September 17th, 2013
08:40 AM ET

Rick Warren opens up about son's suicide in exclusive interview

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
[twitter-follow screen_name='EricCNNBelief']

Lake Forest, California (CNN) - Rick and Kay Warren stood outside their son's home, sobbing in each other's arms.

They knew.

They had talked Matthew, 27, off the ledge many times. But not this time.

A nod from a police officer who inspected Matthew's house confirmed their worst fears.

“I just hit the ground,” Kay Warren said.

On April 5, Matthew Warren killed himself with a gun after a lifelong battle with mental illness.

“The day that I had feared might happen one day, since he had been born, and the day that I had prayed would never happen … happened,” Rick Warren told CNN's Piers Morgan in an exclusive interview.

For the first time since Matthew Warren's death on April 5, Rick and Kay Warren are speaking out about his troubled life, how the tragedy changed their faith and their new mission to draw attention to mental illness.

The full interview aired Tuesday night on CNN’s "Piers Morgan Live" at 9 pm ET.

In 1980, Rick and Kay Warren founded Saddleback Church,  now one of the largest in America, in Orange County, California. Twelve years later, Warren published "The Purpose Driven Life," a runaway best-seller that catapulted the pastor into stardom.

At the same time, though, their son Matthew Warren struggled with borderline personality disorder and deep depression for much of his life, the Warrens told CNN.

He had a loving family and access to mental health care, but not even that could spare him, they said.

Matthew was a young man with a "tender heart and tortured mind," Rick Warren said.

“If love could have kept my child alive, he'd be alive today, because he was incredibly loved,” he added.

The Warrens also spoke during the interview about how their son's death has affected their Christian faith.

GALLERY: Rick Warren over the years

“I never questioned my faith in God; I questioned God’s plan,” Rick Warren said. “God isn’t to blame for my son’s death. My son took his life. It was his choice.”

Slightly more than half of Americans - 53% - think that churches should do more to prevent suicide in America, according to a new poll by LifeWay Research, a Christian company based in Nashville.

Evangelicals and other Americans appear to disagree, however, about using religion to overcome mental illness, according to the LifeWay poll, which surveyed some 1,000 Americans and was released on Monday.

Nearly half of evangelicals, 48%, say that people with serious mental illnesses like depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia can be cured by Bible study and prayer alone. Sixty percent of Americans overall disagree.

The Warrens want to spread the word that even though their story had a tragic ending, “there’s hope,” Kay Warren said during the interview with CNN.

“It’s so important that people know, no matter how desperate their despair, there is hope, and not to give up.”

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Death

soundoff (1,210 Responses)
  1. Just the Facts Ma'am...

    “I never questioned my faith in Pink Unicorns; I questioned the Pink Unicorns plan,” Rick Warren said. “The Pink Unicorn isn't to blame for my son’s death. My son took his life. It was his choice.” Although, Matthew was always a little afraid ever since we told him the Pink Unicorn was watching his every move, day and night, and never quite seemed to recover when he would have some crisis of faith in the Pink Unicorn, so my wife and I just kept praying that his single horned hoofiness would save Matthew from himself, but obviously Pink Unicorn had other plans...'

    September 17, 2013 at 11:45 am |
    • CeeloMean

      What are you even talking about?

      September 17, 2013 at 11:54 am |
      • Just the Facts Ma'am...

        Please prove the God that Rick Warren worships is not a Pink Unicorn... then maybe you will understand...

        September 17, 2013 at 11:57 am |
        • steelerguin

          No reference to pink unicorns in the bible or other historical books. Don't get your nonsense, Bud.

          September 17, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          Contrast & Compare... LOL

          September 17, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          "8 The range of the mountains is his pasture, and he searcheth after every green thing. 9 Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy crib? 10 Canst thou bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow? or will he harrow the valleys after thee? 11 Wilt thou trust him, because his strength is great? or wilt thou leave thy labour to him?" Job 39:8-11

          Okay, so the bible dousn't mention "Pink Unicorns"... but it still mentions Unicorns...

          But my point is that Pink Unicorns are as real and proveable as is the Judeo-Christian God... which is to say, not at all.

          September 17, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
        • You aren't using facts

          I don't know where you got your "facts" but it doesn't say unicorns in that passage, but it does reference oxen. Interesting lie.

          September 17, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
    • Barnzey

      Gotta love snarky atheists who never pass up an opportunity to demean people of faith. Even those struggling with the tragic loss of a child. Stay classy.

      September 17, 2013 at 11:58 am |
      • Honey Badger Don't Care

        It is too easy to demean retards who believe in things with no reason. Talking to magic sky faries and such. Easy pickin's.

        September 17, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
      • WhatintheWorld

        You mean like the religious who claim that those who do not believe like them are inferior, incomplete and doomed to damnation come the mythical judgment day?

        Is that what you are referring to?

        September 17, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
      • Just the Facts Ma'am...

