After Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington tragically took his own life on Thursday, Greg Laurie, senior pastor at Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California, reminded those struggling with suicidal thoughts to remember that God cares about every person and has a special plan for their life.
“This is tragic, another rock star, another lead singer,” Laurie said of the 41-year-old artist’s passing. “This is on the heels of Chris Cornell, the lead singer of Soundgarden. As it turns out, Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell were close friends…Chester was devastated when Chris took his own life, but then he goes and does the same thing.”
Bennington’s death was confirmed Thursday morning by the L.A. County coroner. The “Numb” singer reportedly hung himself at his Palos Verdes home in California. He was married and is survived by six children, but had struggled with drug and alcohol addictions, according to Billboard.
Laurie said that for many, Bennington’s death is a shock, because he seemingly had it all.
“We think, ‘Wait, what? I thought that was like the dream, man, the American dream. You’re a lead singer in a stinkin’ rock band, and you’re living in a beautiful home and you have tons of money and you have all the luxuries of life,'” he said.
The pastor pointed out that depression and drugs are a “bad combination”: “There can be clinical depression,” he acknowledged, “but sometimes people are just depressed because they have no place for God in their life. Then you add drugs to that, and that’s like pouring gasoline on fire.”
Bennington released seven albums with Linkin Park. The most recent, “One More Light,” arrived in May and debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart. The title song from the album included the lines, “Who cares if one more light goes out?/In a sky of a million stars/It flickers, flickers/Well I do.”
“I’ll tell you cares if one light goes out – Jesus Christ,” said Laurie, referencing the song. “He cares about every person, every man, every woman. He cares about every unborn baby, he cares about every person. He cares about the elderly person in the last moments of their life and that newborn and everyone in between. He cares for us, he loves us, he has a purpose and plan for our life. He can change our life.”
He added, “God is still in the healing business, and God is still in the life-changing business.”
The day Bennington took his life would have been Cornell’s 53rd birthday. In May, Bennington responded to the suicide of Cornell in a note he shared on social media.
“I can’t imagine a world without you in it,” he wrote. “I pray you find peace in the next life.”
He also performed Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” at Cornell’s funeral.