National Guard November 2011 : Page 48

LAST WORD Supreme Act of Ingratitude in self-defense, capital punishment and just war—what is unexceptional is the prohibition against the deliberate, HENEVER ANYONE PASSES away, it is a sad situ-intentional taking of innocent life. If one looks throughout the Bible, there is a distinction ation. We have all lost family members and friends between “killing” and “murdering.” The difference is all in at one time or another. When that person passes away due to an illness, such as the motive of the heart. Suicide is the deliberate taking of cancer, for example, it is sometimes easier to accept than if an innocent life, a form of murder. Biblical teaching, then, renders suicide morally unac-they die unexpectedly. Their suffering has ended and their ceptable. death was anticipated. So where does this lead us on the subject of suicide? But when someone dies suddenly, like from a suicide, Like when Saul “lost his sanity” (1 Samuel 31:3-6) and the death can be extremely hard to accept. Suicide is a worldwide problem. According to the World committed suicide on the battlefield, those who commit suicide have been overwhelmed by the devil and have suc-Health Organization, almost 1 million people take their cumbed to his thoughts that life has lost its value. own lives every year, or one about every 40 seconds. And What is worse, a person who is overtaken by a robber the rate has increased in recent years. and murdered in the streets or someone who is overcome One way to explain suicide is humanism. God has ap-by the devil and murders himself? pointed a time for our death and we as imperfect humans Suicide is God trying to get our attention and tell us should not interfere with God’s plan. that we as a society are doing poorly in In Christian spheres, humanism is the spreading the Gospel and, therefore, falling focusing of energy and attention to human-Because life short of stopping the devil from gaining a kind and not looking for help or salvation is God’s gift, foothold here on earth (Matthew 16:19, 2 from any deity. Corinthians 10:1-5). The real issue here is your world view we must treat We Christians get so caught up in the of our final destiny. One will either view it with care and concept of “fearing the enemy” and totally God as an omnipresent, infinite-personal forget about “fearing the Lord” first (Prov-God, or one will view God as material or not discard it. erbs 1:7). energy that is impersonal with no value We need to put on “the whole armor of to mankind or any interest in the life of God” (Ephesians 6:10-18) and stand up against the spiri-man. tual warfare that is raging right in front of our faces. Biblically speaking, human life is sacred. It is sacred We Christians need to constantly be on our knees and because man is made in God’s image (Genesis 1:26-27, beat Satan at his own game. For beware, the devil may ap-5:1). Even someone severely deformed or wracked with pear as an angel of light and imitate every phase of Christi-pain from an illness still bears the image of God. That anity today (2 Corinthians 11:14). alone demands care in decision-making concerning the Yes, when anyone dies, it is a tragedy. However, how treatment of such people. about all of the other lives throughout the world that have Life is sacred because God gives it and sustains it. been lost due to wars and countless other means of mur-Because it is his gift, we must treat it with care and not discard it. To treat life so lightly is a supreme act of ingrati-der? What people must realize is that we—this nation—are under attack, not from the Taliban or any other terrorist tude, but it also suggests that we think we own our life, group. We are under a spiritual attack from the enemy when in fact God gave it and owns it. Christians have traditionally used this argument against known as Satan. Therefore, we Christians need to run the race and not suicide. let the enemy succeed in destroying this earth with sense-A further biblical indication of the sanctity of life is less murders like suicides. the prohibition against life-taking. Killing is condemned both in the Old Testament (Exodus 20:13) and the New Testament (Matthew 5:21, 19:18, Mark 10:19, Luke 18:20, The author is a 22-year military member, including 18 with Romans 13:9). the National Guard. He was appointed a chaplain in April and While there are exceptions to the rule—such as killing serves with the Arizona National Guard. By Chaplain (Capt.) Darren T. Ronsick W 48 | Na tional Guard

