think. I know that the history of the church is riddled with mistakes, manipulation, false doctrines, and political propaganda. I know. I hate that. But that is not Christianity. That is imperfect people giving into the temptation to use something wonderful in the wrong way.

            To me, the God who loves me is more important than that. I will obey Him and belong to the Church regardless of its faults because He says, “What is that to you? Follow thou me.” And I will follow.

            That’s my two cents worth. :) Thanks for reading.

          • Brandon

            Thank you, Sarah. I’ll check it out. My path is a different one and I’m not really an advocate nor an opponent of any particular brand of faith. I’m agnostic, a skeptic… but I encourage all to choose the path that gives them the most comfort and fits best to their life. I’ve studied history and the religious ideologies of the world for 20 years, so that is what draws me to conversations like this. The sad thing is that many Christians are ignorant of the historical aspects of their faith, and the world before the advent of modern ideology. But, I will pick up your recommendations and check it out. :)

          • Julie

            Kevin,

            You’re talking over Brandon and missing the essence of what he’s saying. Jesus never told his followers to require the world to live by God’s standards. As we live by His standards, the world will see (or not) and it will draw people to God (or not) and that is enough. Our message should be one of hope, but often our message sounds like judgment and condemnation. Sinners flocked to Jesus. Why are sinners running from us rather than flocking to us? It wasn’t Jesus’ speech on his stance on extortion that led Zacchaeus’ to glom onto Jesus and eventually repent. The only people that really got hammered by Jesus in the way Christians are known for hammering sinners were the judgmental religious people. What did Jesus do that drew people to him that we’re not doing? Think about it.

          • Hey Brandon, just wanted to let you know that I appreciated this comment and I think it helped me understand and appreciate your perspective better. I haven’t been able to comment today because I was busy with other things and when I did try to comment the website was loading so slowly I had to give up (we’ve been crushed with traffic to this post).

            Anyway, just wanted to let you know that I do plan to re-engage in our discussion when my schedule permits. I think it is important and that what you say deserves a thoughtful reply. All the best to you!

          • Madeleine Grace

            Brandon he’s not trying to persuade others to his beliefs he’s just stating his opinion and trying to give us encouragement. all of hear on the rebulution aren’t trying to persuade others to our beliefs we’re just stating what we would have done what our view is on it. and you attacking us at every turn isn’t nice and isn’t accomplishing anything. fine you don’t agree with what Brett said than just leave it at that don’t ridicule us for having faith in a God who is true and just. and don’t ridicule us for having an opinion, for believing that what she did we would never do. we’re all entitled to our opinions. and that’s ok, if you don’t agree with what we’re saying it’s ok but you don’t have to be mean about it. and Brett also portrayed her in a good sense if you looked at other social media and the news you would see that they portrayed her like she was coward. but i don’t’ believe she was. i’m just saying i would do more try to make the world a better place and give God the glory before my last day came.
            ~Madeleine

          • Brandon

            Sure he is. That’s the point of this article, to present an option that he finds more palatable. It’s a bit silly to think otherwise.

            And no, I’m not attacking you or anyone. It’s pretty sad that you think a view in opposition is an attack. What I have said, time and time again, is that your faith is your’s — use it as a guide to your own life. But why must you (Christians) impose it upon others? Why must laws be written that adhere to Christian ideology so that non-believers must live by your beliefs? That is where I drew the line — not to tell you that there is something wrong about your beliefs, but to tell you that non-believers shouldn’t have to adhere to them nor listen to your judgement.

          • Madeleine Grace

            I’m not saying they should either. we’re not trying to impose it upon others at least i’m not. i’m just trying to make know the name of Jesus Christ who saved our souls so that God might do a work in your hearts. if it comes across to you that i am imposing my faith upon you i’m sorry that’s not want i want to do.
            ~Madeleine

          • Brandon

            It’s all in the presentation of your position. I’m not saying you, personally, do this — but many Christians do. Rather than make a statement like, “that choice might be right for that person, but I think I would do differently because of my beliefs,” but instead statements are made that sound more like, “that person did something sinful and God will punish them.” Statements like that aren’t about what the Christian would do, they aren’t authentic, and they are purely based upon a singular interpretation of a singular ideology. I think it’s wonderful that Christians and others of different faiths find meaning, hope, and direction from their beliefs, but outwardly projecting those ideas onto others is where I object. This is why I say a better path is speaking to your own reality and employing modesty by realizing not everyone needs or wants to believe as you (Christians) do. Leading by example and giving dignity to the choices others make while sticking to your own path will make your audience more receptive to your message — and isn’t that the real goal? When you remove the implied judgement, you leave the conversation open for discussion and remove the adversarial nature.

          • Madeleine Grace

            yes many Christians do do that i agree. and we shouldn’t your right. and yes your right that is, to lead by example, and to give people dignity when it’s deserved and not trying to force it down non-believers throats is what we strive to do (or at least me) i can’t speak for all but i do believe that that’s right. :)
            God Bless,
            ~Madeleine

          • Hey Brandon, I wanted to let you know that I’ve update the original post based on the feedback you and others have given me. I don’t expect for you to agree with me because of this, but I hope my care for Brittany and my understanding of her decision come through more clearly. And I hope the reason for why a Christian would lovingly disagree with her choice makes sense too. Let me know what you think.

          • Brandon

            Thank you. This was a vast improvement. I still do take issue with some characterizations as they are largely assumptions on your part:

            “At the same time, as Christians, it is heartbreaking to think that Brittany most likely made that choice without God in the picture, without the hope of eternal life, and without trusting in Jesus Christ for her salvation. You see, with Jesus in the equation the stakes shift from this life to the next — and I don’t think Brittany saw that.” While this is a soft characterization, it’s a lot of assumption on the motives and thought process of Brittany and her family. It’s a little insensitive to say she acted without considering God as she was a believer. A better way to present your concern would have been to say you worry about her choice and how it reconciles with your personal beliefs. You don’t know her or how she felt, but you can speak from the heart as to how you’d feel, act, think if you were in her shoes. And you can do that without casting dispersions on Brittany and her choices, “Brittany did what she felt was right for her, I think I would chose a different path and here is why…” If you were to make your position a personal one (as you did in the following paragraph), you’d not be speaking for her or casting doubts on her character, beliefs, etc. By doing this, you’re story would also be far more authentic and an exploration of your personal beliefs, thoughts, and life. After all, your direct views are what has brought people here.

            But, as a whole, this was a wonderful update and your story takes less away from Brittany.

          • Roko

            Christians will never stop trying to spread the gospel and the faith. That is the calling left to us by Christ who is the cornerstone of the christian faith.

          • Brandon

            In other words, you think your unfounded beliefs are more important than someone else’s reality. Cool story, brah.

          • Roko

            Very much so. You finally get it. For a christian God comes first. He is the reason for my reality.

          • Brandon

            But not the reality of others who have different beliefs.

          • Brandon

            But not the reality of others who have different beliefs.

          • Brandon

            How about instead of attempting to force others to think the way you do, you live your life by the example of your faith. If it’s really so good and so true, others will follow. Constantly pointing at others and saying what amounts to, “God says that’s a NO NO according to me!” does little persuade anyone that you or your faith are ‘correct’ or even worth a listen.

          • Roko

            Is anyone forcing the christian belief down your throat. Am I sticking a gun to you and saying confess Christ or I will pull the trigger. NO. Quite the contrary Christians have been extensively persecuted for not denying Christ. Speaking out for what one believes is living by example. What else should we do? Without spreading what God says (AKA the BIBLE), how are we to show people what our faith is?

          • Brandon

            Yes, folks demanding these laws be repealed on the basis of religious belief. Those are the people forcing Christian beliefs down the throats of others. And no, it’s not the contrary that is true. Christians just happen to think that if there are laws allowing others to live their lives as they wish, that is an attack on their beliefs. For instance, allowing couples of the same sex to marry — Christians somehow think that by allowing these individuals the legal right to marry under the law, that is a persecution or denial of Christian rights. It’s not.

            And the reasoning behind “spreading what God says” isn’t to share faith, it’s to garner more followers and amass more power, influence, and money for the church. Let’s not kid ourselves. Religion is a business, and business is dwindling.

          • Margaret

            Brandon, I appreciate your intelligent voice. I also appreciate your call to Christians to live by example. I think I agree with you that our life example is far more powerful than words. Are you suggesting that the only correct course for Christians is to remain silent about their convictions? Am I being forced by you to believe what you are espousing because you have chosen to speak up? Clearly, you believe that your worldview is superior to mine, but I don’t understand the justice in the desire to silence any view. I don’t believe I am forced to believe what you have chosen to give voice to, that is unless I am forced to be silent. Free will is a basic tenet of Christianity. Neither of us have the ability to force, however, each of us should be afforded the ability to speak.

          • Brandon

            No, Christians don’t have to keep silent. But they also don’t have to admonish another’s choices as a means of holding up another choice in higher regard. The adversarial nature of Christianity has made this a common practice — to demonize one person or choice as a means of elevating another.

            One is capable of saying they *think* they would choose differently than Brittany while still recognizing that her choice was the right one for her. Simply put, you can have your cake and eat it too. You can hold onto your values while allowing others the dignity of their choices, too.

            Try something like this, “While Brittany’s choice to end her life was the right one for her, I’m just not sure I could do that. In my beliefs, we think ending our own life is wrong and I’d be fearful that my God would take issue with that choice. I’m happy she chose what was right for her, but I think my path would be different.” A statement like that removes any implied judgement and makes it the stated opinion 100% authentic and 100% respectful of the opposing choice.

            I guess it comes down to respect and modesty for me…

          • Margaret

            Thanks for your response, Brandon. You state your case clearly, and I believe that iron sharpens iron when we choose to listen, so thanks for giving me that opportunity. I in no way want to speak for Brett because he does a beautiful job of speaking for himself. I see this post as being less of an admonition and more of a presentation of differing perspectives. One is the perspective of complete human autonomy. The other is a belief that there is one far greater than ourselves in whom the fulness of love is found when we yield our lives to him. There is no forcing or condemnation involved, however, there is an invitation that can be accepted or rejected. If Christians believe what they believe to be true, it would be the ultimate form of hatred not to share it.

            There would be nothing loving about me telling my children or any loved one that I believe what they are doing is right for them when I believe that something could bring them harm or limit their potential for beauty. Should they choose that thing, (and they often do) it in no way changes my love for them. It merely makes my heart sad because my immense love for them desires every good.

          • Sadie Clements

            STOP SAYING THAT!!!!!! As a Christian, I cringe when other Christians take it upon themselves to judge non-believers. We don’t force, Brandon. We speak. We talk. If you’re an American you should be familiar with the concepts of freedom of speech and freedom of religion. We converse with you. Unless you’ve met some Christians who shouted you down in their attempt to evangelize you, and there are those who do, then you need to lay off the judgmental way you speak about us until you meet a few who are actually Christ like. I can’t stand it! You have such a twisted of view of how Christians are actually supposed to be like it makes me angry at you! Does that sound familiar? Now you’re making me angry. Please, enough with the saying we force people. There are those of us who do, and one day they will have to answer to God for the hindrance they’ve been to the gospel. As for the rest of us, we’re anti-forceful, if you want to put it in a more humorous way.

          • Becca

            Amen, Sadie! I agree with every word!

          • Roko

            This nation was founded on Christianity. I am sure you remember the pledge. ” I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation UNDER GOD, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

          • Brandon

            No, this nation was not founded upon Christianity. It was founded upon the idea to be free from religious persecution. Further, John Adams (founding father and 2nd president) said, “As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion…” in the Treaty of Tripoli. It’s pretty hard to dispute those words.

            And the pledge hasn’t been around long… the first pledge was written in 1892. The phrase “under God” wasn’t added until 1954. This was added in response to the communist threat of the times.

            I would suggest brushing up on your US history.

          • Sam

            You are right that the phrase was added in 1954.

            The United States of America was founded with Christian values, not necessarily Christianity. Not all of the leaders back then were Christians, but the majority of them held Christian values highly. In that place and time, Christianity was widely accepted by the by American culture. Now, that is not the case, as proven by the flood of comments condemning this acticle.

            Thank you for your comments Brandon, though I cannot agree with most of what you say. You are helping me to ponder my path.

          • Brandon

            Thanks Sam. For what it’s worth, most scholars actually think the majority of the founding fathers were not Christian, but rather deists and/or agnostic. You have to realize that these men were first and foremost scholars of their time, and had a hard time buying into what couldn’t be proven.

            Where most people get confused, like you did, is with the idea that the nation was founded with Christian values. Rather than citing Christian values as our forefather’s influence, we can more aptly cite basic morality and laws from both their homeland (England) and Roman law. We can also see this influence in how our government was constructed with much inspiration from the Roman Empire. It’s hard sometimes to separate morality from Christian ideology because as Americans we’re so indoctrinated with the concept that Christianity is “normal” and that the world really began with the advent of the faith — even our calendar started over with the birth of Christianity! But, through careful consideration of historical fact, we learn that basic morality has been around for thousands of years longer than any modern brand of faith. The first society, the Sumerians, had government, laws, punishment, and an entire set of social practices that set the course for human societal development — even Christianity.

          • Kevin Wilson

            Well by your own logic then we should probably have no laws. The majority of laws come from religious beliefs. You may choose to say it is based on morals or humanity, but the fact remains that today’s laws closely reflect the laws of most religions. Thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal were replaced with laws against murder and burglary just to give a couple examples.

          • Brandon

            The majority of our laws do not come from religious beliefs. They come from Roman society — our own government was largely designed based upon the Roman Empire.

            Religion doesn’t have the copyright on morality. Morality exists well outside religious construct. The idea to not cause harm to another person isn’t Christian, nor any other faith. Laws have been in place prohibiting murder and other heinous crimes longer than the existence of today’s popular brands of faith. The Sumerians, the first people, had government, laws, morality, and social order — and they were around 5,000 years before the advent of Christianity and monotheistic ideology.

          • Sam

            What, then, is the basis for morality?

          • Brandon

            I replied to your other comment a bit more at length. But the basic idea of morality exists outside of religious identity. We’re delving into a philosophical area. To make this short, I’ll bullet point a few concepts.

            1. Morality is a complex structure to maintain social cohesion and enhance survivability among social creatures (i.e. murder is bad).

            2. Morality is present in wolf packs and other animal species. Anywhere you find social orders of animals you will find acceptable and unacceptable behaviors creating social order. For instance, if a subordinate wolf mates over the Alpha wolf, there will be consequences within their social construct. This is evidence of how social morality works and can be applied to humans.

            3. There is an inherited behavior for all species to thrive and reproduce. Doing something to cut another’s path short (like murdering them) is in conflict with this basic behavior. To simplify this without going into a wild tangent, we can just suffice with: morals are a part of genetica and are more complex in higher order mammal social structures. The mechanism that creates human morality is built into our genetics.

            4. Morals are subject to a wide range of applications and extremes, sometimes even social moralities can be created from lies, false beliefs, and indoctrination.

            5. Morals are subject to change and most are not absolute. What was once moral, like slavery, may not be moral today.

            It’s hard to have a full discussion on the matter but that sums it up for me… And if we want to dispute those five ideas, I’d posit the following rebuttal: if we get our morals from a god, are they moral because a god says they are or because a god is bound by them? This question is the Euthyphro dilema. If a thing is moral because a god says a thing is moral then this god could say that slavery is moral and it would then be good. If god cannot say this then this god is bound by outside moral laws. This would beg the question, where did these morals come from that are conveyed by god? This also brings into question the scope of human reality and philosophical concepts of time.

          • Sam

            Sir, is it possible that there is a God who created the universe and instilled basic morality into His creation at that point? If this was/is the case, it is no wonder that the Sumerians understood morality.
            I don’t really know how to answer the question of how God got His morals. It is practically the same thing as asking how God was created. The answer to that is simple: He always was. How could a mortal human such as I question how God exists? It is not possible for a human to understand this. Anyway, God’s morals are a reflection of His nature. He is bound by them, but not because an even greater Being bound Him.

