Sadness and Madness

Saturday shortly after noon, I filled up the dog bowl on the back porch with water and pitched dishes in the dishwasher so that I could head out with Melissa for a bite to eat and maybe a little shoe shopping. She’d spent the night with Keith and me in the country and we’d had a lazy Saturday morning over coffee and conversation. I’d set out my purse and keys and decided to wipe down the kitchen counter before we walked out the door. Just as I sprayed the cleaner and grabbed the dishtowel, Melissa walked in staring at the screen of her phone with the oddest expression.

“Mom, I don’t know if it’s true or not but I’m seeing references on Twitter to Rick and Kay Warren losing a son.”

She was ashen. My stomach flipped and, over the next few minutes as she read to me bits and pieces of breaking news, we feared the worst. I felt a hot sickness in my throat. My relationship with the Warrens is the same as most of yours. I have simply been served and led well by them. Although I had the joy of ministering to women on the Saddleback campus some years ago, my stay was brief and our schedules were wrapped entirely around the event. I have not had the opportunity to get to know the Warrens in the way that personal friends know one another but I always knew in my heart that I’d like them so much. We’re similar ages and in similar seasons with our families. Meanwhile, I have  loved them and esteemed them in Christ as faithful and mighty servants of the living Lord Jesus Christ. And quite possibly, among the mightiest to ever serve this generation.

Within an hour of Melissa walking into the kitchen with those first pieces of news, someone very close to the Warren family confirmed the tragedy on Twitter. We were heartsick and not for media personalities or even public servants. We were heartsick for a family of real people with breakable hearts. And we wept. Many of you undoubtedly did as well.

An odd mix of feelings overtook me with increasing force through the afternoon and into the early evening. The sadder I got, the madder I got. Mad at an astonishing satanic force that stoops viciously and swoops in unscrupulously to attack children and to prey on their weaknesses as they grow up, shooting so relentlessly at one spot that they can barely get to their feet between arrows. I’ve been that child and many of you have, too. Madder still that the devil in all likelihood delights in nothing more than targeting the children and dearest loved ones of true servants of God. Nothing tries our faith like the suffering of our children. At the end of the day, our faith is what the devil is after most. Without it, it’s impossible to please God. This is why Paul could say with relief nearly palpable on the page of his final letter, “I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith.

We’ll all finally make it to our finish lines but the cliffhanger along the way will be this: will we keep our faith? That isn’t the same thing as keeping our salvation. I don’t believe my salvation is something I can give back. I received it by grace through faith from Christ Himself and my works don’t secure it no matter how my woes obscure it. His grip never loosens. Nothing can snatch us out of our Father’s hand. What’s at risk is our active belief in who God says He is, what He says He is like, and what He says He can do.

Is He good? Is He faithful?

So the enemy sets out to knock the feet of our faith out from under our walk. And there is nothing more effective toward that end than targeting the ones we love most on this planet.

I don’t say that to scare you. I say it because I believe it is the hair-raising truth. No, we are not abandoned here as victims on this damaged sod. We are not abandoned at all. Our God is with us. The Spirit of His Son is in us. We are more than conquerors through the One who loves us. We are not at the mercy of Satan. We are at the glorious, life-breathing mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, a mercy that leads, as Jude 21 says, to eternal life and will ultimately spill like a river into a sea of reality where no sufferings of our past will compare with the glory of our present. In the meantime, greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world but make no mistake. This is a vicious world we’ve been left to serve. One God still loves or we would not still be here.

And then, in that mixture of emotions Saturday afternoon, I got madder and madder at the bullies in the Body of Christ. I thought how much it turns out that the Warrens have been through personally and, if they are like most leaders, all the while putting out fires and putting up with a bunch of trash-talk from people who would call the same Jesus Lord.

God help us. In the words of James, These things should not be so, my brothers and sisters.

