RIP: Pastor Greg Baker's suicide death on Monday

Discussion in 'News / Current Events' started by Forever settled in heaven, Jul 1, 2009.

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  1. Forever settled in heaven

    Forever settled in heaven
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    Gregory O. Baker, of Faithway Baptist in Ajax, Ontario

    i heard about the sad news in church tonite, but here's a blog that corroborates:
    Pastor Gregory O. Baker of FaithWay Baptist Church in Ajax, Canada, was found dead in his house on Monday, June 29, 2009. He commited suicide. This is so hard...I have a hard time dealing with death, but this is especially hard. So many people looked up to this man, I heard him preach so often. This goes against everything he ever stood for, everything he ever taught. Imagine what his wife, his children, and his grand-children are going through, and all the people at his church. Please pray everyone, a church and a family never fully recover from such a tragedy. I don't know why this happened, why he felt he couldn't go on in life when he had Jesus alongside. We'll never understand, but it wouldn't lessen the pain even if we did. Please pray everyone!
    Sorry to end on a sad note, but this is a call to all of you who trust God and know Jesus, pray for this family, and this church! Here is a link to the site: www.faithway.org

    nobody knows what the fallout will be, but we have a Sovereign God and loving Saviour to whom we can and will look.
     
    #1 Forever settled in heaven, Jul 1, 2009
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  2. Melanie

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    How appallingly sad.....may God have mercy on his soul:tear:
     
  3. Martin

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    I find it interesting that the church and family pages totally ignore the fact that this man killed himself. While I don't believe that suicide is an unpardonable sin, and while I do believe that it is possible to be saved and commit suicide, I have trouble with the idea that a true Christian would kill themselves. It seems like an act that so very contradictory to everything a Christian believes.

    I don't know if this pastor is with the Lord this morning or in torment, either way I pray for his family and church family. This must be a very difficult time for all of them. :tear:
     
  4. webdog

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    It's possible with the "father of lies" roaming around. Last month I went through one of the darkest periods in my life, and I have never been one to condone or even consider the thought of suicide, but satan tried to sneak the "your family would be better without you around" and "make it look like an accident so your family will get the life insurance" into my head. Believe me, it is more than possible as this OP has shown.
     
  5. swaimj

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    We need to pray for the man's family and his church. Please, folks, we do not need to speculate on reasons for the man's actions or opinionate on suicide in this context.
     
  6. Forever settled in heaven

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    really really sad and confusing, but just when u think it's over, cassandralike, here's another one, in the States, a double suicide, apparently:

     
    #6 Forever settled in heaven, Jul 2, 2009
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  7. JohnDeereFan

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    Even a born again believer can do drastic things in times of great emotional distress.

    It doesn't mean that he wasn't saved, just that he made a terrible, terrible mistake.
     
  8. JohnDeereFan

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    I wonder if they stopped to consider the terrible ordeal they were putting the engineer through. Even though it wasn't his fault, he's going to have to live with that now for the rest of his life.
     
  9. christianasbookshelf

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    I think you need to put yourself in this situation for a minute. He died just two days ago. What is the church supposed to say, "Our beloved pastor for 25+ years killed himself"? They are still trying to absorb it all themselves. How does a man of his stature come to the point of utter despair and no one around him notice it until it's too late? It's very, very sad.

    Our pastor's wife had talked to someone and told a small group of us last night that it was rumored that he became very stressed over the very fast growth of his church and college, and that it became too much for him. I don't have any idea if that is true, or it we'll ever know.

    But suffice it to say that even a Christian can get to the point where they take their eyes of the Lord (like Peter did on the water) and start to "sink" in life. It was a tragic mistake, but God will not take someone's salvation away because of it.
     
  10. windcatcher

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    (Hi-light mine.) To ask such a question requires rational thought. To think of others, to wonder about consequences in the here-after, to exercise faith- prayer- be receptive to encouragement from others or even the Lord -requires a degree of energy. I'm convinced by my experience in psych care and having lost my husband to suicide that the word depression is more of an umbrella term rather that diagnostic of an individual's origins of depression: The psychiactric community tends to view depression as an imbalance in brain chemistry with a deficiency of medication for which anti-depressants can either cure or return a modicum of balance. However, I personally think depression can have many root causes, and a person who ventures into suicide or suicidal thinking probably has his own mixture which takes him into the deep and despondant darkness from which he has difficulty in climbing out or seeing hope or relief. For the normally thinking person, knowing that tomorrow is another day and that storms do pass and one has but to press through and pass the feelings which muddle the thinking, maybe enough to get them through the dark moments when the control of life seems to be rent from them: But the truely depressed person, or a person who is going through what seems to be a relentless and insufferable period of despair, cannot think rationally: Often times when seeking others to talk to, he finds people who are neither sympathetic and who berate his feelings ('Look at all you have to live for.' 'Don't be such a sour puss- spoil sport -a whinner.' 'Get over it.')