            Please tell me Sir, what do you believe? Is there a God? Is that God you?

            If you are tired of discussing this with me, just don’t reply, or just make that known in your reply. Thanks.

          • Brandon

            The simple truth is that we don’t know. But where Christian institute faith for the unknown, I do not. I chose to put my faith in science, history, and other tangible ideas supported by known fact. It’s because of that I have a difficult time believing that morality is a Christian construct as morality existed before anyone human had the idea of anything monotheistic. How can something (God) exist if no one has ever heard of him? That is the Euthyphro dilemma.

            For me personally, I’m agnostic. I am the skeptic, the cynic, the person always chasing knowledge to support ideas. I’m open and respectful to all ideologies, but I won’t respect the notion that one is right over another, nor that something lacking proof or fact should be used as the basis to control another person who believes differently. I believe that if you believe, that is your right — and you are free to use your belief as your personal guide. I believe that the insistence that your beliefs are the only truth, and forcing those ideas onto another, is the first sign of a lack of faith and that it’s a fear response. I believe that, for the most part, religious ideology has been a tool for social development and power acquisition throughout history — and that whatever grain of truth there might be to some ideologies has been lost or altered along the way — but be that true or not, it doesn’t take away from the right for someone to hold onto something that gives them personal meaning or understanding of the world.

          • Sam S.

            Thank you for you’re highly informative reply, Sir. I’m grateful for this discussion, but I find it best for me to stop stating my case. I could argue against you’re points, as I highly disagree with most of them. I don’t want to say something that isn’t honoring to my God and cause you to have a greater reason to dislike Christians.
            Jesus has changed my life. I don’t want to go back to the depths of sin and despair. Jesus set me free; I don’t know where I’d be without Him. I wish the same for you. But it’s not my job to save you — I can’t save you. That’s God’s thing and He deserves all the glory for what He does.
            Thank you for your time. I’m glad you visited the Rebelution.

          • Just wanted to clarify. Yes, I was comparing Brittany choice to murder in the sense that I believe both are wrong (murder obviously so, Brittany’s choice not so obvious). But no, I absolutely was not equating her choice with murder.

            I could compare our facial hair as well without implying we have an equal amount. You win that battle hands down. 😉

          • Sam

            I might add that both of you look very nice with the amount of facial hair you have portrayed in your respective profile pictures. :)

  • Madeleine Grace

    who could end their life like that? just up and kill themselves? i mean i know she’s going to die but wouldn’t you want to know that you’ve done everything you can to leave the earth a better place? does anybody know if this girl is a christian?

    sadly i have not watched Clayton’s video :( i haven’t had the time but i will soon hopefully this afternoon sometime :) i can’t wait!!!!!!

    • Sam

      Make time!!!

      • Madeleine Grace

        ok ok i will right know :)

      • Madeleine Grace

        sam i just started it and i’m like a minute in but i can’t go on! it’s to hard

      • Madeleine Grace

        how’d you watch this? it’s so emotional and beautiful and tragic all at the same time i’ll try to push through!

        • Sam

          Most girls are more emotional than I am. I’m not usually quick to cry, but I did start to for this one. 😉

          • Madeleine Grace

            it was amazing Sam! i i don’t know what to say honestly 😉 it was so beautiful!

  • Madeleine Grace

    i just got done watching the video.

    words won’t come. all i can say is i wish i knew Clayton! i wish our paths crossed i wish he didn’t die. but God God had a plan for him and Clayton didn’t run from it he didn’t curse God but he embraced it and used his last days to honor and glorify God to tell people about him and he did he changed lives. he changed ours and he is still changing lives his legacy lives on and it’s our job to keep it that way. i’ll write more later when i have time to process this 😉

    God Bless
    ~Madeleine

    • Sam

      If he hadn’t died, you might never hear of him. Maybe you would. I wish I had the opportunity to meet him, also.
      God is good.

      • Madeleine Grace

        but still you know? God is great everything done in this world is for his glory and so that people might see his power and glory i love him so much!

  • Madeleine Grace

    oh and were can i find that video they were talking about the one that Clayton was in and that they prayed that God wouldn’t take him before it was finished?

    • Sam

      It’s the first on one this page:
      http://therebelution.com/blog/2013/05/have-you-met-clayton-mcdonald

      I highly recommend all of the videos on that page.

      • Madeleine Grace

        ok thank you so much. :) i greatly appreciate it. oh and can you give me the link to the article on the genders cause i want to send it to my brother :)

        • Sam

          http://therebelution.com/blog/2014/11/can-we-stop-the-gender-wars/

          There’s a share button that works pretty well. Try it :)

          • Madeleine Grace

            Thanks Sam. i just watched Clayton’s video the one made right before he died. How can someone be so grounded like that knowing were their going living their life like there’s no tomorrow loving people like every second could be their last it’s amazing to me. it makes me want to go and love the world like he did to throw away all the distractions of this life and focus on God and nothing else.

          • Sam

            That’s the point :)

          • Madeleine Grace

            what is?

          • Sam

            To focus on God

          • Madeleine Grace

            Thanks!

          • Madeleine Grace

            Thank You!

          • Sam

            To focus on God and bring glory to Him.

          • Madeleine Grace

            oh yeah that’s is true 😉

          • Madeleine Grace

            know i’m going to share them with my oldest brother and pray that God uses them in his life like he has used them in so many. :)

  • Madeleine Grace

    May God Be Glorified Through Clayton’s Continued Life Story!!!
    And May lost souls be brought back into the Fold of His Salvation Forever!!!!

  • Cantankerous Me

    How about we let each individual choose whether they want to live or die, and don’t glorify one over the other? Your comparison (with the pictures side by side and they way you characterized Miss Maynard via your short tone) helps no one.

    • Actually, Cantankerous Me, it has helped and encouraged tens-of-thousands of people. You being a notable exception. 😉

      • Ro Mann

        Brett, you are doing good deeds and that is wonderful. It is obvious that you passionately love Christ. But, if you are to really show the depth of His love, you need to grow into grace by not chastising “anyone’s” choices. Once you can do that, your every word will bring joy to anyone who has the fortune to hear you. You want to share an opinion, prepare for the bewilderment of those who trusted your words to display the peace and love that Jesus called us to show. I am not telling you what to do but if I were you I would take down the criticism of Brittany and would hyper-focus on Clayton. Stay positive and share the love; your words in this article are sowing disdain and hatred. That was not Christ’s message and He does not expect us to fight for Him but to demonstrate that we “get the message” of love and live it. God bless you.

        • Dear Ro Mann, thank you for communicating your thoughts in such a respectful way. I can tell that we would get along great if we could meet in person. Hopefully someday.

          Unfortunately, as much as I like you and appreciate the way you’ve approached me, I have to disagree on a few points.

          First of all, it would sadden me greatly to know that my article has caused hate or disdain against Brittany. However, the people who have communicated hateful things are a tiny minority and my guess is that they harbored those feelings long before reading my article. At the same I have seen hundreds of people speak about Brittany with compassion and consideration after reading my article.

          However (and this is the big issue) I feel like you and others who are unhappy with my article believe that disagreeing with someone is automatically hateful and disdaining.

          Well, if that were the case, your disagreement with me is hateful and disdaining too! But it’s not! Your disagreement is loving and respectful. And I’ve endeavored to make my disagreement loving and respectful too.

          Jesus wants us to love everyone, yes — and I love Brittany and her family with my whole heart. If I could meet them, I would weep with them for what they’ve had to go through. And I would not judge them or debate with them their choice. As I’ve said elsewhere, I understand exactly why they did what they did.

          But loving people does not exclude disagreeing with them publicly when they very publicly proclaim their choice as part of a political campaign to legalize Physician-Assisted Suicide. I am not attacking them or communicating directly with them, I am participating in the national discussion they were trying to create. Discussions generally have two sides.

          I’m curious, Ro Mann. Have you ever disagreed with someone you love, because you were concerned that their choice wasn’t best? In Brittany’s case, my concern with her decision is based on my care for her — not based on any personal motives or judgment.

          Brittany wasn’t a Christian, from all I can tell. She was facing incredible suffering. She chose to escape it on her own terms, rather than through the free gift of salvation Christ offers her. I didn’t want her to end her life, because I wanted her to have eternal life. I saw her jumping off a cliff to escape a fire — and my heart broke for her.

          Now that her story is so public (which was also her choice), I have a responsibility to the young people on this website. They are hearing her story and her arguments for her choice. Some of them may someday face a terminal diagnosis. Many of them were wrestling with the question, “What would I do in that situation?”

          To help them out, I wanted to give them another example of how someone else has responded — and that’s the story of Clayton. Judging from the hundreds of comments I’ve seen on Facebook and here, it is encouraging and blessing them.

          The only people, in fact, who seem offended by what I’ve written are the ones who hold to the idea that comparing two choices or preferring a Christian’s response over a non-Christian’s response to terminal cancer is somehow judgmental — but I genuinely challenge you, Ro Mann, to support that view from Scripture.

          I am personally convinced that this “don’t judge anyone’s choices” idea doesn’t come from the Bible, but from a politically-correct, sanitized, morally-relative, watered-down view of Jesus. Jesus loves everyone. He died for everyone. He offers salvation freely to everyone. But He will return someday in judgment and our choices matter.

          If we truly love people, we have to lovingly and respectfully help them make choices that please and honor their Creator and lead them towards Him for forgiveness of sins and eternal life. To do otherwise is hateful.

          • Ro Mann

            I will eventually find time to respond to all you wrote. And I agree that one day we could be friends. However, I expected you to chastise me and use my words against me saying I was being disdainful and hateful as well. It’s the easy out for someone who intends to defend himself rather than capitulate to an idea that may, or may not, be agreeable. It’s a treacherous path though, so be surefooted and walk with care. Meanwhile, think about this for me. You consciously decided to lay out what you consider the sins of someone in comparison to someone you deem, I guess the opposite, a “good Christian,” someone who chose a different path when faced with something which is to me unfathomable. My point to you was simple. You chose. You chose overtly and righteously to offer the young lady up as an example of someone who had made a lesser human sacrifice (in your eyes) and placed her under scrutiny against someone you admire. You exalted the young man while, perhaps inadvertently but I doubt it, placed the young lady as someone not holy and not abiding by your conception of Christ. You may be doing this innocently or ignorantly. Either way, you judged and then put her choice to the crowds to throw stones while elevating someone else. Innocence in youth does things that, with time and experience, wisdom can control. No doubt, you’ll get there one day. More later.

          • Holdingfast19

            just to clarify one point. Brett specifically said you weren’t being hateful or disdainful.

      • Cantankerous Me

        “Helping and encouraging” people? Don’t drink your own Kool-Aid and think the echo-chamber you have created is actually making some sort of a difference. Christian or not, when people are staring death in the face, they should be able to make their own decision. Not all choices are equal, as you say, but you don’t have the right to make other people’s choices for them.

        • Your reference to Kool-Aid is ironic given the subject matter.

          Ahem…

          Wishing Brittany made a different choice or providing an example of a different choice is not the same as making other people’s choices for them.

          Also, the accusation of echo-chamber could go both ways. You seem intent on squashing dissension. I am welcoming it. I even updated the post based on the feedback I’m receiving.

          Have you actually tried to understand where I’m coming from?

          • Cantankerous Me

            I understand completely. You do not like the idea of a person choosing for themselves whether they wish to live or die. You base your opinion on your version of afterlife insurance via Jesus Christ. Your intentions are all very plain here.
            I have noticed you are changing your blog as you go, once you actually realized how crude and obviously “judgy” your comparison was. I’m glad you’ve sought a way to rephrase what is still, at its heart, your opinion on other’s people’s deaths and what you believe is the “right” way to die. However, I believe each person should be allowed to decide how to punch their own ticket, whereas you want to impose your will — based on your religion — on others.

        • Sam

          If this wasn’t “helping and encouraging” people, it probably would not have received 37,000 “likes” on Facebook by now.

  • Riarna Toa

    This is woah.. This video almost left me in tears. It made me realise how short Life really is, and at some point most of us will die. It really opened my eyes far beyond what I imagined, how I’m living my life selfishly and with no real purpose. It really encouraged me by Clayton’s story, how he took what God gave him aboard, and instead of grieving, or giving up on God, he used his cancer to impact the lives of SO many!! It shocks me that he used it as a gift, and was so at peace. After watching this..it made me realise, I need to live my day as if it were my last, and to share God with everyone that is around me.. This is Wow! As a teen, this made me really deeply think.. what is my ultimate purpose!? What am I doing each day for God!? And my honest answer.. I have no idea! Thats hit me HARD!! But..I’m going to find out!! Thank you so much for sharing!!! Really impacted me! You guys are doing an amazing thing for God here for teens, and everyone here! Keep shining for Christ!!!!!

  • 4oregonz

    I agree with someone who mentioned below, that this is not a competition to see who is closer to Jesus. Brittany was given 6 months or less, and suffered severe seizures almost daily and incredible pain. This young man, God Bless his soul, sounds to have lived for quite awhile after his initial diagnosis, (12 years..?). If Brittany’s last few months had progressed differently, her pathe may have been different. It appears she did LIVE to the fullest that she could. I do not think Jesus has asked any of us to judge. This is not any of our business to judge anyone else’s lives, but to live our’s as Jesus has asked us to and appreciate what he did for ‘US’, as individuals, not judge everyone else or tell them how to or how not to live or die. I deeply respect and appreciate Clayton’s journey and how he shared it and reached out to others, a beautiful testament. None of us know what Brittany’s relationship and conversations were with our King. I am sure that she “loved to live” also. Without getting into my entire story…I am a Christian first, a wife and mother, a Registered Nurse who has worked with both Pediatric and Adult Hospice patients and I am currently a brain cancer survivor. I do not judge. I appreciate that I live in the State of Oregon where myself and others have choice. I support PAS 100%, only wishing that we could reword it and get the “S” out of it. Death with dignity and compassion sounds so much better that “suicide”. Brittany Maynard and Clayton, you are resting in peace at the right hand of Jesus. Continued thoughts and prayers for peace to your families~

  • Amber Daniels

    I learned a very similar lesson around the time he was first diagnosed. I was diagnosed with stage 3b Hodgkin’s lymphoma 12 days before my 19th birthday in Sept. 1997. They told me that unofficially I was stage 4 because of how far advanced I was. I am now 36 years old. They did not expect me to live. But God…

    I was not saved at the time that I found out about the cancer. I was an atheist and I hated Christians. I was completely opposite of this beautiful child. I was angry and bitter. I was hurt and didn’t really care if I lived.

    It took another year, chemo, radiation and to completely hit rock bottom for me to finally turn to Christ. Someone on here asked, “How do you live like it is your last day?” The answer is simple yet complex. Love completely. Laugh often. Never take for granted those around you. Never hate. Don’t just do the day to day mundane things that you think you have to slog through. Enjoy even the things you don’t care for. Enjoy your job. Enjoy your school work. Enjoy your kids, spouse, parents, siblings, friends, loved ones. Spend time with them. Hug them. Love them.

    And most of all, learn who you are as a child of Christ. I agree with Clayton. Cancer was a gift. It changed my life. I didn’t die. I had the opportunity to turn to Christ, and in turn I have had the privilege to change lives for the glory of God!

    The much over used phrase, “live, laugh, love,” is spot on for how anyone should live their life to the fullest.

    God bless.

    #PraiseHIM!

    • Sam

      Thank you so much for sharing this :)
      I’m thanking God for what He has done in your life and mine.

  • Josh West

    Really, really incredible. Clayton’s story has convicted me in the most incredible way. God used Clayton’s life in an amazing way. I am a current college student, struggling to understand what in the world God wants me to do with my life. Due to lack of being able to find an answer to this question, my faith has not grown. Quite the opposite actually.

    Clayton’s story and attitude has reminded me of a very particular thought that I often forget. EVERY SINGLE BREATH IS A BLESSING. Every second of life is a gift straight from God himself. Clayton has reminded me to live with a burning desire to live with joy. Joy that is rooted in that of Jesus. Life is an amazing ride no matter how long it lasts. This story has inspired me to take the reigns again. I know my time is short here, just like Clayton said. WHY NOT reach for the stars? Thank you for this.