I don’t believe one of us here in this community thinks that leaders should be immune to questions, constructive criticism, and accountability.  That’s not the kind of thing I’m talking about here. I’m talking about bullying. There are Scriptural means for going to a brother or sister to reason with them about matters we genuinely consider to be off base, misleading, or in error. You and I both know that much of what happens out there in public forums is the furthest thing from biblical.

It is slander.

I went on a walk through the woods Saturday late afternoon and did something I don’t often do. I cried angry tears. I got so mad that I could have hit somebody. I kept thinking how believers attack one another and sling stones at each other like the other can’t bruise or break. And all the while that person may be in so much personal pain that it’s nearly unbearable. I’m not transferring this to the Warrens. I do not know them personally. I’m telling you what I know to be true about most people out there. Most of us are in significant pain of some kind. That doesn’t mean defeat necessarily. It just means pain.

Life is hard enough without hatefulness rife in the Body of Christ. We are called to carry one another’s burdens, not pile relentlessly on top of them. We can still hold one another accountable. We can still ask questions. We can still disagree. But we can do it with respect.

I’m sick of the bullying. The mud-slinging and the meanness. I’m sick of careless, idle words thrown out there in the public square and professing believers in Christ standing on the necks of their own brothers and sisters to sound smart and superior. As if it’s not enough that we are surrounded in this culture by Christian haters, we’ve got to have our own hater-Christians. It’s insane.

When we turn people into caricatures, everything’s game. The moment we depersonalize them, our consciences harden and we can mock and slander at will and have a blast doing it. Snide blogs and tweets and Facebook posts about various leaders can also be effective ways to jump in their spotlight. Bullies aren’t just mean. They’re self-serving. They’re platform-hunting. They have to borrow one to perform.

No, I don’t think that saying all of this will change it much but some things still need to be said. Sometimes we need to speak up and call something wrong. There’s a bigger issue in the Body of Christ than immorality. It’s hatefulness. If the greatest priority Christ assigned to us was love, the gravest offender is hate.

Just about the time cynicism threatens to overwhelm us and turn us into the very people we can’t stand, genuine love – the real thing – erupts right here on this earth like concrete breaking open to a spring. Compassion and tremendous affection are pouring forth from the Body of Christ for the Warrens right now. It is right and it is lovely. We have been served well by them and have learned so much from them. To respond with expressions of love, comfort, and intercession is our honor and privilege. We must and we will.

But even now at the hardest moment of their lives the Warrens can teach something vital if we are willing to learn. Their heartbreak demonstrates what has always been true but has never been more profoundly overlooked: these who serve us publicly also suffer privately. They are not caricatures. They are not just personalities. They are people living on a painful planet with the rest of us.

The Warrens will come forth like gold. The enemy will not win. They will fight the good fight. They will finish the race. They will keep the faith.

I love the Body of Christ. I don’t want want to get cynical. I don’t want to sit around and hate the haters or I become one. But this morning I just want to say this. We can love each other better. Let’s do. People have enough hurt. Let’s be careful with one another.

 

 

 

Yahoo BookmarksDeliciousTwitterFacebookGoogle BookmarksPrintFriendlyStumbleUponShare

734 Responses to “Sadness and Madness”

If you'd like your own pic by your comment, go to Gravatar.com. Click the first button "Get your gravatar today ->", and it will walk you through a simple process to select a picture.

Comments:

  1. 101
    Gina says:

    Beth, beautifully written. That we would stand together as believers instead of tearing down. It hurts the body of Christ, and it hurts our witness to others.

    Praying for the Warrens during this time, as a mom of 4 I cannot imagine!

  2. 102
    Cheri-Beri says:

    Amen and amen. If I were to ever get a tattoo, it would be, “Beloved, let us love one another . . . . “

  3. 103
    Kathie says:

    Amen. Thank you, Beth.

  4. 104
    Michelle says:

    As I read this post, Francis Schaeffer’s essay “The Mark of a Christian” kept coming into my mind.
    The world is watching how we as believers handle other believers. Schaeffer makes a strong case w/scripture John 13 and John 17, that “…we cannot expect the world to believe that the Father sent the son, Jesus’ claims are true, and that Christianity is true, unless the world sees some reality of the oneness of true Christians.”
    This should cut us deeply, sisters.

