Assemblies of God (USA)

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Beginning of Life


The Assemblies of God opposes abortion.

Official Statement: from the General Presbytery, "Sanctity of Human Life: Abortion and Reproductive Issues" (2010)

"The Assemblies of God views the practice of abortion as an evil that has been inflicted upon millions of innocent babies and that will threaten millions more in the years to come. Abortion is a morally unacceptable alternative for birth control, population control, sex selection, and elimination of the physically and mentally handicapped. Certain parts of the world are already experiencing serious population imbalances as a result of the systematic abortion of female babies. The advocacy and practice of so-called partial birth abortion of babies is particularly heinous.
The Scriptures regularly treat the unborn child as a person under the care of God.
  1. The Bible recognizes that a woman is with child even in the first stages of pregnancy. . . .
  2. The Bible recognizes that God is active in the creative process of forming new life. . . .
  3. The Bible recognizes that God has plans for the unborn child. . . .
  4. The Bible recognizes that God is sovereign in all things, including the quality of life of the unborn child. . . .
In the modern era, situations in which pregnancy seriously and imminently threatens the life of the mother are exceedingly rare. If, however, responsible diagnoses confirm that childbirth is likely to result in the death of the mother, historic Christian faith usually has favored the life of the mother above that of the unborn child. Unlike the unborn child, the mother is a mature person with established family and societal relationships and responsibilities. However, vague threats to the mother’s physical or emotional health must not become an excuse to place the child at risk. Any intervention required must have the intent of saving the mother’s life, not the prior intent of causing death to the child. As in any emergency, in such times God’s children ought to fervently and earnestly pray for divine intervention. In doing so, the persons involved must prayerfully evaluate the medical diagnoses with the assistance of humane physicians and godly leaders and make, responsibly and with a clear conscience, what will be a very painful decision.
In recent years, the argument is made that since the woman alone bears the physical consequences of pregnancy, she should always have the right to choose freely an abortion. The laws of many nations now guarantee that “right” within varying durations and circumstances of pregnancy. As this study has shown, however, there is no biblical basis for a pregnant woman to terminate her unborn child. The long historical tradition of orthodox Christianity prohibits abortion. The legality of abortion in modern cultures is rooted in concepts of individual rights, autonomy, and privacy pushed far beyond scriptural teaching. We therefore expressly deny that this supposed legal “right” automatically confers upon the pregnant woman the moral right to abort her unborn child." ("Sanctity of Human Life: Abortion and Reproductive Issues")[1]

Official Statement: from the Commission on Doctrinal Purity and the Executive Presbytery, "Abortion"

The Assemblies of God is unashamedly pro-life. Even though a United States Supreme Court decision legalized abortion in 1973, abortion is still immoral and sinful. This stand is founded on the biblical truth that all human life is created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). From that truth issues the long-standing Christian view that aborting the life of a developing child is evil. Those who defend abortion claim that an unborn child in the early stages of development is merely fetal tissue, not a person. But neither science nor medicine can declare an arbitrary time during pregnancy when human life begins. The Bible indicates that human life begins at conception (Job 31:15, Psalm 139:13-16). Because of the sacredness of human life, the matter is settled by theological statement of Scripture, not by a medical determination of viability outside the mother’s womb. There is a Christian alternative to abortion. Instead of terminating the life of the unborn child, the newborn can be placed for adoption by loving Christians. Adoption is a concept authored by God, for all Christian believers have been adopted into the family of God. By choosing to give birth to her baby rather than having an abortion, the birth mother spares the life of a child created in the image of God.
Some professing Christians use unchristian methods to oppose abortion. But we must never forget the priority God places on His spiritual and material creation. The soul and where it will spend eternity is of primary importance. Believers must recognize God also loves those who are proabortion, so we must show compassion also. Yet, at the same time, we must try to halt the horrendous murder of innocents in our country. Just stopping abortions is not enough. The church must show compassion and support toward those who carry their child to birth but do not have the needed resources or an awareness of adoption options. Because of the advances in medical science, very few mothers today die in pregnancy or childbirth. Yet in some infrequent cases saving the life of the child or of the mother may mean the death of the other. If after prayer for God’s intervention, the problem is not resolved, consultation with attending pro-life physicians will be helpful in arriving at the proper conclusion. ("Abortion")[2]


The Assemblies of God accept some forms of birth control while rejecting others, and allow some measure of individual discernment.

