News of a Pastor and Seminary Professor Committing Suicide Evokes Questions about Life, Death, and Hope.
by Tim Russo
John Gibson, 56, committed suicide days after his name was linked to the Ashley Madison hack. Some could speculate over why a pastor would involve himself in such circumstances. Others could use pastor Gibson’s situation as a platform to cry hypocrisy against all Christians. Many are confused over many of the details surrounding this and the over 99,000 names in San Antonio connected to this website leak. Some will make the mistake of pointing an accusing finger at those who make destructive choices and foolishly give themselves a pat on the back for not doing so. But, we have a much bigger issue facing us. It is the issue of hopelessness.
Pastor Gibson’s sad situation serves as an example of how information and knowledge do not repair our broken condition. The sad reality for many of us is, we have lost hope. Is there such darkness that God cannot bring a rescuing light? Is there such a depth of sin and shame that Christ cannot raise us from it? Is there such place of hopelessness that God cannot release us from its overwhelming grip? Our classroom answer to these questions may be a resounding “no.” But what about those who suffer in silence? What about those who have tried to escape the madness and confusion of their reality? What do we do when answers we know should bring relief, bring more pain? Is there hope? We, again, would shout in the affirmative.
Hope is not a feeling. It is a fact. Either you have hope or you don’t. But feelings of hopelessness can overpower an otherwise rational mind. These feelings can plunge one into the deepest places of depression and confusion. In some cases, hopeless feelings can bring one to the point of desperation and cause one to despair of life itself.
Life is hard. Only those who have not felt its piercing sting thinks otherwise. There are no easy answers to many of the complicated problems we face. But there is still hope. You may have to ask for help. You may need to reach out to someone. You may need to let someone into the private areas of your life.
Whether your sin and destructive choices are displayed for the world to see or whether you successfully hide your struggles; you will not be able to outrun your consequences. Sin will win every time, unless you are willing to face the facts and speak up; not only for yourself, but for those who love and care about you. So, you’re ashamed of what you have done. That’s good, actually. That means your conscience is still working. That means you are not a lost cause. There is still hope!
We can help. Reach out to us to schedule a counseling session (210.636.1776). Biblical counseling is the perfect solution to feelings of hopelessness.
The only thing more powerful than shame is pride. Don’t allow pride or fear to keep you away from help. Don’t allow yourself to be led any further down your destructive path. Don’t allow your loved ones and friends to have to wonder why you didn’t reach out for help. Ask the Lord to help you. Jesus said: “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (Jn. 8:31-32).
Our prayers are with the Gibson family and all the families affected by these devastating consequences.
“God has decided to use unfinished people as His tools of redemption. Every pastor needs to understand that he doesn’t need to live in hiding. Because there is nothing that could ever be revealed about a pastor that hasn’t already been covered by the Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.” – Paul Trip, Dangerous Calling