Over the last 6 years numerous pastors from churches in America have killed themselves. I kept count, for a while, until the suicides were happening to often to keep up. I am not sure of the statistics, but it is possible that suicide among pastors has been a regular, albeit hidden occurrence (due to the rather necessary stigma attached to it). Maybe in the age of social media, families and churches cannot cover up an attempted or successful suicide, as in previous times.
The point is that whenever we read or hear of a Christian committing suicide, especially among those who lead, we ought to be very, very troubled. But rather than sound the alarm that the enemy has gotten into the camp and is killing, stealing and destroying, we seem to be more concerned over the final destination of those who have taken their lives.
Recently Andrew Stoecklein attempted to kill himself in the church he led, as the senior pastor. He did this without saying goodbye to his three boys all under the age of 8. I have written “attempted” because he did not quite finish himself off, therefore his 29 year old wife, had to suffer hours of torment in the hospital, as the rest of his life ebb out; imagine how horrible that must have been for her.
This story is familiar, to far too many saints over the last six years, as many of them have been reported by the Christian Post. Following such high profile suicides, far to many Christians and “evangelical leaders”, are in a hurry to excuse the suicide, and pronounce the deceased to be in heaven, because the person “accepted the Lord”.
Once again, this should be very troubling, as we live in a culture where life is cheap; from murdering the unborn, to racial hatred growing in all colors of people, to moving towards euthanizing the old, the in-firmed, or those who simply no longer want to live. Consider that one can download and app, which targets teens, for the purpose of egging them on to commit suicide. Police in cities across the U.S. have been notifying parents of the power of this app, and how normal kids can become suicidal through us of the app.
The church must awaken not only to these dangers, but be very concerned about the potential power of sinful example in suicide, producing the same corrupt fruit in others. This concern should be as great as our concern over abortion, or sexual immorality and perversion; and even greater than our worry of politicians that are contrary to our biblical view point and lifestyle.
No matter what side of the eternal security we debate one stands, we ought to recognize how quitting on life and hope in Jesus, in leaders will lead to quitting on life and hope in Jesus, in some or many who follow.
Below I have include a link to the article from the Christian Post, where Andrew Stoecklein’s widow, declares he is in heaven, as well as denouncing what she calls the “myth” that suicide victims are condemned to hell.
Although I do not uphold her position on either, I also do not condemn her for trying to grasp some small thread of hope (as thin as it may be). This devastated woman is trying to make sense out of a senseless act, which has not only devastated her own person, but also the lives of her three precious sons; whose pain I cannot even fathom.
Please read the article and leave your thoughtful opinions in my comments section. I will not answer all comments, but hope to read your biblical informed viewpoints.
This coming Sunday (9/26/2018), I will be sharing a message entitled “Suicide Solution?”, which deals what the Word of God says about the consequence of suicide for the one taking their life, as well as in those who are left behind. Join us at 10:45 a.m. at the Savior’s Chapel, if you are in Greece NY — Brother Mike
Below is the link