Senator Ted Kennedy Dies at 77

Senator Kennedy has left this world to face whatever is next on his path. He was 77 years old. Was he really old? He wasn’t young. Life is fleeting. It’s here today and you wonder where yesterday went. I have almost 40 years before I reach 77, if the Lord so allows.

Seems like a long time. How many of us feel like just yesterday we were 18 or 25 or 35 or 45? Where did the time go? What will you do with the time left? Of all the battles in life Sen. Kennedy fought this last one had the only sure outcome. Whether because of his cancer or not, death was assured. No doubt he will be in the history books for various things. Some good. Some not so good. Some indifferent. Take a moment to read about his life at Sen. Ted Kennedy dead at 77 and ponder his legacy. Think. What will your legacy look like?

Kennedy was a very popular Senator. Prior to being diagnosed with cancer he always seemed to have the spotlight. He was very outspoken and a good target for conservative political pundits. Once diagnosed with cancer he pulled back from the public life a bit. I understand that. Who wouldn’t pull away and get the treatment needed? Not everyone does this the same way though. I’m reminded of John Piper’s provocative article Don’t Waste Your Cancer. Piper’s article is a bold one. It’s not your everyday cancer patients’ thoughts.

The problem is that we are all dying of a cancer. It’s called sin. Sin. Just think about it. We have all been diagnosed with sin. We are all going to die even if some of us live to be 100. The only answer to our sins which bring death is found in Jesus Christ. What if we took 60 seconds to preach the Gospel to ourselves daily. Would it give us a renewed daily outlook?

Are we willing to take this cure, the Gospel, with us and share it with others? Or will we hide our cancer and go along like everything is okay? Do I keep doing stuff while pointing to my things, myself? What can all of this do for you or me?

If the causes I champion in this life point to me when I’m gone then they point to nothing. My body will be buried in a casket. What can I do then? A true legacy will be if my life points to Christ. He is not in a casket. His tomb is empty.

I often think – Will it by my legacy or Christ’s that my life points to?

Life is short. Consider your life. Don’t waste it. Hold onto Christ.

For what it’s worth…


Let's connect!

tagged as , in Culture,Gospel,theology

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rhology August 26, 2009 at 10:29 am

Good riddance to a man who wasted his life fighting largely for the cause of Satan. He’ll be missed by all the wrong people.

2 danilolemos August 26, 2009 at 10:38 am

One big men, good politic, excelent diplomatic.

Acess my blog-

3 anonymousbeing August 26, 2009 at 5:46 pm

nice…i’m sure God is smiling on your lovely sentiment right now. people influenced by satan say things like you just did.

4 Wes Widner August 27, 2009 at 9:40 am

We claim things that are obviously evil like cancer (illness) and death are not evil and we wonder why the #1 issue facing us as believers in Christ is the question of evil. For shame..

5 Mark Lamprecht August 27, 2009 at 10:26 am

Rho, I wouldn’t go that far. Though LaShawn points out what part of his legacy will be: Ted Kennedy Spoke for the Voiceless

I wasn’t condemning him, rather I want people to think about their own lives in light of the Gospel.

6 Mark Lamprecht August 27, 2009 at 10:27 am


Could you re-phrase the first part for me, brother?

Also, how is the #1 issue facing believers the question of evil? What do you mean exactly?

7 Wes Widner August 27, 2009 at 10:59 am

I’m not sure how to phrase it any better or elaborate any more than the short sentence above.

Basically the causally deterministic view of God that results in the view that cancer is “given to us by God” does damage to God’s character because it calls into question the holiness of God. Yes, some Good can, and hopefully will, come out of suffering. However to tell people to adopt a stoic (and Islamic) stance of “grin and bear it, oh, and thank God for putting you through it while you’re at it” is to step into the role of Job’s friends and ignore the plethora of questions God asked Job by way of making Job realize that God is not the only actor in history and that there are forces at work in the universe that we, as finite beings, do not understand.

The bottom line is that God does not cause evil, and when we say that he does and then chastise people for praying for healing and peace and rest (from ALL their troubles, not just sin but the effects thereof which includes cancer and death) then we negate a large part of God’s holy and comforting plan by calling into question whether God really IS at war with sin, death, and evil.

As far as this being the #1 question people have and struggle with. I’ll illustrate by using an all-too-common scenario based on a true story:
There was a man who went to the lake with his wife and two daughters. The wife went out on the lake with a jet ski and drove a little too close to the dam. Before running into the dam, she jumped off, the jet ski didn’t stop and toppled over the dam. The woman was connected to the jet ski and was dragged over the dam to her death on the rocks below. All of this was in full view of the husband and daughters. The husband and wife had been attending a church that taught along the same lines of what Piper write in his article about cancer. The man, who knew he was sinful, broke down in the parking lot one morning at church and asked the timeless question “why did God take my wife?”. He then went on to extrapolate that she was somehow taken to either a.) make his faith firmer or b.) to punish him. However neither of these alternatives made sense to him because he was not the only one affected by his wife’s death. His children and the rest of their family was as well. Thankfully my friend was able to correct the bad theology fed to this poor man by telling him that his wife died because we live in a fallen world and that God did not kill his wife. God may use this event to bring about some good, but the idea that God caused this event is only superficially comforting at best. In the end it more often than not ends up in a recanting or severe hindering of one’s faith for failure to answer the paradox such a causally deterministic view of God teachings like that of Piper’s (and reformed theology in general many times) present.

