Depression And Suicidal Thoughts, The Hope That Cures: Today we are talking with Ray Comfort on his new movie called, “Exit.”  Ray made this movie to inspire an bring hope back into all people, but especially the ones with depression and those who are  contemplating suicide. Tune in now to hear about the hope that is saving lives and how you can help spread that hope too.

Air Date: 07/24/2017


Guests: Ray Comfort. David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton


Listen:

Download: Click Here

Transcription note:  As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast.  However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers.  Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times.  We apologize in advance.

Welcome

Rick:

Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture, this is WallBuilders Live! We’re talking about today’s hottest topics on policy, faith, and the culture, all of it from a Biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective.

We’re here with David Barton, America’s premiere historian and the founder of WallBuilders. Also, Tim Barton,  president of WallBuilders, national speaker, and pastor. And my name’s Rick Green, I’m a former Texas state representative.

You can find out more about us at our websites WallBuilders.com and WallBuildersLive.com. David, Tim, when we say, “all these different topics” and “faith in the culture.” Today’s topic is one of those cultural issues it’s really tough. I mean, it’s just a tough topic even to talk about and we struggled a little bit with this.

Our guest later in the program, Ray Comfort, he’s got a new movie coming out called, “Exit” and it’s tackling this growing trend of suicide in our culture today. Tim, you guys have tackled this a lot with the millennials as well.

The Results Of The Show 13 Reasons Why

Tim:

Yeah, Rick, one of the reasons that we talked about this before here on this show is that this is something we want to do because- we don’t want to do anything that promotes obviously, this incredibly sad and really unbiblical position, that someone would want to end their life. So we want we want to promote that there’s hope, right? God’s got this incredible Plan and Purpose for everybody’s life.

So above discouragement, above whatever else, obviously, we want to promote the right kind of values. But we live in a culture where going into the summer one of the top shows, I think is either number one or number two on Netflix, was 13 Reasons Why. Which was the unfolding of a story of a girl who was committing suicide and she tells all her friends.

So even though the people that did the show 13 Reasons Why, they were trying to show the nature of the dangers of what suicide produces. I mean, really all they did was kind of highlight and glorify, in fact, many people watching it have then gone and followed that perspective.

So even though this is a tough issue, we never want to talk about it so much that it becomes something in somebody’s mind, “Wow, this is an option, I hadn’t thought about that before.” Certainly not, we want to promote God’s kingdom, God’s love, God’s plan, and purpose for people so that they are able to overcome this.

We also don’t want to be culturally ignorant. And if culture is addressing this, if culture is promoting their values, at some point a Christian has to come in and say, “Wait a second, let’s let’s have Biblical perspective on this. God is the author and Giver of life. Everything that God creates is for a reason, it has purpose, and it has value, because we were created in God’s image. There needs to be another side to this. Ultimately, we live in a culture that without God it’s very much embracing a hopeless despair. But because of God, there is hope.

That’s something where Ray Comfort does such an incredible job of unfolding. His apologetic way, if our listeners haven’t seen Ray on YouTube you should just go through some of Ray Comfort’s interactions, his talking on the street. This guy is brilliant at unfolding the gospel message for people and being very practical in how he does it.

Part of what he wants to do even in the midst of the topic, we’re going to have him on later in the program, is to help present the fact that there is hope in Christ.

What Causes Depression

David:

You’re talking about how the culture is now present in things like suicide with the programs out there. Suicide so often stems from depression and Ray will talk about the rising depression numbers in the United States.

What’s interesting is the culture also promotes things that increase depression. For example, when you look at studies on abortion, women who have had an abortion have depression rates three to five times higher than everybody else.

You look at homosexuality. Homosexuals have depression rates three to five times higher than everybody else. So we’re even promoting things now that cause depression. We’re promoting things that cause it we’re now saying, “Well, depression is fine therefore suicide is fine.”

