Pastor Commits Suicide While Congregation Waits for Him to Preach

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Rev. Teddy Parker, 42, of Macon, Ga., died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the driveway of his home while his 800-member church waited for him to show up to preach on Sunday morning.

Rev. Teddy Parker, 42, of Macon, Ga., died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the driveway of his home while his 800-member church and his family waited for him to show up to preach on Sunday morning. Parker was pastor at Bibb Mount Zion Baptist Church in Macon and a father of two. He was said to have recently remarked, “Sometimes I don’t feel like God is hearing me.” When Parker didn’t show up to preach, the family went looking for him; his wife was the one who discovered his body.

Russell Rowland, a member of the church, described his pastor to The Christian Post as a “very caring, upbeat guy that cared for people, especially with the kids. He was a good man” who inspired him and showed no signs of trouble financially or otherwise. The church was doing well and they are in the process of building a new church.

However, his family revealed that Parker suffered from manic depression and was on medication. 

“He was suffering with … some emotional issues that he had been dealing with. [He was] in treatment, but he just couldn’t step away from ministry,” Parker’s longtime friend Dr. E. Dewey Smith Jr., senior pastor at The House of Hope Atlanta (Greater Travelers Rest) in Decatur, Ga., told CP.

“He needed to take a break from ministry and the way our culture is, the culture forbids that. How much do you share? How much grace do people allow?” he explained.

“It’s hard to be honest. It’s difficult for some preachers to be honest. Every pastor needs a pastor to kind of lead and guide them. But it’s hard for us to really find that relationship because often pastors are trying to compete with or cremate you. And so it’s difficult to find camaraderie,” Smith added.

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  • ServantHeart2012

    May God comfort Pastor Parker’s personal and church families in this time of sorrow.

  • http://www.jsparkblog.com/ J.S. Park

    Thanks for sharing this. However, I think the picture of the gun on top of the Bible is a bit tasteless. Any chance of changing that? Thank you.

    • http://www.robsorbo.com/ Rob Sorbo

      Agreed

    • Twinsfan1

      I agree. Please remove it.

  • Chisombe

    Why. U could have waited on God. U allowed the devil in ur life. So bad. God comfort family n the church.

    • Cindi

      This poor man had a mental illness. He was suffering and was getting help. I believe that his role as a Pastor made it more difficult to deal with his mental illness, which is a brain disease. My heart goes out to his family and friends during this difficult time. There are too many suicides in the world. People need to have more compassion and understanding for people who are dealing with a very devastating Illness. RIP Teddy Parker

    • Preecher

      Thanks for nothing Chisombe. This is PRECISELY the kind of response that drives this sort of tragedy. You are obviously: A) not in the ministry, B) are the spouse or child of a preacher or C) are in complete denial of how difficult a life it is. “U allowed the devil in ur life.” How COMPLETELY ASSININE a comment!

      • Michael Mcdonald

        He did allow the devil in his life. Its time pastors preach the word and stop tip toeing issues. The family needs support. As ministers we need to tell it like it is. We can’t sugar coat everything. Either their is a heaven and a hell, good or bad or all of this is in vain. Either the bible is the word or it is not, but if you preach the word and live the word then the devil can’t take your soul like this poor pastor. God be with his family.

  • Reuel

    That really saddens me to read as A son of a pastor I know what Pastor suffers and go thru is not easy now in days churches think that pastors are to be treated like a regular employee and forget that they are call they are man of God my prayers go out to the family and the church.
    And I agree the gun on top of te bible is tasteless we don’t live by the gun we live by the word of God the Gospel. God Bless

  • Guest

    That is heartbreaking. My heart goes out to his family and congregation and all those who suffer, especially those in the ministry.

  • GWC

    Sad to hear about this and as a Pastor of a small congregation church, the pressures are tremendous. Praying for his family and church. I 100% agree that the picture needs to change. Poor taste for a picture

  • Arthur

    Unfortunately this is a reality that too few people ever realize or if they do realize they refuse to admit. Pastors are expected to be “perfect”, super-spiritual, flawless. That’s not the case. We are humans with emotions and opinions of our own. And not only do we carry our own burdens but also the burdens of the entire congregation. We listen to everyone’s problems, but who listens to ours? Pastors are some of the least appreciated and most taken for granted people.

  • ISAAC G. HAYNE

    EM ORAÇÃO PELA FAMÍLIA, AMIGOS E IGREJA. UM ALERTA PARA MUITAS IGREJAS E SEUS PASTORES. DEUS OS ABENÇOE.

  • JOSIAH

    There is a bigger problem then the picture and you all are missing it. : (

    • http://www.jsparkblog.com/ J.S. Park

      I agree with you. The picture is absolutely not the point. I’m heartbroken by this pastor’s death and I’ve been sharing this with anyone who cares to listen. I’ve struggled with depression my entire life, so I know where he’s been. Pastors often live in a brutally punishing culture in which there is very little margin for error or imperfection or even honesty. And really, my heart is sick about it. At the same time: I think we can care about both the pastor AND removing the picture. Why not care about both? If it’s not removed, there’s grace for that and it’s fine. But someone has to be the guy to say something about it.

  • beth

    once I read the article, I didn’t remember what the picture even was… when I saw the comments, I had to go back up and look. I’ll be praying for this family and church, and the pastor of my small church-plant.

  • Guest

    I’ve been there. I was on staff of a large church where the sr. pastor took his own life in his church office one morning while the rest of us were in our offices. Cause? Undiagnosed depression. 80% of pastors struggle with some form and extent of depression. (And I admit I am one of the 80%.) But we don’t call it depression. We call it stress and burnout. We don’t want to admit it because we believe it is a sign of weakness and not depending on Christ.

  • Ryan

    Please take the picture down. You’re making an issue of something that shouldn’t even be a part of this discussion. We are here to mourn with the Parker family and the brothers & sisters of his church. We are here to surround them with prayers. And we are all here to learn important matters of depression in the pulpit and how to minister to those in need as well as be ministered to when behind the pulpit. Keep the main thing the main thing. Please remove the picture.

  • Grimful

    It’s a shame that people tend to think that being a pastor involves “working one day a week”. It’s a stressful, difficult job trying to work with people who not only expect you to be perfect but often have a vendetta against you for no other reason than you’re in a position of leadership.

    Add on to that the fact that it’s common to think any weakness we might have comes only from not trusting God enough with our problems and it’s easy to fall deeper into depression.

    It wouldn’t solve everything, but it would be a lot more helpful if the church actually started acting like the Church. Local churches shouldn’t be striving to out do each other and congregations shouldn’t be judging and backstabbing each other constantly. Of course it wouldn’t solve mental illnesses, but an environment where you can actually see the love and grace of God in how members react to each other’s struggles would be a strong step in the right direction.

    I’m not saying we should become “soft” on sin or something like that, but there is a huge difference between an unrepentant sinner who doesn’t care (and should receive church discipline) and a repentant sinner who still struggles and falls but wants to make it through their hardships.

  • Laura Warnock Erxleben

    It is a shame that he felt so much pressure. A pastor needs to be able to step away from the position from time to time. However, so many ministers think they have “to be in charge” of everything and many need to learn to delegate tasks to others whenever possible. That is the purpose for having deacons, committee chairpersons, directors, educational superintendents, and church officers. Hopefully all these people and other members can allow the “preacher” time to prepare, communicate with God, and find peace. I do not know what type of Baptist church this actually is, but Southern Baptist have associations and associational pastors who are available to help the individual pastor. I am praying for his family, his church, and his friends to find peace in the midst of this terrible loss.

    • Robert W Altman

      Most of the people named above ARE the problem. Most don’t know their place in ministry, church folk are a big reason people don’t go to church. I’ve seen southern baptist with a silverware committee. How about love people & don’t gossip, serve people ,serve.

    • victor

      its a pity this happened. the devil has stolen. committing suicide is killing oneself. one is condemned to hell fire. God will help our pastors

  • wisdomneeded

    Tragic. Sad. Hopefully eye opening. There are a lot of “whipped” pastors out there that need not only a pastor themselves, but a loving and caring and sensitive flock.

  • hoffrev

    This is such a sad, tragic, and unneeded event. So many have left good comments about what should change in the pastoral ministry culture, starting in our seminaries and Bible colleges. Not much can be added to what’s been said. I have been pastoring since 1976. For many of those years struggling with depression, not knowing what it was. Then, when through counseling I learned what depression is, and that it is nothing to be ashamed of, I began to slowly minister out of a more healthy frame of mind and heart. When you realize that your brain chemistry is malfunctioning, and needs balancing, you can begin to see yourself as one who needs medical assistance much the same way a person who is diabetic or needs kidney dialysis. You have a brain chemistry that is “off” and needs to be supplemented or, in the best cases, corrected with replacement chemicals. (That’s highly simplified, but you get the point.) We need to give believers, yes even Pastors, permission to have weaknesses. To have ailments. To have “thorns in the flesh” (2Cor. 12:7-10). If it is our “wounded” who make our most compassionate and thoughtful counselors, then why do we feel compelled so often to shoot them because we don’t understand their weakness? We need to start requiring “safe” places of worship for everyone – including the ones who minister to us. They need God’s love and grace just as much as you, sometimes more!

  • jd6121

    Every week I try to bring awareness to how much we need to care for our Pastor. Most people are too wrapped up in self to even bother spending extra time to see what the Pastor needs. It’s heartbreaking to see a man give 110% day after day and yet nobody connects enough to know anything of his struggles. There are plenty of people ready to bring a list of their dislikes, faults they see in him, but to find 1 who will say tell me what you are struggling with and give a helping hand…few and far between. The Bible clearly teaches us God honors those He has called to lead, yet we fail miserably in this area. Lord please help us do better! This breaks my heart. Not just this man’s story but the struggles I see repeatedly in almost every Pastor I have ever known. We will pay $100 plus to go to a sporting event and complain, get mad and sometimes leave the church if asked to give anything towards appreciation of our Pastor 1 day out of 365. Yet who is the first one we call when tragedy or need strikes our family? Who is the first one at church, the last one to leave, the one leaving his wife and kids to go take care of yours??? NOBODY but the Pastor.

  • Silang Bible Baptist Church

    Christians, always PRAY for your pastor..,

  • Michelle Shin

    My thought and prayer is with the family especially his two children. I think we all need to take a good care of ourselves. Self care should be mandatory for all pastors. Yet, mental illness should be taken more seriously. And finally, May you rest in peace…

  • tammy

    Prayers for this family and all pastors. So often people don’t see past the church services, a pastor is 24/7-365. They are human and ya know even Jesus took a break. This is so sad

  • pastor charles obuh

    My prayers for his dear family and saints, To our so call mega churches and mega pastors with all due respect give us pastors who do not pastor a mega church a shoulder to lean on and a loving heart too, Jesus never drove john the baptist away because he had arrived he allow him to fulfill his ministry still. please allow us too. Thank you.

  • Joey

    The last paragraph is the saddest part of the whole article. Yes,the pastor committing suicide is bad and my heart goes out to the family. It is horrible to think that pastors sees other pastors as competition and not fellow workers in Christ who should be supported and encouraged.

  • Cayce

    So sad. My thoughts and prayers are with his church and family!

  • Marilyn Adkins Pendergrass

    Prayers for his family and congregation and remember God is with you.

  • Guest

    This is so tragic. Again, I think some of this lends to the current model for most of the Christian church these days with the pastors being on this unapproachable, idolized position where they feel they need to be perfect all the time. This creates lack of accountability, instability, loneliness and fear-right where the devil wants that pastor. I believe the body of Christ really needs to search their hearts to find out what the Lord is saying today-are we really doing this the right way. One man (or woman) leading hundreds, thousands every week while the majority of the body just sits and receives their 1 hour feeding? How about a return to NT Christianity? Keep the meetings smaller, and diversive with everyone contributing and letting the Holy Spirit use every believer equally…the house church model becomes very appealing at this point. I grieve for the family and this church fellowship. Lord have mercy on us.

    • Joe B.

