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Pastor James Bachman Uses Dying, Comatose Patients as Evangelistic Tool

james bachmanIndependent Fundamentalists Baptists (IFB) are well-known for the Jehovah’s Witness-like evangelistic fervor. James Bachman, pastor emeritus of Roanoke Baptist Church in nearby Roanoke, Indiana and author of the Parson to Person column in the West Bend News, takes his evangelistic efforts to such a degree that his thinks dying people should continue to languish and suffer just so he can have the opportunity to evangelize those who come to visit them in hospitals or hospice. How dare they want to die before their “appointed” time! God and Bachman have use for their pain, agony, and unrelenting suffering — preying on people who visit the dying during their last days on earth.

In the August 6, 2017 edition of the Parson to Person column, Bachman tackles the question, “We are working on a living will and wondering if it is right to withhold hydration and nutrition to help expedite death?”

Bachman responds:

God says in Deuteronomy 32:39, “I kill, and I make alive.” Psalm 68:20 says, “…unto GOD the Lord belong the issues from death.” James 4:15 says, For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live.” Hezekiah’s near death experience in II Kings 20 shows us God is to be in charge of life and death.

Modern artificial life support mechanisms sometimes make it hard to tell if it is God or we who are taking life, but withholding hydration and nutrition is definitely pushing God’s will away for our own. The healthiest person will die a horrible death without food and water.

In James 2:15-16 God makes it plain we are not to withhold daily food from someone who needs it. “If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit.” Matthew 25:41-46 indicates it is wicked to withhold food from the hungry and water from the thirsty, and to do so is as though you were doing it to Christ Himself.

Quality of life is not always the issue. Through the years while calling on people who were in a dying and sometimes comatose condition, I have lead many other patients or family members to Christ. God was still using those who were dying in their bad “quality of life.”

Bachman believes it is a mortal sin to withhold hydration and nutrition from someone the dying. Bachman’s view is quite common among Evangelicals. Pain and suffering are viewed as sacrosanct, some sort of offering given up to Jesus, the God-man who suffered more than anyone has ever suffered — or so Evangelicals say anyway. Did Jesus really suffer more than anyone ever has? Of course not. Jesus suffered for one or two days, died, and then according to Christian mythology resurrected from the dead. I have known scores of people who suffered greatly during the last days of their lives. They would have traded places with Jesus in a heartbeat. (Please see Quit Complaining, Your Suffering is Nothing Compared to What Jesus Faced.)

Bachman views those near death, those who are writhing in pain and suffering untold agony, as little more than props to be used to get people saved. What’s a little (or a lot of) suffering if someone comes to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior, right? I dealt with this line of thinking in my post about my wife’s sister’s tragic death in a motorcycle accident. (If One Soul Gets Saved It’s Worth It) IFB preachers such as Bachman care little for the dying. If they are saved, they will soon be entering God’s Disneyland in the Sky®. What’s a little more agony if the Bachmans of the world can use their suffering as a way to harangue and manipulate people into believing what these preachers are selling.

Why do IFB preachers preach and evangelize at funerals? They know that funeral attendees are psychologically vulnerable. Get the gospel to them while they are “sensitive” to the good news, while death is on their mind. Preachers who do this are not much different from sexual predators who wait until people are susceptible to take advantage of them. I have attended more than a few funerals where very little was said about the deceased. Their death was just a means to an end — trolling for souls. What better time to evangelize people than when their loved one’s body is right in front of the them? Death in the air, and IFB preachers know it, using the emotional sensitivity of mourners to manipulate them into getting saved (and hopefully becoming tithing, working member members of an IFB church).

it is unconscionable that people still support suffering in a day when we have the means to alleviate pain and allow people to die with dignity. The dying often hang on, enduring untold agony, all because some religious zealot has quoted a few Bible verses to them and then told them that God wants them to suffer unto the end. Family members, who are often left with the responsibility of making end of life decision for their loved ones, are guilted into prolonging the suffering of their parents or spouses — all because Jesus will somehow be happy and satisfied if the last ounce of life is wrung out of the dying.

What should matter is what is best for the dying. Pain and suffering should be eased, and if withholding nutrients will allow them to suffer less as they lay their bodies down, caretakers should not hesitate in asking doctors to stop giving their loved ones anything that is prolonging their suffering. Bachman is wrong when he says that withholding hydration and nutrition causes people to die horrible deaths. These things can be withheld, and with the use of strong narcotics and other drugs, the dying can quietly and painlessly slip off into the dark night. There is no glory or honor in suffering into the end. The dying will not be awarded (or rewarded for) Best Death 2017 or Longest Suffering 2017.

What do you think of Bachman’s suggestion that people should continue to suffer so he can use them as a prop in his soulwinning efforts? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section.