Official Statement: from the General Presbytery, "Sanctity of Human Life: Abortion and Reproductive Issues" (2010)

"The Assemblies of God, finding no clear scriptural mandate, does not take an official stand on the appropriateness of contraception within a heterosexual marriage for purposes of regulating the number of children, determining the time of their birth, or safeguarding the health of the mother. These are matters of personal conscience as godly spouses prayerfully covenant with God about the growth of their families. While there are important ethical issues in determining to have a family, the prevention of pregnancy is understood to be qualitatively different from the termination of pregnancy since the sperm has not fertilized the ovum and human life has not yet begun. The biological processes themselves teach us that in God’s creative design not every sperm or ovum is intended to survive and unite. It should be remembered, however, that some methods commonly regarded as contraception, such as the IUD and the morning-after pill, are actually agents that abort, rather than prevent, pregnancy." ("Sanctity of Human Life: Abortion and Reproductive Issues")[3]

Official Statement: from the Commission on Doctrinal Purity and the Executive Presbytery, "Medical: Birth Control"

"In the Assemblies of God we believe there are valid reasons for delaying, limiting, or not having children. There are those who realize they may need more time to mature before trying to raise children. There may be those who should never be a parent. Financial matters must also be considered. Some couples decide to wait until they have finished their schooling before having children. Living in a country in which the lives of the parents and children are in constant danger due to religious persecution might be reason to use birth control to await a safer time for starting or expanding a family. Still the normal expectation is that most Christians will marry and bring children into this world to be raised in the love and admonition of the Lord.
The use of chemically induced or surgical abortion as a means of birth control is flatly rejected. The Assemblies of God has an official position opposing abortion. Any birth control method that functions to destroy a fertilized egg, rather than actually preventing conception, is considered unacceptable. Every couple should take this into account when selecting methods of birth control.
While we in the church recognize the legitimacy of good family planning and the use of birth control, we need to strike a balance. We must look beyond our ambitions and seek God in making these personal decisions. This is not to say every Christian couple must have children. It is simply to recognize that God’s plan for our lives may or may not include children. And regardless of circumstances, whether planned or unplanned, wanted or unwanted . . . children are a gift of God to be cherished. As Psalm 139:13-16 makes clear, the Lord is concerned about each person from the womb. Any decision to have or not have children should be made carefully and prayerfully." ("Medical: Birth Control")[4]

Infertility & Reproduction

Reproductive Technologies

The Assemblies of God has no official stance on the use of reproductive technologies; however, they have parameters.

Official Statement: from the General Presbytery, "Sanctity of Human Life: Abortion and Reproductive Issues" (2010)

"However, infertile heterosexual couples who have pursued without success all viable treatments may be confronted with a decision to utilize in vitro fertilization. There are numerous ethical issues to be evaluated in such a process, including the financial costs, the harvesting of sperm and ova, and the nurturing of multiple living human embryos, not all of which likely will be implanted in the uterus. The disposal of unused embryos is an acute ethical issue since they represent the beginning of human life. Further, there may also be serious danger to the life of the mother in the event that multiple babies survive to full term, which might call for the selective abortion of one or more of the babies. Given these grave concerns, it is imperative that those who elect this procedure prayerfully seek godly and knowledgeable counsel, and engage medical professionals with compatible ethical standards. We disapprove any procedure that results in the destruction of unimplanted embryos." ("Sanctity of Human Life: Abortion and Reproductive Issues")[5]

Official Statement: from the Commission on Doctrinal Purity and the Executive Presbytery, "Medical: Infertility"

