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 haveย  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.ย  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.

 

 

 

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735 Responses to “Sadness and Madness”

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Comments:

  1. 201
    Erin B. says:

    Thank you. Similar tragedy in LC Thursday night. Horrible situation and a time for love, prayer, and support, not pointing fingers or condemning.

  2. 202
    Michelle says:

    Amen

  3. 203
    Debbie Anderson says:

    My heart aches for the Warrens and those whose children suffer from mental illness. YES, we MUST love each other better. We MUST love like Jesus.

    thanks, Beth, for your words.

    • 203.1
      Michele says:

      Hi Debbie,
      When I read your post Debbie, I broke into sobbing. A good cry. So many “unjust” and mean things happened to me lately, that I just wanted to cry. But in the face of all of this, I have bit my tongue, not saying anything, because I wanted to be like Jesus. It is so hard but I just kept thinking, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
      Amen.
      Love,
      Michele

  4. 204
    Becky says:

    Dear Beth – Thank you for voicing what so many of us are feeling as we hear about this loss. I’d not heard the criticisms until today and it’s just mind boggling that anyone could be so cruel – bad enough from those hostile to the faith but from some who call themselves Christians – unbelievable. My father was a pastor in the late 40’s and 50’s and towards the end of his life was treated for bipolar disorder. The treatments then were much different than they are today and so much wasn’t understood. As hard as the illness was for my dad and our family – the most painful part for my mother and older siblings were the comments and attitudes of some within the church. I was very small at the time but they heard many hurtful remarks including the thought that “Christians shouldn’t be mentally ill” as if it were a sin. God provided for us through many dear friends and has used the trial to make my mother a mighty woman of faith, but some of the scars have continued to hurt my brothers and sister for many years. How I pray that this dear servant and his family would only remember the kindnesses shown to them and God’s overwhelming presence through this time.

  5. 205
    Linda says:

    Beth that was so beautifully said. Righteous anger, Jesus had it and we need it when others are being persecuted.

  6. 206
    Leah says:

    Leah, Georgia
    Isaiah 43:2 NIV when you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.

  7. 207
    Alan Permenter says:

    Thank you so much for writing these feelings that many of us feel. God has given you the gift of expression that helps others of us in the body make sense of what goes on inside. I have seen the damage of these attacks in families of ministers and experienced them myself. May God continue I bless you and yours.

  8. 208
    Meredith Barr says:

    Thank you, Beth, from this member of Saddleback and friend of Amy’s (Pastor Rick’s daughter). Rick and Kay are loving, devoted parents. There is no doubt in the minds of anyone who knows them, even casually. They love Jesus passionately, and have poured out their lives and money to spread the gospel throughout the world, care for orphans and the sick, and promote reconciliation–not division and hate. They do this while staying true to the teaching of God’s Word! I am so proud of our Pastor and his wife!

    Please continue to pray for them!!! Rick is writing a book, right now, on hope. They will continue to be faithful to God, and allow God to use them in this tragedy. Please pray for their comfort, strength, and perseverance. Thank you for writing this and helping people to see this tragedy from their perspective.

  9. 209
    Lynne says:

    Amen and amen and amen. Thank you.

  10. 210
    Janiece Baker says:

    My sympathy is with the Warren Family. Beth, you stated your feelings beautifully. As Christians we should be rallying around the Warrens not tearing them down! Thank you for speaking my mind!!! You state it much better than I can.

  11. 211
    Sandra says:

    Wonderful, beautiful words, well spoken! I wish I could have written this….so I will share! God Bless you!

  12. 212
    Kelly says:

    Preach on Beth! As a former PK I know the pressures of living in a Glass house and I’ve been bruised by the stones thrown by fellow Christians! But I serve a mighty God, not man and He brings healing. Heartbroken for the Warren family. We must always remember that they are a family, human flesh and blood , and the loss of part of your family is always painful. Thank you for speaking truth in love!

