What are the Biblical consequences of suicide...?
What Does the Bible Say About Suicide..?
by Robert Alan Balaicius
[I have recently completely re-written / refined / proofread this, added new information, and a 19-page section "The Meaning of Life" which precedes it, and it is available in booklet form, The Meaning of Life & What Does the Bible Say About Suicide?, 60pp., 5.00 + P&H.]
While suicide is certainly not recommended, Scripture says that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is the only unpardonable sin. Catholics believe that you damn yourself to hell if you commit suicide; I don’t see anything in Scripture to support that notion. Killing yourself is no different (in terms of God’s Judgment on you), as far as I can see, than killing someone else (either way, if you have killed another human being, you have destroyed the Image of God in which Adamkind was created).
The penalty for killing someone else is being put to death yourself; so the penalty for the crime of killing yourself is already administered when someone kills himself (sort of a "neat and tidy" crime for the judge and executioner).
Scripture says no murderer has eternal life dwelling in him or no murderer shall inherit the Kingdom; but this refers, I believe, not to someone who once killed someone (and repented of it), but someone who made a life-time occupation of being a murder, or someone who murdered someone who never repented of his crime, confessed it, and delivered himself up for jugment or mercy. One can "be sorry" for a crime and not face the music; but one cannot truly repent before God (against Whom all sin is ultimately committed) without delivering oneself up for judgment, confessing his crime/sin, and making restitution.
[Note also, I am referring to true acts of murder: murdering someone to steal his wife, property, because he insulted you, etc. I am not referring to the Biblical Law of the Blood Avenger, in which someone may have executed someone worthy of death, since the civil and ecclesiatical authorities are usually godless and don't punish crimes as God commands. Note also: I am not saying that anyone should do such a thing. I am merely drawing a line of distinction in this matter, because God's Word does. In Biblical times God established certain cities of refuge. If somone had killed someone, he could flee to one of the cities of refuge; he would then be judged there by the priest of the city and if found worthy of death (guilty of premeditated murder, not mere accident), he would be delivered up to the blood avenger/nearest of kin to be put to death. If he was found innocent of intentional slaying, he would be safe from the blood avenger ONLY if he lived in that city and never left it; until the death of the priest of that city; then he was free to leave and the blood avenger could not take his life without himself being guilty of murder. Of course there are spiritual parallels here; and Christ is our city of refuge (as well as the avenger of blood) and we are safe in Him for He will never die. But simply because there are spiritual parallels does not negate the literal truth. God established this because it is righteous; life is holy. Those who reject God's ways as being barbaric or antiquated HATE God.]
It could be argued that one can never repent from his own suicide* (being dead and therefore having no opportunity to do so—one can only repent from the deeds committed in the body while he is still in the body; after that, the chance for repetance is withdrawn and all that exists for him is judgment); however, I don't see that as being valid, but circular and faulty logic. While technically true, the act of suicide is one of despair or self-inflicted mercy not necessarily rebellion.
[* However, there may be some rare instances in which a person truly repents of his suicide, if he has done something that does not produce immediate, but slow and imminent death (I would surmise the penitent thief on the cross would fall into this category). Technically, someone could possibly repent of suicide, if he takes pills / poison or hangs himself or slits his wrists or such, he certainly may have some time to repent before his life slips away (if he is conscious or still in possession of his faculties to have 30 seconds to cry out "God be merciful to me a sinner" before he passes out and before his spirit bids adieu to his mortal body. But whether such repentance would truly be sincere, is highly argueable; though of course, unproveable. It should also be pointed out in that in most cases, someone may not truly repent, but merely regret. Repentance entails turning from what is wrong to do what is right, so in most cases, a person having no opportunity to do what is right, has no opportunity for repentance. While this is not clear-cut, it does seem to be a valid point. Talk is cheap. To claim repentance knowing there is no opportunity to do the opposite of what was done, cannot be proved. Faith without works is dead. I am not saying it is impossible to truly repent at death's door, for clearly Christ informed us the penitent thief truly repented. It is a dangerous fine line to attempt to tight-rope walk. Similarly, one cannot "repent" of a sin before he commits it. Such as, "God forgive me for what I am about to do." That is really getting the cart before the horse and the very definition of repentance or conversion is an about face, a 180 degree turn about, and one cannot repent before hand and then go immediately into sin. One can regret what he is going to do, but he cannot repent of it before he does it. It is also debateable whether in many such cases that someone can truly repent after he does it (like impotently going to confessional after committing a sin he knew he should not commit, yet which he committed anyway, thinking, "No worries, I can sin and then just say 'I'm sorry,' and that will cover it). This is not to say that people in despair or under great temptation or weakness will not give in to sin. I am referring to those who sin flippantly, as if it is a non-issue, "It's not a big deal, just shut up and let me pay the fine." Such an attitude demostrates an utter unregeneracy of mind and spirit. Scripture clearly tells us, "26For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, 27But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries." (Hebrews 10) If one truly repents of his sin, he will be pained in his soul and not run right back out to do it again.]
