Tag Archives: Suicide

The Misery of Being Your Own God

Every morning the tug to over throw the King renews. 

Albert Camus said that the modern man–who’s –could be the “master of his days” if he scorned the gods, hated death and loved this life.

Indeed, he would conclude that the universe without a master seemed neither sterile or futile–but rich in life and happiness.

Noble in theory. Dismal in practice.

We’re All Fools

The fool says in his heart “There is no God.”

But he doesn’t necessarily believe that. He believes there is no God, capital G. But there is one–him.

Little g.

David was correct in saying he was a fool. And the Bible is full of examples of those who chose to be masters of their days.

Nebuchadnezzar ate grass and wandered the hills on all fours. Belshazzar blanched and went limp at the sight of a human hand writing his fate on a wall. Jezebel was cast to the dogs. Herod was struck down by a dreadful disease in his bowels that ate him alive from the inside out.

Fools, indeed. But we’re all fools if not for His Grace.

In fact, God will spare most of us from those extreme ends. We won’t see that kind of humiliation.

We may end our lives quietly. Or full of bitter and gall. But the only true happiness we can talk about is that we are glad that it is finally over.

Of course, we may experience spikes of happiness. But nothing will fully satisfy us if we remain our own god. We are like the grave–never satisfied.

Slave to self. Slave to Satan.

Happiness Is a Warm Gun

In my own life being my own god is always ends with much disappointment, frustration and misery.

What can you expect when the one on whom you depend is broken? No doubt the idea that you can accomplish anything as long as you set your mind to it was plucked from hell.

It’s a fool’s bargain.

Camus’ fault was that he believed men crave happiness. So, like many philosophers, he offered his own version of how to get it.

But men do not crave happiness. Ultimately, they crave God in whom’s image they have been made.

They crave the eternal, and happiness becomes a cheap substitute. An idol that does not breathe nor talk nor hear.

Only eludes.

Your Turn

Listen: don’t chase happiness. Chase the creator. Pursue your maker. And protect yourself against the temptation to be your own god…

Because at night you may lay your head on the pillow satisfied that you handed your life over to your Master for that day. But come morning the tug to overthrow the King renews.

You must master that perennial urge to rebel. Pray to God to give you the strength and He will.

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Suicide, Shame, Sorrow and Jesus’ Resurrection

While wandering around the  yesterday with my family I kept thinking to myself, “I wonder if my children will grow up to be geologists or pollen scientists.”

Then it hit me.

I could encourage them to go this route…and for the rest of their lives they’d pour over geology books…

Sift through the sediment found at the bottom of a lake…

And write articles for the .

And that’s it.

Not that a career in geology or pollen science wouldn’t be meaningful or significant. It’d just be provisional. Short-sighted. One-dimensional.

In the end, I would have missed it if I said, “Look how vast and beautiful and strange the world is. You can spend the rest of your life exploring and learning about it.” And stopped there.

I might as well have said, “Open your mind. Drink deep. .”

Suicide as the Mechanism to Remove Shame and Sorrow

In early 2007, a Japanese cabinet minister committed suicide just hours before a bribery probe. Mental health experts were shocked. Not by the suicide. But by the governor of Tokyo who .

In 2008, nearly 100 people in Japan . And it’s suicide hot line handles 700,000 calls a year.

See, in Japan, suicide is an acceptable way to avoid shame.

This view has its roots in Japan’s ancient Samurai history and Buddhist religion. To avoid shame, Samurais would kill themselves. And while Buddhism doesn’t promote suicide neither does it prohibit it.

Therefore, suicide is the mechanism to erase shame and remove sorrow.

Yet, this is a repulsive practice when it . And I could not imagine any father being but dumbfounded if his son committed suicide.

 A Strange Subject on Easter

It may seem odd to end to a week of posts on the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ talking about suicide. But there is much involved.

For example, if Dan Barker and the anti-supernaturalist co. are right and the dead CAN’T be raised from the dead, then… Christ is still in his tomb, the Gospel is not true, our faith is groundless, we misrepresent God, our work is senseless, we are still in our sins, death is it, life is futile and we are pathetic.

But if they are wrong and the , then Christ has risen, the Gospel is true, our faith is hopeful, we represent God truthfully, our work is significant, our sins are forgiven, death doesn’t have the last word, life is ultimately meaningful and we are envied.