  13. 213
    Marti says:

    agreed….I confess….upon reading the news, the thought came to my natural man of maybe God allowing this as correction…I did not read the posts about the news, just to stay away from that thought or even ignore the situation… your piece, Beth centered on the very thing I need to hear..We are not to judge, speculate, or push aside tragedies in anyones life…the Holy Spirit enables us to do the very thing God expects us, to think respond, and do ….. when we keep our minds stayed on Him…
    I love the church of Yeshua Messiah the Christ !

  14. 214
    Angie says:

    Mrs. Beth, I can not even begin to thank you enough for what you have so beautifully written here.
    When I saw your tweet about this, I retweeted AND added it to my favorites. If I could have put flashing neon around it, I would have done that too. At that time, I had not heard of the tragedy the Warren’s were suffering but I have since found out and it is heartbreaking to say the very least. Given the sequence of your tweets I knew that the anger you expressed about the behavior in the body of Christ had to be in reference to the Warren’s and their tragedy somehow and my heart sank to my toes. I don’t know what has been said in reference to them and their unimaginable loss by other “believers” but I can only imagine, all the while hoping that the positive far outweighs the negative. The unfortunate thing about our society and culture at this time is that as cool as this whole social media thing is, it is just as much the worst thing ever. A cyber soap box that people use to tear others down…believers, unbelievers, white, black, teenagers, old enough to know betters, and even complete strangers. Saddest thing ever. The reason why I am so very passionate about this subject and commend you for speaking out about it is because my husband and I suffered a pretty grand stoning (if you will) by our church family when my husband was forced to resign from his position as the Lead Pastor of a small/medium church. No need for details here as God has all of those and then some but it goes without saying that there was far too much room for speculation and people were able to draw their own conclusions about our situation and circumstances regarding our leaving all the while cutting off all communication with and opportunity for clarity from us. Our family suffered some pretty vicious attacks over social media and we are still in a season of recovery and healing from the damage done. All of those wounds carelessly given by the very people that we sacrificed our own family for. At the time when we dearly needed some type of tangible love here on this Earth, wondering if the God we served and loved had somehow forgotten us, we were cast out by the very ones we had broken bread with and shared life with and selflessly given ourselves to for over five years. Hurt is such a small word to describe such an enormous feeling. So yeah, my heart breaks for the Warrens and any other leaders/pastors swimming in the fish bowl and living in glass houses. The more these mere people are idolized, the further their fall from grace. My family and I are living proof of that. Our story would leave anyone (Jesus follower or not) slack-jawed and flabbergasted. It left my husband and I wondering where the love was and it almost crippled us from following the God we love because we felt that there was no way that we and those stone-slingers could love and serve the same Jesus. I mean, surely God’s people wouldn’t act like that. Seriously, I’ve seen greater love displayed from people who could care less about who Jesus is and that doesn’t say much at all for the body of Christ. Please don’t get me wrong though, there were other believers that really reached out to us and we did not doubt there sincerity in the least. But it seemed that the number of haters were far greater than any lovers. And not just haters, down right destroyers. I’m not being overdramatic in the least when I say that it felt like they wanted us dead, out of ministry completely, not serving, not seeking, and forever doubting the call of God on our lives. What an awful place to be. So if my spirit tree grew any fruit during that season, it was that of self-control because oh how badly my flesh wanted to behave and the spiritual warfare that ensued, I can not even begin to commentate on that. We, as the body of Christ, have to do better. I know there are believers out there who love til it feels that their whole heart is going to just break right in half and I personally thank them for that. But there is a lesson in love to be learned here. It’s the greatest commandment the Father gives us and we all, myself included, should do better. There’s a saying that never goes far from my thoughts and that is to be kind because you never know what battle someone is fighting. Our pain and suffering could be written across our forehead with a bold black Sharpie or be so very private that only the Father knows that tiny fold in our heart but it’s still pain. Many of us go through life with a deceiving grin composing our outside while our hearts are absolutely breaking on the inside.
    In conclusion, it’s ALWAYS a good idea to err on the side of love. Always.