King Saul and his armor bearer killed themselves; being wounded, about to be overcome, the enemy would have tortured them mercilessly. Was it wrong for Saul to so do? That is an peripheral matter outside the scope of this short article. Similarly, we could talk about Kevork-icide: if one has a life-threatening, debilitating, degenerative, irremedial disease or injury in which there is no hope of a cure or recovery, and only a lingering, meaningless, slow death with excruciating pain and suffering, some may opt to go out in a more peaceful and dignified style. Similarly, in times of war, there have no doubt been innumerable (most-often unreported) cases in which someone has had half of his body blown away, his guts hanging out, no hope of any semblence of life even if he survives the excrucitating pain, blood loss, infection, and he either commits suicide or asks his buddy to end his suffering. Is such suicide or murder? Probably not; however, the ONLY people who, I believe, have ANY RIGHT to judge in such a situation are those poor souls who have had to suffer, finding themselves in such a situation.
Samson himself, in a final act of repentance, vengeance and deliverance for his people (for he was a deliverer-judge, as carnal as he was) committed suicide by bringing the palace of the Philistines down upon himself, while at the same time taking out a few thousand of the enemy. Similarly, there are numerous incidents of some gallant soul throwing himself on a grenade to save his buddies. Is this truly suicide? Is self-sacrifice suicide? No. Suicide is a selfish sin of despair; while it can be spur of the moment, it is usually planned. Self-sacrifice is often spur of the moment, though it can be thought out; but it is the most self-less act that a person can commit.
[Of course, one can think up an example which may be an exception to the rule. If somone was in such despair and wanted to commit suicide, being tired of living, and he sees the opportunity to kill two birds with one stone, save someone else or others and earning himself eternal honor, while committing suicide, which he wanted to do anyway. Some such cases may not truly be self-sacrifice, though a bit different than run-of-the-mill suicide out of despair, self-hatred, or as a terribly deluded way of lashing out at others; however, "altruistic suicide," technically, is suicide itself. If a person did not have to die, or at least did not want to die, yet chooses to die, such heroism is not suicide, but self-sacrifice. However, if a person wanted to die anyway, and possibly did not have to, yet chose to go out under the guise of saving others, he, in essence, has killed himself. Of couse, God is the only one who knows the heart and can discern such matters.]
If you think about it, Christ did the same thing; by throwing Himself on the sin-bomb of His people, bearing the brunt of the exploding Wrath of a Holy and Just God on our behalf. Scripture itself also declares, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friend." Such was not suicide, but self-sacrifice.
Sometimes someone like Judas kills himself out of remorse for what he did; but Judas' fate is not in killing himself, but for being a child of the Devil and betraying Christ.
[People need to realize that people do what is in their nature to do. An animal barking does not make it a dog (parrots can learn to bark); a dog barks because it is a dog. Likewise people do what is within their nature; what they do does not make them what they are; they do because of what they are. That which cometh out of a man defileth a man, revealing his true nature. Every tree is known by its fruit. If one is truly of God, his life will bear appropriate fruit, reflecting the Divine Light of his Creator, Father, and God. Any goodness in us is only a result of God's Grace. Whether that Grace blooms and flourishes, or is stunted, or dies in infancy, is a matter of God's Sovereignty. Scripture clearly tells us that there is none that doeth good, we are all vile, none even on their own incline toward God. It is God's Grace that draws us to Him. Anything else is delusion and humanism.]