        I had no intention of demeaning people of faith, I was merely pointing out that I believe Rick and his wife and many other Christians have refused to take responsibility for their lives and their children by "throwing their burdens on God" aka blaming bad things on the devil and good things on prayers answered instead of focusing on reality. This kid was "saddled" with his fathers Church and expectations which is hard for well balanced kids to endure, I know because I was raised as the 2nd son of a well known minister in Ohio and was following in my fathers footsteps for decades. It wasn't until I saw behind the curtain at how the sausage was made that I gave up that lifestyle and have never felt better. A life of truth and accepting responsibility for your own actions and not blaming Satan or praising God for every little wave or ripple that washed through our lives is far more rewarding than to attempt to maintain some invisible faith in invisible beings that have an invisible effect on visible things.

        September 17, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
        • In sum

          Very well said!

          September 17, 2013 at 9:35 pm |
      • blf83

        Rick Warren's faith is questionable at best. It's money and what you do to get the money. That's not faith. It's greed.

        September 17, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
        • Burningguitar

          Yeah, that's why he never bought a bigger new house, paid back 25 years of salary and gives away 90% of what he now makes and takes no pay for his pastor position at his church. That's why he started the PEACE plan to educate Africans about AIDS, and that's why he tirelessly gives, gives, and gives more. Please research before accusing him of greed, or is it that all those who come to money are greedy to you? He earned his fair and square, and is giving almost all of it away.

          September 17, 2013 at 11:08 pm |
    • WhatintheWorld

      Just the facts,

      great post. The religions don't get it because they favor the literal over the figurative and do not get irony. You can swap Pink Unicorn for god, Santa, Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, Willy Wonka or anything else and you arrive at the same place.

      Got a good laugh.

      September 17, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
  2. ari

    the loss of a child is always a tragedy. i feel a ton of sympathy for his parents, who obviously tried so hard to help him but realized that he was beyond help. as someone who has seen a friend go down that path of no return, i know how hard it is.

    the comments here whining about religion are childish and petty. he lost a son through no fault of his own. it is very similar to losing a child to disease. the comments about "well, why didn't your god make him stop being depressed?" are just contributing to the stigma of mental health problems in this country. grow up.

    September 17, 2013 at 11:40 am |
    • balls mcghee

      how do you know that Rick discouraged his son from seeking real medical evaluaiton rather than prayer? it is often the case that kids are stuck with parents who make poor decisions for them their whole life simply because they dont believe in medical help. if this were the case here, i think you should find out before saying "through no fault of his own."

      September 17, 2013 at 11:53 am |
      • cbtx67

        Maybe the dad and mom were away from the house too long in his formative years building up their religious dynasty. The same reason cops have more divorces, doctors too....Not vindictive necessarily, but just so purpose driven that they failed to see the elephant in the room that was their son.

        September 17, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
      • You're Almost There

        Because the article said they gave him access to healthcare, that's how we know he had medical help.


        September 17, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
  3. tony

    Religion is why the Middle east is iin astate of perpetual war

    September 17, 2013 at 11:17 am |
    • In Santa we trust

      That and the arbitrary division of the Ottoman Empire by western nations.

      September 17, 2013 at 11:36 am |
      • Thinker...

        To be fair, the Ottoman Empire wasn't all that strongly bound together in the first place and many of these problems existed long before its existance. That whole region has historically been difficult to unify or pacify. So many different powers have tried to control that region and those that succeed did so either by finding a common enemy outside the region, by using semi-autonomous Satrapies instead of direct control, or through forced cultural asimilation. The lives of people in that area are hard and in the rual areas you trust your villiage and tribe over a government that might fall in the next 10 years and never did much for you anyway. The strength and violence of the religions in the area are a symptom that exacerbates the problem, not the cause.

        September 17, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • ThereIsATruth...

      ...to what you said beyond what you mean yet you don't know and won't for a long time.

      September 17, 2013 at 11:55 am |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        Thanks Confucius...

        September 17, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
  4. Fred

    Rick warren is a con-artist.

    September 17, 2013 at 11:15 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Shamans in general are con-artists. The truly convincing ones have bought into their own con.
      Regardless, it doens't lessen the tragedy of parents losing their child to suicide.

      September 17, 2013 at 11:20 am |
    • Clarence LeBlanc

      If his son was gay that would explain alot. Your parents thinking you are unatural, destined for hell, all these natural feelings are somehow your choice...as a human being you are a sinner. Love the sinner hate the sin... what a cop out. Warren is a victim...one of millions of organized religion. Under God (the blond blue eyed Palestinian) was added in 54. Thoseto the right keep wanting to return to the founders... for once I agree.

      September 17, 2013 at 11:59 am |
    • blf83


      September 17, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
  5. Bob

    It's time to put aside childish things like imaginary sky daddies.

    September 17, 2013 at 11:12 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Couldn't agree more.

      September 17, 2013 at 11:24 am |
    • a believer

      Actually, it's time to reevaluate organized religion. To truly live spiritually (to not lie, to not cheat, to not hate others–which is not easy– would be a good way to live. The world would be a better place is there was no hate, no greed.

