Christian Living Ethics History

Suicide – Do People Go To Heaven If They Commit Suicide? – A.S.K 21

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BIBLE READING: Judges 16:23-31

TEXT: Samson said, ‘Let me die with the Philistines! Th en he pushed with all his might, and down came the temple on the rulers and all the people in it. Th us he killed many more when he died than while he lived. (Judges 16:30)

In December 1856 Hugh Miller, a church leader in Scotland, a man of science and a great author, got out of bed and wrote this message to his wife:

“My brain burns. I must have walked and a fearful dream rises upon me. I cannot bear the horrible thought. God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ have mercy upon me. Dearest Lydia, dear children farewell. My brain burns as the recollection grows, my dear wife farewell. Hugh Miller.”

Hugh Miller – The Christian Radical

He then went and shot himself. To this day people have speculated as to why. He was clearly in great agony – mentally and possibly physically. What happens to Christians who do that?  I don’t need to go back to the 19th Century, or to read about suicides in other countries, to know that this is still an issue today.

In my years as a minister, I have known several Christians who have committed suicide. The beautiful, intelligent young student who had everything going for her; the middle-aged family man; the minister whose life and ministry went horribly wrong. Even to think about these is heart-breaking. Suicide is a dreadful thing. It may seem like a good solution to the person who is so depressed that they do not think life worth living, but the problem is that they are not always thinking straight. Indeed in some cases, they may not be thinking at all. They forget that they are usually leaving behind a people and a community who will be distraught and in despair at their death. It’s a sin against the community. But they also forget that it is God alone who has the right to take someone’s life.

We do not normally have the right to take our own life. So yes – it is a sin. It is also a terrible testimony to the world. I recall one famous existentialist philosopher saying that he could not live consistently with his philosophy of despair because it would mean he would have to commit suicide. The trouble with a Christian who commits suicide is that it is inconsistent with our belief in the goodness, forgiveness and sovereignty of God.

But whilst we acknowledge that it is a sin against ourselves, the community and God, why would that mean we don’t go to heaven? I wonder where this idea comes from. Is it a residue of a belief that those who die with unconfessed sin are not forgiven? Is it because it is considered a ‘mortal’ or unforgivable sin? That is certainly not what the Bible teaches. In today’s passage, we read of a suicide in the Bible. Samson by pulling down the temple of the pagans upon himself did kill himself – as well as many of Israel’s enemies. I suppose that is one example where suicide is at least understandable if not excused. Giving our lives for others might also be considered a good form of suicide.

But what about those who kill themselves out of despair or to get away from the fears, darkness, guilt and problems they face? Are they committing a sin that cannot be forgiven? We need to remember that Jesus died for all our sins, past, present and future. When we become Christians, Jesus doesn’t say; ‘that’s fine. That’s the slate wiped clean. Now you had better be sure you don’t sin anymore because there is nothing more I can do for you”. If that were the case we would all be in deep trouble!

art-black-candle-695644None of us are in the position where we can look back on the life of Hugh Miller and say ‘this is why he committed suicide’. We don’t know. And when we don’t know about such personal and deep matters, we have even more reason to keep silent. We cannot judge. All we must do is seek to help those who are left and try to understand and encourage those who are thinking of suicide to realize that their lives are worth living. I don’t think that the Christians I have known who have committed suicide are excluded from heaven. The blood of Jesus cleanses from all sin – including suicide. They are with Christ. Purified, holy and happy. Their minds and bodies tortured no more. For the Lamb at the centre of the throne will be their shepherd; ‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’ ‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. (Revelation 7:17)

CONSIDER: How would you help someone who confided in you that they had suicidal thoughts? What would you do if you felt like killing yourself? Who could you speak to?

RECOMMENDED FURTHER READING: Gary Nelson – A Relentless Hope – Surviving the Storm of Teen Depression

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, there is no pit so deep, that you have not been there already. You cried out in the depths of despair ‘My God, My God, why have you forsaken me? You understand. You know. Lord help us when we struggle with such dark despair. Help our friends and family. And may we always look to you to lift us out of the pit. Amen.

Animals in Heaven – Do Dogs Go To Heaven? A.S.K 20

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27 comments

  1. If only God has the right to take our lives then don’t you think he’s quite clearly off the ball or has something against people who find this present world a difficult place to survive in. And why has he created so many corrupt, grotesquely rich people since the last war?

    1. You have a misunderstanding both about the nature of God and of humanity. He doesn’t go round killing humans as though it were some kind of computer game. And He hasn’t ‘created so many, corrupt, grotesquely rich people.

  2. David thank you for this reflection.
    When I was 35 my 30-year-old brother committed suicide.
    He had fought with demons for most of his life.
    It is a long story and I have indeed written several posts about it a few years back.
    Being raised in the Episcopal Church, I had always felt that suicide was the ultimate slap in the face to God…the taking of the gift of life and throwing it back in His face…rejecting what He had given us.
    I felt it a mortal sin.

    Then years later I had a student to commit suicide.
    His family was a Christian family but he had been a troubled young man who had fought addiction on and off. The youngest of 5 children.

    I had caught him huffing glue in class.
    He was in turn expelled and his family sent him to rehab.

    A few months later, he killed himself.

    At the time, I had a friend whose husband was a minister.

    He told me that at that moment between life and death we have no way of knowing about that personal meeting between God and man…
    might God not extend that grace even then…during that time of “transition”??
    We can’t say definitively.

    So I then grew to believe that God can be and will be with those who take their own lives…but perhaps even then, the choice to accept or not to accept also still remains.

    God’s grace does cover a wealth of sin—thank Goodness!!!

