Suicide and the Christian Responsiblity to care for others

My sister suicided 2 weeks ago.  It’s why I have been absent from this blog pretty much.  It has led me to ask what our pastoral repsonse is to those left behind and how we deal with the pain so many feel that leads them to complete suicide.

I found this article online and thought it interesting.

Suicide and Christian Moral Judgment

by James T. Clemons

Dr. Clemons is professor of New Testament at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., and chairman of the Commission on Church and Society at Chevy Chase, Maryland. This article appeared in The Christian Century, May 8, 1985, pp. 466-469. Copyright by The Christian Century Foundation; used by permission. Current articles and subscription information can be found at This material was prepared for Religion Online by Ted and Winnie Brock.

Three incidents illustrate the confusion that persists among many Christians who are confronted with suicide:

•Five or six years ago, as I was ending a class lecture, a young seminarian rushed in from the hallway to say he had just had a call from his parish. There had been a suicide in the community and he had been asked to conduct the person’s funeral. His anxiety was clearly evident in his question: Is it all right for me to do it?”

• In anticipation of a directed study on suicide in the Bible, a young mother whose teen-aged son had killed himself a few years before spoke of her eagerness for such a course to her pastor. His response was simply, “There is nothing in the Bible about suicide.”

• Just after the usual round of holiday activities, a college senior took his life before his planned return for a final semester at Notre Dame. He grew up on our street and was frequently in our home. He was from a well-known Roman Catholic family and attended a prominent church in the city. As my daughter and I left home for his funeral, I wondered what kind of service we might expect. To my surprise, the entire service was very upbeat, with college friends sharing happy remembrances, appropriate music and a quite positive sermon. The burial was in the family plot in the church’s cemetery.

In sharing such stories with colleagues, students and laity in several churches. I have found that they are not unusual. There is confusion over what is acceptable and what isn’t. There is ignorance concerning what the Bible says about suicide and what it doesn’t. And there are a number of changes taking place at the grass roots of American churches that many Christians aren’t aware of.

I have identified five needs that call for careful attention if the church is to respond to the present crisis in a responsible way. Anything less will result in a theological position that is not only unsystematic, but one that is also impractical and unpastoral. The church can’t afford such confusion.

The need for a thorough re-examination of the Bible.

The pastor’s statement to the young woman is, unfortunately, indicative of a widespread ignorance of biblical texts dealing both directly and indirectly with the subject of suicide. Several major commentaries on both Old and New Testament works omit any serious discussion of suicide, even when the texts themselves deal with an episode of precisely that kind. Bible dictionaries have little to say, and one recent book on death in the Bible made only passing reference to the subject, not even listing the word in its index.

Yet students who have done directed studies with me have identified not only the several specific examples of suicide representative of the broad categories of Émile Durkheim in his book Suicide but also a large number of biblical passages that speak to the church’s response to the issue, even when suicide per se is not the topic of discussion.

Biblical scholarship has been remiss in neglecting this important subject. It has relied on stereotyped exegesis, which is often based on preconceived theological and ethical notions. The recent ferment in approaches to biblical study and new forms of criticism such as canonical criticism and narrative theology give promise of offering new insights on this subject.

In the early centuries suicide was not always condemned. Under certain circumstances, it was even considered a Christian, virtuous act. One of the first to set forth a logical argument against suicide was Augustine, the fourth-century theologian. By his day sentiment opposed to suicide was being reinforced by somewhat limited interpretations of the Sixth Commandment as a prohibition of self-murder. Some interpreters pointed to Job’s refusal to “curse God and die” despite his physical and mental torment and, by contrast, to Judas’s suicide (recorded as such only in Matthew) as a self-murder — a death befitting the betrayer of Jesus.

Aquinas, the most influential theologian after the 12th century, gave further support to Christian opposition to suicide with his reliance on natural theology. Suicide was contrary to observed nature, he said, and therefore contrary to God’s ordained laws.

Recently, through a translation of his work provided by William Clebsch, we have been reminded that in the 17th century the well-known English cleric John Donne raised serious questions about the established view. But apparently the church found it convenient to silence such objections, and the old norm prevailed. As late as 1790, after years of otherwise progressive thought and effort in such areas as poverty, unemployment, prisons and slavery, John Wesley could write:

It is a melancholy consideration, that there is no country in Europe, or perhaps in the habitable world, where the horrid crime of self-murder is so common as it is in England!

But how can this vile abuse of the law be prevented, and this execrable crime effectually discouraged?

By a very easy method. We read in ancient history, that, at a certain period, many of the women of Sparta murdered themselves. This fury increasing, a law was made, that the body of every woman that killed herself should be exposed naked in the streets, The fury ceased at once.

Only let a law be made and rigorously executed, that the body of every self-murderer, Lord or peasant, shall be hanged in chains, and the English fury will cease at once [The Works of John Wesley (Baker Book House, 1979). vol. 13, p. 481].

The heritage of Wesley s prescription to combat suicide has continued to have a strong effect on most Christians today. But as the issue is brought more directly to our attention, few people are entirely happy with the old teachings. Before thoughtlessly perpetuating past tenets, we should re-evaluate them in the light of both the original situations which called them forth and current circumstances.

The need for an awareness of changing situations in society.

In spite of the attention given to it by both the news media and television dramas recently, the full extent of suicide in our society is hardly appreciated by most Christians. Among the elderly, suicides have increased in recent years. In U.S. News and World Report Dr. Robert Butler, one of American’s foremost experts on gerontology and winner of a Pulitzer Prize for his book Why Survive? Growing Old in America, said: “Up to 25 per cent of all suicides are committed by persons over 65. The highest rate occurs among white men in their 80s” (July 2,1982, p. 51).

A lengthy front-page story in the February 18 Washington Post was headlined “Jail Inmates’ Suicide Rate Rises Sharply.” The director of jail operations for the National Sheriffs Association was quoted as saying, “The figures are a national disgrace.” According to Lindsay M. Hayes, author of a major study of jail suicides in the United States, “The federal government is trying to help map out a prevention strategy, but the magnitude of the problem is enormous. . . . Even the threat of jail for a first-time offender is enough to put some people over the edge.” With the meting out of more mandatory sentences for drunk driving, the number of suicides among first offenders is likely to increase significantly.

Time was when suicide among blacks was little more than a bad joke. Today, for reasons still not clearly established, the growing number of black suicides reflects significant changes in yet another segment of American life. For some, like the rising young Chicago journalist Leanita McClain and Cleveland’s school superintendent Frederick Douglas Holliday, overt racism seems to be a major cause impelling blacks to take their own lives.

