Friday, June 08, 2007

Religious Counseling is a Catalyst for Suicide

This one comes from my hometown. Way back in 1979, some poor depressed kid named Kenneth Nally put a gun to his head and blew his brains out.

But what makes this suicide special is what Kenneth did in the events leading up to his suicide. He looked for counseling from one Reverend John MacArthur, the pastor of Grace Community Church in Los Angeles. MacArthur has lots of Biblical knowledge and training, but no psychological training. And when the depressed Kenneth Nally asked the Godly Reverend if he would go to heaven if he were to commit suicide, the Reverend replied:

Oh yes, you would go on home to the Lord.


Hallelujah! Jesus saves! Go blow your brains out and bask in the glorious bliss!

What a motherfucker, that Reverend John MacArthur.

So Kenneth's parents sued the church and lost. And when asked in retrospect about what he thinks went wrong with the counseling of Kenneth, Pastor MacArthur has this to say:

I don't think we went wrong at all. We have absolutely no regrets. My regret is that Ken Nally took his life.


But of course there's nothing wrong with telling a teenager with a death wish that you will end up in heaven, provided that you really believe that bullshit fantasy.

When asked if he thinks he provided good quality counseling, MacArthur replied:

Yes, I think it was exactly the kind of counseling we always do. We've done it with thousands upon thousands of people.

...

We simply approach the issues spiritually. We don't refer them to psychologists or psychiatrists or whatever. We don't attempt to deal with them in those terms. The only real transforming, life-changing guidance is that which God provides through his word to his people. Anything else is going to be the wisdom of man, not the wisdom of God.


And the Godly wisdom that Pastor MacArthur spreads to his flock is this: Blow your brains out and experience total bliss for all eternity in fluffy, happy heaven!

So you see, it’s all very simple. Kenneth got the best of all possible outcomes. And can you imagine what would have happened had Kenneth gotten secular help without any spiritual help? It would have been a disaster!

Kenneth is now in heaven thanks to the diligent efforts of the dear Reverend MacAsshat (oh whoops I mean MacArthur). Kenneth got himself some spiritual help, but no secular help, and now he is in heavenly bliss.

But if Kenneth acquired secular help, and not spiritual help, he instead would be alive in this fallen Earthly realm, suffering in sin, and "spiritually" dead inside (whatever the fuck that means).

So, clearly, this was another win for God and the afterlife!

27 comments:

olly said...

Wow, and people claim that "it's not religion that does wrong, it's the people inside it".

Newsflash: religion IS MADE UP OF THE PEOPLE INSIDE IT! It's people interpreting bullshit fairy tales, people like this jackass reverend.

I wonder how different the lawsuit would have been had it been a psychologist that told the kid "you are perfectly justified in killing yourself, that would definitely be an OK choice".

Guaranteed that psychologist would be in prison for manslaughter right now, whereas the religious get the Paris Hilton treatment when it comes to the judicial system (had to throw the Paris Hilton reference in, couldn't resist).

-olly

BlackSun said...

The very LEAST this windbag could have done was apologize.

It's like I've always said: Because of their role in counselling, I think clergy should be required to have training and licensure by either the state or an appropriate body. You or I would be thrown in jail if we tried to offer counselling services without a license.

Why do these know-nothings get away with murder?

breakerslion said...

"Why do these know-nothings get away with murder?"

Because they are a pillar of the community, that's why. (It's not what you know, it's who you know.) They have a higher calling, and are above reproach. Their cholesterol-laden hearts are in the right place, so who cares that their brains are up their ample asses?

All thinking and independent thought ever did was get people in trouble or hated. It's not like he told the kid to do it, after all. He just told the kid he'd be fine. I'm betting the parents had a higher quality of life without that depressing drag of a son, so really he was doing the whole community a favor.

Everybody else just has a nice, somber ceremony, turns the whole thing into an abstraction, and gets over it. So why couldn't these parents accept that he's doing gay things with God, and move on? Ungrateful, if you ask me!