    • You’re so welcome, Josh. So glad to hear how this video impacted you. =)

  • trog69

    I plan on killing myself as soon as other considerations take place. I will go knowing that at least I didn’t use some man-made, noxious, religious puffery to hold up the suffering of a child, saying childish things to the end, and glorying in his suffering. Ugh, the ugliness of humanity is amplified a thousand-fold by religion.

    • you are right,

      without Jesus (not without religon, but without Jesus), life isn’t worth living.

      without Jesus life and death are one and the same.

      that’s why we need Jesus, with Jesus “to live is Christ and to die is gain”, without Jesus “life is hectic and unforgiving, death just leads to even worse suffering.”

      Death leads to more suffering when you don’t know Jesus, so why pick more suffering? Take the easy way and choose Jesus, where there is a reason to live, and to die is gain.

      Don’t believe the lies that everyone goes to a “better place” when they die, because those who die without Jesus don’t go to a better place.

    • Sam

      Do you really believe that death is the end?

    • Hey Trog,
      When I first read your comment, my heart was broken. Mainly because I know how it is to feel that way and how hard it is to want life, when you are so far in a pit of depression that you can’t even see the light. I’ve been there.

      But what’s really cool is that no matter how far down you are, even if you can’t see the light, Jesus can reach down and save you. He will lift you up onto the solid ground, from that pit!

      If you choose to end your life, it’s just that. The end. There is just standing before Jesus after that, and then eternity, in the place that you choose.

      Trog, Jesus loves you so much that he died, so that you don’t have to. He died to set you free. He died to liberate you forever!

      Please please please don’t kill yourself, instead, look for the light and ask Jesus to save you! Because he would love to.

      I’ll be praying for you!

  • Guest

    Cannot believe you would compare. They both died, regardless of whether one chose to fight until their last breath, or one chose the way in which they would leave this earth. They both suffered and their families will suffer until their last breaths. Must we constantly compare everything? Can we not just honour both of their memories? She may have chosen to end her life, but that is her choice! You may not agree with what she chose, but your personal opinion on what she has done, should not come into context! I think the only thing that should be taken from both of these tragic deaths is to live every day as if it is our last. To tell our loved ones what they mean to us! To smile and laugh and live! To both of the families, may your loved one rest in peace and may you find peace in the fact that they are no longer suffering!

  • Elinor Rigby

    Thank you so much for posting this story about Clayton. A heroic young man that I otherwise might not of heard of. Fantastic testimony to show my teenage children & encourage them in their lives & challenge them in their walk with Christ.

  • NWaff

    The tragedy us some ,who are given 6 months, live for years and years. Some are able to marry. Some see their children grow. And some see their own grandchildren.

    • Michael

      NWaff…I don’t think Brittany took her death cocktail on a day she was feeling healthy. She was near death…she wasn’t going to get out of bed ever again! You all who say stuff like this think they just wake up and say…today is the day. You think they take it lightly!

  • heidi

    Here we have two stories and two individuals who faced hardship; they both did what they felt was right for them. They both have made an impact on people’s lives and they both chose to live their lives as they saw fit. Neither was right or wrong for what they chose to do, they both followed what they believed to be their true path and that is honorable.

  • Madeleine Grace

    This video found me in just the right moment. not just for my personnel benefit but for my brother’s. my 20 year old brother is in Virginia going to collage. he’s not taking it seriously and failing. i don’t know were he is right know on his walk with God but when i saw both the videos about Clayton i said to myself He needs to see these he will never be the same. my prayer is that he would see them and stop wasting his life that God would use Clayton’s story to give him the final push to open his eyes so that he can see what he’s doing with his life. Thank you so much guys for posting these videos about Clayton and thank you God for leading us all to them and Thank you For Clayton McDonald. Jesus Saves! Yes I Believe!

    God Bless
    ~Madeleine

  • Wow. amazing and inspiring and… thought provoking. Thank you for providing an actual (alternative) example to consider. You might also like this post, from a man who has a chronic illness, and helps others who are dealing with hard questions. http://www.chrismorriswrites.com/2014/11/03/brave/

  • Chase Graves

    In tears because of this. Not sad tears but happy tears! My best friend pasted from stage 4 lung cancer last year and he was given 8 months to live and made it 9. Once he was diagnosed he made that same choice to give every single part of his life to the Lord and said “use me while I’m still her Lord” and he did! I would love for you to check out his story and read is blogs and find his videos on youtube. Andrew Heard, 30 years old with a 2 year old daughter and amazing wife. http://www.andrewbheard.com His wife Bailey has been speaking since he past and so have I. I plan on continuing sharing his story and what God did throughout all of this. He was able to publish a book 2 weeks before he past and I encourage you to check it out as well. “A Gray Faith”
    He battled stage 4 H. lymphoma when he was 18 and beat it!

    God bless you all for sharing his story and allowing people to see that life is short and we don’t know when are time is and that we have to allow God to use us to love Him and to love people. I’d love to share more if you are interested! [email protected]

  • Tim

    Thanks for telling the story of Clayton. He lived his life as the Apostle Paul did and Christ was magnified through his life and death. Philippians 1:20

  • Kelsey Lucero

    I haven’t read all these comments but I just need to point out that the article makes it seem like Brittany ended her life when she still had six months left. She was told she had 6 months at the beginning of the year. She likely had only days to a couple weeks left as it is. I can’t judge her for her decision because it’s not my place, but she didn’t STILL have six months left to live.

    • Thanks for pointing this out to me, Kelsey. I have since updated the post entirely and removed that mistake. It wasn’t intentional. I just misunderstood the timeline of Brittany’s story when I first wrote about it.

  • Aml

    Very cool video. When Clayton said, “you’re dying too,” it made me really sit back and think about how we all know that but I don’t think we all focus on it enough, especially when we let little things get to us. I think this video and Brittany’s story too, are both great tools for those who have cancer to not only relate but help them make some hard decisions. And even if you don’t have cancer, I think both stories still offer perspectives on life that we could all benefit from listening too. Thanks for sharing Clayton’s story!

  • Sam Heidengren

    Clayton McDonald is my cousin. It is so wonderful to see that even now after his death that he is still changing the lives of others. I do wish I could have known him a better.

    If any of you want to see all his videos go to http://claytonsstory.com/

    • Sam

      As a regular commenter here on the Rebelution, I thank you for posting here, Sam. I too am thrilled that this is changing the lives of so many. May God continue to be glorified because of Clayton!

    • OH MY! Sam, it is such an honor to have you here. Thank you for commenting!

  • Dani Ramsey

    There is a book that was written that tells a similar story. Check out: MicahRamseyOutreach.com

    Incidentally, Micah read your book, Do Hard Things a few months prior to his diagnosis. It is mentioned in the book.

  • Michael

    I haven’t watched the video yet…but when Brittany ended her life, she was 1.5 months left…not 6 months. The author skewed the fact.

    • Thanks for pointing this out, Michael. That was an unintentional skewering on my part. I have since updated the post entirely and removed that mistake.

  • WORDING OF THE ORIGINAL POST:

    Brittany Maynard plans to kill herself. She has a terminal brain tumor. Six months to live.

    Her public decision has sparked a nation-wide debate. Some call it suicide, others death with dignity.

    Behind the media furor lurks a personal question: “What would you do if you knew you were going to die?”

    That question made us think of Clayton McDonald. He also had terminal cancer. Three months to live.

    He made a different choice. He died with blood gushing from his nose. Death with dignity? Hardly.

    Clayton did not try to escape or shorten his suffering. He used his suffering to point many people to Jesus.

    In his last months of life Clayton lived fully. He shared the gospel, he made a video, he changed thousands of lives for all eternity.

    And if you subtract those last three months from Clayton’s life, you have a different story, a different legacy.

    While everyone else is talking about Brittany’s choice, take a minute to watch this new video about Clayton’s. (link below)

    If it impacts you the way it impacted us, please help us spread it around. Because each of us are going to die.

    Let’s heed Clayton’s call to fully live.

    • @BrettHarris:disqus the webpage for “Can We Stop The Gender Wars?” is not displaying correctly (on my apple computer).

      • How is it displaying for you, Grant? It looks fine on my apple computer.

        • Guest

          here:

          • Huh… I’m stumped, Grant. You keep reloading it and it does the same thing? And is it only that page?

          • OK, well earlier when I tried (reloaded, etc…) it showed up as shown above,and now when I first go to the webpage it still shows up wrong as above. However now re-loading fixes the problem, i’m not sure why re-loading did not work earlier, but it works now.

        • for some reason it made me a guest

      • Sam

        Grant, have you tried loading it a couple times? The server may be too busy to provide all of the data (causing a timeout). It looks OK on my Android phone (Dolphin browser) right now.

  • 1_4thebooks

    dig·ni·ty noun : a way of appearing or behaving that suggests seriousness and self-control : the quality of being worthy of honor or respect the quality or state of being worthy, honored, or esteemed.

    Doesn’t define suicide at all. But it does define people like Clayton. It will be an honor to meet him in glory.

    • I would posit that Brittany’s decision was dignified. My concern is that dignity and maintaining control at the point of death are not nearly as important as trusting in Christ and submitting to Him.

      I think we have to acknowledge that Brittany’s decision was perfectly reasonable and noble without Jesus in the picture. Saying she was cowardly or undignified, for example, isn’t the point. She wasn’t. She was just missing the bigger picture. She was viewing her decision from the perspective of this life only and missing the ramifications of her decision on the life to come.

      Does that make sense?

  • Jane Sowel

    I believe that this article fails to recognize Brittany’s complete ambivalence toward what many people before my post recognized as a “separation from God.” Brittany, quite frankly, did not value her relationship with God because she was a non-christian.
    Once more, failing to form a connection with God is a PERSONAL choice- one that should not be scrutinized by nosy commenters- or juxtaposed with a situation which is completely different from her own.
    Despite the fact that Brett has repeatedly denied his belief that Clayton’s choice is held to a higher standard, it has become evident that he believes otherwise. You see, Brett, your dissection of Brittany’s decision is completely irrelevant in the grand scheme of existence; whether or not you believe in the existence of a divine being. Additionally, Brittany did what SHE BELIEVED to be best FOR HER, a decision that should not be desecrated by your opinion on her life choices.

    • Sam

      Touching a hot stove is a personal choice too, but it’s only fair for those who see the danger to warn of it.

      • Jane Sowel

        touching a hot stove is understandably dangerous and painful; however, not all people see an eternity without God as such, and you would be ignorant to believe that.

        • Jane, I don’t think it matters how many people see something as dangerous, but rather whether it actually is.

          Wealthy citizens in the Roman Empire drank water that flowed through lead pipes. If I could go back to that time, I would warn them. And it would be irrelevant whether they already believed lead pipes were dangerous or not. It would only matter whether what I said was true.

          I think that’s what Sam is getting at. As Christians we believe that there is great danger in dying apart from faith in Jesus Christ. We must (out of love) warn others. And all that matters is whether what we say is true or not.

          Does that make sense?

          • Sam

            That’s exactly what I meant.

          • Exactly, Brett!

  • Hello Jo Lene and welcome to the website. Thank you for joining the discussion. Your comments about the church and religion made me think of this video by a guy name Jeff Bethke called “Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus.” I thought you may appreciate it:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IAhDGYlpqY

    At the same time, I’m concerned by your reference to “my God” as if God is someone we can shape in our own image and mold like Play-Doh. Such a creature is not “God” at all, but a puppet who rubber stamps your opinions and preferences.

    As a Christian my concern for Brittany wouldn’t change if she made a choice with “her God” because I want her to know the One True God. And I say that out of love, not judgment. Because I truly believe there is only one way to be saved — and that is through Jesus Christ. If I see someone headed down a different path, I will call after them, not because I think poorly of them at all, but because I care so much about their future.

    I hope that makes at least some sense to you, even if you disagree.

  • Liberty

    It is cowardly to kill yourself. It is bravery to live with a terminal illness until GOD calls you home. And no, she did not have rock-hard reasoning for killing herself. She had selfish, wicked reasons. That does not mean those reasons aren’t understandable; they are. But they do not justify throwing away the life God gave you. Please don’t excuse her evil choice. Clayton did the right thing. That’s who should be celebrated.

    • Brandon

      Why should either choice be celebrated? Why should you have an opinion on any person you don’t know making one choice or another regarding the end of their life due to a terminal illness?

      She had rock-hard reasoning in her opinion — and that was the only opinion that really mattered.

      Your statements are exactly what is wrong with Christians today. Save your judgement and indignation for yourself. Save your interpretation of your faith for yourself, too. Use your faith as your guide, not your personal unit of measure for the lives of others. What’s that phrase about the plank in your own eye?

    • Michael

      WOW Liberty, that is the most judgemental thing one can say about poor Brittany. You, sitting up there on the throne you built with your own to mythological hands…saying your interpretation of what your God “supposedly wants”. You, interpreting a 2500 year old book which you probably haven’t read all the way through and without ANY understanding or questioning its writings.

      Her reasons were wicked??? In what way? Her reasons were selfish? How?…her whole family was standing around her. I’d like to see you live with the excruciating pain of a brain tumor.

      Throwing away the life God gave her? Who said God gave it to her? You can’t even prove he exists…let alone prove the YOUR version of God exists. You should really make sure your brain is engaged before you ever put your fingers to a keyboard ever again!

    • Julie

      How can we expect our opinion of her choice to have any real weight until we are in her shoes? Perhaps your thoughts on her choice wouldn’t be filled with so much self-righteousness if you were faced with a similar death sentence. Real experience has a way of crushing arrogance. Please consider the lack of empathy in your post.

  • Rebecca

    ” I am afraid for those who think they are going to heaven but are not.” I think I might be one of those people. How can I be sure I am going to heaven?

    • Hello Rebecca, can I ask what makes you feel that you are one of those people?

      • Rebecca

        I feel I am one of those people because I accepted Jesus when I was 13 at a camp and I meant it with my whole heart. The next day I read in the Bible about how God will not forgive us unless we forgive others that God hates us unless we forgive others. I could not forgive the people who had abused and abandoned me. Please dont take it lightly the abuse i went through was horrific. My heart is and has been hard. I spend all my time around Christians because i know they are basically safe but i have been so angry and have done alot of hurtful stupid things to myself and others. Now I am at the place where I am tired of being angry and I desperately want to be loved by God but there is the disconnect. Does that make sense? Like we will never have a relationship. When I try to pray I feel like God is mocking me and has no compassion for me. Like a ‘shutup and growup” attitude. God has a hatred for me. I have this I give up “whatever” attitude. God has given up on me. So I will just do the “Christian stuff” with no substance. Just going through the motions. So I thought I am going to heaven based on a 13 year old prayer but I doubt it now after listening to Clayton actually to be honest I always had my doubts. .It feels good to finally be honest. Thank you for the opportunity. I wish I could start over with God. A do-over. Wipe the slate clean and start over.

        • Dear Rebecca, I am so, so sorry to hear that you have experienced abuse and abandonment in your life. Those things break my heart and I know they break the heart of God even more. I pray that you would find healing and continued protection from further harm.

          In regards to your question, thank you for being so honest. I’m glad you have felt the relief of opening up about your doubts. That is the only way forward and you have taken a giant step in the right direction. I hope I can be an encouragement to you.

          To begin, I am 100% certain that God loves you, Rebecca. I know it from His Word and I know it from the fact that He brought you to the website to watch this video.

          He loves you so much that He doesn’t want you to stay stuck in your anger and hurt. He wants to set you free. He wants you to experience His love, really feel it.

          I don’t think you watching this video was an accident. I think God wanted to get your attention. I think you have believed some lies about Him that have blinded you to His never-stopping, never-giving-up, always-and-forever love for you. I think that is the source of your disconnect. His love for you has been shining brightly this whole time, but some clouds have covered it over and it feels like He isn’t there.