    The reality is, if a person is deeply depressed, such and similar admonishments, given with the intent of encouragement, are not heard as such...... and remember, depression, though a feeling, is capable of preventing rational thought so the depressed person is not hearing what a person really means but doesn't say: Often times what is really meant is "I hear you man! I'm hate that your having such a rough go of it right now. I know this too will pass (note here, the speaker is not commanding the depressed person as much as the speaker is identifying as though having experienced some similar occassion and holding out a hand of understanding and fellowship). While there may be many causes of depression, the result are often similar where the person has little or no energy or drive to do the things he normally does, has little pleasure in the activities which he used to have enthusiasm for, feels isolated and finds it takes a lot of personal energy and denial which can further exhaust his reserves when he tries to be congenial and outgoing; may experience periods of irritability where even his own behavior and out burst are embarassing to him; may have such trouble receiving the happiness of others or finding conversational thoughts to express other than negative ones so he shuns people as he overly judges hisself: Add to this, a society, particularly like the work place, where people are often judged and get reviews based, not upon what they do, but how they are perceived by others as getting along and being pleasant.... and the depressed person has obstacles which few others can appreciate or give room for; and room for him to be included in spite of how he views himself or how others may view him, is what he needs.

    As for pastors: I believe they are often and already in a special spot...... either one which they accept for themselves, or one of societies own making: Churches and people in the community place them on a pedistal, which is inhuman to conceive of .......but expect them to stay there. They are isolated with few true intimate friends. They are often in a position where they get tested repeatedly. Their leadership is often dependant upon their reputation..... and that is about as fickle as gossip as most people react more to what they hear or suspect rather than disciplining their own mouths to stay shut except for what they actually know as witness. A morally upright and just person who is trusting and loving of his sheep, may still get intwined without meaning too, when he attempts to guard the confidences shared when counseling others, and, instead, discovers it is a Judas which has woven and entangeled him in a snare. Pastors may be given praise, but seldom is it specific enough to let them know that they really brought an effective message: Often his encouragement is related to specifics like conversions, baptisms, faithfulness in giving and attendance, praying for him in specific and personal ways which lets him know that his personal concerns are being brought before the Lord -like those of his health -his rest and leisure -his family -his spiritual touch from the Lord which is the height of his encouragement.

    Whatever happened here, I make no judgement: I know the Bible speaks of many things. If we are not citizens of this world then we are citizens of the Kingdom of God: Does this not create and aching and a longing to be relieved of the troubles in this worldly kingdom and to be joined with Him in that heavenly kingdom? If to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord...... aren't there times where the body with all its aches and pains and present or impending prognosis provokes a desire to lay this clay temple down and welcome rest? I think David, Isaiah, Elijah, Soloman, and Paul experienced depression: The Pauline epistles give great encouragement regarding the fight of faith and that our battles are not nearly as great in the physical as they are fought in the spiritual...... which requires the Armour of God to press on and conquer....... chief of which our tools are Prayer and Studying the Word...... and exerciseing these in the course of our daily life and witness with others. The end of a person is known only to God. But I do have faith and trust that God knew the end from the very beginning, and when hanging on the cross and saying "It is finished." He paid once and for all, about 2000 years ago, and covered all that we are now and ever hope to be in his cleansing blood when we trust him. I believe God is as capable of having mercy on the irrational depressive who knows not what they do when their despair takes an untimely end, as he is on the innocent child or the imbecile who has no understanding of Faith or to receive the scripture.:flower:
     
  11. DHK

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    Discretion is the better part of valor, when posting things about suicide.
    However, I would like some verification about whether or not it was a suicide since the link given was: 1) a blog, 2) a blog that I cannot access because I do not have a username and password, and 3) doing a google search, I can find nothing about his death connected to a suicide except for the first post in BB.
     
  12. JohnDeereFan

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    Yeah, you're right. It doesn't make sense for me to defend one person by saying that he was under such emotional distress he didn't know what he was doing, but then say somebody else under similar intense emotional distress should have known what they were doing.

    I'll try to think things through a little better next time.
     
  13. windcatcher

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    You said nothing wrong, and your thinking is practical and realistic.

