I’m going to make a controversial statement. But someone has to state the obvious: Christians who kill themselves likely have demons! In cases of suicide there can be many contributing factors, including severe mental illness, depression, substance abuse, and psychological trauma. But self-murder, the second leading cause of death for people ages 10-34, is taking a toll on Christians—even successful pastors! Based on my 40 years of anecdotal evidence, and the facts surrounding those who kill themselves, we can reasonably conclude that demons are often the reason that lives of hope and promise are ended irrationally.
This past week Pastor Jarrid Wilson killed himself. He was no down-and-outer. He didn’t suffer from a limiting physical disability. He had pastored a megachurch in Nashville and was currently serving as associate pastor with one of America’s most respected preachers, Greg Laurie of Harvest Fellowship. Wilson, age 30, left behind a wife and two sons, 2 and 4. He had written best-selling books and even founded a faith-based organization to help those struggling with “brokenness, depression, self-harm, addiction, and suicide.” (Wilson himself suffered from depression.) Others like him have committed suicide, including the 30-year-old lead pastor of a Chino, California megachurch who killed himself last year, leaving behind a wife and young sons.
I don’t know Wilson’s whole story and have no idea what was going on in his mind. But the sheer incomprehensibility of his actions suggests demonic influence. Sadly, the church circles in which Wilson moved don’t accept deliverance. They don’t believe a Christian can have demons, so the possibility of intervention by curse breaking and exorcism couldn’t be considered. It’s like having a disease that only certain kinds of doctors know how to cure and a terminally ill patient never seeks out those physicians because he has a prejudice against their modality of medicine. In most cases, the demons of Christians who kill themselves are genetically inherited through no fault of the victim. The cause of their demonization can be shrouded in unbroken bloodline curses, dissociated childhood trauma, hidden incidents too shameful to reveal, or un-recovered memories of life-changing incidents. No one is immune from the roots of such evil, even pastors. In such cases, deliverance may be the ONLY way out.
Could a depressed or mentally ill person be saved from suicide by deliverance intervention? YES! I’ve seen it happen many times, including some well-known pastors, whose names remain confidential. The prejudice against deliverance by mainstream evangelicals is literally killing people! The conspiracy to silence the message of spiritual warfare is tragic when lives are at stake. My heart grieves for the family of Pastor Jarrid Wilson, and I make no snap judgments about what may have been complex mental health issues. But perhaps he’d be alive today if deliverance prayers had been seriously employed. The evangelical church is to be blamed for ignoring this option. How many more have to die?
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255
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An encouraging word: DON’T CALL EVIL GOOD
As I think about the many ways that our world excuses so many kinds of evil, I am reminded of the words of the prophet Isaiah (5:20): Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter (KJV)! It’s popular today to go with the flow of opinion polls and to have moral values based on consensus. But there is grave danger for any person, or any nation, that swallows the lie that evil is good, and goes so far as to make excuses for its existence — even to promote it. What God’s Word says is the final and only viewpoint that really matters. If you find yourself cutting moral corners, beware of calling the evil that you do, “good.”