    Thanks for the post Beth. Right along w/you and so many others my heart hurts deeply for the Warren family.

  5. 105
    cammie says:

    spent yesterday crying for our own mentally ill and severely paranoid 22 year old son yesterday. he has been in and out of our lives for four years now and yesterday we found out that he has moved yet again to an unknown location. haven’t seen him since august. I cry for our son, I cry for the warrens, I cry for this fallen world and the hurting parents out there who are like me, questioning why God is allowing this to continue when he of all people knows and understands the intense pain. I know why….for my good and his glory….but like transition during labor, it is hard to focus on anything because the pain is so great. so very, very searingly painful. these are the times I groan out loud and say at the same time “blessed is he who endures temptation for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of righteousness which God has promised to all those who love him.”

    • 105.1
      Robin in New Jersey says:

      (((((Cammie)))))

      Not hearing from a child has to be one of the hardest things in the world. Praying right now that he contacts you some how, some way and soon.

      • cammie says:

        robin–thank you. we heard from our son two days after i posted this. a very odd phone call, but at least we know he is safe and are fairly certain what city he lives in. thank you so much for your prayers. God gives us exactly what we need, doesn’t He? cammie

    • 105.2
      Lynn Leaming says:

      Cammie, I am so sorry you know this kind of pain first hand. May our God continue to cover you with His promised hand of comfort and may His angels cover your son with safety.

    • 105.3
      Mary says:

      The horrible pain of watching your children suffer from the ugly things in life is like no other agony. Sometimes they are innocent victims ripped apart and hemorhaging in their souls. Sometimes they are walking through or running away from consequences of really bad decisions. Or even when they turn and scream at you they hate you, cut off the relationship, and blame you for being the cause of their problems. Either way, it hurts so much that I can’t fix it for them like when I put a bandaid on skinned knees, and hugged and rocked them. Then there’s the wondering, the if onlys – maybe if I had . . . So I invite Him into the mess of emotions sometimes. Sometimes, I just sit there numb from exhaustion. We all know He is with us, we know that, even when we don’t feel it. But it sure is nice when friends “let you down through the roof to Jesus’ feet” when you are too tired, too angry, too numb to get there yourself. Sometimes it’s my turn on the “mat” on the roof. It means so much when a person says the right thing at the right time.

    • 105.4

      Please accept my love and prayers. There are so many sons like yours that fall through the cracks in the system, and people just don’t understand. I do, and I will be praying. I have a friend who goes through the same thing, and has no idea where her son is now, and he’s in his 40s. It is difficult, and only God makes it possible to live through. Keep on trusting Him.

      • cammie says:

        thank you, gayle. we heard from him two days after i posted this. see my above reply to robin. thank you for your encouraging words! :) cammie

    • 105.5
      Barb says:

      Hi Cammie, So sorry you are having to go thru this!!! Don’t give up praying for him!!! I completely understand – my daughter wasn’t contacting us for a few years but that has changed – we are in almost constant communication now. She has been slowly growing – she still has many issues to deal with & grow thru but now she is allowing me to be part of that and grow with her. Jesus loves your son – just keep praying!!! It’s so true that the hardest time is when our children are suffering!! I will pray be praying for your son also! Love, Barb

      • cammie says:

        barb–if you happen to read this, thank you so much. please see my reply to robin above. God know’s exactly what we need when we need it. your kind words mean so much. cammie

  6. 106
    Marketa Edwards says:

    These are God-breathed words! Thank you, Beth! <3

    • 106.1
      Liz says:

      Only the written word of God is God-breathed. Inspired.

      • Jamie says:

        God also speaks to us today. Not saying there is anything added to the Bible, but just saying that God does inspire people to write and speak today.