I AM said...

Of course god wins. He made the rules... along with our immortal souls, of course. When Einstein said "God doesn't play dice," he was absolutely right, but it's only because no one is willing to play with him anymore.

Aaron Kinney said...

Hi I Am!!! Nice to see you!

Where u been lately? So much has happened in the atheist world since I last saw you...

I AM said...

I unplugged for a while. I had nothing to say, and I went through the process of finding and buying a house. I'm back and blogging, though. I don't know how much I have in me, but I'm having another go at it.

Aaron Kinney said...

Congrats on the house and I am glad to see you giving blogging another go! Atheism is all the rage lately, you should get in on the fun :)

Jim Jordan said...

I knew this story didn't make sense.

From the actual court ruling.

The Events Preceding Nally's Suicide

On March 11, 1979, Nally took an overdose of the antidepressant prescribed by Dr. Milestone. Plaintiffs found him the following day and rushed him to a hospital. At the hospital, Dr. Evelyn, Nally's attending physician, advised plaintiffs that because their son "was actually suicidal," she could not authorize his release from the hospital until he had seen a psychiatrist. The record indicates that plaintiffs, concerned about their friends' reactions to their son's suicide attempt, asked Dr. Evelyn to inform other persons that Nally had been hospitalized only for the aspiration pneumonia he suffered after the drug overdose rendered him unconscious.

On the afternoon of March 12, Pastors MacArthur and Rea visited Nally at the hospital. Nally, who was still drowsy from the drug overdose, {Page 47 Cal.3d 286} separately told both pastors that he was sorry he did not succeed in committing suicide. Apparently, MacArthur and Rea assumed the entire hospital staff was aware of Nally's unstable mental condition, and they did not discuss Nally's death-wish comment with anyone else.

Four days later, Dr. Hall, a staff psychiatrist at the hospital, examined Nally and recommended he commit himself to a psychiatric hospital. When both Nally and his father expressed reluctance at the thought of formal commitment, Hall agreed to release Nally for outpatient treatment, but warned Nally's father that it would not be unusual for a suicidal patient to repeat his suicide attempt. Nally was released from the hospital by Drs. Hall and Evelyn the next day.

On his release from the hospital on March 17, 1979, Nally arranged to stay with Pastor MacArthur, because he did not want to return home. MacArthur encouraged Nally to keep his appointments with Dr. Hall, and arranged for him to see Dr. John Parker, a physician and Church deacon, for a physical examination. Parker's testimony reveals that Nally told him he was depressed, had entertained thoughts of suicide, and had recently taken an overdose of Elavil. After examining Nally, Parker believed he was a continuing threat to himself, and recommended Nally commit himself to a psychiatric hospital. Nally, however, immediately rejected the advice.

Parker testified that after Nally left his office, he telephoned Glendale Adventist Hospital to determine whether any beds were available. He then informed Nally's father that Nally needed acute psychiatric care and that he should contact Glendale Adventist Hospital for information concerning the psychiatric facilities. That same evening, Nally's father telephoned Dr. Hall and told him that Parker had recommended psychiatric hospitalization. Hall offered to come to the Nally residence and arrange for Nally's involuntary commitment; the offer was rejected by plaintiffs. The record shows that Mrs. Nally strongly opposed psychiatric hospitalization for her son, saying, "no, that's a crazy hospital. He's not crazy."

Eleven days before his suicide, Nally met with Pastor Thomson for spiritual counseling. According to the record, Nally asked Thomson whether Christians who commit suicide would nonetheless be "saved." Thomson referred Nally to his training as a seminary student and acknowledged "a person who is once saved is always saved," but told Nally that "it would be wrong to be thinking in such terms." Following their discussion, Thomson made an appointment for Nally to see Dr. Bullock for a physical examination but did not refer Nally to a psychiatrist.

