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Why Does God Allow Dementia

Was Gods Creation Really Very Good


In the beginning, about 6,000 years ago, God created the universe and everything in it in six actual days. At the end of His creative acts on the sixth day, God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good .

To have been very good, Gods creation must have been without blemish, defect, disease, suffering, or death. There was no survival of the fittest. Animals did not prey on each other, and the first two humans, Adam and Eve, did not kill animals for food. The original creation was a beautiful place, full of life and joy in the presence of the Creator.

Both humans and animals were vegetarians at the time of creation. In Genesis 1:2930 the Lord said, See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed to you it shall be for food. Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food.

This passage shows clearly that in Gods very good creation, animals did not eat each other , as God gave Adam, Eve, and the animals only plants to eat.

The original creation was very good. According to Moses in Deuteronomy 32:4, His work is perfect. Obviously, things are not like this any longer.

What Do We Need To Remember

From a biblical perspective, however, we are a people called to hope. A biblical view of the person recognizes that all people have inherent value as created beings, who were made in the image of God Because of our status as Gods children, we are to be treated with dignity and respect, regardless of ability. Moreover, God instructs us to provide special care, concern, and protection of those who are vulnerable

As Gods people, we are called to remember him, and to hold to biblical truths about his relationship to his people, including those with dementia. This means that:

  • God loves us regardless of our cognitive and intellectual ability.
  • God cares for those who are unable to care for themselves.
  • The Holy Spirit searches the depths of our hearts and minds .
  • The Holy Spirit intercedes for us with prayers beyond our comprehension, particularly when we dont know what to pray .
  • The Holy Spirit sustains our connection to the triune God .
  • Jesus modeled sacrificial love and taught us to wash each others feet .
  • Jesus did for us what we could never do for ourselves.
  • God remembers us regardless of our ability to remember him .

The Alternate View Of History

Those who reject the Creator must explain how the world came into existence without God.

Evolutionists and most other long agers believe that 1314 billion years ago, a big bang caused the universe to begin from nothing. Galaxies, stars, and planets formed as matterscattered across the universecooled and coalesced. About five billion years ago, the earth itself began to form. The earth, it is claimed, cooled for a billion years or so, water formed on the surface, and in this primordial ocean, molecules somehow arranged themselves together to form the simplest one-celled life forms.

Due to environmental stresses and other forces, directionless mutations, say evolutionists, led to survival advantages for certain organisms. These organisms gradually changed into progressively more complex organisms. The strongest organisms were able to survive and reproduce, and the weaker organisms died off or were killed by the stronger creatures.

This merciless process eventually produced ape-like creatures who evolved into man himself. Thus humans are the ultimate product of millions of years of death and suffering.

This naturalistic view of the universe uses the fossil record as proof for the belief that creatures became more advanced over millions of years. This view teaches that the fossil record is a record of millions of years of disease, struggle, and death. The late famous evolutionist Carl Sagan declared that the secrets of evolution are time and death.4

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Dementia As A Religious Problem

The demented you will have always with you is not a saying of our Lord that I recall. Yet it fits the 21st-century condition of our lives. Dementia is a grimly stubborn and growing statistic in the unfolding story of our aging society, and it raises at least three issues for thoughtful Christian persons.

They are: decision-making at the end of life, the psychological mix of feelings and frustrations involved in care for the demented, and the nature of a distinctively Christian response to dementia.

Among certain high-profile scholars writing in medical ethics over the past quarter century or more, decision-making at the end of life has received by far the greatest amount of attention. Many put great weight on a demented persons declaration of preferences before she became demented. Others find this over-simple. They point to the radical change in personality that dementia may bring to the point of a true change of identity. If this is not the same person, how can previous choices of another person be binding or relevant?

I think our basic intuitions should trump theory. Among other reasons, it has proven remarkably difficult to identify criteria or standards persuasively that must be flunked if a person is to fall out of the moral security of personhood and into a lower level of moral status. A lot of human beings, demented or otherwise, would flunk out.

Dementia is Scary

God and Suffering

What Can We Do

suffering  The Dementia Society

With these biblical truths in mind, what can we as the church do to show honor, love, and respect to our forgetful and confused neighbors and family members? How can we specifically treat these members of our body with dignity? How can we help support the spiritual lives of people living with dementia?

We first need to recognize that people with Alzheimers have a range of needs that we can help address, whether emotional , physical , or financial .