Further, there are other forms of suicide that are not suicide, but suicide by tricking somone else into homicide; such as "suicide by cop" (purposely doing something to create the situation in which someone else actually kills you in presumed self-defense; which seems to become easier and easier in today's police state: If you go to scratch your nose too fast some trigger-happy marine psychopath cop or federal agent may blow your head off; and never face charges for murder). Bonafide suicide by cop is a coward's way out and is twice as immoral as pure suicide, since it besmears someone else's mind and conscience for the rest of his life. Morally, such is suicide, even if technically one did not pull the trigger of the gun pointed at his own head, he pulled the trigger of the person who would pull the trigger of the gun. Some of these examples may seem like hair splitting, but I believe it has to do with the intent of the person who sets up the elaborate maze of dominoes ending on his own head; rather than the hapless soul who is fooled into triggering the lethal event into motion.
Actually, if you think about it, certain crimes like murder, kidnapping, idolatry, whoredom, etc., that were punishable by death according to God's Law, were actually suicide on top of the other crime; for if you know that God declared the death penalty on anyone who commits such crimes, and you choose to commit those crimes anyway, then isn't that really suicide if you know you will be put to death if you are caught? While technically, it may not be suicide, since the person does not want to die, and since he is hoping he will not be caught. However, it is Russian Roulette and most people who commit heinous crimes do so with little thought, operating on the base level of animals; though some do calculate their crimes with great care. However, if one truly believes in God, then it is indeed suicide, even if one does not want to die; for if one does something for which he knows the death penalty is warranted, and he knows God is watching and has promised Judgment, then such a person clearly is committing suicide (he subconsciously wants to die and has no regard for his own life or the lives of others, or he would not commit such crimes); he is just hoping that it will not result in his death right away.
Further, those who abuse food (the wrong kinds of food, too much food, etc.), alcohol beyond moderation, the majority of pharmaceutical drugs (which are abused more than so-called "recreational" drugs, which violate God's Laws), as well as "recreational" drugs at all.... those who casually abuse such things on a routine basis, even daily, are they not committing suicide, slowly? While denial is a powerful factor, there is some point in time (before, during, or after denial) that a person realizes that what he is doing is wrong. Maybe he is not wanting to kill himself, maybe he is insulating himself against the unpleasantries of life (which itself is denial), but the toll that it takes on the body, cutting years off ones life, is indeed suicide... even if immediate death is not the intended result. If someone dies playing Russian Roulette, is it suicide? —of course it is. Someone who would take the chance of dying does not revere life and does not want to live, so it is suicide. Someone who plays Russian Roulette with food, alcohol, drugs, or any other at risk behaviour, does the same thing. They just are not honest enough to admit it; or are in such a state of denial and ignorance that they don't consciously recognize the ultimate ramifications of their actions.
Finally, it is Catholic doctrine that any little sin will damn you to Hell or Purgatory (which I call "Hell on a Timer"—in which you allegedly, painfully count the minutes until you are out of the penalty box). However, the Bible clearly shows that it is not individual sins which will damn a person to Hell, but rejecting Christ and His sacrifice for ALL YOUR COMBINED SIN on your behalf. If one has confessed Christ and come under the blood of His sacrifice by repentance and asking forgiveness, all of his sins (past, present, and future) are forgiven as pertaining to Final Judgment; however, any unconfessed sin after the point of salvation does NOT effect his eternal destiny in Heaven or Hell, but his fellowship with God while on earth. Once a person has confessed his sin to God and asked for forgiveness through Christ, he cannot lose his salvation, and sin does not effect his terminal destiny, but his blessing in this life and his position or status in the Kingdom.
However, if one allegedly confesses his sin to God, yet his life never shows true, lasting* fruit of any change; most probably he was never truly converted to begin with (it was only an emotional, "quick fix" that was never intended to be a way of life; so no actual forgiveness or salvation was ever attained. As I have written in several books of mine: Where no fruit is evident, the Holy Spirit is not resident. If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature, all things are passed away, behold, all things are become new." The wicked often prosper, but their day (of God's retribution and Justice, their due rewards) is coming (so says Psalm 37 and other passages). The righteous often suffer for God's glory; but also for our own sins; because: God chastens every son whom He loves and if ye be without chastisement, then ye are bastards and not sons.
[* Christ said, that He ordained us that we should bring forth fruit and that our fruit should remain (John 15:16). This is the discriminating factor between counterfeit fruit and true fruit.]