          The good news is that you can ALWAYS start over with God. You ALWAYS get a do-over. You ALWAYS can wipe the slate clean and start afresh. You can never mess up so bad that He won’t welcome you gladly.

          So, how do you come to Him? You don’t start by getting yourself all fixed up. You don’t start by working hard to forgive your abusers and then saying, “Okay God, I’ve finally forgiven my abusers and made myself presentable. Will you love me now?”

          No!

          You just come running to Him, covered in your anger, your hurt, your brokenness. You throw yourself into His arms (mess and all) and say, “I can’t forgive them on my own, I can’t fix my problems on my own, I can’t do this anymore by myself, I need you.”

          You see, God does ask us to forgive others. He asks us to do many things because He loves us. He wants you to forgive your abusers, not as some kind of test of your devotion, some painful way of proving your obedience, but because He cares for you so much. He doesn’t want you to be hurt twice, once by the abuse and again by your anger. He knows that forgiveness is your way out, like removing a deep splinter that’s causing infection and disease in your heart.

          And guess what? He doesn’t expect you to have the strength to forgive them on your own. He doesn’t expect you to forgive them first and come to Him second. In Ephesians 4:32 we read, “And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”

          Do you see it? God’s forgiveness of our sins and acceptance and love for us comes first — before our forgiveness of others. It is the foundation we must stand on if we want to forgive those who abuse and wrongfully use us.

          So, yes, God does require forgiveness, because He loves us and He knows that an unforgiving spirit will destroy us and others. And what’s more the Bible does say that if we refuse to forgive those who sin against us, God will not forgive our sins.

          But we must read the Bible as a whole, not just isolated verses. The Bible makes it clear that salvation is a free gift of grace, not the results of works. We don’t save ourselves or earn forgiveness by forgiving others. No, we just come to Jesus, as we are: broken, angry, hurting people — and He accepts us and helps us to heal.

          And when we have accepted God’s forgiveness and love — truly accepted it and experienced it — we cannot help but extend that forgiveness and love to others. Forgiving your abusers, Rebecca, is the result of truly accepting that God loves and forgives you — not the means by which you earn God’s love and forgiveness.

          And all this time, it seems you may have gotten that backwards. You have struggled with accepting God’s love because you haven’t yet forgiven your abusers. You feel like He won’t love (or can’t love you) until you get that figured out. But the reverse is actually true. You are struggling to forgive your abusers because you haven’t yet accepted God’s love and forgiveness for you personally.

          Pastor John Piper writes, “God’s forgiveness is underneath ours and creates it and supports it. So that if we don’t give it to others—if we go on in an unforgiving spirit—what we show is that God is not there in our lives. We are not trusting him.”

          http://www.desiringgod.org/sermons/as-we-forgive-our-debtors

          So, yes, it’s true. Not forgiving others does show that we have not been truly forgiven. But it does not keep us from being forgiven, Rebecca! It does not block us from God’s love — it demonstrates our desperate need for God.

          God invites you, right now, to come to Him with your weariness, with your burdens, with your anger, with your hurt, with all your mistakes and problems. He can and will give you rest. And it starts with repenting for your own sins and receiving, truly accepting, that He loves and forgives you for EVERYTHING. It starts with trusting that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, suffered abuse Himself and forgave His abusers, so that He could rescue those who are abused and lovingly help them forgive too.

          There is nothing in your way, Rebecca. Nothing you need to do first. Just believe that Christ has done the work for you. He died for your sins, so you don’t have to. He forgives you for all the wrong you have done and will help you forgive others. It all comes from Him, none of it has to come from you. It is a free gift of grace.

          Anyway, I didn’t mean to write you an entire book. But I hope this has been helpful. Please let me know if anything I said was confusing or unhelpful. I’ll keep checking back and will respond as soon as I can.

          • My wife reminded me of something else, Rebecca. A big part of trusting God enough to forgive others is to remember that God will make everything right. There will be justice. Forgiving your abusers does not ultimately let them off the hook (and it doesn’t preclude ensuring they face the earthly consequences their actions deserve either) — it just lets you move on. Does that make sense?

          • Guest

            Thank you so much. What you have written means more to me than I can say in words. You have given me a lot to think about. I wanted to ask a question about this statement.

            “God invites you, right now, to come to Him with your weariness, with
            your burdens, with your anger, with your hurt, with all your mistakes
            and problems. He can and will give you rest. And it starts with
            repenting for your own sins and receiving, truly accepting, that He
            loves and forgives you for EVERYTHING. It starts with trusting that
            Jesus Christ, the Son of God, suffered abuse Himself and forgave His
            abusers, so that He could rescue those who are abused and lovingly help
            them forgive too.”

            What if I am the exception and it does not apply to me? Can you think of any reason why what you, your wife, and Julie wrote and thought would not apply to me?

          • Rebecca

            Thank you so much. What you have written means more to me than I can say in words. You have given me a lot to think about. I wanted to ask question about this statement.

            “God invites you, right now, to come to Him with your weariness, with your burdens, with your anger, with your hurt, with all your mistakes and problems. He can and will give you rest. And it starts with repenting for your own sins and receiving, truly accepting, that He loves and forgives you for EVERYTHING. It starts with trusting that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, suffered abuse Himself and forgave His abusers, so that He could rescue those who are abused and lovingly help
            them forgive too.”

            Can you think of any reason that I might be an exception? Like I don’t count or it does not apply to me?

          • I’m so glad it encouraged you, Rebecca!

            The answer to your question is absolutely not. There are absolutely no exceptions to that invitation. There are no pre-conditions. There are no requirements. There is no pit too deep for God to reach into. There is no gap too wide for Him to reach across. There is no way for any person to get so dirty that Jesus would not welcome them into His arms. His love and grace is just that big. =)

          • Rebecca

            Brett,
            Where do I go from here? You and your beautiful wife are not apart of my daily life. In a day or two I will be old news. Just another comment on a blog. I have really been thinking about what you said. My natural reaction is to try to fix myself and when I finally get fixed up I will go to God. I’ve been trying to fix myself since I was 3 years old. My thoughts think about all the times I was told God hated me while being beaten with a belt. Or told I was ugly or stupid. I just don’t know if God has any compassion or love for me.

          • Sam S.

            Oh Rebecca, they were so wrong! They were wrong!!! Hearing this makes me cry. I don’t cry very often. It’s is extremely obvious that they did not love God. No one who loves God will say that God doesn’t love you. God says He loves you and that’s that counts. I too have tried to fix myself. It doesn’t work. Only God could fix a mess like me. And you know what? He’s doing it! Please Rebecca, don’t give up now!

          • Rebecca

            Thank you Sam. I guess I have to make a choice, Either I continue to believe what others have said about me or I choose to believe you, Brett, and Julie.

            Decision Time

          • Sam S.

            Nice flower!

            I pray that you make the right choice.

          • Rebecca, what you’ve shared is devastating. I’m so sorry you ever had to experience that. It sounds like you were abused in every way: physically, emotionally, verbally, and spiritually.

            I agree with, Sam. Your abusers have no authority or credibility to speak for God or anyone else. Their actions invalidated their message and their message invalidated their actions. There is nothing true about what they said or did.

            I pray God will help you break free from their lies and believe His Word instead. I love how one writer describes God’s love: never-stopping, never giving-up, always and forever. Or as the Bible says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love.”

          • Rebecca

            So right now I can invite God into my life? Repent and receive his love and forgiveness. Start believing in God. Is that right?

          • Absolutely. Anytime. Anywhere. You don’t need permission from anybody. The invitation belongs to you.

            I would also encourage you to remember that making this choice is not magic the way some people think. You may not feel completely different in a second or even in a day.

            But here’s the good news: Salvation is not about what we do or how we feel. It’s about what Jesus did for us. His work is already accomplished. It is finished. Done.

            When we repent and believe in Him, we become part of the family, whether we always feel like it or not. When you accept God’s love for you — you have it. And you will never lose it, even though your sense of having it may fluctuate and others may try to discourage you.

            I say this because you have already gone for a long time feeling unloved when you were in fact loved. That problem may not disappear immediately. You will need to remind yourself of the truth and play it over in your head and heart until it becomes your identity. You have had the wrong identity for too long and it might not give up easily.

            Hope that makes sense.

          • Rebecca

            So what do I do Brett?

          • Julie

            You love God by loving others and enjoy the promises of God as you come to more firmly believe them (& Him) over time.

          • Guest

            That is not what I mean Julie. Never mind. I am just a girl who will disappear now. I will delete my messages. I am sorry for bothering all of you.

          • Julie

            You didn’t mean that you wanted to know how to experience
            the love of God?

          • Guest

            I am just confused and I am asking to much of people over the internet.

          • Julie

            May I ask your age?

          • Rebecca

            Please just have Brett delete the whole conversation.

            Thank you

            I will never bother any of you again.

          • Julie

            You are no bother, Rebecca. You are a delight. It’s a privilege to get to speak with you, even if only over the internet. I asked your age only because I know that hormones are a real and serious factor in making us feel confused and even irrational. It’s nothing to take lightly, although some don’t realize how much that can have an impact on our feelings and ultimately our thoughts and decisions.

          • Rebecca

            I think it would be best for me to leave. Please just delete the whole conversation.

          • Julie

            Well, you sound pretty firm on leaving this particular conversation, so I’ll offer you with this thought. The fastest way to heal is to set out to heal others.

            If you want to continue to talk, it would be a pleasure.

            Peace to you.

          • Sadie Clements

            Rebecca? If you are still on, I would like to say something.
            It sounds like you’re a little confused. That is completely understandable. You’ve been through some devastating circumstances, and I am so sorry. But you should know everyone on this website(ok, most the people, everyone in the conversation with you and so many others) care for you and are sorry about your situation. Whether it was in the past or present. Please, listen to Brett. I promise he won’t lie, he will tell you the truth. God loves you so much! He has sent His only son to die to give you salvation. As Brett said, there’s no exception. The invitation is open, always, and you have nothing to fear from God. He is so good. I know in your circumstances that you were talking about it may be difficult to see that, but I promise you He is! And I would beg you to not make little of yourself. We love you here, Rebecca. We are so glad you shared a small part of your story with us, including the pain. You don’t have to leave; matter of fact, we don’t want you to. Please think about it?

          • Rebecca, you are certainly free to leave, but please know that none of us want you to leave. None of us have felt anything but love and concern for you. You have not been a bother. We are happy to talk to you and we are all real people who really know God and want to help you.

          • Guest

            I can feel myself becoming emotionally attached to you. i know that is
            inappropriate. So I thought it best to leave because I know you are all
            not really apart of my lives. All the abuse physical, verbal, sexual,
            all of it has me desperate Does that make sense? . ((crying))

          • Sadie Clements

            Rebecca. Before I reply to your questions I wanted to know if you would rather just Brett take the conversation from here? It’s ok with me, I just wanted to know your preference. I’m here to answer, but I don’t want to confuse you.

          • Julie

            Brett,

            You touched on something I was just thinking about. I like to imagine each of you in your own surroundings with your own life experiences in order to keep in mind that I’m speaking with real people here. It humbles me, it softens my overall approach, and it warms my heart, really, knowing that on the other side of my typing is someone typing who is just like me in so many ways. I hope Rebecca realizes we are real people who are truly praying for her and who have been in similar abusive life situations. I pray she does not feel alone where no one can relate to her in this world where sometimes we feel so, so alone and that no one could possibly understand.

          • Rebecca

            I can feel myself becoming emotionally attached to you. i know that is inappropriate. So I thought it best to leave because I know you are all not really apart of my lives. All the abuse physical, verbal, sexual, all of it has me desperate Does that make sense? .((crying)) I am just making a mess out of everything.

          • I don’t think I can ever fully understand what you’ve been through and how that affects every aspect of your life, Rebecca. But I do understand some of what you are feeling here. Each of us (Julie, Sadie, Sam, and me) are all real people who want to help you. And we’re not tired of helping you.

            But at the same time, you’re sensing something true. Our ability to help you is limited. We can share truth, and we have. We can listen, and we have. But we can’t live the consequences of this conversation with you day-by-day. You need people (or even just one person) in your geographic area who can be there for you too.

            Are there any godly older women in your life? Do you attend a church where you are loved and accepted? Do you have any context for finding other believers in real life and connecting to a true Christian community? I don’t mean to overwhelm you with questions. I just want to spark your thinking.

            I get the sense that you feel very alone. And if we’re your Christian community (your family) for a time, that’s okay. But your comment has reminded me that we need to help you find Christian family where you live. And we’d be happy to advise you about that if it’s something that seems overwhelming or hopeless to you.

            Does that sound good? Can we keep encouraging you here while also trying to help you find support locally?

          • Rebecca

            The longer I continue to talk with any of you the more attached I will become. I am like a tick. I will just suck the life out of you. Best just to break ties now before I get in to deep. My only question is.. Does what you said before still apply to me?

          • Sam S.

            Please forgive me for talking to you. Would you like it if you had a private conversation with Julie or Sadie? I’m sure that could be arranged.

          • Rebecca

            You did nothing wrong Sam. It my fault and I am just making it worse. If I can explain it is like all these kind words are like oxygen and I just want more and more and more and more and more but I have to cut myself off before it gets worse.

          • What I said before not only applies to you, Rebecca, it is the solution to your problem of getting over-attached to people.

            You’re right. We can’t meet your need for love and acceptance. And if we tried we probably would be drained dry — just like each of us would drain other people dry if we tried to satisfy our own need for love and acceptance through them. The only person that never runs dry, who can keep giving and giving without giving up, is Jesus.

            If you truly run to Jesus, as I’ve encouraged you before, and truly accept His love, forgiveness, and acceptance of you — it will free you to have healthy relationships with people. Anytime we try to make people take the place of God we drain them dry and disappoint ourselves. But as my dad likes to say, “When we let God be God, everyone else can be human.”

            Does that help at all? This doesn’t mean you need to cut us off. You just need to go to Jesus and accept His endless love. That way we can just be support, not your saviors.

          • Rebecca

            Yes it does help and I understand. I think I need to take a step back. I appreciate your time and comments. I need to go think things over. I sent you a e-mail but you can just delete it.

          • That’s just fine, but can I give you one more suggestion? Take a step back and think. But don’t just think. Talk to God about all this. I have found that talking to God (and even talking to myself occasionally) is infinitely better than listening to myself — especially since my own mind likes to tell me many things that are not true. I would guess that is the case for you too.

            So don’t just think. Pray. Talk to God about everything. Talk to yourself too if you need to. Don’t let your mind just re-convince you of old lies. Sound good?

          • Rebecca

            So tonight go somewhere and talk to God quietly out loud? About Anything? Yes my mind tells me a lot of things that are not true also. All the time.
            Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, for not giving up on me. You could of at any point blown me off. I really appreciate you taking the time to explain all of this to me. It means a great deal to me despite how I acted.

          • Rebecca

            I cannot seem to pray tonight.

          • Sadie Clements

            Rebecca. I don’t want to bother you, but I just had two short things to say, and then that’s it for tonight. I’d still be glad to listen and encourage anyway I can anyday afterward, too.
            I know from personal experience prayer is difficult. I’ve struggled with it. It is a discipline. I want you to know two things, it gets easier with practice. And I will be praying for you. Even if you just say a few short things to God tonight, it doesn’t have to be eloquent or anything, just a few short things. He’s listening. Anything you say to Him counts.
            Also, I just wanted to ask, do you have a Bible?

          • Rebecca

            Yes Sadie, I do have a Bible. I have been around Christians for a long time. But I have made up this God in my mind that is not real. I am glad that I have finally realized that and I am going to change that.

          • Sadie Clements

            I’m so glad, Rebecca! I had asked if you have a Bible because in it it speaks so often of God’s love for us. If you are searching for encouragement and love and goodness and kind words there is no better place to find them because it and God and Jesus will never run dry, and will never fail or disappoint you. God bless you, Rebecca! I hope your church becomes a place of refuge and hope and peace for you!
            I will be praying for you, and I hope we will hear from you sometimes!

