. . . Churches speak on suicides
Latwell Nyangu, H-Metro Reporter
Deaths by suicide have increased of late in Zimbabwe.
Such deaths are increasingly common and are causing pain to hundreds of thousands of people every year around the world.
H-Metro interviewed, local church leaders, social experts on what they think are the reasons for such deaths now and again.
Mai Chisamba said:
“The world has gone to the dogs, zvangova zvekuteedzerana, pasina chikonzero, hauravire rufu nekufa, kufa kunouraya.
“Things that are causing suicides are also associated with drug abuse, kuputa mbanje.
“How do you know that suicide can take you to a certain place that can give you peace?
“This can be stopped,” she said.
“People who believe in committing suicides are dangerous because they can also kill others, what made them to kill themselves can also drive them to kill others.
“Some vanenge vaita chiJames Bond, wozviisa muclass isiri yavo, so spirit iya yechicowardice ikadzoka they will end up killing themselves.
“Some have mental problems and people with such conditions, hear different sounds which can push them to commit suicides.
“So people should be open enough to each other, they need counselling and believing in talking.
“Everyone has mental health problems but it differs, they only need to believe in talking.”
Apostle Tabva of Hosanna Gospel Ministries said;
“I will quote from Exodus 20 vs 13, it says, do not kill. Cases of suicides have increased lately but first, people need to understand what suicide is and what brings it all about.
“When we look at the spiritual side, you notice even in the bible when we read about Judas Iscariot, he sold Jesus for 30 pieces of silver and after realising what he had done, he discovered that he had sinned against God.
“He took the matter into his own hands, and found that haaregerereki, he then killed himself.
“So what happens first is a problem, situation which can be economic or social.
“Life is hard, no jobs, people are living a hard life in this current time, it can be a father failing to fend for their family, some have lost jobs, it can be a girl or boy involved in pregnancy yet the family members were looking up to them, and they will be realising they have make mistakes.”
“The first thing that the spirit of suicide tells them is, no one will understand you, you have sinned on the earth and heaven, no one will understand you, this is the end of the world, with that in mind, they sink into depression, happiness disappears, feeling useless, and the spirit of hopelessness comes.
“With that spirit, and sometimes some people try to seek help but people are always busy, even with pastors they may not be in position to assist or anyone who is close, and some are difficult to approach.
“So the mind keeps coming to say, you are unforgivable, pain can also drive someone to an extent to say better to die, I am giving burden for medicals,” he said.
Tabva said the problem is people do not share their problems.
“The common denominator that I have seen in suicides is, lack of someone to share problems with.
“This season people do not have anyone to talk to, pastors are now like superstars who are only found on tv zvekuti hautovaone.
“We no longer have time for people, the only moment you see them will be one on one inobhadharaiswa but munhu akaremerwa, they don’t have money but they want someone to share their problems with.
“You can get to church and find doors closed just because one on one is paid for, in that regard, the church is not where it is supposed to be in terms of being available for counselling.
“Even in those churches, people are committing suicides as well as muchurch muna mufundisi, nevatendi vasingarovhe church, the problem being, we are just presenters and reporters of the bible, not preachers, kutoshaya anokubatsira and this has caused a surge in suicides.
“Economic, social, hardships, that’s why we encourage churches, that word gives hope, confess against what, declarations through the word the church is diverting people’s problems,” he said.
Evangelist Trymore Muparinga said:
“Suicide is spiritual, a death spirit and although people see it natural kuti munhu anenge apererwa or ane stress ofunga kuzviuraya.
“Spirit yacho inotora advantage yekusa sharer matambudziko nevamwe and keeping quiet accompanied with loneliness, mostly causes kuti ufunge suicide as solution.
“Kushaya vanhu vanokugamuchira when facing a challenge can also lead to suicide for example in the Bible what caused suicide ya Judas is the type of church yakaenda kwairi after betraying Jesus.
“Instead of getting hope or counselling they rejected him prompting his suicide (Matthew 27 v 6).
“The church was supposed to help him but they took his money and rejected him.”
“Saul also the king of Israel killed himself in 1 Samuel 31 v 4, he threw himself upon his sword due to war pressure and pride that enemies must not kill me but better I kill myself.
“As church leaders, we stand in front of people, they trust us and we speak to them so we must be open enough for example giving them our life testimonies like some of us, we passed through stages ekuti kucommitter suicide but because we put our lives in God, he can sail us through and by his grace, you can pass through that.
“There are issues that many people kill themselves over today yet they happened to some people long back who overcame them.”
Muparinga said there is need for leaders to testify of where they are coming from.
“It’s good to be open enough with our life testimonies which are practical because there is a time when you become a public figure, we hide a lot and by doing that you are affecting someone because when God called you, He knew that you have stood your ground and overcame the challenges.
“Like in my life, when you interviewed me, talking about my history that I was a drunkard, womaniser but there is someone who thinks such situations haabudike why because, there are no people who are telling them that they can overcome.
“So it’s good as leaders to be so practical and bold, open up and be able to accept anyone nehutera hwavo because God has mercy on our lives.
“What killed Judas was the type of a church, the church he attended had no love, no revelation, yakangomuti hunza mari muchurch, vakatoshandisa mari yacho but they had no love for him and he went on to kill himself.
“I also blame the other disciples for not standing with him, they just left him.
“We need to stand for each other, I am sure that way tokunda, and people should also open up if they have problems.
“And when opening up, you need to know the person whom you are telling because at the end of day zvogona kuzoswera zvazara nenyika yese.”
Pastor Muchaita from Chegutu had this to say:
“Christians will not find the word “suicide” in scripture, but the fact of suicide is seen throughout scripture as an evidence of the struggle some have with the effects of mankind’s fallen nature.
“In the Old Testament, we discover we are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27) and we are therefore not allowed to murder anyone, including ourselves (Genesis 9:6-7).
“The command to not murder is part of the Ten Commandments God provided to help us live faithful lives before Him and others (Exodus 20:13).
“Suicide opposes the natural tendency of humans to preserve their own lives. It is contrary to self-care, cuts off the potential for loving relationships with family and friends, and is contrary to loving and honoring the Creator.
“God wants his children to choose life, not death (Deuteronomy 30:19). It is our sovereign God’s right to give and take away life (Job 1:21). Humans are required to be faithful stewards of the life He gives.”
Pastor Muchaita added:
“Believers are temples of the Holy Spirit and don’t belong to themselves.
“In the New Testament, we learn the Holy Spirit indwells believers and Christians should treat Him with respect (1 Corinthians 6:19), doing all to God’s glory (1 Corinthians 10:31). Suicide is not an appropriate response to our problems.
“Suicide dishonours our body and the Lord who created us. God wants us to care for our bodies in the same way Christ cares for the church (Ephesians 5:29). Many New Testament saints and Jesus Himself were tortured and put to death, but they did not commit suicide. Instead, like Paul, they “fought the good fight” of faith until their death (2 Timothy 4:6-8).
“Hopelessness, conflict, disasters, abuse, loss, isolation, stigmatized and discriminated individuals in the society are some of the main reasons for suicides.
“It is also our plea as pastors of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the general public to approach and seek counsel from qualified and professional personnel in times of fire need than to rush to uninformed decisions.”