Thus God's chastening of His children in this life (discipline) if ignored, may lead to death by some sickness or accident or "act of God" if a believer does not repent (that though the body be destroyed the soul may be saved). However, it does not have to be that way. Most people do not realize it (not seeing the forest for the trees) but the purpose of ALL spankings (if they are godly) is... [get this, mind-blowing concept]...—to prevent all future spankings. The spanking has to really hurt in order to do its job. The spanking is not retributive, but reformative; it is to get our attention to prevent future spankings; even terminal ones if we refuse to heed the first few warning shots fired over our bow.
But God does not want to spank us. He wants us to do what is right so that He can bless us beyond our imagination. That is the meaning of "22And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. 23For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry." (I Samuel 15). God at times in the Old Testament told His people that He abhorred their sacrifices, their festivals, sabbaths, new moons. Most people who are spiritually mentally challenged think this means God hated His own Law (and such people do not know the true God and all we can do is hope that God has mercy on those who are spiritually profoundly retarded). Such is an impossibility and God never abolished His Law, which is an impossibility. What such passages mean is that God detested their PRETENSE in GOING THROUGH THE MOTIONS of offering sacrifice, or tithe, or worship, when THEIR HEARTS WERE FAR FROM HIM; when they did not want to do it, were unrepentance, insincere, and dead hearted. God expresses a similar thing in the passage in I Samuel quoted above. God does not delight in burnt sacrifices—but when they were offered from a truly repentant heart, God received them as temporary payment of the sin-debt until Christ paid it in full, for those who come under Covenant through His Blood. God did not want innocent animal victims to be slain, for that itself meant that someone had sinned and the penalty for sin is death. HOWEVER, in lieu of the death of His beloved children, God accepted the temporary atonement of the blood of innocent animals and the burnt sacrifice which was a "smell of apeasement" (not "sweet smelling, which is a poor translation*), satisfying the Divine Holy demand for Justice. God did not want innocent animals to be slain and burned; but it was what He commanded when sins were inevitably committed. He desires obedience so that no death is necessary.
[* Cooking animal flesh smells wonderful. But the carcases of sheep and cattle and goats and dove were not bar-b-qued. They started out smelling good, but were then burned to a crisp which produces a hideous, hellish, acrid, offensive stench. So it is with our sin; it starts out seeming nice, but ends in vileness. There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the ends thereof are the ways of death. Sweet-smelling is a misunderstanding and a mistranslation. The sacrifices for sin was not throwing God a bar-b-que; it was not sweet-smelling... sin is not sweet smelling; the results of sin, the senseless tragedy, suffering and death are not sweet smelling; they are a stench in His nostrils; but the sacrifice of innocent victims was a smell of appeasement; satisfying Divine Judgment which God's Holiness demanded. Sin has to be covered. This sacrificial system pointed toward God, Who in His Longsuffering, waited until the time was ripe for Christ to be born to take away the sins of His people who actually turn from their sin, and follow Christ in obedience on the road to the Kingdom.]
God prefers for His children to be honorable and obedient and to reflect His Image of Holiness. Being that we all suffer from the curse of the fall, we are imperfect and none of us can be sinless in this life; but that does not mean we should not resist temptation. Walk in the Spirit and ye shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. Those who hang around a burning garbage dump will stink. It is inevitable. The cherubim and serephim, the highest order of angels, shine as brightly as burning copper—due to their proximity to the nearness of God's Throne. They shine bright because they are close to God and absorb and reflect His Light. So should we who were made in His Image. If we walk in the Spirit, having our mind daily washed in His Word, we will sin less. If we hang out around a burning garbage dump, well, that is what we will smell like.
Though we will all sin from time to time, the goal is to sin as little as possible, which is only possible when we walk in the light, not in the darkness (men prefer darkness to light because their deeds are evil; but we are not children of the night, but of the day, of the light; unless we walk in the light, we cannot have fellowship with God the Father or Christ the Son; without fellowship with God, we will gravitate toward sin). When sin it committed, it cannot be ignored; it must be dealt with. God cannot hear the prayers of one with unconfessed sin (except a sin of confession); and sin after salvation also effects ones placement / reward in the kingdom; whether one will have a place of honor, or whether one will be a heavenly janitor.
[In fact, God hears no prayer of any human until he prays the prayer of confession for sin and acceptance of the Sacrifice of Christ on his behalf. Before that initial prayer is prayed, it is like trying to post a comment at most any website; you receive an automated response: "I am sorry, you are not allowed to post comments; you are not a member."]
