It is becoming a daily battle to fight to stay alive.

I hope I don't offend you by being long winded with this email, I read some of the ones from your site and they were long. I appreciate your timely response. Let me first tell you that your site is a blessing to me, I find it very informative and centered around God and the Bible. First I am not a lawenforcement officer but I understand what that is about, I am an EMT and worked for a big company in the city I saw more shootings drug related deaths than I ever care to try to count. I found that stuff played a big part of my depression over the years. I am a new christian barely 2yrs old, not that, that is an excuse but that is where I'm at. I am also a recovering addict almost 2yrs clean thank you Lord for that. I have been battling with depression and suicide most of my life, I have been on all kinds of medicine, have had all kinds of diagnosises. Like everyother person I have had a hard life, however latley I can't shake this depression, and suicidal ideations, I am in counsuling with my pastor ( theophastic ) and have a mentor people are interseeding for me, I do seek after God, I read scripture and do my best to worship. But the suicidal feelings come stronger everyday. It is becoming a daily battle to fight to stay alive. I know this is wrong to say but right now the only thing keeping me alive I feel are my 2 children. I searched the web for "suicide in the Bible" to see if I could justify it, in my eyes, the world's eyes, and most of all God's eyes. I don't want to go to hell. I guess I am at a critical point in my life in all aspects. I don't like being in this place it is scary. I don't trust myself to wind up justifing suicide to the point I suceed in it. Deep down inside I realy don't want to die I just want all the pain and tourment to stop. You reap what you sow, yes I guess I am, I was involeved heavily into witchcraft and drugs and now that I am out of that life style of course things are tough. I used to be a strong person able to handle anything or so people thought. You know the type you keep people at a distance and don't allow yourself to trust, love or feel love. I have lived my life that way and now can't seem to get away, I fear in time it will be to late. Anyway I am sorry I talked so long, forgive me for bothering you, I am just searching for help and information. Thank you for your time, I will add you to my prayer list and pray for you and your ministry. You may email anytime. It is an extreme Blessing to know there are people like you in the world who take the time to care. God Bless You.

My response is in Green:

You did not offend me with the length of your message. I don't mind. I appreciate your honesty. I will try to help you if I can.

It is good that you are reading your Bible and praying, that is a great start. You need to do a couple of other positive things too. Listen to praise and worship music and force yourself if you have to but do it. Sing along with it. It is hard to be depressed and thinking of suicide when you are praising God. It will feel strange and artificial but that is okay, just do it. Get plenty of rest and exorcize, both help a lot.

I think it is good that you have gone to your pastor for help, but I am concerned about the counseling he is giving you. Theophostic prayer or counseling is not biblical. There are different ways that it is done but generally the person is told to relax and try to regress in their memory until they find a time and place where they have the same feelings as they are experiencing now. Then they are told to deal with the situation because that is where the pain is coming from in the present. Many good caring Christians have taking this up, but like I said it is not biblical.

You don't have to go back to the past to find out what you are dealing with now. You don't have to deal with anything yourself. You should give it to God. Here are the scriptural reasons I disagree with Theophostic counseling. First when you were saved the past was past: (2 Corinthians 5:17-19 NIV) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! {18} All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: {19} that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. If you are a child of God then the past has no hold over you, unless you allow it to. That is part of the problem, if you feel that you have to go back into the past and deal with things then you are giving them control over you. You are free and should look at the future and give you attention and your life to God.

Another danger of Theophostic counseling is that you can open yourself up to false memories, and for that matter to demon influence. If you empty your mind and try to see the past you have no way of knowing who or what is giving you those memories. This is very close to New Age visualization. Like I said this might not be exactly what your pastor is doing but it should be close. The rational is that you are dealing with the lies you learned early in your life.

This tends to down play the role of sin in a persons life. You are a victim, not a sinner. Until you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior you were nothing but a sinner. You don't need to go back and look at what is past it is gone, under the blood of Jesus Christ, who is sufficient.