“Though the Assemblies of God has no official statement concerning the use of artificial reproductive technology as a means of overcoming infertility, there is concern that procedures tampering with the human embryo (a fertilized egg after conception) have the potential to circumvent the sovereign will of God.
Christian couples who are unable to conceive children are not wrong in exploring the physical cause for their barrenness, or for considering options in medical assistance. However, such measures should only be considered in constant and prayerful view of biblical ethics and God’s will for their lives and marriage. To neglect God’s will and navigate a course without God’s guidance is often disastrous. . . . Barren couples desiring to conceive a child should pray in faith and seek God’s healing. They would do well to have church leaders specifically pray over and with them.
However, if God does not remove the infertility, the couple should continue to pray and ask if He has a purpose in their childlessness that could not be accomplished with children. If after adequate time of prayerful waiting God gives no indication of a special purpose or ministry for remaining childless, some alternatives such as surgical repair of blocked or damaged Fallopian tubes, or the careful administration of drugs to stimulate ovulation (when physical problems can be corrected by these means) would seem acceptable. Taking medical action after earnestly seeking God’s will is much different from Abraham and Sarah’s situation who were given the promise of a child from the Lord yet impatiently sought a different solution.
The inability to have children is often acutely painful. Members of the body of Christ should seek to be sensitive to the hurts and needs of childless couples and be quick to give loving acceptance and support to those deprived of having biological children. While there is great joy in rearing a child, children are not in themselves the source of happiness and peace. God is the source of life, and He is able to distribute true joy and happiness with or without children. As the Psalmist David wrote, "He [the Lord our God] settles the barren woman in her home as a happy mother of children" (Psalm 113:9).
Over a dozen reproductive technologies have been suggested or tried by modern science. Many of them give genuine concern to Assemblies of God adherents. From the perspective of the childless Christian couple, the scriptural principle of the sacredness of the marriage bond must always be honored, thus excluding all approaches with third-party involvement (e.g., artificial insemination by donor [AID] and surrogation). Other methods that do not violate this principle are nevertheless difficult to defend because of the potential threat posed as medical researchers tamper with the conception process and the beginning of human life. When we hear medical technicians claim they are on their way to artificially creating human life, without reliance on natural processes, we know that modern medicine, which can be a beautiful gift when regulated by God's Word, can become an arrogant challenge to our sovereign God. We can never be a part of such disobedience.” ("Medical: Infertility")[6]

Healthcare & Medicine

Official Statement: from the Commission on Doctrinal Purity and the Executive Presbytery, "Medical: Modern Medicine and the Assemblies of God"

"There are some adherents of the doctrine of divine healing who do not believe the use of medicine and physicians is compatible with belief in divine healing. This has never been the position of the Assemblies of God, nor can it be said to be the position of the Bible.
Those who will not seek medical attention are inconsistent in their application of faith. In times of spiritual trouble they are not hesitant to seek help from pastors. They often seek legal help from lawyers, and financial help from investment consultants. In doing so they view these people as God’s provision to assist them. Why not view doctors in the same way while continuing to seek God for healing? Naturally Christians ought not put their hope and confidence in humanity but God, yet God frequently chooses to utilize humans for His purposes. God may use a variety of means, but all healing is dependent upon Him, whether natural or supernatural." ("Medical: Modern Medicine and the Assemblies of God")[7]

Organ Donation & Transplantation

The Assemblies of God position appeals to their doctrine on the resurrection. Since upon death, the Bible teaches that the mortal bodies are no longer needed, return to dust, they allow for organ donation and encourage it to be a testimony. However, choosing not to donate is a valid option for the Christian.

Official Statement: from the Commission on Doctrinal Purity and the Executive Presbytery, "Medical: Organ Donation"

“Donating our organs may give the gift of life to someone else long after we have gone home to be with the Lord. If the recipient is a Christian, the resource of the organ has the potential to facilitate continued Christian service and the living witness of a fellow believer here on earth. If the recipient is not a Christian, it may allow the individual additional time and opportunity to accept Christ. A fascinating possibility is to imagine the impact if Christian donors were to stipulate that their donated organs be accompanied by a hand—written letter telling of the donor’s life, testimony, and relationship with Christ. The alternative is to keep our organs even in death. This also is a valid choice for the Christian. This was the practice for all until recent years when transplant procedures have proven viable.Ultimately, the question comes down to whether or not we view it right for our organs to be candidates for resource.” ("Medical: Organ Donation")[8]

Science & Technology


Animal-Human Hybrids

The Assemblies of God is opposed to human-animal hybrids.

