Suicide: What’s the problem?
In the Welsh town of Bridgend (UK), at least 9 people committed suicide from September 2006 to February 2008, a period of just less than 18 months.
Would it shock you if I said, ‘What’s the problem?’
I certainly hope so. In fact, if you’re a Bible-believing follower of Jesus Christ, I hope you would be appalled at such apathy towards this horrific chain of events. But in Western culture today, ‘Who cares if people are committing suicide?’ has become an increasingly common and logical response by large segments of the population. In fact, some camps in Western society now applaud suicide as a creative, empowering, even necessary solution for not only individuals but for the world as a whole. How can this be?
Suicide: honorable, glorious, or self-murder?
Suicide has long been considered honorable in, for example, the Japanese culture,1 or even ‘glorious’ in parts of the Muslim culture (with the suicide being committed as an act of self-martyrdom while murdering innocent2 people amid Jihad). But the historical Christian view has been that suicide is anything but a good thing. Martin Luther believed at the very least that anyone who committed suicide had been ‘overcome by the power of the devil. [He is] like a man who is murdered in the woods by a robber.’3
John Bunyan, the renowned English Puritan preacher and author, made his views on suicide clear in his famous allegory, The Pilgrim’s Progress. When the main character, Christian, and his companion, Hopeful, are held prisoner in Doubting Castle, Hopeful responds this way to Christian’s desire to die: ‘He that kills another can but commit murder upon his body, but for one to kill himself, is to kill body and soul at once … but let us not be our own murderers.’4
But now, in Bridgend, in the once largely Christian UK, the land of Bunyan (and Wesley, Wilberforce, etc.), ‘Suicide is just what people do … because there is nothing else to do.’5
So what has happened to bring about this radical turnaround?
No surprise, really
This radical turnaround is really no surprise if one considers the dramatic shift away from the Christian worldview in the UK over the last century. This exodus from Christianity (and even from mere church attendance) coincides markedly with the predominant teaching of evolution as fact and the abysmal failure of the church to counter such bold, evolutionary storytelling with solid answers from the Bible—see Bomb-building vs. the biblical foundation and When will Europe wake up?
While believing in evolution by itself does not make someone an immoral person, evolution systemized a rationale for people to live their life without God and the Bible. If we are all rearranged pond scum, rather than created in the image of a Holy God, no absolute morality is possible. Indeed, one is only following evolution to its logical conclusion to say that life has no meaning, absolute truth can’t exist, and nothing is either ‘good’ or ‘bad’.
Save the Planet, Kill Yourself??
The most provocative part of the Bridgend story is the potential connection to internet ‘suicide gurus’, first reported in the Telegraph.6 One such suicide guru, writing under the name Boboroshi, is an American Satanist who describes himself as the ‘outreach director’ for a cult called the Church of Euthanasia, whose four pillars are suicide, abortion, cannibalism and sodomy. According to their website, their slogan is, ‘Save the Planet, Kill Yourself.’ They advocate such radical means in order to save the world from the effects of overpopulation.
But the predicted dire effects of overpopulation, popularized by the atheistic population bombardier Paul Ehrlich have failed to occur. But this doesn’t stop the adulation of this false prophet of doom, nor did his losing a famous bet with economist Julian Simon about dire scarcities of raw materials. Overpopulation is simply a red herring—see also Where are all the people? and The root of the problem. But this hasn’t stopped other evolutionists from claiming that a drastic elimination of much of humanity would be a good thing—see Doomsday Glee: An astonishing lecture makes sense if you understand the evolutionary framework (about Eric Pianka) and Melbourne atheist: the exterminator: Chillingly consistent application of evolution (about John Reid).
And it’s not trivial to point out the monumental inconsistency among the leaders of the Church of Euthanasia. If decreasing the world population is so crucial to the survival of the planet, shouldn’t the leaders of this ‘church’ attempt suicide themselves? (We are not suggesting they should, only pointing out the stark inconsistency between their doctrine and their practice. Same goes for global warm-mongers who preach the need for CO2 reductions by the masses, but fly all around the world on private CO2-spewing jets to preach this.) Perhaps Boboroshi believes he can make a bigger overall impact as the ‘outreach director’; this is the ultimate, devilishly shrewd, example of ‘Do as I say, not as I do’. And Christians are derided as hypocrites!
Friend or foe?
The real reason for this brash doctrine becomes clearer as one delves into the history of the Church of Euthanasia. It was founded by the self-proclaimed ‘Reverend’ Chris Korda, who was inspired by a dream in which he confronted ‘an alien intelligence known as The Being’.7 This ‘Being’ had supposedly benevolent intentions to aid the human race in escaping the terrible problems currently facing planet earth.
Only in our science-fiction-crazed times would such advice be taken so seriously so quickly by so many—see Alien Intrusion for more information. The real intention is far more sinister: the enemy of our souls, Satan, the accuser of the brethren, hates mankind and would love to see as many people as possible kill themselves. His goal is our destruction. And he has manipulated millions into believing that death is a friend.
