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September 15th, 2013
02:17 PM ET

Rick Warren returns to the spotlight

Programming note: Rick and Kay Warren sit down exclusively with CNN’s Piers Morgan to talk about the death of their son and their new mission to raise awareness about mental illness.

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN) - Megachurch pastor and author Rick Warren is slowly returning to the spotlight, five months after his youngest son committed suicide.

He has shared spiritual insights on social media, returned to the pulpit to preach about overcoming obstacles and taken his purpose-driven message to Rwanda, a nation still reeling from a bloody genocide.

But Warren, the bestselling author of "The Purpose Driven Life" and one of the most famous pastors in the United States, hasn't yet spoken to the media about his son's death.

That changed when Warren and his wife Kay sat for an extended interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan.

In a brief clip released on Monday, Morgan and Warren discussed gun violence, including Monday's shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington.

MORE ON CNN: "The first thing I did was get down on my knees and pray for those families"

Rick and Kay Warren have been outspoken about the plague of gun violence in the United States, especially since their son, Matthew, took his own life in April after what the family call a lifelong struggle with mental illness.

“In spite of America’s best doctors, meds, counselors, and prayers for healing, the torture of mental illness never subsided,” Warren wrote to staffers at Saddleback Church, his megachurch in Orange County, California.

Then Warren, one of the country's most visible spiritual leaders, disappeared from public view. But not quite.

Not even grief could silence Warren, a gregarious man with an apparent thirst for sharing his spiritual insights.

Away from his pulpit, the preacher voiced his anguish and his insights in a stream of Twitter messages and Facebook posts.

Days after his son’s suicide, for example, Warren tweeted this message:

https://twitter.com/RickWarren/status/322434892828917760

On June 16, Father's Day, Warren tweeted this:

https://twitter.com/RickWarren/status/346218036728037376

Other days, the pastor wrote about the pain of his loss.

https://twitter.com/RickWarren/status/326512142742351872

In September, the purpose-drive pastor hinted at a new mission:

Even though Warren has shared his thoughts on Twitter on Facebook, he hasn't answered the questions on many people's minds - questions that may be asked on Monday night:

How has Matthew's death changed Warren's faith? Does he hold God responsible?

Resuming his pastoral duties at Saddleback in late July, Warren began a sermon series titled “Getting through what you’re going through,” that hinted at his family’s struggles and outlined their new mission.

“We intend to spend the rest of our lives comforting others with the same comfort we have been given from God, through your prayers,” Warren told the large crowds who came to see him preach.

He also credited his other children, Amy and Joshua, with helping his family through its darkest days.

“When all this happened, Amy looked at me and said, ‘Dad, Satan picked the wrong family to pick on. He’s going to lose so badly because of the platform God has given to our family.’ ”

The Warren family set up a fund in Matthew's honor to raise awareness about mental illness.

Last week Warren wrapped up a trip to Rwanda, a country he has focused on since 2005, when its government invited the pastor to help Rwandans recover from its vicious genocide in 1994, which claimed as many as 1,000,000 lives.

This weekend Warren was back at Saddleback, preaching a sermon titled, "Never Waste Your Pain."

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Media

soundoff (923 Responses)
  1. James

    Ultimately, Warren will use his son's death to further his own greed. As long as people write out those checks, it's all good, ain't it Rick?

    September 16, 2013 at 11:19 am |
    • JIM

      again, your evidence for the man being greedy is what, exactly?

      September 16, 2013 at 11:22 am |
      • Fladabosco

        People will try to explain it away but there is little matter of Matthew 19 and the words of the man that Warren professes to love – the man and the words.

        I don't know much about this guy but you can bet that he, like the Swaggerts and the Bakers and the Rick Perrys and the will not do as Jesus clearly says to the rich man who asks how to get into heaven:

        "go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

        September 17, 2013 at 10:05 am |
      • In Santa we trust

        Selling snake-oil. He may tithe higher than "expected" but he lives the wealthy life originally funded on tax-free earnings.

        September 17, 2013 at 10:20 am |
  2. Gemini Black

    He really should lose some weight. He doesn't look healthy.

    September 16, 2013 at 11:15 am |
    • Apple Bush

      Perhaps he is a drunk. Who knows. He looks bloated.

