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.





735 Responses to “Sadness and Madness”

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  1. 551
    Sheila says:

    Love… We must love. Christians that try to grow daily and appear to have it all together are the ones that you mentioned are hurting the worse. Loosing a child changes you for ever … But many have inner pain that is shared only to God. Jesus teaches compassion…. Judge not… We are attacked when we are faithfully serving. Thanks for reminding us once again to live life loving and guard our tongues.

  2. 552
    The Lord's Bride says:

    Thank you, Beth, for your words! I know that there are many here who have done the very same thing you just did … take a long walk, and blow off some much-vented steam! Pain is pain, there is no two-ways about it. And, pain is exactly what the Body of Christ is feeling today. Arms are reaching out, but, folks are too tied up in their own little clicks, and with their own little agendas to see them … or to reach back out to them. If folks think that our faithful and loving God does NOT see this, they are in for a rude awakening!!

    There have been many pastors, pastor’s wives, Bible teachers, group leaders, and on and on, who have been sooo mistreated by fellow “Christians,” and I use that word lightly, that they have literally thrown up their hands, thrown in the towel, and QUIT!!!

    God see THAT, too!

    Matthew Warren was a believer. I remember reading about him as he was growing up, and how the Warrens would delight in teaching him the Word of God, and how he LOVED it so much. So, I believe with all my heart, God is going to deal with this situation as only God will determine to do. HE knows the HEART!!!

    But, as for the bullies of Matthew’s life … WOE be unto them! The torments are now over for Matthew, but, the tormentors have yet to get their due.

    Those of us who have been bullied, or are being bullied right now in our lives, or have children suffering at the hands of bullies, etc., we need to have faith in the Father of all of us. He is on the Throne, and He is in control. He sees all. And, He is still in the business of rescuing those of us who are HIS! I pray each one of you, including me, will run into His warm, strong, and loving arms right now, and invite others to do the same. There’s plenty of room! Amen! 🙂

    Blessings in Him,

  3. 553
    Connie vallejo says:

    Beautiful words I thank you for sharing this is the real truth! My heart and Prayers are with the Warrens family! I will say I have been going to sleep crying…. Kay Warren is a MOM! because I am a Mom too going threw something like this with my Son, I do all I can do and let Jesus do what I cant and this effects the whole family truly it does! That’s why I dig everyday for resources to help the Hearts that live with chemical unbalance! Its okay to reach out for help because Jesus says I will make a WAY! All I can say if there is ever a time to be more united is Now with so much pain going around this world! We need to be a Voice of Hope and true Love of God’s Heart! as Brothers & Sisters united in God mission of Love!God Bless you. Connie

  4. 554
    Cindy says:

    I too lost my son to suicide 18 months ago and he too was bullied most of his life because he had some neurological problems. He was 19. The day I found him I thought my life was over but God has comforted me through this. My heart breaks for them and every other person that looses a child. I have a hole in my chest that only God can heal. I hurt every single day all day long and every night all night long my only peace is when I am sleeping. I miss my son and I feel like such a failure as a mother for not seeing it coming and I pray peace upon this family and they will not take any of the blame on themselves. My comfort is I will see my son again someday as they will.

    • 554.1
      Cortney says:

      Oh, God bless you, Ms. Cindy! It broke my heart just reading your post. I pray that God will feel your heart with continual peace. I’m praying for you!

    • 554.2
      Geri says:

      Cindy, I have worked with troubled teens for 20+ years. I have seen so many parents blaming themselves for the tragic choices their child makes. I once read that we should look at it from God’s view. He started the world with two perfect children, gave them everything they would ever need, and loved them unconditionally. Yet, they chose to disobey and reject all they were given. You can be sure when Adam and Eve sinned, God did not step back and blame Himself for being a failure as a parent. If anyone knows how you feel, it is your precious Lord. He lost a son to the most horrendous kind of murder. He will never let go of you. I WILL PRAY that you find His grace is sufficient, and His power perfected in your weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).

    • 554.3
      kimberly mason says:

      I’m so sorry cindy! lifting you up in prayer now!


    • 554.4
      Carol says:

      I am sorry Cindy for your son’s death. I too lost my son when he was five years old and want to let you know that I felt that same kind of heart break that feels like it will never go away, but want to let you know that God DOES heal the broken hearted!! He healed my heart! I will see my son again, but until then I will run my race and I will enjoy everyday that God gives me here. God has restored my joy as I believe He will restore yours!