Official Statement: from the Commission on Doctrinal Purity and the Executive Presbytery, "Medical: Genetic Alteration and Cloning"

“Genetic engineering reports have noted the insertion of human genes into animals, possibly for cloning purposes. Scripture would seem to forbid such a practice. Exodus 22:19, Leviticus 18:23 and 20:15,16, and Deuteronomy 27:21 order death as the penalty for humans and animals that engage in mutual sexual intercourse. The thought is repulsive and the death penalty could have been ordered because of the social stigma. But God may also have forbid the practice because of genetic complications that could have resulted.” ("Medical: Genetic Alteration and Cloning")[9]

Human Cloning

The Assemblies of God is opposed to human cloning.

Official Statement: from the General Presbytery, "Sanctity of Human Life: Abortion and Reproductive Issues" (2010)

"The Assemblies of God believes that reproductive cloning is immoral and a matter of grave concern. In the cloning process, the person is not conceived from the union of the father’s sperm and the mother’s ovum. The genetic material is drawn from only one person and manipulated in the laboratory, with some risk of contamination, before implantation in the surrogate. There are also grave physical risks for persons who may be cloned. Animal cloning has demonstrated the potential for birth defects and premature aging. Scientists have no way of knowing what type of horrors may be visited upon cloned individuals or upon humankind at large through such a process." ("Sanctity of Human Life: Abortion and Reproductive Issues")[10]

Official Statement: from the Commission on Doctrinal Purity and the Executive Presbytery, "Medical: Genetic Alteration and Cloning"

“We feel strongly that such a procedure involving human cells is not in keeping with biblical principles on the God-given individuality of human life. Meditating on his own physical existence, Job declared that God gave life and He ended it (Job 1:21). Though we may understand the processes of conception, pregnancy, and birth, for humans these are not mechanical stages. God is at work creating a body to be an abode for an eternal soul. Any attempt to procreate human life outside of God’s parameters is an attempt to usurp God’s greatest act of creation, that of human life possessing both body and soul.
Some have claimed that the cloning of humans could provide replacement organs that would prolong the lives of persons already living. While this view seems to line up with the sacredness of human life at first glance, it probably means taking one human life to extend the life of another. We believe such decisions should be God’s alone. Furthermore, the driving motive for cloning humans seems to be for the benefit of those doing the cloning or those who desire some organ for extending life. No thought is ever given to the terrible toll that would be taken on the failed clones or the successful clone that provides harvested organs.” ("Medical: Genetic Alteration and Cloning")[11]

Animal Cloning

The Assemblies of God appears to be amenable to limited animal cloning if performed in a responsible manner.

Official statement: from the Commission on Doctrinal Purity and the Executive Presbytery, "Medical: Genetic Alteration and Cloning"

“The cloning of animals presents a difficult dilemma. The Bible recognizes that animals are a source of food for humans. It also gives humans dominion over the animal world –and by implication over the plant world (Genesis 1:26,28). There is also an instance in Scripture where selective breeding of animals took place (Genesis 30). Some recent research has sought to produce milk through genetic engineering that would be therapeutic and enriched for the benefit of those who drink it. Such research would seem to be acceptable as long as the animals used in the research are not mistreated. Animal life does not have the standing in God’s sight that human life has, but there is no justification in Scripture for needless abuse and mistreatment of animals.” ("Medical: Genetic Alteration and Cloning")[12]

Stem Cell Research

The Assemblies of God are in favor of stem cell research, though with restrictions as to the source of the stem cells.