      September 16, 2013 at 11:17 am |
    • JIM

      you should be more tolerant

      September 16, 2013 at 11:23 am |
  3. John3:16

    People posting here sound really cruel. Man created divisive, exclusionary religion for his own purpose, not God. Pastor Warren (I believe) promotes God's love for all people, and provides a forum of encouragement for those who feel hopeless. People who are hating do so because of a lack of meaningful love in their lives. I pray that the real love you need will befall you.

    September 16, 2013 at 11:08 am |
    • Apple Bush

      You are incorrect. There is much love in my life. I am an atheist though. What a thing.

      September 16, 2013 at 11:12 am |
      • John3:16

        If you've got it (love), then flaunt it. Even if you had (love), you are selfish for not showing it, therefore, I disagree with you (that you have it).

        September 16, 2013 at 11:14 am |
        • Apple Bush

          OK, it is up to you to believe what you wish.

          September 16, 2013 at 11:16 am |
    • Fladabosco

      I doubt that anyone here has any problem with preachers comforting the sick or poor or needy or the grieving.

      What some people call testifying I call arrogance. People who wear $5,000 suits with $1000 shoes standing on a stage with a mic and telling the world that they know more about god than the average person because they went to school and studied the book or simply because they believe harder than you. That's always the path to truth.

      There there are the ministers who cause more grief than comfort. Pedophiles, liars, cheats, thieves. Selecting which lines of scripture are true and need to be public policy while ignoring those that are inconvenient.

      I say if god really wanted us to know what the truth about everything was it wouldn't come down to us ancient writings done by secret societies in dead languages, thousands of pages long, edited, translated, added to, argued over and spread by violence or used car salesmen types.

      There would not be three major religions and thousands of competing ones and it would not take faith to know it was true.

      Man's greatest arrogance is believing one man knows more about god than another. You can know more about religion but not the unknowable.

      September 17, 2013 at 10:16 am |
  4. Dan

    I'm sure returning to the "spotlight" is so much easier when you have a marketing partner in your corner like CNN. Any other cult leaders you'd like to pimp today?

    September 16, 2013 at 11:07 am |
    • JIM

      yes, piers morgan might get out of last place in the ratings for 1 night

      September 16, 2013 at 11:21 am |
  5. Apple Bush

    Rooms like the one he is standing in, in the photo, are also knows as "theaters". Every seat is valuable. Fill the seats, make the money. This douche is making money off the death of his own son.

    September 16, 2013 at 11:02 am |
    • John3:16

      Have you tried life in Pastor Warren's shoes? You speak as though an expert as to what his life is about.

      September 16, 2013 at 11:10 am |
      • CoolCMo

        You don't have to be a con man to recognize a con man. Rick Warren is running the same con as storefront gypsie fortune tellers; he's just figured out how to do it on a much larger scale.

        September 16, 2013 at 11:19 am |
        • JIM

          your evidence? just curious, since you are so good at recognizing con-men, did you vote for Obama?

          September 16, 2013 at 11:24 am |
        • In Santa we trust

          JIM, There is no evidence of a god so the fact that he makes money using religion is a good sign. He makes a fortune even after the reportedly large tithe. I know he gets a lot in royalties but I doubt he would be in a position to be a top-selling author if he weren't adept at selling snake-oil.

          September 16, 2013 at 11:54 am |
    • Apple Bush

      I know what those chairs are for. MONEY.

      September 16, 2013 at 11:13 am |
      • John3:16

        Some of the people who sit in those chairs do not have the financial means for their ills, and they seek much more. Why don't you try sitting in one of them...and leave your wallet at home?

        September 16, 2013 at 11:16 am |
    • Apple Bush

      I CAN'T sit in one of those chairs. Every time I walk in a church the roof collapses.

      September 16, 2013 at 11:18 am |
      • John3:16

        I praise God that you haven't been injured as a result of this.

        September 16, 2013 at 11:25 am |
      • joel

        Perhaps you should shower more or something.

        September 16, 2013 at 11:26 am |
  6. Note to all of the "Drive By" Christians

    It is customary on the Belief Blog to engage other bloggers in conversation. Not just post and run like most of you.

    September 16, 2013 at 10:55 am |
    • D

      Note to drive by atheists: See above. Also, if possible please stay on topic. If you are going to make assertions, then have the cojones to to back it up. That's all carry on.

      September 16, 2013 at 11:00 am |
      • Apple Bush

        D, please provide ONE example of a "drive by atheist".

        September 16, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • Sara

      I would want to see some stats on that. I think a good portion of commenters are one or just a few times. Also, I think CNN intends the space for all readers to express themselves. A lot of folks would like to weigh in but don't have time or inclination to debate. I think one time posts are quite reasonable.

