Mt Wellington Community Church


The NZ Herald and has been running a series of articles on suicide. On the 28th of July they published a letter to the editor pointing out (among other things) that "the absence of faith produces people who have no resources to fall back on and no sense that the experiences of life have purpose or meaning."

Last Monday they published a letter claiming that the previous letter "misses the mark when it suggests that "God's way" as per the Bible is the way to reduce suicide statistics in NZ." It goes on to say, "I wonder what God's way is due to the fact that the Bible contains many contradictions and bizarre happenings that are totally alien to life as we know it today."

What do you think, say, do, when you come across such points of view? Follow the instruction in Mathew 7:6 (New Living Translation)? "Don't waste what is holy on people who are unholy. Don't throw your pearls to pigs! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you."

Or the instructions in 1 Peter 3:5 (New International Version)? "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect." Do note the final sentence.

(Note too that these two contrasting passages are not examples of the "many contradictions" that the second letter writer above ascribes to the Bible. In many translations the first instruction uses "dogs" and "pigs" rather than (the clearer) "people who are unholy"; the second quote refers to people who want a reason not an argument.)

In this day and age when "conversations" are often conducted in very public arenas, any response will often also be to the thousands of people who follow the letters to the editor or talkback radio or Facebook or Twitter or whatever - not just those within earshot.