And it’s really not because there is a Biblical side. Depression really comes from being discontent with who you are or what’s going on. It’s not accepting yourself or not accepting the situation.

I’m always drawn back to one of the very first things God told mankind back in Genesis. In Genesis 4 you have Cain and Abel, they’re both still alive, and Cain is really kind of upset over the direction things are heading.

God went to him and said, “Look, you’re really depressed, your face is downcast, and you’re really sad. Cain, you need to understand something.” And in Genesis 4:6-7 the Lord said to Cain, “Why is your face downcast? Why this depression”

He said, “If you do it’s right you’ll be accepted. But if you don’t do what’s right sin is crouching at your door and you have to rule over it.” So much of this is fixed by doing the right thing. But we’re in a culture that doesn’t do the right thing, doesn’t believe there is a right thing, and doesn’t think there is absolute truth.

So, this is one of the consequences as a result. But somehow we’ve got to get people back to say, “No, acceptance? You can do acceptance. Acceptance comes from doing the right thing, doing it in the culture, doing it with the Lord, doing it with your life. You can handle this depression stuff.”

That’s part of what Ray does, he really gives some options on how to handle this depression. But I find it interesting that this depression thing is something that Cain dealt with at the very beginning back in Genesis 4 and God already pointed to him on how to fix depression and what you can do to help fight depression.

Rick:

Ray Comfort, our special guest today. Stay with us, we’ll be right back with Ray Comfort from Living Waters.

Moment From American History

This is Tim Barton from WallBuilders with another moment in American history. America is a special and unique nation. The average length for a constitution in other countries is only 17 years. But we’ve had ours for over two centuries. Our 4 percent of the world’s population produces 24 percent of the world’s gross domestic product and every year we produce more inventions and technology than the other 96 percent of the world combined.

In 1831 Alexis de Tocqueville of France came to America, traveled the country, and in his famous book, “Democracy in America”, reported,  “The position of the Americans is therefore quite exceptional. It may be believed that no Democratic people will ever be placed in a similar one.”

This is the origin of the phrase “American exceptionalism” and affirms that America is unique because of the distinctive ideas on which we’ve been based. Including in inalienable rights, individuals, and limited government, and the importance of religion, and morality. For more information about American exceptionalism go to WallBuilders.com.

Suicide, A Growing Epidemic

Rick:

Welcome back, thanks for staying with us here on WallBuilders Live! Once again, got our good friend Ray Comfort from living waters with us. Ray, always good to have you, bro.

Ray:

Good to be here, thank you!

David:

So many great movies you guys have put out over the last few years that have touched and changed so many lives. You’re never afraid to tackle tough subjects and you certainly have with “Exit.”

This is talking about a subject that, frankly, in the church, we don’t want to talk about much. But it’s a real issue. Not just outside the church, but in the church as well. So tell us what made you decide to address this issue of depression and suicide.

Ray:

I saw something on television about six months ago, it was a country western singer who said she suffered from severe depression and the doctors have given her prescription drugs and the side effects were the face was terribly contorted and she was trembling like a leaf.

I began studying how widespread depression was in the United States and found out that the World Health Organization says 150 million people worldwide suffer from depression and we have a massive epidemic of suicides.  

Suicide is the second leading cause of deaths among college students. One in twelve high school students has attempted suicide. And we have Americans who kill themselves every year. A half a million end up in hospitals with attempted suicide.

Curing Suicidal Thoughts And Depression

So I studied it and after about three months of studying, writing a book, and doing a movie I came to the conclusion the world doesn’t know what it’s doing. They have no idea what causes chronic depression and they have no chance of a suicide.

I’m bold enough to say, “We know what causes most chronic depression and we know the answer to it.” And that’s what we put in the movie. And we’re very excited. Our YouTube channel’s got 45 million views. This is a massive platform to reach the lost of the gospel. And we believe this is our best movie ever it’s called, “Exit” for obvious reasons.

