When There is No Peace

Early this week, a well-known, self-professing atheist killed himself.

Cue the plethora of Facebook posts, memes, tweets, and comments about his now being at peace or at rest or free or “in a better place.” When bad things happen, especially suicide, we look for comfort. It’s only natural to want to make ourselves feel better. Death is hard enough to deal with, but at least natural death we can understand. Even then unbeliever can understand death. It’s a part of life, after all (the “Circle of Life” for those of us who grew up with Disney movies). Suicide we can’t understand; the people who are left behind cannot make sense of it and the only person who might be able to explain things a little bit is gone. None of us likes to be sad or confused or frustrated or upset. So we look for comfort.

But is there comfort to be found in lies? Is it okay to tell people, “This atheist, this person who utterly rejected God, is now at peace in a better place because he killed himself so don’t worry about it”? Maybe I will come off as harsh or mean but my answer, and I believe the Biblical answer, would adamantly be most absolutely not.

Here’s why:

1 – Someone who rejects God does not have peace. He might find temporary comfort in this life, but that is not peace. Peace only comes from God, and an atheist has rejected God and so rejected peace.

2 – This life on Earth is the best thing an atheist has. When an atheist leaves here, he is not in a better place. He is in hell.

3 – This is not what I want to address directly, but it’s still a fair point: Suicide is never the answer. Just because a person has killed himself does not mean he is at peace.

In short, it does much more harm than good to comfort people with empty assurances made up of lies – lies, moreover, that go completely contrary to the Word of God.

This is the verse that keeps coming to mind in this context: “They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly [a.k.a. superficially], saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.” – Jeremiah 6:14

We are strongly cautioned against false teachers and false prophets, and I believe this kind of thing falls under that category – which is why I so strongly believe it is important to contradict this false teaching when it arises, rather than allow it to continue simply for the sake of not offending or upsetting people. If people aren’t confronted with the reality of sin and death, they will not understand why they need to turn to Christ. Therefore, simply telling them to “turn to Christ to find peace,” and ignore the part about hell and sin (as more than one Christian has told me to do) is not fulfilling our responsibility as Christians, in my opinion. Especially when the rest of the world is telling them a multitude of other places they can go for (empty, meaningless, fake) peace, including suicide.

So, in a situation like this, when people are claiming there is peace/rest/hope/something better in anything other than Christ, let’s correct them. Let’s tell them, “No, actually, that’s not true. What you’re pointing to is utterly hopeless. But I can tell you where to find hope.” We are to treat people with love. Isn’t it more loving to show them the Truth than to encourage them to continue following a lie that would ultimately lead to their destruction?

(Please note: I am not judging an individual’s heart, because only Christ can do that and Christ has the power to save anyone He pleases. But anyone who goes to his death an atheist will not find peace or rest in eternity.)

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“Act Like a Fairy Tale Character” Day

My friend Crystal and I were watching “Enchanted” together.

(Let me just tell you we were watching it while we were working out on the elliptical machines together at the gym. Can’t have you thinking we are lazy slackers or anything like that!)

In case you haven’t seen it, I’ll give you a quick summary. For starters, it’s a Disney movie. A young woman (Giselle) lives in a typical fairy tale land complete with talking and singing animals. She’s singing and daydreaming about a prince, who hears her voice and comes to find her and save her from a troll. In short, they meet and fall in love and he declares they will be married in the morning!

And that’s all within the first 5 minutes.

Time for a plot twist! Giselle is on her way to her wedding, in a ridiculously puffy white gown and everything is perfect. Until she meets an old woman who leads her to a wishing well. Giselle wishes for happily ever after with the contented smile that comes with knowing the wish is certain to come true. Then the old woman pushes her into this bottomless pit of a wishing well and sends her to a place where “there are no happily-ever-afters” as she tells her sidekick/minion/servant/guy. That place is here, the real world.

That’s all the information you need for my the point I’m going to make. I don’t want to ruin the rest of the movie for you, because I am a strong supporter of everyone seeing this movie, as I am for most Disney movies.

I told Crystal, “Culture shock. That’s me every time I leave my house.”

Crystal and I were joking about fairy tales and how corny they can be sometimes – especially this movie which is purposely corny at the beginning. But even while we make fun of these stories, we wish things could be that simple. If only I could have a prince show up in my life to save me from whatever danger I am in and guarantee a happily-ever-after for me. Sounds perfect, right? I have two propositions in regard to this statement.

  1. As a Christian, I can rest assured my Prince has already saved me from the danger of sin and has guaranteed a happily-ever-after for me. Because my happily-ever-after is secured by Christ, I don’t have to be concerned that it won’t happen. My hope is in the Lord, and it is the Biblical hope which means it is a confident expectation – I know it will happen because Christ has said it will!
  2. Sometimes I feel as though I am stuck in the world where “there are no happily ever afters.” But that is because I have taken my focus off Christ, I am not keeping my eyes on the prize that is set before me. When I look at the world, put my trust in people, look for a fairy-tale prince among the men of the world, it is easy to grow discouraged. I need to remember that God is the Author and Finisher of faith and stop trying to find my happily-ever-after on Earth. My treasure is in Heaven!

I am, without question, a happily-ever-after kind of girl. What an awesome thing it is to know, even while I’m still in the middle of my story, that I will have a happily-ever-after forever in Heaven with my Saviour! And it’s the same for every other Christian (even the men, although this post was clearly written from a woman’s point of view!).

Crystal and I also decided that we need to have an “Act Like a Fairy Tale Character” Day. Hey, we already have a “Talk Like a Pirate” Day, so it’s not that much of a stretch if you think of it.

I love talking about fairy tales. Who is your favorite fairy tale character and why?