Therefore, in a sense all sin is suicide (and also "career suicide" in the afterlife, since our performance in this life determines our placement and status in the Kingdom of God). While one does not have to live with the results of suicide in this life (since he will no longer be in this life), he will have to deal with the results of not only suicide, but an entire life of irresponsibility before God, for all eternity. Those who trust in Christ for salvation, yet never live as they should, will be serfs and knaves and lackeys (I am being facetious) in the Kingdom for all eternity; rather than having a place of distinguished honor and authority and blessing. Those who die without Christ, will have irremediable Judgment; the most horrifying thought the human mind can ever entertain. God declared, "I have set before thee this day, life and death: Choose life, that thou and thy seed may live!"
Finally, I quote from the eminent Dr. Gordon H. Clark,* from his, A Christian View of Men and Things, (p.183), quoting German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), from his Lectures on Ethics:
"But as soon as we examine suicide from the standpoint of religion [i.e. Christianity, the Bible] 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. So long as we remember the truth that it is God's intention to preserve life, we are bound to regulate our activities in conformity with it."
[* Clark was the greatest philosopher, theologian, thinker, logician of our era. I stock all his books and recommend them to anyone who wants to understand the Bible, God, truth. Email for a list of his titles. Clark is relatively unknown, because of his giant genius, his Biblical argument, his philosophic logic was unanswerable by atheists, agnostics, humanists, and humanistic Arminianist "Christians" and since he could not be refuted, he is simply ignored so that no one knows about him and reads him and comes to a knowledge of the truth. It is not too extreme to say if you have never read Clark, you have never truly thought; or at least you have never thought truly. He was a consummate scholar; without equal. I highly recommend his works; email me for a list and I will also recommend which would be best to start with.]
Pondering Kant's quotation, also begs the question... if suicide is a Christian going A.W.O.L, dereliction of duty, deserting his post, do not the majority of Christians do the very thing without committing suicide...? If they live for themselves, if they go through their daily routine without giving God a thought... are they also not derelict in their duty, have they not also deserted their post...? As I explain in my book, Void of Offense to God and Man: We are here as God's ambassadors. Does the average Christian truly, ever represent Him...? An ambassador speaks the words of the one he represents. He carries out the business of the one He represents. Yet the average Christian behaves day in and day out as if he is on a perpetual sight-seeing tour.
The average Christian has been deluded and hypnotized by the cosmic rat race he thinks is life; and forgets God in the process; giving God a few half-hearted thoughts (intermittant thoughts, in among day-dreaming) for an hour on Sunday (which day itself is not the day God commanded, which is insult and disobedience on top of insult). We are God's children, and as Christ, we are supposed to be about our Father's Business. We are God's ambassadors and servants. WHO would keep their job very long, if on a daily basis they never consulted with their boss concerning WHAT IT IS that he wanted them to do that day...?
Christ said, "Why call ye Me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things I say...?" The converse of that statement is the revealed truth that is supposed to be deduced from Christ's rhetorical question: "Because ye do not do the things I say, I am not your Lord." Lord means Sovereign. God means Creator and Ruler and Judge of all. Most Christians live their lives daily as if they themselves are their own god and lord. They consider Christ and God to be a little puppy dog that is supposed to follow them around; or a nice little idol they put on the mantle of the fireplace, which they look at casually from time to time, which fills them with the warm fuzzies. If they had a Buddha statue, they would rub his belly. Lord means Sovereign, King, Emperor, Master. Christ Jesus is not the Lord of the majority of Christians, for they do not do what Christ commanded. Most are not even of Christ's sheep. Christ said "My sheep hear My Voice and follow (obey) Me." Those who do not obey Christ, do not hear His True Voice, and are not His sheep. By their fruit ye shall know them.
Christ said, "I am the True Vine." The existence of a true vine presupposes a false vine. Most Christians are plugged into, grafted into the false vine; otherwise, they would bear the fruit of Christ. These comments are not meant to be condemnational or insulting; but reformative, sobering, quickening. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. If someone informs you that you are on the path of destruction, and your reponse is to be offended, and pout, or attack, then you are a fool. If your response is to search your heart, and the Scriptures, to examine yourself whether you be in the true faith, and then get off the path to destruction and get on the path to life everlasting, then it would seem that God has truly called you and you have heard (heeded) His Voice. Rebuke a wise man and he will thank you, but fools take offense at everything.
