Latest celebrity suicides: What does this mean from a psychological, scriptural angle?

Image by Eddie Van W. for Flickr.com

They are literally fallen stars.

And if it weren’t for the recent news of celebrity deaths I would not even discuss it here because there are other, suffering individuals out there who are not “stars”- but they are people nonetheless and we need to try to understand what is going on using Scripture and some common knowledge of psychology.

Lee Thompson Young, The Famous Jett Jackson star , was found dead in his home by his landlord. No one really knows why this happened- and usually we only know what happened: Self inflicted gun shot wound.

Many gather to mourn his death and the questions and comments are endless:

  • Why would someone commit suicide?
  • Was life that bad?
  • How can someone that beautiful/handsome/talented do this?

We don’t know. But Young is only one of many celebrities who have lost their lives in recent months/years:

  • Cory Monteith(from Glee, died last month from drug mixture)
  • Lisa Robin Kelly(from That 70s Show, died this month after checking into rehab…drugs(?)
  • Michael Jackson
  • Whitney Houston
  • Paris Jackson(Attempted Suicide according to online news- living).

What is going on psychologically?

When Lee Thompson Young passed, everyone was in the dark, but now websites like Madamenoir.com and Examiner.com are saying he was fighting depression.

And no one knew?

A family member mentioned that Young has been suffering from this for a long time. How tragic. This is very troubling for many of us. Why?

Every one of us can identify a time where we thought what life was offering was not enough or maybe we have too much and found nothing else to live for. We may have lost someone or have consulted with drugs and alcohol and thought maybe if we dope up our problems and drown them away, they will disappear.

I am unsure why Young was depressed, but we all know the outcome: He is no longer here and so this leads us to many more questions: Where will he end up in the afterlife?

This is a hardcore debate and it takes love, patience, and a sound mind to see what God has to tell us in his Word and not rely on our own understanding.

What does Scripture say?

First of all, suicide is in the bible. There are  few folks have died by their own swords and in gruesome fashion:

  • Abimelech-Judges 9:54
  • Samson-Judges 16:29-31
  • Saul and his armor bearer-1 Samuel. 31:3-6
  • Ahithophel-2 Samuel. 17:23
  • Zimri-1 Kings 16:18
  • Judas-Matthew 27: 5(Listing found on “The Bible and Suicide” by Mary Fairchild)

What each of these men have in common is that they killed themselves out of desperation and disgrace– except for Samson who sacrificed his life to kill the Philistines.

Desperation.

Disgrace.

Judas is an example of desperation and disgrace. He betrayed Jesus and guilt riddled him to the point where he hung himself from a tree, his bowels leaking over the ground.

Are they running from something? Was there desperation and disgrace abound in Young and others like him? What was he desperate for? Peace. Love. Acceptance?

You see, we want to be like these “stars” but we don’t know the burdens they carry.

First, it is not up to me to say who is going to heaven or hell because none of us clearly know. There are true stories of many good, decent, God fearing people who did the works of Christ and committed suicide for one reason or another. Second: Is suicide selfish?

I don’t know. I think in some cases it is quite selfish because any time a person take their own life that means they have been concerned with one thing: Their own life.

This is why we are called to take up the cross and follow Christ. Get our minds off of self and our own demons.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.(Philipians 4:8 NIV)

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