Suicide?

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mattbauer

Puritan Board Freshman
I had a question. From the catholic point of view i know that suicide is considered well wrong, sinfull etc, and thus people who commit suicide go straight to hell, they do not pass go.

My grandfather committed suicide almost 2 years ago now at a pretty old age of 72ish i believe... can't remember (We weren't close)

Just wondering if anybody knows maybe what the bible has to say about this or possibly the traditional reformed thought on suicide.
 

Saiph

Puritan Board Junior
King Saul basically commited suicide, and he is listed in Hebrews 11.

Nevermind, I just checked again and he is not.

[Edited on 10-18-2005 by Saiph]
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Roman Catholicism is Arminian/semi Pelagian to the core; they do not trust in Christ, but their works. Anyone whom dies under this lie will surely perish. I pray your granddad was not trusting in himself or his works to save him; mine did!

The reformed hold fast the doctrine of Justification by faith alone.

Rom 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Rom 3:24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,

Eph 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,
Eph 1:4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love

Eph 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,
Eph 2:9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Joh 6:37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.

Tit 3:4 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared,
Tit 3:5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,
Tit 3:6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,
Tit 3:7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
Originally posted by Saiph
King Saul basically commited suicide, and he is listed in Hebrews 11.
I believe this is incorrect.

I would recommend reading Samuel Miller's The Guilt, Folly and Sources of Suicide.

But perhaps it will be asked, "Can we entertain no hope of the final salvation of one who destroys his own life?" This is a question which it ill becomes a blind and erring mortal to decide. It is possible that a child of God may be so far under the power of mental derangement, as to rush unbidden into the presence of his Father. I believe that instances of this kind have sometimes occurred; and, if so, concerning the salvation of such persons no doubt can be entertained. But it may be questioned, on very solid ground, whether a real Christian, in the exercise of his reason, ever became his own executioner.

Let those inclined to adopt a more favorable opinion, ponder well that solemn declaration of the Spirit of God, "No murderer hath eternal life abiding in him" (1 John 3:15). How small, then, is the proportion of self-murderers for whom we can cherish the least hope beyond the grave! When men leave the world in an act of daring and deliberate rebellion against God, distrusting his providence, agitated by the worst of passions, and trampling upon all the obligations which bind them to their Creator and their fellow men, how can Charity herself avoid considering them as "strangers from the covenants of promise"(Eph. 2:12), and weeping over them as "children of perdition!" (cf. John 17:12).
[Edited on 10-19-2005 by VirginiaHuguenot]
 

ChristopherPaul

Puritan Board Senior
Originally posted by mattbauer
I had a question. From the catholic point of view i know that suicide is considered well wrong, sinfull etc, and thus people who commit suicide go straight to hell, they do not pass go.

My grandfather committed suicide almost 2 years ago now at a pretty old age of 72ish i believe... can't remember (We weren't close)

Just wondering if anybody knows maybe what the bible has to say about this or possibly the traditional reformed thought on suicide.
Suicide is abominable just as any sin is to a holy God.

To desire death is not wrong in itself for the Christian. Elijah prayed that he would die knowing that his present state was nothing compared to being in the presence of God. Paul certainly battled with living for the sake of doing Christ's work or just dying and being with the Lord. Samson took his own life, but is mentioned in Hebrews 11.

The fact of the matter is, suicide is not the unpardonable sin. I would suspect those who do take there own life, but cannot conclude that they are damned because of that act alone.
 

Anton Bruckner

Puritan Board Professor
If a person truly believes in Christ, I believe that suicide cannot undo what Christ has done. But I vehemently oppose suicide eventhough I can understand that a person who commits such more than likely was not of a sound mind, but mostly depressed and dejected.

