Popular church doctrine leads many to commit suicide
Suicide is a tragic and potentially preventable public health problem. In 2000, suicide was the 11th leading cause of death in the U.S ...
Suicide deaths outnumber homicide deaths by five to three. It has been estimated that there may be from eight to 25 attempted suicides per every one suicide death.
The alarming numbers of suicide deaths and attempts emphasize the need for carefully designed prevention efforts. —National Institute of Mental Health
Now, well-known risk factors for suicide are chronic depression, drug abuse, and physical or sexual abuse. But did you know that a popular church doctrine is also a culprit?
The fact is that many churches teach that at death people are immediately transported to the abodes of bliss in heaven (the doctrine of the immortality of the soul). People who commit self-murder are commonly eulogized by their friends and the minister, and carried directly to heaven at their death. This teaching about the state of the dead has led many to commit suicide.
The false belief of rejoining someone who has died when one commits suicide is a predisposing factor in both youth and elderly suicides. Fortunately, not all churches teach this doctrine.
Here is what a faith reformer has to say about this kind of theology: "This is Satan's own doctrine, and it does his work effectually. Should we be surprised that, with such instruction, wickedness abounds? ...If it were true that the souls of all men passed directly to heaven at the hour of dissolution, then we might well covet death rather than life. Many have been led by this belief to put an end to their existence. When overwhelmed with trouble, perplexity, and disappointment, it seems an easy thing to break the brittle thread of life and soar away into the bliss of the eternal world." The Great Controversy, pp. 538, 539
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NOTE: Please click here to read what the Bible teaches about the state of the dead.