Official statement: from the General Presbytery, "Sanctity of Human Life: Abortion and Reproductive Issues" (2010)

"Stem cell research shows great promise for the cure of numerous diseases and should proceed under appropriate ethical guidelines regularly reviewed and revised. There are stem cells, such as adult stem cells, that are readily available for research and whose procurement does not compromise the sanctity of human life. However, the practice of cultivating stem cells from the tissue of aborted fetuses (embryonic stem cells) perpetuates the evil of abortion and should be prohibited. Likewise, the cultivation of stem cells from the unused embryos left with fertility clinics raises serious ethical concerns for human life. Great care must always be exercised in the cultivation of stem cells to insure that the sanctity and dignity of human life are not compromised." ("Sanctity of Human Life: Abortion and Reproductive Issues")[13]

Genetic Ethics

Gene Therapy/Genetic Engineering

The Assemblies of God recommend a cautionary approach to genetic engineering and technology.

Official Statement: from the Commission on Doctrinal Purity and the Executive Presbytery, "Medical: Genetic Alteration and Cloning"

“It would be easy to oppose all research in areas of cloning and genetic engineering. There are voices in the medical community declaring that whatever experiments can be done in cloning and genetic research must be done. They express no moral or ethical parameters or guidelines such experimentation should respect. They don’t seem to understand the negative implications that can result from unrestricted research and experimentation in the modification of human and animal life. There have been abuses in the past when the possibility of successful genetic engineering was much less likely than it is today. Hitler and the Nazis conducted abusive research on prisoners in concentration camps, seeking to produce a master race of Germans. Unregenerate persons, whether naive and primitive or learned and technical, can engage in terrible acts if there is not a moral and ethical standard to which they are held accountable. Not all of society appreciates the Christian’s respect for the ethical guidelines of Scripture. But without such a standard anything can result. We call on everyone engaged in scientific and medical research to find a standard of ethical and moral conduct, to articulate it clearly so all of society understands the premises on which any such research and experimentation is conducted. We believe God’s inspired and authoritative Word, the Bible, is that standard.” ("Medical: Genetic Alteration and Cloning")[14]

Genetic Screening

''The Assemblies of God recommend a cautionary approach to genetic screening.

Official statement: from the General Presbytery, "Sanctity of Human Life: Abortion and Reproductive Issues" (2010)

"The Assemblies of God is supportive of morally responsible genetic research and therapies. Genetic research conducted with reverence for life appears to have great potential for the health of human beings through the identification of and intervention in the genetic roots of hundreds of diseases. By the same token, used for proud and selfish ends, genetic screening and intervention also have the potential to bring great harm to the entire human race. In addition, the Assemblies of God believes legislation is necessary to prevent intrusive genetic screening and resultant discrimination as well as misguided experimentation and termination of life." ("Sanctity of Human Life: Abortion and Reproductive Issues")[15]

Human Enhancement

See statement on Gene Therapy/Genetic Engineering above.

End of Life

The Assemblies of God gives priority to the sacredness of human life. They allow for a range of opinions on medical support, from prayer for healing only to use of medical doctors and technology.

Official Statement: from the Commission on Doctrinal Purity and the Executive Presbytery, "Medical: Euthanasia, and Extraordinary Support to Sustain Life"

“The most common view in the Assemblies of God is a reliance on God for healing through prayer as well as a wise use of medical intervention when it is available. Occasionally, medical intervention includes life support.” ("Medical: Euthanasia, and Extraordinary Support to Sustain Life")[16]

Definition of Death

The Assemblies of God recognizes the difficulties in determining what is death, but does not give an official definition.