Several days later, Nally moved back home. During his final week of life, he was examined separately by Drs. Bullock and Evelyn. Dr. Bullock testified {Page 47 Cal.3d 287} that he was concerned with Nally's physical symptoms. (Nally complained of headaches and of the fact that his arm was paralyzed because he had slept on it while he was unconscious following the Elavil overdose.) Bullock suggested to Nally that he admit himself to the hospital. Bullock, however, did not refer Nally to a psychiatrist; instead, he subsequently conferred with Dr. Evelyn, and both doctors agreed Nally needed further physical and possibly psychiatric evaluation.

The day after his visit with Bullock, Nally encountered Pastor Thomson in the Church parking lot. Nally told Thomson that he was thinking of seeing a psychologist. Thomson recommended Nally contact Dr. Mohline, director of the Rosemead Graduate School of Professional Psychology. The following day, Nally spent approximately 90 minutes with Mohline, who in turn referred him to the Fullerton Psychological Clinic. Nally and his father went to the clinic the next day, and Nally discussed possible therapy with Mr. Raup, a registered psychologist's assistant. Raup testified he believed that Nally was "shopping for a therapist or counselor or psychologist" and that he was not going to return to the clinic. At the end of the week, Nally met with a former girlfriend. She turned down an apparent marriage proposal by telling Nally, "I can't marry you when you are like this. You have got to pull yourself together. You have got to put God first in your life." The next day, Nally left plaintiffs' home following a family disagreement. Two days later, he was found in a friend's apartment, dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.


The plaintiff's case was lost because it was a fraud. The church's representatives were consistent in recommending Nally have professional help. Why? Because Nally's problem was not essentially spiritual but bio-chemical.

There are cases of misguided Christians and you are great at pointing them out (and, please, keep exposing them). But this one won't fly.

Regards.

wade419 said...

interesting play of events for this story here on this blog. (yay qualifiers)

Important point here: information can be skewed. jim jordan's post is copy and pasted from the court ruling, and I'm going to take it as the most objective look at the situation, given that the judicial system is supposed to be as objective as possible. This means that the view of the situation from the eyes of Aaron's post and the site he linked to are a bit slanted.

Whether the article in the Religion & Ethics Newsweekly" was skewed on purpose or not, I could not tell you. It would seem from the article that Rev. MacArthur saw Kenneth and simply guided him spiritually. However, in the court ruling, it says "MacArthur encouraged Nally to keep his appointments with Dr. Hall [a staff psychiatrist at the hospital], and arranged for him to see Dr. John Parker, a physician and Church deacon, for a physical examination." This could be a intentional or accidental withholding of certain information.

To be honest, there usually is no way to tell where information is being skewed. But from my (limited) experience in actually doing some personal investigation on news stories, no one ever gets the exact spin on the story. That's just how it's going to be, and it means that I am always going to take things that I hear (esp. from the media) with a small grain of salt.


oh, and hi again. I've been a bit busy, too, and hopefully I'll have more time to discuss with you all.

Aaron Kinney said...

Re: Jim Jordan,

The plaintiff's case was lost because it was a fraud.

The court ruling does not mean that it was a fraud. Did you forget the pastors own admission in the interview that I linked from?

The church's representatives were consistent in recommending Nally have professional help. Why? Because Nally's problem was not essentially spiritual but bio-chemical.

Um, no. Allow me to quote the preacher, MacArthur, for a second time:

"We simply approach the issues spiritually. We don't refer them to psychologists or psychiatrists or whatever. We don't attempt to deal with them in those terms. The only real transforming, life-changing guidance is that which God provides through his word to his people. Anything else is going to be the wisdom of man, not the wisdom of God."

There are cases of misguided Christians and you are great at pointing them out (and, please, keep exposing them). But this one won't fly.

Well, Jim, would you care to respond to the words of MacArthur himself rather than the words of the court ruling?

Aaron Kinney said...

