This document reflects commonly held beliefs based on scripture which have been endorsed by the church's Commission on Doctrinal Purity and the Executive Presbytery.
Does the Assemblies of God have a position on human organ donation?
The answer to this question is rooted in one’s understanding of the doctrine of resurrection, Article 13, "The Blessed Hope," Statement of Fundamental Truths. The apostle Paul makes it very clear that the mortal bodies we now have cannot inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 15:35-58; 2 Corinthians 5:1-10). The Bible also makes it clear that to be absent from this body is to be at home with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:6-10).
When we go to be with the Lord to await the rapture and resurrection of those left alive until the coming of the Lord (1 Thessalonians 4:15), our bodies return to dust (Genesis 2:7; 3:19; 1 Corinthians 15:45-50). We have no more need of the fallen mortal bodies we now bear.
Donating our organs may give the gift of life to someone else long after we have gone home to be with the Lord. If the recipient is a Christian, the resource of the organ has the potential to facilitate continued Christian service and the living witness of a fellow believer here on earth. If the recipient is not a Christian, it may allow the individual additional time and opportunity to accept Christ. A fascinating possibility is to imagine the impact if Christian donors were to stipulate that their donated organs be accompanied by a hand—written letter telling of the donor’s life, testimony, and relationship with Christ.
The alternative is to keep our organs even in death. This also is a valid choice for the Christian. This was the practice for all until recent years when transplant procedures have proven viable.
Ultimately, the question comes down to whether or not we view it right for our organs to be candidates for resource.
The realization that organ donations save lives and provide for a continuing witness of God’s love and grace does not mean that failure to donate organs would be sinful. All of us should seek God’s will for our choices in this matter. It should be discussed fully with one’s entire family.
Many considering organ donation will have theological concerns and questions. If we donate our organs to others, will that have any effect on our resurrection? But we must also ask, does God need any given molecule or atom from our bodies in order to resurrect us to life? The apostle Paul said, "No." That which is perishable does not inherit the imperishable (1 Corinthians 15:49,50). The resurrection brings a new spiritual body.
The above statement is based upon our common understanding of scriptural teaching.
All Scripture quotations are from the New International Version (NIV) unless otherwise specified.