Thursday, October 25, 2012

Christianity and Suicide

I recently lost one of my closest friends to suicide. He was a committed part of a church, belonged to a small group, served as an usher, loved to worship on Sundays, and was a fan of long Bible-based sermons. I know this, in part because he was my friend, but also because for several years I was his pastor. His life ended with written notes of apology, and an empty bottle of pills. Many questions have been asked.

My life tends to play a dual role: I am both friend and pastor to many who are grieving over this specific loss. My role as pastor has me in the unique place of hearing so many of these questions, particularly those related to faith. The one question being asked more than anything else, is why? Why did the guy who was always so “happy” and “energetic” take his own life? Sadly, this is the one question for which we have no real answer. To be frank, nothing will ever really answer why he did what he did, at least not on this side of Eternity.

There are, however, many questions that do have answers; most importantly, biblical answers. Here are three questions that seem to come up frequently:
  • Can a person love Jesus, and still commit suicide?
  • Is suicide the unpardonable sin?
  • What is the Christian position on suicide?
Over the next few days I will post answers to the above questions, and if you desire I will answer other questions on this topic. I have wanted to do this sooner, but I needed to grieve too. I am very grateful to the pastors who have loved me through this, and given me support and friendship. I am indebted to them. It is time now for us to begin the healing process by looking to God’s Word and seeking Jesus, the Living Word, for answers to our questions. 

I pray that this series of posts blesses you, and that my life-long friend’s death will in some way bring glory to Jesus. 

Pastor Jeff Ludington

"Crying is all right in its own way while it lasts. But you have to stop sooner or later, and then you still have to decide what to do." 
~ C.S. Lewis