      September 16, 2013 at 11:02 am |
      • Apple Bush

        Sara, I disagree. They are simply unable to match up with someone with a brain.

        September 16, 2013 at 11:07 am |
        • kfletch87

          You mean someone without a job.

          September 16, 2013 at 11:14 am |
  7. JIM

    I worship God, not a pastor, but The Purpose Driven Life has outsold every other book but the Bible, and the guy gives away 90% of his income, so i greatly respect that.
    Christians don't have all the answers, but they have an understanding about life that those without Christ just dont. Of course it seems like foolishness to those who don't believe and don't want to, and that leads to childish posts like we see in response to this article. But when Christ gets into your heart, things just become much clearer and the foolishness of the world becomes so evident.

    September 16, 2013 at 10:47 am |
    • Apple Bush

      LOL

      "...Christians may not have all the answers...."

      NO!

      September 16, 2013 at 10:49 am |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

        "Of course it seems like foolishness to those who don't believe"

        You got that right.

        September 16, 2013 at 10:52 am |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

        That was meant as a reply to Jim's comment.

        September 16, 2013 at 10:53 am |
      • kfletch87

        Ah, this is the "brain" you were speaking of? A laugh, a quote, and a capitalized "no." I don't dare challenge your intellect.

        September 16, 2013 at 11:17 am |
    • Apple Bush

      Jim is a CDBB (Christian Drive-By Blogger)

      September 16, 2013 at 10:57 am |
      • JIM

        im actually the controller of a company who went on to cnn.com to check out the news of the washington shootings, happened to see the rick warren headline, and as ive read his book, i clicked on it, and saw your comments, which annoyed me.
        so, who are you? what do you do when you arent clicking on articles about christian pastors so you can make negative comments?

        September 16, 2013 at 11:03 am |
        • Dippy

          Something wrong with your caps key, Jim?

          September 16, 2013 at 11:09 am |
      • Apple Bush

        Well done, a reply. I am a business owner (2). I am a militant atheist and there is nothing you can say to me regarding religion that won't make me laugh.

        September 16, 2013 at 11:06 am |
        • JIM

          well, sorry to hear that.(the athiest, not the business owner part) why so militant though? if everything i say would make you laugh, wouldnt that make you close minded, which is what christians are always accused of being?

          September 16, 2013 at 11:12 am |
        • Apple Bush

          "closed minded"
          LOL!!!

          September 16, 2013 at 11:15 am |
        • Truth

          Thought...

          An atheist or a believer walking through the door (death) into eternity.

          If the atheist is correct and there is no god then no big deal when the atheist or a believer dies.

          On the other hand if the believer is correct and there is a God and the only way to Him is through Jesus Christ and the believer dies no big deal for him as his eternal destination is secured but what then is the atheist faced with on the other side of the door when they die and pass through it, what awaits that individual.

          This is a rhetorical question to anyone reading these posts. Please think about these questions and ponder them deeply in your soul. Please make your personal choice very carefully because whatever your choice you will have to live with that choice for eternity. Nothing in life is certain or guaranteed accept for death and death can come knocking at any moment and sweep you through the door from this life into eternity.

          September 16, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          odd that those who call themselves truth rarely ever speak it.

          You have gone a very long way to re-state Pascals wager, which is a weak false argument. Boy, you'll be pretty screwed when you get to the afterlife and Ra is mad at you for worshipping that false god of yours....see the problem?

          September 16, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
        • What IF

          @Truth,

          Just a few (of the many) problems with your scenario for the "afterlife":

          - What if the real "God" is Allah, or Vishnu, or Zeus, or Quetzalcoatl, or any of the other of thousands which have been dreamed up over the centuries? Some of them are very jealous and vengeful and will relegate you to nasty places for not worshiping them. You'd better cover your butt by believing in ALL of them and fulfill their wishes and demands.

          - What if the real "God" prefers those who use logic and reason and punishes you as a silly sycophant?

          - What if the real "God" detests those who believe something just to cover their butts in eternity?

          September 16, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
    • steelerguin

      Jim, I completely understand and agree with your comments. The mean spirited, childish, foolish comments from those who would rather tear something down rather than offer a solution are just plain sad.