Perhaps the most startling of all such statistics are those that pertain to children and youth. Suicide is now the number-two cause of death among teen-agers, right behind automobile accidents. This prompts the obvious question: How many of the latter are really suicides also? Public announcements have put the figure of attempted suicides among America’s youth for the coming year at between 400,000 and 500,000. At least 10 per cent of that number are expected to succeed.

Child psychologists now speak of “early-onset depression’’ in children who manifest suicidal tendencies as young as age three. Many try suicide several times before the age of ten.

If the church is to respond to the crisis made clear by these harsh statistics, it must take into account the social factors that lie behind so many of them. The societal cause of suicide was highlighted by Èmile Durkheim, a pioneer in studying the subject. We are living in an age quite different from that of any other in our brief national history, insofar as suicidal behavior is concerned. These changes should play a part in our theological considerations. Knowing our true condition is a basic factor in determining how to go about the task of forming religious answers to it. Statistics do have theological significance.

The need for a clear method for addressing the ethical issues.

All of the matters mentioned thus far bear on the central question of ethics: Is it “right” for a Christian, under any circumstance, to take her or his own life? A related question is, If there are such circumstances, how does one go about identifying them? The next question might be, How can we go about preventing such circumstances from occurring?

How these questions are answered will determine the answers to a host of other questions, for example: What shall be said about the “soul” of the departed? Shall there be a full Christian funeral and burial? And what shall be the theological basis for pastoral care, not to mention Christian education, regarding suicide? Next come ethical questions related to hospital and nursing-home practices, insurance programs, legislation and the government’s provision for (even encouragement of) the use of poison capsules by captured espionage agents and special-forces personnel.

Two further questions are sure to arise. First, might we, by drawing further attention to the problem, run the risk of inducing even more suicides by “making it all right”? Perhaps, but the alternative is to offer no real guidance at all, or to insist on an ethic based on ideas from the Middle Ages. The church should never be guilty of using poor biblical exegesis or theology to oppose or condone a specific act. As one astute young woman put it: “If I get poor theology on this matter, I can’t really trust the theology I get on any other.”

Second, what are our priorities? In the midst of grave concern about nuclear war, world hunger and rising racism, are we justified in giving so much time and effort to suicide? This question is one that individual Christians, local churches and denominations will have to answer for themselves. But none of the three big issues, or all of them together, will warrant our dismissal of other concerns that impinge on human welfare — especially one — suicide — that affects more people each year.

Fundamental to any consideration of more specific matters is the need for a method whereby a Christian moral judgment on suicide might be achieved. Such a method would of course be no guarantee of a single ethical stance, but to proceed without such thought concerning the how of Christian ethics would most surely end in further frustration.

Unfortunately, Christian ethicists themselves have largely ignored the issue. Few textbooks on Christian ethics even mention suicide, much less offer any enlightened comment on it. At the most recent annual meeting of the leading ethics society, not one paper was devoted to suicide. Yet Christian ethicists have a special responsibility, along with biblical interpreters, church historians, sociologists and workers in pastoral care, to lead the church in rethinking the theological dimensions of suicide. It should be clear by now that this is a task that must involve the whole church.

To be sure, the church’s failure to address a particular issue seriously or effectively has often resulted in the emergence of a helpful non-mainline group determined to deal with that need. The Salvation Army is perhaps the most obvious example from the past, but the phenomenon is still occurring today.

Largely because the church was not dealing directly with the broad subject of death and dying ten years ago. Father William A. Wendt, an Episcopal priest in Washington, D.C., established the widely acclaimed St. Francis Center. Today the center also addresses other issues of life and living; staff members teach semester-long courses in intermediate and high schools, as well as offer workshops and group counseling to the bereaved.

At a recent St. Francis Center workshop on suicide, the 19 participants came from northern Virginia, the District of Columbia, and several Maryland suburbs. They included three psychotherapists, two nurses, two pastors, a seminary professor, a graduate student, three counselors, a school psychologist, a half-dozen teachers and one member of a city council committee charged with identifying emerging issues. The center is but one of several church-related groups around the country responding to the present need outside the “normal” mainline church channels.

A more controversial group also dealing with suicide is the Hemlock Society, founded by Derek Humphry, who assisted his wife to take her own life in England several years ago. He said on television that his book Let Me Die Before I Wake has helped hundreds of people to end their lives. It is widely read, even though assisting another person to commit suicide is a crime in some states.

As effective as interdenominational and nonchurch groups are, however, the effort must be made to involve as many churches as possible. It is only through a willingness to study the issue with the express purpose of changing the attitudes of society and providing more effective pastoral care that the church can rise to the challenge of suicide.

Fortunately, there are some encouraging signs. The large number of interdenominational studies on a host of sticky theological problems have produced some agreements that would have seemed absolutely unthinkable 20 years ago. These newer understandingsare taking hold in many churches at the local level. Given the enormity of the present problem and its obvious urgency for all segments of society, it should not take another 20 years for the churches to begin getting their theological act together.

A first step would be the decision by each religious group to reassess its own position. (As a United Methodist I can point to the various descendants of John Wesley as being among those most in need of such reassessment!) Centers of theological education could offer courses, directed studies and graduate research projects that focus on a broad range of related topics. A number of youth groups have already begun having psychiatrists and social workers meet with them. Several have gathered parents and youths together to watch and discuss a television drama such as the recent film Surviving. Regrettably, few preachers have addressed the matter from the pulpit — partly because most aren’t really sure what the Christian position is and partly because their understanding of the Bible and the teachings of the church does not square with either their experience or their reason.

Yet several very important steps could be taken. As suggested above, those who are directly involved in any field in which suicide is a professional concern should press their colleagues, societies and institutions to address the issue. Local councils of churches could sponsor joint community meetings, perhaps more easily than hospitals, counseling centers or universities. General church boards and agencies could be urged to support symposia that bring together laity, clergy and a cross-section of other professionals to identify the complexities of the ethical problems involved and to prescribe the next urgent steps to be taken.

These things can be done in a matter of months.

Whether or not the attitudes of society will soon be changed is not our concern now. What we are called to do is to begin the process, on whatever levels we can, with determination and confidence. In failing to provide a theological position and effective pastoral care related to suicide, we have been napping too long.

 I’d like to discuss the issue of suicide from a christian perspective – not wether it is a sin or not – but how we care for those who say they want to suicide and how we care for those who are left behind.

