Fly High, Self-Murderer!

Christians say some pretty stupid things sometimes.

On my old blog, I wrote a short series about the cliches we like to abuse, such as “God wants to bless you!”  and  “I’ll pray about that!”     I called them Cutsey Christian Mottoes, which is a category that might also include:

-It’s not my place to judge…

-God’s got this!…

-When God closes a door, He opens a window…

-I’m just a sinner, standing on grace…

I think you get the idea.

Platitudes need to be criticized because they oversimplify a complicated subject.   People tend to throw them around, in order to feel like they’re being supportive, even when they haven’t actually helped anyone.  At all.

(Luckily, “God helps those who help themselves,” amiright?    *cough*)

Anyway,  I’ve called these sayings “cutesy” to speak to their small-mindedness. They are shallow and bland and worthless.  But today I want to talk about that line where Christian Platitudes cross from merely unhelpful into downright evil.

There’s nothing “cute” about how we handle the topic of suicide. 

It’s dangerous.

When someone kills himself, suddenly all of those people who feel it’s “not their place to judge” start doing a whole lot of it!

“He’s resting in Heaven!”

“He’s walking with Angels!”

“Fly High, Old Friend!”

To be fully transparent, I’m struggling with anger for these people right now.

Hey–Christians–stop being “nice” for a second and think about how your words are affecting someone who is contemplating suicide today.

I know we really enjoy writing public letters to the person who’s gone. But he can’t hear us.  (And that’s his fault.)

Telling the dead guy he’s “not suffering anymore” doesn’t do any good.   And even more importantly: YOU DON’T KNOW THAT. 

You’re not the judge, remember?  You’re not God.

You don’t know where the soul of your self-murdering friend is spending eternity, so stop speaking like you do.

Stop referring to suicide as a “peaceful rest,” and talking about how the Dearly Departed is having a great time “flying” around with [insert favorite dead celebrity].   (Note: You don’t know where the soul of that dead celebrity lies, either.)

Does any of this sound harsh?

I’m really not trying to be.

It just bothers me when humans tell pretty lies to each other.   

Yes, I understand suicidal people think the world would be better off without them. I understand that depression and anxiety are classified as mental illnesses and that every day existence can feel like a walk through Hell.  Yes–I know, first hand, the type of psychological torment that causes people to crave death rather than stay and continue fighting the lies in their own minds.

People suffer when their mental illness tells them lies.

Christians need to realize they can’t beat lies with more of them. 


 

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post challenging Atheists to come up with a reason kids shouldn’t shoot their peers at school. You can read the post here.

When an Atheist denies the existence of God, it is the Ultimate Lie, which leads to ultimate suffering.   I believe the reason both suicides and homocides are on the rise is because our culture is swallowing the lie that we’re the products of nothing, for no reason.  And, when humans suffer with those existential questions, the Atheists cannot offer anything except more lies.  (And drugs.)

Now–Theists (especially Christians), it’s your turn.  What would YOU tell someone who confessed they are thinking of harming themselves? And what sort of things are you saying when you learn that a fellow believer has taken his/her own life?

Here are some screenshots for discussion:

 

 

23 thoughts on “Fly High, Self-Murderer!

  1. Askevar

    I had a friend who got drunk one night and told me from several states away that she wouldn’t be there in the morning. I got her to promise we’d talk the next day and called another friend who lived near and knew her exact address who called the police. I was sick with worry. She turned out to be alright after and got help so I’m glad for that.

    Suicide makes me angry. It’s a selfish act. Frankly, it’s the ultimate selfish act. The last time I said that to someone [when Robin Williams died] I got told that I needed to be nicer about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. mrsmcmommy Post author

      Thanks for commenting, Askevar!

      When people say we need to be nicer, I know what they mean. They want us to empathize with the person who is suffering, and say encouraging things so they won’t feel alone.

      Unfortunately, I think many of them are confusing “empathy” with “enabling.” And now we’re encouraging so much that we’re encouraging suicide.

      It’s a lose-lose unless we stop trying to please people and just speak the truth no matter what happens.

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      Reply
  2. insanitybytes22

    Yes, amen! Thank you for addressing this, it’s my pet peeve too. Depression lies to us and when Christians lie to us too, there is nothing stable for people in a traumatized state to hang onto.

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  3. Wally Fry

    Good word here, Amanda. We have to be truthful in a situation like this. I have never had to deal with it personally, and actually, pray I never will. My son(stepson) is pastoring his first church, and while he has not had to deal with suicide yet, he has preached a few funerals already. Often, the question comes up as to an opinion about where the loved one is. He has had to figure out how to address the question with both grace and truth. Shading truth in these situations could be very bad for those who are the hearers of the shaded truth.

