Not a very pleasant subject to consider, attack, ponder on, or write about, but we are hearing so much these days about “Kamikaze pilots” and “Suicide bombers” that we have felt the need to investigate the matter further, not so much from the viewpoint of the press and other media, but from a Christian base.
However, to bring a few definitions to the forefront may be a good starting point. The word Kamikazi is Japanese, and means “divine wind”. It derives from Kami = God, and Kaze = Wind. The original use of the word was way back in 1281, when a typhoon scattered Kublai Khan’s invasion fleet. But to those people of an age to remember World War 2, it is remembered as the suicide pilots who began their mission at the battle of Leyte Gulf in 1944, and later at Okinawa in 1945, when by some 3000 sorties, they sunk 21 U.S. ships. The pilots were said to commit Hara-kiri, meaning suicide, and honoured by the Japanese as a noble act against an aggressor.
In more recent times, we have witnessed the carnage produced by Suicide Bombers in Kenya,Tanzania, Israel, and now in New York and Washington. They are Arabic nationals, belonging to what is known as Militant Islam, a cult within Islam triggered by the Ayatollah Khomeni, and more recently by Yasser Arafat, and Osama bin-Laden. Young unmarried men are trained for such cruel exercises, and due to the brain-washing they receive, they believe that they will be highly honoured by Allah, their God. Make no mistake, Allah is NOT the same as Elohim in the Old Testament, even though God is sometimes spelled Elah, very similar to Allah in Arabic. Allah was an invention of Mohammed. Elohim was the Creator of the world.
Why do these suicide bombers carry out their missions with such alacrity? According to one report we’ve seen recently, he is brain-washed to believe in SEVEN REWARDS awaiting him as soon as he “gets to the other side”. They are as follows:- 1. Forgiveness of all sins, 2. To see his place reserved inParadise, 3. To be crowned with glory with a holy stone, called the Yaqutah, 4. That in Paradise he will have 70 of the most beautiful virgins as his wives, 5. That he will be spared the suffering of the grave, 6. That he will be spared the horror of the Day of Judgment, knowing that he has the certainty ofParadise, and 7. He will be allowed to bring 70 members of his family to Paradise with him. To believe in such fantasy with a fatalistic fanaticism is the motivation that sends him on suicide missions with joy, and having performed his atrocity he is cheered by all his family, who then believe that they have been spared the horrors of the Day of Judgment. The Quran may not teach these things explicitely but Moslem fanatics have played on the words and extracted some bitter juice from the Quranic Tree. Hence the present state of the world, now gripped by fear in many places. What is found explicitely in the Quran is in Sura 9, verse 5, “Then fight and slay the Pagans wherever you find them. And seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them, in every stratagem of war.” In Sura 5 verse 85, “Strongest among men in enmity to the Believers you will find the Jews and Pagans.”
Intentional self-destruction, known as suicide, was condemned by Judaism and Christianity. InEngland, for example, until the 19th century suicides were not permitted burial in consecrated ground, but were interred in public highways with a stake through the heart. Their property was forfeited, pauperising their families. Only in 1961 did suicide cease to be a criminal offence under English Law. Statistics for 1984 show that, out of 100,000 of the population, rates of suicide were 3.8 for Greece, 8.5 for the UK, 9.2 for the Irish Republic, 12.5 for the Netherlands, 17.2 for Sweden, 18.6 for West Germany, 21.3 for France, and 28.2 for Denmark.
The traditional Christian view about suicide has no Biblical support. There is no mention of punishment for suicide, but many have reasoned that self-destruction is equivalent to murder, which came under the heading of the Decalogue’s pronouncement, “Thou shalt not commit murder.” (Exodus 20:13, Deut.5:17) Saint Augustine of Hippo was the first to place such a view in print, saying that to commit suicide was worse than any sin that might be committed in one’s lifetime. His doctrine gained popular support through the centuries, first in the Roman Catholic system, and then in Protestant groups.
We appreciate that there are several different interpretations allotted to NDEs (Near-death-experiences) these days, but it will be profitable to draw on some of the case histories publicised by Raymond Moody, Betty Eadie, George Ritchie and others. A careful reading of their books leaves one with a clear impression that human life is a Gift from God, and that He, and He alone, must be the terminator of that life. Hence we are brought into the world for a PURPOSE, and even though we may never understand more than the briefest portion of the spectrum of that Purpose, we must allow our span to go on to completion rather than attempt to truncate it.