I’d also like to enegage in a theololgical unpacking of the 7 suicides found in the bible: Abimelech (Judges 9:54), Saul (1 Samuel 31:4), Saul’s armor-bearer (1 Samuel 31:4-6), Ahithophel (2 Samuel 17:23), Zimri (1 Kings 16:18), Judas (Matthew 27:5). and Samson (Judges 16:26-31). 

What, if anything, do you think the bible says about suicide as a way of dying?  What of assisted suicide in the event of certain death such as terminal disease?

46 thoughts on “Suicide and the Christian Responsiblity to care for others

  1. Very sad to hear of your loss, Greg.

    In my case, the big difference in say the suicide of my Dad and the death of my Mum, was the guilt that came with it. The guilt of not knowing things were as bad as they were. The guilt of not having that close a relationship to detect something was wrong.

    Those are interesting accounts in the Bible. I don’t know if I’d characterise battle suicides like Saul, the same as others. Saul probably knew that a fate worse than death awaited him if he was captured. Not unlike Heinrich Himmler’s assassin’s in World War 2 when surrounded by Nazis, they took their own lives.

    I preached on Ahithophel once. He’s an interesting character. Went from David’s right hand man to leading the resistance against David. In some of the studies, he may have been related to Bethsheba and the whole Urriah incident. The way he ended his life seemed so matter of fact.

    He put his house in order and then hanged himself.

    I have compassion for Judas. His remorse must have been unimaginable. Like the other disciples He wasn’t to know what would happen with Jesus, three days later. Yet he has been demonised such that his very name means traitor.

    Those are some initial reflections.

    My prayers are with you.

    Psalm 121

    I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?
    2 My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth

  2. Firstly, I am so sorry to hear about your sister. And I feel terrible that you had to put up with comments here during that time. God bless you and your family.

  3. “but how we care for those who say they want to suicide”

    My experience is that if someone talks about suicide they aren’t joking and need to be taken seriously.

    “and how we care for those who are left behind.”
    As much as possible. In most cases, they need to be with people.

    “I’d also like to enegage in a theololgical unpacking of the 7 suicides found in the bible: Abimelech (Judges 9:54), Saul (1 Samuel 31:4), Saul’s armor-bearer (1 Samuel 31:4-6), Ahithophel (2 Samuel 17:23), Zimri (1 Kings 16:18), Judas (Matthew 27:5). and Samson (Judges 16:26-31). ”

    Suicide is tragic no matter how you look at it. Children aren’t born into this world to go out like that. So, in a word, there could have been a better end to the life in all of the above cases.

    “There had been a suicide in the community and he had been asked to conduct the person’s funeral. His anxiety was clearly evident in his question: Is it all right for me to do it?”

    I would have no problem conducting the funeral of a person who committed suicide – Christian or not. The older I get, the more regrettable I think it is that Christian people would even consider NOT conducting a funeral for somebody. Every person’s life is valuable to God and worth treating with dignity.

    I know two people from my youth who were at one time very zealous kids who later left the church and killed themselves. Everyone knew they had problems. On the other hand, I know of another church member who everyone thought was happy and successful in every way who took his life to pay off debts that nobody knew about. And that the day after his child’s first day at school. Completely devastating.

    And I live in a country with one of the highest suicide rates in the world, where every week you hear of someone who kills their children before killing themselves, or in some cases deciding they can’t go through with it. It’s a massive problem – and deserves a crisis meeting in my opinion. Heartbreaking.

    As for the funeral that was “upbeat” – I don’t think every funeral needs to end on a happy note or be upbeat. But that all depends on the people involved. But, it’s okay to grieve and mourn.
    God doesn’t despise a broken heart.

    In the last few days, I’ve realized again how far I am from being a biblical person. In particular my lack of prayer. i’ve rectified that by interceding for people – including the people on this blog.

    I don’t know the circumstances, but I will pray tonight for you.

  4. Perhaps an uplifting testimony might help explain how God sees suicide. Late last year, a friend of my son’s was struggling with drug debts and his habit. He was a really nice guy who had received the preaching of the gospel with joy but a combination of circumstances and the despair at not being freed from his addiction led him to opt out on life. Everyone who knew him well was really gutted – to know Pete was to love him, he just had a fatal flaw, and a Catholic upbringing, the suicide rate among whom is twice the national average. It seems that the circumstances of suicide are largely the validation or acting out of deeply entrenched beliefs and fears from the formative years. It is not just something that develops overnight or over months but over years.

    Shortly after his suicide, I heard the Lord say to me to go out on the top deck and look at the the sky. There over the centre of the city was two sets of contrails, forming tow crosses overlapping each other, one larger and one smaller. I got the distinct sense that this was the Lord telling me that Pete was with Him, and indeed I saw them together with my spirit.eye, Pete full of joy that the heaven and the redemption I had shared with him was real.

    I heard to call my son on his cellphone, who at that time was coming out of a supermarket near the city centre. He told me that when he heard his phone, he was pushing a cart full of groceries back to his car. He went to answer it but heard, “Its your father telling you to look up”. He looked up and saw the crosses and said immediately he knew it was Jesus and Pete saying its alright.

    As for these being the fabled chemtrails, I asked Jesus at the time whether there was anything to be done in prayer concerning these and I heard, “NO” so I asked what was with it and heard “Its My army, the Assyrians”. Don’t think it strange if Jesus can use chemtrails to signal to me – he uses the Church, doesn’t He?

  5. Thank you Q, Steve and Bones. Ian, that was an interesting testimony.

    I have been wondering if at times a person can ‘sacrifice’ their life – Samson? I’m not suggesting that’s what my isster inteded – but since her death – family members who ahve not spoken for years have let go of past hursts and statered to talk – distant sectoins fo the family who have never gotten to know one another have come together

  6. Here are some questions. And I genuiinely want you to answer – these are not a trick questions and I will not consider your answers in light of my sister.

    Is suicide a sin?

    Is it unforgiveable because there is no opportunity for repentance?

    If it is not unforgiveable; that is, it is not ‘the’ unforgiveable sin spoken of as blasphemy of the Holy Spirit – how then does one get forgiven for suiciding?

    If you can be forgiven post death for suicide (this is kind of circular -I know) is this then an indication that death is not necessarily the line following which we are saved or doomed for all eternity?