Official Statement: from the Commission on Doctrinal Purity and the Executive Presbytery, "Medical: Euthanasia, and Extraordinary Support to Sustain Life"

"The issue of sustaining life by medical technology is complicated by uncertainty as to when death actually occurs. Is it when breathing ceases, the heart stops beating, or brain activity is no longer evident? Medical support can keep a body breathing after meaningful signs of human life have ceased. There are individuals who seemingly have died, only to be resuscitated within minutes of interrupted heartbeat or breathing. Some who have been so resuscitated and kept alive with life support have recovered and returned to live normal lives. Others have not. Questions arise in these instances: How long should one try to hold on to life, especially when suffering persists and the quality of life is at question? When is our appointed time to die?" ("Medical: Euthanasia, and Extraordinary Support to Sustain Life")[17]

Extraordinary Measures

Official Statements: from the Commission on Doctrinal Purity and the Executive Presbytery, "Medical: Euthanasia, and Extraordinary Support to Sustain Life"

“There are times when a debilitating accident, a life-threatening illness at an advanced age, or prolonged terminal illness without any natural hope of recovery makes it appropriate for a patient to say, "I will leave my life in the hands of my Lord. Do not perform any extraordinary measures to resuscitate me or maintain my body on life support machines, for I am ready to go home to be with my Lord" (2 Corinthians 5:1-10). Terminal patients, however, often wait too long to express their preference that extraordinary life-support measures not be administered. This leaves the family with a great burden of deciding whether to allow or reject such measures. A living will clearly declaring one's wishes in this regard can eliminate such painful decisions for family and loved ones.
Such decisions about using life—support technology should ultimately be made by the patient whenever possible, after prayerful consultation with a Christian doctor and a respected spiritual leader. It is wise to consider and decide these matters before the moment of crisis.
In critical life-and-death situations, the use or refusal of life support is at best a difficult decision. While weighing the biblical principle of respecting and preserving life, the Christian also takes comfort in an equal truth of joyously accepting our appointed time to begin eternal life with Christ after physical death. Most people in the Assemblies of God believe there is room for either decision after prayer and careful consideration. Furthermore, what is right for one individual choosing life support may not be right for another. Instead, the Christian, recognizing that the decision ultimately lies with God, seeks prayerfully to find what God's will is in a specific situation.”("Medical: Euthanasia, and Extraordinary Support to Sustain Life")[18]

Physician-Assisted Suicide/Euthanasia

The Assemblies of God opposes physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia.

Official Statement: from the General Presbytery, "Sanctity of Human Life: Suicide, Physician-Assisted Suicide, and Euthanasia" (2010)

"Our opposition to the termination of human life must be understood in spiritual terms and must be guided by biblical principles. Specifically, the Church must (1) proclaim humankind’s dignity as God’s sovereign creation, (2) reassert God’s authority over life from conception to death, and (3) affirm meaning and hope for suffering humanity.
Euphemistic expressions for physician-assisted suicide, such as assistance-in-dying, are specifically used to mask the true content of these actions and should be rejected. Further, physician-assisted suicide must be distinguished from informed decisions by patients to refuse life-sustaining treatment in ways that compassionately respect individual autonomy." ("Sanctity of Human Life: Suicide, Physician-Assisted Suicide, and Euthanasia")[19]

Official Statement: from the Commission on Doctrinal Purity and the Executive Presbytery, "Medical: Euthanasia, and Extraordinary Support to Sustain Life"