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. mrsmcmommy Post author

      I would recommend admitting that it’s a difficult question and then flipping it back to them, if possible…

      Not that I have a lot of experience handling these things delicately enough to satisfy many people. But that’s my suggestion.

      Honesty, honesty, honesty…

      Like

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      1. Wally Fry

        Actually, that is almost the “textbook” way of handling it. If the survivors are believers, pointing out that they know the deceased better than anybody often reveals the answer. If they family does not believe, then usually during the course of the service they will hear truth, and again can come to their own conclusions. In our work our pastors normally preach a message, so the point is made.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. sklyjd

    Exactly what is wrong Wally, your emphasis that a non-believer in your God will hear your truth about going to hell and not the real truth is complete ignorance. By your own ideological Christian admission, it would be God who decides who goes to hell, therefore why predict your God’s decision and place emphasis non-believers who die will go to hell when you may be wrong?

    This is typical of believers. We do not know what happens after death, this is one reality we are all faced with and an honest answer is we “don’t know” never mind condemning a dead person in front of their friends and family.
    I would be very surprised if non-believers would be in a Church to hear such one sided comments anyway, however in some of those fanatical Bible bashing areas I guess there is not much else on offer.

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    1. Wally Fry

      “By your own ideological Christian admission, it would be God who decides who goes to hell, therefore why predict your God’s decision and place emphasis non-believers who die will go to hell when you may be wrong?”

      Oh. And that is actually a lie. I have never said that nor written it. You have heard somebody say that ABOUT me, that I believe that. Again Steve you prove that you are stupid, or a liar, or perhaps both

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    2. mrsmcmommy Post author

      Sklyjd,

      Can you understand the difference between warning unbelievers that God judges souls, and telling the unbeliever, for sure, which decision God made?

      “People who reject God will spend eternity separated from him” vs. “I’m certain your Uncle Joe definitely is in Heaven/Hell.”

      Do you see the difference?

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply
    3. sailordale

      Ok, while it is NOT our call to say exactly where a person went after they die, we can discern by their
      life. We have multiple promises from God that if a person is a Born Again Christian that they WILL go to Heaven!
      Likewise, we also have very many promises that if you are an atheist, or a non believer (Not Born Again) that you definately will NOT go to Heaven!
      We have God’s Word in the Bible that gives us much guidance. That makes it easy to make a great guess……
      How about YOU??? Is Jesus Christ your personal Lord and Savior??? Are YOU born again???
      IF you answered NO, then that means that you probably will NOT go to Heaven!!!
      IF you are not happy with the outcome of that, you can change that now, while you are STILL Alive….

      Just let us know, and we will be happy to help you!!!

      Like

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      1. mrsmcmommy Post author

        I tend to prefer asking Steve (and Ark) questions rather than trying to answer them directly.

        In my experience, they are attention seekers–not truth seekers.

        Liked by 1 person

    4. Clyde Herrin

      Most people don’t know what happens to us after death but anyone can know by reading what God has revealed in the Bible. There are two possible destinations. Instead of criticizing what others say, perhaps you should start reading the Bible to find out where you will end up. And if you don’t like your destination, the Bible tells how you can change it.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. mrsmcmommy Post author

        These Atheists don’t believe the Bible is God’s revelation, Clyde.

        I appreciate the suggestions because you’re not wrong. But you’re about seven steps ahead of Sklyjd. He doesn’t understand what “God” means in the first place.

        Liked by 1 person

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  6. Randy Epps

    There is a difficult line to draw when one is saying things to one who is feeling so much pain because of the suicide of a loved one.
    Truth is always better than lies, but wisdom guides us into speaking the truth, in love.
    Good writing here, Amanda.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  7. sklyjd

    Hello Amanda and friends. God to atheists means many things and thoughts that range from indoctrination, fearfully motivated love and empty promises, dedication and subservience to nothing, mythical fairy stories of devils and angels, recycled stories from the most ancient religions, anti-science, the young Earth, rape, genocide, death and destruction, talking animals, discrimination, slavery, child beating, paedophile priests, witches and much more.

    Of course, all religions on Earth can be summed up in one or two words but I will leave that to your imaginations considering you use it a lot.

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    1. mrsmcmommy Post author

      Hi, Steve!

      Would you mind sharing what you believe my post is about? It’s hard to respond to posts when I don’t understand them… So it would help a lot if you could summarize what you think I’m saying in the op-ed.

      Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. mrsmcmommy Post author

        I’m really not sure why he keeps responding… I mean, I know he was trying to make a jab at Christians with that last sentence. But hasn’t he figured out yet that I don’t take that bait?

        I will be very insistent that we stick to the questions I asked in the op-ed.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: The “Suicide Awareness” Script is Deadly | Cultures at War

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