Hi wade419,

interesting play of events for this story here on this blog. (yay qualifiers)

Important point here: information can be skewed. jim jordan's post is copy and pasted from the court ruling, and I'm going to take it as the most objective look at the situation, given that the judicial system is supposed to be as objective as possible. This means that the view of the situation from the eyes of Aaron's post and the site he linked to are a bit slanted.


Are you trying to say that the quotes I took from the actual interview with MacArthur are out of context or otherwise tampered with?

Whether the article in the Religion & Ethics Newsweekly" was skewed on purpose or not, I could not tell you.

Oh ok, but you implied it a second ago. You specifically implied that Jim's quote from the court ruling somehow refuted my quotes from MacArthur's interview.

It would seem from the article that Rev. MacArthur saw Kenneth and simply guided him spiritually. However, in the court ruling, it says "MacArthur encouraged Nally to keep his appointments with Dr. Hall [a staff psychiatrist at the hospital], and arranged for him to see Dr. John Parker, a physician and Church deacon, for a physical examination." This could be a intentional or accidental withholding of certain information.

He could have simply lied under oath. Or maybe his attorneys quoted from some official church policy document that wasnt practiced by the staff.

To be honest, there usually is no way to tell where information is being skewed. But from my (limited) experience in actually doing some personal investigation on news stories, no one ever gets the exact spin on the story. That's just how it's going to be, and it means that I am always going to take things that I hear (esp. from the media) with a small grain of salt.

The one line from MacArthur that, in my mind, really supports the idea that the church didn't encourage (or very weakly encouraged) the boy to seek professional, secular help, is this one:

Anything else is going to be the wisdom of man, not the wisdom of God.

The above quote clearly shows how - from the perspective of the Christian counselors - the spiritual and biblical aspect to counseling is superior, and the scientific and secular aspect to counseling is inferior.

Although I dont believe that spiritual/biblical counseling would have as direct or as effective of an improvement on ones depression (or other psychological) disorder, I will concede that it can have a very important psychosematic effect, or could improve the "morale" of a believer if applied in conjunction with scientific and secular psychological assistance. But obviously they fucked up twofold in this instance: they excluded the non-biblica/non-spiritual assistance, and they didnt even apply the spiritual assistance properly. This church is definitely below average, and the pastor is a horribly ignorant menace.

Im pretty sure, wade, that both you and I can agree at minimum that this church could have applied its biblical and spiritual help more effectively.

oh, and hi again. I've been a bit busy, too, and hopefully I'll have more time to discuss with you all.

No problem, wade. Its nice to see you again! To tell u the truth, Ive actually been away for a few days myself. I was on a vacation far away with no computer access. But now Im and I will resume my blogging soon :)

Wade said...

Are you trying to say that the quotes I took from the actual interview with MacArthur are out of context or otherwise tampered with?

Well, I don't think that you are at fault here at all, if that's what you're asking. The information presented in the article clearly leads one down your line of thinking, and the information presented to the reporter probably did, too.

Oh ok, but you implied it a second ago. You specifically implied that Jim's quote from the court ruling somehow refuted my quotes from MacArthur's interview.

I did not mean that the article you quoted was not valid, or that MacArthur's quotes from it were false. I simply feel that the information in the court ruling that jim presented provides a view of more information about what happened - it provides a wider perspective. Taking the court case info into account, the situation doesn't seem so one-sided against the pastors. True-life situations are rarely that one-sided, if you understand what I mean.

He could have simply lied under oath. Or maybe his attorneys quoted from some official church policy document that wasnt practiced by the staff.

He absolutely could have lied under oath. And so could have any of the other people involved in the case. The father seems firmly against the church in the interview, so he may have lied somehow to put the church in a bad light. The psychologists and/or psychiatrists could have bent the truth in one way or another - my point (which is really kind of moot now that I think about it) is that it's better to get a more rounded viewpoint, because all of the information will not be presented in one interview or from one source. In this case, it means that you really can't *just* blame one or two pastors from a church when it seems as though Kenneth saw a slew of people, both spiritually and psychologically trained.