    • 554.5
      gail says:

      Cindy, you will be in my prayers. You are not a failure. You are a human, and an imperfect parent like all the rest of us. Your situation could have been ours. Trust that God has forgiven you (if, indeed, you need to be forgiven), and know that God is covering you with His wings.

  5. 555
    Paulina Deter says:

    My heart not only goes out to the Warren Family, but to every family that has lost a loved one today and the days to come. No one is ready to lose a family member they love, even if that person (the person they love) is suffering. I think maybe those who take their own life, can not stand to see all the suffering that is going on in this world. That is my opinion, and I have no doctorate degrees in any one field. So it is just my personnel opinion.
    Beth, I do not know what the Warrens have been through personally, as I gather you do not either, for you stated you did not know them personally. For you to say that they(the Warrens)since you consider them to be leaders, your words were “and quite possibly the mightiest to ever serve this generation.” Well, I do know of the Warrens and they probably do have very good hearts, it’s not for me to say nor you. What most of us “everyday people,” must learn is LOVE & TOLERANCE. Definition of TOLERANCE; permissive attitude(LOVE)toward those whose opinions, practices, race, religion, nationality etc;differ from ones own. Reminds me a little six year old said to me today, Martin Luther King Jr., was a good man, we just did not live by his rules, so we killed him. I laughed and cried at the same time. Believe me I set the record straight by telling her he NEVER tried to enforce his beliefs on anyone, the man just wanted Peace, Love, and he showed much TOLERANCE.
    I got rather side tracked, Beth, I just would like for you and all of us to remember that the Warrens are just people “everyday people” like you and I. They hurt, they bleed, they have probably done wrong in their lives, but that is no ones business, only theirs, they will have to pick up their lives and go on, just as Mr. Jones, & Mrs. Smith(whose child died on the same day, in the same manner) for this world is not fair, just, nor will it be until….. well we all know the answer to that.
    Please go a little easier on those who are not, what did you call it, in the Body of Christ. Maybe, just maybe, you should leave all the judgement to our Heavenly Father. He would have loved it, if we had never been in this position, remember he wanted us to live forever, our original parents(Adam & Eve) decided our fate, so save all anger for the way life is now, to share with them when you meet them.

    • 555.1
      Jennie says:

      What we hate defines us and it is part of the image in whom we were made !! My Lord Jesus hates unloving words and actions to HIS hurting servants ! Especially from those who know HIS greatest commandment! Anger at evil, shameful, discouraging comments that were pre-meditated by people to another hurting person, defines that we are HIS people – not perfect in our reaction – but thoughtful to HIS WILL,HIS Character – not our OWN !!!!!!!!

  6. 556
    Michelle Harris says:

    Just wow. Your words Beth are a breath of fresh air. I am heartbroken over the news of Matthew Warren and what his parents are going through. But on a more personal level, I am heartbroken because this is my family. You see, I have not only a spouse that suffers from mental illness, but my child does as well. I often wonder why God has placed me in this situation, because I can tell you it can be overwhelming at times. When my daughter was diagnosed a few years back, our pastor turned his back on us and our youth pastor refused to reach out to my child. I cannot begin to tell you the hurt and abandonment we felt, and still feel. My husband, until this past Easter, has not set foot inside the walls of a church because of the way my daughter was treated and the lack of acceptance of the issue of mental illness. I can assure you, at least for my family, Matthew Warren’s death is not in vane. The awareness of mental illness and how leaders from around the country are calling on Christians to accept those who suffer as Jesus would – well it’s been life changing for my husband. And it has been life changing for the pastor of the church my daughter and I attend. It may be a small step, but we plan to make a difference. So thank you Beth for your anger – and your boldness – because you make a difference with your obedience to God.

  7. 557
    Lorre says:

    I’m deeply saddened for the loss of their son to depression. I’m also wondering how long they dealt with this in silence. As a person who suffers from mental illness/Bipolar Depression, I know that the church is the LAST place I would feel comfortable admitting this. I also know that when I lost my sister to Suicide and I was desperate for comfort , my support group and Sunday School friends quietly disappeared. No one knew what to say, so they said NOTHING. If anything comes out of this tragedy I hope Christians will get off their spiritual clouds and start making church a place of healing, not judgement. In society in general mental illness is still a hush hush topic, and very few people are comfortable exposing this part of their lives. The greatest tragedy of all in this is that a boy that needed help had to struggle in secrecy and silence, fearing judgement. This may be the reason that so many people no longer find church relevant, helpful, or necessary. If church isn’t a safe place to be, then why get out of bed on Sunday mornings?

