A highlight from The Church's Answer to Suicide

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Here's a pandemic that's lasted longer than cohen. And has been more deadly only. The church has the answer for the call center. I'm john stonestreet. This is break point. What if i told you that. There's a pandemic that's been around longer than cova. It's been more deadly more difficult to treat. There's no vaccine for it mass or ineffective in stopping in might actually make it worse. I'm talking about america's pandemic of despair shows up most obviously in the mounting number of suicides and suicide attempts according to the centers for disease control suicide rates are higher today than at any other time since the great depression. However it's impossible to grass just what that data point really means unless you take into account just how different life is today you see. Today we have emergency rooms. We have a better understanding of poison and poison control better technologies -mergency medications like narcan all of these incredible lifesaving medical interventions and more mean that a large percentage of patients who attempt suicide survive on the other hand if you adjust for these medical advances and the differences they make. We're likely living through the worst suicide crisis in our nation's history. This is a crisis. that's at route. Fueled by despair hopelessness afflicts individuals and entire communities. It's far deeper than economic hardship or access to firearms. And opiates what we have created to borrow words for my friend. Dr matthew sleep is an unlivable society. Loneliness and isolation are the norm. They certainly pre existed. The virus matthews least latest book is the most direct helpful in clarifying book for christians on this very difficult topic of suicide. It's called hope always how to be a force for life in a culture of suicide in the book. He combines a firsthand knowledge of the suicide crisis from his time as an emergency room physician with statistical insights a biblical overview of the topic and an incredible amount of biblical wisdom. His conclusions nothing less than a calling for the church when it comes to addressing this culture wide pandemic of suicide. If it's not the church stepping up who will scripture is. Dr sleep points out has a great deal to say about suicide and therefore a huge role to play in preventing it from the very beginning. Satan tempted adam and eve in the garden to in effect. Kill themselves and ever since demons. Both literal and figurative have been whispering lies and words of despair into human ears especially vulnerable human ears throughout the book. Slee threads and important needle on one hand. He argues against a purely materialistic view of suicide after all he argued. Humans are the only creatures that knowingly take their own lives thus this terrible decision must have an irreducible spiritual component to it and on the other hand sleep warrants christians not to ignore the very real medical chemical and mental health factors. That often drive people to self harm only by holding together the material and the moral sides of suicide. Can we address it and sleep addresses this issue from the very best foundation available who humans really are as made in the image likeness of god so sleep makes very clear to us why christianity has proved to be the most powerful ineffective response to those whispering demons constantly calling us into darkness near the beginning of hope always sleep tells an especially compelling story about two patients from his time as an emergency room physician. The i was an able bodied young man full of promise but who tragically chose to shoot himself in the temple. The other a joyful wheelchair-bound slightly older man with a permanent neurological injury who had been admitted for a minor infection a nurse ask dr sleep if he recognized the patient. It's the same man you saw last spring. She said who shot himself turns out these. Two patients were the same person as the young man's parents later told matthew their son had found a reason for living. After surviving his suicide attempt and their words he got his faith back and that faith had given him fresh hope and that kind of powerful storytelling boyne and his wealth of experience. That typifies matthews lease writing style in. Hope always look. Let me be clear. Christian faith is no guarantee that ultimately the demonic voices will go away won't steal kill and destroy a life still especially in this particular area. Only the church is properly grounded in both scripture and science only the biblical vision of the imago day creation and fall can address the fullness of the human condition. And so i joined with doctor matthew sleep and say if not the church on this issue then who come

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