    1. As somebody who still carries a burden of grief as a result of my mother’s suicide 45 years ago, I can only say that I have entrusted her to God’s mercy. That was all that I could do. As a priest said to me at the time, if we feel sadness and compassion when we hear of the suicide of a woman like my mother, a widow who had raised 7 children in poverty, how much greater is God’s compassion; bearing in mind that God knows every detail of that person’s life?

  3. My own conviction is that when someone commits suicide it does not “necessarily” mean that there is no hope for their soul. God’s hand is mighty to save. However, one never knows another person really. Only God knows for sure, and I leave that in His hands.

    The problem I have is deciding how best to comfort those who mourn. Many well meaning individuals will say something like “brother so-and-so has gone to be with the Lord”. But how does one know this? However well meaning these sentiments are, the heinous nature of that person’s final act (to murder an image bearer of God) certainly justifies a measure of doubt and causes me to back away from making such affirmations. These are ugly situations to be in. I can only cling more tenaciously to God in trust of His sovereignty and goodness.

  4. Thank you so much for this encouraging article. It is really helpful to me.

    I am actually from Hobart, Tasmania and I know you are down here at the moment.

    I am a long-time reader.

    I was friends with people involved in a bad case many years ago now. It involved a local girl, Kristy Corbett, who treated her boyfriend badly and he had a mental breakdown as a result. The case was studied and documented in Wikipedia years ago:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_in_Australia#List_of_notable_cases

    Kristy Corbett left her partner, a young Christian who by all accounts, sincerely loved her, to join the RAAF (Royal Australian Air Force). Corbett abruptly moved interstate when accepted into the RAAF without even bothering to say goodbye to him, leave a contact address or phone number or anything. This was during the Iraq invasion by the way, so she willing volunteered to join the military when facts about the illegal invasion were known. When he eventually caught up with her, she treated him with disdain and cut contact again.

    Kristy Corbett was not a Christian, of course, and my understanding is a Christian should only fate/marry another Christian. Is that correct? That is how “Be not unequally yoked” ( and other verses) are normally interpreted isn’t it? That much guilt at least lies with her Christian boyfriend then. 🙁 Anyway, Kristy Corbett was very callous by now – she had changed a lot – and would not even give him a chance. She knew her earlier actions had made him mentally unwell with anxiety/depression but she would not help him, visit him or even maintain contact with him. In their brief correspondence, Corbett’s boyfriend had been desperate to reconcile with her and also prick her conscience about joining the RAAF with regard to the Iraq invasion and civilian casualties, to no avail. Kristy Corbett had hardened her heart. What he had said has now been vindicated by the way, with revelations of the RAAF’s role in the phosphorous bombing of Fallujah and recent ABC reports of alleged war crimes by Australian Army SAS death squads.

    Anyway, Kristy Corbett cut all contact for the second time which led to the tragic events that followed. She was later investigated but not charged with anything. I don’t believe the police even questioned her.

    I believe victims do go to heaven if they are Christian. God is compassionate and takes into account mental illness. Kristy Corbett’s boyfriend loved her too much and was too distraught at her callousness and lack of empathy and willingness to become involved in the military, especially at such a notorious time. I know he prayed a lot for her but these prayers were seemingly never answered. Kristy Corbett did not soften her heart and become a Christian as far as we know, she destroyed the life of the person who loved her and has possibly destroyed the lives of other people depending on her role in the RAAF and what theatres of war she has visited. All of this through her pure selfishness.

    All in all an incredibly sad story that continues to trouble me whenever I think about it, especially with regard to the unanswered prayers regarding Kristy’s conversion which would have potentially mitigated so much suffering.

    Thank you once again and I am grateful for your ministry.

    1. I should add some more points:. We eventually learned that the reason why Kristy Corbett left our friend, the guy who loved her, was because “he wasn’t assertive enough”. That, I think, shows her immaturity and selfishness, basically expecting him to change his whole Natural personality evenwhen she knew he had already become mentally ill after her abandonment of him.

      However, despite/because of the harm she caused my friend (whose name I have deliberately omitted so as not to cause hurt to his family) and despite/because of the enormous suffering she and her RAAF friends have caused to innocent civilian peasants in Iraq and Afghanistan through their bombing, we must pray for Kristy Corbett.

      Dear Father in Heaven

      You know Kristy’s heart and what she has done. Please soften her heart and make her repent of her selfishness which has led to so much tragedy and suffering. Please turn her so that she will give her life to Christ. Make her realise live is self-sacrificing, not selfish. Make her repent of whatever role she has had in the dismemberment of Iraq/Afghanistan and the enormous ongoing suffering on innocent civilians there, so many of whom are women and children and simple farmers. May the Muslims in those lands too come to know Christ and not be deterred from Christianity by the alleged war crimes of Australian forces, more and more of which have come to light in the media in recent days.

      May Kristy mature and repent of her past and start afresh by making amends. May she come to know true forgiveness comes only from Christ. May she embrace the religion she turned her nose up at in her youth and come to see the world in a godly light and grow in empathy towards others. Soften her heart where it was once so hard. May she do a U-turn and live as a devout Christian and reconcile with the ghosts of her past to make amends for her selfish, shallow youthful actions.

      We pray fervently that she may be born again and reconciled to You and to those she has hurt.

      In the name of Jesus our Lord,

      Amen

      1. There are so many sad stories on here I will pray for you all.

        John, I lived in Hobart at one stage and my son is about the same age as Kristy Corbett so I asked if he knew of her and he did. He remembered her from Elizabeth College in North Hobart (not a surprise since it is such a big college.) He did not know her well but apparently she was suspended at on stage for misconduct, so I guess she was always an immature troublemaker. She was close friends with another girl named Kelly-Anne Bone. Other than that, he did not know much about her. I am so sad to hear about how she treated the guy who loved her later on. So selfish.