      September 16, 2013 at 10:58 am |
    • Darwin was right

      It's all very well for Christians to claim that they 'devote their lives to living like Christ', except they don't stop there. It is firm Christian doctrine that if you don't believe in this 2000 year old dead carpenter with the long hair and beard, then YOU WILL GO TO HELL and burn in agony for all eternity. How's THAT for CHRISTIAN LOVE? ALL religions claim that THEIR members are better than non-believers, live more 'meaningful' lives, and will receive 'rewards' denied to those nasty foolish skeptics who don't believe in their particular magic guy(s) in the sky.

      September 16, 2013 at 11:01 am |
      • steelerguin

        Jesus spoke about loving your neighbor as yourself, caring for the widows and poor, and "turning the other cheek". He also spoke about the reality of hell for those who don't believe. You can't pick and choose what you want from the gospel. Got a problem with that? Take it up with God.

        September 16, 2013 at 11:04 am |
        • ProdicalSon

          " He also spoke about the reality of hell for those who don't believe"

          What part of the Gospels did you pick that up from ?

          September 16, 2013 at 11:20 am |
        • steelerguin

          ProdicalSon read the gospel of Matthew 25:31-46.

          September 16, 2013 at 11:30 am |
        • ProdicalSon

          "31 “When the Son of man arrives in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit down on his glorious throne.

          "32 And all the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another, just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats."

          "33 And he will put the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on his left."

          "41 “Then he will say, in turn, to those on his left, ..."

          "46 And these will depart into everlasting cutting-off, but the righteous ones into everlasting life.”

          "Everlasting cutting off" is not eternal torment in hell as you perceive hell or were taught to interpret hell as being a place of.

          First, if "hell" were such a place of eternal torment as you believe, that would make God, who is love, a torturer. Second, it goes against the Scripture at Romans 6:23 where is says, "For the wages sin pays is death, but the gift God gives is everlasting life by Christ Jesus our Lord."

          Thirdly, in order for hell fire or eternal torment to work, one must be awake or have some consciousness after death. The Bible teaches that, " For the living are conscious that they will die; but as for the dead, they are conscious of nothing at all ..." Ecclesiastes 9:5

          Further to support this, Jesus indicated that death was liken to "sleep" when explaining that his friend Lazarus. John 11:11-14 says, "He (Jesus) said these things, and after this he said to them: “Laz′a·rus our friend has gone to rest, but I am journeying there to awaken him from sleep.” Therefore the disciples said to him: “Lord, if he has gone to rest, he will get well.” Jesus had spoken, however, about his death. But they imagined he was speaking about taking rest in sleep.  At that time, therefore, Jesus said to them outspokenly: “Laz′a·rus has died."

          Unfortunately, the "hell fire doctrine" is a false doctrine promoted by false religion who does not teach the truth.

          September 16, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
      • JIM

        yet you are upset when christians try to evangelize others and spread the message of Christ. so which do you want?

        September 16, 2013 at 11:09 am |
        • In Santa we trust

          How about they keep their religion to themselves. No missions, no religious belief taught as science, no religious texts on public buildings, no religious belief as law, and no bells on a Sunday.

          September 16, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
        • Athy

          Well, bells on Sunday are OK, as long as they're not too loud or too early. Thumbs up on the rest of it, though.

          September 16, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
      • John3:16

        The part of your statement, "ALL religions claim that THEIR members are better than non-believers..." is correct. TRUE Christianity cares nothing about denomination, and promotes love of all people (not the sin, but the person). It sounds like you have been bamboozled by "religion". Try Christianity and see how that works out. A true Christian will accept a person for who he or she is (including Atheists). We are here to: (1) promote God's love for all people; (2) promote love of our fellow man.

        September 16, 2013 at 11:24 am |
        • Richard Cranium

          Hey look everyone, a christian saying other christians are not true christians. I am absolutley certain I can find a group of christians that will say you are not a true christian.

          Look up the No True Scotsman fallacy and see why your post is ridiculous.

          September 16, 2013 at 11:28 am |
        • John3:16

          I did not say, nor even imply, that a Christian is not a true Christian. To translate my post: beware of "religious" people who have an agenda in which they think they are better than their fellow man. Jesus did not promote this behavior. Man came up with this in an attempt to separate others because they didn't fit their agenda. Look up the various denominations, and yes, some under the label of Christianity, and see what kind(s) of people these groups try to exclude. That's a hint, loved one.

          September 16, 2013 at 11:36 am |
        • Richard Cranium

          John
          Yes you did, you gave YOUR definition of what true christianity is, then said "a true christian will" defining what a true christian will do, implying that there are many who are not true christians.

