Is suicide really a sin?
I can't make myself approach 'the brethren' because I know they'll ascribe to me spiritual possession or immaturity or sin (that's just my church culture; it can't be ALL congregations
Justin - we have to have more teaching on real life struggles and compassion for each other in our churches. We often lack compassion for people who are experiencing the level of anguish and pain you describe. Different people handle deep anguish differently. Our superficial platitudes and pat answers dont work then. CS Lewis theology of pain helps little when one is at a place reading Lamentations is uplifting. It is sad when our church friends cant lift us up simply because they dont understand what we are going through. Such restrictive inflexibility reflects the state of our hearts. Often we have such a need to straighten each other out.
It is difficult finding an emotionally safe church environment. Wow what a twist in how it should be, but it is true. High context social settings, where one is accepted or rejected by compliance with indiscernible cues, are difficult to connect in. Maybe I hugged a guy and a gal in a church where men only hug men ... oh bad karma on that one. Break out the pain sticks. On the other hand, often the smaller informal churches arent prepared to really deal with deep seated issues such as you describe. I know because we spent years in search of a place where my son and wife could hear the truth without harsh legalism.
Herein is one reason I am so tough on legalistic religious views. Do you notice that Paul, the Apostle of Grace, wished the teachers bothering the Galatians would mutilate themselves? Both Christ and Paul were harsh with the grace killers, and did not back down from them at all. It cost both men their lives, but there is a lesson here. We have to become grace keepers and get tough on legalism in our midst.
Dan Fugett, Sr Moderator