  7. 107
    Katherine says:

    Haven’t been able to stop thinking of this. Just heartbreaking!

  8. 108
    KaRetha says:

    Thank you Beth for writing this. Your words are so timely.

  9. 109
    Bob Coats says:

    Thanks Beth. You expressed my heart much better than I could. It has long been a problem, a burden on my heart, and it will continue unfortunately. Yet, the reminder for me and “our house” is much appreciated. Thanks for speaking the truth in love.
    Aunt Marge would have said “amen and amen”.

  10. 110
    Gerri Oros says:

    I am a “Saddlebacker” and cried when I read Pastor Rick’s email to us on Saturday morning. I also became angry reading the remarks taunting Rick and Kay over the death of their son. I want to share that all services were completely full this weekend. It was like Christmas or Easter. Pastor Tom Holliday, who is Matthews uncle, led us in prayer for the Warrens.. As we left service, a spontaneous hug-festi started. Didn’t matter who was next to you, we hugged, we cried, we vowed to get through this horrible attack the enemy made. We are a family, God’s family, and we will heal.

    • 110.1
      Kathy B says:

      Oh how precious to hear. Thank you for sharing that, Gerri. You most certainly are their family. And we are yours.

  11. 111
    Lisa Braun says:

    Beth, your words totally resonated with me. When I saw the post on FB about Rick Warren’s son, my heart grabbed and I couldn’t get it out of my mind or stop praying. At church Sunday morning, our pastor announced it and prayed with the whole congregation about it. He knows that Rick will be attacked and he knows as a pastor what that feels like. We are praying for the Warren family.

    As my pastor prayed, I sobbed. Mental illness, bipolar and depression is in my family and I have a daughter who has signs of struggling with that too. It is an illness so very difficult to understand. I have not fought it personally, but I know the affects of how it damages people and relationships. It’s a horrendous illness. My mother, father and brother have all talked about taking their lives in the past and as a young child, it’s a very difficult thing to deal with. I have been in women’s ministries for 20 years and am surrounded by women who struggle with depression and have children who struggle with it. It is NOT easy.

    My heart goes out to the Warren family. As soon as read about it, I immediately posted on my FB how we need to pray for them and be an encouragement and not to judge or gossip.

    Thank you so much for your blog post….thank you. We need to love love love. It saddens me deeply that there often seems to be more cynicism and attacking within the Body of Christ….may God help us.

    Hugs and prayers to you sister!
    Lisa

  12. 112
    Bekah Mason says:

    A dear friend of mine wrote an open letter to believers who daily fight the good fight against depression, suicidal thoughts and other struggles with self-harm. The responses so far have been so amazing.

    The reactions of some toward the “celebrity” of the Warrens have revealed the callous nature of our society. We forget those “talking heads” in politics and ministry both are ultimately people. Humans made in the image of our amazing God. With emotions and families and stories. And we have dehumanized one another with our online attacks at personalities.

    If you or someone you know struggles either with the Church and our weak response to mental illness, or you struggle with depression and suicidal thoughts, I would encourage you to read the incredible grace-filled encouragement found in the letter of hope written to the hopeless believer.

    http://bekahmason.com/2013/04/06/an-open-letter-of-hope-for-the-hopeless-believer/

  13. 113
    Kristi Walker says:

    You don’t know it, but I just virtually gave you one of my grandma’s hugs. She hugged like she meant it and you knew it.

    I am, unfortunately, quick to anger and I have spent a lot of time in prayer over the last few decades or so just asking God to use it or help me lose it. I can’t tell you how quickly my fuse lit over this very thing the last few days. I have simply stopped reading anything about the Warrens heartache and loss because the “remarks” from people who profess to know Christ was too much. I thought I was going to get a nosebleed.

    Thank you for the encouragement, the love and the truth that you speak in His sweet name. The ugliness must stop. We must humble ourselves and stop this meanness. A real family lost their son and I cannot begin to imagine the heartache and loss they must be feeling. May the peace of Christ Himself cover them completely.