        I am fortunate in that no one close to me has committed suicides, though some associates have.

        Yes, a Christian should definitely only marry another Christian. It is found in multiple places in scripture as you note.

        I am strongly anti-military and, as I was saying elsewhere on this site just recently, I am particularly opposed to women in the military. It sounds like Kristy Corbett is the end result of extreme feminism, running off to join the air force and willingly participating in the rape of Iraq while not even saying goodbye to her boyfriend. I can well understand how devastated he must have been and how such events spiralled out of control when she rejected him the second time. What a selfish, unfeminine, unladylike woman Kristy must be! 🙁

        With regard to Fallujah, apparently the phosphorous bombs were the same kind as the incendiary bombs used in the Dresden bombing in WW2, another alleged war crime. I cannot find it now but there was once an official RAAF website (ending in .gov.au) for a squadron or whatever actually *boasting* about how that particular squadron had taken part in the “legendary raid on Dresden”. There was no admission on the site about the massive civilian death toll or about how controversial, at best, the raid was. They were relishing their involvement in it.

        Having actually been fortunate enough to have been to Dresden myself, it is hard to imagine the death and destruction wrought on such a city of lovely, kind people and such rich culture, including two major Lutheran churches (I was fortunate enough to worship in one, the Kreuzkirche, which the famous Dresden Boys’ Choir calls home. It was completely burnt out in the raid. The rail yards, which were the alleged target of the raid, are actually on the other side of the Elbe River from the city centre, so that was definitely just a flimsy excuse for the terror bombing.

        Likewise, the RAAF participated in the annhilation of Königsberg, the capital of East Prussia.

        Even today, the RAAF defends the likes of Bomber Harris, as per this article:

        https://www.460squadronraaf.com/accolades/polemic.html

        I have no time at all for the RAAF on the basis of these instances. At least armies are face-to-face with their enemies, not dropping bombs on civilians from on high. The fact that the same terror tactics have persisted from Dresden to Fsllujah with no remorse from the air force, despite the enormous public outcry is telling. It is interesting to learn just what kind of person joins the air force, in the person of Kristy Corbett and her background.

        Let us all pray that Kristy Corbett will turn to Christ one day and find forgiveness for her actions and be saved.

      2. Thanks for your kind, helpful words, Jean. Yes, it is the same Kristy Corbett who attended Elizabeth College.

        It is unbelievable that Kristy Corbett would just disappear interstate without even saying goodbye to him. At no stage did Kristy ever confide in him that she was considering joining the RAAF. No wonder she gave him anxiety/depression.

        When he eventually found out her contact email and wrote to her asking what had happened, she was extremely indifferent, even when he told her about his mental state. She basically said, “If I am ever in town and have a spare hour, I might have a coffee with you” and, “I have met a guy and we will soon be living together” etc. A third party friend begged her just to visit him because she could see how Kristy was treating her and to at least stay in touch with him. It was to this third party that Kristy revealed that she had left him because he was “not assertive enough”.

        At the same time as wanting him to be more assertive, Kristy had undermined his self esteem firstly by just disappearing into thin air suddenly to join the RAAF with absolutely no warning and then in these belittling emails.

        Despite the third party’s warnings to stay in contact with him and at least talk through their differences and reconcile, Kristy Corbett continued to undermine him and then abruptly cut contact, leading to the tragic events that followed.

        I think her whole attitude typifies the difference between a Christian and a non-Christian. The bullying, the callousness, the condescension, the selfish self-absorption, the boasting about her intention to commit fornication with another man, etc.

        Kristy knew what effect her emails and then abruptly disappearing for a second time were doing to her friend. She had plenty of warning yet she did them anyway. If she treats a loyal friend like this, no wonder she can join an organisation devoted to killing people. She is culpable and has blood on her hands.

        Honestly, the Bible verse that gives me the most comfortable out of this whole episode is Matthew 22:30, since it teaches us there will be no marriage or sex in the next life, since it is the sinful misuse of these gifts that cause so many of this world’s problems today.

        That is as much as I know. Kristy Corbett’s name is mud in Hobart as a result of what she did to that young man.

      3. John,

        Kristy Corbett seems l to have done so much wrong: abandoning friends in need, fornication, and destroying lives (both as a state-sponsored killer in the air force and by what she did to her “friend”.) Where is her loyalty?

        I will pray for her. We must not feel anger for her but pity for she does not have the Gospel in her life. Let us pray she turns to Jesus one day.

        I will tell you one other thing: years ago I knew a former military intelligence officer. He told us about the propaganda role he had: he’d pump the recruits full of fabricated stories about enemies like Saddam to make them hate him/think they were acting righteously in fighting him. It seemed to them they had inside information that the general public was not privy to. In fact, the average member of the Australian military knows less about what is happening than civilians do because of this barrage of propaganda. This is one form of indoctrination they are exposd to.

        Pure speculation on my part but I was also wondering if something else was going on in Kristy Corbett’s life: her decision to suddenly run off and join the military, her refusal to even simply visit her friend when he needed her the most and her callousness towards him and her lack of discipline at school lead me to wonder about her home life with her parents.