          • Rebecca

            I prayed this morning and realized I am not praying to the real God only the one I have made up in my mind. The one who is mean and angry. It was a realization. Now I am going to church to learn more about the real God of the Bible.

          • Rebecca

            I would appreciate some help with being able to accept that this conversation is coming to a close without disregarding it or feeling that the conversation was really not for me. Or that I am an exception and the kind words written are not for me at all. My mom left when I was nine wrote a note saying she could not handle the pressure and I never i saw her again. This kind of feels like the same thing to me because if i never wrote another word you would all go about your lives like nothing happened. I need to learn how to accept closure. Not being able to accept closure makes me trash myself and relationships with others. I will trash this conversation. This time I do not want to do that this whole conversation means to much to me.

          • Julie

            Hi Rebecca!

            The conversation doesn’t have to close here. We can become “pen pals” if you’d like. Are you on Facebook? Maybe we could connect there and I could give you my email address? I’m not sure how to do that here without giving it out to the entire world. :-) So maybe through Facebook?

          • Sam S.

            *If* you are looking to do that, you could both use the contact page to send an email to Brett. He could connect you and the world wouldn’t have to see your addresses. Just a thought :)

          • Rebecca

            Being completely respectful Julie. Yes, the conversation needs to come to a close because it cannot be dragged on, and we have no connection to each other besides this conversation. I am at peace with it ending I just need help saying goodbye.

          • Julie

            Okay…but I have developed a few pen pals over the years and we have talked about many personal things and many theological things. These “pen pal” mentors have blessed me in countless ways. I’m offering my friendship to you. It’s up to you to accept it. I understand if you are not ready for that at this point in your life. In Christ’s love, Julie

          • Rebecca

            I feel this very deep sadness today.

          • Rebecca

            I would still appreciate help that this conversation is coming to a close. I don’t remember writing never mind.

          • Hey Rebecca! Sorry for not getting to this sooner. We were hosting an event on the website and so I was busy with that — but I saw your comment and was planning to respond.

            I was encouraged to see what you wrote about realizing you were praying to the wrong god — an angry god — rather than to the loving God of the Bible. And I was really excited to see you were going to church to learn more about God’s love.

            I’d also love to help you with closure about this conversation, but I’m not exactly sure what you mean. I think you already know that ending this conversation doesn’t invalidate anything we’ve said. I think you already know that we care about you and that if we must go our separate ways we are still brothers and sisters in Christ and will meet in Heaven. You just need to accept that. You need to remind yourself of the truth over and over and over if necessary. We are not rejecting you.

            And of course, we are still here if you ever need to come back.

            Does that help? Or am I misunderstanding what you mean?

          • Rebecca

            Honestly, I was really unsure if what we talked about still applied to me because we are not going to talk again. l really am struggling with knowing that. I still have not prayed to God the prayer you talked about earlier in our conversation. So i am unsure if I am a Christian. I appreciate your response it does help. Thank you.

          • Sadie Clements

            Hi, Rebecca. I’m sorry it took a while for me to get back to you.
            When it comes to closure, I was wondering, would it help if I wrote a prayer for you in a comment here?

          • Rebecca

            I did not write never mind.

          • Rebeca, you have been such an encouragement to me, today. Thank you.

          • Rebecca

            I would still appreciate help that this conversation is coming to a close.

          • Can I also add that messing up is okay? This is not some big formal event where using the wrong fork or tripping over something ruins anything. We don’t come to God because we don’t make mistakes. We come to Him because we do make mistakes — even on the way to Him. It’s okay.

          • Good morning, Julie,
            After much talking it all over,
            Trent, Sam, Grant, and I no longer feel that we can discuss these topicswith you anymore, not because we cannot answer your objections with sound,Biblical answers, but because, even after talking with you multiple times and
            showing you the truth, you have not been listening.

            So, we will give you what you want: we will all leave you alone.

            Our last bit of warning is this: Matthew 18:6 – “But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”

            As well as this: 1Timothy 6:3-4 – “If anyone teaches false
            doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions”.

            Whether you realize it or not, your controversial comments are causing at least some of the young people watching these comments to stumble, especially for those who are honestly seeking the truth.

            You claim to represent what the Bible truly teaches, but
            then you say it doesn’t actually mean what it says. We’re sorry, but in Proverbs 30:5-6, it clearly says: “Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar.”

            For these reasons, we will not be discussing at all with you anymore, on this post. It is a waste of our time, which could be spent doing other, more effective, things for Christ.

            You will no doubt respond to this comment with a snide remark or challenge for us to continue in this pointless argument. We’re sorry, but we’re are finished and
            will be letting you have the last word.

            We say these things in the deepest possible respect to you, not to be cruel or obnoxious, but in the hope that one
            day, someone will read these comments and see the truth in the hope of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We also hold to the hope that perhaps one day you will see the truth of God’s love and gift to any who accept Him.

            We hope you have a wonderful day and that God will show you His love and His truth,
            -Trent- Rachel – Grant – Sam – of the Rebelution.

          • Julie

            Rachel, have you and I discussed anything?

          • Let me apologize for calling your remarks “snide”. I was the one who drafted that response to you. I may have made the wrong assumption that you just wanted to argue or cast doubt on what this website represents. Several of us counseled together because we truly are concerned for you as well as the other readers on this site. The bottom line is, the founders and supporters of this site, believe that Salvation can only come through the conviction that Jesus is God and receiving Him as Lord and Savior. We are compelled to defend this truth, because it is a matter of life and death. Once again, we hope you will come to realize this truth as a foundation of your faith. I also hope our comments have not pushed you further from the truth.
            – Trent

          • Julie

            Dearest Trent,

            I know your intentions are good. I hope my boys develop such a deep love for Christ that they’re convicted to speak so boldly for the faith. This is all part of your training (not just studying but learning how to best interact in these types of venues)…we’re all always going through training. I think what you guys are doing with this site is fantastic. I’ve been homeschooling my boys for years and the foundation of that schooling has been based on Scripture. Part of that includes preparing them to defend the doctrines to which they choose to adhere, but most importantly they need to defend their faith with gentleness, compassion, and humility. As my boys have gotten older, I realize that we are not always going to agree on non-salvific issues. That’s okay with me and it’s good, too, because it suggests to me they are thinking for themselves and not just taking my word for it and, hopefully, no one else’s word for it. I’m much less interested in getting you to believe what I propose than I am in getting you to thoroughly defend what you propose. Our final conclusions are not necessarily going to make or break our faith in the risen Christ, but if
            you plan to remain in the world of theological debate, it will behoove you to learn to exhaustively defend your view or humbly bow out of the conversation without making hasty accusations and rash warnings.

            I wholeheartedly agree, without reservation, that salvation comes only through Jesus: “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). I also know that Jesus is God in the flesh and that he is my Lord and Savior. As far as this foundation of which you “hope I will come to realize,” I’ve been firm in this foundation longer than you have been alive.

            Having said this, God through Jesus transcends religion with all its various forms of religiosity. We are not saved by being smart enough or having correct doctrine; we are saved by the grace of God. That’s it. Nothing else.

          • Thanks, Julie,
            As a 16 year old, I seem to have overstepped my bounds and done only what I thought was best for God, without much life experience, without first asking Him. In essence, I was being like Job’s friends from the Bible. Please don’t take our rash comments as trying to scare you off therebelution.com . Please feel free to comment on any of these posts. There are some that I think would especially interest you. While my guess would be we disagree on some doctrinal issues (from previous discussions we’ve had), it is not a bad thing to have differing viewpoints on a site like this, if all are kind and courteous about it. I guess I had put my guard up more then I should have after I had that debate I had with an atheist that lasted for months. Thanks for understanding, despite my “rough” presentation.
            – Trent

          • Julie

            Thanks, Trent. No worries. Sorry you had a bad experience recently with a debate. Hope to see you around the site in the future. God bless.

          • Sam S.

            @pezhouse:disqus, I apologize for my insensitivity. As I’m sure you have noticed by now, I was in on this too. And while I do not believe that *all* of what I agreed to is false, I must admit that it was not as loving as it should have been. Please forgive us. By the way, thank you for never speaking harshly to us. Though I do not agree with many things you say, I am pleased by your gentleness.
            -Sam

          • Julie

            Thanks, Sam. You are forgiven.

          • Hey Brett, please use this link!

            I don’t know how to contact you about an idea I have.

            http://therebelution.com/blog/2015/01/my-prayer-problem/#comment-1834601968

            Your Brother in Christ,
            Dominic

          • Julie

            Rebecca,

            God doesn’t need an invitation. God is in your life right now. He is the one inviting YOU—inviting you into His heavenly kingdom. The repentance that God wishes for us because He loves us is simply that acknowledgment in our heart that we are truly sorry for the harm we may have caused others and our resolve that Christ’s way (i.e. loving God and others) is the desire of our heart.

          • Sam

            Nope, Brett’s right. You’re not an exception :)

        • Julie

          Hi Rebecca,

          It sounds like you’re projecting your feelings about yourself onto God. God doesn’t feel about you the way you feel about yourself. If you can’t forgive yourself for the hurtful stupid things you did to yourself and others, the disconnect will remain. And as far as the anger, it’s normal. Allow yourself to recognize that you had to go through a detox process and the anger was part of you coming to terms with all that you went through. And by the way, God can handle all your anger. It can’t scare Him away, it doesn’t make Him feel threatened, and it doesn’t make Him angry with you. He understands where your anger comes from and He is a patient, loving Father with you.

          Yes, God expects us to forgive those who ask us for forgiveness, and if we don’t, how can we expect God to forgive us? If we want mercy, we need to learn to give mercy. On the other hand, Jesus came for those who have been neglected, abused, and oppressed. Jesus came to bring liberty to those such as you. God knows what you’ve been through and your suffering grieves Him. If you are having difficulty forgiving the people who harmed you, God is not going to hold it over your head as some bargaining chip for getting into His heavenly kingdom. Think about it. Would you? Would you keep your own child, for whom you’d give your very life, out of your home because she was having difficulty forgiving the people who tormented and harmed her? So, if you, being human, have the understanding and empathy to know the complexity of such a raw reality and would not think to kick your child out of your house, why would you think God wouldn’t have that same, or even more, understanding and empathy? God is not looking for ways to keep you out of His heavenly kingdom. Just the opposite. Think about that.

          And, by the way, “do-overs” are available every single day with God.

          Peace to you.

    • Sam

      Hi Rebecca, this is a critical question. I think Brett would do an excellent job explaining so I will let him. I will pray for you. If you want me to say something too I will.

  • Julie

    I remember this day at Cornerstone with my friend, Francis, sharing this boy’s story. This was one brave boy. He knew he was going to die. He bravely chose to die how he wanted to die.

    I’m not sure how I feel about his story being compared to Brittany’s. Brittany, too, knew she was going to die and bravely chose to die how she wanted to die.

    I don’t know about you, but there is a very BIG difference between being nearly 19 years old and being nearly 30 years old. Do you remember the exhilarating feeling that nothing could stop you when you were 19? Do you remember that by the time you were 30 you became slightly more tainted about how much impact you could actually have on this big, wide world? There’s also a big difference between believing your death can impact others’ eternal life and believing your death has little to no impact on the life of others beyond the here and now. But does that belief mean that your death was without meaning for the One who created you? Does your story of grief and suffering mean less because you didn’t happen to be brought up in a Christian home or some other equivalent scenario?

    Brett writes, “Trusting in Jesus gets you into heaven.” Okay, I see a couple minor things theologically askew with that statement, but here’s the main thing. Sure, “trusting in Jesus” (whatever that means) is vital to our eternal destiny in a positive way, but that belief doesn’t mean that “not trusting in Jesus” automatically means you’re destined foreternal life without Christ.

    Having said all this, I see that Brett is a sweet, humble guy who strives to place Jesus at the forefront of our life…and our death. It’s good thing to get Claytons’ message out again. It’s very good.

    It’s also very good to get Brittany’s message out. There are countless reasons to get her message out. It points us to suffering, disease, desperation, death, and trying to come to terms with all this freaking crap that consumes our lives more and more the longer we live each day and are obliged to look into the eye of the Destroyer. Even Jesus wept, utterly grieved at what the Destroyer brought to the lives of those whom he loved (John 11:35). It’s good to get her message out, because it compels us to vulnerably and breathlessly fall at the feet of the One who is Life.

    Their stories, Clayton and Brittany, are the same and they are different. They’re different—a young, zealous believer in Christ who had the privilege of facing death at a point in his life where it all seemed to make sense and on the other side, a married woman on the verge of beginning a family who was, perhaps, uncertain of Christ but who had her God-given conscience to guide her in how to handle this unexpected death sentence brutally handed to her. They’re similar—a young man facing death who chose to die how he wanted to die and a young woman facing death who chose to die how she wanted to die.

    • Michael

      Well said Julie…well said!

  • Renee

    After seeing Clayton’s video I was shocked at how weak
    most Christians are compared to him (that includes me)
    and we all need to work on our relationships with God
    so that we can become more loving like Clayton.

    I got an email from my Church about Brittany, and A lady
    called Maggie Karner has made a video on YouTube

    called “A letter to Brittany Maynard” Maggie’s video
    has also changed me like Clayton’s story.

    Please see it, it will help you understand that
    people still care in this dying world.

  • George E Gifford IV

    Only God can judge her.

  • Will Morgan

    If your a REAL Christian you would know that Jesus Christ asked God to take his life on the cross. Because He could no longer take the pain. And so God did. What’s the difference than what Britney did? Nothing!!!!!! Plus while I’m at it. Jesus Christ did not die for our sins on the cross. He did on the cross for the ones that were living plus that have already died. What would be the point for dying on the cross for our sins? If that’s the case I should be able to rape, kill and steal and still be goo in the eye of God. Because after all Jesus did die on the cross for our sins. NOT!!!!!

    • Sam

      Were does the Bible say that Jesus did not die for our sins?

      Jesus gave up His own life:
      John 19:30 KJV, italics mine
      “When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.”

    • What about the fact that Jesus rose back up from the dead? you didn’t cover that in your comment!

      NOTE: I’m not trying to start a fight. I just want to know what you think.

    • Sam

      Romans 6:1-2 KJV
      “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?”

      I suggest that you read all of Romans 6.

    • Julie

      Will,

      Being a “real” Christian has little to do with knowing the particulars of the narrative and everything to do with one’s heart before God and how that plays out with others.

      Jesus had authority to lay down his life in the same way he had authority to take it up again (John 10:18). In other words, when Jesus was ready, he committed his spirit to the Father (Luke 23:46); he did not have to ask God to take his life.

      Peace to you.

  • Sadie Clements

    Granted, I’m ignorant. I find no desire within me to research the efforts a woman went to to take her own life. “…whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things(Philippians 4:8).
    My discussion was not about Brittany’s choice nor preventing others from being able to make it, it was in defense of my faith and fellow believers. Again, your words are offensive. I never said force in that context and I give any non-believe permission to slap me in the face if I ever attempt to force on them morals which are formed by my belief and my faith. I also have never said that you cannot be redeemed if you end your own life. I will say this, the Bible speaks clearly about the role of a person’s body. “Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are(1 Corinthians 3:16-17). Even the apostle Paul himself admitted that he wished to depart(Philippians 1:23). It is a human reaction to severe suffering. If you will look at 2 Corinthians 11:24-25, Paul was literally tortured, as was Christ. What then shall I say? I hold the Bible to be the Word of God, with all authority. Our Savior Himself, knowing what He would go
    through, would not shorten His own suffering; we must also hold ourselves accountable to His example. Paul, who was not Christ and could have shortened his suffering also, but He did not for the advance of the gospel. Clayton is a good example of this. As to your request that I tell you more about how I’ve matured in Christ: Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus(Philippians 3:12) and through to verse 16 is a perfect answer to that question you have for me. No, it is not my place to judge Brittany, and I never have. It is for God to pass judgment. But to each other we acknowledge what the Bible says. Acts 4:12, there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved. John 14:6, Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” You decided to join the conversation. We would not say these things without being asked. It would be insensitive and start conflict, when we are commanded to as much as we can be at peace with all men(Romans 12:18).
    You quote Bible verses to me without the correct context. I have not looked at the speck that is in my brother’s eye, for you are not my brother in Christ. I have not attempted to throw a stone at Brittany, for I am not without sin. What place is it for you to tell me I cannot encourage my sisters and brothers in Christ to not make the same
    decision as she did? This website is for believers. That’s the context that our conversations here are in, from believer to believer among believers. I am not in conflict with my beliefs, nor with other believers. You thrust your conflict among us, quote our Scriptures to us though you do not believe. Where is your place here? What accord has a non-believer with the sisters and brothers of Christ when we were not thrusting our judgment nor beliefs nor morals on you. You thrust yours on us when we discussed amongst ourselves the differences in the two decisions made by the two young people and encouraging each other in the decision our beliefs would encourage us to make.

