Thoughts to Ponder

Have we forgotten how to heal a soul?

I felt several months ago that God was telling me to post a page on my website about suicide. I have learned from the other things God has done with my website to just trust Him and do as He leads. I posted a page called "Contemplating Suicide?"

On this page I wrote about my experiences as a Deputy Sheriff, where I investigated many suicides and I openly discussed my thoughts of suicide during a dark part of my life while I was out of God's will.

I tried to tie it all together and let people know that the only real answer is Jesus Christ. I posted it and within days I was receiving messages from people who were thinking of suicide. I tried to honestly answer all that wrote me. I don't candy coat anything and I don't pull any punches. Many of the people who write me after I tell them about Jesus write back and tell me that they are Christians.

It amazes me, that so many believers are so depressed and defeated. When I hear this from these people I go right back at them and tell them the ONLY hope they have is in Jesus Christ. There is nothing else. Most of these people tell me that they have been in counseling, they have been on anti-depressant drugs, etc... You name it they have tried it. Their churches are often the ones who refer them to counselors and psychologist.

Churches today have it all. You need a 12 step program? You can attend one right at your church. Need counseling? You can attend it right at your church or they will refer you to a counselor. Need a psychologist? Don't worry, the church can help with this too, they can refer you to one, or in lots of cases they have one on staff. If you have a problem the church will quickly decide which course of treatment is right for you. You probably have low self-esteem, but don't worry that can be taken care of right in the church by taking the course on finding your significance. You did realize that was what the Bible is about, right? They seem to think that the whole Bible was written so we could find our significance in Christ and in God's love for us.

Yes God does love us, if He didn't He would not have sent His only Son to die for our sins. Yet God's love is only half the story, He also sent His Son to die for us because His holy justice demanded our death for our sins. We were hopelessly lost and under God's wrath, that is why it was necessary for Jesus to die for us. God's wrath, that is an idea you don't hear much anymore.

Many churches don't teach a literal hell anymore. Either they don't believe in one, or they are afraid that it might upset people. Don't you think people will be upset if they end up there and realize they never heard anything about it while they were in church all those years?

If you think I am fired up about this you are right. I received a letter from a 16 year old boy the other day who told me he wanted to die. He was bored with life and just wanted to commit suicide. He also gave me the URL to his site so I could see some of his work. I visited his site and found a section on his hopelessness. I found that I was not the first person he had contacted with his thoughts of suicide. Below I have copied the responses he received from two workers at a "Christian" counseling organization. Their messages are in blue and his comments about their responses are in purple. I have not edited these messages other then take the names out.

Dear -------

When depression sets in it invariably causes the sufferer to view everything from a negative point of view. It sounds as if you may well be clinically depressed (not the same as just feeling unhappy) and may need a course of antidepressants to help get you through this low point. Research tells us that almost a quarter of the population suffers from depression at some time in their lives and the vast majority makes a complete and lasting recovery. Hang in there because the odds are very much on your side. There are many causes of depression and at your age it is possible that you may have a chemical or hormonal imbalance which may well speedily respond to medication. A common symptom of depression is the thought that no one really knows or even cares how we feel. Because of this, it is important that you share your thoughts and feelings with someone; perhaps a close friend or relative. The old saying that a problem shared is a problem halved is often very true. If you feel that writing to me would be beneficial to you then please be assured that I will always be here ready to listen and to help in any way that I can. No one else will see your letters and their contents will not be discussed without your permission. You have noticed that we at **** are Christians and believe that God can and will help us with all our problems if we ask. I would like to pray that you will find a solution to this terrible sadness but I respect your views and will not do so unless you give me permission.

Hoping top hear from you soon

God Bless You

I want a second opinion! so I sent the same email to a different person at the same company organization and this is the reply:

Dear -------

Thanks for sharing how you feel just now. One of our team will be writing to you in more detail very soon.

First thing, you are definitely not alone. A lot of teens do feel just like you to varying degrees. 16 is a stressful time. Of course, just like you, they are still going out, doing things and to an outward appearance seem quite OK. It's a time when you have just about left childhood, and taken on the responsibilities of being an adult and facing life sort of 'on your own'.