        I also wonder – again pure speculation – if maybe she was bisexual since we know from statistics that a very largely disproportionate number of women who join the military are lesbian and it is obviously not a very feminine career. I stress though that all that is speculation though and she was obviously intending to commit the sin of fornication with another man. Her Christian ex-boyfriend must have been devastated: not only had she suddenly disappeared on him without a goodbye with no explanation and no trace but she was seeing another man and was preparing to sin with him. No winder that destroyed his already fragile mental state. 🙁 🙁 🙁

        To close, as I said above, we must nit hold any anger in our hearts against Kristy, John C. Instead, we must pity her because she does not know the Gospel. Let us pray she finds saving faith in Christ before it is too late for her.

        God bless.

      4. Dear Ptr Robertson

        I am from Tasmania and I knew all the parties in this case. I was hesitant to write after John C. told me about it but I will do so since I hope it will prove cathartic and I still struggle to make theological sense of it and I therefore have lots of questions. Thank you for giving us the chance to publish our thoughts here. Since I know most of what happened, I will give my account of the terrible things that happened twelve years and more ago.

        I knew Kristy Corbett well at one stage. She attended Ogilvie High School and Elizabeth College in Hobart’s northern suburbs. I met her mother, Anne Corbett, a few times. They were very much a working class family from the rough suburb of Claremont, north of Glenorchy. Kristy Corbett’s father worked for a security firm.

        As people have noted, Kristy was, in many ways, quite immature for her age. She was very quiet at high school but became more outgoing later on. Kristy Corbett was a very poor student and hated reading, for instance, because she considered it ‘a chore’. As a result, she was not very articulate nor was she a deep thinker. She tended to talk in cliches. Despite this, many people though she was ‘nice’ because she seemed kind and friendly on the surface. It took a long time to realise that the problem was she was all surface – she was totally superficial with no depth at all. It is interesting to observe, though, that even non-Christians like Kristy can appear ‘nice’ and ‘kind’, at least initially.

        Anyway, later on, some people compared Kristy Corbett to a less-articulate, quieter version of the Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie because of their personalities, their perceived lack of culture and their military backgrounds.

        I also knew her boyfriend. As John suggested, to protect the family’s privacy, let’s just call him ‘D.’ He was her opposite in many ways. While she was an atheist and evidently a feminist given her less-than-ladylike demeanour and defiance of traditional gender roles in joining the military, he was a conservative Calvinist-you would probably have liked him, Ptr. He was anti-feminist and, academically, he finished top student at Elizabeth College, he loved literature and went on to win a scholarship for academic excellence to do post-grad studies at uni. He was also extremely loyal to his friends, gentle, compassionate and one of the quietest, shyest, most introverted people you would ever meet. His family were more middle-class bit they had fallen on hard times.

        He also happened to be one of Tasmania’s very top athletes. Even though they were like chalk and cheese, opposites attract and he and Kristy Corbett had been friends from College-where he absolutely adored her-but she suddenly decided she wanted to be good at sport, too, so he, of course, helped her out (previously she had been a good dancer). He genuinely thought she wanted to become a good sportswoman but cynics have suggested that she was just using him to build up her fitness so she could pass her physicals on applying to join the RAAF. What the truth of the matter is, I don’t know.

        Anyway, D.’s father was also a qualified and well-accomplished sports coach so they trained her. D. and Kristy Corbett were very close, or so he thought. At any rate, she knew how deeply he loved her. By this stage, Kristy Corbett was working in the Harris Scarfe department store in Moonah as a salesgirl and he would come and visit her every lunch hour and tell her how much he loved her and cared for her and she apparently cared for him, too. Thus they dated each other. She knew he wanted to marry her.

        Then, one day, she just vanished. He later learned she had gone to the mainland to join the RAAF. Not once did she confide in him her plans or ever asked his thoughts on the matter. She simply disappeared interstate without even saying goodbye to him. Of course, he was absolutely devastated that the girl he loved and wanted to marry could do that to him.

        However, there was even more to it than that. As a devout young Christian, D. had been a pacifist since the late 1990s. (I know it is somewhat rare in some parts of the world like Scotland for Calvinists to be pacifists because if the WCF but I think it was more common in Tasmania like it is in Wales and France). After Sep. 11, with all of the blatant lies spread by Bush, Blair and Howard, he, like many, many Australians was even more involved in anti-war and anti-military protests.

        Even if people were not anti-military in general, it was clear that Iraq was being invaded under a false pretext and that oil and strategic advantage in the reason for the U. S. Empire was the real reason, with Australia its ever-willing lapdog.

        Despite this, Kristy Corbett had run off to join the RAAF as a willing participant in this butchery. D. was devastated to learn she had not only left him but joined an organisation of death-dealers and professional killers, against all his deeply-held Christian morals.

        Jean, to answer one of your questions, I don’t think Kristy had an unhappy family life at home. It is very hard to tell though as she rarely talked about herself and often shut down questions when asked. I know even D., very quiet and introverted himself, had trouble communicating with her at times even though he was deeply interested in her life because he cared for her so much. As for the possibility of her being bisexual, I have no idea. I never saw anything to make me suspicious of it.

        What I think was really the case was that Kristy Corbett genuinely thought she was too good for Tasmania and was looking for a way to leave. She often called the place ‘a dump’ and similar. She was using the RAAF to leave and further her own career and travel, never mind anyone else, least of all her boyfriend or the hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians who would end up dead, with her willing collaboration, no matter how small her actual role may have been.

        The fact that Kristy Corbett had left the guy who loved her without even saying goodbye threw him into depressive anxiety. The fact she had betrayed some of his most deeply-held core values by joining the military made it feel like a double betrayal. He waited anxiously for month after month to hear from her as she had his contact details but no letter or phone call ever came.

        He obtained her airbase postal address and wrote to her but she did not respond (she would later claim she never received the letters. If so, what happened to them?)