          Do everyone a favor and stop arguing about god and what god wants. It is far more likely that there are no gods and you are all chasing your tails trying to please YOUR individual definition of god.

          You are following much of Buddhas philosophy anyway, since he taught much of what Jesus allegedly did, Buddha just did it over 400 years earlier, why doesn't your Jesus character give Buddha credit for 90% of his ideas?

          September 16, 2013 at 11:55 am |
    • courtneyjhall

      Not foolishness so much as unmitigated arrogance. Atheists don't have all the answers either. But (except for some, as there's always an exception to the rule) we don't wish eternal suffering on those who don't agree with us.

      September 16, 2013 at 11:09 am |
      • steelerguin

        Christians do not wish eternal suffering on anyone. It is in the bible. Even Jesus spoke about it in Matthew 25:31-46. The reason for Christians to evangelize is to prevent anyone from this terrible consequence.

        September 16, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
  8. Rico

    Who the BLEEP is Rick Warren?

    September 16, 2013 at 10:28 am |
    • Just another

      charlatan

      September 16, 2013 at 10:44 am |
    • Apple Bush

      Just another Douche Bag.

      September 16, 2013 at 10:50 am |
    • Sara

      I had to ask that last time they wrote a bit on him. He seems to be one of the Christian personalities that people in places like Texas, Arkansas and Kentucky know all about. I don't think anyone in, say, New England or the Northwest much knows about these guys.

      September 16, 2013 at 11:05 am |
      • JIM

        what???

        September 16, 2013 at 11:14 am |
  9. downbytheriver

    Yes, all the snarky, hateful comments about a man grieving the loss of his son make me want to sign up for atheism immediately. May want to rethink your strategy.

    September 16, 2013 at 10:18 am |
    • Bob

      Read the very apt post that immediately precedes yours, moron.

      September 16, 2013 at 10:23 am |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      I love how the way a person's brain can draw a comparison between making fun of a mega-church pastor and the existence of deities. As if the two are in any way related.

      September 16, 2013 at 10:41 am |
      • Boisepoet

        They may think it does, but obviously believing in any particular brand of Santa Claus does not make you smarter...

        September 16, 2013 at 11:45 am |
  10. snapnturtle

    I am sorry about his son and I regret anyone would have to go through this.

    However, I still resent the sancitimonious notion that he, or anyone else has all the answers for everyone living a productive life. I wish he would disappear into obscurity. Rwanda would be a good idea, if they do real work and not simply pontificate about how they have all answers implying everyone else is clueless sheep.

    September 16, 2013 at 10:17 am |
    • D

      Trust me Christians are not clueless sheep. Quite a few Christians were were agnostic/atheist. However through some life altering events and the quest to better understand God, they became born again Christians. The Bible is a great book for answering a lot if not all questions. Sometimes need to turn things over to God because you as a person don't have the capability or know how to resolve certain aspects in your life

      September 16, 2013 at 10:49 am |
      • Bob

        Bullshit, D. Just about everyone in the west has had to read the crazy Christian book of fables. Reading it with a properly functioning, critical mind, it is as another said, a great way to become an atheist. The idea than an omnipotent being needed to sacrifice a "son" in order to "save" us from something he created, is absurd and harmful. The believers are sheeple, precisely.

        Whenever a post starts with "Trust me", we can be practically guaranteed that its content is suspect. Yours is no exception.

        Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
        Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
        http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

        September 16, 2013 at 11:09 am |
        • God is alive and relevant

          As a former so called atheist, I thank God for breaking the chains and opening my eyes to the glorious truth of his love for me. I pray that your eyes will also be opened to his love. God bless you.

          September 16, 2013 at 11:29 am |
    • JIM

      you seem to speak out of ignorance. Have you read the book, or looked into what he and others do around the world to help others? and what have you done?

      September 16, 2013 at 10:49 am |
      • D

        Gee I speak out of ignorance? Yes I have read the the Bible. Many years ago. Do I know what he and others do around the world? Lets see building schools, creating clean water wells and of course teaching ppl about God's love. What do I do? Stand with my God, try to serve him, though sometimes I may not do a good job at it and help anyone that seeks aide.

        September 16, 2013 at 11:08 am |
        • Bob

          D, that's the standard Christian gambit and marketing. It's mostly bullshit. The reality is that only a tiny portion of the funds and resources coming into the various churches go to charitable works. Secular organizations do a much better job, more efficiently, of bringing aid to those in need, without the sickening attempts to convert suffering (and often otherwise poorly educated) people to one of the many Christian cults.