So I guess the refuting that you were talking about earlier is that the court ruling seems to refute a certain idea of simplicity behind the article and your posting of it: that Kenneth was clinically depressed, he talked to these pastors and they told him he'd go to heaven even if he killed himself, so he killed himself, it's the church's fault and they have no regrets, no more to it. The court ruling refutes that idea because it proves that *there is more to it*.

The one line from MacArthur that, in my mind, really supports the idea that the church didn't encourage (or very weakly encouraged) the boy to seek professional, secular help, is this one:

Anything else is going to be the wisdom of man, not the wisdom of God.

The above quote clearly shows how - from the perspective of the Christian counselors - the spiritual and biblical aspect to counseling is superior, and the scientific and secular aspect to counseling is inferior.


Actually, I think you left out the worst part of this quote: the part right before it, where he says "the only real transforming, life-changing guidance is that which God provides through his word to his people."

I feel that shows the disparity even more. I think that MacArthur and certain counselors from both ends of the spectrum are missing the point presented at the end of the article: "Pastoral counseling and psychiatric treatment have the same goal: to help people. More and more practitioners in both fields feel strongly that people are more likely to be helped if both spiritual and psychological issues are addressed."

But it's not *all* of the Christian counselors - remember that all of the other pastors and clergy referenced in the court ruling testified to taking direct action in referring Kenneth to and making appointments with secular counselors and doctors.

Although I dont believe that spiritual/biblical counseling would have as direct or as effective of an improvement on ones depression (or other psychological) disorder, I will concede that it can have a very important psychosematic effect, or could improve the "morale" of a believer if applied in conjunction with scientific and secular psychological assistance. But obviously they fucked up twofold in this instance: they excluded the non-biblica/non-spiritual assistance, and they didnt even apply the spiritual assistance properly. This church is definitely below average, and the pastor is a horribly ignorant menace.

Im pretty sure, wade, that both you and I can agree at minimum that this church could have applied its biblical and spiritual help more effectively.


Yeah, they could have. It bothers me that MacArthur has no regrets, and I feel that the approach in known suicidal cases must be exceedingly delicate. I don't think that MacArthur chose his words carefully enough, and it would seem that he had too little faith in those ordained to provide services outside of the church.

I have had personal experiences lately that have led me to come to some very interesting realizations about the human brain. One of the biggest involves the fact that all of the information that we can trace, including those to do with willpower, emotion, resolve, belief, faith, etc, etc, is transmitted and stored through electrical and chemical signals. Things that we can *measure*. Meaning that psychiatric treatments dealing with medicines and chemicals are sometimes necessary to fix problems in even the most abstract parts of our existence.

All of this to simply strengthen the argument that the best counseling combines spiritual and secular treatments. I personally believe that God is capable of anything, yet I also believe that he wants us to figure out and take action as much as we can by ourselves. There is no reason to shun secular care, unless it directly contradicts the basic themes and morals of God's teachings. So if pastors want to argue that "the only real transforming, life-changing guidance is that which God provides through his word to his people", I think that's complete bs.

No problem, wade. Its nice to see you again! To tell u the truth, Ive actually been away for a few days myself. I was on a vacation far away with no computer access. But now Im and I will resume my blogging soon :)

It's good to be back and thinking on these subjects again. I look forward to a summer full of thinking, reasoning, and soul-searching. (I might even visit past topics...)

USpace said...

This 'Reverend' is a sick dirtball, most Revs would tell the kid he would commit a sin and go to Hell if he killed himself...

absurd thought -
God can not be quantified
so therefore must not exist

man can't measure beyond Space
so then does it not exist
.

Jim Jordan said...

Hi Aaron
In regards to your quote from the R&E article, can it be known the exact context of Macarthur's words?

Look here: Betty Rollins opens the report with a very slanted intro. Then we hear Walter Nally, the bitter father, making sloppy remarks off the top of his head without a challenge. Then Macarthur's remarks which sound ridiculous next to the preceding information. I don't know the full text of Macarthur's remarks. Would it surprise you that he was NOT talking about known suicidal folks?