        A few years passed by and D. moved interstate himself to take up a corporate role. All the time his anxiety and depression became worse and worse from the implication that his girlfriend had utterly rejected him, to her betrayal of his pacifist morals to the fear that she might be in danger in a warzone or from sexual assault (very high in the Australian military) to the fear that she was actively collaborating in the horrific crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan and being brainwashed/indoctrinated as just another unthinking, blindly loyal military worker-drone.

        Eventually, after a few years of searching, a friend managed to obtain Kristy’s new email address for him.

        Extremely anxious, he wrote to Kristy Corbett, desperate to find out if she was safe, how she was doing and if they could resume their relationship despite the way in which she had treated him.

        Her responses devastated him in their arrogance. Kristy had changed a lot (or perhaps this had always been her real nature?) She might condescend to spend an hour having a coffee with him if she was ever in his part of the world was one response. Most devastating to him of all, though, was her revelation she had been cheating on him the whole time with a guy named Shane. She openly declared that they were not living together yet but soon would be. This absolutely destroyed D. Not only had she been unfaithful the whole time that he had not even looked at another girl but she openly boasted she would soon be living in sin, in direct repudiation of all his strict Christian sexual morals. I do not know if Kristy Corbett was still a virgin up until this point but certainly D. would never have done anything as wicked as have sex prior to marriage, so if she had done so, it was not with him.

        Some other arrogant, dismissive replies followed his other emails.

        One thing he did do was supply her with information from one of his anti-war groups who counselled people on how to leave the military if they ever felt their consciences impinged. He begged her to leave if she ever found herself unable to follow orders because of conscience or if she found herself in danger.

        Seeing the effect Kristy Corbett’s dismissive responses were having on D.’s mental health, the third party who had obtained the email address intervened by writing to Kristy herself, begging her to reconcile with D. and telling her the effect she was having. Kristy Corbett was rude to her as well and told some blatant, easily-disproved falsehoods about the situation. Kristy Corbett did reveal, though, that the reason she had left D. was because ‘he was not assertive enough’.

        The third party then explained that D. had to be somewhat assertive/confident, given he had risen to a position of leadership and responsibility in one of the world’s leading corporations and had achieved a huge amount academically and in sport. This news seemed to come as a shock to Kristy Corbett. She did not realise how powerful and responsible he had become, despite the depression/anxiety she was responsible for giving him.

        In fact, had D. joined the RAAF himself, it is easy to see he would have ranked highly given his academic skills and leadership experience, whereas Kristy Corbett herself was on the lowest rung of servicewoman for many long years before eventually being promoted to corporal. In other words, she was a general ‘dog’s body’ at best and would have been used as cannon-fodder at worst if Australia ever fought a strong enemy.

        I think by ‘assertive’ though, she really meant she had an attraction to ‘bad boys’, again showing her extreme immaturity. At school, she had often associated with the loudmouth boys, the teen car hoons and the bullies. She mistook arrogance and a loudmouth for confidence.

        I have also since read about female war criminals in Nazi Germany. They, too, remind me of Kristy in that a lot of them were small-town girls with poor academic records using the opportunity of joining the military as concentration camp guards to break out of traditionally-defined gender roles. These women were not sadists but they committed atrocities in order to prove they could keep up with the male guards and show they were as ‘tough’ as them. I believe there may be the same kind of mentality at work in Kristy.

        Anyway, in her emails, Kristy couldn’t even bring herself to thank D. for his sports coaching or the constant love and commitment he had shown her.

        The third party begged Kristy Corbett to at least take some leave and spend some time with D., as a platonic friend if not as a girlfriend, seeing how she was undermining his mental health. Kristy Corbett refused to do even this, even though she knew, as the third party reminded her, that D. would have been the first person by her side if the positions had been reversed and Kristy were ever sick or in serious trouble, yet she did not bother to lift a finger to help someone who had been her best friend.

        The third party begged Kristy Corbett over and over that, no matter what else she did, not to cut contact with D. again and disappear without saying goodbye as she had done before, as this would have the most devastating impact of all on D. Yet, after just a few more emails, Kristy Corbett did just that. She abruptly stopped communicating again with her shattered friend, knowing full well the effect this would have on him. In so doing, she pushed him to the brink of suicide.

        In retrospect, it is Kristy Corbett’s callous lack of caring that shocks me the most. I am no longer in contact with her either. Her friendly, ‘happy-go-lucky’ lighthearted surface manner concealed the lack of compassion underneath. The way she disposed of D. when she joined the RAAF, her refusal to even fly over and visit him when contact was reestablished and she knew the impact her actions had had upon him and the way she boasted of her new, secret boyfriend and the fact she would soon be fornicating with him and the way she just contact twice without even bothering to say goodbye either time to her loyal, selflessly loving boyfriend are indicative, as is her lack of concern about the impact of RAAF actions on innocent Iraqi peasants, all too evident now we know so much more about atrocities against civilians in places including, but not limited to, Fallujah. She apparently didn’t care about D.’s life or anyone else’s, especially when she abandoned him without even a goodbye for the second time. She is an utterly self-centred human being.

        Later on, in the fall out, of course the matter was discussed with police but she was never charged or, as far as I know, even interviewed. She is guilty of negligence in my mind though, due to her callous emails and the way she knowingly abandoned her friend for the second time, even though she was clearly and unambiguously told how sick he was and the likely affect of abandoning him again. Kristy Corbett is without loyalty even to those who love her the most. She is selfish and dies not make the slightest effort to care for others if it inconveniences her. She joined the RAAF to further her career and abandoned the guy who loved her and wanted to marry her in so doing so that she could live in sin with another man.