    • 214.1
      Anonymous says:

      Angie, I was in your spot two years ago…I completely understand. I also grew a lot of self-control during that time – the self-control came from Jesus, because if I was reacting as a human, I would have drop-kicked a few people!

      • Angie says:

        Anonymous, I am so sorry that you were in that same spot. It was hell on earth for us and I would hate to think of anyone else enduring that same thing. Thank you for your understanding though. I had a good laugh when you said you would have drop-kicked a few people. Man did I ever want to do that! lol Thankful now for the growth in self-control as I’m sure you are. ๐Ÿ™‚ Love being perfected by the potter’s hands. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • 214.2
      Lisa says:

      Thank you for sharing every word you said….it was beautifully spoken! When you go through something like you did, at the hands of those you loved and served, you really think something must be wrong with you…..surely this wouldn’t happen to anyone else. It is a wind of healing to read stories like yours, not that i rejoice in your suffering, but that i can see more clearly the TRUTH of the situation when i read what others have gone through at the hands of the “body”. I could have signed by name to your testimony, it was that close to what happened to my family…..by the very people, like you said, we had broken bread with, loved,served with and under, raised our kids with…for 10 long years. In the end, we were thrown away….and when the truth came out…and the truth WILL come out, and the error was exposed….there was no one left around us who cared. The Body HAS to do better than this! We have to!!! Kids of good Christian families are falling away and becoming a target for evil, because they see what their parents go through at the hands of brothers and sisters and they get disillusioned. One of my children was molested repeatedly in our church when she was supposed to be in a children’s class….and by a minister who headed a ministry of purity for young women. It is crazy out there..and we need REAL love more than ever!! I am so sorry you wee so unbelievably hurt, but you blessed my heart with your words, and I thank you for that!

      • Angie says:

        Lisa, I am so so very sorry that happened to one of your children. That is a suffering I can not imagine. I pray for your family’s complete healing from that! It is a true depiction though of just how crazy it is out there. My word! And you think you’re safe in church! My husband and I have tried to keep a sense of humor about all this and just roll our eyes at the stories that are made up and the immature choices people have made to believe them without once coming to the source. We’ve often thought that when the truth really does come out that there won’t be anyone around who even cares at that point. Figures, huh? lol We’ve just had to keep reminding ourselves, as I’m sure you did, that God knows the truth and in the end that’s all that really matters anyway. But I tell you, during that time all I wanted to do was shout the truth from the rooftops or put it on the news or something. My goodness! Not sure just yet if our silence through it all did more damage than good but maybe we’ll find out one day. I will say that I am so glad this whole thing happened when my children were too young to realize what was really going on (two kids under 5yo). I’m not sure my Mama Bear would have been as easily tamed. lol The protection of my family has been in critical status since this all happened. I would have thoughts about my children going to school and hearing from other church member’s children their parents’ version of everything and just the thought of that would send my blood pressure through the roof. I’m thankful that they are still innocent in their thoughts about people and probably won’t remember our suffering. I was already worried about them becoming the stereotypical outcome of preacher’s kids anyways. Maybe our suffering will be more to their benefit than we realize at this time. Thank you for your reply to my post and I am so sorry that my story was so similar to yours because I know the kind of hell we went through and I wouldn’t wish that on any other human being. I will say though that I am glad that it helped you in some way. At least we know we’re not crazy, huh? It was actually good therapy for me to write it. I was so moved by Beth’s blog post that I HAD to respond. I felt like she said everything I had ever wanted to say about the subject. Thank you for understanding my story. I’m glad it was a blessing to you. I don’t believe God intended for my family to go through this without somehow using it for His glory. As I said to myself in the storm, “this will make for one great testimony”. lol God bless you and your family! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • 214.3
      Penny says:

      AMEN! Love and Hugs to all!
      Your words are full of God’s Grace!