    • 557.1
      JT says:

      Lorre, I too have suffered from deppression most of my adult life. And like you I have found many people don’t know what to say, so they act like it’s not happening, and try to cheer you up. Most people don’t understand, depression/mental illness is like the weather; it just is. It’s not something you can change by being told to smile, change how you think, or just let go of whatever is bothering you. It’s an illness like any other illness. you just can’t SEE it. I resented people who insinuated I wasn’t a “good” Christian, or I wouldn’t be depressed. As if, I wasn’t praying enough, doing the right things, or I didn’t want to get better. So I totally get what you are saying. I have to say, the church I belong to now, there are people who have reached out to me, and have accepted my struggle without judgement. I feel fortunate. I hope you find a safe place, not necessarily a church, but somewhere you feel safe and accepted. Peace and blessings.

  8. 558
    Melissa says:

    Yes, this. My heart hurts for the Warren family. My heart hurts for all the mudslinging and hate that happens “in the name of Christianity.” I hope and pray that their family is surrounded by love and care and even in a time that is horribly sad that they will feel the presence of God.

  9. 559
    Leigh Ann Mayfield says:

    Thank you for your compassionate clarion call to “be careful with each other.” Weep with those who weep has characterized our church, Saddleback Church, and churches around the globe these past few days for our dear Pastor Rick, Kay and their family. It has been so comforting for the groundswell of intercession, support and love to come but so heart wrenching to observe the criticism. How precious the words of Jesus, “Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.” How righteous the words of Jesus, “Blessed are you when men shall revile you and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake.” Peter understood when he wrote, “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.” But oh how it adds grief to grief when my dear friends, Rick and Kay are in this ordeal of this magnitude. As for me, I have and will intercede for them all the days of my life. Kneeling with tears He is collecting.

  10. 560
    Josiah says:

    “There’s a bigger issue in the Body of Christ than immorality….it’s hatefulness” Sorry Beth Moore, I’m going to have to disagree.. You can’t call rebuke, and holding Christians accountable “hate”. We use “love” as a way to make sure no one steps on our feet, or call our bluffs. This walk isn’t going to always be a hand-holding, song-singing, saints go marching in, cherry pie in the sky one.. Which it feels like many modern day Christians try to make it out to be.. 2 Timothy 4:2. Proverbs 27:5-6.

    • 560.1
      Lora says:

      The scripture also says that there s a time for everything. Now is not the time to criticize or “rebuke” this man and his family. There is a time to grieve-that is what this family is facing right now. Please, please have compassion. Jesus is FULL of GRACE and truth. Yes, truth is important, but now is a time to be gracious. Also, we are to speak the truth in Love. Love is, in God’s own Word, patient and kind. In the body, when one part suffers we all suffer. Let us love. Let us have hearts of mercy during this time of loss. Please consider these words from one who is a fellow sojourner in The Lord in the spirit of tenderness which cannot be easily conveyed electronically. Peace to all who call on The Lord, Jesus Christ with an undying love.

    • 560.2
      Cheryl Hodde says:

      I believe Beth’s words are being taken out of context here. Her focus is on loving a devastated brother and sister in Christ. Can we please just pray for them right now? Focus on their pain? I believe it’s possible the lack of love between fellow Christians might be why immorality is so rife around us, why so many people don’t want to be like us. Who would, if all we do is hate and tear one another down?

    • 560.3
      Dean says:

      Josiah, Did you read what she wrote?

      “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.”

      Love can disagree. Love can confront (in love). Love; however, does not rejoice in evil.

    • 560.4
      Kathi says:

      Dear Josiah,

      I’ve not read any of the posts Beth Moore is referring to, but from the descriptions of the comments, it seems to be anything but correction. If these believers are addressing Rick and Kay Warren about sin, what is the sin they have committed?

      I’m confused by your words and your intent. The Warren’s are grieving because their child is dead – at his own hand. I do not know the Warrens at all, but oh how that grieves me to think someone has made that choice that cannot be undone, and how there are people left behind who don’t even know what to do or make of the situation.