        Although she was not charged, I believe someone also considered contacting her commanding officer in the RAAF in the hope of having her dishonorably discharged. I don’t think anything came of this though.

        There was also an academic study of the case and it was mentioned on Wiki, as per the link above.

        Worse, though, there was a lengthy discussion thread full of vitriol against Kristy Corbett in a Tasmanian internet forum, after all the emails inevitably leaked out. The thread has long been deleted now but it was up for a long time. People I knew were calling on her to ‘burn in hell’ and saying the RAAF should send her to Afghanistan where hopefully the Taliban would give her a ‘third eye’ [which is apparently military slang for a bullet hole through the skull] and other angry threats and condemnations, such was the hostility towards her-which D. would have hated. That shows how much anger there was against her. Fortunately things have died down in intervening years.

        The saddest thing is for D.’s parents. They were an extremely close knit, loving, Christian family. They were deeply fond of Kristy Corbett at first (until they realised what she was really like) and, had she married D., they would have warmly welcomed her into the family with open arms as their daughter. Instead, Kristy Corbett treated their son with contempt and destroyed his life. His mother and father have since had extremely serious health issues and both have nearly died, his father on multiple occasions. Thankfully, God has preserved them both.

        That is the entire story as I know it. It shows the harm one selfish, arrogant girl can cause to those who genuinely love her. There are so many things I do not understand though:

        1. I know D. prayed fervently that Kristy Corbett would return to him when she ran off and joined the RAAF. She did not do so. In fact, she made no attempt to contact him at all. She just left him heartbroken with no explanation for years on end. There would have been times when she came home on leave to visit her parents in Claremont and D. was only a short bus ride away but even then she didn’t bother with him. Why was his prayer unanswered? Why couldn’t God have given her back to him?

        2. He also prayed that Kristy Corbett would become a Christian. As far as we know, she never has. This would have softened her selfish heart and made her much more compassionate, loyal and selfless towards others. This, too, appears not to have happened. Had she become a Christian and stayed with D., he would have been fine, his lovely family would not have suffered, she would be saved, she would not have joined the RAAF and contributed to the misery and suffering in the world and she would not have become a fornicator. Why did God not make this happen? Please pray that she may still change, Ptr.

        3. Per the comments above, was D. wrong to date an atheist in the hope she would convert later? Should Christians only date and marry other Christians? So much pain would have been averted if D. had avoided Kristy in the first place and stayed amongst his Christian friends. I guess love is blind and everyone who met Kristy Corbett was deceived by her ‘nice’, friendly, happy-go-lucky manner at first. The opening part of Psalm One, in particular, seems to say to me, Ptr, that a Christian should only keep company with other Christians.

        4. How can we forgive and forget? I find it extremely hard to let go of my vengeful, angry feelings towards her but Jesus teaches us that is a sin. Do you have any advice, Ptr?

        Thanks so much. Writing about these events from years ago is helping at least. I was naive about how selfish seemingly ‘nice’ people truly are in their hearts until all of this came about with the godless Kristy Corbett. It at least showed me the veracity of the doctrine of Total Depravity. It is deeply frightening that normal’ people out there can treat those who sincerely love them so callously when they become an inconvenience and that these same selfish people become willing pawns of the US and Australian governments’ imperial war agenda and are prepared to inflict misery on the weak and powerless around the globe to further their own careers.

        To end, I’d like to invite all readers of this blog to pray this prayer for Kristy Corbett:

        *****

        Dear Lord and Father of mankind,

        You know all hearts, including Kristy Corbett’s. Only you know her inner thoughts and her motives for her actions. Please turn her from her sinful desires and selfishness. Please soften her hardened heart and allow her to accept Your Son, Jesus Christ, as Lord of her life.

        Please may she repent of her sins against you and against her fellows and may she seek to undo the terrible pain she has caused to those who loved her the most and to anyone overseas who has also suffered or been killed as a direct or indirect result of her military work.

        Please turn her heart and open her eyes so that the crimes of US imperialism, in which she has collaborated may become repugnant to her.

        Please teach her the meaning of true, self-sacrificing love, not the utterly destructive selfish ‘love’ that she now possesses that has destroyed lives.

        Through these changes in her life, give her peace and may she, and her victims, be saved. Give her the strength to face up to her wrongdoing. May she seek out those of whom she has harmed who are still alive and make amends to them. May she then know their forgiveness as well.

        Finally, despite the terrible things she has done, please always keep her safe in Your care and may she come to know the warmth of Your genuine and inexhaustible love for her. May she accept Your free gift of forgiveness, as we sincerely and earnestly seek her salvation, and we ourselves forgive her the wrongs she has done to us and to our friends.

        In the name of Christ Your Son, who died for our sins and rose again,

        Amen.

        *****

        Thank you for your time, Ptr Robertson. God bless.

  5. For someone who has (and recently) had these thoughts this post is very thought provoking, and when you are in the depths of dispair you can feel alone and are not thinking straight. It’s these times the thoughts come into your mind that God is to busy to care for you.

    The thought of leaving my children without a father has kept me from doing it.

    For the record currently I’m not in this dark place, I’m trying to do each night the M’Cheyne’s Bible reading plan. I do feel better now that each night before I go to be bed I’m feeling my head with scripture.

  6. if we are truly believers in Christ, his righteousness is imputed to us and will not be taken away. However in this life we have trouble and we have no right to condemn those who are depressed or commit suicide. Shall not the judge of all the earth do right? Yes he does.