      Very well said. I was in ministry for years before the Lord called me out of my “staff” position. I am convinced that pastors carry too much of a burden that isn’t theirs to carry. They feel the responsibility to build the church and make it “work”. But Jesus said that He will build His church. Maybe He wasn’t referring to buildings, organizations, and institutions as much as a community of people that love God and love each other. The role of pastor in the NT didn’t seem to be one man that “had the vision” for all the people, or had the “word for the hour” as much as one that had a shepherds heart. One that was more like an elder in the community. We all need older and wiser men (and women) to lead us. And the gift of the NT is that Jesus now speaks to each of us directly through the Holy Spirit! So where the OT had priests, the NT makes us all priests unto God! Now when we come together each of us has something to bring. There was no clergy/laity distinction in the NT church. Anyway, I could continue, but I will leave with this… I see God awakening His Church now. I think stories like this are making us think more about the “model” that we have followed for years and through our praying and searching He is bringing us into a new reality of true church life. And I couldn’t be more excited about that!

  • Darin Richard Roberts

    This is truly tragic, from many sides. I feel for the family and will pray for them. I feel for the man – my wife spent 10 years in therapy and on meds for childhood “trauma”, and I know the pressure, pain, and doubt it causes. Lastly tragic for the church – they lost their pastor in a way that creates questions in all.
    My grandfather was a fighting drunk – not a good fighter but drunk would TRY to take on all comers – who got saved in his late 30’s. He fell in love with God, with the word, and let God radically change him. He wanted to become a pastor, but realized quickly that GOD had not called him to do that, so he vowed to GOD that no matter where he was, he would always be the Pastor’s best friend, regardless of if the Pastor thought they needed one. Until his dying day, he would call his Pastor two or three times a week just to ask how he was REALLY, and to tell the pastor he was loved. At least once a week he would take the Pastor for a meal. When he and Grandma went on a ski trip, cruise, fishing trip… Pastor and his family were always invited, with Grandpa picking up all charges.
    Grandpa attended four churches in his Christian years, having to move for jobs, but every church, he did the same thing. He taught his 2 boys this, and all his grandkids would regularly hear “If your last name is Roberts, you are the Pastor’s best friend.” One of his sons (my uncle) is a Pastor, and 3 grandkids, and 4 great grandkids are all ministers, some Pastors and some in other ministry positions.

    This man needed someone, a godly, trustworthy, loyal person to say to him “how can I help you? I am here for you!” and when they would see the pastor needing a break, would have spoken up for him. I know “Good friends” are hard to find as a pastor, but I will be one to MY pastor, my kids will be there for their pastor. I only pray more would be there for their pastors too. I am truly sorry that this man did not have that!

  • EVance

    So sad and tragic. As the daughter of a pastor, I beg Christian congregants to pray for their minister and his family. The position and title make it seem they could be immune to difficulty. THEY ARE NOT AND NEITHER IS THE FAMILY! If anything, the pastor and family may be subjected to more assault from the devil and those who would seek to destroy a ministry. God be with this man’s family and the church members left to grieve.

  • laurabowman

    As a former pastors wife, I totally understand the isolation that can be there. There can be the competive feeling & that some are out to get you, however, we did find friends among our fellow pastors. We were advised to not get close to our congregation, however we ignored that advise, albeit we were careful of who & what. You have to go & make friends. Trust God and be discerning. Even at that we did have some stab us in the back & betray us but knew God never would.

    • John-Peter Demsick

      Thank you SO much for rejecting that horrible advice to not get close to you congregation. Life is messy, people are messy, and every pastor will be back stabbed, just as Jesus was by Judas — in fact, in a strange way they are called to it — but God desires every pastor have the comaraderie Jesus experienced with his disciples, who rested on his breast, drank from the same cup, struggled to stay up nights together, and become one as he is One.

  • Andy Flosn

    It’s the lord’s will, right?

    • emcy

      Lord’s will? what? Lord’s will to kill his self? dont even include God in this situation. He has nothing to do in this!

      • Andy Flosn

        I just thought that, based on what the good book says, everything that happens is part of god’s plan and therefore this guy wasn’t meant to go to heaven and possibly never was a true believer given the nature of his passing

    • mariedel

      Definitely…its not Lord’s will. Gods will is to let people enjoy serving and magnifying HIM. Every Pastor should be covered with prayers by his congregation and that is the church.

      • Gordon Moore

        This has NOTHING to do with this pastor’s suicide. But your statement that God’s will is to let people enjoy serving him does not quite ring true Biblically. I doubt Paul enjoyed the countless times he was beaten, but he was in the center of God’s will. God’s will is for us to glorify him for certain. However, he makes not promise for us to enjoy it. In fact, we are promised tribulation.

      • Andy Flosn

        I’m just glad he didn’t go all in and do it in front of the congregation. Leaving his kids and wife behind and being discreet about it was a good decision and I’m glad the lord didn’t make him do anything crazier

  • Mike

    Two important truths are revealed through this tragedy. The value of comradry and the lonely vacuum of isolation. Many of us in life and ministry have experienced both.

  • Mick

    McDonald, the bible makes it clear that we have 3 enemies the world ,the flesh ,and the devil. You cannot say the devil took his soul, for if he was trusting in Jesus for his salvation then he is in glory with Jesus. He clearly was struggling with his earthly tabernacle ( his flesh) and lost in himself he made a wrong and faithful decision the leave his family. But please don’t say it was the devil who took his soul you don’t know that! And as my friend who preaches in a ct. Prison say to the inmates ” we on the outside
    are just 1 bad decision away from being in here with you! DmS

  • Steve Williams

    Michael McDonald, would you explain why you think the devil took the soul of this pastor?

  • natly

    It is always very important for pastors and their family to have covenant partners, who can listen and accept who they are and not judge them, in that way they can release all the stress and get wisdom too.

  • Maurice E. Gilbert Sr.

    Well, it looks like the man isn’t even cold yet, and people are already committing him to hell; and many of the remarks are actually directed at each other rather than praying for the family of the deceased! NO ONE on this earth knows what was in the man’s heart and NO ONE on this earth knows where his final destination is! PERIOD! So all of you nay sayers, shut the F up! Period!

  • Leslie Victorious Champion Mar

    Prayers for the church. and the family and loved ones affected!! It’s a very difficult loss to endure! But I can assure you it does get easier… My dad was a pastor, and I lost him to suicide as well…. *although he was out of ministry at the time of his death* .. But in any case because of the way I was raised… It was heart wrenching cause this was a man I looked up to, for guidance , and advice, for comfort , for direction … He raised me to think that suicide was wrong, immoral and that ppl that take their life go to hell… Being he choose to leave this world that way… I was conflicted left me on a huge mission to get to the bottom of that and to search out for truth! What I have learned is in all honesty! NO ONE KNOWS ANYONE’S ENTERAL DESTINATION, REGUARDLESS Of their cause of death 2nd NO WHERE IN THE BIBLE DOES IT STATE YOUR ARE Dammed to eternity in hell because you take your life, Not by any means condoning the behavior but for ones like me who have lost a loved one this way it does bring a sense of peace! I found only in LUKE Does it state the “unforgiveable sin” which is NOT SUICIDE It is actually blaspheme … and any of the suicides in the bible which their are 7 that are known that the bible talks about none does it state Jesus condemned them for their choice or for their mental conflictions. I’M JUS SAYING From personal experience I hope my view helps bring peace to those who are struggling with the grief of this loss. … BUT I AM A TRUE PRODUCT THAT God can and WILL BRING YOU THROUGH AND OUT OF IT! But I found in general with Greif.. HEALING IS A CHOICE! You have to want to be healed from grief and tragic loss and or trauma and fight for it and do all that is recommened! *Meaning Counseling and therapy and the suggestions of what they advise of coping skills ect. * <3 IT WORKS and DOES WONDERS! <3 Healing to the heart in every aspect! <3 XOXOX

    • David Willcutt

      Sorry to hear about your loss. The ministry is very tough and it seems like the work is never ending. My wife and I were in youth ministry for 15 years before she got sick.

    • Jeff

      Excellent reply ! I am sorry for your loss as well as this family’s recent loss . It is never easy .
      I have been trying for several years to help church members to understand what you just said about suicide . You are right , It is not a damnation & several Bible heros committed suicide . King Saul (anointed man of God) , Samson (also chosen) even Jesus . Yes , that’s right , did He not say John 10:18 “No man taketh it from me but , I lay it down of myself……….” Many will read this & try to twist it to fit that traditional belief but , you can’t deny that whatever the reason , does not change the act , He had the power NOT to be crucified . So , Jesus himself committed suicide . I do not recommend nor condone this act but , Too , I am not foolish enough to try to scare or guilt people into believing they would be damned buy that act .

      • Lucas Rominger

        Wow u r very misguided. Jesus laid down his to save us. It was a sacrifice not suicide. For no greater love is there that a man would lay down his life to save those he loves. Suicide is a selfish act. Jesus showed us the ultimate measure of love in a completely selfless act of sacrifice.

      • L. Eugene Sparks

        How wrong you are. That’s as bad as the book that was written by Bill O’Riley, titled, “Killing Jesus”. NO ONE KILLED JESUS! He gave His life to cover our sins. He became OUR sacrifice. No suicide on the cross!

    • Jason

      Leslie, I can imagine this story really strikes a chord for you. I’m so sorry for this family and congregation’s loss and also for yours, too. I am also a pastor’s kid and I know the stress that pastors and their families face. Some of the comments being made here is really more of a reflection of who they are rather than who this pastor is (or who God is for that matter!). I really respect you in how balanced you have responded here without malice or retaliation. May God help the church find ways to walk in greater transparency and grace and create a culture of support for its leaders and their families.

  • Gayle S.

    He was on MEDICATION for depression … a percentage of those on meds for depression go NUTS …off the DEEP END …my best friend lost her life when her husband was on Prozac and after 6 weeks went NUTS and shot her and himself…it will not matter your spiritual / religious convictions when you become that ill. Maybe some of you and I am not being flip here are simply not reading the best translation of the Holy Scriptures if you arrived at the conclusion that these sad people will be dealt with anything other than devine Love and they too will be in Jehovah God’s memory down to the last hair in their head and will be resurrected as His promise to mankind states. Also I read recently a statement that said that ‘ Scientists do not believe in Creation ‘…. this is a falsehood …actually it is 50/50 as to whether they do or not… Cheerzz Folks and try your best to acquire the 9 fruitages of the spirit so you will benefit yourself! Love is listed first.

  • jackbrooks

    The Bible forbids suicide, since it protects life and forbids the unjust taking of any life. But it is a myth that suicide condemns a person. Christ’s death atones for every sin, once He has been trusted upon; you don’t “keep yourself in God’s favor” by always being good and doing the right things. That’s why the Bible calls it mercy — if you deserve it, then it isn’t mercy anymore. If this poor man became overwhelmed by the black dog of depression, but was a child of God, then the the heavenly Father welcomed him even though He disapproved of the method by which he entered His presence.

    • Richard

      But suicide is a final sin, with no chance to ask for forgiveness. Sad to say, but his final moments, he had sin in his life. We are only forgiven if we go to God in prayer and repent.

      • Jeff S

        Jesus pain for the sins of those who trust in him whether forgiveness is asked or not. There is no rule about “final sins” that cause people to go to hell because they didn’t have time to ask forgiveness.

      • Adylady

        You sir have so little compassion! I fear more for your salvation more than this man of God! Thankfully it is God who judges the heart, man looks at the outward, God looks at the heart. I pray you never go through depression, or have a family member who does, or God forbid commit suicide! This man obviously loved God and furthered his kingdom. Satan was able to get access because quite frankly pastors are on the front line and people expect them to have it all together so they are good liers! And because of this often suffer aLone. I encourage people, this should be a wake up call! Love your pastor and his family, it’s easy to judge, take the challenge and encourage them!

      • jackbrooks

        Christ said that if you “drink” of the water of life (that is, if you put your trust in him and His atoning death), you *never thirst again* (John 7:37-38). It is a once-for-all experience; one act at a point in time results in a permanent cure. All other forgivenesses pertain to our day-to-day relationship with God, not whether or not He accepts us on a fundamental basis. The Christian view of salvation is not a big glass bottle from which we take constant sips, like gerbils.