  14. 114

    Thank you Beth!
    I am a pastor’s wife in Bossier City, LA. I have two daughters, and the youngest(14)suffers from anxiety and fear which is linked to her mild OCD. I know the angst I go through as we walk this road together. I can only imagine what the Warren’s have been through. Our hearts go out to them too.

  15. 115
    L Allen says:

    You Go Jesus Girl!!!!! My heart is so overwhelmed by their grief. I am a pastors wife and have children whom I would die for and this is one of my greatest fears. For some reason with ministry there comes personal suffering. I don’t know of any true minister that does not have mud and hurt slung in their direction. I find it unbearably sad at moments. I wonder did we miss it in our calling, and other times, I have had the Spirit of Jesus whisper so clearly, “They did it to me, why do you think you are off limits” ouch! I cry, pray, get angry, pray some more and finally come to peace with whatever I am walking through at the moment. But it is the hardest to see my children who are so involved in our ministry become targets. It brings out the mamma tiger in us.
    Thank you Beth for doing what most of us cant, that is stand up for ourselves and giving us a voice!! You are loved dear one!!!
    You continue to impact my life in ways I cannot even utter.

  16. 116
    Audrey says:

    Thank you, Beth, for continuing to speak truth with boldness.

  17. 117
    jean paul says:

    Thanks for writting this. I will pray for Pastor Rick and his family.

  18. 118
    Nikki says:

    Amen…. Praying for the Warren Family and the “discontent” within the church!

  19. 119
    Tracy Drake says:

    Profound.

    My prayers to the Warren Family.

    Tracy
    Fort Mill, SC

  20. 120
    JW says:

    I’m glad you love the church. I grew up a preacher kid and I don’t think to highly of it. Even though the majority of people in church are great, I have every moment of those who you described seared into my memory. Even though I moved away, my experience has never changed. Go through a hard time and see how the church treats you. Oh, they want to know what you are dealing with, but that’s about it. Unless you are “somebody” good luck. It’s the loneliest building in the city. Thankfully, I still have a relationship with God, the church…not so much. Just being honest.

    • 120.1
      LindaW says:

      JW, my heart breaks for you. I know only too well what you mean….the church can be such a cold lonely place to those who are hurting. Most people are not really interested in how you are doing when they ask. You can tell by the look on their faces as they turn away before you even get a chance to answer…and if you answer with the truth, they just get uncomfortable. But that is NOT the true church, the body of Christ, it is just a building full of all kinds of people. There are people who care and want to reach out to you with love, and I pray that God will bring them into your life. We all need the love of our brothers and sisters, the true body of Christ, and when you find that you will know it. We are out there, hurting also, yet so happy to share God’s love because we too understand only too well what it is to hurt. Please don’t give up.

    • 120.2
      Marie says:

      JW,

      I don’t know you, but I have been through something similar. It’s painful and that pain touches everything.

      There’s definitely not a perfect church out there, but there are ones that strive to be healthy and God-honoring. I will pray that you come across one.

      Marie

  21. 121
    Janet Wallace - Kingwood, TX says:

    O God you have taught me from my earliest childhood, and I constantly tell others about the wonderful things you do. Now that I am old and gray, do not abandon me, O God, Let me proclaim your power to this new generation, your mighty miracles to all who come after me.
    NIV

  22. 122
    Ashley Jackson says:

    Beth,
    Thank you for writing this. I have struggled with depression off an on my whole life but most recently increased over the past 3 years. The Lord has revealed that a lot of it is oppression and He has raised many godly people to intervene on my behalf. I am beginning to believe again that God does have a call on my life to teach and speak truth, but the criticism scares me.

    I recently posted an article on Facebook and I felt personally attacked for having said anything. It burns my heart and I find it hard to let it go, “what did I say to offend or hurt you so much”. I can not imagine what you all, as well known people, speaking for the Lord must come up against. Someone said once surely someone would have criticized Lincolns Gettysburg Address should they have had blogs and twitter back then. It makes me want to hide away and I know God is trying to teach me something about the fear of man.

