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What Do Lutherans Believe About The Soul Of A Suicide Victim

Discussion in 'Theologia Crucis - Lutherans' started by Franny50, May 15, 2011.

  1. Franny50

    Franny50 franny50

    I am addressing this question to members of both groups.What does Lutheran theology teach about the soul of a suicide victim? Does that person go to heaven or hell? Can he or she be saved at the last possible moment? Does the Lutheran church look at extenuating circumstances(mental or physical illness)I lost a sibling several years ago,and was told by a couple of priests that God looks at what is a mans'heart.Just curious
  2. lux et lex

    lux et lex light and law

    I would hope that a just God would look into the soul of the individual, but that is purely a personal belief, I'm not sure what the Lutheran thought is.
  3. MarkRohfrietsch

    MarkRohfrietsch Unapologetic Apologist Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Only God knows the hearts of mankind; only God may set the limits of grace.

    Is it a sin? Yes, but so are dozens, even hundreds of things that I think and do each day.

    From Psalm 130:3; "If Thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?"
  4. goldbeach

    goldbeach Guest

    A sin has to be forgivable with the sinner coming before God with a contrite heart and asking for forgivness. I don't see that happening after you die.
  5. QuiltAngel

    QuiltAngel Veteran

    We as Lutherans say that we don't know, only God does. Therefore, we commit the soul of the person in God's hands.

    There are many things that factor in here as to why we can't say what happens. Yes, we consider suicide a sin. But what about those who are dealing with mental illnesses? There are methods of suicide where one can seek God's forgiveness before they die. Yet, they are not able to reach out for help in this world at that point.
  6. AngCath

    AngCath Well-Known Member

    Not sure that there is an official opinion here, but Luther himself was well aware of depression and other emotional/psychological ailments. When talking about suicide, I think it is more appropriate to talk about the person as a victim and not a perpetrator.
  7. Bryne

    Bryne Simul Justus et Peccator

    From the FAQ on lcms.org

    Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod - Frequently Asked Questions (in "life issues")
  8. doulos_tou_kuriou

    doulos_tou_kuriou Located at the intersection of Forde and Giertz

    It's not our job to say if such a person is damned. God will as he says in Exodus have mercy on whom he will have mercy. Since it is faith in Christ that justifies, and only God can discern true faith, that is left to him. We commend that person to God's mercy, and tell of his promises. It's all we have.

    All Christians are sinners, no one merits salvation. Therefore it is (as is our own salvation) all up to God. Is it a difficult question as to how someone can have faith and do such a thing? Absolutely. But there are many ungodly things many faithful people do. Whether than the question or speculation of whether this person will be saved or that person, we deal with the preaching to the living, "Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved!" What we can say is that Christ died for the person who commit suicide. What we can proclaim are the promises he made to him/her which he makes to us. What I cannot say is whether that person was able in the gift of faith cling to such grace.

    Despair is one of Satan's most powerful weapons to shake our trust in God, there is no doubt in that. But on this Good Shepherd Sunday I am reminded that his sheep hear his voice.
  9. Luther073082

    Luther073082 κύριε ἐλέησον χριστὲ ἐλέησον

    Thats a bit of protestant thinking. We do not teach that you have to ask God for forgiveness for every sin. Because many sins are unknown and God will forgive these too.

    However I don't want to deminish the importance of repentence when the sins are known. It is important to recognize them as sins and confess them to God.

    However we don't teach that you must directly repent for every sin in order to be saved.

    Case in point, if someone comes up and shoots you so they can steal $5 from your wallet in your last few moments laying on the ground, is it not reasonable that you might be angry, perhaps sinfully angry with the person that shot you?

    Are you damned to hell because you died while in a state of sin (sinful anger) without having the time to recognize the sin and repent of it? Now I recognize that those arn't the same as suicide and suicide is a planned event.

    However I'm much more comfortable saying that we don't know because scripture really does not provide us a clear answer. We certainly in Christian love hope and pray in Christian love that God forgives those who kill themselves. But ultimatly that judgement is up to him.