          If you are going to try to help those in need, don't do it via a Christian "charity" scam. Try supporting a UN org, or the efforts of one of these secular aid groups
          http://www.freethoughtpedia.com/wiki/Secular_charities

          September 16, 2013 at 11:14 am |
        • JIM

          relax, i was commenting on the original post above yours, not yours. they were judging the man without knowing anything about him besides this article.

          September 16, 2013 at 11:15 am |
  11. Bongo24

    For all those gloating over Rick Warren's pain and mocking this tradgedy, explain to me how you are any better than Westboro Baptist. On second thought you're even worse. At least they have the courage of their horrible and deluded convictions. You guys sit back and make snarky, disgusting, and hateful comments under the guise and cowardice of anonymity. Absolutely pathetic.

    September 16, 2013 at 10:15 am |
    • Apple Bush

      For all those gloating over Rick Warren's pain and mocking this tragedy,

      (ME)

      Explain to me how you are any better than Westboro Baptist.

      (I am not an idiot)

      On second thought you're even worse.

      (nope)

      At least they have the courage of their horrible and deluded convictions. You guys sit back and make snarky, disgusting, and hateful comments under the guise and cowardice of anonymity. Absolutely pathetic.

      (You got me there.)

      September 16, 2013 at 10:20 am |
      • Bongo24

        Well Apple Bush at least you admit you're pathetic. That's generally the first step. Also Westboro is surprisingly and frustratingly good at litigation and winning the right to spew their hatred, which would run counter to your assertion that they're idiots (your deliniation between yourself and them). So it turns out you're just like them.

        September 16, 2013 at 10:32 am |
      • D

        Yes apple you are an idiot. Christian or not, one does not make fun of death in any light. Does not matter if the man was a pastor or not.

        Does THIS make you worse than Westboro? Nope, but you are speaking ill of the man and his tragedy. This is not on on God's top 10 list of how you treat others.

        September 16, 2013 at 10:34 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          What's wrong with making fun of death? I love whenever somebody really famous dies because you know you are going to be inundated with death jokes for about a month. Remember when Michael Jackson died? I had a laughter hard-on for about a year.

          September 16, 2013 at 10:38 am |
        • Apple Bush

          The difference between me and them is honesty.

          September 16, 2013 at 10:44 am |
        • D

          If you are looking for laughs about death, then you already have issues. Suicide is nothing to joke about. Doing so makes you look like an idiot and uncaring. Then ppl such as yourself want to criticize a pastor or religion. Funny that the MAJORITY of religious ppl would comfort and applaud this man to speak on his pain and to educate. So how how are you benefiting mankind? Joke about death, then apparently death such as this has not knocked at your doorstep

          September 16, 2013 at 10:56 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          You sure like baseless assumptions, don't ya?

          September 16, 2013 at 11:01 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          “I had thought – I had been told – that a ‘funny’ thing is a thing of a goodness. It isn’t. Not ever is it funny to the person it happens to. The goodness is in the laughing itself. I grok it is a bravery … and a sharing … against pain and sorrow and defeat.”

          “Death isn’t funny.”

          “Then why are there so many jokes about death? Jill, with us – us humans – death is so sad that we must laugh at it. All those religions, they contradict each other on every other point but every one of them is filled with ways to help people be brave enough to laugh even though they know they are dying.”

          – From "Stranger In A Strange Land", Robert Heinlein

          September 16, 2013 at 11:07 am |
        • Richard Cranium

          D
          Joking about death is often a fantastic way to bring up the subject. At my fathers memorial, we all told one of my fathers favorite stories, and he was a hilarious story teller. My memorial will be a party, with music and laughter. My friends will honor me by NOT making any religious speeches, but will instead celebrate my life. True it is trajic in most cases of suicide, but the right joke at the right time can do far more than praying ever thought to. I have lost several people I know to suicide, and laughter is a great way to start down the path of healing.

          September 16, 2013 at 11:15 am |
  12. NYVeteran

    Mega Church = Mega Fraud. The kid killed himself because of fraud not because of a gun and I am a total gun control advocate. Enough religion, its tearing society apart at the seams.