Rick:

The first place to go to to be able to view the movie and to share it with others is TheExitMovie.com. Ray, you hit it head on in the movie. I had a chance to watch it and the interviews that you have, you always do the best on the street interviews, by the way. You actually are talking to both young and old, not just college students but several college students in there about their battles with depression and attempts at suicide.

The Change In Culture Once You’re Morally Accountable

Ray:

I was amazed. I said, “Lord, I need to talk about suicide with college students.” I think three or four one after the other not only said that they have attempted suicide but they opened up just incredibly. And I was so excited to get the footage because it’s kind of hard to get stuff like that.

I think we’re going to see, we’ve got an epidemic at the moment, but I think we’re going to see a massive increase in suicide, and there’s a reason for that. In the 1950’ you wouldn’t remember this, but I would, you didn’t lock your doors, you didn’t lock your car, people weren’t running around murdering and raping people because there was a measure in America of the fear of God.

America would be called, “A God fearing nation” where the Ten Commandments were exalted. Cecil B. DeMille’s “The Ten Commandments” was the Star Wars of the decade, it was the most popular film. America had those two restraints.

One, they believed in the existence of God and they knew they are morally accountable to Him. And two, they had a purpose for existence and they had hope in their death. Well, we’ve got a generation that’s giving themselves to Atheism.”There’s no God, there’s no right, no wrong, you’re not accountable to God, anything goes.” And that has real good positive effects for sin loving sinners. That fornication is ok, so is pornography, adultery, blasphemy, homosexuality, and on it goes. But the problem is there’s no restraints on those things, neither is a restraint for suicide.

Would You Know What To Say If The Situation Arose

Suicide has become an option. It’s horrific for me to think “I’ll take my life” because I fear God and I know it’s wrong to kill myself. But when we have a generation who doesn’t fear God, there’s no right no wrong, there’s no purpose for existence, and there’s no hope of immortality, suicide becomes an option.

I was reading recently where American Journal of Psychiatry said, “Religiously unaffiliated subjects, people who were Godless, had significantly more lifetime suicide attempts and perceive fewer reasons for living. Particularly fewer moral objection to suicide.”

So this generation doesn’t object to suicide. So we’re going to see, I believe, a huge increase in the future and the church has got to be ready for it. That’s why we’ve created this movement to train the church so they can see what they say. We’ve also created a study guide a video study guide that goes with it.

We’ve got an expert so it’s not just us. We’ve got an expert John Street who’s the head of Biblical counseling at Master’s College here in California. We want to help the church be ready because it’s a nightmare for me to come across someone who’s going to jump off a ledge and I’ve got to say something and I know that my blood’s going to be on their hands if I say the wrong thing. And so we’ve got to be prepared.

Rick:

At the end of the I noticed that there’s actually going to be a study- so you’re saying that people in a church or a family will have some tools here. It’s not just to watch a movie, there’s going to be some tools to get equipped. Also, you may be dealing with it in your own family, but certainly the church has got to be prepared to deal with it as well.

Ray:

One of the most horrifying signs that someone is contemplating suicide is that there are no signs. People just go ahead and do it. And they’re shocked, that happened to me when I was a new Christian, a friend just killed himself. No one knew it was coming.

So you’ve gotta look, you’ve got to know what to say, and you’ve got to be filled with love and ready to reach out.

Reaching Out To Those In Need

Let me tell you something that happened recently. It’s relevant to what we’re talking about. A friend of mine, his younger brother- this happened in Utah in 2012. He was taken by a group of masked men with knives, they knocked him out, cut open his chest, took out his heart, and no one did a thing to stop them.

You think, “Woah, that’s horrible!” It’s at the beginning of a book that I’ve just finished writing that comes with a movie and it’s called, “How to Battle Depression and Suicidal Thoughts.”

That story was told to a guy who’s going to jump off the Golden Gate Bridge. A stranger comes along, sees he’s going to jump, and he says, “Hey, don’t jump.” He said, “I don’t care what you say. I’m going to jump.”