      Perhaps if you would itemize the sins Rick and Kay Warren have committed, along with scripture references, it would benefit those of us, like myself, who are a bit slow.

      Thank you.

  11. 561
    Zuki says:

    Oh Beth, wise woman of God. Thank you for these words. I to will be careful with the words I speak with my mouth.

  12. 562
    Ernie McAnirn says:

    One of our local Baptist pastors 18 year old son did exactly the same thing about a month ago. He played the guitar in their worship group, smart and multi-talented. He had only been “unwell” for several weeks. That church is one with a great outreach and lots of young people. I am so glad to see the writer leave the blame were I believe it should be laid. I have noticed in our church circles, here in N.Ireland (which has the highest suicide rates in Europe) there is a definite reluctance to credit the devil with any part in it. Its almost as if we deny his activities can touch believers.

  13. 563
    Nicki says:

    Thank you for this message. I am so confused by Christians who don’t show the love Jesus told us to have for one another. Your message was so well stated and to the point. Thank you for writing this and encouraging us all that love for one another is so important.

  14. 564
    Kristi Smith, Hoover says:

    Well said, as always, Beth. I am in total agreement that the Disunity and Disagreement among Christians over relatively small issues grieves the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit!Open the eyes of our hearts, Lord!

  15. 565
    Carol says:


    Thank you for the words you say to each of us as Christians. Your comment “trash talking”, is the second time I have heard it this week. The other time was from my daughter calling out her father on something he said. How true and sad that we allow Satan to shred us up with words. Your reference to “greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world”, 1 John 4:4 is the second time it has come up this week with me too. This was my key teaching verse for our kids at Parents Night Out at our church last Friday night. I used an old style kitchen grater and asked the kids what it was. They all called it a shredder. I had taken a carrot and started grating it in front of them, I told them that Satan wants us to think that it is a shredder, that is exactly what he wants to do to us, shred us. Looking carefully at that verse it tell us that he (Satan) is the spirit of THIS world. The Spirit (HOLY) that lives in us is GREATER (grater) than the spirit of this world (shredder). Satan will always be seeking a way to devour us, he takes great joy when he is able to turn Christian upon Christian. Please Lord, let us as Christians use your Spirit which is GREATER to shred that spirit of this world.

    I pray for you, Beth and staff, and am so very thankful for your ability to speak God’s word in truth to us. Just like your relationship with the Warren’s, many of your sisters don’t personally know you, but we do pray for you, your family, and protection, and give thanks for Him sending faithful servants. Prayers continue for the Warren family. Prayers too from NC as we welcome you this weekend.

  16. 566
    Deborah Mott says:

    Yes, LORD help us Love better!!! we need to LOVE as YOU LOVE JESUS! The thieves on the crosses near you both were bullies initially. You, Lord, as perfect love in your suffering agony LOVED HIM INTO YOUR KINGDOM! What a perfect and forgiving LORD WE HAVE!!! Help us do likewise! When we least deserve Grace, we need it the most!
    Forgive me please LORD and Beth where I have taken for granted people in leadership, have been jealous or/and envious and where my heart not right with You Lord. Forgive me/us for any and all bullying and slander and all places we have caused our leaders to be hurt or discouraged or even pressed out of measure! Thank you that You have comforted Beth and taught her well and with the comfort and Truth You have given, she has comforted taught and gently rebuked where it has been necessary for all our good! THANK YOU FOR TIMELY WORDS! THANK YOU FOR YOUR WORD: 2 Cor. 1:1: Beth like Paul could escape these burdens except THEY BOTH ARE CALLED BY AND FROM YOU & HAVE A CONCERN TO HELP PEOPLE! SHE LIKE PAUL ENCOURAGES AND LIVES AND IS LIVING PROOF OF FORGIVENESS AND RESORATION AMONG US, ESP w those that are offenders to repent and those offended to forgive! Thank you Beth for living proof: THE GOSPEL WORKS AS WE APPLY IT TO ALL OUR LIVES! Thank you for keeping the Faith! THANK YOU FOR SHARING AND TEACHING AND IMPACTING AND NOT BEING ASHAMED OF THE GOSPEL FOR IT IS THE POWER OF GOSPEL THAT IS POWER OF SALVATION! In our RISEN SAVIOR, CHRIST ALONE, Deborah Mott

  17. 567
    Joetta Colquette says:

    I did cry when I heard about the Warren’s son. Because I have almost lost my husband and son to this. THANK YOU THANK YOU for stating what you have!! The Warrens are flesh and blood just as we are, in this society, as you say, people think because someone is in the public eye, they do not have feelings.