  15. 215
    Darlene Johnson says:

    Thank you Beth for caring and as you stated. “somethings just need to be said”. Jesus handed out stones and instructed the first one without Sin to cast it. This could be anyone of our kids. This is a really hard world and “KIDS” really do suffer. They hurt and they don’t always have someone to help them find the way. Jesus is all about LOVE, Where is the compassion that is so needed. Doesnt’ this world have enought hurt and meaness without people adding to it? My heart bearks for the Mommy and Daddy of this child, they are parents just like you and me and you are so right, their hearts are truly broken at this time, but our GOD will take this and he will make something truly awesome from it.

    GOD BLess.

  16. 216
    Marie says:

    Thank you for this post, Mamma Beth.

    Stuff like this gets me so hot under the collar! I love a good theological debate. I have some strong opinions. There are some Christian leaders who I hope to be able to say “nanny, nanny, boo, boo!” to in Heaven. (Please, sisters, see the joking!) I don’t think there’s anything wrong with healthy disagreement.

    But, come on. Where in Scripture are we given permission to rejoice over the failings and sorrows of ANYONE, let alone someone who claims the same Lord? And let’s get real: Tweets and posts and whatever else that pontificate about the suicide of the Warren’s son as being “just” or a “result” of Mr. Warren’s teachings…that’s rejoicing. It’s smugness. It stinks.

    My thoughts and prayers are with the Warren family.

  17. 217
    Marcia Bloom says:

    Thank you Beth for speaking to something that should not be a part of the Christian world. They will know us by our love, but they also are seeing us through the hatefulness. Why would non-Christians want to follow that witness? I am a person who has been deeply hurt by Christians, yet God has remained faithful and I have kept the faith. I have done nearly every one of your Bible studies and I stand in agreement that we need to pray for this family and many others and do not judge.

  18. 218
    Diana says:

    I have not read any negative responses, but can imagine. I think people think it is okay to journal on the internet. Private thoughts should be filtered first and made certain that they won’t hurt others. Hurt people hurt people, so when people comment negatively they just show that their own hearts are wounded and in need of the Healer’s touch. That is why the Lord tells us to pray for our enemies. I pray for those now who are judging and forgetting that the enemy has a target on each of us. I pray that whatever the wounds they will ask the Father for His balm. I pray they will talk their judgements and thoughts over with God and not over the internet… that they will allow God in every part of their hearts. Bless the Warrens as they grieve and let God lead them into His Peace.

  19. 219
    Nancy says:

    I agree with you that almost everyone on the face of the planet has wounds. I am blessed by the wounds that God has allowed in my life, because they have softened my heart toward hurting people. May God continue to bless you as you speak the truth. May this message find its way across the planet.

  20. 220
    Debi Wandrey says:

    Way to go Beth! I’ve re-posted and hope others will as well. I as well, in my family have a history of mental and emotional illnesses and do feel their pain.
    Doing your study of James right now and am loving it.
    Thanks for all you do for the body!

    • 220.1
      Hal says:

      All of our families have a history of mental and emotional illness, including you and I… it’s called sin. So blessed to have the choice of accepting eternal life through Christ’s ultimate sacrifice on the cross.

  21. 221
    Mary Ann says:

    Beth,
    I just wanted to put out these verses, and pray that every Believer IN The Lord Jesus would first hear the words of the Spirit to Peter in Acts 10:15 and then would you hear the word in Col. 3:12-17. My heart is so heavy for the Warren Family! Only my Lord knows my pain, and I’m so grateful that He does and I can tell you how Great is His Healing Hands! That is what I will shout out, at the roof tops!

  22. 222
    Sher says:

    Thank you, Beth. It is hard to understand how compassion is not the first thing flowing from our heart if we know Jesus!

  23. 223
    Judy from Clarks Hill says:

    Thank you Beth for venting for me,for us… for crying the tears of a mother, a friend, a Christian sister for an aching family. No words will suffice. just acts of mercy,love and compassion. We must defend this family with our prayers, thoughts and words. So I am putting on my whole armor of faith, albeit tattered, worn, and pierced,and heading into the world ready… ready to do pour love on the Warrens in any way that I am able.