      September 17, 2013 at 11:38 am |
  6. Jason the Fire

    "They had talked Matthew, 27, off the ledge many times. But not this time."

    “I just hit the ground,” Kay Warren said.

    September 17, 2013 at 11:12 am |
  7. What?!

    Rick Warren missed his calling.

    He would have been a great used car salesman.

    September 17, 2013 at 11:09 am |
    • In Santa we trust

      There's more money selling snake-oil.

      September 17, 2013 at 11:50 am |
  8. Lets be reasonable

    "Using religion to overcome mental illness?" Religion IS a mental illness. Otherwise rational people believe irrational things in that compartment of their brains dedicated to religion. It is like schizophrenia. You are one person when not talking religion, and a totally different person when talking religion. Most religious people are not dumb, but with ALL religious people, their alter ego is dumb.

    September 17, 2013 at 10:56 am |
    • AE

      Do you know a lot about schizophrenia?

      September 17, 2013 at 11:15 am |
    • willremainundefined

      You're mistaken about your schizophrenia analogy, but I think I understand what you intended and in that regard, you're right. A person who suddenly starts speaking out loud, perhaps with a hand in the air "in prayer" is, by most religious people, considered righteous, holy, and generally thought to be a wonderful person by his or her equally religious peers. Now take that person out of that environment and have them behave the exact same way and the chances of them being medicated quicker than they can attempt to explain their "convictions" increase substantially. One person talks to God while wearing a suit and tie and he's a saintly preacher...another talks to God while wearing rags and he needs an anti-psychotic. That's the problem, or part of it.

      September 17, 2013 at 11:29 am |
    • steelerguin

      Lets be...you couldn't be further from the truth. Your all inclusive over stereotyping of a complex issue regarding faith is too simple minded. As a Christian, I can guarantee you that my faith alone is not a manifestation of mental illness. Consult the American Psychiatric Association's DSM-5 and Christianity is not listed. You are being far too small minded and intolerant not to mention being hard hearted to a family's tragedy. Still, God loves you!

      September 17, 2013 at 11:39 am |
      • balls mcghee

        what? jsut because its not listed, doesnt mean it isnt "crazy". belief in nazi aliens using hand puppets as radioactive mind control devices is also not listed, but i'm pretty sure its common sense that this person would have a mental illness.

        September 17, 2013 at 11:57 am |
        • steelerguin

          Balls, don't be so simple. My point was faith in the construct of our society in and of itself is not considered a mental illness and does not meet any criteria of DSM. Your example does. Two totally different concepts.

          September 17, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
      • Lets be reasonable

        To steelerguin: Fine, don't call it schizophrenia or mental illness. The point was that people compartmentalize how they think when it comes to religion versus essentially all other aspects of their lives. They suspend rational analysis to allow themselves to believe things that they would not believe in a million years if it wasn't in their religion (which they probably have as their religion only because their parents told them to). Certainly, there are different religions, and people believe different amounts about the same religion, so that some people don't think (that) differently when it comes to their religion. But to believe even 10% of any mainstream religion requires a discontinuity in thought processes.

        September 17, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
      • Let's be reasonable

        In other words, (most) religious belief seems more like willful suspension of disbelief.

        September 17, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
      • JT

        I agree, you aren't insane but you are delusional.

        September 17, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
  9. Nathan

    My heart goes out to Rick and his wife, but Rick Warren is a very, very misguided person. This tragedy ought to wake him up, but it won't. He and his belief system has a lot to do with his son's not getting the type of care he needed, and thus contributed to the result. That hard to say, but it is reality. Anyway, I am grieving with them, no matter what. Anytime any person, especially a young person takes their life, it is an unnecessary tragedy – the right help should be provided at the right time. The cynical part of me believes that Rick will produce a best selling book on his son's death within a year.

    September 17, 2013 at 10:54 am |
    • AE

      Even people with access to the best care available commit suicide. There is no cure for clinical depression and mental illness. Generally speaking, mental illness is treated with therapy or drugs. Sometimes the therapy or drugs don't work.

      September 17, 2013 at 11:08 am |
      • Nathan

        As a psychiatrist I have to say that your are incorrect in your statement, "there is no cure for clinical depression." There are many forms and degrees of depression, clinical or otherwise. Psychotherapy, medication, and electroshock treatments have proven very effective for many cases.

        September 17, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
    • siberianmommy

      Please read the article and other news stories from the past 5 months. He had access to mental health professionals and he had worked with them over many years. If you want to throw blame around make sure you send it the way of mental health experts too.

      September 17, 2013 at 11:11 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Warren gave his son access to some of the best mental health care available.
      He isn't a Christian Scientist or a Scientologist who eschews modern medicine and psychology.
      Short of a straight jacket, throazine and/or 24 hour surveillance, there is no way of stopping a suicidal person from killing themselves.
      Don't put this on the parents just because you disapprove of their evangelizing.

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

      Fools speak of things they know nothing about.

