I was reading the newspaper a couple of weeks ago when I came across a tiny story tucked away on a back page. It was entitled "Larimer Man Tries To Set Self On fire." Here is what the story said: "A 34 year old man shouting on a porch doused himself with gasoline and lit himself on fire Sunday afternoon at the edge of Fort Collins, but Poudre Valley firefighters almost instantly sprayed him with fire retardant foam and saved his life. The Poudre Valley Fire Authority crew was so precise that Roland Rideout was able to try to run away, authorities said. Larimer county sheriff's deputies with dogs quickly nabbed him...He is being held on suspicion of first degree arson and resisting arrest."
So let me get this straight. A poor fellow by the name of Roland made the decision that it was too hard to continue living and that it was time to take his own life. In order to go out on his own terms and in a fabulous blaze of glory he decided to cover himself with a flammable liquid and set himself on fire. It would have been a spectacular display of pyrotechnics if not for the intervention of some government employees with crack foam shooting skills. Rather than allowing the man to burn himself to a crisp they decided to intervene and put out the inferno before it could even become an inferno. As a result old Roland was barely charred and he now sits in a county jail on trumped up charges that he was trying to kill himself by burning and that when he was the target of shots of anti-fire foam he make the entirely rational decision to run away. Outrageous!
Killing oneself is a sin. It is not the unforgivable sin, as some would have you believe (Catholics mostly). But taking one's own life is a sin. That is true because only God can give and take life. When men attempt to take a life on their own terms they violate God's monopoly on the granting and taking of life. God is not pleased when His monopoly on granting and taking life is jeopardized so He labels all such activities as sinful. Unlike many sins however, God has not given us any sanction associated with the failed attempt at suicide. Rather obviously when a person is successful in his suicide attempt there is no reason to punish him as he is already quite dead. On the other hand, should there be a punishment associated with attempting suicide? As far as I am aware there is no biblical law specifying a punishment for attempted suicide. This truth is not without precedent. God commands his people to be generous with their resources but there is no sanction for the stingy. God commands people to seek to find the owner of a found good but there is no punishment for the person who claims "finders-keepers" and retains the good for himself. Likewise, God commands men to not take their own lives but there is no punishment for those who attempt to do so and fail, except, perhaps, the ridicule of the rest of us for their ineptitude.
After Roland failed to take his own life he should not have been arrested. It is a sign of the messianic-state that men are arrested and charged with crimes that have no biblical basis whatsoever. It is a clear sign that men worship civil government when they create, enforce and submit to rules and regulations that have no foundation in biblical law at all. Roland is presently cooling off in a jail cell, charged with attempted arson and resisting arrest. The attempted arson charge comes from the fact that he was unsuccessful in his attempt to torch himself. The resisting arrest charge stems from the fact that he ran away from the government firefighters as they were shooting him with flame stopping foam. Am I the only person in this country who finds this entire story ridiculous?