      • Caleb

        Salvation is by grace alone through faith alone. ” not of works lest any man should boast.” Salvation is based on the work of the cross NOT the work of man. All sin is the same in the eyes of God. All sin causes us to fall short: whether a lie or suicide… Just wanted to share my heart about this comment

      • Tandy Adams

        Many peoples lives end before they get a chance to ask for forgiveness…the person struck by a car after gossiping with a friend, a person who lashes out in anger then dies of a heart attack. Are those people doomed to hell? Sin is sin, there all no levels and if my Salvation is dependent on what my final thought is, then my God is not who He says He is.

        • Roger T

          Jesus paid for all my sins, He doesn’t have die again each time I sin.

      • savedbygrace

        1John2:1-2 please study the word propitiation. salvation is a one time thing and it has not to do with what you say it is a heart thing. If you truly believe upon Jesus itwas bring change in your life that will cause you not to one to sin, however there is still the old nature.

      • Godisallknowing

        The mind don’t easily die… this man can still ask forgiveness to God through his mind, so please don’t judge but understand that he has manic depression… If God will allow us to suffer this kind of sickness, there’s also a possibility that we can commit suicide..

  • Joanthan

    We are not in position to judge him. I’m very saddened by this news but let God alone take care of this issue.

  • josh

    God knows this man’s heart. He was obviously very sick and probably had no idea what to do. Depression meds can make a person do some crazy things. My first wife left me about 2 months after she started taking them. Nobody knew she was struggling with mental issues. I wasn’t even aware that she was struggling so much. Christians have issues with depression as well as addictions just like anyone else. I’ve been a Christian since I was 11 years old and I’ve seen depression take down some of the best people I’ve ever known. Maybe we need to pray more for the unspoken requests. We should ask God to help the people we love and call them by name in prayer.

  • Scott

    Church please take note…it is imparitive to understand that we must extend grace and mercy, especially to those in the ministry so that we may, without worry of judgement, confess the weakness’ of the flesh we each carry. Then we can lift each other up in the unconditional love that has been extended to us by our Saviour. Love will heal the sick and broken hearted.

    • mary

      AMEN!

  • Alfred

    Lord I pray for the family and church of this pastor that u will comfort there hearts and mines and let them continue serveing and doing yr work lord AMEN.

  • Isabel Gonzalez

    oh my gosh…. Thats sl sadenning.:(

  • Karen Brian

    Dr. Smith is so correct about Pastors not having anyone to turn to. I was so afraid that this same situation was going to happen to my husband, He suffered from severe depression was on medication, but the stress of the churches was getting the better of him. The congregations could not understand his depression or why he should be depressed. If he was taking medication and being seen, he should be fine. He only had one pastor friend that he could talk to that understood him. This friend and he had gone to licensing school together and gone through a lot together. The treatment of my husband caused him to get out of the ministry on disability, then subsequently fully retire. It caused such pain for us that neither of us went to church for a couple of years. We are now involved in a loving church family that accepts us for who we are. No we are not pastoring, however, he does fill in once in a while and helps with certain events that need a assistant pastor. Thank God he brought us back.

    • Mary

      Amen!Pastors have a lot of burdens to carry from our Church.We should support them, not judge them, they are humans like all of us.

  • Sooner Soul Man

    Such a sad story, praying for his family that must be hurting so bad.

  • mamazee

    Where in the Bible does it say plainly that suicide is a sin? I understand that people could see it as a lack of faith, but i don’t know where the verse is that makes this explicit. God will judge with mercy, and we can trust Him. I feel for his wife and children. Praying for them tonight. Can’t imagine losing my husband.

  • yeah

    that is what is so great about the cathiloc church. small time pastors have someone to look up to, a bishop. my apoligies to the family for their loss.

  • yeah

    well suicide is a sin, by definition it is murder of oneself. whether humanity has the right to choose when they die is the real question

  • pissed pastor

    The ministry can do that to a guy, especially if the people are a bunch of complainers like Moses had to lead!

  • Traci

    I feel for his family more than anyone! It’s happened in my family and I get it that your not in your right mind when you choose to do something like that. As much as he must have been hurting its selfish! May God comfort his wife!! She will always second guess if there is something she could have done!

  • shock

    if you’re a man of faith, you won’t commit suicide. Suicide is an absence of faith

    • pastor in texas

      That’s a stupid comment. Until you have been there dont judge. Sonetimes its a sign of strong faith but weak persistance. You know where u are going and you are so sick of this world it sounds like the best option.

      • Ken

        Stupid is a STRONG criticism from you ‘Pastor in Texas’. The true sign of strong faith is to have and live in hope. After all Jesus is the Blessed Hope. God guards our heart and mind in Christ Jesus. Read the WORD pastor, read the WORD.

    • Benny

      suicide is not an option for a true believer of Christ. suicide contradicts a lot of biblical principles a true christian posssesses.

      • Sabs1023

        yes it does, but it does not mean Christians will not sin, fall away from a close relationship with Christ and battle depressions. Christians commit suicide and still go to heaven. Judging others also contradicts a lot of biblical principles. Remember when you point a finger at someone else there are three more pointing back at you.

      • Jayson

        Suicide is not a good option to eliminating any pain or depression, or a godly one at that. But have you ever considered why Samson is named in the Hebrews in the “hall of faith”,and even he took his own life? I not the judge, but nowhere in scripture does it say its the unpardonable sin.

    • Ken

      …and an absence of hope…Jesus is the Blessed hope!

    • wakeup

      With all due respect…..you’re a foolish individual when u don’t understand that being a person of faith doesn’t mean you are exempt from pain……

      • billb01

        I love that remark, “being a man of faith do not exempt you from pain”, check Job.

    • Sabs1023

      I would love to see your scripture reference that backs that up, and not one that’s taken out of context! There is so much wrong with that statement I don’t know where to begin.

    • shock

      Shock, with all due respect…I believe your comment is uncalled for…the family needs comfort and encouragement and not judgment from anyone…let’s just pray for them.

    • Northernpastor

      The Apostle Paul despaired even of life 2 Cor. 1:8. I don’t think you will find a greater man of faith besides the Lord and he was GOD. Compare Matt 23:37; Lk 13:34

    • Lpfeifer

      I think that we might be missing something important here. There are so many neurotoxins in our food supply that react differently in each body. I am not at all surprised that so many are battling various forms of illnesses, including depression. And we go to doctors needing help. What we get is a prescription that has a myriad of side effects that can be as dangerous as the problem itself. And the body cannot heal itself under duress. My heart breaks for this family, because people have the gall to question his faith, instead of the illness that took his life.

    • Skip

      Totally off base and inappropriate. If you had enough faith you would never die, if you follow that unbiblical line of reasoning.

      • Unbeldi

        Only God can judge…not you! We all have sinned in the eyes of God and if you are free from don then cast the only stone , because you are solo,

        • Unbeldi

          Free from sin (sorry about the typo!)

    • billb01

      “Rubbish”

  • aslanRoars

    this is sad… but i still believe that God is sovereign even in these situations… a spiritual check maybe in order here … a check for idols (all that come between us and the Lord) and purity for his friends, family, congregation, and us too, who read this… this is real … we have to live by faith…

  • Amanda Naugle

    My heart is so broken reading this. My love and prayers with his family. May God give them the peace to get through, Lord, intervene in their situation and bring hope to them once again.

  • deborah

    I went to a funeral of a friend a year ago. The priest explained;Suicide is the Heart Attack of Depression. I found his words very comforting.I hope the pastors family sees this or someone shares this with them. God be with you and comfort you in His loving arms.

  • Benny

    sure we’re human, we are all subjected to human frailties, i’ve experienced being depressed once, i’ve prayed to God every night before i sleep to just take me home, I guessed He did not answer me, but I’m certain He made a way so that I could bear my troubles in life, yes we’re christians, we have hope in Christ, but sometimes, aside from that hope, His answer would be to have hope in other person, exactly what He gave me. I just wished that that Pastor just waited for his “physical” hope to come.

  • Gammy Alba

    anyone who wants to open up or simply wants to unload i’m willing to just listen.

    • lav richable

      Nice to meet you.

    • Hersh, or is it HARSH

      May the Lord bless you with a strong shoulder, and a blessed friend for you to lean on when you need one!

  • Baby Maglaya

    My deepedt sympathy to the family of Rev.Parker.Truly my heart breaks and i am in tears reading this article i cant imagine and truly happens preachers preach healing and encouragement,but preacher itself needs healing,preachers always thinks the welfare of the congration,members and even deny himself that he is also need…Sadly speaking preachers sometimes gets nothing in somene encouraging,helping or minister in the way of thingking what does pastor need it!!!

  • sparrowebc

    I suffer with manic depressiona and very often feel God doesn’t hear me yet I’m told what a blessing I have been to so many..how I have been such an encouragment…That does little to help with my battles. I can understand how this Pastor felt. It’s very sad, to his family and those who loved him know this I was an illness that took his life. My prayers are with you.

  • Joel L.

    So sad to hear. Church can be a brutal place at times. I am praying for his family and church through this time.

  • Peggie

    My first husband took his life, also. A man of faith is also a man of human nature…my heart goes out to this family. You should NOT have a negative comment to add, until you’ve walked in the family’s shoes. We are frail human beings, even with God’s strength. II Timothy 1:7 “…and of a sound mind.” Sometimes we need help. The Christians that stand by and observe may ‘shoot their wounded’, instead of reaching down, and lifting the hands of the weary. Pharasees and critism destroys. May God help us to help others. You are not anybody’s Spiritual Report Card…..it’s what God thinks, not you.

    • Hersh, or is it HARSH

      Peggy, you are in my prayers tonight!

  • Cang Suk Siang

    Pastor needs love and support from their congregation also. Don’t always criticizes them because they are also human being.

  • Dana

    Pastors are human and have real life issues just like their congregation! Lord, please comfort this family as only You can!

  • Leki

    This breaks my heart! God’s peace and grace to all the family.

  • Pray

    We have to pray, encourage, support and Love our Pastors, We also need to use the spiritual discernment that God gives us to recognize that our Pastors may be going through something and at that time let them know that everything will be ok and we are here for them like they’ve continuously been for us.

    • Hersh, or is it HARSH

      AMEN AMEN AMEN

  • Brenda Porter

    I am sorry to hear this sad story.

  • Jessica Juarez

    :-( very sad.. but understandable.. pastors are human beings and they are just as fragile to the stressors in life as anyone. depression can be devastating and debilitating.. especially in todays society when nobody seems to understand that we all need someone to lean on at times… everyone expects u to remain strong… thats all ppl tell me.. be strong.. sometimes it just gets too much to bear..

  • Skip

    Pastors are lonely. As an associate for 30 years I saw it first hand. The demands are enormous, and no one who has not walked in their shoes really understands. They have few, if any confidants, because their parishioners can’t stand the thought of their not having it all together.

    • Hersh, or is it HARSH

      This allows the problem to get started… if your parishioners “can’t stand the thought…” get new ones. What they NEED to see is an honest man of God, not a supposedly perfect one.

  • vhong

    it is a sad event…. it is hardest when we are in big troubles and may be the problem is too big to bear. We need help when in such difficult situation. I hope we can be prepared and remembered to take the courage to move on as Jesus says.
    I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world
    May God bless us with peace and to bless His name

  • ray s.

    my heart is shattered with this news. it’s no use looking for someone to blame. one question though is, have we done our part in this person’s life? sometimes, life becomes too difficult. in moments of dire need we cry, we pray, we reach out, we ask for help, sometimes inaudibly, even sometimes in a shout of desperation. in spite of all the plea for mercy, more often than not, the world ignores the wounded, the depressed, those in pain. maybe they don’t know what to say, for fear of adding more pain or they themselves need help. but really, in reality we just need someone to cry with. sometimes even in churches, one cannot be weak, cannot be in pain, cannot show loneliness or sadness. one should be always hopeful, always seeing the good in the bad, one should always display joy. they say there is a time table for healing and sympathy. and, if you go beyond that time, you are left to yourself. gone are your friends, for they have moved on and you have not. if they cannot stay behind and walk with me in my slow journey to recovery, then maybe they are not my friends at all… i can’t blame them, because if I am in their shoes, I do not know if I would respond differently. so i am taking one day at a time, for I know there is a time for everything. and healing will come, it will, one day.