One of my cousins died and his funeral is saturday. I think he committed suicide eventhough he died of AIDS. I think the natural dejection and depression that came as a consequence of finding out he was suffering this disease threw him into a pit of shame, depression and utter hopelessness, hence he was not motivated to seek treatment, he hid his disease and suffered and died in silence. It's hard to condemn a person who committs an act of suicide under such a state of mind eventhough they can never justify their act of taking their life which God gave them to use for His honor and glory. But this is what I know, that whoever trusts in God, really trusts in God, no matter his slip ups God mercies will preserve eternally. This is what I believe the "Sure Mercies of David" refers to.
 

C. Matthew McMahon

Christian Preacher
Originally posted by VirginiaHuguenot
Originally posted by Saiph
King Saul basically commited suicide, and he is listed in Hebrews 11.
I believe this is incorrect.

I would recommend reading Samuel Miller's The Guilt, Folly and Sources of Suicide.

But perhaps it will be asked, "Can we entertain no hope of the final salvation of one who destroys his own life?" This is a question which it ill becomes a blind and erring mortal to decide. It is possible that a child of God may be so far under the power of mental derangement, as to rush unbidden into the presence of his Father. I believe that instances of this kind have sometimes occurred; and, if so, concerning the salvation of such persons no doubt can be entertained. But it may be questioned, on very solid ground, whether a real Christian, in the exercise of his reason, ever became his own executioner.

Let those inclined to adopt a more favorable opinion, ponder well that solemn declaration of the Spirit of God, "No murderer hath eternal life abiding in him" (1 John 3:15). How small, then, is the proportion of self-murderers for whom we can cherish the least hope beyond the grave! When men leave the world in an act of daring and deliberate rebellion against God, distrusting his providence, agitated by the worst of passions, and trampling upon all the obligations which bind them to their Creator and their fellow men, how can Charity herself avoid considering them as "strangers from the covenants of promise"(Eph. 2:12), and weeping over them as "children of perdition!" (cf. John 17:12).
[Edited on 10-19-2005 by VirginiaHuguenot]
I'll have to read that. Looks good.
 

cupotea

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by ChristopherPaul

Suicide is abominable just as any sin is to a holy God.

The fact of the matter is, suicide is not the unpardonable sin. I would suspect those who do take there own life, but cannot conclude that they are damned because of that act alone.
There's a part of me that wants to agree with your suspicion, but I'd probably go a bit further and conclude that suicides are, indeed, damned. This conclusion comes only after a very long period of prayer and thought, for my mother committed suicide.

Granted, there MAY be other circumcstances involved, but I cannot help but conclude that suicide is, at least, quite selfish. And I suspect that it is often done to deliberately hurt the survivors.
 

turmeric

Megerator
My understanding of the Roman position is this;

I. Suicide is murder

II. Murder is a mortal sin; one needs to go to confession and be absolved.

III. A sucessful suicide cannot do this, as he/she is dead, therefore...

While I believe, just my opinion, that genuine mental illness can be a mitigating factor, the mood of a suicide is usually anger and rebellion against God's providence and is not what I'd expect of a mature Christian. However, the person may be a Christian who hasn't experienced much sanctification yet...
 

WrittenFromUtopia

Puritan Board Graduate
Nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.

Rom 8:38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
 

Mike

Puritan Board Freshman
Originally posted by mattbauer
I had a question. From the catholic point of view i know that suicide is considered well wrong, sinfull etc, and thus people who commit suicide go straight to hell, they do not pass go.
The Roman Catholics are right and wrong here. They are right that suicide is wrong. It is a sin. Particularly, it is the sin of murder. However, it is not the only sin around! We are all people who sin, and are saved not by not sinning at our death, but rather by the grace of God, through faith.

If, in a moment of weakness and duress, or whatever the cause, a Christian commits suicide, that doesn't change the fact that he is a Christian, washed in the blood of Christ, and completely secure in His salvation with Christ as his Surety. Our faith, in short, is not in a lack of sin but in the obedience and death of Jesus Christ.

My grandfather committed suicide almost 2 years ago now at a pretty old age of 72ish i believe... can't remember (We weren't close)

Just wondering if anybody knows maybe what the bible has to say about this or possibly the traditional reformed thought on suicide.
There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus?

