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Some of our Beliefs on Kidney Donation

This is in response to media coverage (mostly in the U.K.) with regard to the decision by a number of members of our community to donate kidneys to strangers, as an expression of our Christian faith.

The Apostle Paul, when writing to the Romans, urged them to present their bodies as "living sacrifices", which he added was nothing more than their "reasonable service" to God and others.

John the Baptist, when speaking to the crowds who came to him to be baptised, urged them to give proof of their repentance, and he suggested that one proof would be for those who had two to give to those who had none.

Jesus commanded his followers to take up their cross and follow his example of sacrificial love.

In the light of these instructions, many of our members have felt that it was only reasonable that they do what they could to save or dramatically improve the quality of another person's life, by giving one of the two kidneys that they had to someone else.

Such an operation involves a certain amount of risk, pain, and time for recovery. But all of this pales by comparison to the relief that it can bring for the recipients, even though in most cases we will never meet those recipients.

We believe that one day live donations of kidneys will be no more unusual than live donations of bone marrow are now. Kidney transplants from live donors (even with the worst possible tissue matches) are roughly twice as successful as kidney transplants from cadavers, because the donor and recipient can be in the operating theatre at the same time, with hardly a heartbeat separating one operation from the other.

One concern is that people assume we must have two kidneys to live a healthy life.  In fact, a donor's remaining kidney will, over time, enlarge until it is able to do the work of two kidneys, and so far there has not been shown to be any noticeable difference in the quality of life for a live kidney donor..

But isn't the second kidney there as a back-up, in case you get kidney disease?  Not really, since most kidney diseases affect both kidneys simultaneously.  Whether a person has one kidney or two, if they contract a kidney disease at some time in the future, they will almost certainly be equally handicapped. In some countries, a live donor automatically gets first preference if he/she should need a kidney at some time in the future, thus giving donors an ADVANTAGE if they should be struck down with kidney disease later in life.

But what about our other beliefs? Are we really some kind of a bizarre cult?  You'll find on this web site the titles of hundreds of articles which explain what we believe on a wide range of subjects. We may be described as radical, extreme, and zealous, but you will notice as you read our teachings that we are sincerely committed to following the teachings of Jesus Christ more than anything else. It is those teachings which make us so extreme, but it is those teachings which so much of the Western world professes to believe in as well. On that basis it cannot be said that we are misguided, heretical, or sinister. Our only "fault" (if it may be called that) is our childlike faith in the teachings of Jesus.

Please write to us if you have specific questions about what we believe, and we will try to answer your questions directly.

Dave McKay, for Jesus Christians
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