  • faster pastor

    When people place the minister on a pedestal and make him or her the center of the church, most pastors take that to mean they can not show any chinks in their armour. It’s time to realize that pastors are people too and we need help as well. It is also time for the clergy to reach out as well…a cord of three strands is not easily broken.
    My heart goes out to his family and friends.

    • Hersh, or is it HARSH

      I don’t see how people would if Pastors were “real” to start with. If a Pastor regularly shared his own struggles/sinfulness I believe it would keep this from happening… if nothing else we would know how to pray for him and how to hold him a a a accountable!

  • Unbeldi

    God is faithful and because Pastor Parker was faithful and served others ; I believe in my spirit that God will restore what the enemy has stolen. I believe in the truth of Jesus’s death and resurrection. Jesus is Lord and decides who is free from condemnation !

  • Pastor Gary Charles VA

    This is truly a sad story that seems to be repeating all over the USA. Real “PASTORS” are becoming extinct seems like everyone wants to be called a Pastor, but no one is willing to work at being one. We are just as Human as all the rest of the congregation but they expect us to be a super hero’s free from the sin and cares of the world. Which we should be but the bible says all have sinned … Satan is like a lion seeking whom he may devour. stealing, killing and destroying what and whom he can my prayers are with the family and the congregation

  • Joseph

    Seriously. There are only two responses I can think of that are appropriate for the body of Christ with this. One-to grieve with those who grieve. And two, to pray for this family and church. What a heartbreaking story. Beyond this, all I can think of is instead of all of us sitting here debating the issues, we should all write letters of sympathy to the editor to pass on, if appropriate, to the family.

    • Ozy

      Maybe a third response is to support and pray for your local church pastor.

      • Joseph

        Agreed. I actually contacted the editor and he connected me with an address for this church. I have a letter to send in the mail to the church. I wrote it in such a way so that if this event happened awhile ago, it would still apply. God bless Ozy. There are probably more people around us than we realize who feel so down they want to end it all. May we be available to help bear their pain.

  • Forlorn Hope

    I’m always deeply concerned when I hear of this happening. As someone who has had the same thoughts, I often wonder how many other “Brothers in Christ” have considered walking down the same path? We stop assembling together and talking with one another and quite often find ourselves talking about other brothers and not with them. Sad that we allow the enemy a seat next to the campfire.

    • Hersh, or is it HARSH

      You are in my prayers….

  • Jim Wilburn

    This is sad; my prayers for the church and family; a pastor not opening up to his weakness to his church is a product of one of the most sick and perverted tools satan loves to use to attack Christ’s church and ministry by using self-righteous or very immature “belivers” in the church (many who may be on chuch boards) who pounce at any opportunity to either get the pastor fired or cause division in the church. They are the gossips in the “name of prayer requests” who’s intentions are nothing more than self-pleasing. This is a soap box of miine as a pastor for 16 years.

  • Disabled Veteran

    Only true pastors know the loneliness of standing in the pulpit, and carrying the weight. People clamor for the title, but if they only knew the truth … they would run the other way. It is a tough road to walk. Of course, we cast all our cares on the Lord. Of course, it is a privilege to stand in a place of ministry, but again only those who have been there know how pastors get treated. The nasty mail. The feelings that you only “really” work on Sundays. The unreal expectations. The glass bowl 24 hours a day. There are moments of utter joy … interspersed through times of intense pain, loneliness and being taken for granted. If it was not for the Lord, no one would ever remain in ministry. There are days it is a gigantic babysitting job. Trying to educate people who are too lazy to persevere in a walk where they want everything yesterday. Other than that … Living the dream.

  • Former Pastor

    Been there! There are pastors who prey upon their flock! Yet, there are far more churches which make unrealistic demands upon their pastors and when they burn out or self destruct, they cast them aside. After twenty years of pastoral ministry I realized that for my own health I needed to step aside and take a sabbatical. What did my church do? They removed me! To be honest, I am far happier and much healthier mentally, physically, and spiritually! Not sure if I will ever return to pastor a church!

    • billb01

      All things work together for good, to them that love the Lord..and the steps of a good man is ordered by the Lord. You sound like a wise man.

    • Hersh, or is it HARSH

      Sounds like to me… Good Pastor, bad church.

  • acg

    There are no dates mentioned in the article….

    • Athanasius 1

      Sunday, November 10.

  • SierraCowboy Church

    As a pastor I understand the stresses of ministry and raising a family. I believe pastors need a friend in The Lord to confide in and be open with. We as pastors are only human and experience all the same emotions, hurts and failures as our members but were responsible for so many others.
    In “quite times” when you don’t feel the spirits presence or hear Gods voice satan can creep in and plant seeds of deception. This is why it’s vital to be open and transparent. For those of you that attend church, love your pastor and remember he’s only a man.
    I pray for this family, congregation and community.
    Pastor Jayce. Sierra Cowboy a Church will be in prayer.

    • Hersh, or is it HARSH

      AMEN BROTHER!!!

    • LR

      It is always said and hurting when anyone commits suscide, the why at this moment is not important what is important is that the body of Christ surround this family and the church family wiith pray. Pastor LR

    • khumphrey

      You have accountability in your life, comes across!

  • Buck

    Lord,
    Look after his family is this time of need.
    in Jesus’ name

  • Former church member

    I was surprised with my pastor’s answer when I asked him if he was familiar with trauma. I just assumed that he was, considering that he has been a pastor for over 30 years. But he isn’t the only minister that answered that question with a “no”. Not only do the pastors need a camaraderie but there are countless numbers of people who need someone too. In the times in which we live, that number will probably increase. Lord, have mercy on all of us.

    • b mak

      because you all want the glory selfish people

      • b mak

        the pastors thats why there is no community within the pastors

  • Randy Jay Rance

    My heart is broken and saddened for his wife, two children and other family and parents & the congregation I will pray for. May God be glorified if there’s a message here for everyone. Psalm 116:15 God bless you all.

  • Stephen Bishop

    I pray hat the church leadership has learned and understands the importance of their needing to build personal relationships with their pastor’s entire family. As a pastor myself, I know the trenches and I know that Satan is seeking to destroy me and my leadership group and staff. If he can get any one of us down and mangled, he then can sit back and watch as the BRIDE suffers. I am praying for Macon, and I am praying for all church lay leadership to desire close intimate and real relationships with the pastors that God sends them. It’s time that Professional Ministry becomes a two way street in all Ministries.

  • Tim Ferris Sims

    This is for prayers and hope to the family who sufered a terrible loss .I grieve for his family and hope that they find a way to understand what he gave up in a way to serve his congregation. Peace to you.

  • Virtuous Woman

    I’m really shocked to hear of this pastor’s death. It is a sad way to die. May God bring his family comfort as only He can.
    That being said, I think suicide flies in the face of God if commited by someone who calls himself/herself a child of God. It is like the person is saying that the problems of this world are too much for God to handle. Suicide says that the deceased thought his/her situation hopeless. But we have a hope in Christ. “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? . . . hope thou in God.” There is hope in God no matter what situation we face.
    For those of you arguing that salvation is all about grace and not works and so a person is eternally secure no matter what sin he/she does, please remember that we show our faith by our works. If we choose to live by the flesh, we may forfeit the gift of eternal life that Christ purchased for us. God expects us to live holy lives.
    Galations 5:21 lists murder (and suicide is murder) as one of the works of the flesh and it says “they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” If we live in the Spirit (walk by faith trusting the Spirit of God to direct our lives), we won’t fulfil the lusts of the flesh.

    • billb01

      Suicide is not a unforgivable sin. You dont know the state of mind this man was in, so you can’t judge him. Only God knows and He is the ultimate Judge.You have not walked in this man’s shoes, and I pray you don’t.Under pressure in a particular moment and circumstance, you just don’t know what can happen. Check to find out what is the “unforgivable sin”, I have learned, it is not a single act but continuous actions in rebellion against God and not seeking forgiveness. Have you been tested like Job yet?

    • Pastor Tony

      there is nothing virtuous about this woman

      • Beat up rev.

        I so agree with you! A self proclaimed virtuous woman. Says a lot doesn’t it.

        • Hersh, or is it HARSH

          WOW… Pastor Tony/Beat up Pastor. You two need to retire! And I thought I can be harsh at times…. I give up. You guys win the title. Take notice that my response is in regards to your attitude towards her being “virtuous.”

      • just discuss

        She is still virtuous, she only spoke from her cognitive domain and you are right to speak from yours.

    • Beth McDaniel Rogers

      If he was struggling with depression, then who is to say whether his mind was “right”, for lack of a better term? and I think in those cases, God would judge in the same way He would judge a crime committed by someone who was mentally incapacitated… do you really think God would send someone with a mental of 4 or 5 to hell for committing a sin? don’t you think He would extend grace towards that person, because they truly didn’t know what they were doing?

    • Beat up rev.

      Typical woman’s response. To validate with the scriptures that the Pastor was already aware of. This man was hurting and He only knew how deep it was. Been there. Letting his congregation know would be revealing a weakness he could not risk. This way was the easiest and less hurtful or so he thought. In the end he hurt even more people including his family. At least he doesn’t hurt anymore. Then again how selfish. Yeah, he had had enough and that is why he was alone when he did it. And one more thing, he was exhausted and that is what depression at this depth does. He ended the book before risking the next chapter, it would probably just be another continuation.

    • imperfect pastor

      Those of us who are fortunate enough not to deal with mental health issues need to be careful. The person who commits suicide is not saying that God cannot handle his/her problems. S/he is saying that the pain they feel is beyond being tolerable. I have an adult child who deals with major depression and schizophrenia. She cleared up a lot for me one day when I was encouraging her to think about a situation differently. She said, “You don’t get it. I can’t control my thoughts.” Before offering any criticism, or holier-than-thou advice, just try to imagine what it would be like to hurt so bad and not be able to control your own thoughts.

    • http://godsguidinglight.wordpress.com/ kingdomgurl

      Whoever you are thank you. Well said. To add: These cometh not out but by fasting and prayer. Where is the power in the church today? We are dealing with principalities, evil spirits whose goal is to abort the purpose God placed in men to accomplish in the earth. You cannot medicate a demon. Saved or unsaved suicide is murder.

      • estreet

        There’s no power in the church today because everybody is covering up. We need to be more open. No one is perfect, we all have issues and need to be more open and stop worrying about what others think of us. That is the only way we can be helped. If we know what are sisters or brothers are dealing with we can stand in the gap (intercede) for them. We have to be specific when we go to God in prayer for ourselves/others.
        Pastors/preachers are not super saints. They have issues just like others…maybe more. Confession is good for the soul…and that doesn’t always mean sin! If the pastor had opened up to the congregation or at least some others they could have come together…fasted and prayed. The bible says where two or three are gathered together in my name, there will I be in the mist. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Surely someone in the congregation should have been able to get a prayer through. We need to get real.

    • khumphrey

      Jesus died for all my sins! Suicide is never a solution to the rational. If someone excepts Jesus as Lord and Saviour, he died for All sins. This would include the taking of ones life and as someone else called it, murder.

      • estreet

        You are so wrong…

    • estreet

      You are absolutely right! Be encouraged…don’t let the negative comments bother you.

  • Rev. Dr. Rodney Emilien

    I read a book entitled “The
    Wounded Healer” and the author pointed out the pain pastors often feel.
    They pour out and go home empty. My pray is for the family and the
    congregation. As a pastor I pray for all pastors and I encourage congregations
    to listen to the heart of the man of God as he fight through the pain and loneliness
    of taking care of God’s people.

    Peace to you all in Jesus’ name.

  • Hersh, or is it HARSH

    First, I want to say it’s heart breaking to hear another loses the battle. My prayers go out to the church body and his family.

    Secondly, IF this is to be a forum to possibly fix problems that we read about here, please allow me to suggest Pastors and Pew-polisher need to get REAL. What I mean is this… when we (Mature Christians) are hurting, or breaking, or struggling with sin we need to SPEAK UP, OPEN UP, RISE UP. From my perspective it seems that a lack of maturity is what helps these troubles come about.