One woman who suffered an NDE told Dr Moody, “If you leave here a tormented soul, you will be a tormented soul over there, too.” A man who was despondent about the death of his wife, and shot himself, died as a result but was resuscitated. He said, “I didn’t go where my wife was. I went to an awful place . . . I immediately saw the mistake I had made . . . I thought, I wish I hadn’t done it.” Others, reporting to Moody after attempted suicide, told him that they felt they would be in an unpleasant place for a long time, because, as they put it, they had “broken the rules.” They had tried to release themselves prematurely from what they now realised was an “assignment”, a purpose in life that had to be fulfilled. Another man returned to say, “While I was over there I got the feeling that two things it was completely forbidden for me to do would be to kill myself or to kill another person . . .If I were to commit suicide, I would be throwing God’s gift back in his face . . . Killing somebody else would be interfering with God’s purpose for that individual.”(Life after Life, p.143)
Betty Eedie (not a suicide case) was told by the Lord, “Your death was premature, it is not your time yet.” Here again is the evidence of a purpose in life for everyone. She was sent back with a mission to fulfil.
The Philosopher Immanuel Kant wrote, “As soon as we examine suicide from the standpoint of religion we immediately see it in its true light. We have been placed in this world under certain conditions and for specific purposes. But a suicide opposes the purpose of his Creator; he arrives in the other world as one who has deserted his post; he must be looked upon as a rebel against God . . . God is our owner; we are His property; His providence works for our good.” (Lectures on Ethics, pp.153-154)
George Ritchie, in his NDE, spoke of being taken by Jesus through a number of situations, which included observing the spirits of those who had committed suicide. He watched them following people around, constantly trying to convey sorrow at what they had done. “I’m sorry, Pa”, “I’m sorry, Nancy”, and so on. Ritchie asked the Lord why they persisted, when no one could hear them. He was told that they were “chained to every consequence of their act.” (Return from Tomorrow, pp.58-59)
A woman who tried to kill herself related her experience to Dannion Brinkley. “When I was a teenager, I decided to kill myself because my uncle was molesting me. I took a handful of pills and went outside. I was very upset and fell to my knees and began to cry. I felt groggy, and then fell over on my side. It was then that I heard a voice. It was evening, and I looked around to see who was talking. There, standing over me, was my grandmother who had killed herself years ago because of chronic heart disease. She looked down at me and got right to the point. ‘What you are doing is wrong. You aren’t supposed to kill yourself.’ The spot where my grandmother was standing was very dark, maybe because a spot next to her was becoming very bright, like a train coming through a tunnel. This light picked me up and held me close. ‘It’s not your time,’ it said. ‘I have things for you to do.’ I staggered into the house and called the police, who saved me.” (Saved by the Light, p.102)
These examples are sufficient to show (1) that suicide is disobedience, (2) that in death one finds a deep sense of remorse, (3) instead of release into light and comfort, there is just darkness, and sometimes an “awful place.”
In view of all this, it is now time to ask about the Islamic suicide bombers, who believed they were going to enter a pre-paradise region, be greatly honoured, and accomplish great things for their family. In fact each one has entered a most dark and awful place, where a sense of foreboding and judgment awaits him, and where he is suddenly brought up with a jolt to realise that he had been the subject of a pack of lies. What now is his attitude? We can but surmise, but it doesn’t take much imagination to realise the anguish, the anger, the gnashing of teeth.
Why do we write thus? Simply because we are told to wage war, not against flesh and blood, but against “wicked spirits in high places”. Devilish entities have been at work in the minds of MilitantIslamics, causing them to preach such awful lies to unsuspecting young men, who then act out the Satanic work of their leaders. Would Yasser Arafat become a suicide bomber? Would Osama bin-Laden? Would any of the Mullahs who teach such wickedness?
In Isaiah 28:15-17 we find a reference to practices that were very similar to suicide missions today. “Because you have said, ‘We have made a covenant with death, and with Sheol we have made a vision. When the overflowing scourge passes through it will not come to us, because we have madelies our refuge, and under falsehood we have hidden ourselves.’ . . . . Hail will sweep away the refuge of lies, and waters shall overflow the hiding place. Your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your vision of Sheol shall not stand. When the overflowing scourge passes through, you will be trampled down.” (Interlinear Hebrew translation. The ‘vision of Sheol’ is like the suicide bombers’ seven-fold ‘blessing’.)
What are we to do as Christians? May we suggest two things. First of all, in the name of the Lord Jesus, to rebuke the spirit of Islam, the demonic agencies responsible for teaching this heinous crime against humanity, and pray that God’s ‘overflowing scourge’ be soon in evidence, whatever that may be in practice. But in the second place, to pray for the departed souls of the suicide bombers, that angelic ministers may be sent to them to help them in their miserable plight. Of course, if you happen to be one who believes in “soul sleep” you will consider this the height of folly, but we firmly believe the whole caucus of evidence points elsewhere, and that in the early church there is much evidence from texts and engravings that Christians prayed for the dead. This was not a “Romish practice”, but one that antedated the very existence of Catholicism. With that we shall end this article, leaving it on a positive note, for prayer action in these terrible times. The Lord God is in charge of this world, not Allah. May Jesus Christ be uplifted.