A Spiritual Judicial Look at the Schiavo Case

For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. Gen. 2:24

The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. I Cor. 7:4


March 24, 2005

Doubtless the currently explosive Terri Schiavo case has prophetic significance for the American people. Usually, a case that grows to this magnitude shows that God is speaking to a nation. I expect some of the more prominent ministries to offer a prophetic “take” on it from God—and there may be truth in some of those takes.

I haven’t received a prophetic national take on this situation like I have on some past issues. What is on my heart though is a view of the Schiavos from the judicial view of family order as laid out by the Lord in the beginning. For the numerous believers who are essentially praying to the government for resolution to the situation, this won’t be a popular perspective, but here it is:

Whatever the Schiavo case is about prophetically, judicially it is about the sanctity and authority of the marriage bond as established by the Lord at Creation. The Lord decreed that at marriage, a man and woman are to come out from the jurisdiction of parental interest and, as one flesh, are to have final authority over one another’s bodies. At marriage, parents give up their primary right to determine the destiny of their children. Hard to believe it could be that simple? It is.

Without lessening the heartache of the Schindlers (Terri’s parents), the fact is that they have violated divine order by appealing to government to override Terri’s husband. But the Lord says Terri’s body no longer belongs to them. It belongs to Michael. In the Lord’s own words (reinforced by Paul) Terri’s body is Michael’s own body. He and he alone has the judicial right under divine order to make the decision regarding the feeding tube. And in this the American courts have correctly passed sentence.

That is the first problem: violation of the divine order. The next problem clouding our sight is our view of human medical ability.

Let’s be clear. This situation is not about murder as is abortion. It’s not about destroying another’s life as in wife battering. It’s not about euthanasia as in doctor-assisted suicide. This is about a question of conscience regarding the extent to which life should be artificially preserved by invasive medical intervention. It’s a question that millions of families of terminally ill patients face every year within the privacy of their own homes. 

At the center of this debate is the exaltation of human medical ability—as if human medical ability to prolong life is the plumb line by which all righteous action should be measured. And sadly, it appears the “praying church” is basing its own intercessory case on this premise.

As believers, we should know better! The fact that something is medically possible to do to sustain life does not mean it is right to do or necessarily the Lord’s will. How many of us look to the Lord for our healing before we look to medicine?? Every reader of this list probably does!! Let me then ask: how many of you think somebody else and even the courts should have the right to butt into your life to tell you that you must turn to the medical profession for your healing under such and such conditions??

Prophetic take or not, personally I am sickened by the Johnny-come-lately “righteousness” of the wailing national church seeking to impose its totally undiscerning will on this situation through prayer—and such prayer as is joined in appealing to fleshly government for its enforcement! And I am safe to believe that from start to finish this total violation of the Lord’s Creational order is an utter abomination to Him.

I Have Just Three Questions….

First, if as a believer you are really so concerned with Terri Schiavo’s life—even if you are a Johnny-come-lately, why are you appealing to the government rather than the Lord—as if it is the government that can save life??? You serve two gods. And your appeal to the government to do what only the Father can do in the heart of a husband and in the body of his wife is an abomination.

Furthermore, why should Mrs. Schiavo be obliged to be kept alive by a medical tube just because it is possible to do so??? Since when is the “medical preservation of life at ANY cost possible” the universal decree of the Lord for all mankind? Even the staunchest Word-of-Faith believer has had to learn how and when to release a loved one to the Lord! Where does the nationwide church get off invading the sanctum of a man’s responsibility before God based on such an imaginary extrabiblical “prime directive?”

Finally, who charged you with the right to make determination about this decision??? What, are you God? Are you Michael Schiavo’s body? Are you his conscience?? If according to divine order even the Schindlers do not have this right, where did you get it?

Ultimately, Michael Schiavo bears responsibility before the Creator for his decision—whatever his motives may be. No one else—either the parents, or the government, or the church at large—has that responsibility or possesses the right to speak into this situation. If there is a spiritual right to speak into this, it belongs only to those believers and prophets whom the Lord has sent personally to Michael Schiavo, who share in his life, who are able to discern his motives, and who are able to show a heart of empathy for bearing his burden.

What Goes Around Comes Around….

—And you will be next! If you want to use intercession mixed with court fiat and President George’s signature to invade someone else’s marital responsibility for determining the extent of medically preserving his own helpless body, what will you do when somebody else uses intercession and the courts with President Hillary’s signature to force you to run your family to doctors and hospitals before you have proven out God’s will for healing? Hypocrites!

If you sincerely believe you have revelation that the Lord wills Terri Schiavo to live and find miraculous healing—(and you just might!)—then you should be praying for the Lord’s healing power AND for Michael Schiavo to change his own mind about the course he has taken. This alone is righteous prayer within the divine order.

But the spectacle of ignorant ranting preachers appealing to human courts on street corners in the name of the “right to life” is a stench in the Lord’s nostrils. The pontificating by prayer ministries whose hearts are in bed with human government and who have no personal knowledge or revelation regarding the facts of this case must cease!

In the end, if there truly is a prophetic national take to this situation, I suspect it is not as much a word to “America” about it’s death culture as it is to the American church about its spiritually dead, fruitless approach to human society. If the church really wants to prosecute the source of the death culture in America, we should start by looking in a mirror.

For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.”  I Cor. 11:30

[for a deeper study into the moral and spiritual issues involving this case, please see my response to a reader HERE]

Chris Anderson
Riverside, Rhode Island

First Love Ministry
- a ministry of Anglemar Fellowship



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