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Apr. 9th, 2010 @ 02:29 pm don't think it was originally in the rule book
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10:28 PM 4/3/10 · In the past year I've lost a few friends, one of which was suicide. Now I know insofar as Christianity goes this is a direct line to Hell, for those of them that believe in it, or at the very least a roadblock from Heaven...

...and I just don't think that is right.

I'm wondering on the origin of this little stipulation. It's like the whole celibacy thing for priests. It's a big rule in Chrisiandom but it's not actually in the Bible. Priests didn't used to be celibate but, roundabout the Dark Ages, it was made a rule because the Church did not want a priest's property to goto their heirs.

Yes, the Church is a greedy institution. Most noticeable in how nice and pretty Churches are even in neighborhoods that are falling apart.

*ahem*

Granted, my knowledge of the bible and its contents is a vague thing at best. I read portions of it when I was younger but as the years grew on me, the more I learned that it's not a complete work. That whole bit with a council deciding what 'Books of *insert name here*' were worthy of the final book or not. From my understanding only the Gnostic & Ethiopian Bibles are complete comilations and I've never been able to lay my hands on one of those to contrast them with the local most common variety...

...but I digress.

So, is the ban on suicides in the Bible or not? Or is it more likely something that the Church instituted in truly depserate times to keep their congregations from trying to get to Paradise via the express route?

That may sound horribly cynical but remember this. During the early Colonial period of the United States, the local Churches told people that if they didn't 'contribute' exorbitant funds to their parishes then they would goto Hell. Not the members of the Church, mind you. They told them that they had to literally buy their way into Heaven.

It's little stuff like this that gives me pause on certain supposed tenats of the faith.
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From:maggie47
Date:April 10th, 2010 05:02 am (UTC)
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There are a number of Old Testament references where people either kill themselves or ask God to kill them. Like for example Saul is badly woundly he asks his armour bearer to kill him rather than be captured and he does and then his armour bearer then kills himself. Samson pulls the temple down on his own head and it kills him but it also kills the Phillistines inside. The only reference in the New Testiment that I can see to suicide is Judas but the reference there is that Satan went inside him and made him do it after he betrayed Jesus.

So it seems to me that the rule against suicide is another made up rule by the church. But I always like to remember that the bible is not a direct dictation from God but rather a bunch of books in translation that were written by men in another century from another culture trying their best to describe their experience with God, thus, even if the rule against suicide had been found in the Bible I personally would take it with a grain of salt and not believe that your friend was destined to hell. I believe that God speaks to us individually and would not abandoned your friend because he or she decided to leave this world by his or her own hand. This is a choice that some make. As |I said it is even written with great respect in the Bible itself. God is love and in my universe the God of love has a lot of more important things to damn people for than for taking their own life.
Blessings. E
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From:poliphilo
Date:April 10th, 2010 10:35 am (UTC)
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There's really no such thing as a definitive Bible. Judaism and Christianity generated masses of texts and over time the people in authority selected out the ones they wanted to keep.

There are lots of texts that might have made the final cut- but didn't for one reason or another. Some of them still exist- and many more have disappeared or exist only as fragments.

I know the Bible pretty well- and I don't believe there's a ruling on suicide.
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From:spicysaurus
Date:April 10th, 2010 04:18 pm (UTC)
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If you ever need to look up a specific reference in a Bible you might consider getting a concordance. It's like an index of the whole Bible. You can pick one up in any bookstore.
From:sinefundamenta
Date:April 11th, 2010 09:09 pm (UTC)

I Agree

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I spent about fifteen years of my childhood going to church, and in all that time, I can't recall anywhere in the Bible where it explicitly says that suicide = damnation. Judging from the origin of a few other "rules" of this sort, I'd say it's an interpretation, and one that likely takes liberties with the text it's derived from. Actually, it's things like this that led me to first reject religion altogether, then to find something much more amenable to me. Anyone who is ready and willing to commit such violence against themselves needs help, not punishment.

On the Gnostic Bible, I'm not aware of a compilation of books by that title as such, but the individual books themselves are very much worth your time to read. They seem to "complete" Christianity, at least to me, and have tremendous spiritual worth even to non-Christians like myself.