Last Word

Chaplain (Capt.) Darren T. Ronsick

Supreme Act of Ingratitude<br /> <br /> WHENEVER ANYONE PASSES away, it is a sad situation.We have all lost family members and friends at one time or another.<br /> <br /> When that person passes away due to an illness, such as cancer, for example, it is sometimes easier to accept than if they die unexpectedly. Their suffering has ended and their death was anticipated.<br /> <br /> But when someone dies suddenly, like from a suicide, the death can be extremely hard to accept.<br /> <br /> Suicide is a worldwide problem. According to the World Health Organization, almost 1 million people take their own lives every year, or one about every 40 seconds. And the rate has increased in recent years.<br /> <br /> One way to explain suicide is humanism. God has appointed a time for our death and we as imperfect humans should not interfere with God’s plan.<br /> <br /> In Christian spheres, humanism is the focusing of energy and attention to humankind and not looking for help or salvation from any deity.<br /> <br /> The real issue here is your world view of our final destiny. One will either view God as an omnipresent, infinite-personal God, or one will view God as material or energy that is impersonal with no value to mankind or any interest in the life of man.<br /> <br /> Biblically speaking, human life is sacred. It is sacred because man is made in God’s image (Genesis 1:26-27, 5:1). Even someone severely deformed or wracked with pain from an illness still bears the image of God. That alone demands care in decision-making concerning the treatment of such people.<br /> <br /> Life is sacred because God gives it and sustains it.Because it is his gift, we must treat it with care and not discard it. To treat life so lightly is a supreme act of ingratitude, but it also suggests that we think we own our life, when in fact God gave it and owns it.<br /> <br /> Christians have traditionally used this argument against suicide.<br /> <br /> A further biblical indication of the sanctity of life is the prohibition against life-taking. Killing is condemned both in the Old Testament (Exodus 20:13) and the New Testament (Matthew 5:21, 19:18, Mark 10:19, Luke 18:20, Romans 13:9).<br /> <br /> While there are exceptions to the rule—such as killing In self-defense, capital punishment and just war—what is unexceptional is the prohibition against the deliberate, intentional taking of innocent life.<br /> <br /> If one looks throughout the Bible, there is a distinction between “killing” and “murdering.” The difference is all in the motive of the heart. Suicide is the deliberate taking of an innocent life, a form of murder.<br /> <br /> Biblical teaching, then, renders suicide morally unacceptable.<br /> <br /> So where does this lead us on the subject of suicide?Like when Saul “lost his sanity” (1 Samuel 31:3-6) and committed suicide on the battlefield, those who commit suicide have been overwhelmed by the devil and have succumbed to his thoughts that life has lost its value.<br /> <br /> What is worse, a person who is overtaken by a robber and murdered in the streets or someone who is overcome by the devil and murders himself?<br /> <br /> Suicide is God trying to get our attention and tell us that we as a society are doing poorly in spreading the Gospel and, therefore, falling short of stopping the devil from gaining a foothold here on earth (Matthew 16:19, 2 Corinthians 10:1-5).<br /> <br /> We Christians get so caught up in the concept of “fearing the enemy” and totally forget about “fearing the Lord” first (Proverbs 1:7).<br /> <br /> We need to put on “the whole armor of God” (Ephesians 6:10-18) and stand up against the spiritual warfare that is raging right in front of our faces.<br /> <br /> We Christians need to constantly be on our knees and beat Satan at his own game. For beware, the devil may appear as an angel of light and imitate every phase of Christianity today (2 Corinthians 11:14).<br /> <br /> Yes, when anyone dies, it is a tragedy. However, how about all of the other lives throughout the world that have been lost due to wars and countless other means of murder?What people must realize is that we—this nation—are under attack, not from the Taliban or any other terrorist group. We are under a spiritual attack from the enemy known as Satan.<br /> <br /> Therefore, we Christians need to run the race and not let the enemy succeed in destroying this earth with senseless murders like suicides.<br /> <br /> The author is a 22-year military member, including 18 with the National Guard. He was appointed a chaplain in April and serves with the Arizona National Guard.

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