Bachman’s doctorate is an honorary degree from unaccredited Shawnee Baptist College. (Please read IFB Doctorates: Doctor, Doctor, Doctor, Everyone’s a Doctor)

Bachman is also in charge of Answer Publications.


  1. Avatar
    Ian for a long time

    I believe in death with dignity. A person should have the right to choose death. A counselor should meet with the person and make sure the intentions are clear.

    Making the decision for someone else is a tough matter. If a person has a do not revive order, or something similar, the choice is already made. This decision should require a counselor, primary care doctor and the family/caretaker.

    Keeping people alive is a money maker, as well as a strong Christian belief, just as you said.

    My biggest fear is that a death choice could be made by the government, or a group, and this decision is taken from the people closest to the issue.

  2. Avatar
    Becky Wiren

    Something you said sparked an unfortunate memory. My nephew was killed in a car accident. It was very sad as he was 29 and my sister’s only child. He was not particularly religious. Yet, at the funeral the preacher gave a hell and brimstone repent kind of sermon. I ignored it but I did consider it to be bad taste. No, horrible, rotten taste. The sermon did nothing to help all of us grieving.

  3. Avatar

    The more I read about evangelists the more I think that the one word to describe them is ‘nasty’. I’m sure that many, perhaps most, are at a personal level kind and generous, but the perception that comes from this kind of story is far from either of these things. At every level, it seems to me, they are determined to do their level best to spoil things. No to abortion for a twelve year old rape victim, no to assisted suicide, no to schools teaching science, yes to capital punishment, yes to more guns (that result in more murders and more capital punishment), yes to admitted abuser Trump…the list goes on.

    And then they have the gall to say I have nothing on which to base my morality!

  4. Avatar

    I suppose in some cases a funeral can be dominated by preaching because it is often the case that the minister doesn’t know the person (and their family) very well or at all.

    My advice for ministers at a funeral that wish to evangelize is to treat the evangelism to the length and frequency of a commercial message during a television show.

    • Avatar

      You are kinder than I am. My advice to ministers who wish to evangelize at a funeral would be: Just. Don’t. Period. It is neither the time, nor the place. (Which is one of the reasons I have left strict instructions in my will that my memorial service, should there even be one, is not to be presided over by any sort of clergy.)

      I still remember when my grandfather died more than 30 years ago. The minister presiding over what was supposed to be a brief and simple graveside service for him, instead decided to start preaching about hellfire, damnation and the need to get “saved.” The guy went on for almost 45 minutes, seemingly oblivious to the fact that there were numerous children and elderly people present who were clearly suffering in the heat of a sweltering Oklahoma summer afternoon. I guess “saving souls” was more important than keeping people from dying of heat stroke. As I recall, he offered to pray the “Sinners Prayer” with anyone interested after the service; no one took him up on it. We just wanted to get somewhere that had air conditioning!

  5. Avatar

    I was fortunate with my Dad’s death. He was a commited Christian, and left his medical decisions to my sister. I got up to NJ when my sis let me know that Dad was failing, we (my sis, bro and I) had meetings with the doctor who just talked about my Dad’s condition as a series of treatments to that system or another. Finally, I said “can we PLEASE talk about hospice care now?” Dad was 90 and lived an active and robust life until a year before. He was now on a forced CPAP ventilator, fed intravenously and in a coma. The Doctor said “yeah” and left in a hurry to get the hospice folks to talk with us. Sigh. He was made comfortable and died peacefully 6 hours later.

    Moral of the story: make your wishes well known and in a legal format (medical power of attorney) to avoid the BS that a lot families go thru! Here is to MY DAD, who had the foresight to make the right choice. Make sure the pastor of your loved one’s church understands your wishes and if not – DO NOT ALLOW THEM TO HIJACK THE SERVICE. Cut them out if you ANY suspisions that is the intent.

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    Hijackers with Bibles are predators who aim to increase suffering in themselves and others to up their soul-winning scorecard. They are blind as bats in the light and ‘hate’ people as they smile, woo, cajole.
    James Bachman is an ignorant bully. Ignorant bullies are much loved by the harmed populace and can even become President of the United States.

  7. Avatar
    Vicky Pope

    Please don’t judge a person’s motives and level of compassion just because of a difference of opinion. James Bachman is one of the most caring people I have ever met.

    • Avatar
      Bruce Gerencser

      The issue is not about differences of opinion. If Bachman is so compassionate and caring, he wouldn’t have a problem with withholding hydration and nutrition from dying people. Instead, he believes it right to use their suffering as means to an end — evangelization of sinners. Dying people are not tools to be used in some sort of sick cosmic battle between God and Satan. Doing what is best for the dying is all that matters.

      I have read lots of Bachman’s work. I have plenty of reasons to believe he is other than you claim.

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