      September 17, 2013 at 11:48 am |
  10. CP in FL

    Rick Warren is a fraud. People donate to his church so he can live in luxury. Prayer obviously does not work or he would have been able to help his son. There is absolutely no evidence of god. The bible was written by men in the Bronze Age who believed the Earth was flat and was the center of the universe. If parents did not brainwash their children into believing such nonsense no one would believe that crap.

    September 17, 2013 at 10:48 am |
    • Shane

      Rick Warren doesn't take a salary from his church.

      September 17, 2013 at 11:12 am |
      • tony

        Why would he need to? – he owns it.

        September 17, 2013 at 11:14 am |
        • RMAC

          He doesn't own the church, he works for the church and he works for free. After the success of his book he repaid every penny of salary he ever earned. He and his wife live in the same house to this day.

          September 17, 2013 at 11:32 am |
        • In Santa we trust

          He founded it. He lives the life of the wealthy.

          September 17, 2013 at 11:59 am |
      • WhatintheWorld

        Ahhh, yes. "salary." He may not take a salary, but he takes distributions, dividends, royalties and everything is paid for on the church's AMEX.

        So, who needs a salary when you have that?

        September 17, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
    • tony

      They all are frauds – from the pope on down.

      September 17, 2013 at 11:13 am |
      • matt

        Um.... I didn't know the Pope was Warren's boss. Guess I need to brush up on my church hierarchy. No wait. That's you.

        September 17, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
    • jarroz

      The Bronze Age was well before Christ.

      September 17, 2013 at 11:20 am |
      • In Santa we trust

        So was the OT which is derived from older beliefs in that region.

        September 17, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
    • Blazing Sunrise

      You obviously don't know the Warrens.

      September 17, 2013 at 11:26 am |
      • tallulah13

        I think that maybe you are the one who does not know the Warrens. Or perhaps you don't see the wrong in profiting from the blind faith of others.

        September 17, 2013 at 11:30 am |
    • Burningguitar

      Rick Warren is still living in the same house he bought years and years ago. With the book sales, he paid back 25 years' worth of his salary, started giving away 90% of his income, and started the PEACE plan to help and educate people in Africa about AIDS to save their lives. He is the real deal and lives what he preaches. He is one of the humblest people I've ever met, so please check your facts before spewing off on him, comparing him to greedy televangelists (yes, they do exist, but the difference is huge). All the best!

      September 17, 2013 at 11:13 pm |
  11. Nathan

    "Nearly half of evangelicals, 48%, say that people with serious mental illnesses like depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia can be cured by Bible study and prayer alone."

    This is what I hate about religion. You want to believe in god? Fine. I don't care. I really don't. But when people ignore reality for the sake of their religion, that's a problem. Refusing medical treatment for curable diseases, trying to battle mental illness through Bible study alone...you can't pray those things away. You can't. If you want to use your religion alongside rational medical treatment, that's cool. Take the penicillin and pray that it works...but at least take the penicillin. Same here. Seek professional help and pray that they can help you, but at least seek the help.

    September 17, 2013 at 10:45 am |
    • siberianmommy

      He did, over many years as did my daughter and I'm sure his parents realized early on, as I did, that "professionals" are clueless. My child had 4 different diagnosis, one for each expert who talked to her, all with different ( even conflicting) treatment plans.

      September 17, 2013 at 11:15 am |
      • Nathan

        I'm sure he did, which is why I chose not to comment on his specific situation, but the overall statistic that 48% of evangelicals actually feel prayer and Bible study is enough.

        But I'd wager if you took two random groups of suicidal patients and gave 1 group professional care and told the other group to do nothing but pray about it–while there clearly would still be suicides in both groups–the rate of suicide would be far lower in the one receiving professional treatment than the one left to do nothing but read the Bible and pray.

        No one is saying that modern medicine has it down, merely that it does, statistically, work better than prayer alone. And when you get away from mental issues into physical ones, the rate goes up far, far more. Cancer treatment is not 100%, but it is much more effective than trying to do nothing but pray the cancer away. Yet there are still people who die of preventable or curable conditions because they rely on prayer alone.

        September 17, 2013 at 11:25 am |
      • Honey

        "My child had 4 different diagnosis, one for each expert who talked to her, all with different ( even conflicting) treatment plans."

        And yet you kept seeing doctors, didn't you?
        It doesn't sound like you stopped seeking medical treatment in lieu of prayers, but kept trying medical treatments until they got it right?

        I have an in-law with a similar issue. She prayed all along that she'd get better, to little effect. She saw three different doctors and each had the same basic diagnosis, but different treatment plans. Spent 6 months with one, no change, spent 3 with another and got worse, and then, on the third doctor, with a new approach, it was like a light switch was flipped. Suddenly her condition with this new drug combo and conversation therapy is totally–well not cured, it'll never be cured with the limits of modern medicine–but not an obstacle to her daily life. It is manageable and under control and she's happier than she's been in a decade. She prayed because it comforted her. But it never healed her. She used a doctor to do that.

