The London Times reports that on November 3rd a man named Michael Ritscher burned himself to death in Chicago in protest of the War on terror in Iraq. He meant it to be a public protest, but ironically people thought he was just a burning statue and took little notice of him at the time. Here is what he said in a suicide note:
"If I am required to pay for your barbaric war, I choose not to live in your world. I refuse to finance the mass murder of innocent civilians, who did nothing to threaten our country...Maybe some will be scared enough to wake from their walking dream state am I therefore a martyr or a terrorist? I would prefer to be thought of as a spiritual warrior."
Death is always tragic, but when someone takes their own life it is incredibly tragic. Death is always a product of sin (Romans 5:12). It is not that death is a direct cause of a particular sin that brings about the demise of the deceased. Instead because man sinned against God and because men are sinners the penalty of this is death (Romans 3:23). This death is physical, spiritual and eternal. However, when one commits suicide he brings about his own death by his own direct sin. There is nothing bold, brave or heroic about self murder. Let's just call it what it is: a violation of the 6th commandment. It is rebellion against God. We are made in the image of God for His glory. Everywhere in scripture the sanctity and preciousnessnes of life is upheld. When God says "you shall not murder" He is telling us that the taking of life without due cause is against His law and against His holiness.
Sadly this man who made himself a human torch does not offer any true light to the world, but only hopelessness. Not only was his opportunity for public protest wasted, but his suicide is an incredible waste of life. We find hope and light in Christ alone. There is something worth living for! We proclaim faith in Christ Jesus for the forgiveness of sins and the redemptionion of mankind!
1 Timothy 4:10 For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially believersB95