It is clear from the court records that there was a significant effort by the church to place Nally in a professional program that could prescribe the meds that he needed.

Who talked him out of getting help? Look at the court records. It was his parents! Their law suit was rank hypocrisy and that is why I called it a fraud.

Last, there are many suicides every year and almost all of them have come after visits to licensed, secular professionals. Yet we don't deny that psychiatry can work.

Take care.

wade419 said...

Who talked him out of getting help? Look at the court records. It was his parents! Their law suit was rank hypocrisy and that is why I called it a fraud.

to be fair, it sounds as if it was the mother who was opposing Kenneth being *forcibly* taken to a psychiatric hospital. I take that as quite different from "talking him out of getting help". She simply opposed that course of action.

...probably rather vehemently, if I understand it correctly.

Jim Jordan said...

I don't see the difference. He needed to go to a psychiatric hospital and that is that. He had already proved he was suicidal and thus "crazy".

Aaron Kinney said...

If he did indeed get discouraged by his parents rather than the church, I bet you all would concede that his parents did so based on religious beliefs. So my real argument (that religion fuck you in the head) would remain a legitimate one.

wade419 said...

i dunno, Aaron. it seems as though the parents, who were suing the church, didn't seem to have much faith in the church or its religious beliefs about how to approach counseling in the first place. Sounds like the mom's opposition was more one of maternal "don't take my baby" rather than religious belief. And the father's reluctance to commit him to a hospital sounds like fear of commitment.

Also, I'm not even sure that Kenneth's parents were even involved in this or any other church. Please, correct me if I'm wrong here, but Kenneth himself had only been a member of the church for five years, so he joined when he was 19 - and I don't think there's any mention of the Nallys being a Christian family. Sounds to me that if the parents did any discouraging, it was not based on any religious beliefs.

Jim Jordan said...

**So my real argument (that religion $%*& you in the head) would remain a legitimate one**

If these were Jehovahs Witnesses or some such I would agree that your point would be legitimate. I also think they would have mentioned that in the article, and judging from the article, I'm sure it would have been highlighted.

Shining a light on where self-deception is re-inforced by religious belief is a valuable service. Most of all to religious people. Christians often lack the cajones to challenge wackos masquerading as Christians while Political Correctness tells us to look the other way when a religious wacko from another tradition is acting up.

It must be a frustrating world for an atheist! Take care.

Aaron Kinney said...

These people acted with the same insanity that a Jehovahs Witness would. These people, therefore, are Jehovahs witnesses de facto if not de jure. That means in practice if not in name.

Let me put it yet another way. A religious terrorist is a religious terrorist by their actions and motivations for them, not by the particular label that their religion holds. So Eric Rudolph (A Christian) is just as batshit as Osama bin Laden (a Muslim).

Aaron Kinney said...

Hi Wade419,

Sounds to me that if the parents did any discouraging, it was not based on any religious beliefs.

Interesting point, and worth analyzing. So for the sake of argument lets assume the following:

1. His parents, and not the church, discouraged him from seeking professional help.

2. His parents did not discourage him based on any religious or spiritual belief.

So the next logical question, Wade419, is what WAS the basis for his parents discouragement assuming that it was not a religious basis?

Ross McPhee said...

This unfortunately isn't an isolated incident, but I'm on staff at a college that trains Christian counsellors to Masters degree level, so as to avoid this sort of situation. We also train ministers who are required to undertake introductory level studies in psychology as part of their training.

A properly trained Christian counsellor recognises that a person's spirituality can't be divorced from their psychology, and as such are integrated. A good Christian counsellor, and I personally know many, can be just as good as any psychologist or psychiatrist.

I know Christians who refer to psychology as "crap," but this certainly isn't my personal view. If I was a pastor, I'd have no hesitation in referring a member of my congregation to go to a qualified mental health professional, and not necessarily a Christian one. Members of the clergy aren't always the best people to see in dealing with these problems.

