Let's take a second and respectfully observe the enormous loss of church leaders over the past month to suicide. Before this article begins, it's only fair to in dignity remember these men who led God's people and accepted the challenge to try and balance it with a family and secular life: Pastor Teddy Parker, Pastor Ed Montgomery and Pastor Isaac Hunter.
What can be said in the wake of tragic loss like this? How is the church supposed to go when its leaders take their own lives? What message of hope can be derived when those presumably walking closest to God exhibit none for themselves?
Shall we all follow this trend, or does there yet remain a better way? Let's face it, life is hard! In 2013, life is becoming more and more difficult by the minute. Add on top of that the cares and whims of any size congregation and the insurmountable pressures become nearly unbearable.
As a Pastor, the ultimate task is to share with others the hope found in Christ. It stands to reason that if the Pastor can't find hope in Christ then there is none to be found.
As a believer you must be compelled to disagree with that statement!
For many who look to the bible for insight into suicide, many point to Samson. Samson's strength was returned to him as he was blinded and bound and died 'with the Philistines' (Judg. 16:30).
Respected Pastor E. Dewey Smith published an article following Pastor Parker's death ensuring readers that suicide did not void Pastor Parker's salvation. A critical read of the article discovered a glaring omission,however.
Though suicide doesn't void salvation, it still should not be viewed in any manner as an option.
There is always something to live for! Jesus said that he is life (Jn. 14:6), He came to give the believers the abundant life (Jn. 10:10) These texts extracted from the holy writ have become church jargon and cliche' but still stand true today.
Hold on to the living words of Christ! For these Pastors, their families and congregations will have to answer unwanted questions for years to come.
Don't give up on God, 'cause He won't give up on you...! -Deitrick Haddon
Amazinglu, more Pastors are stepping forward requesting your prayers. They are letting on that the task of leadership is indeed overwhelming at times; and, that the pressures of life are a weight they'd like to come out from under. Following Pastor Parker's death, the clarion call came forth: "Pray for your Pastor!"
Pray for church leadership all over the world. Pray that they remember God's promises in times of trial and trouble. Pray that they have time to rest and withdraw to be renewed and strengthened. (Matt. 4) Pray for them that they would be supplied with fresh manna to both feast on and feed to God's people, the sheep of his pasture.
More importantly, cover them so that when the attack of the enemy confronts them that they are reminded to trust God in all things and that suicide is not an option,nor is it okay.