Below is a quote from a web site called PsychoHeresy Awareness Ministries. They took a look at Theophostic counseling. The web site is located at: http://www.psychoheresy-aware.org/mainpage.html

TheoPhostic counseling, which was developed by Ed Smith, will appeal to many Christians who are looking for a way to help themselves and others who are hurting. Besides Smith''s claim that "TheoPhostic counseling is a process of divinely accomplished miracles," the theory is simple and the system is easy to learn. One merely has to understand that the presenting problem is due to a "lie" embedded in an early life memory and that people act according to powerful material in the unconscious, which Smith calls the "dark room," in contrast to the conscious mind which he calls the "light room." He defines the "lie" as the interpretation one has given to a past event and says that "every emotion we feel in the present is a preconceived interpretation, based upon an earlier memory event" (p. 39). The counselor''s main job is to convince the client of the usefulness of this system, to get past interferences such as logical and rational thinking, to gain the client''s trust, and then to instruct the client to feel the emotion associated with the presenting problem and to "drift" back to earlier events that felt the same way.

When the person has reached an early memory (the earlier the better according to Smith) and described the feelings and memory, the counselor must "discern the lie" (p. 31). When the counselor discerns the "lie," it is his job to "stir up the darkness" by goading the client to repeat the "lie" over and over again until the emotions reach an intense climax. At this pitch of emotion intensified by repeating the "lie," clients are directed to listen for God to speak truth directly to them. However, there is no example in Scripture of the God of truth requiring a person to embrace and speak a "lie" to hear truth. It sounds more diabolical than divine. After this process, which is similar to Freudian abreaction, the client, believing that God has spoken, supposedly receives "complete recovery," but only from that particular "lie" (p. 7). One cannot know how many times this same gruesome, abreaction-like process will be repeated before all the "lies" supposedly embedded in different memories are exhumed.

You mentioned that you used to be a strong person who could handle anything. That is how many of us think of ourselves, but we are fooling ourselves. We are incapable of handling what comes our way. We need God and we need Him daily. The sooner a person realizes that the better.

You need to lean on God and allow Him to run your life. You need not fear the devil, you need not fear suicide, because you are an over comer! (1 John 5:3-4 NIV) This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, {4} for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.

You don't have to walk this path alone. God will be with you and He will strengthen you. (Isaiah 40:28-31 NIV) Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. {29} He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. {30} Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; {31} but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Don't let anyone make you into a victim, you are not a victim you are a conqueror because God lives in you. Suicide is a sin and you need to treat it like that. You are being tempted just like other people are tempted to do other things. God will help you with this temptation. You are not under the control of sin any longer. If you are, then you need to go back to the foot of the cross and confess your sins and ask Jesus to forgive you and to come into your life, because the Bible clearly says that when we truly accept Christ we are no longer slaves to sin. (Romans 6:5-9 NIV) If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. {6} For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin-- {7} because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. {8} Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. {9} For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him.

(Romans 6:16-18 NIV) Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey--whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? {17} But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. {18} You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

Get around other Christians. We are called the body of Christ because we are not independent, we need each other. We need the support, we need the prayers, we need to grow together.

Don't ever think that you are the only Christian who has felt like they wanted to die. Look at Paul, one of the Apostles. Would you think that he ever felt like that? Well he did and he tells us about it and explains it to us: (2 Corinthians 1:8-11 NIV) We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. {9} Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. {10} He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, {11} as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many. Paul says he felt the sentence of death. He also says that he now realizes that this happened so that he would realize that he could not rely on himself but rather that he should rely on God. This is a lesson many of us have to learn.

If you think that Jesus can't understand what you are going through then you need to read this account again: (Mark 14:32-35 NIV) They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, "Sit here while I pray." {33} He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. {34} "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death," he said to them. "Stay here and keep watch." {35} Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. Jesus was not looking forward to what was going to happen to Him the next day. He says His soul overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. That should prove to you that He knows what you are dealing with and He knows the kind of powerful emotions you are facing.

When people tell you that you need to do this or that, or that this or that ministry can take care of what you need, yet they never mention taking your burdens to Jesus, they are wrong and they are not doing you any favors. Jesus died for your sins, He faced the same temptations that we face. He over came death and hell so that we don't have to fear anything. Jesus is the answer.

Keep your eyes on Christ. Ask God to help you. He will never leave you alone.

Ralph

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