    September 16, 2013 at 10:08 am |
    • thinkb4utalk

      I do not think you know what you are talking about. That is generalizing and stereotyping. Prejudice comes from thoughts like yours. Pastor Warren hasn't received a salary for almost 10 years now and does not live in luxury since his success authoring A Purpose Driven Llfe. http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertlaura/2013/03/21/pastor-rick-warren-is-practicing-what-he-preaches-and-getting-ready-for-retirement/
      People who are ignorant should not be able to speak their thoughts. They just cause hatred, wars, and suffering of the world.

      September 16, 2013 at 10:19 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        Everyone should be able to spout their opinion, no matter how abhorrent others find it.
        You did well by refuting the statement with verified facts, thus making the original poster look like a goon.
        If I ever met Ernst Zundel, I'd want to punch him in the face – but I'd still defend his right to publish nonsense.

        September 16, 2013 at 10:23 am |
      • JIM

        yes, if the ignorant were not allowed to talk, there would be no political speeches ever given. hey, im starting to like your idea.

        September 16, 2013 at 10:51 am |
    • ECassious2

      He killed himself because of fraud? As far as religion tearing the society apart at the seams, one could argue it is the lack of such moral laws that are actually tearing this country apart. I suppose it depends on your reference point and wha tworld it is that you envision. You appear to be a veteran. I sincerely thank you for your service.

      September 16, 2013 at 10:24 am |
    • tom in atl

      What happened in your life to make you hate GOD so much? You will meet Him one day and He doesn't accept excuses.

      September 16, 2013 at 10:28 am |
    • D

      So anyone that kills themself us being defrauded?

      September 16, 2013 at 10:36 am |
    • D

      So anyone that kills themselves is because of fraud? Lol If you are a veteran, then you would know damn well that's far from the truth. Your comment is disgusting sir. There have been many suicides in this nation where ppl lived a very productive and happy (or so everyone thought) life, but committed suicide anyway. One word for you MORON

      September 16, 2013 at 10:42 am |
  13. JDD

    Sadly, in response to a story about a man preparing to share about the painful suicide of his son, a number of commenters decide that juvenile cracks about Christians are in order. Any opportunity to caricature and ignore the man's words – and the interview hasn't even aired yet!

    Why, the next thing you know, those same commenters will be posting about how they don't believe in God because believing in God makes people callous and mean.

    September 16, 2013 at 9:59 am |
    • Apple Bush

      I don't believe in God because believing in God makes people callous and mean.

      September 16, 2013 at 10:46 am |
      • JIM

        im sorry you have been hurt by others- hypocrites, or imperfect people...but dont use that as an excuse to escape God..

        maybe do what i did this weekend... spend a day or more with people from Samaritan's Purse helping people rebuild after Hurricane Sandy. people from all over the country giving of their time and talents because they love others.If your opinion of christians wouldnt change after that, i give up.

        September 16, 2013 at 11:00 am |
        • Apple Bush

          Jim, quit trying to hurt me. You are making me run from gods.

          September 16, 2013 at 11:25 am |
      • kfletch87

        How do you even respond to such idiotic statements? Believing in God is what causes people to be mean and callous? So atheists are never mean or callous? God isn't corrupt, man is corrupt.

        September 16, 2013 at 11:20 am |
  14. Dyslexic doG

    Rick Warren returns to the spotlight ... and the spotlight is where he loves it.

    September 16, 2013 at 9:55 am |
  15. ed dugan

    I hope he takes his latest "mission" to some far-off country so we won't have to listen to anymore of his fairy tales. What a clown!

    September 16, 2013 at 9:41 am |
    • Apple Bush

      This is business. You are taking this very personal when it's just business.

      September 16, 2013 at 9:43 am |
    • No to Atheism

      Feel free to leave our natio. At any time!

      September 16, 2013 at 9:46 am |
      • Observer

        No to Atheism,

        Your comment applies to anyone here and so it was totally pointless.

        September 16, 2013 at 9:53 am |
        • No to Atheism

          lAthiests are the only ones complaining about religion, uf they don't like it they can pack their stuff and get the heck out of a nation.

          September 16, 2013 at 11:54 am |
        • Observer

          No to Atheism,

          Believers are the only ones complaining about not being able to inflict their messages onto schools and other public buildings. By your "logic", since they don't like what is happening in our nation, they can leave.

          Oooops.

          September 16, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
      • No to Atheism

        Correction: nation

        September 16, 2013 at 9:57 am |
        • tallulah13

          The United States was created as a secular nation by our Founding Fathers. True patriots will try to save it from religious zealotry like yours, because we love and respect our county and our freedoms. We won't stand by and watch radical christians turn it into a theocracy like Iran.