        It's like that old joke:
        One time a rain storm approached a small town and it was an epic and massive one. Flooding was eminent and authorities ordered people to evacuate. But one man refused. He prayed to god and said that his faith in the good lord would be enough to save him. As the rain began, a police car came by and saw him on his porch and offered him a ride. But he refused, saying that his faith in god would save him. Later, the flood waters rose and he had to go to his second story balcony. A boat came by and offered the man a life, but the man said that he was fine and his faith in god would save him and began praying. Still the flood waters rose. Eventually he clamored onto his roof to escape them and a helicopter saw him and offered him a ride. "No," he said "god will save me" and he began praying again. The waters rose more, and with no where left to go, the man drowned.
        When he got to heaven he went straight up to god and said "lord, I always believed in you and prayed to you and put my faith in you. I asked you to save me, but you let me drown. Why?"
        And god looked down and calmly replied "I sent you a car, a boat, and a helicopter. What more did you want?"

        Prayer is fine. But don't avoid valid, empirically proven medicine on the hopes that prayer is enough.

        September 17, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
  12. Red

    Mental illness should be treated by science. Yes, God is the creator of all things, including mental illness and science, but God gives us all limited free will. Using the science He gave us falls under free will. It's just like the people who pray instead of vaccinating their kids. You vaccinate your kids, then pray they stay alive and well. I totally agree that the church should not be used as a sole treatment for mental health.

    September 17, 2013 at 10:17 am |
    • deebil

      What is this limited free will you speak of? Also, I am perplexed by anyone claiming God created the world and then suggesting we use science. You do understand biological science/psychology/neuroscience are all grounded by the theory of Evolution? Science wouldn't exist as it does today without heavy reliance on that theory. It is odd to talk about using science to help the mentally challenged while at the same time trumpeting God's unlimited power.

      September 17, 2013 at 10:37 am |
      • Valentin

        Free will is not a gift. It is a virtue.
        The Christian society evolved, my friend, and there is no doubt that all of us recognize the science as our power. If we, as Christians, believe that God is a creator, we do that for our own peace, as a result of our need to rely on something – probably with not so many questions. It is a psychological resort – if you want, it is the dysteleological argument itself, and there is no fight between that and the solid ground of the science. I am perplexed by anyone claiming that science is against creation and evolution is not a matter of Christianity. Yes, we are all on the path to agnosticism, but who are you to tell me I have no right to use science.

        September 17, 2013 at 11:12 am |
        • AE

          There are way too many examples of great logical and scientific minds in religious communities for me to draw a conclusion that religion is anti-science.

          There is a reason why most hospitals have names with religious origins in my community (St. Mary's, Providence, Menorah, Methodist).

          September 17, 2013 at 11:19 am |
      • Me

        From a scientist's point of view, "biological science/ psychology/ neuroscience are all grounded by the theory of evolution." Seriously!!!!! If you study Darwin and his THEORY using accepted scientific methods and principles, it doesn't hold up. There are too many gaps that need filling with conjecture, waiting for the 'missing link'. As science gets more sophisticated, that missing link becomes more and more obscure because it does not exist, perhaps as one would say God doesn't. If you chose to live a lifestyle that is unaccountable, a Godless infrastructure of evolution is necessary but if you chose to, answer to a God who created you, you begin to see that science is simply the understanding and study of His creation and He should be the grounding for biological science, psychology, neuroscience, not the study of a illiterate hate monger who lost his child and wanted to retaliate against God by showing He doesn't exist. What Darwin succeeded with was creating an excuse for those of us to disbelieve in a Creator, if you so want to exercise that God given free will of yours to do so.

        September 17, 2013 at 11:31 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          The 5 laws of Darwinian evolutionary theory have been confirmed innumerable times by thousands of scientists working is different fields for more than 150 years.

          September 17, 2013 at 11:49 am |
        • In Santa we trust

          When Darwin originally published he acknowledged that there were gaps in actual evidence, but that was 160 years ago. Most gaps are filled now. Our knowledge of evolution may still be incomplete but there can be no doubt that it happened, whereas the only "evidence" for creationism is the imaginings of ancients who knew nothing of science and our current knowledge.

          September 17, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
        • I've changed

          Darwin began to develop his theory long before his daughter died.Seems like he may have stepped on a toe or two huh?He was totally aware that his theory would blow the creation myth out of the water...and it did.

          September 17, 2013 at 7:19 pm |
    • Roger that

      God created science

      Funny. It's all there in the Bible, right? Thanks for the help, God.

      September 17, 2013 at 10:55 am |
    • AE

      Yes. My church definitely directs people with medical or psychological problems to medical and psychological experts for care.

      We pray for, educate about and support scientific and medical advances to help those in need.

      September 17, 2013 at 10:58 am |
    • guest

      I don’t know why people want to blame God for all the misfortunes of this world. All these misfortunes are the result of sin and handicraft of Satan. Satan will do anything to discredit God and destroy His [God’s children]. Of all the Christian people who practice the profession of psychology, psychiatry, and medicine plus other sciences i.e., biophysics, physics, astronomy, geophysics etc., what makes you think that they are not scientists? What makes you think that science is only regulated to nonreligious people?