  7. What is sown in the flesh is suffered in the flesh. What is sown in the Spirit is reaped in the Spirit. We all stand before the judgment seat of Christ and we suffer in the flesh for that which is worked in the flesh. Now if we stand before the podium of Christ after that we die, then how can we suffer in the flesh for what we have done – we are already dead? This is actually talking about two different things, to wit, we are ALL MADE TO STAND and we all suffer in the flesh. Please ask Jesus to explain this to you. If you are before the judgment seat of Christ and you have sin in you you will not be able to stand. What Paul is actually talking about here is that Jesus Christ is able to make us stand, Jesus Christ, the Savior of ALL men, especially those who believe.
    He alone is able to present us as being spotless before the Father and to make us stand. It might take a while for the penny to drop on that one. Jesus is not about putting you down, He is about raising you up to sit with Him.
    Many years ago, when trying to juggle Bible School and a job and a family, I nearly worked myself into delirium, and one night, coming home in the early hours of the morning on my motorbike, to grab a few fitfull hours sleep before going to Bible school, I saw a dumpster on the side of the road. A seductive thought whispered in my ear, “You could just ride into the back of that and go to sleep forever…” I was so tired it even felt right but suddenly my semi-hypnotic state was interrupted by “Hey what about Rachel and the kids” and I snapped to attention.
    Another man I know killed himself and God showed me how the seeds to this were actually from his early childhood and he was, without realising it, validating and informing this thought, literally imagining it into being, and how that once the decision is internalised and accepted, it is a form of auto-mesmerism. People caught in the act of suicide will act as if hypnotised, because in effect they have meditated upon suicide to the point that they programme themselves for destruction, or have already been.
    As for God, Hos standard is intention. Jesus said if you intend to do something it is as if it is already done, and it is NOT God’s INTENTION that ANY should be lost, but that ALL should come to the knowledge of Him – hence why he had a Lamb slain from before the foundations of the worlds
    God is the original conservative and He wastes nothing, not even so much as a sub-atomic particle, or a crumb, and let’s face it, we were all pretty crumby to begin with…
    There are a number of fear powered things which really mess Christians up – Hell, judgment, condemnation, blaspheming the Holy Spirit. Focus on the Love of the heavenly Father and ask that the Holy Spirit lead you into all Truth and to comfort you as to your sister’s eternal well being.
    Is your God about correction or punishment?

  8. Ian – welcome to the jungle my friend.

    What you are saying is very similar to what I consider to be God’s intention; i.e. – that none be lost but that all come to Slavation – either Christ has died for all, or he hasn’t.

  9. I couldn’t agre more Bones – for many people, myself included in days gone by, it is considered to be a sin. I read one site that suggested that they couldn ‘t show it was a sin – but why take the risk that it was? Good grief, how very pastoral!

  10. God is a lot more understanding than we even imagine – the devil has given Him some very bad press…and some people are just silly enough to buy the lie…and I was one of them until Jesus pulled me to one side and showed me what a hypocrite I was – ouch – but worth it. I have a testimony of how I was brought to this realisation.
    Please, anyone reading this, put your traditions and trepidations to one side and read carefully and prayerfully.
    On June 6, 2001 (1:6) a 16yr old Palestinian suicide bomber blew himself and 16 young Israelis to bits in a Tel Aviv nightspot. The story in the Christchurch Press told of how the father was so proud of his son, who was a martyr in the Paradise of God. I read it out loud and scoffed, saying the man is obviously a fool and his son is in hell. My wife gently admonished me that it was not for me to judge, so I said, “NO, I am pretty sure of my ground on this matter, he is a fool and his son is in hell. Again she said “I would not judge that if I were you, that is only for God to judge.” I ran off upstairs to get ready for work, calling over my shoulder that the man was a fool and his son was in hell. Funny how Jesus works it so you deny Him three times before He straightens you out. Half way up the stairs a booming, commanding and familiar voice said, “You watch who you are saying is in hell, I called you to be a witness, not a judge! I immediately repented in my heart and then “And what would you say if I said that boy was with me right now?”

    The scene before me changed to one of Jesus standing before me, with his arm about the shoulder of a young Arabic looking boy in white robe with eyes imploring me to believe while the countenance of Jesus looked wrath with indignation. I said, “You are going to have to teach me about this Lord” and he said, “Don’t worry, I will” and the scene returned to our house and immediately the Word came to me, that henceforth, we are to know NO MAN after the flesh (according to our mind and its apprehension of where they are at). I crawled upstairs like a whipped dog. Over time the Lord began to open my eyes and I recounted the experience in an essay which caused great controversy amongst believers. One preacher in America who I admired wrote to me and told me it was the most dangerous thing to the Church he had ever read and that i was way wrong. I asked Rabboni how to deal with this and He said, “Get him in agreement”. So I offered, and still do, that we should agree that we put this matter in the hands of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of Israel and that the Holy Spirit will teach us severally what we need to know”.

    15mths later, the Holy Spirit told me to go to this man’s website and see what he had just posted – his first treatise in 15mths recounted how God had basically shown him that despite all that he knew, and he knew a lot, that he basically knew nothing – he had been severely corrected and humbled and recounted the process and what God had been teaching him concerning humility.

    If we want to explore the hurting kids thing, then everyone who is complicit in such suffering must suffer too – funny how Christians get all Karmic when it comes to the sins of others yet are all about mercy and redemption over their own. I remember recently a Christian friend who really struggled with unforgiveness died of cancer in his early 60’s. His son, commenting about a calamity which had befallen another commented, what goes around come around – maybe I should have asked, “Did that include your dad?”

    So, let us just agree that the holy Spirit of the God of Abraham, isaac and Jacob, the inner Rabbi, will teach us and guide us and lead us into all truth. Aa-meen?

  11. Actually Greg, rather than being circular, I thought your comments back there were pure logic.

    If suicide is sin and sin can only be forgiven if confessed or repented of – then logically it’s yet another “unpardonable sin”, because by definition it’s too late to repent of it. So then Jesus talking about blasphemy against the Holy Ghost should have also included suicide.

    I also thought your idea of sacrifice very thoughtful.
    In Japan, many of the suicides in war were a sacrifice, and even now men (I believe mistakenly) sacrifice their lives for the sake of the honor of their family or to clear debts.

    I’m not saying that suicide is an honorable sacrifice – but some people obviously have that mentality.

    Samson definitely sacrificed himself. He asked for strength one last time knowing that when the building came down he would be killed.
    And God granted the request.

    I think that it many ways modern day protestants and even new wave pentecostals have inherited ideas. Usually that’s good, but if may not always be so. Until last century, people who suicide were not given Roman Catholic funerals and I don’t think they were buried in the Catholic section of the cemetery either. I think the same happened for Jews. And from what I understand Thomas Aquinas (who was a lot smarter than I am) was responsible in a large way for that thinking.

