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Is Suicide Unforgivable?

Posted by Radical Resurgence | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 09-11-2014

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In the weeks following Robin Williams’ death, many Christians spoke openly about their belief that those who commit suicide will be condemned to hell. Frank Viola, an author, dedicates his life to applying Christian principles to the modern world, and when discussing Williams’ death, he says he is upset by the lack of sympathy that some Christians exhibit.

“I’m always saddened when people make outrageous claims, are insensitive to those grieving [e.g. the Williams family], and would say things about others that they would never want to be said to or about them,” says Frank Viola. “Jesus taught that human beings need forgiveness, a new life, and relationship with God. That’s what we were created. Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice for the sins of humanity. He took ours sin and shame when He died on the cross, paying its penalty in full on our behalf. His message was repent, trust in Him as Savior and Lord, and receive a new life. The nature of that new life is love — which according to Jesus, is benefiting others at the expense of oneself. Or, as He put it in Matthew 7:12, to treat others as we want to be treated in every situation.”

So why is it that many Christians are so quick to condemn those who commit suicide to hell? “The Bible doesn’t make that statement,” says Viola. “Putting aside the nature of hell (Christians disagree on its exact nature), what brings God’s judgment is not any particular sin. What brings God’s judgment is the deliberate rejection of the salvation and forgiveness of sins that God has offered through trusting in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior of our sins.”

Still, some well-known Christians are adding fuel to the fire by criticizing Williams for the choice to end his life.

“Jesus said that the greatest commandment is to love God with all one’s heart, soul, mind and strength,” Viola says. “And the second greatest commandment is to love others as we love ourselves. That means benefiting them at the expense of ourselves. Jesus is the human face of God and to know God and love with His love is to be fully human.”Read more about author Frank Viola’s view on suicide and mental illness as well as follow him on Twitter.

This excerpt was taken from Opposing Views. Read the full article here. And the fuller article here.

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