    The person who committed suicide was unable to think beyond the personal and intense private pain he accepted as his life. His action is selfish (without considering the will of God nor the impact to others around him), but not because he wouldn't think....but rather because his own 'pain' drove him pass the point of rational thought and ability to make good judgement.

    The person at the wheel of the train engine...... or the wife, family and friends, are victims of a circumstance and tragedy forced upon them with all options gone except to look back and grieve and heap upon themselves all kinds of senseless remorse and useless guilt(if inclined to do so), and an unbearable desire to find answers to questions where no answer may exist beyond acceptance that this was beyond their control.
     
  14. christianyouth

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    So sad. :(

    Us Christians knowing what we know should allow us to have joy in the midst of suffering. We know that this life is brief and we know that God is sovereign.

    I have a feeling that people who do this just realize the absurdity of life. Their psychological mechanism that blocks them from realizing just how vain their lives are, how pointless this circus is we call life, breaks. They realize that there is no longer a good reason to endure suffering.

    And most Christians dwell in that absurd existence, if they have the intellectual fortitude to think about their existence. They live devoted to triviality, they suffer because they associate with the most unhealthy, most judgemental group of people in America(Christians), and they live in an environment of such shallowness that no one wants to think out, believer or unbeliever, the absurdity of life.

    But as Christians, we have an answer to the absurdity of life that the unbeliever doesn't. That's why this is sad. If I was an unbeliever, there are times that suicide would be an option. Because as an unbeliever I can find no answer to the question why I should endure suffering.

    Maybe the man couldn't answer that question, why he should endure suffering. Why he should endure a circus Christianity, why he should continue to live in the social web of hateful, petty people who represent Christianity. Maybe he suffered a crisis of faith. As one poster mentioned, we'll never know. I just hope that events like this can purge some of the shallowness from the current Christianity. It would have been great if this man would have had a strong brother in Christ who he could open up to, but having been to many different churches, I know that most Christians are just as eager to push suffering out of their mind and dwell in this trivial realm as non-Christians.

    Why is church no longer a home for the suffering? Why do the suffering elect feel the need to leave the church or end their life?
     
  15. Forever settled in heaven

    Forever settled in heaven
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    apparently, they've posted some research on this over at SharperIron, where Greg Linscott writes of the deceased "choice" and "self-inflicted" (yet inexplicable) death, under "Dr. Baker's Death 'His Choice'":

    [​IMG]

    I have personally spoken with personnel at FaithWay Baptist Church and have confirmed that Dr. Baker's death was self-inflicted. They stated that "we don't understand why," but also ask that we remember the good things the Lord was able to accomplish through his life and ministry. Please uphold his widow Melissa, daughters Allison and Christi-An and their husbands and children, the church and staff, and associated ministries in prayer. Comfort, wisdom, and grace are needed during this time.
     
  16. Mexdeaf

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    When something like this happens, I find that usually there is a lesson in it for me- here is the lesson that I gleaned and wish to share with you:

    (Caveat- I am not saying that any of the following is true of Pastor Baker. I know nothing of him other than what I have read on the internet. He sees to have been a good and Godly man. I am simply speaking from personal experience here in the hopes that it will benefit a younger pastor or missionary.)

    Speaking from many years of experience: being a pastor or a missionary is often the loneliest job in the world- even when you are surrounded by people.

    The pressures are multiplied if you allow yourself to be put on a pedestal and do not grow a very deep personal devotional life with Jesus and His Word daily.

    I find that my personal time with God is the only reliable cure for bouts of loneliness. Time spent with other ministry leaders can be helpful, but often it turns into a "dog show"- who has the best hair, the biggest church, biggest offerings, gives the most to missions, etc.

    If you are a young preacher, the best advice I can give you is this: Keep Jesus before you always. Everyone and everything else will fail you.
     
  17. windcatcher

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    AMEN!


    And we, the flock, should pray for all those (ministers, deacons, SS teachers, etc.) who serve us as well as serve Jesus Christ. As we would treat and love and protect and admonish and be loving and encouraging and forgiving and supportive and understanding, etc., with in our own family to those dearest to us...... we should also cherish them.
     
  18. Dan Pelletier

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    Please, be gentle...

    As the son of a godly Christian man who committed suicide when I was 10 years old, I would beg of everyone to handle the death of Dr. Baker with gentleness and great concern for those who have been left behind. Don't let this incident become a sideshow or a cause to see the webhits rise. Please handle this with wisdom, respect, and grace.

