Let’s just get that right out there, shall we?
And I’d also like to say this is not a topic in which I’m willing to discuss and listen to dissenting opinions. While I’m someone who loves to argue, and even be in the wrong if proven so, hell is not a place we mess with. So allow me to tell you what I know to be true.
First of all, a little about me…
I’m the wife of a man who has attempted suicide multiple times. Additionally, I’m the daughter-in-law of a man who died from mental illness. I also happen to be one hell of an advocate for mental health. With a doctorate in Special Education, I thrive on fighting for those who can’t easily fight for themselves. And I fight best with research.
So let’s start with those of you who believe suicide is a sin.
Fine. I’ll listen. But where does your argument go after we learn that biblically, the only unforgivable sin is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit? You really think, just because a person didn’t have time to ask for forgiveness on this earth before death, that Jesus can’t forgive what you believe is a sin?
I don’t know about you, but I won’t limit the power of God that much. I mean, I hear He’s pretty powerful.
But let me take this one step further.
In my research and experience, we know severe mental illness can completely take over a person. Mentally, the world is dark and cloudy. No light. No hope. Physically, it’s nearly impossible to function. No energy. No ability. Emotionally, the truth is flipped. The world is better without them. They are a burden. And cognitively, the only option is to lie. Put on a fake smile as long as you can.
So when one is given a stage 4 cancer diagnosis, they are told something like, “The cancer has spread to all parts of the body. Even with treatment, this diagnosis may be fatal. Treatment must be immediate and intense, and while survival is possible, it’s difficult when the illness is this advanced.”
Now, allow me to reword this for you. “The mental illness has spread to all parts of the body. Even with treatment, this diagnosis may be fatal. Treatment must be immediate and intense, and while survival is possible, it’s difficult when the illness is this advanced.”
Mental illness, no different than any other illness, can result in death. It’s tragic, terrible, and just plain sucks, but it’s true. So again, let’s not limit the power of God.
Do you really think one who is consumed by dark thoughts every second and truly believes the world will be better off without them will be condemned to hell? Do you have such little faith in God’s all-knowing powers to actually believe He doesn’t understand mental illness?
I know Him better than that.
My God is an all-knowing God. My Jesus is an all-forgiving Jesus…you know, unless you don’t believe in Him.
And rest knowing that any loved one you’ve lost to mental illness is rocking it with Jesus. I’ll see y’all there one day.
Dr. Bailey Koch