      September 17, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        "All these misfortunes are the result of sin and handicraft of Satan. Satan will do anything to discredit God and destroy His [God’s children]." Any credibility you may think you have as an intelligent person was lost... once you type silly shit like that...

        September 17, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
      • In Santa we trust

        In your belief system didn't god create the universe and all in it? In your belief system doesn't god get the credit for the good? Seems perfectly logical that the creator of the universe and all in it would be responsible for both good and bad.

        September 17, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
    • So if god gave us science,

      Why weren't all the great scientific discoveries made in church? And why did god wait until about 200 years ago to start "giving" us science?

      September 17, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
      • WhatintheWorld

        Free will? How about the inevitable heat death of our solar system? Where is the free will in that?

        Cop out. A god get out of jail free card. That is an insulting and condescending answer to thinking people.

        September 17, 2013 at 2:15 pm |


      September 23, 2013 at 11:03 pm |
  13. ME II

    Perhaps it's in the interview (I can't view it from here), but there seems to be an obvious hole in the article. What does Rick Warren think about the poll question?

    "Nearly half of evangelicals, 48%, say that people with serious mental illnesses like depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia can be cured by Bible study and prayer alone."

    September 17, 2013 at 10:12 am |
    • siberianmommy

      It's a teaser article to get you to watch Piers tonight. Do that and maybe your question will be answered.

      September 17, 2013 at 11:17 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      "Evangelicals" should clue you in... they are not known for being the sharpest knives in the drawer...

      September 17, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    Who can know the how sever the pain of depression can be. I’ve been there too many times to question this young man’s pain. Satan seeks to destroy each one of us every day; depression is one of Satan’s most common tools to destroy a soul—unbelief is his most successful. But I do agree that Christian professional [psychology, psychiatry and mdical] help is the best help. Not only do these professionals have the training, but also they too can depend on the best guidance—the Holy Spirit, to help another human being. I agree with Dr V. that these things can't just be hugged and prayed away, but Divine help is a plus.

    September 17, 2013 at 10:06 am |
    • In Santa we trust

      Professional help is the key; religion is just an optional crutch.

      September 17, 2013 at 10:11 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      In the treatment of mental illness, adding in delusions that are religion is not the best way to address it. I have dealt with depression all of my life. It is a physiological issue, not anything tied with "spirit". There is no reason to think that any "Satan" character would have anything to do with it, and treating as if there was would be negilgent and irresponsible.

      Keep the treatment of mental illness to the professionals who have been trained on the science behind it and keep your beliefs as far away as possible.

      September 17, 2013 at 10:18 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Mental illness is not caused by Satan or his demons.
      If that were the case, all you'd have to do to cure depression would be to burn some fish guts.
      Demons hate the smell, you know.
      As the Angel told Tobias:
      The heart and liver can be burned and used to chase away a demon or an evil spirit that is tormenting someone. The attacks will stop immediately, and the person will never be troubled again. 8 You can use the gall bladder to treat someone whose eyes are covered with a white film. Just rub it on his eyes and blow on the film, and he will be able to see again.

      September 17, 2013 at 10:18 am |
      • Anonymous

        ????????????? I have no idea what you are even talking about, but, for sure, Satan isn't concerend about your soul, ignorant as it may be, you've sold your soul to him.

        September 17, 2013 at 11:19 am |
        • Richard Cranium

          Ra is very angry with you for worshipping your false god. You're going to be sorry when you get to the afterlife (whatever that is supposed to be...(afterlife comes death)

          September 17, 2013 at 11:38 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Perhaps you haven't read The Book of Tobit.
          If you're a protestant, it is considered one of the apocryphal books.
          There is a story in the book wherein the main character, Tobias is out fishing when he meets an Angel.
          The angel tells him to carry a dead fish around in his pocket because they are chock full of ichthyan magic.

          September 17, 2013 at 11:46 am |
  15. Doc Vestibule

    Serious mental illness needs to be addressed by medical professionals, not shamans.
    You can't hug or pray away schizophrenia.
    That being said, a supportive community (like a church congregation) can be a boon to those who suffer from such problems.

    September 17, 2013 at 9:24 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      I have volunteered at a chemical dependancy clinic, I see a lot of mental illness. Addressing it with religion gives nothing more than a placebo effect, which does not have any real lasting effect, that placebo effect can delay actual treatment, and can cause harm in that way. Best to leave religion as far away as possible. Part of the problem is though, is that religion prey on the mental illnesses, offering solutions that do not exist.

      September 17, 2013 at 10:46 am |
      • Bill Deacon

        I have a friend of over fifteen years who is acutely schizophrenic. His medication is invaluable in treating his brain chemistry or else he lapses into psychosis. At the same time, his network of church friends and other support people ground him in reality and provide a care system that enriches his life and helps monitor his condition informally. Why must there be an either/or argument when it comes to science and faith? That dynamic itself seems mentally ill to me.