  24. 224

    You wrote it perfectly the way I have been feeling it inside. Thank you for your oh-so-timely words.

    Janelle Marie

  25. 225
    Sheila McLain says:

    Beth,

    Our church is praying for the Warrens. I especially am praying. 3 of my 4 children are in heaven. The 3rd one completed suicide 3 yrs. ago at the age of 35. It’s so sad.

    • 225.1
      Kim says:

      I am so sorry for your hurt and loss.

    • 225.2
      Cristin says:

      Bless your heart. I’m so sorry you, too have had to suffer such losses on this Earth. As a mother, my heart aches for you. The Lord must surely be using your faith as a true testimony for His purpose. I will remember to pause today (and each day after) to hold my children a little longer while I can, because I can, and I will pray for you. May God comfort you until you see your babies again.

  26. 226
    Greta says:

    Thank you Beth for your Beautiful and Passionate words in response to this recent tragedy. My heart goes out to the Warren’s. For you see, I too know the pain of having a Son with mental illness. To watch your child suffer with this horrible illness is to chip away at your very heart. I have spent a lifetime, begging God to help my Son, as I know the Warren’s have.

    People do not understand this sickness of the mind. It is scary & foreign to them. But Our Savior does, and this is the Hope that we parents cling to. Our Children will be healed, they will be safe, and they will no longer suffer the anguish of their minds.

    My Son is in a Home for the Mentally Ill, The Warren’s boy is at Home with His Jesus..

    • 226.1
      Barbara says:

      My heart goes out for your Greta. I worked in a hospital for ppl with mental illness. Your words are true. Sickness of the Mind is hard for ppl to grasp. You sound like a great Mom, stay in the Word and Press On Sister Philippians 3:12

  27. 227
    Vickie Schenck says:

    Beth, Just want to say Amen, sister!
    God Bless the Warren’s during this trying time.
    I cannot imagine what they must be going through.
    Thank you Beth for your honesty and the love that you pour forth.
    The body needs the truth, after all it will set us free.
    I am looking forward to hearing you while you are in Greensboro, NC.
    I also just completed your study on David.
    Awsome!
    I was so touched by your personal story at the end of David.
    I sat there and just cried, as I could understand your journey.
    I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2008 about 3 weeks after my mother passed.
    God has been so very good to me, a sinner! His grace is so big and warm and good!
    Keep talking about our Jesus, he is mighty to save!
    Vickie

  28. 228

    Preach it, sister Beth. Preach on and let this ring out clear and true like a trumpet. LOVE resounds mightier and truer than anything else we have to offer this world.

  29. 229
    Hazel P says:

    Amen! Amen!

  30. 230
    Claudia says:

    Amen sweet sister. You always know what to say and just how to say it. You are so anointed by God. Praying for the Warren family and you as you minister.

  31. 231
    Lynne J. says:

    Having come from a family where suicide has happened, I ache for the Warren family. Thank you for the needed rebuke to some who need to be reminded to help our brothers and sisters; not judge or criticize. Imagine having no hope to the point of taking your own life…Oh, Lord reveal Your mercy to those in need.

    Bless all of you at LPM. Because of your faithfulness to Christ in your ministry, my life is better.

  32. 232
    Wanda says:

    Oh Miss Beth!
    MY HEART MY HEART MY HEART!!!

    You are speaking words that I recently felt important to blog about myself. I couldn’t take one more mean comment regarding a certain pastor in Atlanta that turned down a big gig in DC a few months ago.
    WHY? WHY are Christians so quick to hurl hate? Sweet mercy, why?

    Thank you for sticking up for the precious Warren family. God knows….they are under attack and surely can’t fight for themselves right now. Praying so hard that their hearts will heal and that God will use those who love & care form them in a mighty way.
    Love your sweet heart so much!

