home
RSS
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. CSee

    I want everyone who reads my comment to look analytically at Pastor Rick Williams facial structure, neck size and skin around the eyes. I see someone who snores, maybe mild, moderate or severe sleep breathing disorder and apnea/hypoxia. Large neck, recessed chin, smallish mouth, puffiness in lower eye sockets. There is the slight heaviness. I analyize and I will say there may have been a physical pass down. What may have been tragically overlooked by our healthcare system was the AXIS I identification of physiology of airway. Aside from the condolences, I would recommend Pastor Rick consult with his doctor.

    September 17, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
    • J David

      You just diagnosed this guy with a cardiovascular condition.

      September 17, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
      • csee

        Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Cardiovascular, cancer, dementia are high probable terminates for the condition. That being, there are cognitive and emotive disorders associated with the disorder by both disrupted sleep and organ tissue damage.

        September 17, 2013 at 10:59 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Have you got the number for a good phrenologist?

      September 17, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Maybe he just drinks a lot so that he can sleep with his delusions and how they might have contributed to his son's unhappiness.

      September 17, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
  2. sirhuxley

    Well then!

    I know what Churches can do to help prevent suicides in America!

    They can:

    A. Close up shop and go away forever (not gonna happen, too much $$$ involved)
    B. Stop preaching and hyper-moralizing about everything (not gonna happen, too much $$$ involved)

    The strain of Christianity that has taken hold, this so-called "evangelical" christianity is really just a Randian-Mutation of Southern Baptist KKK Christianity, and the problem with that is that it thrives on misery and division, I mean just look at America, it is a very divided country (for now).

    This is a dark moment in the history of Civilization because this plague of Evangelical Christianity is upon us, it is funded by Oil and Banking interests who have a stake in making sure that we Americans are divided and ignorant.

    Will Civilization survive? Will Rational Enlightenment break through and win the day?

    I have no doubt!

    September 17, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
    • Mike

      I have one word that will cure the problems of the world today, and what Religion in general has done to mankind: Atheism!

      I am an Atheist, and there is proof all over the world that Religion is truly the Bane of Mankind. It holds us back. It has caused more wars, deaths, and murders than anything else in History. We have Radical-this Religion and Radical-that Religion, and people kill others based on their Religion. Enough already! There is no God, Jesus, Muhammad, whatever; it's all a myth perpetrated for monetary and political gains, nothing more. We, as a species, need to remove such childish thoughts as Religion, and move Mankind forward, and out into the Stars. Science and Technology is the future, not God or Religion.

      September 17, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
      • WhatintheWorld

        Mike,

        agreed but religion was used not only for political or monetary gain but also to explain, by the terrified, ignorant, starving infancy of our species, who we are, how we got here and why things happen.

        As we have progressed, some more than others but slowly and surely, the need for those simplistic childish answers has been overwhelmed by fact and observation-based explanations.

        September 17, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
        • Responding to the Pride

          "Observation-based explanations?" LOL. Do you regularly attend a church to get a sampling for this incredibly astute scientific conclusion? Honestly, it defies description that you can come to such conclusions about people of faith and not spend a minute actually studying such people in their native habitat (church, bible studies, one-on-one interactions)–its like going to the zoo, watching the elephants pace around in boredom, and concluding that elephants naturally pace around in boredom.

          September 17, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
      • chuckt

        Unfortunatly no battle war or any uprising was caused in the name of "Jesus". Christianity has never justified any war period. no where in the new testament does Jesus say go kill in my name. He even tells us about false teachers and people will claim they are a Christian and they are not. No verse in the new testament or in any verse that quotes Jesus tells this. So to lump Christianity in with causing wars, then your sadly mistaken. Christians are easy to pick on because one of the greatest comandments from Jesus is to love your neighbor as yourself. To get your facts straight next time.

        September 17, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
        • Mike

          Really? You actually believe that? Um, ever heard of The Crusades? MILLIONS were killed in the name of the Christian God AND Jesus. Talk about needing to get your facts straight! You really need to read more history.

          Also, Protestants and Catholics killed each other almost every day for decades in Ireland!

          September 17, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
        • chuckt

          Crusades was not true Christians. Just becasue you say your a christian doesnt make you one. If you stand in a garage for a long time doesnt make you a car. Hitler said he was a Christian, but we all know that was further from the truth. So "yes" I have my facts straight. This brings another point. The closer a person is to Christ the more they are humble and forgiving. The closer a muslim is to their God, the more they want to kill in "Alah's" name. Again, no where in the new testament does Christ say go kill in my name. Please Tell me the verse in the "new Testament" quoting Christ sayign kill in his name.

          September 17, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
        • Strong Tower

          Hello Mike,

          Funny how the Crusades are used against Christians even battles were taken place on European land started by the Muslims. Also, how rulers of the peasants forced them to march. This is much like our rulers of today work, but they do it for mega companies instead of the local Feudal lords.

          September 17, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
        • WhatintheWorld

          Well, Jesus doesn't, but his father, the blood-thirsty tyrant of the OT certainly does. Like father like son. You cannot separate the two. They are one. Or three. Or whatever mental gymnastics you christards use to justify your beliefs.

          September 17, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
      • Teeph

        I never get tired of atheist illogic. Okay. Let's see if we can make sense of this, shall we?

        You affirm the notion that capital "R" "Religion" was invented as a means to political power and wealth. So, it would be fair to say that the desire for political power and/or wealth (and possibly the desire to explain the unkown) caused Religion.

        Then, without a second of self scrutiny, you proceed to declare that Religion has caused more "wars, murders and death than anything else in History."