    Think of it this way… I’m a Pastor, I express to my flock I am struggling with _____ or _____ or ______. I need to take a break (paid). I need to get counseling. I need time, MORE time with my family. I need a accountability partner. I _________…..

    What is the worse thing that can happen? You won’t be “like/loved” by someone in your flock, or community? First, WHY SHOULD YOU CARE about that??? It’s PRIDE my brother/sister. Or maybe someone will leave your church if they find out your not perfect… let them all leave. The ones that do leave are not hearing from the Holy Spirit anyway. What do you want? A big church full of godless (not serving God) people, or a small church that seeks Him.

    If you are being honest and up front (open and real) and someone shoots you down do you think God is taken by surprise? Do you think He doesn’t care about what you are dealing with?

    Get over yourself…. really!!! It’s about doing what EVER God calls you to do. Or does God call people to self-destruct? I think not! God has ALWAYS called the “broken” to be used… no, rather to be FIXED right in front of others. I think it’s to blow the minds of those who don’t get it. It’s to show others that God will get things done with people… yes, even BROKEN people… but please understand this if anything, God is looking for REAL broken people who are NOT concerned about what others think, but rather what God thinks.

    If you are concerned about how you look to others you are already on a dangerous slope heading in the wrong direction. God wants broken people because they no longer give a damn about what others think.

    Whether God lifts you up, or holds you down… only those that truly love God care about their place before God and not “OTHERS.”

    I have said here several times… I could care less what YOU think of me. I ONLY care about what God already knows about me…

    So, now that I am leaning towards a rant ha ha, let me be clear on my point(s). I’m sorry for the family and church. But I am MORE sorry towards supposed mature men/women of God who still can’t be honest with, who they are, and where they are.

    Personally, I refuse to sit under a “perfect” (read pretender) Pastor. I’m mature enough and knowledgeable enough to know they are NOT perfect. So, when I meet one who acts like he is… I’m gone. On the other hand if I meet one who is honest/truthful and up front (open and real) with where he is at, and what he struggles with, I’ll walk with him through hell and back. That Pastor deserves my fullest support and double honor. The other one doesn’t deserve anything but a rebuke should the Holy Spirit tell me to….

    I’ll never understand why there is so much false-ness and bull allowed in our midst/church leadership. If we are allowing it, then we deserve whatever comes because of our unwillingness to call crap, crap (see Matt 18). If we are serving God faithfully, He gives us boldness to be REAL in front of others. If we can’t be real…. we are NOT serving God faithfully, but rather our own egos and pride.

    Lastly, if I’m being honest, real… you know, “Hersh” like and you don’t care to be around me…. it’s okay. Really… as I would rather have no friends than have ungodly/unfaithful ones.

    My sweet, beautiful wife is calling me to dinner…

    • Doris

      No one would condemn this man if he stopped chemo and died of cancer. When will people begin to see that those who commit suicide actually died of a malfunction in their brain chemistry. I lived with depression for some years. Faith has nothing to do with it. You absolutely cannot think straight. If you have never struggled with this disease you really have no business chiming in because until you do you just won’t get it. I am a Christian and have been from a young age. I came through the depression but know it can return.

      • amos8

        “When will people begin to see that those who commit suicide actually died of a malfunction in their brain chemistry.”

        Are you saying that everyone who commits suicide does so only due to some physical malady that forced them to do this? Are there no people who simply choose this horrifically tragic act?

    • ken

      sir, that is why we need to try to understand other people.

      Their eyes are foggy at the time of problem and all we can do is give our love and prayers to these people.

    • estreet

      Hersh or Harsh…you’re right!

  • pastorbob

    i am a pastor that suffers with both manic depression and being bi-polar. i take medication to maintain along with professional counseling. i also have an accountability team and a prayer partner. but even with all of this support i still struggle and if it was not for the grace of God i too would have been in this position. years before i gave my life to Christ i in fact tried to commit suicide. i am open with my struggles and talk often about them for two reasons. the first is it helps me cope with it and the second is others may struggle with the same thing and feel comfortable enough to talk with me about it. prayin for the family, the church, and the community.

    • ken

      may God bless you more pastor

  • Guest

    Virtuous Woman, suicide is usually done by someone with great mental health issues beyond what most can comprehend. Self righteous Christian make it hard for men line this pastor to come forward with their problems.

  • SierraCowboy Church

    Virtuous Woman, Suicide is usually done by someone who is hurting greatly. Mental health and suicide is a diagnosed mental illness irregardless if this man was a pastor or not. He’s still only a man. Self righteous Christians make it difficult for pastors to be transparent and honest with others. Were put on a pedestal by so many and people forget that pastors are only men that just so happen to be called to be shepherds. Remember, “the greatest of these is love…”

    • ken

      and the best thing we can do to people we love is to include them in our prayers for our actions are nothing in comparison to the hand of the almighty God.

  • onenotknown

    Know God – No Peace, No God, Know Peace. No I did NOT misquote that. Everyone else does! If there really were a God that cares, these things would NOT happen.

    • sm

      Uh, yea, sure. You say if there really were a God that cares, people wouldn’t make poor choices. Silly comment

    • SierraCowboy Church

      God give us the ability to make choices for ourselves. We are also imperfect in every way. Blaming God or saying there is no God is an excuse.

    • Pastor C

      This life, compared to eternity, is like a drop of water compared to all of the volumes of water on earth. Since you don’t know God now, you will “know” who He is in eternity before being eternally condemned (unless you come to know Him). Guaranteed – no argument, case closed. There’s more to God than this shallow life.

    • ken

      to onenotknown,

      if you only knew the story of Job, you would have a better understanding on situations like this.

  • Guest

    Isn’t it somewhat arrogant to suggest that countless churches and people (including men like Abraham Lincoln) are all radically in error in their view of the Bible?
    How do you account for the origin of life considering the irreducible complexity of its essential components?
    How can the Second Law oThermodynamics be reconciled with progressive, naturalistic evolutionary theory?

  • Neutralmyth

    When educated atheist read comments by some of the Christians in blogs like these, they must smile and think “this kind of stuff reminds me why I am not a Christian”. I bet your pastors would be disappointed. Others of you, may our Lord bless you for being gracious and attempting to help bear the burden of this tragedy and so fulfilling the “Law of Christ”.

  • bernard henderson

    Grace—Reaching out with love and mercy to the hurt and broken. Behind it all we are broken and hurt people that need the Grace of God to re-make us. I have learned to sow mercy so I will reaped it back. In the ministry or not you can become very lonely depending on the situation. Remember the Cross of Christ in our daily walk to be covered and hidden in Him. We’re called to be encouragers and to speak life. You never know how God will use you to bring hope to someone when they really need it. Please repent of any thing that not right especially of comments that is not in line with the Will of God. I’m learning to walk in the path of love with repentance and forgiveness.

  • Mrappley

    People give little grace and mercy; church give none! Church people are absolutely the worst human beings I have ever met. I say that from a pastor’s point of view. I get more respect from people who don’t go to church than those who do and call themselves Christians. I am ashamed to be associated with that name.

    • DontTrust

      echo the same comments after a “loving” congregation tried to destroy me because of past sin that I had already served jail time over and I have gone forward without a repeat offense. my best friends are unbelievers here.

    • Evenglist Arif Oneil

      Bro I am very dissapointed about the comments you have made. When we say we are leaders or pasters we should have love for all mankind. Jesus was hated and put to death but still loved even those who did that to him . He prayed for them father forgive them they do not know what they do. If do not forgives you will not be forgiven. Your words do not represent love of God or the compassion Which Jesus had. God bless

      • Mrappley

        As you’re an evangelist I am shock how little grasp you have of the scriptures. Again you are a poser who is playing church. I am sure that if I’d asked you how many relationships do you have with people who are not “saved” you would giver some sugar coated answer since there is no way to prover. However if I were a bettingan I would bet you do not have any personal friends who are unsaved that you are personally working to influence their life with the gospel. Give me a break. If I don’t repent from my supposed sun and am on my way to hell I’ll see you there!

    • Elizabeth Streeter

      That is because they are “church people” and not “saints of God”. Saints of God have love and compassion one toward another. We have to stop assuming that just because people go to church they are saints. I decided long ago not to let church people bother me. The bible says with love and kindness have I drawn thee. We can’t let people determine our attitude if so, we are no better than them in the sight of God. The bible says that love covers a multitude of sins…so let us love one another and everything else will fall in place.

      • ken

        this is true. Not all people who say my God, my God will enter the gates of heaven.

        But Jesus said to His disciples: ” . . . all men will know that you are my disciples if you love one another” John 13:35

    • Tod Thompson

      Tarring everyone in a group according to race, gender, political association, faith, etc is a terrible sin as far as I am concerned. You are dead wrong.

      • Mrappley

        You make me laugh…. That’s exactly my point “as far as I’m concerned”. Hahaha you’re a joke!

        • Tod Thompson

          Name calling. Nice. So mature. No, you were picking a group, in this case “church people” and saying they are the worst human beings. That was your point. You made a silly statement. I read nothing in the article that would indicate that this congregation was responsible for the Pastor’s suicide. We don’t have all of the facts here. Perhaps they should have been more sensitive to what the Pastor was going through, but you and I have no way of knowing that. If we hold the church responsible when a Pastor commits suicide is it also true that it is the Pastor’s fault when a church member commits suicide? I think rather than fault finding and placing blame and calling people terrible people perhaps we should all make sure we are on the pure path and stop pointing the finger at everyone else. And that was my point.

          • mrappley

            Ok my apologies for saying you are a joke. Rather I should have said your thinking is flawed. To say that people don’t pigeon-hole others into groups is a deception. We both know that on the average day the average person (including you and I) make decisions about people based on how they present to us. I can say what I said about church people because its true. They have the truth and choose not to use it correctly. If it were not true then Christ would not have had to intervene.
            With that said I have a lot of experience working with churches and when push comes to shove they get ugly, more so than the world. I’ve often made the analogy that if the mob can’t get the job done call the church. I stand on what I said. You want to try and argue it and defend those people by painting me as a bigot so be it, but realize this you’re no different.
            The simple fact that you raise the idea that I was eluding the blame to the church for this tragedy is absurd. I never came close to saying anything of the kind. To snap back and take offense and tell me my point was to say that Christians are the worst human beings… you don’t get it.
            I have no idea who you are, what you do, or where you live. What I do know is this I can say with 100% certainty The church today has become the Pharisees and Sadducees. And you are trying to defend it with poor rationalization and weak logic skills.
            You still have not stopped to think why I said what said rather than taking offense and trying to make me a bad guy. When you open your eyes to what is truly going on in the church today you will gain a burden to become an agent of change and gain a backbone for the truth instead of continuing to accept and defend what is status quo in the church today.

          • Tod Thompson

            I don’t deny that there are many people in the church who are judgmental and even hateful; others are to easily led by these. However, in my experience they are not the majority. I have received far more comfort, help and love through my church family than I have ever received outside of it.

        • Jpc

          Knock it off guys this has become all about your own egos

    • Mrappley

      I want to thank you all who replied to my post. I respect your point of view because it is your belief. Move than that however you have proven my point by dog piling on top and making reference to the fact that my comments were sinful. I absolutely amused that you all took the bait except for one Who eluded to not trusting because he had been attacked by a congregation.

      I am a leader and a pastor and I call for change from the same ole stuff of you’re a sinner and I am not and then frost it with the false humility of “brother please repent we’re praying for you”. I mean seriously! Come on that’s all you have got? Jesus didn’t come to die for the church in the character she has become. He came to die for each individual soul. And that’s what “Christians” don’t get anymore. Because rhey are too content with past victories of things that have nothing to do with Jesus’ purpose- dying and raising again for the lost.

      My original comments seemingly grtesque,

      • Mrappley

        Further my original comments while seemingly grotesque, bullisome, unfathable, and unbecoming of a pastor by many of you and the rest of the church world are in no way sinful nor ungodly. They are a simple truth which are supported not only the personal experiences by an overwhelming majority of Christian workers but by hard numbers from years of research. However what is grotesque which most Christians who’s personal stance on sin is to point fingers at others and looking past their own. We call out those who’ve been immoral in their marriage, who’ve had criminal activity in their past, who are gay, and never call out the fat, lazy, back stabbing, gossiping, in loving examples of “Christians” who are total stumbling blocks to the cause of Christ. If you consider me a sinner for speaking the truth about the church of today who is more settled by personal preferences than by the power of the gospel

        • Mrappley

          Amd you think I’m on my way to hell; then just as I replied to the evangelist… I’ll see you there!