        September 17, 2013 at 11:01 am |
      • Richard Cranium

        Bill Deacon.
        Support of family is very, very important when dealing with mental illness.
        Throwing religion into the mix is where you create problems. Religion can obscure reality, give false effects that mask symptoms. I see addicts who try to replace their addictions with religion, which just becomes their next addiction. People then think that the religion is harmless, better he be addicted to religion than heroin, but that is where it stops, so they stop getting treatment for their addiction disorder, so keep the mental illness, and only added another form of illness on top of it.

        September 17, 2013 at 11:27 am |
        • Bill Deacon

          I'm actually hoping Doc Vestible reads your response and some others I see here today. There can be no denial that there is a contingent of people who would like to see religious belief deemed a mental disorder and treated by forced medical intervention. Thanks for being open about that Richard.

          September 17, 2013 at 11:40 am |
        • Richard Cranium

          Various religious beliefs fit in with several different definitions of mental disorders. I do see belief without reason or logic in that catagory, but not forced treatment.

          Because religious belief does fit in with so many definitions of mental disorder, it is unhealthy to involve religion in any mental health treatment. There are of course varying levels of disorders. When your relgious beliefs become obsession, well any obsession is unhealthy. When you deal with the mystical parts of religion, that is the delusion part, When you deal with the NON-belief parts of religion, the human wisdom part...well you certainly do not need religion for that. The human wisdom part is not actually specific to any religion, so any of the beneficial aspects of religion , are not exclusive to religion, the bad parts of religion (unfounded claims and beliefs) doesn't really help anyone.

          September 17, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        The man widely considered to be Canada's greated Prime Minister routinely conferred with the spirit of his relatives, including his dog.
        If Rover's Ghost helped him as leader, then all the power to him. Such gentle delusions are harmless – and sometimes helpful.
        They're still delusions though.

        September 17, 2013 at 11:56 am |
  16. God

    So you have to be famous before the world is FORCED to care about your son committing suicide. Of course people are committing suicide every day, but somehow and for some reason, we are being FORCED to read about Rick Warren...over and over again.
    What, did he sleep with some guy at CNN?

    September 17, 2013 at 9:18 am |
    • guest

      Tell us, who has "forced" you to read or listen to any of this? "In your face" "forced" and other idioms are such a cop-out for an argument.

      September 17, 2013 at 10:22 am |
  17. Thought Purification

    Rick and Kay, you did not understand your son......that's what happened.

    September 17, 2013 at 9:14 am |
  18. Martin

    "Slightly more than half of Americans – 53% – think that churches should do more to prevent suicide in America"

    –Why is it only 53% and not 100%?

    September 17, 2013 at 8:48 am |
    • Church needs compassion

      36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

      37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

      If the church could reach out to communities with this love, this world could be a better place.
      Let's reach out to the lost, those in despair and show them the love that the scriptures demand from us. Let's make a difference in the lives of hurting people.

      September 17, 2013 at 9:01 am |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        That scripture is part of the problem, people are expected to love some nefarious above and beyond people....it makes no sense.

        September 17, 2013 at 9:19 am |
        • Correctlycenter

          Who created the earth and all living things, the cheese-monster? Think about that. Every iphone, car, appliance, home has a designer and hands that built or assembled these things. This same concept holds true with the LORD. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth... Genesis 1:1...

          September 17, 2013 at 10:14 am |
        • doobzz

          @ center

          We don't know exactly how the earth and life began, but we are learning more daily.

          All the other things you mentioned were conceived and built by people.

          People who can't or don't want to learn anything outside of the bible are uncomfortable not having every answer at their fingertips, but the bible doesn't provide the answers. Closing their eyes and ears and saying goddidit makes them feel better; no hard work or further education is needed.

          September 17, 2013 at 10:34 am |
        • Richard Cranium

          " This same concept holds true with the LORD". That is not true. There is no evidence of a "creator" or whatever else you want to call "god".
          the existance of life is only evidence of the existance of life, since we do not know where life came from, or how it is sparked, ANY answer provided is NOT true until it can be verified, and your book is not verification.

          September 17, 2013 at 11:45 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers


          Not knowing how the universe and life began does not equate to "Bible God did it".

          And your post did not in any way address my point.

          September 17, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Because some of us think churches are ill equiped to deal with the problem, it would all depend on what exactly "more" means.

      September 17, 2013 at 9:10 am |
    • ME II

      Because contrary to what 48% of evangelicals think, you cannot pray away mental illness.

      "Nearly half of evangelicals, 48%, say that people with serious mental illnesses like depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia can be cured by Bible study and prayer alone."

      September 17, 2013 at 10:15 am |
    • Kelly McMahon

      Maybe because people don't feel that churches are responsible for preventing suicide. Why not ask, "Do you think fast-food restaurants should do more to prevent suicide?" Or how about, "Do you think high school glee clubs should do more to prevent suicide?" It's a mental illness. If a church doesn't want to adopt the role of mental-illness counselor, they shouldn't have to.

      September 17, 2013 at 10:22 am |
    • Martin

      An analysis has found that the use of antidepressant medications may be related to suicide attempts and deaths .

      –There is no guarantee that medication is fool proof and on the contrary it may further suicide rates.

