I’m feeling a bit drained today


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This morning, in the open plain office where I live, a fellow colleague stood up and challenged, “I’m going to give blood, who’s with me?”

“I am.”

Who said that?

Before you could think 1-2-3-Bob’s-your-uncle I was sitting in a chair with a needle in my arm and it was done.

Now I’m not a regular blood donor you see. It’s not that I’m against other people donating it’s just that I’m not too partial to needles in my arm after a lumber punchure I was subjected to as a child went horribly wrong. However for the last few months I’ve been reconciling my feelings about long-needles-intended-to-do-nothing-but-cause-me-grievous-bodily-harm with an inner sense of civic duty which has been pricking my conscience. Today civic duty won.

It was simple, painless, over before I realised it and left me thinking why I had made such a fuss about it in the past?

While I was sitting in the chair with not much to do with my time I thought about the news headlines this week in South Africa. One that had caught my eye was, “Girl’s life saved despite beliefs”. It seems that the Christian sect her parents belong to wouldn’t permit blood transfusions. The fiasco had to be decided in a court of law.

As I scanned the internet for what might have made these people come to this conclusion Wikipedia sited the following three verses used by many to justify this doctrinal stance:

Genesis 9 verse 3 says:

3 Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.”

Want to hear the verse in context? Genesis 8 – 15
What is this about?

Leviticus 17 verse 10 reads:

10 And any man from the house of Israel, or from the aliens who sojourn among them, who eats any blood, I will set My face against that person who eats blood and will cut him off from among his people.”

Want to hear the verse in context? Leviticus
What is this about?

And finally in Acts 15 verse 29 Luke recounts the commands given to the Gentile believers among which are:

29 that you abstain from things sacrificed to idols and from blood and from things strangled and from fornication; if you keep yourselves free from such things, you will do well. Farewell.”

Want to hear the verse in context? Acts 15
What is this about?

Now a plain reading of Scripture leaves little doubt that the verses are talking about the drinking of blood, a practise among some way out crazy sects of the day and something that doesn’t strike me as particularly pleasant. As a result I can’t see any compelling Scriptural basis for not either giving blood or receiving blood. It’s not a Scriptural issue but possibly one of conscience.

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