  • Margaret

    Julie, it is entirely possible that our cultures collective thinking is shifting from finding dignity in the fight for life to supposing there is more dignity in expediting death. There are broad reaching implications in that shift that would redefine our value of life and the individual as a whole. I agree with much of what you have to say, but the gospel in practice and principle does apply to our here and now. Within this shift of values, I believe Brett offers good news by informing the young subscribers to this site that there is an alternative to a current trend. I thank him for the hope he gives in that.

    There are paradoxes in the Christian faith that on their face are hard to comprehend. An intrinsic connection between pain and suffering and love and beauty really does exist. Death and suffering are not wished upon anyone, but the reality is that all of our lives will be touched by both and to find the love and beauty within that reality is a gift.

    I have traveled a bit. I’ve seen immense beauty and enjoyed great celebration, but my life would be vapid without the extraordinary depth of truth and love experienced in the midst of messy, messy suffering. There is hope in suffering. That is gospel.

  • Becky n’Tim Low

    What about atheist or agnostic individuals? Belief in God and Jesus is totally faith based, not factual. So is atheism, a faith in the belief that God DOESN’T exist. Where I find the flaw in all of this controversary, is having an opinion of how someone not of your particular faith chooses to live or die. Make your own choices based on what you believe, and let everyone else do the same. There is no right or wrong, especially when you are basing your choices on something not proven. Faith is not a fact based instinct, otherwise religion would not be so heatedly debated by so many…

    • Julie

      I think you make a valid point. Jesus never told his followers to require the world to live by God’s standards. I do think it’s okay to use the choices we see others make as an opportunity to have a conversation.

      • Sam S.

        Right. How can we expect those who don’t follow Jesus to obey Him???

    • Hey Becky, I have a question for you,
      If there is no right or wrong, how can you be right in saying that?

      • Becky n’Tim Low

        We are all entitled to our own opinions and should be allowed to make our own choices in such matters. If it was proven that God didn’t exist and you were forced to end your life early as a public health policy for terminally ill people, would you be happy about that? Well I am not happy about Jesus freaks trying to take away the choice to not die a painful albeit natural death because of a faith many don’t share. Right is doing what is right for each person, and not forcing our beliefs down someone else’s throat. This is America and freedom is the theme.

        • With all due respect, you still haven’t answered my question: If there is no right and wrong, how can you be right?

          All you have said thus far is that everyone is entitled to their opinion. But you have not answered my question.

          • Becky n’Tim Low

            How can anyone be right? Are you right? Am I right? There is NO right or wrong, because it all revolves around an unproven factor. That is my answer, and I am done on this topic. Ask again, and I will just ignore you. I’ve said my peace, and do not want to debate because YOU aren’t going to change my mind, and I am not going to change YOUR mind…to each their own. End of story.

          • Very well, Becky,

            You still have not answered my question and you will not ever be able to answer it because you cannot answer when the stance that you have been deceived by is a complete contradiction. I am not saying this to make you look bad, I am saying this to explain the truth.

            Even with that, I will drop the matter, for the sake of keeping the peace. I hope that one day you will reevaluate the logic in the position that has decieved you so you can see the truth.

            Because the truth is real whether you believe in it or not and the truth has real consequences.

          • Liam

            Trent,

            The belief that “There is no right or wrong” is an aspect of post modernism. Just wanted to point that out. :)

          • Thanks, Liam. :)

  • Margaret

    Agreed, Julie, we do not intentionally set out to suffer, but when faced with that unwanted cup, we have an opportunity to accept it in faith believing. Christ was our perfect example in this.

  • Clayton encourage others to live for Christ vs Brittany encourage others to die like her. Having her Will done vs. God’s Will be done. Who was the one facing bravery till the end came? Not the one who decides to end it. I only one who ran the race while the other ends it.

    • Julie

      Charlene,

      There is no reason for Brittany to encourage others to “live for Christ” if she didn’t really embrace what Clayton embraced about Christ. Her choice only seems to lack bravery if she believed as Clayton did. And even if a believer chooses to take his/her life like Brittany, we have no genuine authority to say they lack bravery until we, too, walk in those same shoes.

      Also, she didn’t “encourage others to die like her”; she simply advocates that there be a choice. She would not have wanted Clayton’s choice taken from him, she simply wouldn’t want her choice taken from her.

      • Julie, With that logic you sound like a pro-choice. While screaming to have your right to choose you take the life of another. She did lack bravery she took what she thought to end her suffering. That’s not bravery. God’s word says…’Thou shalt not kill’. Endure till the end. She pick the one of disobedience vs. the one that would have saved her soul. Yes, she did encourage others to die with dignity as she put it. She advocate a choice of DEATH. Clayton chose God’s will to be done. She choose her will to be done. We are even told to pray that ‘God’s will be done’. Think about it.

        • Julie

          Jesus never told his followers to require the world to live by God’s standards. And Jesus certainly didn’t ask us to go around judging those outside the faith for not following God’s standards. And unless I have some nail prints in my hands, I can’t speak with any certainty whatsoever regarding the immortality of Brittany’s precious soul for whom Christ ascribed unsurpassable worth through his unsurpassable sacrifice.

          And, no, Brittany did not advocate that others should make
          the choice she made.

          • LOL Jesus was our example on how to live in this present world (John 13:15; 1 Peter 2:2), If not require to live by God’s standards then why do you feel guilty for not obeying him? It is not passing judgment on exposing sin & that sin brings forth death (Rom.6:23). You obviously have not read where she ask her mother to push it into the law books for every state. Brittany moved just to have it HER way. She wants everyone to have it THEIR way not God’s.

          • Julie

            Jesus never asked his disciples to enforce God’s standards
            upon those who have no interest in following Jesus. And Paul told us that it’s none of our business judging those outside the church; God judges (1 Cor. 5:12-13). And, no, Brittany is not having her mother push it into law that everyone has to make the same decision she made.

          • Julie, I’m not enforcing anything upon you. Neither did Clayton. I’m not holding a gun to your head saying to obey God. You have the freewill to choose this day in whom you will serve as did Clayton & Brittany. Clayton use his last days to serve God. Brittany used her last days to fill her days of pleasure. Again, it is not passng judgment when the evidence is in your face for all to see. By your fruits you are known (Matt.7:16,20). You seem to not get it. Your goal is to call evil good and it will be upon your head for doing so (Isaiah 5:20). Exactly, 1 Cor. 5:1-13… This speaks of Judging ‘Separately’ in & out of body of Christ. You shouldn’t separate the whole matter of what has been said to try & shut the mouth of those who speak LIFE not Death.

            By saying she is pushing it into law I was implying get it legal for all states. Nor did I imply that her mother was forcing everyone to make the same decision as Brittany. Her mother is making it available to all who desires to take the path of her daughter. Quit trying to twist the words of God and mine. Everyone who follows the way Brittany did will cause Brittany to reap what she sow in this life to carry over into her spiritual home life. One will reap the crowns of glory while the other reaps the goals of fire (John 4:36; Proverbs 25:22).

          • Julie

            Charlene, I’m speaking to you assuming you are a follower of Christ. If you weren’t, I wouldn’t be having this conversation with you, because I wouldn’t necessarily have these same expectations of someone who is not of the faith. People outside the faith can pass harsh judgment and push their opinions as if absolute truth all day long but reminding them of the mercy of God and of His instructions to His followers to refrain from passing judgment on those outside the faith would probably make little difference to them.

            You are passing judgment on Brittany using what you believe are God’s standards when you imply she’s a murderer because she did not “endure until the end” (which, by the way, is scripture completely taken out of context) and because she did not follow God’s command “Thou shalt not kill.” Christians who say they adhere to God’s guidelines and then break them by passing judgment on those outside the faith when we’re instructed not to, illustrate a deep-seated hypocrisy within the church; and this self-righteous approach “shuts the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces” (cf. Mt. 23:13) by pushing them further and further from Christ. Why do you think sinners run from church, from us? Because we think we offer life when we point out their dirty sin and make our lofty judgments, but they quickly recognize we’re not any different than the rest of the judgmental world who always has an opinion about others that conveniently makes them feel better about themselves. Why did sinners flock to Jesus? Because he offered words of life, not death, which is what our words often sound like. He did not stand around condemning sinners but went around healing them and offering them words of comfort. The only people Jesus actually harshly condemned were the self-righteous, judgmental religious people.

            And, again, Brittany didn’t “encourage others to die like
            her” as you said in your first post.

          • Julia, You may not like how I make the comparison of Brittany vs. Clayton’s fruit. Yet, You call evil good. The scripture you quoted of Matt.23:13 making the claim toward me that I am self righteous & shuts the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces would be to imply I have that kind of power. The Pharisees taught the law, yet broke it by their hidden sins, though they appear to be clean outwardly they were filthy inwardly showing the signs of pridefulness and being unloving as you continue to read in verse 14 for they spare not the widow to give & pretend to pray with an audience. If you kept reading the chapter of Matthew you would have seen why their righteous deeds were rebuke in vs.26. Do you have any evidence that I hold back giving to others? or pretend to pray and do it not?

            ‘Pharisees’ were an example in God’s word of having an unclean heart. Living righteously was not an example of a hypocrite or wrongfully to do. Amaziah also was an example of having an unclean heart. As it is written:

            2 Chronicles 25:2 says…And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, but not with a perfect heart.

            Matt.23:27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.

            Luke 11:39 And the Lord said unto him, Now do you Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness.

            Therefore, he lived right but died wrong. Outwardly righteous but inwardly wicked. And since you know not IF my righteous deeds are of a show because you know not my heart you are Judging a sister without a cause & without any evidence. You say I sin because you think I’m judging the wicked? I have been called a WARN the sinners to Repent & Believe in the gospel. If I keep silent of the wrong choices Brittany took and allow others to think it is good like you are doing I would put your blood and others upon my hands for being unloving to show the err. When it comes to speaking of God’s laws they are not a burdensome to the child of God.

            Acts 23:3 Then said Paul to him, God shall smite you, you white washed wall: for sit you to judge me after the law, and command me to be smitten contrary to the law?

            Matthew 5:20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes & Pharisees, you shall in no case enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.

            What is the last verse saying? Make sure you are clean INSIDE as well as OUT. Think on good things withholding no good thing from another. Forgive so that you will be forgiven. Hold no grudges where bitters will grow and choke the life out of you. For good things come from above & the heart should dwell on such things. Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things (Philippians 4:8).

            you said… Why do you think sinners run from church, from us? Because we think we offer life when we point out their dirty sin and make our lofty judgments, but they quickly recognize we’re not any different than the rest of the judgmental world who always has an opinion about others that conveniently makes them feel better about themselves.

            my reply… You have a way of calling evil good & good evil. For someone who says she is a Christian and desires to speak to me as one. Likes to pull out the ‘Judge Not’ card like every sinner does. Have you not read…

            1 Corinthians 2:15 says… “But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one.”

            Psalm 37:30 The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom, and his tongue talks of judgment.

            John 7:24 Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.

            Proverbs 31:9 Open your mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.

            you said… Why did sinners flock to Jesus? Because he offered words of life, not death, which is what our words often sound like. He did not stand around condemning sinners but went around healing them and offering them words of comfort. The only people Jesus actually harshly condemned were the self-righteous, judgmental religious people.

            my reply… Jesus warn people to repent or perish (Luke 13:3). You have an unbalance message that will be found unworthy (Job 31:6; Proverbs 11:1). For God’s word tells us to warn the sinners to turn from their evil way or that they will perish. I pointed out both comparsion of Clayton vs Brittany the difference of how they choose to take a Walk before their appointed time of death was made. All you do is say, ‘Don’t Judge’. Yet, you think you can judge me for speaking the truth to which you call a lie.

            you said… And, again, Brittany didn’t “encourage others to die like her” as you said in your first post.

            my reply… AGAIN, when she makes the attempt to pass laws to grant suicide available to others that gives them the courage to take that step. You can deny, deny, deny all you desire, but her legacy is already growing with people saying…’I will do it too IF I end up with a lifethreathing illness’. Her seed of death is growing with her name on it. No worries though your name is attached to it as well as long as you stand up for it too. Remember: You said it was her choice.

          • Charlene,
            You seem to really understand these topics and what the Bible tells us. I would be more then happy to have your opinion on my blog: Soldiers of God

            ” foreversoldiersofgod.blogspot.com ”
            Feel free to comment on whatever you like. Same goes for anyone else who wants to as well.

            God bless,

            – Trent

          • ill try to check it out later if you don’t mind. Blessings to you

          • Julie

            Charlene, I never mentioned what I thought of your “comparison of the fruit” between the two sweet souls created by God, so I’m unsure why you would accuse me of doing that in your public post. My comments to you have not been about Clayton’s decision at all but about how you have gone about expressing your opinion of Brittany’s choice being that you proclaim to be a follower of Christ. And I have never expressed my personal approval of Brittany’s choice (what is in your opinion “calling evil good”), so I’m unsure why you would feel the need to publically fabricate that. I’m only hoping to remind you of God’s grief for those plagued by disease, His efforts to destroy its effects on all His creatures, and His call to us, His followers, to show mercy on every human being just as we know He showed to us.

            We all have the power to “shut the kingdom in people’s faces” (i.e. push people from Christ). I don’t, however, believe that is the end of the story for those whom we shut out the kingdom.

            Just as the Pharisees and rulers of Jesus’ day were bestowed with the honor of taking God’s message to a dying world in need of a Savior, we today, the church made of both Jews & Gentiles, are now bestowed with that same honor. We, too, can teach the law of Christ and break it with our hidden sins; though we appear to be clean outwardly we can be filthy inwardly showing the signs of pridefulness, for pride is not limited to “praying with an audience” and “using some seemingly noble excuse to withhold generosity to those in need.”

            We are not called to “warn” sinners to repent and believe; our
            calling is not as police warning people to stop at the red light or cause a fatal collision (that is law) but a calling as messengers of light announcing to people that reconciliation and redemption have arrived for all…come and take from the water of life without cost, Rev. 22:17 (that is grace).

          • Julia, you said… My comments have not been about Clayton’s decision at all but about how you have gone about expressing your opinion of Brittany’s choice being that you proclaim to be a follower of Christ. And I have never expressed my personal approval of Brittany’s choice.

            my reply… I have spoken about both of their choices. I didn’t single Brittany out. From the first comment you made you said ‘we have no genuine authority to say Brittany lack bravery until we, too, walk in those same shoes’. So, if we don’t have genuine authority to say she lacked bravery I guess if I said she was Brave I wouldn’t be having this conversation with you. Bravery isn’t avoiding the pain it is enduring the pain. To say no one has authority to say she lack bravery is to say the opposite of it. Your statement of ‘not walking in her shoes’ would imply she face bravery. If she didn’t lack it according to you she must of faced it. If that is not what you are implying then let’s hear it. Was she brave or not?

            you said… what is in your opinion “calling evil good”), so I’m unsure why you would feel the need to publically fabricate that.

            my reply… She killed herself are you saying that is good or evil? When you keep calling out the ‘Judge NOT Card’ From the beginning I have shown the comparison of the two individual’s FRUITS up to the time of their death. You come back with ‘Don’t Judge’. Even though I said you would know them by their fruits. AND I pointed out the fruits. You have completedly called me out on it for judging. Your whole stance indicates you coming against the fact that I pointed out her fruits being bad, however, you say nothing about me calling Clayton’s fruits good. That’s what I imply you are calling evil good. btw, I asked you… If not require to live by God’s standards then why do you feel guilty for not obeying him? I didn’t see any answer from you.

            you said… We are not called to “warn” sinners to repent and believe; our calling is not as police warning people to stop at the red light or cause a fatal collision (that is law) but a calling as messengers of light announcing to people that reconciliation and redemption have arrived for all…come and take from the water of life without cost, Rev. 22:17 (that is grace).

            my reply… Please don’t act like you think you know what my calling is or how to use it. Everyone has their part in the body of Christ. If my calling doesn’t suit you take that up with God.