People with AD also have spiritual needs. They need activities and disciplines that maintain their connection to their church family and remind them of Gods grace, love, and care. They need meaningful activity and a sense of purpose. For Christians with AD, this can be found in the biblical practices that the church has relied upon for centuries. When you visit or spend time with someone who has dementia, consider doing some of these things:

Pray: Pray for people with Alzheimers and offer to pray with the person you know who has Alzheimers. It can be helpful to use well-known prayers, such as the Lords Prayer, because these have been repeated many times and draw on different memory systems that are relatively spared in dementia.

Sing: Many people with Alzheimers connect with music. Familiar songs and hymns can be used to help people remember Gods goodness and faithfulness.

Show love: Above all things, find opportunities to show love. Show kindness. Tell them they are loved and valued. Show appropriate affection.

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Jesus And The Reality Of Human Suffering

At last after thousands of years of desperate cries and laments and tears the Creator God himself steps onto the stage in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. So at last we can hear from God himself we can get the real explanation for all the pain, all the tears, all the agony.

But the mysterious and wonderful truth is that we dont get an explanation about the nature of suffering and evil. Instead God in the person of Jesus enters into the experience of suffering himself.

God himself enters into the experience of dependence he becomes a pathetic fragile baby, he can do absolutely nothing for himself, he needs to be fed, to be kept warm, to have his bottom wiped, and at the end of his life on the cross with hands nailed to the wood he is again utterly dependent and through parched lips he croaks, I am thirsty,

The God whom Jesus reveals is a God who weeps at the graveside of Lazarus, a God who is deeply moved at the suffering of a widow in the town of Nain who had lost her only son, and a God who takes the suffering of the world into himself on the cross. Isaiah the prophet speaking of Jesus says He was despised and rejected by men a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Isaiah 53:3

At Gethsemane, on the night before he was to be crucified Marks Gospel says he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,

How Hospice Can Help With End

In addition to helping you in recognizing the signs of dying in the elderly with dementia, bringing in hospice care will help with the physical and emotional demands of caregiving. Nurses will be able to adjust medication and care plans as the individuals needs change. Aides can help with bathing, grooming, and other personal care. Social workers can help organize resources for the patient and family. Chaplains and bereavement specials can help the family with any emotional or spiritual needs. Additionally, family members can contact hospice at any time, and do not need to wait until it is recommended by the patient’s physician.

To learn more about the criteria for hospice eligibility or to schedule a consultation, please contact Crossroads using the blue Help Center bar on this page for more information on how we can help provide support to individuals with dementia and their families.

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Five: Dementia Is A Progressive Terminal Illness

Guidelines for the application of life-sustaining technology are not necessarily different for one who has progressive dementia than for one with a slowly progressing cancer. At some point it is appropriate to pursue palliative care. Hospice may be appropriate. It may not be necessary to aggressively intervene in the context of overwhelming infection or cardiac arrest.

The question of feeding tubes is always the most difficult. The natural end of stage three Alzheimers is to stop eating. I believe that, consistent with our Lords commands, we should offer food, using whatever conveyance possible to help them eat and drink. It may be pureed it may be administered via straw or syringe.

Nevertheless, because we are dealing with a progressive terminal disease, I do not feel that we are obligated to use any invasive technology like a feeding tube. At the same time I feel this is not my decision and am happy to order a feeding tube when it is desired.

We would affirm that God is sovereign. He does not allow anything to come into our lives that is not subject to redemption. Dementia is in His sovereign control. Though it is a result of living in a fallen world, God can still redeem it and accomplish His glory.

Righteousness In The Land Of Forgetfulness

Why Does God Allow Bad Things to Happen? Theologian Responds

Dementia can be defined as a chronic or persistent disorder of behaviour and higher intellectual function due to organic brain disease . However, this brief medical statement appears hollow when faced with the lived experience of dementia. Alzheimers is me unwinding, losing trust in myself It just steals you from yourself. This is a description by the author Pratchett , who was diagnosed with dementia at the age of 60. In recent years, we have begun to hear more from those who themselves have dementia, and this has been helpful in the quest for greater understanding and empathy. Many people are affected by dementia, directly or indirectly. The idea of unwinding is relevant not only to the individual experience, but also to the family and community. No disease is experienced in isolation and dementia embodies this. Ideas of loss of self and loss of life feature strongly in dementia and have the potential to profoundly affect a persons spirituality.