      Pastor Rick's son received the best medical attention available.

      September 17, 2013 at 10:25 am |
      • ME II

        Science and medicine is not perfect, granted, but no one has been cured by prayer/church/god alone. If you have evidence otherwise, please present it, and by evidence I don't mean anecdotes or "testimonials".

        September 17, 2013 at 10:39 am |
        • Martin

          What are you trying to argue about?

          That science is not perfect? We already know that, that is why the OP points to the statement that the church should do more to prevent suicide in America

          September 17, 2013 at 10:48 am |
        • ME II

          I'm arguing that the church is not the appropriate place to treat serious mental illness. They should seek professional medical help even though recovery is not guaranteed.

          September 17, 2013 at 10:52 am |
        • Martin

          You still didn't get it, nobody is arguing that the Church "treat" patients.

          The point is; the church should do more to prevent suicide in America.

          September 17, 2013 at 10:55 am |
        • Rany

          Actually prayer worked perfectly for me. OCD, Bipolar, Tourettes and ADD. 5 years of suicidal behavior while being treated with every SSRI known to man made things much worse. Getting off the drugs and into church is what worked for me. Of course, you dont want to hear my testimony. You already know I cant be telling the truth and my personal experience is obviously flawed when compared to your all encompassing knowledge. Tell me again how science helped me and God did not please.

          September 17, 2013 at 11:00 am |
        • ME II

          "You still didn't get it, nobody is arguing that the Church 'treat' patients."

          Umm the article did:
          "Nearly half of evangelicals, 48%, say that people with serious mental illnesses like depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia can be cured by Bible study and prayer alone."

          September 17, 2013 at 11:08 am |
        • ME II

          "Tell me again how science helped me and God did not please."

          I have no idea what happened to you, which is why I can't judge the truth of testimonials.

          September 17, 2013 at 11:10 am |
        • tallulah13

          Actually, Rany, getting off those drugs probably did more good than any god. The wrong dosage or the wrong combination lof drugs can and often does lead to increased symptoms and suicidal thoughts, especially in younger people. A good doctor who was willing to take the time to figure out your needs rather than dose you with pills probably would have done the same thing as your church. But I'm glad you got out of that mess before it killed you.

          September 17, 2013 at 11:17 am |
        • csee

          @Ramy. Yes, these are Slow Wave Sleep/Slow Wave Activity disorders. Must ask how is your sleep?

          September 17, 2013 at 10:38 pm |
      • ME II

        "Pastor Rick's son received the best medical attention available."

        I've seen similar claims made, but I'm not certain what that actually entailed.

        September 17, 2013 at 10:44 am |
        • Martin

          Looks like you know the Pastor and his family personally. Have you been to his church? have you volunteered? What do you know about the care provided?

          September 17, 2013 at 10:49 am |
        • ME II

          "Looks like you know the Pastor and his family personally."

          I assume you are being sarcastic since I never claimed or implied such.

          " Have you been to his church? have you volunteered? What do you know about the care provided?"

          What does any of that have to do with anything? I was simply saying that "best available" is somewhat va.gue, and can mean many different things.

          I'm *not* claiming that he didn't get sufficient medical care.

          September 17, 2013 at 11:05 am |
        • Martin

          "but I'm not certain what that actually entailed"

          –Nobody owes you the "certainity" of what it entailed. Stop feeling so ent.itled about what would be a doctor-patient privilege. Read it up sometime.

          September 17, 2013 at 11:17 am |
        • ME II

          You claimed that, "Pastor Rick's son received the best medical attention available."

          How do you know that? I wasn't saying that anyone "owed" me certainty. I was simply pointing out that your claim, and the other claims that I'd seen, were not clear on what that meant, nothing else.

          September 17, 2013 at 11:51 am |
    • CP in FL

      A person who believes in religion is delusional to begin with. Would you ask a snake oil salesman to help with your mental illness? Religion is the problem not the solution.

      September 17, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • willremainundefined

      I'd like to see evidence of their numbers. Where are these churches who claim they even WANT to help those with mental illness? Where I live there are far more self-proclaimed Christians and even Preachers of large churches who ridicule and intentionally exclude anyone who isn't a cookie-cutter image of the saintly (self-righteous) type. When are people going to realize church is all about image image image, NOT actually helping anyone. Even when a group helps people around here they make sure their saintly efforts are splattered all over Facebook (oooh look what we did for the least of these!!) and if possible, the front page of the local newspaper. The preacher of the largest Baptist church in this town put security locks and surveillance camera's all the doors so he can pick and choose who gets buzzed in and then sits back watching the camera and gets his jollies by ignoring anyone he deems unworthy, or as he puts it "has issues." When will those NOT affiliated with these phony churches realize that religion is the problem, not the answer and fake pharisee type churches are sending the mentally ill away, intentionally, and then laughing about it. The big Baptist church preacher and his sheeple here refer to it as cleaning out the riff-raff.

      September 17, 2013 at 11:19 am |
  19. Levi


    September 17, 2013 at 8:43 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.