On Friday morning, November 15, 2019 at 5:07 AM EST I was informed that my son a decorated combat Ranger Battalion infantry officer who was also a church pastor had killed himself in his church office the evening before.
I was devastated. This horrific experience ranked the worst in my life. I couldn’t breathe as my oldest son gave me the details.
The purpose of this Blog is three fold.
1. To provide a brief heartfelt eulogy to this great man who loved Jesus Christ with all of this heart and had faithfully served God, his family, his community and his country. My son had forfeited a brillant Army career, forsaking lucrative bonuses to follow the low income non glorified career as a small chapel pastor.
2. To provide closure from a physical standpoint – for me personally – as to why this great man finally had succumbed to the horrific physical pain from injuries sustained in Afghanistan, mental pain of severe diagnosed PTSD that I had also painfully witnessed first hand after his 3rd combat tour.
3. Last and most important. To provide spiritual closure for the body of Christ to examine this tragedy from a biblical perspective and to learn from this tragedy. For those of us who are left here who may be struggling with the why or how a man of God could do such a thing.
To a great young man who filled shoes I would never be able to fill and frankly neither could 95% of any man I know. Who most importantly loved Jesus Christ with all of his heart and faithfully served God, his family, his community and his country. To a man that had a tender loving heart too gentle to be the warrior he had been trained to be. Who loved people more than himself in so many ways. A gentle loving husband, father of four beautiful children. A loyal brother and son. Good bye my son I love you dearly. We will meet again in glory. Amen!
From my adopted son a brilliant entrepreneur, a great man of enterprise in the defense industry adds the following remarks:
” In as many circumstances as possible, I will try to honor ……. memory by contributing time to helping our war fighters who may have left the battlefield, but never had ended the battle. We have to take care of their minds just as much as their bodies.”
Being a retired military officer myself who served in the US Navy in a support role with the US Marines in Beirut Lebanon it’s impossible to describe to those who haven’t served how incredibly difficult the life of being in harm’s way can be. To serve in full blown wartime combat is beyond the imagination that I cannot fully comprehend. To deal with pain that is beyond my experience I cannot begin to comprehend. Especially fighting with the VA Hospital to beg for treatment that is promised way down the road is unconscionable. To suffer the unimaginable experiences of taking the lives of others who are the enemy and in instances young lives while having to bury your brother’s in arms who were often killed in terrible deaths to include having your best buddy blown up in parts from an IED, his blood spattered all over your body is unfathomable. To wrestle with the demons of severe opioid withdrawal is beyond immeasurable. You’re at peace now son. Your suffering is over. See you soon in glory. Love you dearly. Salute you.
If a truly saved, born again Christian commits suicide, they go to heaven and do not get sent to hell as some false teachers teach. Saved means saved and a saint cannot be taken out of God’s hand. Any teaching against eternal security is a doctrine of demons. The Bible is clear and I’ve done more than enough research and homework, studying to show myself approved unto God a workman that needeth not be ashamed by rightly dividing the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15). Please see links below discussing eternal security, biblical salvation, and the difference between entering the Kingdom of God and inheriting the Kingdom of God.
This all may be possible, no man would ever want to bet one’s life on this. But speaking completely objectively I’m sure this discussion in this matter is the same as Job and his 3 friends darkening counsel with words without knowledge. Job 38:2 KJV … And therefore I will continue believing and hoping my son was truly saved and God has it all in His perfect plan.
ETERNAL SECURITY; SAVED MEANS SAVED PERIOD
WHAT IS BIBLICAL SALVATION; THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST
INHERITING THE KINGDOM VS ENTERING THE KINGDOM OF GOD
Now I know in my heart that my son is in heaven with the Lord Jesus Christ at this moment – for eternity – let’s now discuss the weightier matter regarding the
tragic consequences of taking God’s place who holds the days of our lives in his hand and enacting our carnal will in taking one’s own life. *Please know that I am writing this to myself as well, knowing that I am the chiefest of sinners and whereby but by the grace of God so am I guilty of the following. I address this issue only in strict compliance and in accordance with 1 Corinthians 6:3; 2 Timothy 4:2; Titus chapter 1 and chapter 2 verse 15.
Violation of 1 Corinthians 6:19. A saint’s body does not belong to themselves, but to God, a temple of the Holy Spirit. My son had a loving wife and taking his life is severely against this verse in 1 Corinthians 7:4. There are numerous other violations of scripture including Jude 1:11 woe to have gone the way of Cain . (Cain had determined to do things “his way” and not of God).
Although Christians especially pastors like my son may have performed wonderful works, they did not finish the race set before him. As revealed to me in a dream exactly 7 days before his death I saw him running a race next to his brother. 2 bulls were chasing behind each of my son’s in close pursuit. My son had almost reached the finish line but the bull trampled and gored him to death. The other son reached the goal. We Christians have a race to run to complete as set before us by God Almighty and as witnessed by a great cloud of heavenly witnesses. Here are the major scriptures. See 1 Corinthians 9:24-25 and 2 Timothy 4:7; Hebrews 12:1-3;
The penalty or the loss as defined by scripture will be when the Saint appears at the BEMA SEAT JUDGEMENT OF CHRIST in which all activities whether good or bad will be judged by Jesus Christ himself and rewards and crowns issued accordingly. Although the Saint is saved, his work will be burned if the work does not abide. The trial by fire in the BEMA JUDGEMENT OF CHRIST will no doubt be based on the work accomplished and completed in accordance with the word of God. Anything not abiding will be consumed. Bottom line. Any Christian not fulfilling God’s plan and the race set out before them will have work burned and miss out on rewards. Corinthians 9:24-25. 1 Corinthians 3:13-1; 2 Corinthians 5:10;
In conclusion, I’m compelled as closure and as a testimony and witness to this apostate church age to say from personal experience that when my son left the military to enter Fuller Theological Seminary I saw him change his spiritual conviction and become more rudimentary and conforming to the traditions of man. And in truthfulness witnessed a whitewashed outer appearance of inside dead works doctrine Jesus warned of in Matthew 23:27.
He’d read me portions from his textbook and we’d both be shocked by the blatant blasphemy and heretical doctrine that actually in many cases would actually questioned the divinity of Jesus Christ. I begged my son to get out, to run away from this filth. He stayed and graduated believing he had to have the degree to get a job as a pastor. It’s worth noting that he became quiet in his outspoken rebuke of false teaching. Also upsetting was him using perverted Bible translations like the NASB and NIV. Please see my study on Bible translations matter in the link below.
Shortly after graduating sadly my son fell into false teaching under Mars Hill and the likes of Mark Driscoll and others like Francis Chan and John Piper. The more he got into this the more upset I became and begged him to get out but he stayed. Fortunately my son still held strong to essential doctrine. But sadly he picked up many traditions of man, philosophies, and rudiments of this world to be relevant in his Brick and Mortar institution. We had many disagreements that continued and finally he stopped all communication with me.
What happened? The word of God warns us in Colossians 2:6-8 that we are to be rooted and established in Jesus Christ and not in the tradition of men. “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit , after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world and not after Christ. Although my son and other Christians especially Pastors like the late Jarrid Wilson, a Southern California megachurch pastor who killed himself in September 2019 are doing wonderful work for the Lord in actual work of the social gospel, it is truly questionable as to how far they’ve strayed from the simplicity of the gospel found only in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4.
But in the end, what are the flocks of Jarrid Wilson and of my son asking themselves?
I TRUST THEY’RE ASKING THE SAME THING I AM AND
WHY I AS A BLOOD BOUGHT BORN AGAIN CHRISTIAN DON’T GO TO CHURCH