  33. 233
    Babbi Moore says:

    “and they will know we are Christians by our love”…the world is so full of haters and thrive on the tragedy of those who are true Christians…I think because light overcomes darkness and sin hides in darkness…for anyone to lose a son by any manner is tragedy and my heart breaks for them and it makes me want to hug my son “just because”…

  34. 234
    GJ says:

    Beth – My dear sister. What truth you have so beautifully shared here…intertwined with the truth of God’s Word. Bullies are everywhere, but “believer bullies” are especially hurtful. Thank you for this good word my friend.

    Knowing that Jesus cares and knows every pain we ever experience is comfort to me. He was bullied too…

    Love the words to this old hymn:

    Does Jesus care when my heart is pained
    Too deeply for mirth and song,
    As the burdens press, and the cares distress,
    And the way grows weary and long?

    O yes, He cares.
    I know He cares!
    His heart is touched with my grief.
    When the days are weary, the long nights dreary,
    I know my Savior cares.

    Thank you for writing such a good strong word of admonishment – anointed.

    Love,
    GJ

  35. 235
    Dianne says:

    So well said, Beth. Just as any tool can be used for good or evil, I think the prevalence of online interaction has only furthered the hurtful, impersonal words of people. People will certainly never see the love of Christ when His people are divisive and hateful. What better to serve the purposes of our enemy?

    What matters here most is that a couple lost their son. Period. They need our prayers, love, and compassion.

  36. 236

    I was relentlessly attacked this morning for calling out “Believer Bullies” against Rick Warren. It broke my heart the way people are using his tragedy as a platform for meanness. I consider it an honor to have stood up for him and for all the others out there laying their lives out in ministry efforts to win the lost to Christ. I will always stand with you, and pray alongside you for unity and compassion among all members of the Body. I wish you love.

  37. 237
    Audrey says:

    Beth… Tears run down my face as I read these words. My heart cries as I here your love for people on the platform and for those of us with mental illness on the back row. You “see” the Warrens and you “see” me. Thank you.

  38. 238
    Joan Tatum says:

    So beautifully put Beth! We so often as Christians shoot our wounded. We are all just sinners saved by grace. Let’s be known for our LOVE!

  39. 239
    Karen says:

    Amen and Amen Siesta!!! We are ambassadors for Christ! Not lynch mobs. We are to love one another, build each other up, mourn when they mourn, rejoice when they rejoice. It’s in the WORD! HE is the WORD!!!
    I love you!!!

  40. 240
    angie says:

    We all hurt. And if we say we don’t then we are lying to ourselves. The enemy is very real, but thankful to have a God that walks through it with us.
    I’m facing some hurt in my own life, and I’m very thankful to have the circle around me that I do. The issue of mental illnesses whether emotional or whatever is so much worse when you deal with the pain alone. There is no grace in ignorance.
    People who use hurtful words to describe any mental illness or tragedy are not opening their eyes wide enough.
    I lost my best friend 3 years ago bc she overdosed… she felt so alone and no one could reach far enough…sometimes there is more distance then we realize between hope and their reality. Love them all you can.

    • 240.1
      SherryLPM says:

      Angie, I am so sorry that you have pain. I pray that the Lord tends to your heart and heals your pain in the way that only He can. You are dearly loved.

      • Angie says:

        Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚
        And he has since I wrote this comment. So thankful He ministers to us in His own way. Thankful that no one can create a standard for Him to go by.
        Just thankful for His love and the grace that we cannot begin to imagine.

  41. 241
    Mike Mack says:

    Thanks so much for allowing God to overflow these thoughts from your heart.

  42. 242
    Betsy Crawford says:

    I have been an LPM blog-reader, participated in the SSMT for (almost) 3 years and completed every Bible Study you have written (I think!), but this column that I just read is the best thing I’ve read in years! Thank you for saying what needed to be said. God bless you and your precious family. And may God bless and comfort the Warren family.

    • 242.1
      cathy gibson says:

      Timely words – every once in awhile we understand the “feelings” Jesus had when He was angry, at Satan, and overturned the moneychangers tables. God will bring glory out of this in His time, but right now our hearts and spirits need to be one with the Warrens.