“Well, if you’re going to jump can I at least tell you about my brother’s friend?” “You can tell me about your stupid friend and stupid brother, but I’m going to jump anyway.” So he tells him that story and the guy goes, “That makes me sick! That’s so evil.” And the stranger says, “No, it’s not evil. That was good.”

“What are you talking about?” “They were surgeons. They were a group of men with knives, masked Man with scalpels, they knocked out his brother with anesthesia, cut open his chest, took out his bad heart, and gave him a new heart, and no one stopped them because what they were doing was wonderful! They saved his life!  

And the guy goes, “Aw.” And the stranger said, “Aw is right. You just changed your mind from something being evil to being good in a matter of seconds because you were given information, they were surgeons. I’ve got information that will radically change what you want to do in taking your own life.”

It’s only a 96 page novel but we’re very excited about it because it’s very powerful. When I got the manuscript back from the editor and I read it I began to weep which is kind of crazy because I wrote the thing.

It’s very moving and we’re hoping to give away 200,000 copies at a hundred universities across the U.S. because it’s such an epidemic when it comes to suicide and depression.

What About The Christians Contemplating Suicide

Rick:

And because the information is there to radically change their perspective and you even do that in the movie. You can see it in the faces of some of these kids that you that you talk to. I noticed it’s obviously a greater challenge to talk about this issue with people that don’t believe in God. But there are many that do believe in God and are still dealing with this, you address that as well in the movie.

Ray:

We address something else with the study course that comes with it. My friend that I was talking about earlier that committed suicide, he was a brand new Christian, very shy and very sincere.

He told me he had a girlfriend, his face just shown when he told me his girlfriend. A week later he committed suicide. Found out that he was in a youth camp, his girlfriend didn’t even know that he liked her. He was so shy he didn’t tell her. She had another boyfriend so he killed himself.

I just kept saying to myself, “Richard, why didn’t you come and talk to me? Because I would have told him that being hurt by someone is s a very predictable downward path. It goes like this, hurt, rejection, self-pity, resentment, anger, bitterness, depression, then suicide. It’s always that path. It can happen quickly or it can happen slowly.

You get hurt by someone, you feel rejected, you move into self-pity, then you move into bitterness, then a resentment, then an anger, and that brings with it depression, and then it brings with it suicide. That’s what happens when you don’t understand how we work.

God’s created this like this and if we don’t have grace, I mean, if someone chews me out but I have grace and say, “Well, he chewed me out, the poor guys marriage is probably difficult, having financial difficulties, and I am not going to get upset I’ll just carry on.” That’s grace, that’s a mercy towards another person and to protect you from that downward path. We’ve got a godless generation that just won’t forgive and so they go down that path. We have a mass of people who’ve gone down that path.

Hope For The Hopeless

Have you heard of Thirteen Reasons Why? It’s a Netflix hit that’s just massive and it’s a young lady of 13 episodes. She sends tapes to 13 of her friends and tells them why she committed suicide.

Rick:

Yes, I have. It’s literally planting the seed in people’s minds that I can have an impact on everybody around me if I kill myself. It’s a terrible terrible deal.

Ray:

Not only that, they show the death scene. I watched the death scene and I went into hyperventilation. We have after effects, I know how to do special effects, they did it so well I just went in hyperventilation.

But the thing is, the scary thing is, and that’s what the producers didn’t realize, is on our movie you see a young lady who’s contemplating suicide she says, “All the time.” And I said, “Isn’t that scary?” And she said, “Yes, but you get used to it.”

Rick:

Wow.

Ray:

That’s what happens with suicidal thoughts, you get used to it. The producers don’t realize that such a group of people, a massive group of people, called “cutters,” people that cut their own wrists with razor blades and make them bleed. That’s nothing new, it was done by the Demoniac in the Gospels he cut himself with stones and went around crying, screaming out.