Aaron Kinney said...

Hi Ross,

So it seems to me that the "properly trained" Christian counselors are trained in SECULAR mental help techniques.

Stop me if Im wrong, but these well-trained Christian counselors arent getting their "advanced" training from the Bible, are they?

These Christian counselors that you know of arent using "advanced" techniques such as casting mental problems from a human mind into a pig mind, and then drowning the pig, are they?

So, I am willing to bet that the well trained Christian counselors you know are using non-Christian and non-biblical help for people suffering from mental problems.

Therefore, the fact that your well-trained counselors are Chrsistian is of no consequence, is it?

The people that they help would probably be just as fine with or without the "christian" aspect of their mental health assistance, right?

Isnt this some kind of Occams Razor situation, where the Christian aspect of the mental health program is, in effect, COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT to the help that the patients are being given?

wade419 said...

So the next logical question, Wade419, is what WAS the basis for his parents discouragement assuming that it was not a religious basis?

There are a plethora of reasons to choose from, really. IF the parents did any discouraging (a big if), perhaps they viewed the issue as better solved as a family discussion/"we are your parents and we will get you in line" sort of thing. Maybe the family doesn't trust doctors. Maybe the mother viewed some of the psychiatric hospitals as unnecessarily forceful, and she was trying to protect her child from uncaring, prodding shrinks (maternal instinct can be strong). Maybe the parents felt that there was still some way to help before completely removing their parental influence by giving him over to the doctors.

With some imagination, it's not hard to come up with tons of reasons for them to (hypothetically) discourage psychiatric care, and a lot of them *don't* have to involve religion in any way, shape or form.

Anonymous said...

Just ran into a MacArthur fanatic on facebook who is attempting to tell people that they are "once saved, always saved" and leading them to his "expert" articles to prove his silly Samaritan point. (As an aside, I am told this man has drinking and pornography issues and that is why this false doctrine is so significant for him - "I will never stop sinning but by grace I'm saved nonetheless, " The "miraculous" power of God. WOW! Furthermore this man disdains the holy 7th-day Sabbath commandment and is willing to destroy the other nine just to decimate the one - typical "plain clothes" Catholic approach of an apostate Protestant who will uphold anything that upholds his sinful propensities. Anyway, I had always remembered hearing a tape by MacArthur around the early 80's defending his position. Very distinctly as it surprised and dismayed me at the time. He stated something to the effect that the young man was a "loser" who couldn't get it together and was "better off now. His life was worthless here. At least he's in heaven." No remorse whatsoever, arrogant and, frankly, repugnant comments. He was discussing in his "sermon" how the courts had ruled in his church's favor. I distinctly remember my heart going out for the young man's family, even though I didn't know all the particulars. This just proves "and their works do follow them." Mr. MacArthur's certainly do - as well as his attitude...

Anonymous said...

Oh, and one more thing - the entier taped sermon, including the disparaging comments regarding the young suicide victim was to prove his grand "theological" point: that the young man was in heaven (which in and of itself is totally unscriptural as the Bible PLAINLY states that death is death - not an advanced form of life - and that the dead are raised up at the Second Coming (er, that's a big part of the Second Coming's purpose, right?). Thus the "Babylon is fallen, is fallen" false doctrine conclusion MacArthur arrives at is that since the young man is in heaven (Why? Apparently because Mr. MacArthur SAYS SO, and he's a self-proclaimed scriptural authority) then he is correct in proclaiming that "once saved always saved" is correct. This is a logical fallacy called circular thinking. Where this leads when applying false doctrine to itself is where all false doctrines (including "sun"day worship) lead - straight back to the "mother of harlets" - Rome and the Papacy!

Anonymous said...

At LEAST the poor kid isn't around to read all your disgusting and misinformed BS about how YOU might know better than the Sovereign LORD