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“Suicide is the act of intentionally causing harm or death to one self. The bible is very clear on the fact that murder is against one of the Ten Commandments. Although there is a noticeable increase in the amount of mass suicides within the American community we cannot label them all as wrong doers according to this law.
One thing we often do not know is what context the bible refers to this in. Some such as the Jonestown people were forced to commit suicide or be killed resulting in death either way. It is often easy to say that those people will not be punished when we do not realize that there were similar situations that occurred in the bible such as one of Gods closest followers shunning him away in fear of his own life. Should he have agreed to acknowledging him he would have intentionally ended his own life as he knew what the consequences were but instead God punishes him for shunning him away, In cases like these we see that it is not the act of suicide itself that is wrong but the meaning that one person has behind it. The Lord states that those who do not understand his spiritual truth cannot sin as they do not truly know what sin is. If a child were to intentionally do something for the result of them harming them self and without the knowledge of God telling him it is wrong, he will not be unfairly judged.
Suicide is often a complex matter with many psychological aspects to it which most people tend to oversimplify. If we look at both the Jonestown and Heavenâ€™s Gate events we tend to blame everyone for their foolishness and expect them to deal with their sins on their own. Many times these people in occults are either uneducated or completely manipulated to believe anything that their “”pastors”” believe in. For these people the saying when one person jumps into a lake of lava will you is taken to a new level where they are prepared to lay their life down for religion. If anything God would bless these people according to the fact that it was in good spirit that they did it, but those leaders and others that were aware of the sins would be dealt with as sinners.
As more people found themselves coming across encounters of suicide in the name of Christianity, especially people who are just learning about the religion would find it a social norm for them to interpret the bible in their own way just like Jim Jones had done claiming that he is able to communicate directly with God.
Even as it may seem that people were easily manipulated and lead stray as sheep does that really mean they are not accountable for their actions? Jim Jones had a long record of substance abuse and evidence that he was not in sane state of mind indicating that according to the bible he cannot be punished. Those followers around him remained in stable mind and decided to follow the words of a man instead of the bible.
A relevant note to pay attention to is the amount of mass suicides for revolutionary causes during this time. Self-immolation is a well-known tactic of Vietnam monks to revolt in a peaceful way and sepukku too was present portraying both peaceful ways of protesting as well as honorary ways to die. Jim jones in the event of leading people to die from drinking flavor-aid was an honorary way to die as they retaliated from the army which supposedly wanted to steal the communities children. This is an example of how the timeline helps us to put this event into context and relevance of this time period.
This justification can be taken to another grey area within the American Christian community regarding the act of homosexuality where more and more people are finding it acceptable as a result of the manipulation and persuasion of those around them despite the bible clearly stating that homosexuality is a sin.
There is no truly clear answer to whether suicide is justifiable or not in the Christian community as we can either reason with peoples own interpretations or the bibles facts which the Christian community are based on. In a simple conclusion suicide is still a sin committed by humans according to the bible but according to society suicide is a more sensible act compared to what it used to be.
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