    I have also been “saying” what you have about the hate w/in the Church body. Thank you for calling it.

    I so appreciate you, your ministry and your authenticity. You have not only taught me many times through your Bible Studies, but have ministered to me as well.

    May the Lord continue to empower, bless, anoint and cover you!
    Joetta Colquette

  18. 568

    Job’s comforters live again! You know, the church folk that show up with the gall to tell you it must be sin in your life or these things wouldn’t have happened. They also love to quote the scripture: “The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away.”

    Job lamented those famous words after having a tsunami of tragedies flood his life. Neither Job nor his friends could read Job 1:12 where it is written that GOD gave Satan permission to test him.

    After one messenger interrupted another until the one with news that all of Job’s children had died, Job immediately fell to the ground to worship the very ONE he thought had taken his kids. Even though he spoke in ignorance of who the true culprit was, Job didn’t waste anytime in giving GOD his worship. [I’m not sure if it had been the loss of my cows, donkeys, sheep, camels, employees, and [Horror of Horrors!] my children, I would ever be able to Praise God, much less the very hour I had gotten the news! So I give credit to Job on that one. Yet today, people who can read the rest of the story quote those words leaving the impression that GOD was the one that took the loved one of the grieving.]

    “You asked, ’Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorance?’ It is I – and I was talking about things I knew nothing about, things far too wonderful for me.” Job 42:3

    Those of us who’ve been adopted into GOD’s family need to make sure we aren’t the ‘kin’ that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 10:36. “Well meaning family members can be your worst enemies.”
    Let’s do what Paul said, “…weep with those who weep…” Romans 12:15

    “But if you criticize and attack each other, be careful that you don’t destroy each other.”
    Galatians 5:15

  19. 569
    Amanda says:

    Right on, Beth…and very well said. I love your heart!

  20. 570
    JBarrett says:

    On Sunday last I went to Saddleback Church for our Small Group Leaders’ event. Instead, we had an afternoon of prayer for the Warren family. In discussions that followed we talked about many of the things that Beth shared so eloquently in her blog. The ego, even among Christians who are called to put God before self, blinds us to our calling to be one in the body, not over and above. May we remember, what hurts one hurts us all.

  21. 571
    Leah says:

    Just awesome. Well put and awesome. I’ll be passing this article on and quoting it at our Prayer Service tonight as we intercede for the Warrens and others experiencing true hurt. Our posture should be prayer and comfort. I’m so glad you coined it right: people are platform-hurting on other’s pain.

    Jesus is still waiting for His unified bride to arise.

  22. 572
    Barbara Prince says:

    I have said many times that what concerns me most isn’t just the person who calls themselves “Christian”, it is the Christian who is apathetic. We are the ones who just allow the Body of Christ to disintegrate into something other then the Family Christ Jesus died for. We sit back and do nothing. We say nothing. We don’t hate, but we don’t love either. We have lost our “saltiness”.

  23. 573

    I wrote a blog about this yesterday but more about the whole mental illness aspect.
    thank you for once again being able to say what i so desperately feel

    Your teaching has drawn me closer to Jesus through the years. thank you so much for your willingness to be used for God’s glory.

  24. 574
    Rebecca says:

    Very good word Beth. As a PK and an employee of my church I know what you are talking about so well. I thought my heart was going to break when I heard the Warren’s news and I also got mad at Satan and frustrated at how he chooses to attack the children of those who are in ministry.

  25. 575
    Karen says:

    I cannot express how much your comments touched me. When I heard the news about Pastor Rick’s son Matthew I was touched to the core. Not only because I also have a son Matthew who has had “emotional” issues since childhood but because this is something that has always been in the back of my mind – regardless of my great abundance of faith. With God’s grace and much prayer, I hold on the the faith that my Matt will overcome. I am so saddened and heartbroken for the Warren’s and continue to pray for them. I’m sure that they well know that the Lord doesn’t give us anything we can’t handle, but until that moment of true peace arrives, I pray the Lord holds them close in his everloving embrace. Blessings to you all, in Jesus’ name. Amen!

