Is organ doning Biblical?
Galatians 4:13-15 says, “Ye know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you at the first. And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus. Where is then the blessedness ye spake of? for I bear you record, that, IF IT HAD BEEN POSSIBLE, YE WOULD HAVE PLUCKED OUT YOUR OWN EYES, AND HAVE GIVEN THEM TO ME.”
The apostle Paul had met the Lord on the road to Damascus. Acts 9:1-9 says, “And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man. And Saul arose from the earth; and WHEN HIS EYES WERE OPENED, HE SAW NO MAN: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. And HE WAS THREE DAYS WITHOUT SIGHT, and neither did eat nor drink.”
The Lord did give Paul his sight back. Acts 9:10-18 says, “And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord. And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth, And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight. Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name. But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: For I will show him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake. And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. And immediately THERE FELL FROM HIS EYES AS IT HAD BEEN SCALES: AND HE RECEIVED SIGHT FORTHWITH, and arose, and was baptized.”
It took seeing God’s brightness for Paul to realize that his own righteousness was as filthy rags. Isaiah 64:6 says, “all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.” When Paul saw the holiness of God, it left him blinded. When the problem with his eyes was healed, then something like scales fell off from them.
Later on, Paul would talk about having a thorn in the flesh. II Corinthians 12:1-10 says, “It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord. I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities. For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me. AND LEST I SHOULD BE EXALTED ABOVE MEASURE THROUGH THE ABUNDANCE OF THE REVELATIONS, THERE WAS GIVEN TO ME A THORN IN THE FLESH, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”
Even though Paul prayed that God would take away that thorn in his flesh, God would not do so. It would be something with which Paul would have to live, so that he would not get proud over all that God had allowed him to experience.
Many have wondered what that thorn was. According to Galatians 4:13-15, it seems that it was a problem with his eyes. “Ye know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you at the first. And MY TEMPTATION WHICH WAS IN MY FLESH ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus. Where is then the blessedness ye spake of? for I bear you record, that, IF IT HAD BEEN POSSIBLE, YE WOULD HAVE PLUCKED OUT YOUR OWN EYES, AND HAVE GIVEN THEM TO ME.”
According to what Paul said, people had told him that if it were possible, then they would have given him their own eyes. If it had been medically possible, then they would have donated their eyes to him. Paul does not rebuke them for their willingness to give him a part of their bodies. I John 15:12,13 says, “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” It seems that it was just a willingness to sacrifice their lives for his, or at least a part of their lives.
But we need to consider the context of this matter. These were Christians willing to sacrifice a part of their lives for another dear brother in the Lord. That is quite unlike the donor system that is practiced in this country. You can, on your driver’s license, designate that you are willing to donate organs of your body, if something should happen to you. But in that situation, you have no control over who will receive your organs. It may be a lost person, or a saved person. Your heart, eyes, kidneys, etc., may go to a Jehovah’s Witness, who will use your organs to live and spread false doctrine. Would that be pleasing to the Lord? Your organs may be placed in the body of a Catholic priest, who would then live on and spread his false doctrine which is sending people to hell. Would that be pleasing to God? II Chronicles 19:2 says, “And Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him, and said to king Jehoshaphat, SHOULDEST THOU HELP THE UNGODLY, AND LOVE THEM THAT HATE THE LORD? therefore is wrath upon thee from before the LORD.”
But what about if a lost person could receive your organ, and thus live and get saved? The Bible makes it clear that the loss of a body part would be more apt to make a person see his need, than being whole. Matthew 18:7-9 says, “Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh! Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.” If a man has to live with a physical infirmity, he is more apt to see that he also has a spiritual infirmity.
Even when it comes to the matter of donating organs to Christians, would you want your organs donated to just any professing believer? What about a Christian that is not serving the Lord, but the world and his lust? Would you want your eye donated to a professing Christian that loved to watch lustful videos or attended the movie theater and watched the same? It would be better for that man to be without his eyes. “And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.” Now a true Christian cannot be cast into hell, but he can sure be a stumbling block to others and the cause of them thinking that all Christians are hypocrites, and thus they die and go to hell. Would you want to donate your organs to a professing Christian who drank, smoke, and used profanity? And your organs gave him another twenty years to continue doing that very thing?
These are all matters which should be weighed before agreeing to donate your organs. I would say that the only example given to us in Scripture is that of a person being willing to sacrificially donate organs to a godly person who is serving the Lord. If it is legally possible, I suppose that a Christian could designate someone in charge of that matter should something happen to him/her. Someone that could check out a list of those in need, and find out something about them. One problem with this is going to be the time factor. Usually, organs have a very limited time in which they can be transferred. It could be very difficult to find out the true spiritual status of those in need, within the necessary time frame. On top of all that, is the possibility of being accused of discrimination, because of only allowing the organs to go to another Christian.
Whatever the case, I would do it right, or forget it altogether. Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit, and are not to be used for the devil, whether in life, or in death.