    I know this is a horrible subject, so feel free to delete this, but I saw a documentary of the “falling man” – the man whose photo was taken when he jumped from the WTC. It took a long time to identify him but one family was convinced that it couldn’t have been their family member because he wouldn’t have taken his life like that as opposed to waiting to be burned.

    All I can say is I couldn’t condemn anyone for having to make such a decision.

  12. I’ll answer the questions specifically. When I went through a period of incredible doubt, I didn’t like the way my questions were dismissed. I often would ask about the age of accountability and the specifics of it, only to be told that it was nitpicking. But it isn’t when you realize that people want real answers and some people are in that very situation.

    Anyway. I’ll give you my perspective.

    Is suicide a sin?
    In some cases, yes I think it is. But that’s between God and the person. I don’t think it always is. The 10 commandments include “Thou shall not kill”, but I take that to be killing someone else. And even then, in the OT people killed in war etc.

    “Is it unforgiveable because there is no opportunity for repentance?”
    No. Probably not many people know exactly when they will die.
    If I am a Christian living by faith but die tonight before I have confessed or repented of something terrible I did during the day, am I forgiven? I say yes.

    “If it is not unforgiveable; that is, it is not ‘the’ unforgiveable sin spoken of as blasphemy of the Holy Spirit – how then does one get forgiven for suiciding?”

    I believe that our sins, past present and future were laid upon Jesus. I will no doubt sin tomorrow. Especially, if I log on to signposts. I don’t plan to, but I will sin in the future. Those sins were also laid upon Jesus. Now that’s impossible to grasp intellectually, but probably so is the fact that sins last year were borne by Jesus on the cross. I think sacrifice of Jesus stands outside of time in a sense.

    “If you can be forgiven post death for suicide (this is kind of circular -I know) is this then an indication that death is not necessarily the line following which we are saved or doomed for all eternity?”

    Now that is a great question.

    I’ll answer it later.

    But for now…
    “how then does one get forgiven for suiciding?”

    I think in our evangelical “four spiritual laws” world, we see it like this.We are sinners therefore we can’t stand before a Holy God.
    God is in heaven, so if we die, we simply can’t go into heaven because we have sinned and if we haven’t had those sins forgiven and believed in the cross, we just can’t exist in heaven with a Holy God.

    It sounds so biblical and logical – except that people in the OT stood before God. People in the OT said they had their sins forgiven. And Elijah went straight into heaven on a chariot. So how could he do that? Was he sinless? Did he believe that Jesus was the propitiation for his sins? I don’t think so.

    We like to say that it’s like trying to get into a country without a visa. Impossible. But, we all know that while that’s usually the case, someone people actually do enter countries without visas, and a King can issue a visa anytime he wants.

    I like a lot of what Ian says. God is far beyond our thinking.

    But I will say that without believing on Jesus, repentance and confession of sins we don’t have a basis for ASSURANCE of salvation or entry into heaven. Which is why most people fear death and have uncertainty.

    In the end, I can’t tell anyone for sure (including the Buddhist priest down the road) that he won’t be going to heaven. I can share every verse i know, but I’m not God.

    Looking over that, it was too long and too round about.

    I’ll fix it up later.

  13. As to the Ten Commandments, the sense and tense in which Jesus and John both spoke of obeying the commandment, it as singular, as in a New Commandment, yet not NEW but OLD or as at the beginning. I have come to find that through my trade with Hebrew people and using the Aramaic trans predominantly, that one develops a better sense of tense and texture – you pick up on the idiomatic phraseology, which is evident in the Aramaic.
    The Ten Commandments were until the Promise came, now we fulfill all the Law in one saying, that you should love, one to another, as I first loved you. The Commandment which was from the beginning.

    As for blaspheming the Holy Spirit, the teaching the Lord crafted for me on that wise was an amazing little adventure in faith. In short, when we judge in contradiction (to blaspheme is to speak against anti-creatively, or to deny, to contradict) to the holy Spirit we establish a spiritual precedent, it is an unremitable imagination which becomes like a self sabotage judgment mine in our walk – these are are our judgments, our self-sabotage mechanisms, in our minefield. Ever notice how you are justly blithely walking along and BLAM! Life blows up in your FACE! Oh if only we would listen more, heed more.

    If we walk in Him, He can walk us through the minefield of our own wrong judgments, and we walk in the Spirit, and we do not fulfill the strong desires of the flesh. Yes, these judgments are unremitable, as Jesus said, “In this age, or the next”. The age He was in – to wit the “Old Age”, and the age to come, The “New Age” after His ascension.

    There is a line I particularly resonate with in Ephesians – ti really nailed me when i asked God just what His will was. I will share it from the Victor Alexander Aramaic Translation. I highly recommend it to any serious Bible student – and it is great for doctrine testing.

    9. And He declared to us the sermon of His will, that which from the beginning He had consecrated through him,
    10. The supreme reign over the fulfillment of all the Ages, so that everything that is in heaven and on earth is renewed through Christ all over again. (From the Head.)
    11. And we are chosen by him, according to how we were consecrated at the beginning, and according to how He wished everyone to be deployed by the intentions of his will.


  14. @Greg

    My sincerest condolences for your loss. My prayers are with you and your family.

    Man, this site does my head in. It is so easy to rip into each other here, and just as easy to forget that outside of this digital realm we are all real people, facing real stuff, and coping with real issues. Greg, your situation a short while ago jolted me out of the unreal world on here for a time, but unfortunately I slipped back into the “action” very quickly, which wasn’t my intention at all. This news has really socked me in the face, and I simply cannot go back to the Roundhouse character that I have created. It’s the real world for me from now on.

    As for your question, yes, suicide is a “sin”, in so far as it is an act that is a transgression against God’s laws. But every born again believer has had all of their sins, past, present and future washed away by the precious blood of Jesus. Our slates are forever clean, never to be stained again. A believer who takes their own life will not suffer eternal consequences for their actions. In fact, the only sin that has eternal consequences is that of rejecting Jesus. If your sister was born again, she is now rejoicing with Jesus.

    Also, there is also no sin that is unforgivable. If there was, Jesus’ sacrifice wasn’t enough.

  15. Greg, I was shocked and sorry for the loss of your sister. I hope you can stay close to your family and help them grieve at this time.

    My eldest daughter is struggling with suicidal thoughts, and she has taken overdoses of medication on several occasions. She has been on the roof of our house in the middle of the night deciding whether to jump off. She has been in hospital for four weeks, with other teenagers who are going through the same thing.