  7. How does your worldview regard assisted suicide, of say a terminal cancer patient is a Christian?

    Would an atheist soldier fighting in Afghanistan who laid down his life for his patrol by using his body to cover a mine be damned to Hell or would your worldview consider he would warrant favourable dispensation from Yahweh?

  8. I’ve had several times in my life where I have wanted to end it all. First at 18-19 when violent step-dad who had been angry & violent to my mum and myself all my life. He’d beaten me up and so I waited until it was dark and walked to the park that led to cliffs in Arbroath, thinking I wouldn’t see where I was going if I jumped. But met a drunk man sitting on a bench. He called out to me, asked where I was going. I said I was going to the cliffs to jump. But he talked me out of it and even walked me home right to the door.
    Another time after another beating, I got up on the window of my 4th story bedroom window, about to jump. Saw a lad I went to school and shouted to him that I was going to jump. Did he say no, don’t do it? Did he offer to come up to talk to me? No… H actually just laughed and said “Go on then!” But something in my heart urged me not to. I believe that was the Lord. Then when I lost my baby at 9 months to adoption, again I wanted to give up & die. Cut myself and went to Sunnyside {psychiatric hospital}, There again, I believe I met the Lord when I was at my lowest. Read Psalm 69 where it says, “Save me O God, for the waters have come up to my neck!” And that became my prayer.
    Thankfully I don’t get suicidal any more. But it’s a horrible feeling. So dark, despairing, hopeless, thinking you’d be better off dead. What a terrible way to feel. I have a dog now called Caleb and he makes life worth living these days.

    Maggie

  9. When a depressed person takes his or her own life, it is because all one can see or experience is darkness … darkness thad is above, below, in front and behind as well as on both sides of them with no hope of ever seeing light again. He or she is surrounded by darkness and despair. Depression is an illness that sometimes leads suicide. As a chaplain and pastor, I have always counseled families that our loving God would never condemn someone to hell because of an illness that ended their loved one’s life., even if that death was self-inflicted.

  10. The fact is, we do not know what is in people’s hearts or what takes place between two people in a relationship. But it is NOT devotion or romantic to pursue somebody – no matter who it is or what their behaviour – who has made it clear they do not want the relationship to continue. Even God himself, while He never closes the door to a change, has bound Himself not to force us through it.
    As to suicide, I can only, like others here, testify for myself: that it can sometimes seem not only like a just self punishment, but also an altruistic act when it appears that your removal will both enrich those you care about and relieve them of an insoluble problem. It’s how I fear the “right to die” will be argued to the sick and elderly, concurrent with the end of NHS care, to overcome both principles, such as our host presents, and resistance. (Just as we are persuaded to abort “defective” babies when the truth is that our society refuses to support anything or anyone that will not pay its way.) It’s not always about “running away” to save oneself.
    As to the judgement to come, “he is with the Lord” could be taken two ways, couldn’t it? If someone right up to the last and beyond is in enmity to Him – real deep seated hate, not just anger about an unjust situation – that might be the worst that could ever happen to him. Not a thought to dwell on comfortably…

  11. I’ve obviously missed something here. Isn’t the very reason that the many Christian sects imply one would go to hell, is to discourage people killing the selves to get from this life to an eternal one so say full of joy.
    When you realise this is the only life you are going to get, there is more incentive to make the most of it.
    Surly if your god didn’t want people to kill themselves he would intervene.
    I’ve been through very dark times and so very close to ending it all and fully understand the manner that your thoughts can overwhelm you. I’ve lost friends to this as well but I’ve also lost too many to illnesses, which killed them far to young. Almost out of respect for those that never had a chance at a long life, I have continued with mine.
    I’m now in a better place. I for one could see no reason why your god wouldn’t let them in but I also see no reason why it shouldn’t help them.
    It almost acts like it doesn’t exist, hmm?

  12. Hello John C. and Tasmanian Girl,

    Your story about Kristy Corbett continues to touch me and not only because I once lived in Tasmania. I have had the facts of the case to him, as you have already related.

    I found this quote on the internet the other day that is relevant to the case of Kristy Corbett. I think you will find I and many, many other Australians will quietly agree with it:

    “Above all, those who would defy Political Correctness must behave according to the old rules of our culture, not the new rules the cultural Marxists lay down. Ladies should be wives and homemakers, not cops or soldiers, and men should still hold doors open for ladies. Children should not be born out of wedlock. Glorification of homosexuality should be shunned. Jurors should not accept Islam as an excuse for murder.”

    Tasmanian Girl, I am just a member of the laity and I do not know the answers to the tough theological questions you raised. However, I did ask the Pastor a related question not long ago about those who were praying for Hitler: had their prayers been answered, he would have been saved and the war and the holocaust would have presumably been averted. You can find my question and the Pastor’s response in the comments section of this post:

    https://theweeflea.com/2018/01/29/the-new-secular-puritans-jordan-petersons-book-and-churchills-finest-hour-quantum-117/

    Finally, if Kristy Corbett was this disloyal to someone who loved her and cared for her, I can’t help wondering whether she would also betray/abandon her military colleagues. Not someone you would want to be relying upon on the battlefield with that track record.

    I would have thought that the RAAF would see her actions as bringing their organisation into disrepute. She abandoned her friend twice, showing negligence and failure in a duty of care and made no concrete attempt to help him or even visit him. She drove her friend to mental illness and abandoned him a second time when he needed her the most.

    All we can do is pray for her. I hope one day she can face his family and apologise. That is what she needs to do and, more importantly, turn to Christ and leave her sinful lifestyle of state-endorsed violence and killing, neglect and abandonment of friends, lies and fornication behind.

