I would say no, to this question. Ravi is so open and shares often about his dark night of the soul at 17 before he met Christ. In his recent chat with David Ruben on the Ruben report; he did say that his experience was not of a neurological disorder; and not a biochemical thing; but a loss of meaning. I personally still would never say to any relative who is going through the trauma of a loss of a loved one thought suicide; was it biochemical/neurological disorder or was it a rational decision to end their life. I’m not sure any suicide is a fully rational decision.
Here’s a couple of quotes from the youtube transcript(s); both are well worth listening to the whole address.
I suggest to you that the fact is this is a doctrine we need to understand, because once upon a time you had to go to places of pleasure, now pleasure finds you, and may if I were to tell you what is the most surprising and now unsurprising question that we are asked; and it’s coming from people younger and younger; 12, 13, 14
The question that is asked so often now as a young man a woman walks up to the microphone; ‘what is the purpose of my life why don’t I have the right to commit suicide, and take my life’ and as one myself who at the age of 17 attempted that and remember so well lying in my bed in Delhi staring at the ceiling thinking how empty my life had been how hopeless and even worse failing not only to live but now failing even to learn how to die. I had asked that question till I gave my life to Christ at the age of 17 having given a Bible that I had never owned before so this question of pleasure is real
a young man just a couple weeks ago was talking to me on the phone. 18 years old. asked by his father to me, would you please call my son, he’s struggling with suicide; so I picked up the phone and called this young man and I asked him a simple question. I said how long have you been struggling with something like this; I expected him to sort of stammer and stutter a bit and mutter around and think back. he said it all began when I got into pornography
I said really. he said yes. I said how old were you. He said 8. that caught me completely by surprise… it is also you’re talking about 10 years ago, just at the turning of this new century, this little guy got his hands into something that was wreaking havoc with his imagination and blunting desires that no one person in this world could fulfill and satisfy and therefore started struggling with taking his own life.
a psychologist I was mentioning last night speaking to the pastors here in town that a psychologist has come out with a staggering statement and here’s what she says: she said ‘the desire for suicide is the newest sexually transmitted disease’. She doesn’t mean literally, she means figuratively because once you have enjoyed what was reserved by God for the years to come and the consummate expression of marriage has now already been experienced by little one who cannot process it. Of having something without having any commitment to anybody and so the desire to end it all no future no hope it’s a very real thing.
One of my favorite essayists FW Boram to whom I’m in debt for this outline by the way not the talk itself but the outline because I’ll leave with you three principles before we are done (continues…)
It flows with the culture. But the notion of God as a real entity never entered my mind. Yeah, maybe during examinations. You know, God if you’re up there, could you help me? And so on. I never took interest, certainly not in the Christian faith.
Even though my ancestors came from the highest cast of the Hindu priesthood in the deep south. They were called (speaking foreign language). Then somewhere along the way there was a conversion that took place into the Christian faith. And that was lost. It became very nominal. So I was really raised, I didn’t have a single Christian friend. They were all either Hindu, Muslims or Buddhists. So we never talked about these things. And then having had a crisis experience in my life, that changed everything. - So, let’s talk about that. - Yes.
India is a culture of academic excellence. If you’re not doing well there, you’re in trouble. And it’s also a culture of shame when you’re not succeeding academically. So I did the horrific thing, it 'til this day embarrasses me, because I don’t like talking about it. It took me a long while to talk about it. I attempted suicide when I was 17. And it was not out of any neurological disorder, it was not any biochemical thing. It was the fact that I just didn’t have meaning. There was no purpose in life for me, David.
I was moving towards failure, after failure, after failure, in contrast to my brothers and sisters, and to my father. And so, tried to poison my system, I thought it was going to be successful. I just didn’t like the way life felt, and I wanted to kill that feeling. And to me, the only way to do that was, you know, what they in Belgium now, there’s such a high rate of suicides, they don’t call it suicide anymore. They call it opting out of life. That would have been a good description for me. But it was on that hospital bed, a Bible was brought to me. My body was dehydrated, I couldn’t hold it. But the man who brought it to me, and gave it to my mother. And Scripture passages were read to me. And you know, when you’re desperate, when you’re lying like that, words become very important to you. And when the words of Jesus were read to me, “Because I live, you also shall live.” That lit up within my heart. - What passage is that again? - John chapter 14 and verse 19.
I do wonder whether the ubiquitous access to pornography is one factor leading to mental illness, clinical depression, and suicide; due to the science now showing links to changes in brain chemistry. (https://fightthenewdrug.org/overview/); and personally I think fathers in particular need to stop putting their head in the sand, and talk to their young and teenage sons about the just how destructive it is; and point to God’s design as best for their lives; and in particular there is healing available in the person of Jesus Christ.
I would say that it’s very complicated and many many factors including family history, genetic predisposition to mental illness, traumatic life events can cause mental illness, complex metal illnesses such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and others. To say that suicide is the unforgivable sin is (in my view) is not Biblical. The only mention of the unforgivable sin is in Mark 3:28-30 and Matthew 12:31-32; Billy Graham puts it this way;
Jesus responded by saying, “I tell you the truth, all the sins and blasphemies of men will be forgiven them. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin.”
The sin of the religious leaders, blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, was a refusal to accept the witness of the Holy Spirit to who Jesus was and what He had come to do, and then submit their lives to Him. Jesus said concerning the Holy Spirit, “When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment” (John 16:8). They chose rather to reject the Spirit’s witness to their sin and to Jesus, and accused Him of being demon possessed!
The point for us is that if we have received Jesus as our Savior and Lord, we have not blasphemed the Holy Spirit; we have accepted His witness. One study Bible explains it as follows: “To commit this sin one must consciously, persistently, deliberately, and maliciously reject the testimony of the Spirit to the deity and saving power of the Lord Jesus.” If a person keeps doing that until death, there is no hope of forgiveness and eternal life in heaven.
Once again, the unpardonable sin is not some particularly grievous sin committed by a Christian before or after accepting Christ, nor is it thinking or saying something terrible about the Holy Spirit. Rather, it is deliberately resisting the Holy Spirit’s witness and invitation to turn to Jesus until death ends all opportunity.
I have also heard it discussed that it may not even be possible to commit the unforgivable sin; as Jesus was there in person in front of the Pharisees; They blasphemed the Holy Spirit by attributing the work of God to the work of the devil.
What about Christians who are clinically mentally ill, or develop mental illness due to traumatic life events leading to clinical mental illness and commit suicide? No again, because Christians are held securely by God’s own power; in John 10:24-28; Jesus promises both he and God the Father holds Christians securely and gives to his sheep eternal life; and (plainly answers the Jews to be The Eternal God);
The Jews who were there gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”
25 Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”
A person responds to God’s gift of Grace, and commit ourselves in faith to Christ in trust of Who he claimed to be and His completed work on the cross (Ephesians 2:8-9); and a legal transaction takes place (justification), adoption of sons (Galatians 3:4-7; Romans 8:15), the new birth (John 3). In verse 25 above; the Pharisees did not believe; and to those that do; the promise of eternal security is very precious.
Just my thoughts, hopefully somewhat helpful…