    I do not understand all of the details behind the situation, but I do know from experience that the best thing that we all can do is to pray for, support, and encourage the family, the church, and the students, the staff of his church and school, that have been left behind. They are the victims of this crime (self-murder).

    It's been 38 years since my father took his life, and I still cannot forget that day. To this day, it still hurts when people question my father's salvation. I'm grateful for the things he taught me in life. To love the Lord, to be faithful to church, to explore the Word, to stand for truth, and surprisingly, to love people and laugh even in difficult circumstances. What a wonderful thing to know that we are saved AND KEPT by the grace of God, not by our own faithfulness or obedience to God.

    As horrible as it is, suicide is NOT the unpardonable sin. My father is in Heaven today in spite of the way his life ended; not because he was a good man, but because God is a good God who has given those who trust Christ an EVERLASTING life...even if one ends his own life on earth prematurely. I have never doubted my father's salvation, because I know that he loved the Word and the God Who keeps His promises.

    I believe that Greg Baker is in heaven for the same reason - even though I hate the way he ended his life and the way he hurt his family in a way that only time (and LOTS OF IT) can heal.

    My father's life of 33 years still touches the future today through the lives and ministries of his children and the grandchildren that he never met.
    Even though the way he ended his life will always overshadow and leave questions in the minds of those who knew him, Dr. Baker's preaching of truth, godly counsel, and spiritual influence will live on for generations. God's Word never returns void, even when delivered by flawed messengers. (Aren't we all?)

    Less than a week before my father committed suicide, my parents went to visit our pastor for counseling. He was depressed. Our pastor, who remains a dear friend, did not take my dad's depression seriously, and even joked about it, saying something like, "If my life was as bad as yours I'd just go out and shoot myself."

    Five days later, my dad did just that - in his bedroom, while we were all home. No note, no explanation. Just a loud boom that still rings in my mind.
    It's not my pastor's fault, but the comment he made that day in the early 70's is a mistake that I'm sure has haunted him for years. I've never had the courage to ask him, and see nothing good that could come of it. So, I've chosen to forgive it, learn from the mistake, forget it, and go on.

    May those of us who counsel the depressed be extra careful as we attempt to help them through the clouds of doubt that loom over their heads.

    Thankfully, my mother was a very wise woman who did not allow her husband's "ultimate act of selfishness" to make her a bitter person. She was a 33 year-old widow left alone to rear 5 children. My youngest brother was still in diapers when it happened. Thankfully, she handled it with grace and faith. Shortly after Dad's death, she found the strength to stand up in church and sing a song entitled, "I Will Trust When I Cannot See." No, she wasn't a perfect woman, but she was (and remains) a godly woman whose testimony has been an inspiration for hundreds of people.

    It was 15 years before she filled me in on some of the events that led up to my dad's demise. I am the oldest of the 5 children that she raised. Because of the godly influence of Dad, and the continued faithfulness of Mom, I am in the ministry (between ministries at this time), my sister is a missionary's wife in Micronesia, my next brother is a missionary, the next brother is an evangelist, and the youngest is a faithful layman who is raising 4 boys for the Lord today. It's too bad that my father participated in this sin, which has been entitled, "a permanent solution to a temporary problem." Yet, whatever drove my father over the edge, it did not wipe out his influence.

    Whatever notes Dr. Baker left behind, we will never really understand what was going on in his mind. Only God knows. The sad thing is that in this life those who are left behind will never get the true answer to the inevitable question of "why?"

    There will always be people who question the sincerity of Dr. Baker's pre-death ministry and love for God. Praise the Lord for what He did for Christ. Praise the Lord for those who were genuinely saved under His ministry, and for those who were trained for God's service.

    I never met Dr. Baker, but for obvious reasons, this incident has touched me deeply. I wonder if there are others who have had painful memories that have lain buried for years brought back to the forefront of their minds. We need to pray for them as well. This is a wound that will never go away until we get to Heaven and have the opportunity to find the answer to the question "why?". I hope that we can ask my dad, and Dr. Baker face to face when we get there. Maybe that will bring some of the tears that God will have to wipe away in that eternal land of joy.

    If you think this will help someone, feel free to pass this information along or to post it. If not, that's fine, too. My desire is to help the hurting and glorify the God of all grace.
     
  19. Mexdeaf

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    Only one who has been there can speak from the heart as you have. Perhaps this message will be an encouragement to the family if they were to receive it. It encouraged me.

    Thanks so much for sharing it!
     
  20. webdog

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    I agree...thanks for the testimony, and welcome to the BB :)
     
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