Thus, which is the greater sin, suicide, or continuing a life of dereliction before God? Please do not misunderstand my query. I am in no way suggesting anyone to commit suicide. I am suggesting that those who would never think about suicide, consider whether a life of continual dereliction and disobedience to God is more honorable than actually opting out, after which one would no longer have the opportunity to submit to and truly serve (worship) God; or continue on in a lifetime of selfish delusion and rebellion, having every opportunity to do what is right, and yet never doing it. Which, I question, will have the greater condemnation on the Day of Judgment?
Those who are deluded into thinking they are serving God need to re-read the Scriptures. If our nation, our world, all of former-Christendom, was full of such "fine specimens of Christians" then darkness would not be winning, the gates of Hell would not be prevailing (actually setting their new boundaries within our land); perverts and pagans and God-haters and God deniers would not be proliferating our lands; corruption, war, debt and inflation would not be rampant; rape and murder and every form of perversion would not be considered "normal" and "honorable" "lifestyle choices." The world is full of such "fine" Christians and for this reason, Christendom is on the verge of collapse. Most Christians are deluded about what God's Word actually says, for they have never read it competently on their own; without the indoctrination of their favorite pastors and teachers and authors who cannot "think outside the seminary" (which seminaries, for the most part, have been subverted even as have been the universties of our nation which were all founded as devout Christian institutions of learning and now are utterly reprobate). God is Immutable. He cannot change. His Word, His Law, is an expression, and extension of His Nature and it cannot change. God's Word cannot change, it cannot contradict itself. That which God says first stands and sets the standard by which all subsequent Scripture is to be interpreted. These are the foundational principles of Biblical Interpretation. However, the average preacher, teacher, author (who cannot truly think, or who does not want to think the thoughts of God), makes Swiss cheese of God's Word; rather than expounding it as the harmonious masterpiece that it is.
Christ declared in Matthew 7:
"22Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy Name? and in Thy Name have cast out devils? and in Thy Name done many wonderful works? 23And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity."
This is a sobering thought to those with eyes to see and ears to hear. These are not people who are living immoral, wicked lives. These are not people who are living secular lives. These are people who were clearly under some great delusion, thinking they were actually serving God... prophesying in His Name, casting out devils in His Name, doing many wonderful works in His Name. Christ does not declare that there will be a few sporadic peoples in this deluded state, but MANY.
Does it not the behoove each Christian to actually, as the Bereans, search the Scriptures whether what they hear their preacher, teacher, or author claim is what God's Word says...? Does it not behoove each Christian to examine himself whether he be in the faith...? Christ elsewhere said, "He that is not for Me is against Me," but also "He that gathereth not with Me scattereth abroad." The average Christian thinks they are for Christ; but Christ said, "Why call ye Me, Lord, Lord and do not the things I say...?"
Most Christians, like Cain, offer to God what they are willing to offer, with the attitude: "That's what I am willing to offer, take it or leave it." God left it. He will always leave it. He is Holy. He has decreed and declared what is acceptable and what He has commanded. Most Christians, not understanding God's Word, do the very opposite of what He commanded, and yet are deluded into thinking that God is just tickled pink and so lucky to have them on His side. If the average Christian were obeying God we would not live in a cesspool, a garbage dump, in what was once a city set on a hill—a truly Christian nation (and those who doubt or despute that we were ever a Christian nation flaunt their ignorance or are liars).
Christ said those who do not gather with Him—those who do not do the VERY work that He commanded (My sheep hear My Voice and follow/obey Me; Why call ye Me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things I say?, If you love Me, keep My Commandments)... those who do not do the VERY work that Christ commanded actually WORK AGAINST HIM.
Good intentions are meaningless when one has all the facts wrong. If someone hired 2 people to transport bricks from point A to point B and both persons were to take separate routes to prevent running into each other, if one person misunderstood the instructions and is taking bricks from point B back to point A, he is undoing the work the other worker is doing, the very work he was called to do, regardless of his intentions or the very fine job he thinks he is doing.
[For those truly interested in their soul, the truth, truly understanding God's Word (not merely maintaining the corrupt but comfortable tradition of their elders), who truly love and want to obey and serve God, order my, God and Evil, The Sovereignty of God, Predestination, "Free Will" and the Protestant Reformation, and What's Keeping God From Delivering America, Britain, and Europe From Destruction...? Email also for a list of books by Dr. Gordon H. Clark, and those first recommended.]