These people are like. What they’re doing is practicing for suicide, they’re getting used to it. And in San Francisco two young ladies, separate families committed suicide two days after watching Thirteen Reasons Why, and the parents say it’s because of that movie.

They don’t offer hope the hopelessness. In our movie we offer hope. We say that there is glorious hope. This purpose for existence and God can forgive your sins, remove your guilt, grant you everlasting life, and remove the fear of death from your heart.

You can be like Paul and Silas when you are thrown into prison, you chained up, you’ve got every reason to be depressed, you can sing hymns to God because you know that all things work together for good for those that love God and live accord according to his purposes.

God Is Our Parachute

Rick:

As always, in your movies, it’s very moving and at the end you have so many powerful stories that bring that hope. I don’t know if you want to share on the air, I don’t want to take to much from the movie, but when you talk about being in that plane, and having that parachute, and the difference between the fear and the gripping depression that comes if you’re about to jump without that parachute versus when you have that parachute but that really hit hard.

Ray:

Oh, that’s great! Because that’s the whole purpose of the film! Hebrews 2:14 says, “For as much as you and I am made of flesh and blood, God himself became flesh and blood. So he could pass through death and destroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil, and deliver those who through the fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”

So everybody has a haunting fear of death. I’ve found the litmus test for humility, I’ve asked many people, “Are you afraid of dying.” Most guys say, “No, I’m not afraid.” A lot of women are humble of heart and say, “Yeah I’m afraid of dying.”

All of us are afraid of dying and haunts us until we come to Christ. It’s like we say in the movie, it’s like jumping without a parachute. You’re going to be horrified to pass through death, when you’re a Christian you have the parachute of the Savior. You can control your fears, just say, “The Lord is my helper, I will not fear.” Faith is such an implacable thing.

If I had a parachute compared to not having a parachute on a plane, I would rejoice and clutch that parachute for my very life and that’s what I do with the savior because death can take me at any moment.

Rick:

Ray, what would be your advice as people go to get the movie? How do they approach it? They know they’ve got someone in their life that is struggling with this, how would you encourage them to approach that person with the movie and get them to watch it?

Ray:

Well, firstly, I’d just like to say that for a month we offer the movie as a download a $20 for the book and I mentioned and another book I talked about. The reason we do that is because that helps us to have finances to create more movies and make them freely available on YouTube.

So in a month’s time we’ll make it freely available on YouTube. But those that do download it for $20, are like giving us oxygen so we can keep breathing.

Rick:

Essentially partnering with you to put out more product like this.

Ray:

We’re so grateful for that. But if they can’t afford $20 in a month’s time it will be free. And that’s when you can just send the link from ExitMovie.com to someone and to say, “Please watch this.” Or, “Let me know what you think.” Or better than saying, “Please watch this.” You say to somebody, “I’d like to know what you think of this.” You appeal to their ego rather than telling them what to do. “Love to know what you think of this. It’s important to me.” And get them to watch it.

The wonderful thing is not only what I see people who are contemplating suicide and the motives and other things but they’ll hear the gospel that has the power of God unto salvation. It’s the seed of everlasting life and God’s faithful and true to his word will cause that seed to grow.

Rick:

It’s a powerful hope. It’s called The Exit Movie,  TheExitMovie.com. Ray Comfort, Living Waters. Appreciate you Man, tell Israel thank you for sharing his testimony there in the video as well. It’s incredibly powerful, appreciate all that you guys are doing at Living Waters.

Ray:

Thank you so much.

Rick:

Stay with us folks, be right back with David Barton and Tim Barton.

 

Bring A Speaker To Your Area

Tim:

Hey, this is Tim Barton with WallBuilders.  And as you’ve had the opportunity to listen to WallBuilders Live, you’ve probably heard a wealth of information about our nation, about our spiritual heritage, about the religious liberties, and about all the things that make America exceptional. And you might be thinking, “As incredible as this information is, I wish there was a way that I could get one of the WallBuilders guys to come to my area and share with my group.”

Whether it be a church, whether it be a Christian school, or public school, or some political event, or activity, if you’re interested in having a WallBuilders speaker come to your area, you can get on our website at www.WallBuilders.com and there’s a tab for scheduling. If you’ll click on that tab, you’ll notice there’s a list of information from speakers bio’s, to events that are already going on. And there’s a section where you can request an event, to bring this information about who we are, where we came from, our religious liberties, and freedoms. Go to the WallBuilders website and Bring a speaker to your area.

Support Ray Comfort’s Ministry

Rick:

Welcome back to WallBuilders Live! We’re back with David and Tim Barton, now. Thanks Ray Comfort for joining us today and tackling a very tough topic. What a great to hear the hope of his message. That was encouraging to me.

Tim:

Ray Comfort, seems like no matter what we’re talking about he’s encouraging. But especially given what the topic is, the fact that there is hope in spite of despair, which certainly is kind of the whole point of the gospel message, that we’re not stuck in the situation we’re in.

There is redemption, there is a rescue and even restoration in Christ. But, Rick, as you were talking to Ray about Exit the movie, you’ve seen it, I’ve seen it. It really is remarkable how he is just interacting and interviewing people on the streets and some of these topics come up and so he just kind of follows the natural flow.

“I’m really depressed.” “What’s going on? What have you done about it.” “Well, I’ve thought about this.” “Why would you do that? What happened?” It’s so interesting to hear a perspective where they’re coming from. And then it’s so incredible to see how he’s able to take where they’re coming from. It’s such a great model for us because he takes it right to the gospel message of why there is hope.

And by the way, not just hope that you can be different but ultimately there is eternal salvation because part of this depression is beyond just your circumstances. You live in a fallen and broken world, in fact, you’re a fallen and broken person. And really kind of walks through some of these sequences.I feel like every time I watch Ray Comfort it just want to take notes. Say this, when they say, ok I’ve got it.

Rick:

That’s so true.

Tim:

Because he’s so good at this which certainly comes from all the years of practice but it definitely is something that’s incredibly encouraging if we know people in our lives that are dealing with these kinds of situations and issues. This is something where we should invite them over, “Let’s sit down and watch. Let’s talk about this.”

It’s not some inappropriate if there are parents thinking, “I’m not sure if I want my kids to see this.” Obviously, parents, watch it, screen it, and make sure you feel good about showing your kids this.

It’s definitely not something that’s edgy other than the topic itself is something that’s kind of significant and can be difficult to even talk and walk through. But the movie itself is not edgy but it’s such strong powerful content and especially knowing that this is where our kids are in culture.

When the number one show on Netflix is about a teen suicide. This is what our kids are watching. And this is what they deal with. So we want to help communicate truth to the issues that they are talking about and thinking about and dealing with in their life. And so this is a great answer and it’s a great way to do that.

Rick:

Yeah, and to communicate that truth with hope and be able to say, “There is a better way.” God’s way is best. And as you said, Ray is just a matter of being able to do that and God has blessed him with incredible skill on making a good movie and also great content as well. We’ll have web links today for folks and link to even a trailer if you want to watch that.

David:

Actually, on the website, we actually have a link to the movie. So as we mentioned, this is part of how they raise funding in the early stages. So we’ve got to link to the movie so you can go to the website and actually get the movie which helps fund them for more of what they do. Then eventually it’s going to come up and be free.

But in the meantime, this is a way to help that ministry is you can go to the WallBuilders live website and get that movie and help contribute to the ministry and also get a great product at the same time.

Rick:

And Tim mentioned earlier if you haven’t seen it a Ray Comfort movie you’ve just got to go Google Ray Comfort. The 180 movie, I mean, there are so many good ones that he’s done. And the idea of supporting them so they can make more of them is a fantastic thing to do so check out that link today at WallBuilders Live! We sure appreciate you listening! You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live!