          September 16, 2013 at 10:05 am |
        • Bob

          Thank you for saying that, tallulah13.

          September 16, 2013 at 11:17 am |
      • dikelmm1

        Why don't you leave instead?

        September 16, 2013 at 10:08 am |
  16. Agnostickids

    Back in the spotlight again...yeah, but when is Rick Warren going to come out of the closet?

    September 16, 2013 at 9:39 am |
  17. Satan

    If Hell were real, each occupant would be a shining example of how God has failed.

    September 16, 2013 at 9:37 am |
    • No to Atheism

      Do you know stupid you sound posting while using satan as our id?

      September 16, 2013 at 9:50 am |
      • Irony

        Do you know how stupid you sound when you post with a name such as yours?

        September 16, 2013 at 10:17 am |
        • Apple Bush

          I will take the Seahawks.

          September 16, 2013 at 10:23 am |
  18. UD

    I am only one cry in the long journey to the edge of the beginning of your journey.

    Many cries may visit and be your friends.

    Some have had a really hard time of it so just avoid the really bad ones.

    September 16, 2013 at 9:27 am |
  19. Alien Orifice

    I saw a sunset and it was perfect.
    Why do you ask me to see another?
    For in waiting for the next sunset, I will endure much suffering!
    Perfection exists in the suffering too.
    Be thankful for the pain.
    Did I not thank you by loving you?
    You suck God.

    September 16, 2013 at 9:25 am |
    • Fladabosco

      Why blame god for life's pains
      When gains are ignored
      Life's flower may bloom in silence and loneliness
      But that doesn't make it
      A most beautiful miracle

      I am not a religious person and generally preachers like this make me and Jesus ill (Matthew 19), but I am sorry for the loss of his child and it is good to see him act like a normal person would. Who could lose their son and not be in pain? Not a normal human, or one with any sort of compassion.

      September 16, 2013 at 9:49 am |
      • JDD

        Hear hear.

        September 16, 2013 at 10:01 am |
      • Apple Bush

        o Why blame god for life's pains (Because it’s His desire)
        When gains are ignored (Poor Planning)
        Life's flower may bloom in silence and loneliness (Nice poetry. not)
        But that doesn't make it
        A most beautiful miracle (There are no miracles)

        September 16, 2013 at 10:15 am |
        • Fladabosco

          I'm not a poet but I am an agnostic and I believe in miracles.

          I can't explain describe gravity but not explain it. I can draw a tomato but not explain it. I follow religion but I can't explain how the beings that created it arrived here. 'Because god did it' or 'it's in my ancient scripture and you just have to believe' doesn't do it for me either.

          Salvatore Fladabosco said that god talks to us "in the form of blue jays and hydrocarbons and the beneficial bacteria that live in your lower digestive system." Perhaps even less poetic than my posts but the sentiment makes perfect sense to me.

          So this time a bad haiku:

          Spin, big blue marble!
          How can we know what is true?
          God, the Mystery!

          September 17, 2013 at 10:00 am |
  20. Apple Bush

    God probably did not address suicide in black and white for a good reason. If we knew that we would still go to Heaven if we killed ourselves, there would probably be a lot more suicides taking place than there already are.

    September 16, 2013 at 9:21 am |
    • ProdicalSon

      If when we die we go to heaven, who inherits the earth ? "Jesus said, Happy are the meek since they will inherit the earth" Matthew 5:5

      September 16, 2013 at 9:56 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      the people who thought this fairy tale up realized that if suicide was OK, they would run out of believers. the scam of religion needs believers to breed furiously! You can see it through the writings of christianity and especially islam. breed you deluded believers! breed and brainwash your children!

      September 16, 2013 at 9:59 am |
    • NurseLi143

      Don't you think "thou shalt not kill" includes oneself? Understanding how we obtain forgiveness for sins is why Pastor Warren has faith his son is in Heaven despite his action.

      September 16, 2013 at 10:46 am |
      • ProdicalSon

        If when we die we go to heaven, who comes out of the "memorial tombs" or the "sea that gave up their dead" ?

        "Do not marvel at this, because the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice and come out ... " John 5:28-29a

        "And the sea gave up those dead in it, and death and Ha′des gave up those dead in them, and they were judged individually according to their deeds." Revelation 20:13

        September 16, 2013 at 11:07 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.