    He also has reminded me frequently that our battle is not against flesh and blood but against the spiritual darkness of this world. That when we feel hated or personally attacked, that this is the Enemy hating God’s reflection in us. It doesn’t make it easier, or less intimidating for sure, but it helps me see it for what it is. It makes me scared or sad though when this attack comes from those that we see as loving God as we do. Yet Jesus had to tell even Peter, “get behind me Satan.”

    I listen to every teaching I can get from you and pretend you are my mentor meeting with me and reminding me of God’s truth. I was listening as I was cleaning my house and you reminded me through your teaching that we are going to be attacked because we are the way God is bringing His Kingdom to people now on earth, claiming the land that the enemy is standing on, surely not going down without a fight. We might not be persecuted through prison or beatings, but the beatings that are being given emotionally and psychologically are many times even harder to get past.

    I am praying for the Warrens in this tragic time that breaks me heart for them and for their precious son who must have been hurting so much. That during this hurtful time that God would shield them from anything but truth, love and encouragement.

    Thank you and other Bible teachers out there for being brave in the face of constant criticism and public pain.

  23. 123
  24. 124
    Victoria Gillispie says:

    Thank you Beth for sharing from your heart. I am a pastor’s wife and my family and I have been the brunt of the hatefulness you talked about even when going through one of your bible studies. Most of the ladies in that bible study group didn’t catch what you were trying to say to us through the dvd’s, because I was betrayed by them and their families, left with deep sheep bites, that has taken several years to heal. When I learned of this sad tragedy, like many, I cried and started praying for them, but my heart went out to Kay especially, praying that the ladies in her church wouldn’t point a finger but that they would surround her with love and comfort.

  25. 125
    LATANYA TURNER BRAXTON says:

    spot on Beth, spoken with true conviction…thank you

  26. 126
    ULCARDSFAN says:

    Thank you so much for expressing this truth so eloquently. Praying for the Warrens and all those who are hurting because depression and suicide have touched the lives of family and friends. Lord help us to love as YOU love.

  27. 127
    Dana says:

    AMEN! Some of the most hateful people I know, are people that call themselves Christians. No wonder the world has turned away from Christianity because the Body of Christ looks so much like the world.
    If we would just love and support each other, the Body of Christ would be a force like no other.

  28. 128
    Cindy Holmes says:

    I love what you had to say, particularly at the end when you say that we can be better with one another, kinder, more considerate. It reminds me of CeCe Wynan’s “Albaster Box”: “You don’t know the cost of the oil in my Albaster Box.” I have used this many times to remind myself and those around me that we don’t know the path traveled…sometimes of even those closest to us. We all have suffered public and private pain…some so gut wrenching that we struggle to believe days or months later that we survived it at all. It is God’ grace that has brought me through these times in my life. It has not been easy, but in the end it has been good. The work of the Warren’s has served me many times through “40 Days of Purpose”. Specifically that “God never wastes a hurt”. I cannot tell you how much that single phrase has ministered to me throughout this hard life and made me remember that all that I have survived has not been without purpose. My great loving God will turn those tears and struggles in something of great value…not only to me, but to those He puts in my path. I am praying that the Warren’s can remember that phrase that has brought such comfort to me. As parents, this is something we would never wish on another, but as fellow Christian’s we can stand in the gap and pray persistently for peace and comfort for the Warren family. I commit to do so. Will you?

  29. 129
    Nancy says:

    Amen– and thank you!

  30. 130
    Candace Yergensen says:

    Beth,

    What you have described is all too true within the body of Christ. We need to pray for the Warren family, not speculate on what could or could not have been done. What agony to suffer in the public eye!
    My dearest friend, who was a pastor’s wife for many years, told me once her greatest wounds have come from those within their congregations, and I find this tragic.
    Thank you Beth, for your honest words.