  • Pastor Cann

    I have just begun my first position as senior pastor actually just starting my 4th week. I have been encouraging my congregation that everyone who walks through the door of the church needs to be shown love. We are all hurting in one way or another and if we as believers in Christ fail to show love and create a place where people can receive the love and support they need then we have failed. To answer the question ‘how much grace do people allow?’ When it comes to the church we should show as much grace as Christ Himself.

    • bernard henderson

      Praise God I pray that the Spirit of the Lord will lead you. The Lord bless you and the congregation and you fulfill the mission that God has for the church. Lift up Jesus extremely high and the Cross. Be encouraged and strengthen in His Grace.

  • Larry Pearson

    My prayers are with his family and church family in this time of sorrow.

  • Babu Joseph

    How sad it is. My sincere feelings of sorrow to his family and Church.
    There must be someone as a good friend and sharer for every pastor to share the feelings of pain. A friend close to heart can reduce the levels of feeling.

  • lewis

    it is a pity. that is what many pastors are experiencing. the problem is that members will not understand. all they want is action from the man of God not appreciating the fact that he is also human. may the good Lord uphold the family at this trying moment.

    • mrappley

      Right ON!

  • Christopher Pope

    This happen about 1 wk ago they just buried him last Saturday.Yes it is very sad to hear about this.No can really tell if that person is going through something unless. Someone ask this could happen to anyone.But especially if they Don’t talk about it to someone.

    • mrappley

      Yes! YEs! YES! That’s what I’m talking about.

  • Former church member

    My heart and prayers go out to this man’s family and friends. But some of the comments I’ve read from our spiritual leaders confirm my decision get out of the church. May God have mercy on us all!

  • Deborah I.

    My prayers with the family, friends, and congregation. I had a period of time in my life when I suffered from deep depression and suicidal thoughts due to chronic pain. I saw a Christian counselor and took medication for 6 months of time. I recovered. Depression is a disease just like any other. It can be spiritual at times, but it often has a physical basis. I have had a great deal of understanding of it since then, and it helps me in my ministry. We should not judge each other, but pray we see people as Jesus did. It was often said in Scripture that Jesus saw the people and was moved “by compassion.” It is because of His compassion for mankind that the Lord came.

    • mrappley

      Oh Man! Well said Deb. That has been my point all along.

  • 4services are week

    It’s sad that some times people will use any excuse to not return to church. Such comments like I didn’t feel welcome or someone looked at me the wrong way so that is why they won’t return to church. The people that didn’t welcome you or may have looked at you strange are the ones that only come to church one time a week and that are the lukewarm Christian. Ones that arent fully committed to Lord. If you seen them at the mall or worked with them you wantnt think they even go to church. But they give the entire church a bad name to those who were looking for any reason to not commit them self to the Lord

  • 4services are week

    The ones you see a church helping the pastor out. Helping anywhere needed. Will welcome u and shake your hand. Besides if you’re coming to church you should be forming a relationship with God not worrying about how someone welcome you. More people should volunteer to help out the church wherever needed to truly show your commitment to your relationship with the Lord

  • Jennifer

    he was totally depressed.
    he needed somebody to tell him that it is well and it shall be well because the one he serves is able to do exceedingly above his imaginations

    • ken

      that is so true.

      The thing is, when strong people needs help, no one is actually there to be of help because nobody thinks they (strong people) also need an open heart that will listen to them, and a helping hand that will encourage them to keep on moving on . . .

  • dirtylittlesecret

    Suicide? Thats sin right?

    • KathyFische

      Do you really want to know or are you looking to feel superior? Mental illness causes people to act irrationally. Is it sin to get cancer?

      • mrappley

        you go Girl! Tell them all!

    • Pete Zayonce

      No, it’s not a sin. And if we’re worried about suicide being sin, we are approaching the situation from the wrong angle. No one alive can speak for God as we are not God.

  • JamesD

    suicide is still sin isn’t it?

    • ken

      yes it is . . .

      • mrappley

        Then Ken please for the love of Mike reference for me. And with all due respect please don’t try and use the bogus argument from 1 Corinthians chapters 3 and 6.

    • Pete Zayonce

      no, it’s not. It’s not addressed in the Bible.

      • kc

        I guess child molestation isn’t either. What a relief !!
        Please, don’t be so unwise, the bible doesn’t have to tell you everything. You go by principle.

      • kc

        Oh Yeah, the Bible doesn’t say about internet piracy either.. the list goes on. COME ON unbelievers!
        All taking of human life comes under ‘Murder’.
        All impure thoughts come under ‘adultery’. Need we say more.

  • D.

    Prayers go out to his family and his church.
    Perhaps it is a point to consider that this man should become a martyr for the cause of overstressed pastors.

  • William

    How sad, we all need Jesus whom is our true pastor.

  • Keith A

    Suicide is a sin yes…..but it’s a sin for a stable person who knows how to make rational decision. Jesus knows his heart and he also knows the extent of his mental illness and only he knows if what this pastor did due to his illness would be considered unforgivable. Thank God I am not a judge and Jesus knows my heart and how sick I may be. If I can be held responsible to for my actions at the time of the action. So I am glad that it’s not my responsibility to to determine those issues. So It’s my opinion that it’s not my place to say whether this was an unforgivable sin or not because this pastor my have not been in his right mind. Praying for him his family and his salvation, because we just don’t know if he was healthy enough to be responsible
    for his action.

    • http://godsguidinglight.wordpress.com/ kingdomgurl

      If any among you are sick let him callupon the elders of the church. i wish you so called ministers of the cloth would stop makin the word of God of none effect

  • Pete Zayonce

    Suicide is not a sin. If worrying about that is the only thing you can say about this, then you have seriously missed the point.

  • Keith A

    I take it Pete you have not read the bible because it clearly states that it is a sin against God to commit suicide.

    The point here is not suicide but people questioning if he may or may not be saved. If you are mentally Ill and can’t make rational decisions and you kill yourself is it a sin? The only one that can answer that is God! It’s not my place to to judge if someone is lost in any situation or because of a mental illness and irrational or rational decision that effect their life.

    It’s between them and God and he knows their heart and knows if they could or couldn’t make a rational decision.

    • Pete Zayonce

      Actually Keith – the Bible doesn’t say it’s a sin to commit suicide. Please tell me where?

    • Mrappley

      Do you understand what was asked of your and how you avoided it? Pete simply asked for a reference in scripture to support your theory. Instead you have him an arrogant blowhard answer. Which tells mean you sir do not have a proper understanding of the a scriptures. In fact it is evident that you are working off of a supposed principal or something that you were told and believed as truth without exploring it for yourself to find its validity. Last I would say since you won’t reference it for is that you haven’t the foggiest clue if or where it Says that..

    • Mrappley

      Yes and one more thing to say someone is mentally ill and can make a rational decision is an oxymoron (contradiction). It is not logical. I shake my head.

      • amos8

        Why do so many people (millions and millions) try to “cure” (or change, overcome, etc) “mental illness” with counseling (i.e. talking, listening, “rational” thought, etc)?

        Why has this been attempted for thousands of years if “someone is mentally ill” can’t make a “rational decision”?

        What defines “mentally ill”?

        WHO defines what is a mental “illness” and what is not?

        How can the entirely non-physical mind/soul/psyche (“mentally”) have a physical property such as an “illness”?

        • mrappley

          Well I am not understanding anything from what you have asked.

          • amos8

            I guess I am not understanding how you can’t understand these questions?

  • Guest

    Actually Keith – the Bible doesn’t say it’s a sin to commit suicide. Please tell me where?

    • Anthonia Fyth

      Thou shalt not kill. Exodus 20

      • Pete Zayonce

        Yes… Kill another person. That is not a reference to suicide.

        • rachel

          I am not insulting this Pastor nor am i posting to feel superior. I am simply responding to a few discussion I have read so far. My heart goes out to the family and the congregation of those that lost their father, her husband and their pastor. However, here are some verses that shows why suicide is a sin. Regardless of your personal opinion, wanting to disregard these verses, the Word of God is the Truth.

          1 Corinthians 6:19-20

          19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
          20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

          1 Corinthians 3:16-17

          16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
          17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

          Once you’ve accepted Jesus Christ as your personal LORD and Savior, your body is no longer yours. Jesus died on the cross for our sins and therefore, we belong to Him by his own blood.

          Psalms 39:4 and Psalms 139:15-16 among many other references in the Bible shows that God knew who we are, our body, our lifespan, everything about us before we were even made. Therefore, for us to take our own life is an insult to God. Many prophets, disciples, common people in the Bible has suffered greatly, even a few passages showed that some has thought of dying. However, not once will you see God approving of suicide. What we go through as children of God is for God to know why he is allowing it to happen. Job is a good example. He lost his whole family tragically. He got extremely sick, all because God allowed it to happen. Job’s faith did not whither, and because of this he was blessed. Our suffering as children of God does not go on unnoticed. He’s the Alpha and Omega. He knows before us and after us. Hurting ourselves is hurting God and insulting Him for the simple fact that we are going ahead of his plans. No one can say what is the life after a christian’s suicide. Only God knows that. So for us to be debating whether or not this is a sin, is irrelevant. Some people are in mourning right now and is in need of our prayers. However, for the people who’s said “don’t use the bogus verses of 1 Corinthians” is also disrespecting the Word of God, and the Word of God is Jesus Christ, Himself who gave his life for us to be free of our sins.

          I would be lying if I say I have never thought of committing suicide. I have done this plenty of times. I was brought up not to believe in depression, but at my age, I believe it exist. Again, only because God is allowing this to happen. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 states that everything, absolutely everything is timed according to God’s will. Jesus Christ, Himself, was tortured. He was humiliated and put up on the cross for everyone to see and insulted. He did not find time to think of committing suicide or simply wiping out every single person present that day, when He could simply do so in one command. Because He knew that there is a purpose for everything and there is a reason for everything and there is a time for everything. Our lives is not ours to take anymore once we’ve accepted Jesus Christ as our personal LORD and Savior. We are merely His children, fishers of men, present to serve Him until He calls us to be with him.

        • yaj2

          yes…do not kill another person,then do to yourself,isn’t it you believe suicide is not a sin.

  • Rachel Stocker Allen

    such a tragedy, my heart goes out to this family and with all my heart i pray that the ministry culture of our time changes because of cases like these, being more open to imperfect but still called pastors and ministry leaders… and that includes all of us btw.

  • Dr. O

    Having been an executive pastor in a large church in a large city, I understand, all-too-well, how an individual could lose hope–even in the midst of seeming success. And I grieve, not only for the family of the pastor who took his life, but for us as a church, that we don’t recognize the great challenge that exists for any who would choose to respond to the call to pastor. The world is a mess, our people are a mess, and our churches often only have a thin veneer of Jesus–far from the real Jesus of Scripture. When I was an executive pastor, I encouraged the pastors on our staff (all 19 of them) to have not only an “accountability partner” (which is anything BUT the right term) but a NETWORK of prayer partners–those whom they could trust, could be honest with, and would love, support, and hold them accountable in all areas. One partner is not enough, in my opinion; the onslaughts are too great. We need many that will lift up those hands that hang down and provide Spirit-led prayer and Bible-based support for those who take on these positions on the front life of spiritual battle. And I honestly believe that those who would not take on such roles of prayerful support can be best useful as quiet bystanders. The last thing the church needs is more judges. Haven’t we had enough of that?

  • Lynn

    1 Corinthian 3:17,6:19-20 speaks against suicide, this is the evidence that we can’t stand up mostly because of those who are saved in the church are arguing like worldly people. Even on here,when you should be praying for the family loss. He was the families foundation, it had flaw which caused it to errod and crumble.