    I know every situation is different and no-one can make any generalisations on what the causes are. In our case we were really shocked to find out how depressed our daughter was, and the lack of outward warning signs. It dosent seem to be predictable as to when she will make an attempt, she can be happily chatting away to us – and a few hours later we are rushing in to the hospital.

    The a couple of weeks ago we got a knock on the door at 2am and two policemen walked in. They asked us if we knew if our second daughter was OK. She was in her bedroom, but had been chatting on Facebook to a friend and made some suicidal comments. Her friend had called the police. Perhaps the drama with my oldest daughter had affected her also.

    An Anglican minister at our church has been asked to work fulltime in the schools at a small country town nearby to counsel students. The reason he was asked there was that the community leaders recognised there was a huge and growing problem with youth suicide in the town. As a society we are just starting to wake up to the problem and talk about it, but we still dont know why it is increasing – and we dont have accurate statistics.

    Is suicide a sin? Perhaps, but just about everything we do falls short of what we should do. I’ve said and done things that have hurt my daughter, and contributed to the problem, and I’ve failed to do other things that were needed. I’m just as ‘sinful’ as the next person, including the one who suicides.

    But every person is doing the best that they can in the situation they find themselves in – including the suicidal person. There is no ‘free will’, our wills are not free even if we are Christians. We are trapped in a very limited set of options – by our upbringing, our biology and our social environment. We all need divine intervention, but this happens differently for each person.

    Divine intervention, I’m sure, can happen just as easily in the next world as this one.

    Peace be with you. You wont get over the loss, but eventually you will be at peace with it.

  16. Wazza, I just read your post. I won’t spend any time arguing with you about anything here when I can’t be spending that time praying for your family.

  17. Wazza, I will join in agreement with you over your prayers for your daughter. It must be heartrending for you at this time. May all heaven guard you, you daughter and and your family through this difficult time.

  18. When my eldest son was in his teens, he was very troubled – satan always goes after the kids with promise and he does not attack parents who have the mental and spiritual equipping and training to resist such attacks. One night while driving home, he was looking sullen and withdrawn, probably because I had been lecturing him and Jesus had yet to pull me up about my hypocrisy and reveal it to me, but by grace on that night i suddenly heard inside, “He is thinking suicidal thoughts” and so immediately said, “And don’t even think about killing yourself or I will bloody well murder you.” It broke the tension and he jolted like he had been shocked and then smiled a wry smile….

    Remember your own teenage hell – I do – it was only God guiding hand got me through. There is no such thing as unforgivable sin, but there are unremitable consequences in this life for which we suffer in the flesh if we do not walk in the Spirit. Our self-sabotage mechanisms, our wrong judgments, and if we are blind, we will blow up, but if we walk in the Light, as he is in the Light, and if our eye be single, then our whole being will be flooded with light.

    Identifying the Tare seeds of dysfunction requires grace and the mind of Christ. Ask therefore for wisdom from God – get the strategy from God and the victory is assured. Prayer which accomplishes things is the communication of God’s will in the earth, therefore, pray by faith God’s will be done into the situation,and if He gives you a specific confession, speak it over the situation and release faith to vanquish fear.
    The demons which are attacking their minds and the inner fifth column of condemnation and guilt and the Law make mercy seem far away an sacrifice as the only viable alternative. Pray the covering of the Holy Spirit over those who are at risk and that God would minister to them at the altar of their hearts.

    God can do amazing things if we just trust Him to. I would like to share a little testimony of how God can bring sudden victory. A while back, a missionary to India sent out an urgent prayer request from the Saints in Orissa who were under severe persecution for their faith. It was passed on to me by a brother. I got the witness to really cut loose on this situation and asked God how to pray – and following the pattern – prayed that a legion of Angels come down out of heaven and rout the demons behind this. Immediately in my minds eye – I saw an army of Angels on Chariots with White Spirit Horses coming down out of the heavens with mighty swords haled aloft and a battle cry on their lips and a divine wrath in their countenance – and even they were loving their work and even the horses were exalted in the battle as they put the demons to flight and the amazing thing was, THE DEMONS HAD NO WEAPONS!

    The devils cannot operate, unless they have a MAN-date. I swear as God is my witness, to all you doubters, that the above happened exactly as writ, so before you spit, don’t be stumbled into a pit. God is the God of the impossible, for all things are possible to him that believes that all things are possible with God.

    Get the strategy from God, and the mandate to operate, and the might, and pray the will of God and put the devils to flight.

    When Jesus returns, He will be looking for one thing – faith – it is the X which marks the spot where he can touch down and become manifest as New Jerusalem, the City of God. He will clothe His people with glory and honour and they shall lead the lost sheep of Israel into the light of His great love. Be encouraged, yours sister is part of a great cloud of witnesses.


  19. Sometimes, especially when it comes to our children, having done all we can, there’s nothing more we can do but cast our cares on the Lord and let His peace garrison our hearts.

  20. Wazza is there a Headspace program near you? Headspace is a service for young people with mental health concerns and is designed specifically for young people so is aimed at engaging them without the usual clinical baggage.

    Raymond…thank you for deciding to use your real name. I know in my heart that people that access this site for informatoin or discussion are deeply concerned for their fellow people – I also know how easy it is to fall into the abusive online persona trap. After my melt down and especially even now after my sisters suicide I can’t go bakc to being antagonistinc for antagonisms sake – I ahve to remember that at the other end of the key board is another human being, a reflectoin of Gods immense love, for whom my words will mean either lifer or death – and I want my words to mean life.

    I love this site – I love the people on it and I am deeply sorry that I ahgve been the cause of upset and anger in other peoples experience of this site. I offended Margot who is someone who I valued as a more than just an online friend and if you read this Margot I beg your forgiveness.

    So many people have been driven from this site becuase of the hounds of ‘theological one-upmanship” that have been unleashed on the unwary and unsuspecting. I value the diffrerences adn the discussoin, but what if we were able to achieve the same level of hojnest adn open conversation adn debate, but were able to do it in an atmosphere of mutual support and love?

    I have had suicidal thoughts myself – during my episonde I very seriously contemplated ending it all, I am on anti-depressants, and I am glad that I am alive and not dead.

    My prayer for al of ius is that we can find th4e refelctoin of God in each other that allows ius to see we are not battling eachoter, but forces of darkenss that seek to deprive us of our birthright…a relationship with God our creator.

    Wazza, you and your family are in my prayers.