“Our firm belief in the sanctity of human life is put to the supreme test in situations where the life of elderly or comatose patients is sustained by artificial procedures developed through medical science and technology. But we can find no scriptural support for euthanasia (sometimes called mercy-killing). The intentional killing of human life by deliberate act or omission runs contrary to a belief that human life is sacred because it has been created and given by God himself.”
“Though some advocates of euthanasia describe mercy-killing as an act of kindness when it is administered to a terminally ill patient subject to great pain and suffering, members of the Assemblies of God are generally concerned about abuses that can result from such an open attitude toward euthanasia. Instead of respecting the sacredness of human life, proponents of euthanasia stress the social advantages of eliminating nonproductive citizens and avoiding high-cost medical procedures. Believing that supernatural healing is always possible, no matter what the medical prognosis may be, members of the Assemblies of God are more inclined to pray for healing than to approve the taking of life, even to avoid pain and suffering. Modern medicines that can deaden pain and make a dying patient reasonably comfortable should negate a common fear that anticipated pain will be so severe that suicide or euthanasia are better alternatives.
"The action of a few doctors who blatantly violate legal restrictions as well as ethical and moral standards by assisting terminally ill patients who request medical help in committing suicide is of growing concern to a church that believes strongly in the sacredness of human life. In physician-assisted suicide, the patient performs the life-ending act by voluntarily taking the lethal medication or poison made available by the physician.
Such actions are not accepted within the Assemblies of God. The church makes a clear distinction between actions which halt artificial life support and actions which directly cause death. Whether someone else administers the life-ending medium (homicide) or the patient takes it voluntarily (suicide), the action actively terminates life that was given by God. We recognize it is not easy to deal with the sufferings of terminally ill patients or of comatose persons in a vegetative state. Faced with these difficult dilemmas, society has become more open to aggressive steps which cause death. But abuses have become all too common as sympathetic emotions have replaced moral principles grounded in the Judeo-Christian ethic. The ready availability of drugs and medicines that can delay dying or hasten death present moral issues that were never faced in earlier days of medical care.
The church makes a clear distinction between actions which halt artificial life support and actions which directly cause death. Whether someone else administers the life-ending medium (homicide) or the patient takes it voluntarily (suicide), the action actively terminates life that was given by God.” ("Medical: Euthanasia, and Extraordinary Support to Sustain Life")[20]

Withholding & Withdrawing Treatment

See statements on Physician-Assisted Suicide/Euthanasia above.

Official Statement: from the Commission on Doctrinal Purity and the Executive Presbytery, "Medical: Euthanasia, and Extraordinary Support to Sustain Life"

"The Assemblies of God make a distinction between halting artificial life support and actions which directly result in death."("Medical: Euthanasia, and Extraordinary Support to Sustain Life")[21]

Issues of Human Dignity & Discrimination

Disability Ethics

Official Statement: from the General Presbytery of the Assemblies of God, “Ministering to People with Disabilities: A Biblical Statement” (2000)

“Our theology makes place for pain and suffering, because we have hope for healing and an end to pain. But how does our theology, our faith, and our practice handle the person who may never walk again or the mentally challenged child who may never participate in normal social interaction? A proper understanding of the gospel must boldly proclaim, even though we do not have all the answers, that the God who created the universe and all human life in it is aware of the tension His children feel. He expects us to be people of compassion as well as people of power.
Jesus healed only one of many gathered at the pool of Bethesda for a superstitious expectation of physical healing. So if prayer for healing is not immediately answered, we do not change our theology to say God no longer heals. We continue to trust Him in anticipation of the day when the infirmities of earthly existence drop away in the perfect light of His eternal presence
God imparts ability, and He knows about disability because He at least allows it.
The church of Jesus Christ, the earthly representative of spiritual reality, should be the leader in providing opportunity for all people to connect with the Spirit of God. We do not fully understand the age of accountability and its application to persons with mental disabilities. We do not understand how a person with a mental disability related to God. But we must give opportunity for the spirit of God to speak to such a person at his or her level of comprehension
The biblical command to ‘serve one another in love’ (Galatians 5:13) includes everyone. To view people with disabilities as flawed and defective, and possibly a divine mistake, is wrong for a church with Christlike compassion. People with disabilities are platforms for the demonstration of His power to heal or His power to use weakness to display His strength…Our faith and practice must include a compassionate hand extended to those with disabilities.
People with disabilities are essential to the wholeness of the Christian community. In a culture that worships physical perfection, devalues human life, and takes pride in disposability, the church must protect the helpless, vulnerable, disenfranchised, including people with disabilities. They are people created in God's image, possessing dignity, value and purpose The church must extend open arms of invitation and fellowship. Those with mental disabilities can respond to the presence of the Holy Spirit.”
The physical or spiritual condition of people with disabilities should not be judged only on what our physical eyes observe. It is imperative that spiritual leaders exercise discernment when praying for people with disabilities, and not simply assume that their most pressing need is for physical healing.” ("Ministering to People with Disabilities: A Biblical Statement")[22]


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