    • mrappley

      Oh I agree with the idea that we cannot move forward but because we argue like the world but moreover it is where the or better what begins the argument in the first place. Hahahah, I laugh because you another person who proves my point that the church is incapable of to minister not because we can’t but more to the fact that we have no idea what the Bible says. This discussion point was brought up because many on here were argument the validity of suicide being a sin.
      Honestly that angers me and here’s why: because very few took into consideration when making there asinine and ignorant remarks about this pastor and his action to commit suicide as a sin whether or not his children, wife, family, friends, or congregants were able to read all that. I do your support your thoughts on praying for those left behind in this tragedy. However, if people knew what they were talking about (which is central to my thoughts here) then these arguments would not come up. Let me illustrate. In the church most support the idea of liberty to believe and practice as the Bible states unless of course someone challenges what they believe to be true. My example your statement on 1 Corinthians 3 and 6. NO WHERE (respectfully) in that text does it claim suicide as a sin. Does it describe the temple yes. Does it allude in chapter 3 that Paul is describing you as an individual no. As Paul writes “you” he writes it in the plural sense. He is making the point that to we are not to do harm to the temple or body which is the Church. He is speaking against church divisions.
      Again in 1 Corinthians 6 Paul is discussing not be involved in sexual immorality. Fleeing from it in fact. So please before casting out the “hey cant we all just get along line” know what you are talking about.

    • Lynn

      Okay but we are the body of Christ and we are shaped in His image and likeness so we can’t and should take our own lives….oh this should only apply if you have a relationship with Christ. If not then we know who your father is.

  • Norman S Stahl

    his suicide was not driven by the fact he was a pastor — he committed suicide because he apparently had bi-polar disorder and was in a depressive state.

  • Susan Novello

    Many people 1 in 5 have suicidal thoughts or an attempt. People who attempt or have died from suicide are not trying to end their lives, but end the inner pain they have endured. Black, white, rich or poor: pain is pain.
    The stigma must be brought out from not only the closet, but the shame and disgrace is so ingrained in our society that it is hidden under the floorboards.
    There are many myths surrounding suicide that must be addressed. The key is education. Simply because you are asking an individual about suicide does not mean they are going to attempt. In fact, the opposite may occur: you may open a communication line and save a life.
    I hope this helps. Happy thanksgiving.

  • Grace

    The Bible views suicide as equal to murder, which is what it is—self-murder. God is the only one who is to decide when and how a person should die. We should say with the psalmist, “My times are in your hands” (Psalm 31:15).

    God is the giver of life. He gives, and He takes away (Job 1:21). Suicide, the taking of one’s own life, is ungodly because it rejects God’s gift of life. No man or woman should presume to take God’s authority upon themselves to end his or her own life.

    According to the Bible, suicide is a sin. It is not the “greatest” sin—it is no worse than other evils, in terms of how God sees it, and it does not determine whether or not a person goes to hell. However, suicide definitely has a deep and lasting impact on those left behind. The painful scars left by a suicide do not heal easily. May God grant His grace to each one who is facing trials today (Psalm 67:1). And may each of us take hope in the promise, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13).

    • Ps Oz

      Can I recommend to everyone please read The Pastors Handbook Complete Guide to Suicide Ministry Theology and Practice by Australian Pastor Astrid Staley. It will change how all who are quick to point out sin and shame that there is another way to look at this. I used to think the same, I gladly say there is another way to look at this. It is one of the most comprehensive studies you will find on the subject and corrects all condemnation and removes the shame from the one who is or was deeply troubled and the ones who are left behind. God bless.

    • Pete Zayonce

      The bible does NOT address suicide. Stop saying that it views suicide as equal to murder. That is not correct.

    • Maggie

      Amen!! Well said!

      • Pete Zayonce

        Not well said. It takes a bunch of non-contextual scripture and ties it together like some kind of convincing statement. The fundamental flaw is to say “My times are in your hands” Psalm 31:15. The rest of that same verse says “rescue me from those who hunt me down” or words to that affect. If people quote scripture, they should quote it contextually, or not at all.

  • rachel

    I am not insulting this Pastor nor am i posting to feel superior. I am simply responding to a few discussion I have read so far. My hear goes out to the family and the congregation of that lost their father, her husband and their pastor. However, here are some verses that shows why suicide is a sin. Regardless of your personal opinion, wanting to disregard these verses, the Word of God is the Truth.

    1 Corinthians 6:19-20

    19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
    20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

    1 Corinthians 3:16-17

    16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
    17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

    Once you’ve accepted Jesus Christ as your personal LORD and Savior, your body is no longer yours. Jesus died on the cross for our sins and therefore, we belong to Him by his own blood.

    Psalms 39:4 and Psalms 139:15-16 among many other references in the Bible shows that God knew who we are, our body, our lifespan, everything about us before we were even made. Therefore, for us to take our own life is an insult to God. Many prophets, disciples, common people in the Bible has suffered greatly, even a few passages showed that some has thought of dying. However, not once will you see God approving of suicide. What we go through as children of God is for God to know why he is allowing it to happen. Job is a good example. He lost his whole family tragically. He got extremely sick, all because God allowed it to happen. Job’s faith did not whither, and because of this he was blessed. Our suffering as children of God does not go on unnoticed. He’s the Alpha and Omega. He knows before us and after us. Hurting ourselves is hurting God and insulting Him for the simple fact that we are going ahead of his plans. No one can say what is the life after a christian’s suicide. Only God knows that. So for us to be debating whether or not this is a sin, is irrelevant. Some people are in mourning right now and is in need of our prayers. However, for the people who’s said “don’t use the bogus verses of 1 Corinthians” is also disrespecting the Word of God, and the Word of God is Jesus Christ, Himself who gave his life for us to be free of our sins.

    I would be lying if I say I have never thought of committing suicide. I have done this plenty of times. I was brought up not to believe in depression, but at my age, I believe it exist. Again, only because God is allowing this to happen. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 states that everything, absolutely everything is timed according to God’s will. Jesus Christ, Himself, was tortured. He was humiliated and put up on the cross for everyone to see and insulted. He did not find time to think of committing suicide or simply wiping out every single person present that day, when He could simply do so in one command. Because He knew that there is a purpose for everything and there is a reason for everything and there is a time for everything. Our lives is not ours to take anymore once we’ve accepted Jesus Christ as our personal LORD and Savior. We are merely His children, fishers of men, present to serve Him until He calls us to be with him.

    • Pete Zayonce

      Your verses do not prove that it is a sin. If God knows us before we are born, do you think that God does not know a person will die by their own hands?

  • De Lockamy

    Yes, suicide is a sin, but a forgivable one! You just want the pain to go away and you do not want your loved ones to be burdened any longer

    • Pete Zayonce

      Noooo suicide is no sin.

  • israel adetunji adelanwa

    Live is a gift from God, when you take it that is spirit of Cain, this Pastor has taken his own life instead of taken holiday =HELL

    • Ps Oz

      Very small view of Gods grace to believe our brother went to hell. He is a son of the Father who found himself outside the door of hope love and care from His own perspective. This is not to say the arms of the Father were not wide open to him as He wiped away his every tear. Suicide is not the unforgivable sin. Its a tragedy. :(

  • Ntije E. Nkolante

    Committing suicide is some sort of selfishness; the one might think of
    his/her embarrassment or trouble ahead of him without considering others who
    are behind him. Think of Church, children, wife and other relatives who were
    getting his service, they will be missing his help/service forever. Could be
    suffering because of his wrong decision. We need to seek God’s help in decision
    making regardless the trouble we are passing through.

  • Nehemiah

    Friends, whatever the reason for our dear brother to take such a painful step to end his life, I believe what we should do is pray or try to help the family to come through and stop such tragedies from taking place in the future especially to Pastors. We should be discerning, more sensitive enough to find such depressed Pastors around us and help them.

  • Windi

    Is the article really about whether it not suicide is a sin? Shouldn’t we address the larger issue of care and accountability for those in ministry?

  • Pastor Ken

    I am a pastor and I am a safe place to come to- I am not after your job nor do I care to compete with you. Call on me- I will meet you where you are- with the guidence of the Holy Spirit , we will connect the dots to your restoration. Until then, I remain prayerfully yours – Ken
    Romans 12:12
    Restoremypastor@gmail.com

  • Pastor Ken

    I am a pastor and I am a safe place to come to- I am not after your job nor do I care to compete with you. Call on me- I will meet you where you are- with the guidence of the Holy Spirit , we will connect the dots to your restoration. Until then, I remain prayerfully yours – Ken
    Romans 12:12
    Restoremypastor@gmail.com

  • Brother Christopher

    Please – PRAY for your pastors and those who lead in our churches. They need the support of friends and family – parishioners and fellow pastors in Christ. The devil – the world – and their our sinful flesh are constantly at war with them to lead them into hopelessness and despair.

    It is tough to be a pastor – working for God and truly trying to rise up to the high standards that He sets for those who serve Him, not to mention the often unrealistic expectations that are place upon pastors by those they serve and the church bodies with which they are affiliated.

    Too many expect too much from a pastor – and too few help him to accomplish his task / or even bother to encourage him while at work. It can be BRUTAL for pastors and their families ~ especially when the pressure is on and few in the church care for the pastor and his family – or support the pastor in his work. I’ve “been there” in the past – and know many who “are there” now. So – please pray for pastors ~
    “Lord, have mercy ~ Christ, have mercy ~ Lord, have mercy.” [ and if YOU are a pastor - find a way to reach out to someone outside of your congregation - someone that you can trust ~ you are not alone, there are good folks who DO care, and are trained to listen and help. You just have to humble yourself and seek them out and open up when you find them. God be with you.]

  • Margareta Cronholm

    Thank you. I will in Jesus Holy Name pray for his family, for closeness to God and healing.

  • Pastor Amos Kaipah Mw

    May the Holy Spirit Help Us here! Yes it is true the bible doesn’t say anything , what does your consciousness say? the bible says, where there is no consciousness there is no sin.

  • Chia Moses

    I am Chia Moses.
    I pray for courage on the family and fellowship to overcome the tragedy laid on them by their reliable one. (their Pastor). For Pastors, I’ve work as a pastor for just a year in the past and I know how demanding it is and can get many into a state of frustration and a desire to take ones life away or even ask God to do it; but I want to say we as congregants should always pray and personally encourage our pastors than showing how unqualified are they. To pastors and Ministers of the gospel, I say ” no matter how frustrated, how demanding and how disappointing are we; we should never make a choice of taken our lives away or begging God even to do that for us. we should learn to trust God the more even in our frustrations and mistakes”. If God is allowing us to be alive there is certainly something better He is working out in us and for us; just that sometimes our eyes failed to see it and we get frustrated.

  • B.R. Wells

    Scripture teaches that, from the moment we truly believe in Christ, we are guaranteed eternal life (John 3:16). According to the Bible, Christians can know beyond any doubt that they possess eternal life (1 John 5:13). Nothing can separate a Christian from God’s love (Romans 8:38–39). No “created thing” can separate a Christian from God’s love, and even a Christian who commits suicide is a “created thing”; therefore, not even suicide can separate a Christian from God’s love. Jesus died for all of our sins, and if a true Christian, in a time of spiritual attack and weakness, commits suicide, his sin is still covered by the blood of Christ.

    The suicide of a believer is evidence that anyone can struggle with despair and that our enemy, Satan, is “a murderer from the beginning” (John 8:44).

  • B.R. Wells

    Scripture teaches that, from the moment we truly believe in Christ, we are guaranteed eternal life (John 3:16). According to the Bible, Christians can know beyond any doubt that they possess eternal life (1 John 5:13). Nothing can separate a Christian from God’s love (Romans 8:38–39). No “created thing” can separate a Christian from God’s love, and even a Christian who commits suicide is a “created thing”; therefore, not even suicide can separate a Christian from God’s love. Jesus died for all of our sins, and if a true Christian, in a time of spiritual attack and weakness, commits suicide, his sin is still covered by the blood of Christ.

    The suicide of a believer is evidence that anyone can struggle with despair and that our enemy, Satan, is “a murderer from the beginning” (John 8:44).

  • Mario

    There is a simple explanation as to why he committed suicide: (1) “He did not have the mind of Christ” THEREFORE (2) “he was not a believer” (3) “he had no faith” (4) “he did not have the joy of the Lord” (5) “he certainly had no love for himself or his family” (6) “he certainly was an actor and by the size of his church was a successful people manipulator.” (7) “in his pretence he openly put the love of the Lord to shame.” What more is there to say, other than, God have mercy upon his soul.

    • This one

      Glad that you have all the answers and that there’s a simple explantion for someone being so mentally illl that they feel they have to kill themselves, maybe you could work on world peace and poverty too.God have mercy on your soul for being so judgemental!

      • Mario

        I know that you like to show mercy, but I haven’t being judgemental, because the spirit of the Lord heals the mentally sick, obviously he did not have that Spirit. In Mark 9:22 we read of a multiple case of attempt suicide for it reads “And it has often thrown him both into the fire and into the water TO DESTROY HIM.” If you think that the Lord would share His temple with an evil spirit, then you also do not know the Lord. So please let me tell you that the devil come to destroy, but the Lord come to give us peace, healing and salvation.
        But I would give you this: maybe he was saved but he failed to repent of his sins, which is the same as turning your back on Him.
        I do not need to work on world peace and poverty: it is well known that the Lord told us what to do about that; and that is; He told us to share, He told us to love one another, but the nation of the world prefer to spend money to destroy people and to dominate our neighbours. Peace be with you.

        • Emily

          Where in scripture does it say that God heals the mentally sick? Do you even know what its like to have a mental illness? Depression doesn’t just go away with a little bit of prayer and worship. It is a DISEASE. God doesn’t just heal you of the flu because you prayed for him to. Yeah, he totally can if he wants to, but most of the time that’s not how it goes down. It’s views like this that make people struggling with depression feel as if God hates them, or God isn’t caring enough for them, that they’re not praying enough or being a “good enough” Christian. So, please just think before you assume you know everything about God and mental diseases.

          • amos8

            “Where in scripture does it say that God heals the mentally sick?”

            Good question, but here is perhaps a better one: Where in Scripture does it say that we can have or are ever “mentally sick”?

            I love it that you appealed to Scripture, but then you appeal to experience …

            Also (as just one example to learn from), it is worth noting–and pondering for a while–that Jeremiah would have been most likely labeled/misdiagnosed as “mentally ill” in Lamentations 3:20 BUT … notice how it dramatically changed in the next verse (and following)!

            I am NOT trying to say depression (and similar powerful maladies) will dramatically change so quickly for everyone, but a lot can be learned here, and throughout God’s written Word. Yet it is relatively untapped by most of Christendom (when it comes to things like these … that are inaccurately labeled as “mental disease,” that, as a result, must now be dealt with through man’s wisdom). Instead of delving into the Word, the most likely response is to attack the messenger, appeal to experiences, and lean all the more on the world’s faulty constructs … and then attack some more. [The number one response, however, is simple avoidance ... ]

          • Mario

            Emily, When a believer receives the gift of the Holy Spirit his spirit becomes aware to the reality of the unseen realm that surrounds us. However, the evidence or substantial proof of the spirit realm’s existence is elusive, because religion today has joined the secular world which explains in medical terms all human misbehaviour and afflictions, totally excluding possible detrimental spiritual interference in our bodies, character and wellbeing. But Jesus acknowledged the spirit realm and that unclean spirits are the cause for many (not all) of the afflictions in the bodies and minds of men. Mark 9:22, mention in my earlier post is only an example of a mentally hill boy made well by Jesus, and yes In many instances in the NT Jesus healed the mentally hill.
            Personally I do not know what is like to be mentally hill, but I have a nephew that has schizophrenia in a bad way; when I was young in the Lord, and my nephew was young in that condition I asked him “if he knew the love of the Lord” my 24 years old nephew began to cry, next day I asked him a very personal question about a particular sin; he answered me with another’s man voice, I got frightened and did not do anything about it. I mention this to his mom and dad, to do something or have it done by a more mature Christian; but they laughed at me. Unbelieve is the enemy of faith Mark 9:23 says “All things are possible to him who believes” My faith did fail and continue to fail my nephew, he is now 52 and has all the vices possible. Medication is only to make him manageable, and I know it is not the answer.

    • This one

      Glad that you have all the answers and that there’s a simple explantion for someone being so mentally illl that they feel they have to kill themselves, maybe you could work on world peace and poverty too.God have mercy on your soul for being so judgemental!

  • Mario

    There is a simple explanation as to why he committed suicide: (1) “He did not have the mind of Christ” THEREFORE (2) “he was not a believer” (3) “he had no faith” (4) “he did not have the joy of the Lord” (5) “he certainly had no love for himself or his family” (6) “he certainly was an actor and by the size of his church was a successful people manipulator.” (7) “in his pretence he openly put the love of the Lord to shame.” What more is there to say, other than, God have mercy upon his soul.

  • This one

    Great to see some amazing non judgemental Christians on this thread.. NOT.. Seriously what you should concern yourself with is the fact that a Pastor has been driven to this by a depressive disorder that obviously hasn’t been supported by the Church or its leadership. None of us are qualified to judge wether someone will go to hell or not, only God. I imagine his family are in their own private hell at the moment. I can’t imagine how low someone must get to feel their only way out is a gun, even Christians get depression, and there for the Grace of God go any of us. Prayers and love to our suffering friends.

  • This one

    Great to see some amazing non judgemental Christians on this thread.. NOT.. Seriously what you should concern yourself with is the fact that a Pastor has been driven to this by a depressive disorder that obviously hasn’t been supported by the Church or its leadership. None of us are qualified to judge wether someone will go to hell or not, only God. I imagine his family are in their own private hell at the moment. I can’t imagine how low someone must get to feel their only way out is a gun, even Christians get depression, and there for the Grace of God go any of us. Prayers and love to our suffering friends.

  • David Aldana

    I cannot begin to express my gratefulness and gratitude for the love and Grace that God shows and displays towards humanity. I mean, he basically molded us out of nothing and called us His, and made us out of His image. I will not attempt to quote scripture, but I will demand that people realize that despair and depression are not factors that will rule or guide our Heavenly Father’s hand. If He indeed has us in His clutches and we have laid our heads upon his breast, then we can rest assured we are under his Grace and not under His wrath. I am in law enforcement and I deal with mental health patients on a daily basis. I will be the first to tell you that I hate people that are selfish enough to commit suicide… I mean the act of suicide is the most selfish and inconsiderate act one could commit, and i have witnessed too many in my career to think otherwise. I weep for the people that are mentally ill, I have no words to express my sorrow for the amount of people in this planet who struggle with the disease. But I say this! Man is weak! He/She will fail in life on a constant basis. So to define a man by his weakness in life that led to his death would be a tragedy. I did not know this Pastor, so to judge his allegiance to God, or better yet God’s allegiance to his Son, that spared this Pastor from eternal damnation would be the biggest tragedy. I believe in God, and if God is weeping for this man that made a mistake and who now is in the presence of the Lord of Lords, then we should mourn his death and learn that even good men fall prey to despair and weakness. Many coworkers have committed suicide and I will never understand why, I just wish I could say they knew the Lord and that the Lord knew them… that would at least give me peace of heart. Do not question the Pastor’s salvation if you knew him to be a Christian, but pray for his family to have the same peace of heart.

  • Ps Oz

    I recommend to everyone please read The Pastors Handbook, Complete Guide to Suicide Ministry Theology and Practice by Australian Pastor Astrid Staley. It will give you a true historical, social, biblical, Godly and Personal perspective that will make you a better leader/pastor/minister. We are called to be Light people…reflecting His Love and Glory… NOT the religious RIGHT!!

  • Niel

    The way you say for Pastors to develop relationships and open their homes to church people is certainly high-handed and is the kind of attitude to pastors that makes things tough and depressing for pastors.

    Most pastors all over the world (certainly in 3rd world countries) open their homes to church members, the poor, other pastors, missionaries to the point that church members expect pastors to open their homes and pay for all the visitors meals, refreshments, etc.

    Pastors need their members to understand them and don’t condemn and criticize them for everything between here and heaven. It takes a real gift of Grace for congregations to release their pastors to their own privacy and to spend quality time with their family.

    I am not condoning those pastors who abuse the church and it’s membership. Compared to the thousands of hard working and God-Fearing Pastors in the field, these pastors who abuse the church are a minority.

    satan would love to strike the shepherd so that the sheep will scatter.

    I am talking form experience as a church pastor for over 20 years and church planter.

  • Tyler Mase

    To David Dean, I hate to say something like this, but what you have just said is hateful and destructive. It’s obviously written by someone who has never pastored or who’s pastorate is a collosal failure. You obviously don’t understand the pressures on a pastor regardless of how humble or self-effacing you may be.

    We work as self-employed and when we get sick and need a long term absence, the church cannot afford unless the building has been paid in full for a long time.

    Most churches are barely functioning in this difficult economy. I have been a pastor for 30 years and our church has grown every year of it’s existence despite having started 3 others. This has created a need to build in order to continue to meet the needs of the congregation. I do my best every week to be humble and to give the glory for the good to God and trust his unending mercies for the things that don’t go well. But if you love people it’s virtually impossible to escape the pressures of ministry.

    I think we all agree churches shouldn’t be built on a preachers personality, but the fact is they nearly always are. It’s inescapable. The things that appeal to me and draw my interest to learn about and thus to preach about attract people who have similar interests. I have built a strong staff and am not afraid to share the pulpit. But over the years I have found if I am out of the pulpit for more than 4 consecutive weeks, I will start to lose people. We also start to have money problems. I think it would be great if we could take some time off and get away for times of refreshing without it having negative consequences. But when it does cause funding issues, it only raises the pressure on the Sr. Pastor. We must preach with anointing and authority or we start to decline.

    Wouldn’t it be great if we started having some kind of medical problem and we had the financial resources to cover the expenses of 8 or 12 weeks of care. Wouldn’t it be great if there was someone who we could trust to take our pulpits and preach with the same kind of wisdom and authority and didn’t have to worry that he would then create his own following and go down the street and start a new church with most of our people.

    You said “Jesus spent every waking moment with everyday people.” Yes, I guess he did. I also recall he wasn’t married. Nor did Jesus have children who needed his time. Did the apostle Paul struggle with trying to meet the needs of a congregation without losing his marriage or damaging his children?

    I’m glad you are content with being last. With your lack of understanding and sensitivity to the needs of a Pastor of a growing church, you will never grow. That’s good, I’m glad you are OK with last because that is exactly where you will stay.

  • Hersh, or is it HARSH

    AMEN AMEN AMEN…. truth spoken here.

  • Sam O’Donnell

    I agree but disagree. There are a couple ponts that you may not understand. While relatuonships are vital with the people we pastor there are some persons that we dare not be too transparent with because our openness creates a stumbling block for them. If the world were perfect we could divulge more, sadly it is not the case. We must be cautious with whom we share. The sad truth is that many pastors do not have someone in whom they can confide. Many, like this man, silently suffer because they don’t know where to turn. The key lies in balance. As leaders, shrpherds of Gods flock, we have to develop those vital relatuonships with other leaders and a vital and vibrant relationship with the L

  • Hersh, or is it HARSH

    WOW… you are excellent at jumping to conclusions… that is unless you know David Dean personally. With due respect sir… some of your points are off subject, and your comment/attitude are continuing to add to the problem.

    Pastors are called (at least they are suppose to be) and are NOT anymore special than anyone who polishes the pews with their fanny’s. They have the same opportunities to fail like everyone else.

    Also, if by leaving for 4 weeks your church shrinks… something is definitely wrong. They are there for you and not there to learn truth from the bible. What’s going to happen when you die? People rotate around… good… bad…???? I’ll let someone else figure that out.

    My point is, Yes… pastoring a group of people is challenging. So, is a lot of other jobs in this world… when it gets so bad you think killing yourself is the answer you’ve should have talked to God a lot earlier, or at least a counselor.

  • Hersh, or is it HARSH

    Sir, pastors can open up their homes and lives and still have boundaries. No one is suggesting to be a door mat for people, or giving away everything to uncaring people.

  • Sam O’Donnell

    Lord. Many blessings!

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