  21. Dear Greg,
    My father was an x policeman and he shot himself in the head when i was a youngster.So i will keep this short and sweet.(lest i be more teary eyed than what i am already)

    4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7″”””””” And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.””””””
    Philippians 4
    New International Version (NIV)

  22. I am glad you commented eyes.

    This is one of those areas that go beyond dogma and into the very heart of theology…how do we talk about God in the pain if survival? Each one of us here has found that place where we can converse with and about God and it is actually in the destitute valley of death that I think God is most able to be found. “Ye, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil, for thou o lord, art with me”

    Some say that the key in that psalm is that the valley is of the mere shadow of death…but the shadow can’t be cast without the presence of the reality, and the reality is that the gut wrenching awfulness of loss is no stranger to God…he is indeed with us.

    Blessings and peace to you all.

  23. The Armor of God

    10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

  24. EYES, you are quoting scriptures that I have been coming back to recently.

    Perhaps my greatest mistake in life has been to forget or reject the truth that we have enemies and they are actively involved in destroying us.

  25. Hey Eyes – back in 2001 God began to open up Ephesians to me. Vs 12-13 should actually be harmonized with 2 Cor 10:4, the weapons of our warfare are NOT OF THE FLESH, therefore we WRESTLE NOT WITH FLESH AND BLOOD. If you do a careful read though from start to finish in Ephesians, especially if using rhe Aramaic scriptures, Paul starts out in Chapter One saying that the will or sermon of God is the complete renewal of all things, both in the heavens and in the earth, from the Head, which is Christ. He tells us how were called and equipped before time for the work of the kingdom and presenting good new of the POWER OF GOD which is JESUS CHRIST, who is, wait for it, drum roll please, silent in the cheap seats….THE HEAD OF ALL AND EVERY POWER AND PRINCIPALITY both in the heavens and in the earth, and who is waiting, oh so patiently, so, or such that, HIS ENEMIES may be consecrated as the rug under His feet, in other words, for all things to become subordinate to Him, the Lord and King and God of ALL.

    Paul then goes on to explain in chap 2 how that we were all once under the sway of secular govts (sorry, no prince of the power of the air in the Aramaic – the devil slipped that bit in via Bacon) .

    He goes on to explain this amazing Power which has redeemed us and the to explain how that the whole New Man is created in righteousness and that all become ONE NEW MAN in Christ etc.

    Then just for good measure he elevates the devil to prince of the power of the air, when He has already said that it is Jesus? I donlt think so.

    If we read this text according to Man’s tradition and to doctrines of devils we have to fight the devil, when we are to RESIST HIM in the victory already won in Christ, our Strong Tower! The fundamental of martial arts is to use you enemies strength against them. Satan has NO POWER except he be given a MANDATE from a man.

    10. Therefore, brethren, be strengthened in our Lord and in the instrument (with the weapon) of His power. (the Sword of the Spirit)
    11. And take on all the armaments of God, so as you may be able to stand against the craftiness of the devil. (RESIST THE DEVIL)
    12. Because you wrestle not WITH flesh and blood, except WITH the thrones and powers and the subjugation of this world of darkness, and with evil spirits UNDER the sky (under this authority).
    13. That is why you should take on all the armaments of God, so that you can fight against evil, and as you are destined for everything, you shall rise again.

    The WEAPON of our WARRING IS NOT OF THE FLESH – WE WRESTLE NOT WITH FLESH AND BLOOD. Get it? Teh devil absolutely hates this message. I once prayed for a situation in India, in Orissa where demonized people were persecuting believers. I saw an army of Angels with swords and chariots and white Stallions rushing down out from heaven and routing the demons, putting them to flight and the Holy Spirit pointed out to me hat the demons had NO WEAPONS! Hallelujah of the Victory in Christ, which is OUR FAITH – His perfect gift to us to have and to hold – don’t give it to satan to use against you! My people perish for want of KNOWLEDGE! 0(:->)

  26. Did you get that? The THRONES AND POWERS OF HEAVEN are not your enemies, they are (under) your God given authority, but the devil twisted it to make it look like you had to fight against them instead of being seated from the right hand of Majesty ON HIGH, Far above all or every principality and every power that is named, both in the heavens and in the earth, and this message is very dangerous to your real enemies, who are enemies of the cross, who would deny the very reality of your salvation and substitute the Power of God with Word and Faith negating traditions of men and doctrines of devils which ensure slavation and which are the very reason the churches are declining and Christians struggle and are defeated in their minds. Believe me, I have done the hard yards too to get to this place, but He is the Aleph and the Tav, the Ox and the Mark.
    Recently, someone sent me something on the destruction of Damascus a recorded in Isaiah 17. Verse one describes how Damascus shall be no more, then verse 2 gets in to how it will become a habitation for the circumcised, which in post Pentecost parlance means the Body of Christ – Israel of the Spirit. But in verse 9 it says that EVERY CITY shall be laid low, but if you read it according to to tradition you will miss that bit and think that it is talking about natural Israel and wiping out God’s enemies the Arabs. when Damascus is really the beginning of judgement upon EVERY CITY ON EARTH! And all the islands shall be shaken and moved out of their place, and Babylon shall fall. Its a whole different book when you have the Mind of the Author and the completer of your salvation.
    Don’t perish for a lack of the intimate knowledge of Him, so ask, that your joy may be made full, for the JOY OF THE LORD IS OUR STRENGTH. “This is My Beloved Son, in whom I Am fulfilled” He takes joy in fulfilling us, in bringing us to completion, to being made perfect in love.

  27. Dear Ian Williams,
    Here is a great weapon for spiritual warfare,
    It’s called,”Turn the other cheek”.So be it!

  28. Ah, the Beatitudes – the hard one for all of us – turning the other cheek to the assaults of our persecutors – was Jesus talking about devils or people who were being devilish? Was Paul talking about people or devils? One text is taking about how to deal with people,behaving like devils, while the other is about how to deal with devils behaving like people.

    In essence the Beatitudes say, “Be a witness, not a judge”.

    38. “You have heard it said,
    ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’
    39. “But, I am telling you,
    Do not rise up against evil (doers),
    Except whoever strikes you on the right side,
    turn to him the other.
    40. “And whoever wishes to put you on trial,
    and take your shirt from you,
    Leave him your cape too.
    41. “Whoever forces you to go a mile,
    go with him two.
    42. “Whoever asks you [for something,]
    give it to him;
    And whoever wishes to benefit from you,
    do not stop him.