            Ezekiel 33:9 says… Nevertheless, if you WARN the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he does not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.

            1 Corinthians 6:2 Do you not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters?

          • Julie

            Brittany did endure pain. She allowed herself to go through
            much pain before taking that pill. What you are saying, I think, is that she wasn’t brave “long enough” in your opinion. Well, good for you, I guess. I hope you never have to prove that you are braver “longer” than Brittany was.

            You want me to pass judgment when you ask, “Did Brittany
            commit evil or not?!” I have no authority to call what Brittany did as “good or evil” as you feel you have such authority. Only the One with the nail prints in his hands has such final and absolute authority. I am simply a dying sinner on my knees, on my face, at the cross of Jesus asking for mercy as I hope (& believe through Christ) for a cure to all of the suffering and death in this world. And I am also one covered in forgiveness doing my best to share with others who experience similar hopelessness, stubbornness, fear, suffering, pain, and neglect that there is a resurrected King in whom they can place their hope and experience a similar comforting covering of forgiveness. A Redeemer that will finally and completely right the wrongs we work so hard to right today. My prayer is that we, the church, that’s you and me, Charlene, and all those who call on Jesus will so profoundly demonstrate the mercy we have found in God through Christ Jesus that the broken, the bruised, the devastatingly crushed and even those who have become pure evil because of such excruciating pain will somehow, by some miracle, be slowly transformed by the glimpse, the touch, the taste of the love of Christ they receive through us, the Body of Christ.

          • Julia, If you feel that you have no authority to call what Brittany did as “good or evil” then you also have no authority on me. If we didn’t judge by one’s fruits how would we know who not to have fellowship with? For we are told to withdraw or separate ourselves from a fallen brother & to have no fellowship with one who engages in sin for any length of time (2 Thess.3:16-14; Eph. 5:11; 2 Cor.11:12-15). I need Not to Judge Brittany when her Actions Speak Loud Enough (1 Corinthians 6:9,10). Holy Spirit will testify against you, me or anyone for rejecting to do what’s right (James 4:17). My comments have been a Warning to not seek the door of death when you were bought with a price (1 Cor.6:20;7:23). My prayer is that all will seek the Lord before they have their appointment time with death.

            2 Corinthians 5:10… For you are judged upon your works on ‘Judgment Day’ for the good or bad you have done in your bodies.

            Shalom

          • Sydnie

            1 Peter 3:15
            ” But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:”

          • Hi Sydnie, That’s odd because I used the KJV version.

          • Sydnie

            Ok that’s odd. I looked one of them up and one of them used you instead of ye

          • Oic lol ye is you in today’s convo. I help the audience reading from the kjv I throw the you in to show the meaning of ye :) sorry for the confusion. It implies the same. I go by the kjv and abhor the niv version. js

          • Sydnie

            oh ok lol I really don’t like the other versions either they don’t really compare, they don’t really have the same depth. At least for me.

          • Agreed & the other version replace the meaning or add/substract from God’s word. I prefer the kjv overall. Blessings to you

          • oops, i think i deleted my comment when i went to edit it lol. I use the you instead of the ye to help those reading from the kjv what it meant. Sorry for the confusion. I use the kjv version though and abhor the niv. Blessings

          • Sydnie

            Ok cool! I thought I was like the only one on here that used the kjv!

          • Nope I am a fan too :)

  • Hey Julie,

    I would like to point out to you that the Pharisees didn’t “flock to Jesus”. Does that mean that his message was wrong? I don’t think so. This is the reason that many people “flock away from us “.

    John 15:18-19 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.”

    And this is how I know that Jesus did in fact preach the “You are in a burning house but there is a way out” message:

    ———————————————
    John 3:16-21 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”
    ———————————————

    I find my hope in Jesus because I cannot get into Heaven with my righteousness, but He has paid the penalty for my sins.

    ———————————————
    Isaiah 64:6 All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.

    Acts 4:12 “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”

    ———————————————

  • Roy

    There is an assumption here that I just don’t buy: namely, that somehow, suffering is ennobling, or that accepting suffering somehow shows trust in God, in a way that avoiding that suffering does not.

    I don’t believe that God put us here to suffer, nor that he desires and is pleased by our suffering. If anything, we are called to show compassion and to relieve the suffering of others. If it weren’t so, then we shouldn’t have any palliative care. We should suck up all the pain and suffering life gives us, avoid all pain relievers that might assuage our suffering. Sorry. No.

    Trust and hope in God aren’t demonstrated at the end of our lives by our suffering, but by what we do during them to relieve that of others.

    • Sam S.

      Romans 5:1-5
      “[1] Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
      [2] Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoiced in hope of the glory of God.
      [3] Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,
      [4] and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,
      [5] and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”

      • Julie

        Sam, as Roy said, God didn’t put us here so we can suffer. Why would God be working against Himself? Jesus came to relieve suffering. He went around healing the sick and casting out demons in order to free people from pain and suffering. Romans 5:1-5 is an encouragement that our suffering does not have to be in vain. God is always working to bring something good out of our suffering as we trust in God.

        • Sam S.

          Hi Julie,
          I am not totally disagreeing with Roy. I just think he misunderstood what Brett was trying to communicate. I don’t believe that God put us here to suffer. I believe God allows suffering for our good. Yes, Jesus came to heal–in more ways than one. But notice what is said about the man born blind and Lazarus after he died. They suffered so that God could be gloried by what Jesus did for them. How would God be glorified by the blind man taking his own life before he met Jesus? I don’t know. Still, no one could blame him if he did. All he ever did was beg people for money. Where is the joy in that???
          A follower of Christ should view life differently than a person who does not follow Christ. We are called to live by God’s standard. The Bible shows us God’s standard. If anyone doesn’t agree with what I say, find out what the Bible says about it. I will sometimes misinterpret it, and all too often not live by it, but it is still the Word of God.

          • Julie

            The verse about the man being born blind is misunderstood because of the way it’s worded in some versions. The original verse does not say “so that” God’s works might be revealed. A more accurate rendering reads, “But let the works of God be manifested.” To say otherwise is to say that God intentionally made this man blind for most of his life just so God could heal him on this day. I’m sure there were others blind who Jesus could have healed. Were they, too, intentionally made blind by God but never healed by Jesus? Or the others weren’t made blind by God, but God chose to blind this one man for most of his life even though there were others from which to choose. Blindness, along with all sickness and disease, is the oppressive work of the devil (1 John 3:8; Luke 13:16: Heb. 2:14). Surely, God doesn’t need to add to the devil’s oppressive works “so that” He can be glorified through it. Jesus went around healing those oppressed by the devil (Acts 10:38). God would be working against Himself if He had been the one that caused this man’s blindness.

            Roy is right—God didn’t put us here to suffer. If we do suffer (which is inevitable in this life), God will work to bring something good out of it. As said, we are called to show compassion and to relieve the suffering of others as we follow God’s example in Jesus.

          • Sam S.

            I Corinthians 10:13 ESV (italics mine)
            “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”

            James 1:13 ESV
            “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God,’ for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.”
            I know this is talking about temptation, but I think the same principle applies: God doesn’t tempt or cause suffering. He ordains/allows it. Remember Job? God told the devil that he could do anything to Job–except take his live. God has the ultimate authority.

          • Julie

            Like you said, it’s not talking about suffering; it’s talking about temptation.

            God does not ordain suffering. Suffering is inevitable because we bring it on through our sin. God fights against the destructive effects of sin, which is pain, illness, disease, suffering, and death. As seen through the ministry of Jesus, God opposes the effects of sin by not only healing pain, illness, disease, suffering, and reversing death but putting an end to its cause, sin. We, who come alongside of Jesus, will do the same. God does not cause or ordain blindness or any other form of suffering; that is the adversary’s job.

            God does have the ultimate authority, but it doesn’t happen
            in a case-by-case basis as portrayed in Job. Job is one long wisdom story whose point is not that the Adversary walks up to God and asks who he’s allowed to torment today but about the complexity of God’s creation, the enormity of God’s genuine battle against powers that work against Him, and our humble state in light of all that. It’s really a story that tells us to shut our mouths rather than one that authorizes us to have any answers.

          • Sam S.

            What makes you think that it isn’t always a case-by-case basis as it was in Job? I don’t have any reason to think that it isn’t.

          • Julie

            What makes you think it is a case-by-case basis? I don’t have any reason to believe this was the norm, especially since Job is written as a wisdom story to make an overall point, similar to a parable.

    • Mackenzie Sauerland

      Totally true!!! Suffering makes us stronger, even though in the beginning God didn`t create us to go through bad stuff, he intended for us to live in a perfect world. But sin did enter into the world through Adam and Eve, so we have to accept that as a part of life. We shouldn`t let it get us down, or make us depressed, because we do know that God is with us in those times of suffering. He will never forsake us, especially when we are hurting. But I totally agree with what you said!! Keep it up!!

  • Lorie

    News Flash….Brittany went to heaven, no man nor woman decides who goes to heaven and who doesn’t, God has her covered trust me!!!!!! No one on this website or any or any other can decide her fate. She had a hard life, harder than most and God….absolutely, without a question welcomed her home, and anyone who doesn’t believe that doesn’t believe in God….the real God…the one who loves EVERYONE!!!!!!!! And if you are a real Christian, you know THAT God.

    • Sam S.

      You are right that no man or woman here can decide her eternity. The is between her and God.
      Most of the rest of what you said, however, I cannot agree with. The founders of this website and the majority of their (for lack of a better word) followers–including myself, believe in the God of the Bible. The Bible tells us that God is love and loves all of us. It also tells us that God is a holy and just God. That means that sin cannot be in His presence. Romans 3:23 says that all of us have sinned. That means that we are not holy and we cannot be in His presence. In order for us to become holy, a price must be paid.
      Jesus explains it best:
      John 3:16-19 ESV
      “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.”

      Jesus is that Son and He gave His life as a ransom for many. If you have a problem with my words, ask God what He thinks and read His Book. Thank you.

      • Julie

        Sam, what makes you think that “sin cannot be in His presence”?
        I’m curious where that theology comes from. Jesus spent quite a bit of time in the presence of sinners.

        • Sam S.

          Thank you, Julie, for pointing out this phrase. I and many other Christians use it without backing it up with the Bible. I can’t think of a verse that proves my point. If anyone else can, please let me know. The Bible is my authority. Please forgive me for using that phrase. Once again, I say: if you have a problem with anything I say, take it up with the Bible. Thank you again, Julie.
          Let me just point out that God allowing sin into His presence doesn’t mean that unrepentant sinners have eternal life. The Bible is quite clear on that. Jesus said that we are “condemned already.”

          • Julie

            Sam, it’s better to be able to back something up with Scripture before you say it authoritatively as if the Bible proclaims it. So, I’ll ask you. Where does Jesus say “we” are “condemned already?” Read the passage you have in mind carefully and consider who Jesus is speaking to and what exactly he is saying to them. Does God condemn them or do their own words condemn them?

          • Lorie

            GOD IS LOVE……period. Love is not judgmental, love doesn’t have only one book….and one day that moment of real awakening will come, sinner and saint a like….God knows our hearts and if our HEARTS are pure and loving then love is what we will receive. Despite all….GOD IS LOVE….love does not judge, prejudice, ignorance and hatred judges, but not love and not God.

          • Julie

            Hi Lorie. I don’t know which book(s) you’re referring to,
            but we’re discussing the Bible. The passage Sam and I are discussing is within a larger ongoing narrative about the Jews rejecting Jesus as the Messiah. The Jews were eyewitnesses to his miracles and attributed these miracles to the devil rather than to God. The passage in question tells us that a Jewish rabbi, Jesus, was speaking to a member of the Sanhedrin, Nicodemus. Jesus tells him that they (the Jews) do not believe their (Jesus & disciples) testimony. Jesus tells him that he who does believe is not judged, but those who do not believe are judged already because they did not believe he was from God even though they saw his miracles. And then Jesus says, “This is the judgment, that the light has come into the world and men loved the darkness rather than the light for their deeds were evil.” In other words, God wasn’t judging anyone; their own hearts judged them as illustrated through their evil deeds. A couple sentences before this, Jesus just got through saying that God did not send the son into the world to judge it. Applying this more broadly, then, God doesn’t have to judge anyone, because our own hearts will either accuse or defend us now and to come. So, in essence, I do think your understanding of “God knows our hearts and if our hearts are pure and loving then love is what we will receive” is in alignment with the teaching of Jesus.

        • I think he meant that sin cannot be in God the Fathers presence. It’s silly to think that sin cannot be in Jesus’ presence because of what you’ve already pointed out. I have not found Sam to think silly things, therefore I think he meant God the Father (remember the trinity?), it’s also just the truth, so… Yeah.

          • Sam S.

            Yes Grant, that is what I meant. But what about when satan was in the presence of God the Father (in Job)?
            When Isaiah was in the throne room of God. Take a look at what happens:

          • Julie

            Jesus is God, right? So, God can, indeed, be in the presence of sinners. The Holy Spirit, too, is in the presence of sinners every day convicting them. Should I just “trust” you? 😉 Bible verses, please. Thanks.

          • Amanda T.

            God is holy and perfect. (Leviticus 20:26, Psalm 18:30, Deuteronomy 32:4) He cannot be in the presence of sin. (Habakkuk 1:13a, Isaiah 59:2)

            The Holy Spirit is living inside of people who have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) Jesus’ blood has covered their sins and so that they are righteous before God. (1 Corinthians 1:30, 2 Corinthians 5:17-21) The Holy Spirit was sent to us after Jesus’ death. (John 14:26, Acts 2:1-4) When He died on the cross, the veil in the temple was torn. Things changed because His blood could now cover our sins and bridge the gap between God and man. (John 14:6, Matthew 27:50-51, Hebrews 9:1-15, Isaiah 53:5)

          • Julie

            God is holy and perfect. (Leviticus 20:26, Psalm 18:30, Deuteronomy 32:4) He cannot be in the presence of sin. (Habakkuk 1:13a, Isaiah 59:2)

            “Your eyes are too pure to approve evil. And You can not look on wickedness with favor. Why do You look with favor on those who deal treacherously? Why are You silent when the wicked swallow up those more righteous than they?” (Hab. 1:13).

            This says nothing about God not being able to be in the presence of sin. It says God’s eyes are too pure to APPROVE evil. The prophet wants to know why the treacherous seem to be in God’s favor since He seems silent as they continue to oppress others.

            “But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear” (Isaiah 59:2).

            This does not say God is unable to be in the presence of sin. It says our prayers are hindered because of our sin (cf. 1 Peter 3:7).

            Again, Satan and other demons are said to be in God’s presence (cf. Job 1:6; 2 Chron. 18:18-21). Also, the sinful man, Isaiah, was in the presence of God (Isa. 6:5-7).

            There is no place God can’t be: “If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If a make my bed in Sheol, you are there!” (Psalm 139:8).

          • Amanda T.

            Okay, you are right that Habakkuk 1:13 is more talking about God not condoning sin than Him not being around it. I should have better thought over that before posting my
            reply.

            However, Isaiah 59:2 seems pretty clear to me. Our sins “have separated you from your God”, they “have hidden His face from you”, and “He will not hear”.

            Just for the record, in case you have a different version of the Bible, I am using the NIV
            for Isaiah 59:2: “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.”

