If Protestantism is the choice, the first problem is that we have chosen a version of Christianity which is only 500 years old. Although Protestantism claims to be a restoration of primitive Christianity–any study of primitive Christianity and the history of the Protestant revolution will show this to be specious. Secondly, if one chooses Protestantism one has to ask “which expression of Protestantism is the correct one?” The Protestant will say it does not matter–the only thing that matters is the sincerity of the individual believer. A moment’s intellectual examination of such a proposition will show it to be unsound. If sincerity is the only criteria for truth then anything goes for one can be sincere but sincerely deluded. If sincerity is the only criteria for truth, than anything is true.
So one is left to choose now between Atheism, Catholicism and Protestantism. If Protestantism is chosen it eventually leads to Atheism. Here’s how: Protestantism has no final definitive and defensive authority. In other words, there is nobody to say what is ultimately true or false. Saying the Scriptures are the final authority begs the question because we must then ask, “Who interprets the Scriptures?” Because Protestantism has no final authority every man is his own authority. This fact means that the Protestant must ultimately be either sectarian or latitudinarian. The sectarian separates into his own sect and retains doctrinal unity while cutting himself off from all other groups who disagree. The Latitudinarian retains corporate unity but sacrifices doctrinal unity. In other words, he remains ‘united’ with everyone but the price for this ‘unity’ is that he must allow every man to believe whatever he wants.
Sectarian Protestantism is untenable because of the thousands of different sects. Which one is right? No one can say. Therefore the sectarians must either believe that their little sect is the “one true church” (which is absurd) or become Latitudinarian– saying that all the different groups must be tolerant of one another and allow for everyone to believe whatever they want. Once a Protestant accepts that he is Latitudinarian he must also be so towards every sort of person who calls himself Christian. He does not really have the authority to reject other ‘Christians’ with whom he disagrees. If he is thinking clearly he must see that the Protestant with whom he violently disagrees is just as sincere as he is, has his own Bible proof texts, and truly believes that he too, is led by the Holy Spirit. In other words, the Protestant–if he thinks things through clearly–must end up as a Liberal, and the essence of liberalism is relativism, and is he is a relativist, then he must be so in matters both moral and doctrinal.
This is why the Protestants who start by doubting the authority of the church continue by doubting the Christian doctrines and moral teachings and end up doubting the existence of God. Any study of the history of Protestantism will show this to be true.
The link to suicide? Of course this is an extreme statement–hyperbole meant to shock one into thinking things through. No one is condoning or suggesting suicide. However, the two classic reactions to atheism are stoicism and epicureanism. The first says, “You’re going to die. Keep a stiff upper lip and live a noble life before you fall on your sword.” The second says, “Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow you die.” The radical would say, “If there is no God, no afterlife, no heaven to gain or hell to pay, then you might as well finish things now.”
The Catholic, on the other hand, says, “There is a God and he loves you. He made you for a purpose. Stick around a bit longer. So why not become Catholic? Learn to repent of your sins, learn to love God, love your neighbor, love life and eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow you will live forever”