    I promise I will pray the beautiful prayer you wrote for her. If someone like Paul of Tarsus can be saved, or a former military commander like Martin Niemoller (who became a devout Christian pacifist and pastor) then God can certainly reach out to Kristy Corbett and open her eyes as well.

    May God bless her and save her.

  13. Tasmanian Girl,

    Here are some other things that may help you in the Kristy Corbett case. These are from a French Protestant question and answer website I find extremely helpful. The questions have been translated into English with Google Translate, so they read a bit funny but you’ll be able to get the gist of them:

    ****

    Matt 8: 5-13 is difficult for me. A leader of the brutal occupation force (killings – atrocities)
    who swore allegiance to the imperial cult (idolater) is healed. [Jeans]
    February 17, 2018
    No comment

    ANSWER: If I understand what you are saying, what is difficult for you in this passage from Matthew is the fact that Jesus agreed to heal a Roman centurion. It is clear that what you say to describe it is true. He had a lot against him … But is not it the same for each of us? In his letter to the Romans (3: 9-
    24) Paul writes: “For we have already proved that Jews and non-Jews are all under the rule of sin, as it is written: There is no just, not even one; none are intelligent, none seek God; all turned aside, together they perverted; there is none who does good, not even one; (… ) Indeed, no one will be
    considered just in front of him on the basis of the works of the law, since it is through the law that comes the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God of which the law and the prophets testify has been manifested independently of the law: it is the righteousness of God by faith in JesusChrist for all who believe. There is no difference: all have sinned and are deprived of the glory of
    God, and they are freely declared righteous by his grace, by means of the liberation that is in Christ Jesus. The end of this passage is decisive: The justice of God by faith … What the centurion says to Jesus is the expression par excellence of his faith, his confidence in the authority that Jesus has
    over illness. This faith is irrelevant to what we have done or not. We do not know what this man became then. But it seems difficult to imagine him continuing his life absolutely as if nothing had happened. A faith like the one he has expressed can only renew the one in which she lives.

    ****

    I am a Christian pacifist. Is my position biblical? I understand that the early church was
    strictly pacifist.
    December 13, 2018
    No comment

    ANSWER: It seems important to me to be precise about the terms you use. You call yourself a pacifist, that is to say, a supporter of peace. If this positioning concerns human relations or politics between the states of the world, I believe that it is difficult to deny that it is biblical (Romans 12, 18, 14.19, Mark 9. 50
    …). Now, the spiritual life of the Christian is a life of struggle, but not against human beings
    (Ephesians 6:12). As Christians, what I believe characterizes us more than pacifism is non-violence and non-power. The first Christians, as you recall, refused military service. Still, non-violence has nothing to do with cowardice or passivity. In the event of a risk of non-assistance to a person in
    danger, for example, it seems to me that if violence is the only recourse, one must be ready to use it,even if it means humbling oneself before the Lord.

    The latest events in France have led the Protestant Federation of France to make a statement. I
    invite you to consult it, to see if you feel in agreement with: http://www.protestants.org/index.php?
    id=23&tx_ttnews[tt_news]=4320&tx_ttnews[year]=2018&tx_ttnews[month]=12&cHash=
    5c90555e92

    ***

    My company works partly in an immoral sector (arms trade – military contracts). As a
    Christian – should I resign and work elsewhere? [Stephane]
    January 31, 2019
    No comment

    ANSWER: I’m not very comfortable with the idea of telling you what you need to do, Stéphane. What does your conscience tell you when you pray and submit your work situation to the Lord? The Bible text seems clear to me that violence must be denied in all these aspects. Now, I can not take God’s place in what to make you choose. If, as you continue your journey in this company, you feel the discomfort grow (because I think it is already a little there, otherwise you would not ask the question), I think you will need really ask yourself the question in prayer and under the sole gaze of the Lord.

    ****

    I hope these answers help you. Once again, I promise I will pray for Kristy Corbett’s repentance, forgiveness and her salvation. I will also pray that she one day has the courage to seek reconciliation with the family she has harmed so much.

  14. Here the French pastors discuss
    the topic of suicide, in case it helps someone:

    I knew a person who had always been brought up in religion and who put an end to his life in
    a brutal way. Is she going or is she in hell? [Alexander]
    November 27, 2017
    No comment

    ANSWER: This idea is widespread. I remember that a family who had called me to celebrate the funeral of one
    of its members had hid me that he had committed suicide, for fear of being refused by me, and
    probably thinking that the presence of a pastor would automatically ensure the departure of the deceased to the sky .. Double mistake!

    The Bible tells us about some suicides: that of Judas of course, remorseful after betraying Jesus. Or Ahitophel, counselor of Absalom, because he had not been listened to, and he feared that his master would lose the game against David (2 Samuel 17,23). He who puts an end to his life can no longer
    stand to live because all that founds, justified in his eyes his existence collapses without recourse.

    What distinguishes Judas from Peter (who has also betrayed Jesus by denying him) are the tears of repentance that he has shed. Peter accepted that he could not justify himself and open himself to the Lord’s forgiveness. But let us beware of the eternal fate of the one who could no longer stand to live and who has
    succumbed to despair, even if he has been “brought up in religion” (religion protects nothing, which
    saves it is faith!). Let’s keep judgment. The Bible reminds us that the last word on all life and all
    being belongs to God. Hell, for the one who committed suicide, it was first his life of suffering, his
    unanswered questions, his loneliness, his depression, his impasses, what do I know yet.

    And even a sincere believer can succumb to despair. Hell for those who remain, relatives, is the guilt that entails such a gesture “If I could listen to it, help him, understand his suffering” … But of all these hell, the Lord can we go out, as he brought out his son from hell.

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