Now, if you’re familiar with the Bible, you may know that death is portrayed not as a friend but an enemy, resulting from the Fall of Adam (see The Fall: a cosmic catastrophe). 1 Cor 15:26 teaches us, ‘The last enemy to be destroyed is death.’ But if a person has grown up his entire life being told he’s nothing but some rearranged, energized pond scum, existing simply because of some fantastic cosmic accident, there’s no logical reason to call death an enemy. In fact, the entire concept of evolution depends on the death of the weak to keep the system going. Yet the death of a loved one still evokes nagging feelings in even the most evolutionized people of our society; feelings that ‘something just isn’t right.’
A dilemma for Christian compromisers
This disconnect about death underscores a major dilemma for Christians who espouse theistic evolution or other compromise positions that require millions of years. If evolution was a necessary part of how God created all things, or even if the ‘very good’ creation of man and woman was built on the foundation of millions of years of death, bloodshed and disease, then death cannot be the direct result of the sin of a literal Adam in the literal Garden of Eden approximately 6,000 years ago. But if death is not the direct result of sin, then it cannot rightly be described as an enemy, and frankly, the need for a Saviour is totally undermined. Who needs a Saviour if death is not an enemy, and what good is a Saviour from sin if death is not the result of sin? See Understanding death for a more complete discussion of this issue.
Note well how this altered history of death destroys the very Gospel message itself. Many atheists see this connection much more clearly than most Christians. For example, H.G. Wells, the well-known pioneer of science fiction novels, and a prominent eugenicist (see H.G. Wells: Darwin’s disciple and eugenicist extraordinaire), wrote:
‘If all the animals and man had been evolved in this ascendant manner, then there had been no first parents, no Eden, and no Fall. And if there had been no fall, then the entire historical fabric of Christianity, the story of the first sin and the reason for an atonement, upon which the current teaching based Christian emotion and morality, collapsed like a house of cards.’8
Another of the suicide gurus, a Swedish IT worker, boils it all down succinctly: ‘The most basic difference in opinion between me and those who have mailed me, telling me I’m a monster, seems to be that they think that death is an inherently bad thing, while I don’t.’5
Is it any wonder that people are committing suicide at such an alarming rate? They’ve been taught, for generations now, by a scientific and cultural establishment dominated by the evolutionary/millions-of-years worldview, to see death as a friend, or at worst as a welcome escape from a life of pain, while most in the church can only wring their hands and spout vague generalities about why suicide must be wrong. See also Suicide and Evolution.
The Gospel of Christ, or the Gospel of death
But if a Christian believes in millions of years of death before sin, what logical reason does he have to give anyone that suicide is a bad idea? Going a step further, if God used evolutionary means to create life, we would have a most logical reason to encourage the weak to commit suicide. If that were the case, those committing suicide would simply be assisting in God’s creative method.
No! The Bible tells us we must spread the gospel among the poor, the lame, the outcast, people who our society would largely say have every right to commit suicide. The Church of Euthanasia would applaud the outcast for removing themselves from this present world. But Jesus Christ said, ‘Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest’ (Mat 11:28). His rest involves a future where there is no more death, crying or pain (Rev. 21:4).
Armed with the true history of creation, and knowing that every human is a sinner deserving of nothing but God’s wrath, I can say with immense confidence that no matter how bad my circumstances may seem, they are nowhere near as bad as I deserve, because I deserve nothing but God’s wrath. However, even better than that, the true Gospel also tells me Jesus Christ has taken God’s wrath upon Himself for the sake of all who put their faith in Him (Isaiah 53:10). This message, the message of the Cross, is the one we must spread, a message that is ‘foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God’ (1 Cor 1:18).
- See: Catchpoole, D., Can Japan ban hara-kiri? Creation 29(4):31, September 2007. Return to text.
- Here the word ‘innocent’ is used in the original sense of the Latin in nocens = ‘not harming’, i.e. not guilty of a capital crime—not in the sense of sinless. Return to text.
- T.G. Tappert and H. Lehmann, ed., ‘Luther’s Works’ American Edition, 55 Volumes, 54:29, ‘Table Talk’ Philadelphia, Fortress Press, 1967. Return to text.
- Bunyan, John, The Pilgrim’s Progress and Other Select Works, New Leaf Press. USA. 2005. p. 135. Return to text.
- ‘Bridgend Suicides: ‘It just seems normal, fashionable almost…’’, January 24, 2008. Return to text.
- ‘Predators tell children how to kill themselves,’ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2008/02/17/nweb117.xml, February 17, 2008. Return to text.
- ‘A brief history of the Church of Euthanasia,’ <www.churchofeuthanasia.org/history.html>, accessed 2 March 2008. Return to text.
- Wells, H.G., The outline of history–being a plain history of life and mankind, Cassell & Company Ltd, London, UK, (the fourth revision), Vol. 2, p. 616, 1925. Return to text.