Now, I'm not saying that suicide is not so serious a sin that it is odd to see it by a Christian. However, it alone (like any sin) does not mean that a person has no hope of salvation: their hope and ours is nothing but the Blood of Jesus.
 

ChristopherPaul

Puritan Board Senior
From Foxes Christian Martyrs of the World:

"œFinally brought back in [to the arena] to be killed by gladiators, Perpetua was assigned to a trembling young man who stabbed her weakly several times, not being used to such scenes of violence. When she saw how upset the young man was, Perpetua guided his sword to a vital area and died."

--A.D. 200

"œApollonia, an old woman nearly seventy, confessed that she was a Christian, and the mob fastened her to a stake, preparing to burn her. She begged to be let loose and the mob untied her, thinking she was ready to recant, but to their astonishment, she immediately threw herself back into the flames and died."

--A.D. 235
 

rmwilliamsjr

Puritan Board Freshman
it is a big issue for me: http://rmwilliamsjr.livejournal.com/56259.html

i think the best essay i found online is Tony Warren's at:
http://www.mountainretreatorg.net/faq/christians_and_suicide.shtml

where he writes:
Psalms 143:10-11

* "Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.
* Quicken me, O LORD, for thy name's sake: for thy righteousness' sake bring my soul out of trouble."

Can Christians commit suicide? Yes! But do Christians commit suicide? There are many things people neglect that must be considered when evaluating this issue. The first being, a true believer is indwelled by the Holy Spirit of God. That's no small thing to be ignored here. People like to think that people become so depressed and distraught that they see no way out, and so finally kill themselves. But that conveniently presupposes that God is busy elsewhere, or just dwelling there within that person (assuming they're Christian) idly twiddling His thumbs, not helping and not doing anything to prevent their hopelessness. Even many learned theologians have fallen into the snare of underestimating the working of God within us.

Ephesians 2:10

* "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."

God is omnipresent, he's not off doing dishes on the other side of the world while Christians fall into despair and kill themselves. He has promised that he would strengthen us, help us, and not leave us in despair.

The second point here is, suicide would clearly illustrate that the person has forsaken trust in the Lord and has lost faith. Faith is supposed to be the "evidence" of true salvation. It's the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. In faith we take refuge from trials and tribulations "in Him," not in despair. He is the help of those who have faith, and faith is our strength.

Psalms 62:8

* "Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah."

Psalms 115:11

* "Ye that fear the LORD, trust in the LORD: he is their help and their shield.:"

And the third point is that a great many of these suicide victims have been told by (possibly well meaning) Christians ahead of time that, "..while it's not good to commit suicide, people are going to heaven anyway if they're Christian." While this is technically true, it is also a careless and reckless thing to tell anyone who is contemplating suicide. Especially since in their obviously unstable and emotional state, they are highly impressionable. But this is done continually by many Christians under the guise of compassion or "not scaring" them. Murder is a horrible sin, and it should not be spoken of as anything less. There is no word suicide in the bible, it is called taking life or unlawful killing. We call it murder. If someone were to ask a Christian:
"..If I go kill my next door neighbor, would I go to heaven?"
Not one of them would answer, "..while it's not good to commit murder, you are going to heaven anyway if you're a Christian." That's technically true also, but it is also giving a false impression of Christianity. And that is exactly what some people do to those contemplating suicide. Sure, they couch or phrase their words in the fine print of, "but you really shouldn't," yet this is hardly the counsel a Christian should be giving. They're really playing situation politics, where their human compassion clouds the central issue. Is it possible a Christian will kill himself? Yes, it is possible, but it is not only unlikely, it is "very" highly unlikely given all that God has to say in scripture. And that's what they never tell them, because they don't want them to lose hope (if you can believe that). Considering all that scripture says on the issue, faithful Christians should give no one a cozy place to feel comfortable in killing themselves. Because in doing so, you do God (and them) a grievous disservice.
btw, thanks for the Samuel Miller link, i keep a page of suicide links and this goes right to the top.

[Edited on 2-13-2006 by rmwilliamsjr]
 
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