Skip to comments.Christians Who Commit Suicide
Posted on 01/27/2012 2:37:35 PM PST by pinochet
The great British preacher John Newton had a friend, a poet by the name of William Cowper, who along with Newton wrote hymns which eventually were compiled in the Olney Hymnal. Cowpers more noted contributions to this hymnal were Oh, for a closer walk with God and There is a fountain filled with blood.......Sadly, we find documented in Forbes Winslows Anatomy of Suicide (written in 1840) that Cowper has tried more than once to take his own life. As psychiatrist and Christian author John White puts it, Here then we are presented with a gifted and Godly man, a man the Holy Spirit used to produce hymns to exalt the Lamb of God yet (he is) only one of many Christians who have struggled against the shame and horror of trying to take their own lives some successfully, others unsuccessfully. (White 146)
Anyone who professes Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord may find this statement shocking. After all, Jesus came that we may have a full life (John 10:10). The scriptures are overflowing with the hope and love that is found in the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are taught that those who believe have been washed, made new and been forgiven. Our guilt and shame has been removed and we have been set free from the power of sin and death. Therefore, a deep religious faith (in God) should keep people from taking their own lives. And yet there are Christians who do take their own lives. Although Christians have at their disposal the emotional supports needed they are just as susceptible to committing suicide as anyone else, and may in fact do commit suicide in similar numbers to non-believers. It seems as absurd for a Christian to commit suicide as it is for someone who instantly became a millionaire to take his own life. Yet both have done this.
White addresses the fable that Christians do not commit suicide. Godly patients have looked at me in the eye and told me despairingly, My faith has gone
so delicate is the balance between madness and sanity that the strongest Christians can become victims of suicidal despair [emphasis mine] (White 167). Some do question though whether a true Christian would commit suicide.
There is a strong taboo among Christians, in acknowledging that even faithful Christians can struggle with suicidal feelings. This makes it hard for people to seek help from pastors and Christian counsellors, because their suicidal feelings are taken as evidence that they are not truly devoted to their faith.
One lovely lady in our Church committed suicide nine years ago. Her public image was that of a perfect wife and mother, and a devoted believer who was in the Church choir. Subjects like this are very difficult to talk about.
Suicide is not always about emotions.
Christians are not immune to depression. The much lauded preacher, Charles Spurgeon, apparently had many deep episodes. Not suicidal though as far as I know.
That said Christians have a hope and a Comforter, and we all must preach the gospel to ourselves daily, as it were, reminding ourselves of God’s presence, mercy and sovereignty.
Also taking care to remind our fellow believers of the same thing. Just having a friend tell me, “God will take care of you,” when expressing a serious problem, is a reassuring reminder.
Christian despair. There is the temptation at the Garden of Gethsemane. Something that tried even Jesus. Some, weaker or more weakened, succumb to the terrible seduction of despair.
“Stay and pray with me.”
Do not sleep, when your brother or sister is in extremis.
“Suicide is not always about emotions.”
Rommel comes to mind. Sometimes there are objective reasons.
Christians suffer more than those who ignore religious matters as a general rule. Why? Satan despises Christians and will torment them to try to get them to repudiate their faith.
So, if you find a Christian who has committed suicide, it is due to pain.
Ministers are often attacked through their children.
He certainly could not be faulted for attempting to take his own life. He was in constant combat with some hideous demons.
It seems weird that a Christian would be more worried about his image with a Pastor or Priest, than he would be about seeking help before he does such a heinous thing.
Faith in Jesus says that He will care for us and that all things work together for good to them that serve Him. Wouldnt suicide indicate a lack of faith? Faith in Christ is what makes one a Christian. If one lacks that faith can they ba called a Christian?
I sat still on a stone by the river's side feeling as miserable as I ever felt in my life. Hitherto it had not occurred to me to doubt the intentions of the Solid People, nor to question the essential goodness of their country even if it were a country which I could not long inhabit. It had indeed once crossed my mind that if these Solid People were as benevolent as I had heard one or two of them claim to be, they might have done something to help the inhabitants of the Town-something more than meeting them on the plain. Now a terrible explanation came into my mind. How if they had never meant to do us good at all? How if this whole trip were allowed the Ghosts merely to mock them? Horrible myths and doctrines stirred in my memory. I thought how the Gods had punished Tantalus. I thought of the place in the Book of Revelation where it says that the smoke of Hell goes up forever in the sight of the blessed spirits. I remembered how poor Cowper, dreaming that he was not after all doomed to perdition, at once knew the dream to be false and said, "These are the sharpest arrows in His quiver."
Ping to a thought provoking subject.
I think suicide can be decided within 5 seconds. One brief moment of despair and the “Dutch Act” - as we used to call it.
21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; 24 but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me.
I’ve heard it argued that Paul was vocally discussing suicide.
>>>>Christians suffer more than those who ignore religious matters as a general rule. Why? Satan despises Christians and will torment them to try to get them to repudiate their faith
Excellent point. We live in a world where, those who defend Bibilical values are called “bigots”, “haters”, and “intolerant”.
Those who believe that the definition of marriage is one man getting married to one woman, are called “haters” by the liberal media. Those who oppose abortion are called enemies of women’s health. Students who try to maintain their Christian faith in secular universities go through hell. The attacks from the secular world do take a toll.
Yet, within the Church, people try to present an image of picture-perfect happy families. If a family is going through problems, they try to keep it within the family, to avoid embarassment. They find it hard to share their pain with others, because personal struggles are seen as evidence of insufficient faith.
It's very easy to judge others. Chronic depression is many times caused by something wrong with brain chemistry. That is a physical problem manifesting itself in despair and hopelessness, regardless of faith. They aren't thought processes, they are deep emotional feelings that can overwhelm someone.
Besides, it isn't up to you to judge whether someone who has committed suicide was a Christian or not, that is up to God.
I am so sorry for the tragic losses in your family. My understanding is that salvation is a work done wholly by God through His Son Jesus Christ.
The scripture says in Romans 8 paraphrased: nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. Therefore mental illness and suicide cannot separate a true child of God from His love.
Whatever the Church’s decisions about where our mortal remains may be buried, we can take comfort that the destination of our eternal souls rest at the sole discretion of a holy, gracious and loving God who knows us and accepts us in His Son Jesus Christ.