It's great that you realise the effect you dying would have on your family. It would certainly near enough destroy them, for sure. Our daughter was very depressed a few years ago (had anorexia too) and had a plan to kill herself before her 21st birthday. It was only a quite miraculous thing that got in the way of the timing of her plan to stop her doing it. Now, a few years later, she is happy and fulfilled with a great job.

One important thing to do is get along to your doctor and explain how you feel (if you have not already done so). Almost certainly, you have a degree of clinical depression, and it is very likely that your doctor will wish to give you some sort of medication. Modern antidepressants can be very good and effective. Your doctor may also suggest some type of counselling with a professional - and again this is a very helpful procedure. Talking stuff through helps us get it into proportion. And, you may know, that guys find it much harder to talk stuff through than girls. Which is why many more of them succeed in killing themselves.

So we are here to talk stuff through just any time. And fine - no religion! Not that I have any interest in playing churches anyway.

Also look up your phone book the number for ***********. You can ring them 24 hours a day and just talk anything through. Email them too. Or even go round and call at their local office. All completely anonymously.

This is just a temporary time for you ------- - you really can make it through.

Special best wishes

This is the greatest bit of crap I've ever read! as I'm typing this I don't feel depressed how can they say I'm suffering from clinical depression? So there you have it people DRUGS ARE THE ANSWER... I wonder if that includes booze & cocaine?

There you have it. In case you are wondering, I did mention Jesus Christ to this young man. I told him that Jesus does love him whether he believes it or not. But I don't want to discuss this young man or my reply to him, those can be found at other places on my website. My point to posting this is that it is so pathetic. It is pathetic that a Christian organization who is contacted by a person contemplating suicide does not once mention the only hope this young man has - Jesus Christ!!!

The young man even sees how bogus their replies are. If you can read this and not get mad or have tears in your eyes then I beg you to get on your knees and ask God to give you compassion. We live in a dying world and we are the only ones who can offer hope, yet sadly we turn people over to Satan. Yes that is what I said, Satan! Give them drugs, give them counseling, but don't mention Jesus it might upset them.

I had the occasion to be the webmaster for two Christian sites besides my own. One was a church site and the other was a non-profit Christian organization. I set both sites up from the very start. I placed a salvation page on both sites. I ended up relinquishing all duties as webmaster of both sites due to time constraints. Soon after I resigned, both sites found someone else to be the webmaster. Both sites were revamped and updated. Both sites removed the salvation pages from their sites.

You can still see how to get to their location, when their services are, who their board members are, what their vision is, etc..., but you can't find out how to get reconciled with the Creator of the universe! This is not sour grapes, I left both sites because I chose to, I think they have the right to change their pages in any way they choose, but I am appalled that they did not think salvation was important enough to even address.

When did we as Christians forget that the only hope for a lost world is Jesus Christ? When did we forget that the gospel is abrasive to the lost? When did we decide that what people think of us is more important then speaking the truth? When did we forget how to cure a hurting soul?

You know it is not that I am so fanatically religious, although many people think I am, it is that when a person asks me why they should not kill themselves I can't think of a good reason outside Jesus Christ. If Jesus is not the answer to their problems then suicide begins to make sense, what else is there to live for?

A person without Jesus Christ in control of their life will never be totally happy. That is why you see so many "Christians" thinking of suicide and depressed and in therapy. They know Jesus but not as Lord of their life. Money can't make a person happy, an intact family can't make a person happy, a good job can't make a person happy, only Jesus can. Satan knows this, that is why he sends them off after everything except Jesus. You can also see this principle in action in the world. Look at how many celebrities commit suicide or die from drug or alcohol overdoses. Fame and fortune could not make them happy. They search for happiness but only find hurt and loneliness.

The world has a disease called sin and we know the doctor that has the cure. It is time we started referring people to Him.

E-Mail Ralph

These devotionals are written by Ralph Dettwiler, and reflect his views.

You should read this page by a guest author whose life was ruined by "Christian" Counseling, including Theophostic prayer: Professional Counseling vs. The Spirit of truth

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