  31. 131
    Lynn Leaming says:

    Thank you Father God for once again pouring your words through your sweet spokesperson Beth. She speaks your heart so clearly and preciously. May we heed the words you have spoken through her and all be your church who is known by your love through her. Please bless the Warrens at this most difficult time in ways beyond all they can ask or imagine. We thank You that in the name of Your Son and our Lord, Jesus Christ that we can claim victory over death. Amen

  32. 132
    Julia says:

    Oh Beth-I certainly don’t know much about what your life must be like, but my empathy and butterfly filled stomach agree and relate to your words. I don’t understand those behaviors at all, and have always thought it ridiculous that people who call themselves “Lovers of God” can behave in such a way that so obviously flies in the face of Christianity, not to mention the love and acceptance Jesus Christ so readily gave to EVERYONE. I am not sure how one can justify or rationalize that one. It makes no sense, logically or spiritually. I don’t know these lovely people you speak of, but that kind of pain flows straight to my heart as I put myself in their shoes. I am truly sorry for their loss and pray for the “peace that passes all understanding”.
    Julia

  33. 133
    Julie Fidler says:

    I blogged about the Warrens’ tragedy over the weekend and most of the comments/tweets I got were very kind, but there were some absolutely detestable ones, too. Sometimes I think all the internet does is make the world a smaller, nastier place.

  34. 134
    Mary Watkins says:

    Yes, we can do better. Thank you, Beth, for sharing your heart.
    I love you, sister.

  35. 135
    allie says:

    is anyone suffering?
    pray.
    pray some more.
    and then keep praying.

    this is how we deal with persecution. James 5
    what if all of us didn’t blog about it, but prayed?

    pray.

  36. 136
    Joybreaks says:

    All morning, I hear Nicole C. Mullen’s song in my head.. “I Am.”

    God bless you and thanks for speaking out. Now I’ll probably be hearing Taylor Swift’s “Mean” song, but hey..I am a vessel, my head is the radio of a ready servant. :) Love you, Girl..

  37. 137
    Melinda Hohenberger says:

    Thank you for this post, Beth. I do not know the Warrens either, but as a fellow believer and mother of children with mental health issues, my heart breaks for them. I truly have been blessed by Rick’s teachings.

    I am mad, too. We all, myself included, need to bridle our tongues. It is something that I am really trying to focus on and by God’s grace I will conquer.

    You are correct, they will come forth as gold.

    Blessings and love to you and your staff this week. I will be praying as you all travel to Greensboro. I am thrilled that you are coming to my city, Eugene OR, at the end of the month. Much prayer is and has gone into this event.

    Melinda Hohenberger

  38. 138
    Jamie Lynn says:

    AMEN SISTER! LOVE YOU AND YOUR MINISTRY! Jesus has anointed you and I’m thankful for that because you are down to the core REAL!

    God Bless!!!!

    Jamie in Surprise Arizona

  39. 139
    Deborah (Debbie) says:

    Yes, dear Sister. Yes.

  40. 140
    Linsey D says:

    Amen and thank you Beth from this member of Saddleback Church.

  41. 141
    Lou-Anne says:

    Amen, sister! Amen!

  42. 142

    Beth,
    Thank you for your post. I really believe that persecution for true believers is fueled by those who call themselves Christians. If you look up the word hate as it is used in the Scripture, it means to love less. Using this definition gives much understanding to “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:26

    Also, the verse that says, “Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.” 1 John 3:15

    We need to love one another as Christ loves us not love one another less (hate). Thanks for being willing to speak out.

  43. 143
    Ellen Goddard says:

    Thank you for your words, Beth. My thoughts and prayers have been with the Warrens since I heard of their tragic loss. This tragedy hits close to home as I too deal with depression. I have had pain from those at church who do not understand mental health issues. I love Jesus and know He is the greatest healer of all – for me, for the Warrens, for all those who have posted here and have the same issues. May we uplift each other – may we speak out – may we love with God’s love. May we keep the faith. Ellen

  44. 144
    Tammy says:

    And isn’t Satan just having a heyday every time we turn and attack each other!! My mom always says she has to fight the urge to look down on those who are looking down on others. This was an INCREDIBLE post and hits so many nails on the head. I wish every Christian could read and take this to heart!!!!!!

