Making Death Passé
The Bible says everyone will die once and then face judgement (Hebrews 9:27).
Not to worry. There’s a growing movement aimed at defying God and making it possible to live forever. In fact, they even have their own church.
Located in Hollywood, Florida, “The Church of Perpetual Life” teaches that technological advances will eventually end death altogether.
Church founder Bill Faloon told the Miami New Times: “I never accepted death as being inevitable. Technology will advance to the point where death is rather optional.”
Faloon and his business partner Saul Kent are part of what is known as the “immortalist movement.” They embrace everything from organ transplants to “cryonics,” freezing bodies until science makes it possible to revive them to eternal life.
It’s part of a broader quest known as “transhumanism.” Short for transitional humanism, the concept seeks the ability to combine humans with various types of technology to enhance their mental and physical condition.
It would create what has been called “post humans,” or “techno humans.” Extreme proponents seek “singularity,” the state in which there is no distinction between human beings and manufactured entities.
Birmingham, AL-based Samford University recently held a conference entitled: “Transhumanism and the Church.”
Discussing the session with the Christian Post, conference organizer professor Steve Donaldson said the group discussed several questions: “Can a climate be created in which churches and people of religious faith engage a transhumanist future positively, or must the church resist? Is resistance futile?”
He said the conference “…was meant to constitute an early step in developing a coherent and forward-looking Christian approach to the relationship between transhumanist endeavors and the church.”
Donaldson told GRTL the conference did not reach a conclusion. “We just explored all aspects of the issue,” he said.
In contrast, GRTL President Ricardo Davis was absolutely clear on what the pro-life position is. “Artificial limbs are one thing, but trying to make us more than human - like God - is wrong. We’re wonderfully made in the image of God and trying to go beyond that is immoral.”
Davis added: “If not guided by a moral compass, we will unleash profit-driven ghoulish forces that threaten to permanently alter human nature. Pro-life supporters need to be informed about the issues and speak up when needed.”
One such for profit endeavor already in place is Alcor, a cryopreservation company founded in 1972. Alcor, and a similar company, Cryonics Institute, have an estimated 130 frozen people waiting for medical advances to make it possible to restore their lives. More than 1,000 individuals have signed up to be frozen as well.
The only other cryonics facility is in Russia, although one is reportedly being readied in Oregon.
The process involves waiting until a person is at the point of dying and then lowering their body temperature to that of liquid nitrogen, or about minus 320 degrees Fahrenheit.
The person’s blood is then replaced with a chemical solution that protects against freezing damage—a kind of antifreeze.
Cryonics patients can opt to freeze only their heads, which costs about $80,000. The price tag for freezing a whole person is $200,000. Head-only patients are called “neuros.” Apparently, the reason for freezing a person’s head is to preserve DNA.
Perhaps the best neuro case involved Boston Red Sox great Ted Williams, whose head was frozen in 2002.
Another use of cryonics (at a less severe temperature) received notoriety recently when a 24-year-old Las Vegas spa worker was found frozen to death in a liquid nitrogen cryotherapy chamber. She apparently was alone when she attempted to treat herself after hours.
The process, while not aimed at avoiding death, allegedly is helpful in treating muscle soreness, fatigue, chronic pain, anxiety and depression. It’s used by a growing number of people, including basketball star LeBron James.
However, there is limited scientific evidence that the practice is actually beneficial.
Kent—from The Church of Perpetual Life—suggests that cryonics would be his last resort. “My objective is not to be frozen and come back. What I really want to do was [sic] not to die at all,” he told the Miami New Times.
All of this is another example of a lost world attempting to defy God and take control of life itself.
But, Christians already know how to live forever, and it doesn’t take any scientific breakthroughs. Being born again through faith in Jesus Christ guarantees eternal life.
As Biblically-based pro-life supporters, we have an obligation to be informed about this issue, as well as to have the courage to engage family and friends in discussing it.
Sources: miaminewtimes.com; aol.com; startribune.com.
By Wayne DuBois
Media Relations Advisor