By Martin D’Souza | Opening Doorz Editorial |March 02, 2022

Suicide is never the answer

If you are battling anxiety and depression right now and there’s a voice ringing in your head telling you that your family will be better off without you; snap out of it. That’s the number one lie Satan keeps on telling those who are in depression. That their life is useless and those around them will be better off without them.

Redrocks Church in Denver, Colorado is bringing alive Scriptures and how! It is redeeming lost lives and bringing souls closer to Jesus. Not by simple, biblical preaching, quoting scriptures by rote, but by evangelizing through Pastors who preach with a passion.

Last Sunday, I stumbled onto Pastor Shawn Johnson from Redrocks Church and what got me hooked onto him were his hanging drawstrings. I was intrigued by what he was talking about, not knowing that he was a preacher. Eight minutes on and I was hearing every ‘Holy Spirit’ anointed word that came out as teaching.

Shawn, the abandoned sheep

Shawn does not come from a conservative, ‘good’ catholic family. He did not grow up in an environment most of us are familiar with where there’s love, fellowship and friendship. He never attended Church, and in all probability was high on coke, drifting on life, wanting it to end, one way or the other.

Shawn tells us that his unwed, teenage mother, who was hooked on drugs, deserted by her boyfriend, left his pram at someone’s doorstep with a note asking the person to take care of the child. She went off to end her life but survived the attempt, a cripple, and this left Shawn in an out of foster homes, looking for love, looking for life.

And when he talks about battling depression and being suicidal, you know it is coming from an authentic source and that God has used all of his pain, shame, anxiety and abuse to get others off the hook!  

“I grew up feeling I was never good enough. I was always messing up,” says Shawn, tears welling up in his eyes as he feeds you manna from heaven. 

The decision to die

Speaking about his decision to end it all, he says, “One day, after weeks of being in an anti-anxiety clinic being counselled for panic attacks, I called the owner of the counselling facility I was in at and told him that I was going to end my life. I have processed all the emotions, now help me coach our boys and my wife, Jill, on how to deal with this.”

Shawn Johnson Redrocks Church
Shawn with his wife Jill Johnson ‘preaching’ on how to not end your life. View the video here.

In the same breath, he says, “I’m glad I did not give in to Satan’s lie. Let me tell you this; nobody in your life will be better off without you. Everybody in your life will be hurt and be sad and live the rest of their life in pain. Hang in there. Your anxiety will end. Your depression will end and you will be glad that you did not end your life.” 

God’s grace and forgiveness change everything. It’s the game-changer. Shawn thanks God that he did not do anything stupid and he is glad he had his wife, Jill, by his side. “I like what she says, ‘She is not my Saviour’ but she kept me focussed on Him. She just kept on loving me, and kept telling me how needed I was,” he breaks down during his preaching.

Letting go of the hurt

When you hold on to the Hurt, it turns to Anger which then turns to Bitterness and ultimately to a Hardened Heart. That is the story of Shawn. 

I’ve been through abuse of every kind you can imagine. I have been betrayed by people I love. I am not coming to you from a place of ‘I don’t know any hurt’. Past hurts have to be processed properly and for that, you have to go to the great physician who has the prescription—forgiveness.” 

Stressing on the need to let go of the humiliation and hurt he says, “When you choose not to forgive the way Jesus forgave you, you actually put yourself in prison and in bondage to be tortured. That bitterness and hardened heart is pure torture.”

Shawn Johnson Redrocks Church
“Forgiveness does not justify the action of the other person, it is setting yourself free,” says Pastor Shawn Johnson.

“Forgiveness is about freedom; it is not about justifying the other person’s action… It’s not saying it is Ok that you betrayed or lied or left. We are not justifying anybody’s action by forgiveness,” he emphasises. 

As for retribution he says, “There are consequences for people who hurt God’s children, ‘I got you’, says God, ‘don’t worry… Justice is my job’.”

The Word is preached by Pastors

After years of being a Protestant Pastor, Scott Hann has moved to the Catholic Church. One afternoon, he sat at the last row in a Church (out of curiosity) and was amazed to see that what the Priest was doing at the Altar whilst Celebrating the Holy Eucharist was actually what is revealed in the Book of Revelation.

For me, the Church is a very good place but sadly, there’s hardly any teaching; what you get is the ‘Fourth Reading’, as one priest succinctly puts it. And even if there is the breaking of the Word, it has to be your lucky day. You cannot go to Church and expect to come back enlightened, especially if your faith borders on the periphery.

I go to Church but I get my fill of the Scriptures, early morning as I read the Bible and when I tune in to the following pastors, who have a purpose in their preaching. Who illustrate the Word. Hopefully, someday, our Churches will come alive with purposeful preaching.

Joyce Meyer: Joyce Meyer Ministries, Fenton, Missouri.
John Hagee and his son Matthew: Cornerstone Church in San Antonio.
Joel Osteen: Lakewood Church, Houston, Texas.
Joseph Prince: New Creation Church, Singapore.
Steven Furtick: Elevation Church, Charlotte, North Carolina.
Shawn Johnson: Redrocks Church, Denver, Colorado.

Also Read: Courting scriptures, Quoting scriptures, NUN (none) living by the Word!

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