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Spirituality

Spirituality

  1. Standard member Hand of Hecate
    Merciless Vagabond
    12 Mar '05 18:59
    I'm hardly a touchy feely kinda guy and more often than not I'll have some flippant sarcastic comment ready at a moments notice. Of course this is all very amusing... to me anyway. However, occasionally the topic of suicide has come up on this site, often in spiritual debate. I'm somewhat disturbed by the cavalier attitude taken towards this topic by some posters. To offhandedly blow off one of the most tragic events that an individual or family can go through is shocking to me.

    To believe that a person so horrendously depressed is condemned to eternal spiritual torment after a life of physical/mental torment is deeply saddening. I feel strongly that no God would foresake such a lost soul.

    The bible's message on suicide is unclear to me and, quite honestly, I would be disappointed if there exists an outright condemnation of suicide in the bible. Contrary to the arguements made in previous threads, I totally disagree that anyone feels that they'll get to heaven faster if they throw themselves on their sword.

    Despair can be an all encompassing pit from which there is no escape. We cannot judge the pressures, real or perceived, that another person suffers under. Its a dangerous conceit to trivialize someone elses pain.

    I sincerely hope, and yes pray, that none of you are ever touched by suicide either on a personal/individual level or through family and friends.

    There is help available 1-800-SUICIDE or online at http://www.samaritans.org/index.shtm 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
  2. Standard member Darfius
    The Apologist
    12 Mar '05 19:28
    Originally posted by Hand of Hecate
    I'm hardly a touchy feely kinda guy and more often than not I'll have some flippant sarcastic comment ready at a moments notice. Of course this is all very amusing... to me anyway. However, occasionally the topic of suicide has come up on this site, often in spiritual debate. I'm somewhat disturbed by the cavalier attitude taken towards this top ...[text shortened]... le 1-800-SUICIDE or online at http://www.samaritans.org/index.shtm 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
    I'm not trivializing anyone's pain. I simply realize that reality is not determined by what we "feel." If you trust in yourself to handle problems, murder yourself without the possibility or plan to repent, then you'll go to hell. We, as Christians, are taught to hand our problems up to God. If you do not do that, then you cannot claim to be a Christian in the first place. It's not a label. It's a personal relationship with Christ.
  3. Standard member Hand of Hecate
    Merciless Vagabond
    12 Mar '05 19:59
    Originally posted by Darfius
    I'm not trivializing anyone's pain. I simply realize that reality is not determined by what we "feel." If you trust in yourself to handle problems, murder yourself without the possibility or plan to repent, then you'll go to hell. We, as Christians, are taught to hand our problems up to God. If you do not do that, then you cannot claim to be a Christian in the first place. It's not a label. It's a personal relationship with Christ.
    As you seem to have taken this as a personal attack rather than a sincere statement of concern, I will admit that I think you have a very haphazard and possibly dangerous approach to this topic. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, hopefully it indicates that you have never had to struggle with this issue in your own life. Such a tragedy will shake you to your spiritual foundations. However, this attitude could lead to your failure to recognize... 'symptoms', if you will, that may effect your own family or friends. Don't let your belief blind you to those that need help and even good Christians commit suicide.

    Still, I don't think you understand what I'm getting at. Very often such an ignoble end, and make no mistake there is nothing pretty or graceful or peaceful about death, is not a choice. What I'm getting at is that in many cases there's no choice in the effected persons mind. A choice may be made in an attempt to at least control how they go out. However, the choice to actually end one's life is rarely there. A sense of inevatibility, severe anxiety and depression often replaces any real choice.

    I understand the concept of "handing your problems up to God" and I am more than willing to concede that this helps. But regardless of how good a Christian you are and how strong your faith is, sometimes you lose the battle. Not all prayers are answered. Maybe this is because you are meant to, that the path you have been given is the right and only one.

