(Pretty Much) Whoever Commits Suicide Shall Have Eternal Death
Whenever I read public stories of suicide I get my antennae out, and hope to find signs of healthy Christian thinking. Mostly, I fail.
The suicide of the (in the US) famous former (American) Football player Aaron Hernandez has led a bad Catholic magazine (no link to them) to say that “perhaps Hernandez was a genuine believer”. This, the poor lambs write because it was found that Hernandez had “John 3:16” written on his forehead and on his bible.
A genuine believer does not commit suicide. A genuine believer accepts the sentence he has brought on himself and decides to atone for his deeds for as long as the Lord gives him to live. A genuine believer recognises in his deserved fate the instrument of Providence put at his disposal by a merciful God to allow a murderer to die, in God’s time, at peace with Him.
It seems absurdly difficult to construct Hernandez’ suicide as anything other than executed in cold blood and, therefore, certainly deserving of hell. The preparation of the suicide (I spare the details to the sensitive) went on for minutes. Actually, the very writing on his forehead further corroborates this. This wasn’t a momentary lapse of sanity. This was planned. We do not call this “being a genuine believer”. We call this “being, with extremely high probability, one for Satan”. He might have repented in the last seconds, in the jaws of death already. But this very faint hope can not be blown into something like “belief”. Particulalry so, when this alleged evidence of faith was given exactly in preparation of the suicide, and therefore proves nothing more than the arrogance of another one who thinks he can make his own religion as he sees fit.
Suicides is punished with hell. It is extremely reasonable to suppose that the vast majority of suicides go to hell. It is reasonable to suppose that premeditation is a clear sign of an extremely high probability of hell. What the suicide thinks of his faith is utterly and completely irrelevant. Suicide is who suicide does. Unless perfect contrition intervenes before death it is hell, period.
Hernandez quote seems to indicate a tragic defiance of Christ in the very moment in which he claims to belong to him. It is a mockery, not a witness, of Christianity. And woe to the one (be him a priest, a journalist, or whatever else) who downplays the horrific, bloodcurdling reality of the suicides’ hell trying to invent a kind of spiritula life in a man full of tattoos, violent outside and inside the jail, and clearly willing to plan the taking of his own life.
Nor can as “excuse” be told that the man had – with a life sentence without possibility of parole – an unbearable burden to bear for a 27 year old.
No burden is unbearable. Particularly when – as in Hernandez’ case – he must have known that he had brought this burden on himself. Yes, I think the death penalty would have been a better closure for all parties involved. But hey, we live in “humanitarian” times. It was evidently deemed better to have the man live a life in captivity at taxpayer’s expense for possibly many decades, rather than admit that we are scared of our own death.
Do not believe those who downplay suicide or try to beautify their murderous perpetrators (yes, the suicide is a murderer: the murderer of oneself). The reality of hell is, again, bloodcurling, and suicide is the safest way to get there.
The news of every suicide must prompt us to pray more, fear the Lord, and take refuge in Him. It must put into us the terror of what could happen to us if we started to let our guard down. It must lead us to a horrified resolve to avoid that fate, no matter what the circumstances. It must be to us a warning that the devil walks around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
Never downplay suicide. Never try to fabricate hypothetical excuses, much less try to present a suicide as a “genuine believer”.
Say a prayer for the man. He is most likely in hell, but your prayer won’t go to waste. And as you pray and think of the very probable destination of the man for whom you are praying, shiver. Yes, shiver. And then shiver again.
May every suicide fortify us in our resolve to – with God’s grace – never do the same.