  26. 576
    Mary Ellen Sawyer says:

    I SERIOUSLY bawled my eyes out reading it!…The whole Christian World needs to read this timely exhortation! Perhaps then We, IN SOLIDARITY, could walk in Cadence of Step into what has THE POTENTIAL TO BE, The Church’s Finest Hour! [God Let it be so! May we recognize the day of our visitation and respond accordingly! — Luke 19:44;1 Peter 2:12;
    1 Corinthians 2:9]

  27. 577
    Susan says:

    AMEN! AMEN! And AMEN! This is sadly…true. Father, if I ever find myself falling into the trap of such ugliness, I pray that you IMMEDIATELY offer a course correction…

  28. 578
    Darlene says:

    Perfectly Stated! Thank you!

  29. 579
    Carole B Scarborough says:

    Thank you for this entry, I too love the Warrens, and to know that they are being attacked by fellow Christians is to much to bear. It is for sure they will come through this terrible time in their life and like Job they will be even stronger.

  30. 580
    Jane says:

    Amen. Thank you for this good word Beth.

  31. 581
    Gayl Smith says:

    Thank you for such a truthful response in the wake of such a tragic moment. You would be surprised at the amount of “bullying” that goes on in a church body. If a group of members can force a persons hand into doing something completly oppisite of what the person is called to do, it is also tragic. Everyone will stand at the feet of God and Jesus and be accountable for their actions, I pray that I live my life to be worthy of my place in Heaven. And I pray for those “bullies” who also will meet their God. We need to stand againist this type of “bullying” and be accountable for our actions. Our children are looking at us for guideance, this is NOT the guideance they need to see.

  32. 582
    Ryan says:

    Great insight and reminders of things we should know so well but forget so easily.
    God touched my heart in a deep place today through this blog.

  33. 583
    Jennifer D. says:

    Thank you Beth! I hope you know how much you are loved!

  34. 584
    Marcia Gunnett Woodard says:

    Brava, Beth!
    By the way, immorality doesn’t mean only sexual misconduct. The first definition of “immorality” in the dictionary includes the words “evilness” and “wickedness”! So, to NOT “love others as [he] has loved us,” to NOT “bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ,” IS immorality–EVILNESS and WICKEDNESS. It’s time we wake up to the fact that when we gossip and bully, we are acting no better than “those evil sinners out there”!

  35. 585
    Hortense says:

    May God console and fortify Warren and his family,we love you and you are a blessing for our country Rwanda and the world.

  36. 586
    Connie Simmons says:

    Beth, I love your heart for God. THANK YOU for being the conduit for God’s words….I know He is sad by our thoughtlessness and insensitivity. God help us…! God forgive us…!

  37. 587
    Cheryl says:

    Thank you Beth for expressing so clearly what happens far too often in the body of Christ. Also thank you for encouraging us to love each other more. I wipe my tears and commit myself to loving my brothers and sisters more.

  38. 588
    James says:

    Thanks very much for this, Beth. Very wise words that the whole church needs to hear. Like you, I have had more than enough of these “smart and superior” people who think the way to deal with Christians with whom they disagree is by putting the boot into them when they’re lying on the floor. I was once “smart and superior” until the Lord Jesus Christ showed me the hard way that the true mark of a disciple is loving other Christians, not how many theology books I own, or how good I am at spotting heresy.
    God bless you and your ministry, James

  39. 589
    Barb says:

    Amen and amen and amen, sister!

  40. 590
    Holly Chilek says:

    I have struggled for years with depression; I was molested as a child by my maternal grandfather. I was gloriously saved at the age of 13. I KNOW Christ personally and intimately. We have a very unorthodox relationship – but it’s close and personal. I think ALL Christians want this…and it is attainable. NOW, does this mean that I have NEVER suffered since? NO! I still suffer; I still have bad seconds, minutes, hours, days, months, years, decades, etc. As I look at Matthew I KNOW FOR A FACT – there but for the grace of God at this MOMENT in time, goes I.

