Thursday, June 03, 2010

Wrong Teaching on Suicide

Teachers, let's correct some common but flat-out wrong teaching on suicide.

These verses have been incorrectly used to say that suicide is an unforgivable sin:

"Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him; for God's temple is sacred, and you are that temple." (1 Cor 3:16-17)

Check the context of these verses: they're part of a long passage where Paul is speaking about divisions in the church, and body life.

Also, the English word "you" can mean either an individual or a group. If the context wasn't clear enough, the actual Greek word used here clearly indicates that "you" refers to a group, NOT an individual.

So do not allow people, however sincere, to justify some wrong idea about suicide from these two verses taken out of context.

If I may speak briefly about the issue of suicide, the key issue is always going to be the relationship with Jesus. Suicide is self-murder, and therefore is a sin. But the blood of Jesus covers all sin for those who are redeemed and made a child of God, a new creation. There are far too many situations and factors with suicide to make blanket statements about the state of their soul after death -- except that the redeemed sinner will be in heaven.

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