    In my opinion, no one is immune to suicide. The Jesus I know would have compassion, even forgiveness, for such tortured souls and gather them up as if they were children.
  4. Standard member Darfius
    The Apologist
    12 Mar '05 20:02
    Originally posted by Hand of Hecate
    As you seem to have taken this as a personal attack rather than a sincere statement of concern, I will admit that I think you have a very haphazard and possibly dangerous approach to this topic. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, hopefully it indicates that you have never had to struggle with this issue in your own life. Such a tragedy will shake ...[text shortened]... mpassion, even forgiveness, for such tortured souls and gather them up as if they were children.
    Then why did He waste all the time with the parables?

    Why not "If you believe in me and love me, commit suicide. See you in a few."
  5. Standard member Hand of Hecate
    Merciless Vagabond
    12 Mar '05 20:16 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Darfius
    Then why did He waste all the time with the parables?

    Why not "If you believe in me and love me, commit suicide. See you in a few."
    That's an interesting question... one that I've actually asked Him many times myself. I don't presume to know the mind of God. However, I do feel that every life touches and effects others in a meaningful... if, unfortunately, a sometimes negative way.

    "See you in a few"? What makes you think the entirity of our lifetimes is anything more than a blink of an eye to God? If I follow your arguement, why do any of it? Why put people on Earth at all? Apparently none of us get out alive anyway.

    While I struggle with this, I would very much like to believe that we all have purpose in this life, even if it is just to support and give guidance to others. To shorten it uneccessarily though, seems like a horrible waste.

    Your approach to this topic troubles me a great deal.
  6. Subscriber BigDoggProblem
    The Advanced Mind
    12 Mar '05 20:16
    Originally posted by Darfius
    Then why did He waste all the time with the parables?

    Why not "If you believe in me and love me, commit suicide. See you in a few."
    Show me where suicide is forbidden in the bible.
  7. Standard member Darfius
    The Apologist
    12 Mar '05 20:29
    Originally posted by BigDoggProblem
    Show me where suicide is forbidden in the bible.
    I have. Murder is forbidden. You're murdering yourself. Is there any way around that FACT?
  8. 12 Mar '05 20:41 / 2 edits

    Suicide is morally not acceptable according to the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. This however doesn't give us the right to assume the selfmurderer will be in hell after his deed. God has an insight into each person that is far beyond our understanding. God judges us, but He does this in a just, truthful, loving and caring way. He understands the pains, the fears, the eventual illnesses and the despair of those who sadly do not see another option to end their suffering but to end their lives. We have no right to judge these people, only God has this right and he exercises it using His infinite wisdom and divine goodness.
  9. Standard member Ringtailhunter
    Track drifter ®
    12 Mar '05 22:36
    Originally posted by Hand of Hecate
    I'm hardly a touchy feely kinda guy and more often than not I'll have some flippant sarcastic comment ready at a moments notice. Of course this is all very amusing... to me anyway. However, occasionally the topic of suicide has come up on this site, often in spiritual debate. I'm somewhat disturbed by the cavalier attitude taken towards this top ...[text shortened]... le 1-800-SUICIDE or online at http://www.samaritans.org/index.shtm 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
    Yes I have seen this too. I have seen people post in response to talk of suicide in a manner that is telling them to jump or pull the trigger.

    Very disturbing.....and very irresponsible to say the least.


    RTh
  10. 13 Mar '05 01:31 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by ivanhoe

    Suicide is morally not acceptable according to the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. This however doesn't give us the right to assume the selfmurderer will be in hell after his deed. God has an insight into each person that is far ...[text shortened]... and he exercises it using His infinite wisdom and divine goodness.
    I think this position describes most Christian churches.
  11. Subscriber BigDoggProblem
    The Advanced Mind
    13 Mar '05 03:09
    Originally posted by Darfius
    I have. Murder is forbidden. You're murdering yourself. Is there any way around that FACT?
    Murder is a word better used to describe one person killing someone else.

    As the dictionary puts it, murder is "1 : the crime of unlawfully killing a person especially with malice aforethought". Even though a person may commit suicide with the intent of causing guilt in those around him, I can only pity a person whose thinking is warped to such a degree. Unlike a real murderer, the 'suicider' hurts mainly himself.