You can probably tell by now that this is a big issue for me. I hope you understand it is because I’ve heard many de-conversion stories connected to this singular issue.

8 Rhology August 27, 2009 at 11:11 am

Yeah, exactly. He *didn’t* speak for the voiceless, in fact he did all he could to make sure that women and aborticians could murder babies, over the course of his entire career.
Etc etc etc

Anyway, you didn’t want to make this about him. I’m just suggesting that realising that he not only wasted his life but in fact used his life to destroy and cause evil, that’s a big incentive to evaluate not only one’s life but one’s worldview in light of the Gospel (and the Law).

9 Rhology August 27, 2009 at 11:30 am

Isaiah 6:8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!” 9 He said, “Go, and tell this people:
‘Keep on listening, but do not perceive;
Keep on looking, but do not understand.’
10 “Render the hearts of this people insensitive,
Their ears dull,
And their eyes dim,
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
Hear with their ears,
Understand with their hearts,
And return and be healed.”
11 Then I said, “Lord, how long?” And He answered,
“Until cities are devastated and without inhabitant,
Houses are without people
And the land is utterly desolate,
12 “The LORD has removed men far away,
And the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land.

Exodus 4:10 Then Moses said to the LORD, “Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither recently nor in time past, nor since You have spoken to Your servant; for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.” 11 The LORD said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes him mute or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the LORD? 12 “Now then go, and I, even I, will be with your mouth, and teach you what you are to say.”

John 9:1 As He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth. 2 And His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?” 3 Jesus answered, “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him.”

10 Mark Lamprecht August 27, 2009 at 11:07 pm

Brother Wes,

I do understand that it is a big issue for you. What I find border-line frustrating about you is that you do understand philosophy. Maybe better than the average church goer. This should help you to be more careful in some of the reasons you put forth. For example, in the above story you give points a. and b.

“why did God take my wife?”. He then went on to extrapolate that she was somehow taken to either a.) make his faith firmer or b.) to punish him. However neither of these alternatives made sense to him because he was not the only one affected by his wife’s death.

If you are going to allow the above up which to build your objection then you’d have to show either a. and/or b. from Scripture as viable options. Instead, you seem to just run with it as a valid objection from this man for whom tragedy struck. I’m glad he changed his poor theology in considering those two options. I don’t know what theology that was as it was not a reformed position. The fact is that God’s sovereignty is all over Scripture. Regardless of what people believe, if they want to find a reason to turn from God, they will.

The bottom line is that God does not cause evil

Philosophically speaking, how many different ways could one define this sentence? Is there only one philosophically tenable connotation of “cause”? Or how about “evil”?

Also, I have a story of my own.

I knew a couple who lost their only son. The son was about 25, if I remember correctly. Just finished college, life was moving in the right direction, going well. He was murdered. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He wasn’t doing anything wrong or associating with the wrong crowd. It was an odd situation and he was shot to death. The murdered man’s parents embraced the doctrines of grace through this tragedy. They were very loving and humble people. I felt bad for them when I learned what had happened several years earlier. But they were full of joy and love for God. We all have stories.

Most importantly. This post was not about the problem of evil, etc. It was about reflecting on one’s life in light of their sin and the Gospel.

11 Darrin August 28, 2009 at 12:57 am

Mark, your reminder of the brevity of this life and your link to Piper’s (and Powlison’s) article is much appreciated. That article contains great insight as to what is truly important. In my case I can replace cancer with MS in the text, and see how indeed I have greatly wasted the opportunity for growth and testimony which God has given me through it. Interesting also how well some of the answers to your friend Wes’ complaints are there in the article.

12 Mark Lamprecht August 28, 2009 at 10:58 am

Darrin, thanks for the encouragement. I’m reminding myself as much as anyone. I’m especially convicted now since, by God’s grace, I don’t have cancer nor MS. All I have are my sinful excuses and laziness for my short comings and wasted opportunities. Man….thankful for His grace indeed!

13 Mark Lamprecht August 28, 2009 at 12:54 pm

Contrast LaShawn’s article with this one Ted Kennedy Gave a D**n

How do the two views work out together? I’m not sure they can. Is this an over use of the “least of these” verse? Is Ted Kennedy really a good visible example of the character of Christ?

14 Mark Lamprecht August 28, 2009 at 11:14 pm

And another perspective on Kennedy which starts:

Question: why does the Catholic church come down harder on those who commit suicide that those who protect and promote homicide? What does that tell you about the moral priorities of the one true church?


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