    43. “You heard it said,
    ‘Love your best friend and hate your enemy.’
    44. “But, I am telling you,
    Like your enemy and bless those who curse you
    And do good to those who hate you
    and pray for those who exploit you and leave you bare;
    45. “So that you become the sons of your heavenly Father,
    He who makes his sun shine on the good and the wicked,
    And brings down the rain on the righteous and the abominable.
    46. “For if you like those who like you,
    what are you to be compensated for?
    Do not even the revenue collectors do this?
    47. “And if you greet your brothers only,*
    What good is that?*
    Do not the revenue collectors do this also?
    48. “Be therefore mature people, like your Father in heaven is Mature.

  29. OK – consider this scenario. You get home, and see someone is ransacking your house. You have a cellphone. Your first response is to A: call the Police and wait for help to come. B:Pray and ask Jesus for the strength to go an be a witness even if they work you over, or C: get the Desert Eagle out of your glove box and play dirty Harry.

    In the Beatitudes, Jesus was addressing a nation of people who had lost their God given freedom, their birthright, to Rome by reason of their rebellion against God and so were people of the LETTER. In Ephesians Paul is talking to to believers who have experienced Pentecost and who are people of the SPIRIT.

    The Beatitudes was Jesus tightening up the righteous requirements of the Law of Moses and the Levitical Laws to such an extent that NO ONE could satisfy them, only Him, so that he may establish the New and Living Way. Jesus was the last Rabbi, since then there has only been the Holy Spirit as the teacher of the body of Christ. The sole purpose of instruction in righteousness is to get you hooked up with your redeemer and supplier and Father and King. Instead, religion binds up heavy burdens ad grievous to be borne and robs people of the reality of the victory of Jesus making salvation conditional upon your merits and works, and don;t forget to tithe and stay under your covering. Beware the leaven of the Pharisees. If there is no real working of the Power of God evident in your life, then you are almost certainly burdened in ways you do not yet understand and need to be set free from the ways of the Nicolaitans – the priest-hood – and to recall yourself, that it is no longer you which lives, but CHRIST WHICH LIVES IN YOU. Why dicker with the Vicar when you can be seated together with Jesus. LOL!

  30. Be a good Berean. Theology is like looking up a microscope trying to figure out the eye at the other end. Being seated from the Right Hand of Majesty on high is to have the mind of Christ, the heavenly perspective. Apostasy is nothing more than having your own opinion instead of the Mind of Christ. This is why the Church is so apostate and largely powerless and Xians so often live a futile faith and so many new converts (90%) fall away or end up in the funny farm, or on Prozac, or worse…

    The fundamental is simple – forgive all – in that all problems are essentially rooted in unforgiveness which is rooted in pride and all evil stems from greed for gain which is again from pride. It is not rocket science, or even systemic theology – it is so simple children can get it. The reason why we have or experience darkness is that we reject the Light and even the light which is within us becomes darkened. Religion teaches you to be nice, and to cover your issues with your niceness, but nice is not righteous, it is simply vanity.
    Even Paul had to be processed such that the NEW leavening worked out the issues of the old leavening. Ask Jesus to drive out all the leavening of the old, the influence of the Pharisees. It is daunting, but worth it. You start by accepting that your life is not working as it should and simply asking Him to drive out all which prevents – the church talks kingdom living but for the most part lives an Old testament reality while begging God for ‘revivals’ and results. Prayer is not communication WITH God, it is the communication OF God.
    Get this breakthrough and then the fun really starts – then the devil really goes after you, but you are largely finished with Pharisees. He is the Aleph and the Tav, the Ox and the Mark of our high calling
    Theology has done more to rob people of the reality of the finished work of God in Christ than any devil. If you really knew what Maimonides and Bacon did to the Book you would be horrified, let alone the hundreds of millions diverted by Scofield! Don’t let the devil rob you of your inheritance with the Saints in Light.
    I watched my father commit slow, slow suicide – when he died I cried and cried, and then when my crying was done, i began to really seek wisdom and understanding. After 22yrs i have learned some things about why people are destroyed for lack of knowledge – the problem being what you know so often is what is actually preventing you knowing. Ask Jesus to show you every doctrine of devils, every faith negating tradition of men, everything which is not of Him, put all you know on the altar and let Him consume all that is not gold, silver and precious gems – have you seen a CZ after it has been through a fire?

  31. Dear ‘Ian Williams’

    Perhaps,just in regards to GREG,maybe we should in fact discuss this particular subject on later mail.He needs to have good memories of people with love and courage.
    May the grace of the lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit GREG,Amen.

  32. “The fundamental is simple – forgive all – in that all problems are essentially rooted in unforgiveness which is rooted in pride and all evil stems from greed for gain which is again from pride”

    Now there’s a lot in there.

    I think EYES has a point. Maybe one thing we need to do here (esp me) is to keep comments to topics.

    btw, Wazza…how’s things? Hope everythings ok on the home front.
    Let us know if you happen to see this comment.

    Ian, I have a question for you, but I’ll put in on another thread (may not be relevant but it will take our conversation off this one) So, watch my next post.

  33. OK – I is watchin’! I have had close personal experience with suicide (as no doubt have most of us) and the spiritual aspects of it. My concern is how ill-prepared to deal with the pressures of life church leaves many of its members. There are powerful and simple answers – often simply listening to the Holy Spirit is all it takes or the intervention of wise council. A while back I had a feeling that a friend of my son’s was really struggling with debt and needed money. I asked my son to phone him and to tell him if he needed any help to come call me. I did not pursue the matter with the vigor I should have as it was a hunch, my son got sidelined with his kids an concerns and then all of a sudden the news came in that Pete was dead. We were mortified – a little more diligence and maybe he would have been here to be with us.

    But Jesus showed both me and my son conclusively that Pete was with Him, so the end of the matter is indeed better than the beginning. The pain we feel is tempered by the realization that they are now free from their torments, safe in the arms of a loving Savior – it is our shonky doctrines which largely lead to their premature demise and to our angst at the possibility of their eternal salvation being compromised by their actions. Pete’s parents were died in the wool Catholics, yet even they knew instinctively that God would not abandon their son, anymore than he would His only begotten.

    The thing that is impossible with Men, is possible with God. And do ask, I love being stretched!

  34. ” ….and the Christian Responsiblity to care for others” was the title of this blog.

    I’m realizing more and more and Ian talked about it too – the need to pray for one another, encourage one another, and also to give a call or go see people when you “feel” to.

    And obviously to weep with those who weep and to bear each others burdens.

  35. I’m pretty good thanks for asking, Q. My daughter has good days and bad days, but I think it is gradually improving.

    Thanks to all for your thoughts and prayers. Its amazing how suicide has touched almost all of us and our families. Its a pretty common human experience, yet we dont generally talk about it.

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