  45. 145
    Jenna says:

    Thank you, Beth, for posting the honest truth. I needed to read that this afternoon.
    The church I serve at is going through a trying time. Gossip and slander and people’s own agendas is making it very hard to lead there. I have struggled with wanting to leave and move on or even take a break from leading worship on Sunday mornings. It’s such a battle because my heart longs for them to experience the love of God and the healing that comes through worshiping with humble and honest hearts before Him. I often feel like a failure and struggle so much with wondering if I am making a difference at all. I sacrifice a lot to be here in this town. My family lives in Charleston, SC, and I am in Johnson City, TN. They often ask when I am coming home. I have been missing them terribly. I am single and 26 years old. I graduated college with a worship leader degree, but have yet to find a paying job. I volunteer to lead every Sunday and for youth on wedsnesdays, I work in the church preschool to get by. Oh Beth, I have so much in my heart dying to be set free. I want the world to know my Jesus and all He has done and can do.
    The verse my worship leading partner and boyfriend (working towards fiancé joyfully) keeps giving me is Galatians 6:9: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
    I am trying so hard to remember this, but we pour our hearts out so much and in return we get much discouragement. I wish I could tell you our whole story. It’s really miraculous how God brought us together. It is certainly a miracle for me. I never imagined I could serve and love The Lord along side a man who truly loves me like Jesus.

    Anyway, sorry for rambling on. I greatly appreciate you and your leadership. You are a spiritual mother to me. You have been a part of so much healing in my life.

    Thank you for the blog post.

    Love, a little worship leader girl named Jenna Grace.

  46. 146
    Mary in Idaho says:

    Amen, amen and amen!

  47. 147
    Rebecca says:

    Very well said Beth … Depression is such a attack by the enemy … there is no way out of your own mind. As a Christian that fight with depression. It is in Gods children that is to lead the way to God. To Jesus’s love. And not to judge. I can honestly say that I have been hurt by more Christian then I have not. And I have fought with depression and God stepped in and sent people before I step over the line. Why because of his love and I am talk to the point that I had to have my stomach pumped out. You don’t see hope you don’t know how you can face another hour little on another day. I guess I have came full circles now in less than a year. I went from wanting to end my life till now in front of me at 37 fighting for my life. starting cancer treatment on the 19th and to say that I am scared is saying it mildly. I am try to fight the good fight of faith. Someday is easier then others but what I know is truth is Gods love and it is a win win for me if I am not to win this battle then I can be with my Jesus but if I am to win then my work is not done. Love and prayers for you dear sister in Christ.

  48. 148

    So sweet, Beth. We just killed our first 3 foot Copperhead snake. I thought of Keith killing your rattlesnakes! Our event wasn’t so pretty though … husband said, “Watch out!” I didn’t know where the danger was or what it was, and I almost panicked! Then I had to run a mile to retrieve a shovel for the killing! We took our girls out to see it, the danger … this is what it looks like … be careful. Your writing is a reminder that … this is what danger looks like, and we must be careful. Thanks, sweet lady!

  49. 149
    Jeannette says:

    So well said. Thank you. We had a 10 year old son accidently shot in a hunting accident by his 14 year old brother. A couple of years before that my dad committed suicide. This has been 30 years ago. I still vividly remember the wonderful Christians who allowed the Lord to use them to minister to us and our hurts. God is so good. I also vividly remember the immediate pain and how painful it was when others made painful remarks and had no sympathy. Our older son was so greatly affected by those remarks. Thank God He is the healer. Praying for the Warren family

  50. 150
    Kelly says:

    Amen sister

Leave a Reply

To receive a daily digest of comments on this post, enter your email address below: