Is Robin Williams in hell or heaven? This question had some in the Christian community debating the matter, but Christian Film and Television Commission Chairman Dr. Ted Baehr says he can attest to the fact that the actor accepted Jesus Christ as his personal savior during one of his drug and alcohol rehab stays.
In a related report by The Inquisitr, the Westboro Baptist church is infamously going around waving signs saying, “Robin in Hell” and it’s believed they may attempt to stage a protest at the upcoming public tribute to Williams scheduled on August 25.
The major reason that Christians are arguing over whether Robin Williams is in heaven or hell is because of his suicide. The idea that suicide is a sin which cannot be repented of goes back thousands of years. In the fifth century, St. Augustine wrote one of Christianity’s first condemnations of suicide, and by the sixteenth century suicide had become a secular crime by which a person could be denied a Christian burial and even have their family’s belongings be confiscated. But Martin Luther noticeably changed the tone of the debate and even discussed suicide prevention and combating depression in Christians. By 1997, the Catholic Church had softened its stance on suicide as a sin by discussing the emotional problems of an individual:
“Grave psychological disturbances, anguish, or grave fear of hardship, suffering, or torture can diminish the responsibility of the one committing suicide.”
Regardless, Robin Williams’ suicide still has many Christians automatically assuming the actor would be consigned to hell. For example, one YouTube video called “Robin Williams Is In Hell” lists an example:
“This tragic outcome of Robin Williams’ life demonstrated that no matter how talented and influential one is, if they lack a spiritual foundation in Jesus Christ, they will perish and end up in eternal hell.”
But it seems the major assumption made in this comment is false. Williams was raised as an Episcopalian and he told Can Magazine that his time in rehab influenced his thinking on God:
“In rehab you go through a lot of [counselling]. You really do find out that that’s one of the primary salvation when you go through rehab, that you come out of the other side knowing you’re not alone and it give[s] you a very personal view of God. And many people would say, ‘the higher power’ or just the idea of a very deeply… once you come through that process you come out of it very much aware of ‘There but for the grace of [God, go I]’.”
Dr. Ted Baehr had several chances to discuss Jesus Christ and God with Williams over the years due to being the editor in chief for Movieguide. They had both grown up with similar parental beliefs and at one point Baehr said that Williams specifically became a Christian:
“Robin had, at one point, accepted Jesus Christ in one of the recovery programs, but he was always searching and never quite finding.”
According to his wife, Robin Williams’ suicide is said to have been influenced by the discovery that he had Parkinson’s disease. The family and Williams’ three children have requested privacy while they mourn their husband and father.
[Image via YouTube]