Jesus’ Resurrection as the Mechanism to Remove Shame and Sorrow

Frankly, no godless intellectual giant offers any life system that I could feel good offering to my children. No secular poet sings a song I wouldn’t mourn if written by one of my children. No political leader articulates a plan I could embrace as true hope for my son or daughter.

In essence, no man who’s ever walked on this earth is worth trusting. Except one–Jesus the God-man who redeems us from suicide, sorrow and shame.

Late in his life  once said he hoped that his paintings could be a lifeboat for someone cast away in the sea of uncertainty. Noble, but worthless coming from someone who took his own life.

To me, the defense and the spread of the resurrection of Christ is an issue to die for.  Not only because it exalts Jesus, but because it has the power to invest ultimate meaning into the lives of people, especially those whom I love, like my children.

So while I’ll encourage my children to pursue careers they enjoy–whether as a scientist or poet–I can’t neglect the very spiritual and existential task of telling them about the one who lived, died and rose from the dead to rescue them from the shock and shame of sin.

Theology Will Keep You from Committing Suicide

Answers to the hard questions of life can subdue our death instinct.

A systematic study of what the Bible says about a particular topic is theology proper.

It’s a pursuit every Christian must vigorously and regularly engage…

Because it’s the means by which we answer the hard questions of life.

Questions like who am I? Why are we here? What is God? What happens when I die? Do I have a soul?

Questions no one is immune from. And questions science ultimately can’t answer.

NIH Director Francis Collins put it this way:

Belief in God was for me anyway, a much more defensible, plausible position. Not something I could prove but something that made great sense and also provided a powerful answer to some of the biggest questions we all ask of our selves and that science can’t really help us with. Like why am I here? And what does life mean anyway?

Without thoughtful, coherent answers to our big questions, life makes no sense at all.

It would be nice if we could simply stop asking those questions. But that’s impossible. We are forever curious. We constantly ask these questions.

We are natural-born theologians.

To look for the answers outside of Christ, however, leads to confusion. All other disciplines lead to dead ends. Isolation. Incoherence.

As  at the Evangel blog, “A secularist worldview is hopelessly fractured…. There can be no meaningful interpretive key for knowledge because there is only disintegration and brokenness among the various stakeholders.”

Theology, on the other hand, offers us a relentlessly unified, comprehensive answer to the hard questions: .

Listen: If our questions go unanswered, everything remains in the air. Everything becomes unanchored.

Without theology, despair looms. Without theology, suicide knocks at our door.

Heavy prices to pay for not believing in God.

Thus theology leads to relevance. In fact, while regarded as a rather stuffy, arid discipline, it’s the cornerstone on which a Christian must build AND maintain his life.

There is no choice. We must use our minds in this pursuit. Let me know what you think.

My Stint with Suicide [or 4 People Who Nearly Killed Me]


This is the counter anti-post to Six Pastors Who Influenced Me. The ugly post, if you will.

And “killing” might be too strong. But hear me out before you chew me out.

Moses Jynweythek 

Cocksure and rugged friend who introduced me to late night drinking binges on school nights, reckless joy rides over narrow country roads and foolhardy fun at the hands of merciless drugs. The point: I was adequately softened to absorb the following influences.

Jean Paul Sartre

When I was 20, through his novel , Sartre introduced me to  and . Still gunnin’ it down country roads, I lived out the fatalistic destiny of a meaningless, boring existence.

Albert Camus

Through , Camus introduced me to the only philosophical question worth answering: Suicide or not? For this addict to purposelessness, Camus was permission to slit wrists. [As tempting as it sounds, I never did.]

Kurt Cobain

What can I say? Cobain was a hero to me. From his first album  to his death five years later. But  devastated me to deep, dark degrees.

I seemed to escape the jaws of fatalism, hedonism and alcoholism after someone “led me to the Lord” around the end of 1996.

But this conversion amounted to nothing more than behavior modification–I shed some bad habits and picked up some good habits. In retrospect, I can see that there was something still dreadfully wrong: I cared about nothing else but me, myself and I.

Thus, suicide still dogged me.

It wasn’t until God peeled back the blinders to my sin–using difficult circumstances and bold preachers–that I truly emerged from the power of these influences.

So, while Moses, Sartre, Camus or Cobain may not have actually tried to murder me, their ideas and lifestyles proved sufficient to smother me.

That’s why I thank God today for bold men and women who proclaim the . The hard truth that overcomes the philosophy and culture of death and darkness, lies and deceit.

The hard truth that radiates with light and life–both in this life and the life to come.