  41. 591
    Judy Rinkenberger says:

    “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)

  42. 592
    Ann says:

  43. 593
    Linda Hubbard says:

    Beth, I can’t tell you how often I’ve praised God for using you in such a mighty way! I’ve led a group of dear women (various ages) in all of your studies & other studies, too! Thank you so much for your blog regarding the Warrens! My daughter shared it with me this morning & I totally agree, My bible study is doing a book review now in which the author writes of our sin nature, even after salvation, and how we each (to use one of her analogies she used w/ her children) have a good dog (God) and a bad dog (evil) living inside us……that we each must choose the one we will feed: if we feed the good dog, then it will grow & get bigger & stronger; if we feed the bad dog, then it will get bigger! We discussed how we, as believers, forget that our precious gift of salvation is only the beginning, and that we need to daily feed the “good dog” inside by bible study, reading/memorizing scripture, listening to Christian music, etc.
    Thank you so much for sharing what God placed on your heart! I will continue to pray that the Warren’s (& others going thru similar loss) will feel the Supernatural Presence & Comfort that can only come from our Father in heaven!

  44. 594
    Angel Hanson says:

    Well said Beth! 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. What an honor to be a representative of Christ. Thank you for saying, what alot of us are thinking!

  45. 595
    Patricia says:

    Praying to our mighty Lord for the Warren family. Feel there is a little bullying going on by Beth herself here, since her blame is being laid at the feet of brothers and sisters in Christ – do we even know that is where it belongs? Honestly, I believe that responding in emotion is not always righteous. Maybe she has inside info? At the same time, indeed lifting up the church, and praying that Jesus Himself would convict those who need convicting, and teach us all to love by His spirit and according to His example. It is never good when a Christian calls out others in public as I am convinced we lose potential souls this way.

  46. 596
    steve drew says:

    I so agree, after seeing people bash or belittle this family, when their need was so great. Lets not just be hearers of the Word ,but be doers ! Hebrew 10:24 to stir up love and good works , should be our priority. And to be merciful and loving.

  47. 597
    Charlene Jackson says:

    I am so saddened to that the Warrens lost their son. I pray their comfort in the Lord.

  48. 598
    Lora says:

    Dear Beth,
    Thank-you for having the courage and the heart to respond so appropriately to the terrible tragedy of this family. Whether one agrees with Rick Warren, or not, now is definitely NOT the time to express it! Judgment is reserved for God. Jesus said that love would be the mark of a disciple and that the world would know us by our love. Biting and devouring one another with “righteous indignation” as our excuse is shameful! God have mercy on us!!! Once again, you have spoken truth into the darkness. Thank-you!
    For the Warren family-may they find comfort and peace in the Great Comforter and may they find Him to be their ever-present help in time of need! Love and prayers to them!

  49. 599
    Monica Mooring says:

    Thank you for having the boldness & courage to share your sentiments. Well spoken truth. God Bless You

  50. 600
    Teddy says:

    Thank you for saying what you did and yes I also was heartbroken for Pastor Rick and Kay Warren. I had a unique opportunity a few years ago at a church planting conference to hang out with them both and they were both so refreshing and fun to be with all they cared about was to build up people when they were in the lobby of at simple holiday inn. They brought with them some young men that they were developing leadership gifts with and it was just a real blessing to be with them for the time we all had together. You could see the love and care they both had for these young men they brought with them to this conference from their Church. It was all about providing them with opportunities to learn from men and woman of God at this conference who were on a mission from God on earth. They warmly invited anyone who was in the lobby to join them and just want to know how God was moving in our lives I later heard him speak that afternoon at the conference and it was just a amazing time. The love he showed those young men he treated them with such tender care he was their to serve them and all of us that was clear, the way he loved them you could tell he lived for those times.

    I wanted to share this about the warrens because despite his wife at the time going through a difficult time with cancer they were all about Jesus first and others first. You could tell it was real and genuine I left my time together with them a better man.

    So whenever I hear these crazy brother and sister butchers with in the place that is supposed to be the water of love thirsting world I am more and more convinced that we all in life not only for the warrens but for all when we hear the words that do not build up people and hear only people tearing down at any time we are not called to be bystanders and actively speak against those who our Lord name with slander!

    Who are hurt by them most not only those they slander but also those who are exposed to the slander who are thirsty for the love of Christ and we are all called to stand against what I call ungrace when Jesus his person is misrepresented we are all called to represent Jesus and say that was ungracious. How about those who are not yet following Christ when they see how followers of Christ treat each other with such ungrace is it attractive, that is why we speak!

    Speak so they who are yet to follow god , new and old followers do not think that when they one day will be greeted by terrible tragedy that they can expect ungrace but saw that was the minority of Christians and we who i believe are the majority love people through not take advantage to hurt them more. Jesus was attractive in all he did, Lord help us to be also attractive also in revealing your grace to such a thirsty world that is starving for love.

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