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Daniel of Doulogos Name:Daniel
Home: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
About Me: I used to believe that evolution was reasonable, that homosexuality was genetic, and that people became Christians because they couldn't deal with the 'reality' that this life was all there was. I used to believe, that if there was a heaven - I could get there by being good - and I used to think I was more or less a good person. I was wrong on all counts. One day I finally had my eyes opened and I saw that I was not going to go to heaven, but that I was certainly going to suffer the wrath of God for all my sin. I saw myself as a treasonous rebel at heart - I hated God for creating me just to send me to Hell - and I was wretched beyond my own comprehension. Into this spiritual vacuum Jesus Christ came and he opened my understanding - delivering me from God's wrath into God's grace. I was "saved" as an adult, and now my life is hid in Christ. I am by no means sinless, but by God's grace I am a repenting believer - a born again Christian.
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Daniel's posts are almost always pastoral and God centered. I appreciate and am challenged by them frequently. He has a great sense of humor as well.
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His posts are either funny or challenging. He is very friendly and nice.
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[He has] good posts, both the serious like this one, and the humorous like yesterday. [He is] the reason that I have restrained myself from making Canadian jokes in my posts.
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Monday, December 11, 2006
Christian Ethics and Sin...
I know, I don't have time, but this will only take a moment to type up, and if I type it up I won't waste any more time thinking about typing it up...

James 4:17 says, "So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin." [ESV]

Consider the case of a "good" man who discovers that his roommate in college is suicidal. He begins to make every effort to spend time with him, to encourage him and also to restrain him if need be. This goes on for months, but eventually he is away and in his absence the roommate indeed kills himself. Truth be known, the fellow could have stayed home that weekend, but wanted to go skiing. He may even have been concerned about the safety of his roommate, and made a poor, and even selfish choice - but in the end, what is the bottom line? Is he, or rather was he culpable for his roommate's suicide? Can we blame him because he didn't spend every waking moment restraining his roommate?

Surely there was some selfishness on his part - and no doubt there was sin on account of it - but the question is not about whether selfishness is sin - it is about whether or not he is to be blamed for the suicide of his roommate.

I wouldn't mind some thoughts before I let the other shoe fall.
posted by Daniel @ 2:36 PM  
4 Comments:
  • At 5:25 PM, December 11, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    "it is about whether or not he is to be blamed for the suicide of his roommate."


    (dramatic pause)


    (removing eyeglasses, drawing a deep breath)

    (after another unusually long pause, politely clearing throat)

    No.

     
  • At 10:40 PM, December 11, 2006, Blogger Sojourner said…

    No way.

     
  • At 4:18 AM, December 12, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This scenario reminds me of the account I read some time ago about John Newton & wife staying constantly with William Cowper when he was suicidal. They were diligent and were able to help him through the crisis.

    I know that doesn't answer the question, but to be honest, I don't know the answer to the question.

     
  • At 10:11 AM, December 12, 2006, Blogger Jim said…

    Interesting scenario! I think either way we answer we'll get nailed. :)

    Actually, by virtue of our nature each one of us is a reprobate. Suicide is the greatest act of selfishness a person can commit, and although we don't all arrive at the extreme position, nevertheless we are all capable of such deeds in our flesh.

    Even though John Newton and his wife helped William Cowper immensely, ultimately it was the Lord and His sovereign grace that kept Cowper from jumping into the river one night.

    Sadly, this situation is all too common in our society today. While "good" people can spend their lifetime watching suicidal people, unless they see their need for Christ and the finished work of His shed blood, they will continue to look only at themselves.

    Cowper's most famous song "There is a fountain" was written after one of his worst bouts with suicide. He realized how fully Christ's blood had washed him from his own vileness and sin.

    So no, this man was not guilty for the act of his friend committing suicide, but obviously felt extreme guilt in leaving him at such a weak moment. I think we all have had moments in our life when we let friends and family down at critical junctions. It is just a mystery how God has chosen to use his created beings to declare His glory and impact humanity.

     
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