    The choice of the word 'murder', while technically feasible, seems like an attempt to smear the suicide victim by placing him in the same class as a person who kills others. There's a reason we have separate words for the two acts.
  12. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    13 Mar '05 03:18
    Originally posted by ivanhoe

    Suicide is morally not acceptable according to the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. This however doesn't give us the right to assume the selfmurderer will be in hell after his deed. God has an insight into each person that is far beyond our understanding. God judges us, but He does this in a just, truthful, loving and caring way. He understands th ...[text shortened]... ople, only God has this right and he exercises it using His infinite wisdom and divine goodness.
    What I don't understand is that you say, "god has an insight into each person that is far beyond our understanding." So in this instance, god is beyond our understanding. But at the same time you say, "Suicide is morally not acceptable according to the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church." This would be, I presume, because suicide is unacceptable to god.

    What I don't understand is how you can claim to know what god thinks about one thing while claiming he is beyond your understanding on other things. It doesn't make sense. Either god should be knowable to man, or he should be unknowable. To claim some blend of the two seems to be just asking for trouble to me.
  13. 13 Mar '05 03:45 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by rwingett
    What I don't understand is that you say, "god has an insight into each person that is far beyond our understanding." So in this instance, god is beyond our understanding. But at the same time you say, "Suicide is morally not acceptable ...[text shortened]... some blend of the two seems to be just asking for trouble to me.
    It seems to me that is a problem that keeps cropping up in these threads—the question of what can be known about an ultimately unknowable God, or a God that cannot be known perfectly by fallible human beings. That is why there is so much disagreement about the concept of Biblical inerrancy.

    The most human beings can do is to form provisional understandings based on interpretation (hermeneutics). Some of these understandings become “codified” in doctrine. But they are always, in the final analysis provisional. Whether or not suicide is immoral, from the point of view of the Bible or church tradition, is a question of interpretation. To move from that interpretive understanding to saying something like, "So God must..." or "God necessarily will...", I think is a fundamental error.

    Faith, generally, is a decision made, on the basis of whatever evidence, under conditions of uncertainty. Faith is not what I think, or know for certain. “Belief” has come to mean what I “think.” “Faith,” in the sense of the NT Greek (pistis) meant trust or confidence, not knowledge, but not “blind belief” either. You make a decision and you act confidently on it, even in the face of uncertainty. That’s what a quarterback does when he throws the football.
  14. 13 Mar '05 04:13 / 4 edits
    Originally posted by rwingett
    What I don't understand is that you say, "god has an insight into each person that is far beyond our understanding." So in this instance, god is beyond our understanding. But at the same time you say, "Suicide is morally not acceptable ...[text shortened]... some blend of the two seems to be just asking for trouble to me.
    Rwingett: "What I don't understand is how you can claim to know what god thinks about one thing while claiming he is beyond your understanding on other things. It doesn't make sense. Either god should be knowable to man, or he should be unknowable."

    Firtsly I do not claim to know what God thinks. I cannot read God's mind.

    The triune God has chosen to reveal Himself to mankind in his creation, in the history of the Jewish people, in the Scriptures, in the teachings of the Church and in His son Jesus Christ. That's why He, the triune God, is knowable. He chose to let Himself be known. The initiative comes from Him.

    On the other hand the triune God is unknowable if we try to locate him or try to prove His existance. In other words if we try to gain power over Him. If we take the initiative we will experience it will always fail. Knowing God without accepting His revelation, His initiative, His invitation, is impossible. When God decided to come to earth we indeed located Him, we took Him prisoner and we killed Him. We took the initiative to try and have power over Him. He proved us wrong by raising from the dead.
  15. Standard member Nemesio
    Ursulakantor
    13 Mar '05 05:19
    Originally posted by ivanhoe
    The triune God has chosen to reveal Himself to mankind in his creation, in the history of the Jewish people, in the Scriptures, in the teachings of the Church and in His son Jesus Christ. That's why He, the triune God, is knowable. He chose to let Himself be known. The initiative comes from Him.
    I have to ask: do you believe that this history quoted above represents
    the entirety of God's revelation and, furthermore, that this revelation is
    sufficiently untainted by the human hands that recorded it?

    It is a very important question.

    Nemesio