    • 242.2
      Karen says:

      Well said Betsy!

  43. 243

    Dear Beth, I understand your sentiments exactly and you wrote what few dare to say. My husband and I have been through both personal struggles with our Special Needs child and other circumstances in our personal life and Public struggles within a company that my husband owns part of. We have repeatedly been (or felt) thrown under a bus a few times and then run back over just for the fun! I am not exempt in the feeling of wondering where God was in all of this. However, I have learned by being down on my knees in prayer and suffering that my husband and I have grown from it all. In a way, I can see it all as a blessing. Now I can say without a missed beat that, “He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. 5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. – Psalm 23: 3-5
    This does not mean that I no longer go through problems but it is just that, I go through them and they don’t become and overcome me. We have been hurt from Christians and non-Christians alike and it is sad when we can not tell the difference any more. My fervent prayer is that people will come to know Jesus through my obedience to Him.
    May Your Ministry Continue to Bless All Who Hear It!
    Bonnie Jo Hoffman – abundanthomelife.com

  44. 244
    Katheryn Cooper says:

    Amen!
    My heart is broken for Rick, his wife and family.

  45. 245
    BrendaO says:

    My heartfelt deepest sympathies to the Warrens. Just a month ago my husband & I spent an hour on the phone talking our son out of committing suicide. The pain I felt can’t even come close to the Warren’s. I can’t imagine someone bullying & being so mean. Thank you Beth for speaking out for us all. I once heard Madeline Murray O’Hare say,” that’s a Christain for you!” After saying on national TV that they hoped God struck her dead. Jesus would have never said such a thing. We are to talk,act & walk as Jesus walked.
    Again to the Warrens, my prayers are with you.

  46. 246
    karen says:

    Amen Beth, and praying so much with you for the Warren family…………

  47. 247
    Valerie says:

    AMEN!!!
    A friend sent me an e-mail Saturday regarding this sad news and it just broke my heart. My love & prayers are sent to the Warren family.

  48. 248
    Sheri Beersman says:

    Beth–thank you for writing this. We almost lost our daughter a few weeks ago to a suicide attempt. It was a week in ICU and we didn’t know if she would make it or not. My heart hurts for this family and anyone else’s who endures this. I am the one who found my daughter and did CPR on her for 25 minutes before help arrived. Today she isn’t speaking to us. She is living with other family members and refuses contact with us. The only word I can get from God is to BE STILL and let Him fight for us. It’s excruciating to see her post dark and horrible things on her “blog” and know that she will likely try again. She is in counseling, on meds, but I don’t see any change in her except that she is more depressed than ever. She was saved when she was almost 16–I saw a beautiful change in her, so this is just mind-boggling and painful. This isn’t the child we raised. She is tormented. Sad. Angry. In terrible pain. We are at a loss now. We are also newer Christians–we pray and are supported by an amazing church family, but the pain and nightmares never leave.

  49. 249
    Judith says:

    Dear, Dear Beth,

    Thank you for boldly and clearly saying what needed to be said. My horror grows at the number of outrageous Pharisees that dwell among us and who feel free to spew venom against other believers. Can ANY of those vicious folks say that they have a heart for the Great Commission like Rick and Kay Warren? Do these people truly believe that they are “so good” that they are invulnerable to heartbreak in their own families? My own heart goes out to the Warrens and the Saddleback family. May the unbelieving world know that they are Christians by their love.

  50. 250
    Ptriez says:

    Dear Sister in Christ,
    Thank you so very much for your words to the body and to the Warren family. Our daughter suffers from depression and the diagnosis threw us for a loop at the time. Our dear daughter used her illness to speak for others at the college that she attended. She was never fearful of speaking out, because she realized if those in the body don’t speak out, how will we know?
    We are holding the Warren family up in prayer and all of those that knew their dear son. Praying that the family in Christ will give them all that they stand in need of.

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