Suicide and the Bible
The freedom to sin by killing yourself.
1. Just because suicide is a sin, this does not mean we should restrict an individual's free to kill themself. Suicide is a behaviour choice, just like any other sin.
2. No one should ever be committed to a psychiatric ward for threatened or unsuccessfully executed suicide attempts. Statistics show, that if someone has been committed involuntarily to an asylum and they really want to kill themselves, they simply "play nice" to get released, then commit suicide.
3. Suicide is always a bad solution to the unhappiness, anxiety or guilt an individual experiences.
4. Suicide appears to be a good solution to their problems if they do not believe in God, judgement, heaven, hell and the afterlife. This appearance is deceiving.
5. Suicide is often a cowardly, selfish solution that hurts and harms those who love him.
6. Suicide can be motived by hurting those in revenge who have hurt you. Hollywood has produced countless movies where suicides are calculated to hurt, harm and injure another. "If I can't have you, I'll kill myself to make you pay for jilting me!"
A. How to help those who want to commit suicide:
1. Tell the suicidal person that God loves them and cares for them.
2. Tell the person that there are a lot of friends and family members who love them and that killing themselves would hurt and sadden them.
3. Tell them that Suicide will not solve their problems and it will create new problems for others.
4. Tell the person that you care for them and you will make yourself available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to talk or drive to meet them if they need it.
5. Give the suicidal person your cell phone number and make him promise that if at any time in the future he was thinking about suicide, that he can call immediately even if it was 4 am!
6. Make the suicidal person promise they will call you before they do any harm to themselves.
7. Invite them to church next Sunday.
B. The historical origin of psychiatric committal for the suicidal:
1. "The practice of routinely excusing self-killers as insane led inevitably to practices and policies ostensibly directed at preventing suicide, principally incarceration of the potential self-killer in an insane asylum. That practice, in turn, reinforced the belief that persons who kill themselves are insane, that the insane are likely to kill themselves, and that persons deemed dangerous to themselves or others are justifiably deprived of liberty under psychiatric auspices. For three hundred years, the legal and medical justification for psychiatric preventive detention—civil commitment—has rested comfortably and securely on that set of beliefs." (Coercion as Cure, Thomas Szasz, 2007 AD, p 99
2. "The idea of excusing the self-killer by attributing to him the fictitious malady called "insanity" was invented as a tactic for the merciful treatment of his survivors. It was too good a gambit to be limited to suicide. In the United States today, there is virtually no situation in which the notion of mental illness may not be brought into play to diminish or annul the actor's responsibility for his action; to deny his role as moral agent and redefine him as a victim; and to hold others responsible for the deleterious consequences of his behavior." (Coercion as Cure, Thomas Szasz, 2007 AD, p 101)
C. Cases of Suicide:
1. The case of "Potato". An executive is driven to suicide when he experiences financial destitution because of his own business mistakes.
2. The case of "Egg". A young man commits suicide when he realizes he has permanent brain damage and seriously downgraded cognitive abilities as a result of frying his brain on heroin a few years earlier.
3. The heartbreaking case of Amanda Todd: With no hope and no one to help, she kills herself.
a. Amanda had cried out for help countless times and everyone had failed her. She was sad, but she was angry that the world was such an ugly unloving place (so she wrongly thought) that she had no option but to take her own life.
b. Had she just ignored them all and lived another few months into adulthood, perhaps she would have seen that 99% of people she knew in school, she would never see again after graduation.
c. The story of Amanda Todd's heart breaking video she published just before her suicide is an example of revenge (in addition to her other reasons) against the bullies who mercilessly tortured her soul. The video had the desired effect, bringing death threats, shame and months of tears to the eyes of some her bullies. She wanted them to feel the pain she had suffered at their hands. Many people were enraged that this beautiful young woman would be driven to suicide. Thousands who didn't know who she was until after she killed herself were sickened that they were not able to help her in some way. Contrary to her view that she had no one, Amanda Todd had 10,000 who cared for and even loved her.
d. Life moves forward for good. Endure another day and light will come.
e. Suicide is a cry of desperation for help. In Amanda's case she had been crying for help a long time and felt life was a cruel hopeless place.
If only she had become a Christian and let the love of
God fill her soul with light and hope.
D. Suicide cases in the Bible:
1. Suicide breaks the Ten Commandments: "you shall not murder". Suicide is self murder.
2. Man is created in the image of God. We do not have the right to destroy ourselves.
3. Cases of suicide in the Bible:
a. Abimelech, the son of Gideon, ordered his armor-bearer to kill him after he was fatally injured by a woman: “Then he called quickly to the young man, his armor bearer, and said to him, “Draw your sword and kill me, so that it will not be said of me, ‘A woman slew him.’ ” So the young man pierced him through, and he died.” (Judges 9:54)
b. Samson committed suicide when he pulled the pillars out of the theatre in Gaza, killing 3000 Philistines: “Then Samson called to the Lord and said, “O Lord God, please remember me and please strengthen me just this time, O God, that I may at once be avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes.” Samson grasped the two middle pillars on which the house rested, and braced himself against them, the one with his right hand and the other with his left. And Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines!” And he bent with all his might so that the house fell on the lords and all the people who were in it. So the dead whom he killed at his death were more than those whom he killed in his life.” (Judges 16:28–30)
c. Saul and his armor bearer fell on their own swords: “The Philistines overtook Saul and his sons; and the Philistines killed Jonathan and Abinadab and Malchi-shua the sons of Saul. The battle went heavily against Saul, and the archers hit him; and he was badly wounded by the archers. Then Saul said to his armor bearer, “Draw your sword and pierce me through with it, otherwise these uncircumcised will come and pierce me through and make sport of me.” But his armor bearer would not, for he was greatly afraid. So Saul took his sword and fell on it. When his armor bearer saw that Saul was dead, he also fell on his sword and died with him.” (1 Samuel 31:2-5)
d. Ahithophel committed suicide and was buried in the family tomb. “Now when Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his donkey and arose and went to his home, to his city, and set his house in order, and strangled himself; thus he died and was buried in the grave of his father.” (2 Samuel 17:23)
e. Zimri, killed himself by setting the palace on fire, rather than to be taken prisoner: “When Zimri saw that the city was taken, he went into the citadel of the king’s house and burned the king’s house over him with fire, and died,” (1 Kings 16:18)
f. Judas, betrayed Jesus and hung himself: “Then when Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that He had been condemned, he felt remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” But they said, “What is that to us? See to that yourself!” And he threw the pieces of silver into the temple sanctuary and departed; and he went away and hanged himself.” (Matthew 27:3-5)
1. Suicide appears to be a solution to escape life's problems but it creates a new set of problems for their friends and family.
2. Suicide is a sinful behaviour choice, just like any other sin.
3. Just because suicide is a sin, this does not mean we should restrict an individual's free to kill themself.
4. No one should ever be committed to a psychiatric ward for threatened or unsuccessfully executed suicide attempts.
By Steve Rudd: Contact the author for comments, input or corrections.
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