God’s Providence in Life, Death and Organ Donation

CRI-Blog-Hanegraaff, Hank-Organ Donation

See now that I myself am He! There is no god besides me. I put to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal, and no one can deliver out of my hand (Deuteronomy 32:39, NIV).

What does the Bible say about organ donation?

The Bible does not specifically talk about organ donation but there certainly is a principle. This is the principle: The province of life is the province of God and it is not the province of human beings. Therefore, we are not to take life, we are not to hasten the advent of death, and what we are to do is to leave that prerogative to God.

Organ donation is a very relevant question. According to Dr. Richard Poupard,

Although organ transplantation has saved many lives, there remain ethical issues especially regarding determining when a patient dies. Brain death has been widely accepted and changed the basis for determining death from biology to philosophy. Donation after cardiac death has evolved as an alternative method where a patient is allowed to die in a controlled manner in an attempt to save organs for donation. Both methods of determining death have the potential to decrease our human value at the end of life.1

I think therein lies the question. If you are trying to control the dying process so that you can harvest organs, there is an ethical problem with that in very much the same was as there is an ethical problem with harvesting baby parts by killing preborn children.

There is nothing wrong with organ donation it is just that you do not want to be involved in trying to play God with respect to the dying process so that you can harvest organs. It is a wonderful thing to donate organs. It would be something that is very, very valuable for another person. It is a demonstration of love. Given the right ethical considerations, it is a wonderful thing to do.

If we donate our organs will we still have fully intact bodies in the future resurrection?

When we talk about the resurrected body, what we’re talking about is continuity. There’s no necessity to believe that every single atom will be resuscitated in the resurrection. But, there’s continuity between the body that is and the body that will be.

The way you can look at that is by the analogy of DNA. You have a DNA that distinctly defines you, as I do as well. That DNA will flourish to complete perfection in a new heaven and a new earth where indwells righteousness. So, you’ll be the perfect you and I will be the perfect me. We do not have a body that is altogether different from the one that we now have, but the body that will be will be glorified. It will be immortal, and incorruptible. We will be like His resurrected body in the sense that our bodies will be restored to what they would have been had the fall not occurred.

—Hank Hanegraaff

1. Richard J. Poupard, “Postmodern Death: Organ Transplantation and Human Value,” Christian Research Journal, 36, 4 [2015]: 13.

Blog adapted from the Bible Answer Man broadcast September 23, 2015 and “If we donate our organs, how does that affect our resurrection?