Got this in yesterday. I respond after.
You helped me out once before a couple of years ago when I wrote this letter to you. I’ve followed your blog since and I’m still grateful for the advice you gave me.
Depression and the like has still been a part of my life (been in therapy, been given happy pills, been to A&E [Accident and Emergency]) and a part of that has been suicidal thoughts, which, touch wood, haven’t been as prominent recently and haven’t been acted on in over a year now. Indeed, I’ve been discharged from my mental health service, and, as Yazz said, the only way is up, baby.
One of my big challenges regarding my thoughts about suicide is whether suicide is a sin and the whole theology surrounding it. It’s a can of particular wriggly worms I’ve avoided opening but my insatiable curiosity is demanding I find my tin opener and crack it open. I fear the quest for knowledge may take me down a dark route so rather than go to Google, I’ve come to you.
Is it a sin? Is it forgivable? If it isn’t sinful or can be forgiven, why isn’t it a valid option? And so on, so forth.
Thanks and God bless.
P.S. As a wee update, I’m no longer in the ministry [see her previous letter] and instead run my own blog. My parents are accepting of me now and I am currently courting a lovely lady. University is fantastic too.
If by “sin” you mean an act which brings the punishment of being sentenced by God to hell, then no, suicide is not a sin. God’s not going to respond to a person who has been so destroyed by life that they’ve violently removed themselves from life by, of all things, punishing that poor soul.
If, however, you agree with me that sin is virtually any act which breaks God’s heart, then yes, suicide is one of the worst sins a person can commit. Imagine being a parent, and watching your adored child take his or her own life.
[I’ve turned off comments on this post. Sadly, when using the Disqus commenting system, which Patheos employs (or perhaps it’s just the way Patheos has it configured site-wide?) doing that deletes all the comments that were there before comments were disabled. So to those who commented here when the post first went up I apologize that your comments are no longer visible. I also want to thank you for the kindness of them.]
I’m the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question: