Monday, August 30, 2004


Because of some recent events in my community, the question of suicide has come up.

I find Catholicism fascinating. There is much about it I admire. I try to defend the Catholic Church against anti-Catholic sloganism and misrepresentations, while pointing out where she is in error.

Generally, I am dispassionate about it. But I get really annoyed when it comes to the question of suicide.

Believers sometimes commit suicide, and it does not cost them their salvation. Ever. End of story.

Of course, the whole idea of mortal sin and falling out of grace makes a liar out of God. You need look no further than John 3:16, where we find but one requirement for eternal life: belief. And the reward is eternal life, not a conditional promise of eternal life. John 3:16 does not promise eternal life if and only if you die in a state of grace, but eternal life itself. Period. Apart from being required to believe, the promise is unconditional.

Eternal life is eternal. If you had it, and God takes it away because of a mortal sin, then you never really had it. Eternal life cannot be temporary. If you believe that God would do this, then you believe in a God who lies. Not just in John 3:16, but in many passages that teach perseverance (or rather, preservation).

The reason it so bothers me when it comes to suicide is the incredible (and unbiblical) emotional stress it places on a family. And the laughable-if-it-weren’t-tragic efforts to have an obvious suicide declared otherwise, as if one’s eternal fate depends on the forensic ability of the Catholic Church.

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