This paper will explore the relationship between dementia and spirituality, particularly in relation to the Christian faith. The paper will:

  • address the relevance of spirituality to dementia,

  • examine Psalm 71 as an example of a biblical response to ageing,

  • discuss the potential effects of dementia on a persons spirituality,

  • begin to address the practical implications for carers and churches.

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We Need To Think More Deeply About What It Means To Be Human

The way that we have been made. The creation account in Genesis 2 tells us that human beings are created out of dust, adamah . In English we are created to be groundlings.

And this means that God chose to make us fragile, vulnerable, dependent and to use a philosophical term contingent . God could have chose to make us powerful, strong, resilient beings, but instead he chose to make us out of dust, frail and vulnerable to suffering and abuse.

But not only are we created to be fragile, our human frailty and vulnerability is exacerbated, pervaded and imprisoned by evil because of the profound consequences of the Fall. In Genesis chapter 3, human beings choose to disobey God and their actions have profound consequences. Their very humanity is affected by the solemn curse which their creator pronounces. The curse directed to the woman is linked to the pains of childbirth verse 16 and the curse directed to the man is linked to the limitation and futility of human life. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground since from it you were taken for dust you are and to dust you will return.

The writer of Ecclesiastes has the same concept What happens to the children of man and what happens to the beasts is the same as one dies, so dies the other. Ecclesiastes 3:19

The Old Testament carries many prayers of lament as Gods people pour out their questions to God. Like Psalm 94

An Example Of Suffering That God Allows

At the root of all suffering as we established is sin and evil. Yet within that sin and evil God has the ability to turn the most difficult pain and suffering into something that becomes good and blesses many people.

If you remember the story of Joseph in Genesis, look at some of the conditions of his story. He was:

– hated by his brothers

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Is There Any Hope

Sadly, the consequences for our sin are much worse than life in a cursed universe. In addition to living our lives in a sin-filled creation, we must all die physically and then face a punishment much more horrible than anything we have ever known: the second death. The Apostle John tells of a lake of fire called the second death that awaits all those whose names are not written in the book of life . This second death is the final punishment for our sin.

Even though we rebelled against Him and brought punishment on ourselves, God loves His children and does not want them to spend eternity in hell. Our merciful Creator has provided a way to be reconciled to Him and to escape the terrible eternal punishment for our sin. This way of escape is through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ, who is God, came to earth as a man, lived a sinless life, and then died to pay the penalty for sin. The Apostle Paul tells us that as through one mans offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Mans righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life .

God is righteous and justly sentenced man to death, so we received the punishment we deserve. However, God exercised grace because of His love for us and took that punishment upon Himself as the payment for our sin.

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

Remembering The Power Of Gospel During Alzheimers

You Were Made For More
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  • 9 23 14 Power Of Gospel

  • The following article was written by Benjamin T. Mast, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Vice Chair of Psychological and Brain Sciences, and Associate Clinical Professor of Family and Geriatric Medicine at the University of Louisville.

    In this article, Dr. Benjamin T. Mast speaks about his knowledge of Alzheimers disease and of remembering the power of gospel during this difficult time. His book, Second Forgetting: Remembering the Power of the Gospel during Alzheimers Disease, is available today, on .

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    The Power Of Gospel During Alzheimers

    God calls us to remember him in the midst of our difficulty, and I wanted to help people remember God in the midst of the confusing and sometimes terrifying journey of Alzheimers. But, even more importantly, I wanted to remind people that even when we forget, God never will. God is always present and he will never forget us.

    In reading the scriptures and listening to families tell their stories of faith in dementia, I was amazed at how lovingly near God can be in the midst of Alzheimers. God shows his grace in dementia in a variety of ways, when:

    • A husband, deep into dementia, who in a moment of clarity thanks his wife for taking such good care of him
    • Gods reminder that understands us, even when no one else can
    • A husband and wife seeking to live out Colossians 3:17 in the midst of dementia and its behavioral challenges
    • Gods unfailing promise to never forget us and to remain faithful, even when we can do neither
    • A daughter who feels the comfort of the Lord, knowing that God will be with her mother, even in the nursing home
    • An older woman, though confused and often angry, finds peace and connection with God through an old hymn

    Nothing can separate us from the love of God, not even Alzheimers and all the challenges that it brings. No matter how hard it gets, we are never alone.

    If you are dealing with Alzheimers or another dementia today, I wrote this book for you. I pray these things for you that you might overflow with hope in the promises of God.


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