            I did a Google search for what the definition of “separation” is, and the first thing that popped up said, “the action or state of moving or being moved apart.” It also gave synonyms such as “detachment”, “severance”, and “disunion”, among others.

            So it seems that if something (your sin) has “separated you from your God” it means that you cannot be together – you are detached, severed, not in union. On top of that, God has “hidden His face from you” and “will not hear”. That seems to me to be completely removed. This also agrees with what you just said: “our prayers are
            hindered because of our sin”. Our prayers are hindered because God will not hear since sin has separated us from Him.

            It is true that there are times in scripture where Satan or sin-filled humans, like Isaiah, are before God. (You cited those scriptures: Job 1:6, 2 Chronicles 18:18-21, Isaiah 6:5-7.) Yet I also know that sin separates us from God. (Isaiah 59:2, John 14:6) Why else would Jesus have had to die for us to get into Heaven?

            I guess there is a difference between God not being able to be around something and
            that something coming between us and God. Because when it comes down to it, God is God; He can do whatever He wants!! However, He has created standards that He holds to. It seems, like so many other things in life, it is not one extreme or the other, but a
            balance in between the two.

            Let me put this thought out there as well:
            – The Bible teaches both predestination and free will.
            – The Bible says there is only one God, yet the Bible also shows us that God is three.
            Both of those concepts are difficult if not impossible to comprehend with our human minds and may even seem to contradict each other. Furthermore, I could not find any one verse that specifically said “God is one yet three.” However, from what we read in the Bible, we know and believe that that is true. As humans we cannot always completely understand what the Bible is saying, and sometimes not understanding is
            okay. If we understood everything, we would be God. If we ever reach a point where we think we understand God completely, we have put Him in a box that He will never truly fit in, and we should probably also take a serious pride-check. We can always keep learning and growing!

          • Julie

            Hello again.

            Yes, our sins do separate us from God. And our sins do hinder our prayers (it’s the prayers of a righteous man that can accomplish much, James 5:16). That doesn’t mean God can’t “be in the presence” of sin or that our sin judicially assigned to Jesus separated him from God. I don’t doubt, though, that Jesus felt a sense of forsakenness in his agony. He was human with real pain sensors and real emotions, after all.

            Our sin separates us from God because sinning is willfully walking away from rather walking toward God. Actually, “repent” carries the meaning of turning away from sin and moving toward God. Jesus didn’t sin. He didn’t willfully
            walk away from God by sinning. So, the sin he judicially carried on our behalf didn’t separate him from God.

            And, yes, Jesus’ death and resurrection brought reconciliation that our sin had ruined. Man had separated himself from God through his sin, and Jesus reconciled mand and God (repaired the severed relationship) through the cross. Just a side note: we don’t “get into heaven”; heaven will come down to earth and there will be a heavenly kingdom on earth.

            I’m not sure if your last comment is a question or just a comment. Predestination and free will can be reconciled when predestination is understood the way Israel understood it. The God question isn’t so easy; that’s a big question that can be explored another time.

            By the way, I like your cheery attitude. :-)

        • Amanda T.

          Yeah, just like Grant and Sam both said, God the Father cannot be in the presence of sin. I thought back to when Jesus was on the cross. He cried out “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” That is the only time you find Jesus say “My God” instead of “Father”. That is because when Jesus was on the cross, He became our sin. Therefore, Jesus and the Father could not be united, God had to turn away from the Son. I believe that more than anything else that seperation was the true torture and pain for Jesus on the cross.

          • Sam S.

            Hi Amanda, thanks for pointing that out.

          • Amanda T.

            :) you’re welcome!

          • Julie

            That’s purely conjecture.

            Jesus says, “My God my God” because he is quoting Scripture (Psalm 22). The Psalmist is experiencing such agony that he feels as if he’s forsaken but he’s not. “But You, O Lord, be not far off; O You my help, hasten to my assistance” (Psalm 22:19).

            Those standing around Jesus were saying, “He trusts in God;
            let God rescue him now, if He delights in him; for he said, ‘I am the son of God’” (Mt. 27:43). Compare this with Psalm 22:8, “Commit yourself to the LORD; let Him deliver him; let Him rescue him, because He delights in him.” Jesus then quotes Psalm 22:1, and those who know the Psalm know that God has not forsaken His servant and will “deliver his soul from the sword,” which God did.

          • Amanda T.

            Hi Julie,

            I am sorry that I did not respond to you right away, but I wanted to carefully think out and pray over if and how I was going to answer you. I do not want to put anyone down, and I do not wish to start a fight. However, I have chosen to reply to what you said about my comment, because I do believe that what I said can be backed up
            by scripture. I do hope you will read this and consider what I have to say. I would like to conduct this in a way that will honor God and bring Him glory, even if we disagree.

            Yes, Jesus was quoting Psalm 22, but if that separation of the Son and the Father were not to have taken place then let me ask you this:

            How are we able to be made right with God?

            God cannot be in the presence of sin. When Jesus went to the cross He took on our sin – Jesus became sin. (2
            Corinthians 5:21) If Jesus was our sin and God cannot be with sin, then at that moment in history Jesus and God could not be together.

            Jesus took our sin, and the punishment for our sin is death (Romans 6:23) which means separation from God (Ephesians 2:1-13 [especially verse 13]). Jesus died on the cross to pay that punishment for us so that we would not have to. (Isaiah 53:5) If the price to pay for sin is being separated from God and Jesus paid the price for our sin, then He would have had to go through that. If He did not, His death on the cross would not have worked as payment for our sins and we would have no forgiveness.

            They were not separated forever. When Jesus resurrected, He went back to be with His Father (Luke 20:17) and that is where He is right now. (Luke 24:51, Hebrews 12:2)

            You referred to Matthew 27:43 which says:

            He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’”

            However, if you back up two verses you will see that the verse is what the people were saying to mock Jesus on the cross; not what actually happened:

            In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the king of Israel!
            Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now
            if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” – Matthew 27:41-43 NIV

            Also, that verse (v43) where they say “Let God rescue him” is before the time when Jesus cries out “My God why have you forsaken me?” (v46) So, I do not believe that
            the people are responding to what Jesus said.

            Thank you for your time, and have a blessed day!

            In Christ,
            Amanda (Ps. 46:10)

          • Amanda T.

            Hi Julie,

            I am sorry that I did not respond to you right away, but I wanted to carefully think out and pray over if and how I was
            going to answer you. I do not want to put anyone down, and I do not wish to start a fight. However, I have chosen to reply to what you said about my comment, because I do believe that what I said can be backed up by scripture. I do hope you will read this and consider what I have to say. I would like to conduct this in a way that will honor God and bring Him glory, even if we disagree.

            Yes, Jesus was quoting Psalm 22, but if that separation of the Son and the Father were not to have taken place then let me ask you this:

            How are we able to be made right with God?

            God cannot be in the presence of sin. When Jesus went to the cross He took on our sin – Jesus became sin. (2 Corinthians 5:21) If Jesus was our sin and God cannot be with sin, then at that moment in history Jesus and God could not be together.

            Jesus took our sin, and the punishment for our sin is death (Romans 6:23) which means separation from God Ephesians 2:1-13 [especially verse 13]). Jesus died on the cross to pay that punishment for us so that we would not have to. (Isaiah 53:5) If the price to pay for sin is being separated from God and Jesus paid the price for our sin, then He would have had to go through that. If He did not, His death on the cross would not have worked as payment for our sins and we would have no forgiveness.

            They were not separated forever. When Jesus resurrected, He went back to be with His Father (Luke 20:17) and that is where He is right now. (Luke 24:51, Hebrews 12:2)

            You referred to Matthew 27:43 which says:
            He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’”

            However, if you back up two verses you will see that the verse is what the people were saying to mock Jesus on the cross; not what actually happened:

            In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the king of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’”
            – Matthew 27:41-43 NIV

            Also, that verse (v43) where they say “Let God rescue him” is before the time when Jesus cries out “My God why have you forsaken me?” (v46) So, I do not believe that the people are responding to what Jesus said.

            Thank you for your time, and have a blessed day!

            In Christ,
            Amanda (Ps. 46:10)

          • Julie

            I am sorry that I did not respond to you right away,…

            Oh, no worries about that.

            I do not want to put anyone down, and I do not wish to start a fight.

            This is not something I feel defensive about in the least. It’s an opportunity to sharpen our understanding of what is and what is not taught in Scripture.

            Yes, Jesus was quoting Psalm 22, but if that separation of the Son and the Father were not to have taken place then let me ask you this:

            How are we able to be made right with God?

            You’ve begun with a presupposition, that separation must take place to be made right, and then you look for ways in Scripture that support this presupposition. Speaking from experience, this is not the best way to go about studying if we want to avoid adding our own ideas to Scripture.

            The wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23), not “separation.”

            With sin comes decaying of the soul, and the outcome is death (Rom. 6:16, 21). Every man sins and each experience this initial decaying of the soul. If we continue in this way, it will lead to death. Death is just that, it’s death. And death is permanent. Jesus did not experience this decaying of the soul, but he did experience death. Death could not hold him; death was not permanent for him.

            God cannot be in the presence of sin. When
            Jesus went to the cross He took on our sin – Jesus became sin. (2 Corinthians 5:21) If Jesus was our sin and God cannot be with sin, then at that moment in history Jesus and God could not be together.

            You’ve begun, again, with an assumption, that God cannot be in the presence of sin, took a verse (2 Cor. 5:21) and created your own idea of what took place: “at that moment Jesus and God could not be together.”

            We see “God in the presence of sin” when Job goes into God’s presence and speaks to Him directly. We also see it in Isaiah 6:5-7 and 2 Chronicles 18:18-21.

            When the guilt of the people was transferred to the sacrificial lamb on the Day of Atonement, the lamb didn’t become sinful; sin was assigned to the lamb and it acted as a sacrificial substitute. It’s in this way that Jesus acted on our behalf. Jesus didn’t actually become sinful; sin was assigned to him and he acted as a sacrificial substitute. Jesus remained without sin (Heb. 4:15; 1 John 3:5); his essential nature never became tainted by sin. Jesus was made to be our sin substitutionally, not literally.

            To say that Jesus and God were “not together” is to say that Jesus stopped being God. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Heb. 13:8).

            Jesus took our sin, and the punishment for our sin is death (Romans 6:23) which means separation from God

            Death means death. Jesus died.

            …which means separation from God Ephesians 2:1-13 [especially verse 13]).

            You’re reading your own ideas into this, because you’ve
            begun with a false assumption. As we read the context, we see that the Gentiles were the ones “far off” (v. 13)—they were the uncircumcision (v. 11) and thus “excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God with the world” (v. 12). But Christ made BOTH groups (circumcision & uncircumcision) into one (v. 14) and by his blood he brought the Gentiles “near” (v. 13) and gave them all access in one Spirit to the Father (v. 18). So, then, now the Gentiles are no longer strangers and aliens (vs. 19) to the covenants of promise but are fellow citizens with the Jewish saints. This is the “mystery” to which Paul was referring in Eph. 3:3-6—how by his blood he broke down the wall that separated the two groups thus bringing the Gentiles near giving them access to God in the same way the Jews had access, and how the Gentiles were now included with the Jews in the one “new man,” body of Christ.

            If the price to pay for sin is being separated
            from God…

            The wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23), not “separation.” If
            you change the meaning, you may end up creating your own ideas that are not taught in Scripture.

            If He did not, His death on the cross would not have worked as payment for our sins and we would have no forgiveness.

            The wages of sin is death. Jesus died.

            However, if you back up two verses you will see that the verse is what the people were saying to mock Jesus on the cross; not what actually happened:

            God did rescue him. He rose from the dead.

            Also, that verse (v43) where they say “Let God rescue him” is before the time when Jesus cries out “My God why have you forsaken me?” (v46) So, I do not believe that the people are responding to what Jesus said.

            I didn’t say the people are responding to Jesus. I said, “Those standing around Jesus were saying, ‘He trusts in God; let God rescue him now, if He delights in him; for he said, “I am the son of God”’ (Mt. 27:43)…Jesus then quotes Psalm 22:1.”

          • Sam S.

            Hey woah…
            Death is death is death??? What is death?

          • Julie

            Well, we can look to the Bible to get an idea. There it says, “for the living know that they will die; but the dead know nothing” (Ecc. 9:5; cf. Psalm 146:4; 115:17).

          • Sam S.

            What is the second death? (Revelation 2:11)

          • Julie

            In verse 14 of Revelation 20, it says that the second death is the lake of fire. All we’re told is that death and Hades, and those not found in the book of life are thrown into the lake of fire, the second death. In my opinion, this suggests a complete end to death and Hades, and those not found in the book of life. There will no longer be any death (death & Hades go hand-in-hand, cf. Rev. 6:8), and there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain (the oppressive reign of the wicked will be gone). Compare with Rev. 21:4.

            The Bible tells us what death is like for the wicked. The wicked are destroyed forever (Psalm 92:7) and like smoke, they will vanish away (Psalm 37:20).

      • Ohh, man sam, I think my favorite line in Lorie’s comment is, “trust me”. I read that and was like, “firstly I don’t even know you, and secondly I’ve never met you.” So… Why should I just trust random people when they say “trust me”? Haha lol, gotta kick outta that! Have a good day! ~Grant

        • Julie

          I’m afraid that’s exactly what others say about us. Isn’t that what we’re telling people? Trust us? We know that the Bible is true, etc. etc.

  • Kate Lovell

    WOW. Absolutely amazing. Only God can work in such incredible ways as that. How is it even possible to live every day of your life like it’s your last? That is a challenge to us all. It will now be something I pray for every day, to be more like Clayton MacDonald. What an unbelievable story. About the whole reaching around the world thing, I can testify- I’m from Britain. What a Good God we have.

    • Just remember Kate, don’t pray to be like Clayton MacDonald. Pray to be like Jesus. The only good in Clayton is because he is reflecting his creator, and we can to if we decide to do everything we do for him.

  • Me

    It’s unclear what the connection between the two stories is.

    • Amanda

      They were both dying of cancer…one decided to shorten her suffering by killing herself and the other decided to make the most of the short time he had left and use it to share the gospel with as many people as possible.

  • I watched this video and it changed the way I think about death, fear, and faith. Clayton was very brave, determined, and faithful to God. I pray that if anything happens to me that I would have the strength to do what he did.

  • Jose Rojas

    Hi ! my name is Jose, i am from Colombia….. I want to belong this rebelution, i want to be part this new generation !!! help me !!! i want to different..

    • Sam S.

      Hi Jose!
      Welcome to the Rebelution! How can I help you?

      Forgiven and Free,
      Sam S.

  • Mackenzie Sauerland

    I just want to show EVERYBODY this video now!! It is so encouraging, it makes me want to make the impact that Clayton did!! I am so grateful that I came across it, I love how he says that he is not scared for himself, but he is scared for us, because he knows where he is going but most people don`t know where they are going!! That is so true, we take advantage of life, and hardly think eternally. But what is really going to matter is where we stand with Christ!! I LOVE this video, and I am soooooooo very thankful for the impact that it has had on me:)

  • MimeforJesus

    Hey Brett,
    You may never see this… but then again, you may. I’ve read through the comments on here, and I’m impressed at the apparent calmness with which you took the anger and defensiveness of those who disagreed.

    • liv737johnoxide

      I’ll be sure to share this with him if he hasn’t seen it already.

      • MimeforJesus

        Thanks, John!

  • Arianna

    I wanna have the same outlook on life as clayton did. he’s such a inspiration

  • Haven Asnip

    I know this post is old but I just wanted to say thank you for sharing. I’m new to Rebelution and it was my first time seeing this video. Clayton’s story is so beautiful! He reminds me of my brother Crockett. Crockett had West syndrome and even though he couldn’t walk or talk he taught me and my family so much. He showed us first hand that pain can be used for good. He’s been gone for almost 8 years now but I know someday I’ll see him again.

  • Arianna

    I had to write a speech and i chose to write it on doing hard things. I used clayton’s story in my speech. It’s impacted my life a lot.

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