        Really? For someone so scientifically minded, you sure don't go very far with your analysis. If Religion is the cause of wars, murder and death, and the desire for political power and wealth are the cause of Religion . . . . are you getting there yet, or do I need to spell it out for you more?

        The point is, your assertions are wholly ridiculous and I'm sure any actual THINKING atheist would be ashamed to have you representing them. Honestly, the notion that Religion has caused more deaths than heart disease or cancer. Really? Are you THAT blinded by your hatred for whoever turned you off to religion that you feel justified in making such ludicrous claims? That Religion has caused more murders that the desire for money – including most all street crime throughout all history? Surely you are joking. That Religion caused the Holocost or Pol Pot or Stalin? You, sir, are a fool.

        September 17, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
    • Sandy

      What rock did you crawl out from under!!!!

      September 17, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
      • Mike

        One where Intelligence trumps mindless belief. You?

        September 17, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
        • liljean

          And who gave you this "intelligence"?

          September 17, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
    • JustInTime

      SirHuxley,
      I certainly appreciate your position on evanglicals. Funny that our pastor this Sunday spoke very candidly about a real place called Hell. It s a place prepared and receiving entrants at an alarming rate. I count myself both very well educated and saved by the Grace of a loving God. Therefore I bear no ill will to anyone that has such a position. I, however, do pray diligently for your soul and could not pass up this opportunity –albeit maybe the one that you hear and understand–to say there is indeed a merciful savior and he loves you mightily. I mean no disrespect or offensive intent...I reach out in love of a lost man who desperately needs a savior. <>

      September 17, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
      • WhatintheWorld

        Quit condescending, smug and indignant. You may be very intelligent in almost everything you do however, respectfully, you are not intelligent when it comes to religion or your belief in the sky fairy. That is ok but spare the "you need a savior." Keep away from me, my family and anyone who does not believe as you do. This is exactly how love turns into intolerance or worse.

        September 17, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
  3. Renee Brown

    Please be sensitive with comments about suicide. There are so many people still suffering from the loss of a loved. Please read, When The Devil Visits. This woman lost 4 family members to suicide and she has changed my mind about being so hard about it.

    September 17, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
    • RandyB12

      It is difficult to consider this man's feelings when his preaching and influence in countries like Uganda result in the persecution, imprisonment, and sanctioned killing of gay people. I am sure his son's mental issues may stem from the sins of the father...a karmic balance seems to apply here.

      September 17, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
    • doobzz

      I rarely read any of the spam that people post here. Stealing advertising space to pimp your book is a pretty big red flag.

      I did notice that it's a self published book that will be release on Amazon, et. al., on Sept. 24th, so I read the free first chapter. It's so poorly written that I laughed out loud. It has the emotional depth of Facebook's user agreement. Pretty bad, considering it's supposedly an autobiography of a sixteen year old who apparently dealt with four suicides of people close to her, and I'm one of those people who cries over the commercial of the kid who googles how to overcome glossophobia.

      September 17, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
  4. ms jackson

    Too much selling bling in the temple; the sins of the father resulted in dust to dust for the son. The tortured son will return for the resurrection and the kingdom, while the indulgent millionaire father is damned to eternal darkness. P.S. Wasn't that Breaking Bad episode mind blowing?!!!

    September 17, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • TB

      Can't get to heaven if you commit suicide.

      And why is CNN giving ANY credence to this hate monger biggot at all??? Any press dealing with this idiot is too much!

      September 17, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
      • doobzz

        I was wondering why there were suddenly so many stories about this too. The I realized that Piers Morgan is interviewing the Warrens tonight on CNN.

        A crummy commercial??!!

        September 17, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
  5. Colt

    Suicide is a free will choice a person makes to end their own life, unlike murder or abortion where someone else makes that decision on your behalf.

    September 17, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
    • Jaden

      We all are accountable to God for the choices we make in our life using the greatest asset God endowed mankind with– FREE WILL.

      September 17, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
      • HotAirAce

        Who or what is this "God" thingy you mention? Do you have any evidence that such a being exists, and if not not, why do you have such a childish belief?

        September 17, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
        • Jaden

          Try to open your heart and mind to God, you might see the truth. Living in willful blindness is a free will choice you can make for yourself. But, remember that your choices have consequences.

          September 17, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
        • Jerome

          Where is your proof that there is no god? Go back beyond the big bang, back and back and back, where did it all start? the first atoms? molecules? whatever... or was something just "always there"? Now this does not clear anything up, but something either came from nothing, or just has always been, sounds like claims of what the christian God is.

          September 17, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
        • WhatintheWorld

          If you want to debate first cause, then fair enough. Reasonable people can differ although the beauty and logic of the big bank supercedes the tired "god has always was" which explains nothing and leads to the infinite regression of "who then created god?"

          As for everything post-first cause, you christards have your work cut out for you. Evolution provides a much more beautiful answer than the burning bush and the nonsense contained in the buy-bull.

          Of course, I could also just ask, what is your proof that there is a god? The burden is on the one offering the proposition. It is not up to me to disprove it. It is up to you to prove it.

          September 17, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          "Living in willful blindness" O' the irony...

          September 17, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          Ah, the old "you gotta believe to believe" crap. Belief has nothing to do with an open heart. And becoming an atheist is the result of having an open mind and shedding childhood indoctrinations. Thanks for confirming that you cannot substantiate your most basic of beliefs. I hope you get help from a mental health professional soon.

          September 17, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Jerome
          I'm afraid your postulate leads to a problem of infinite regression...
          What created the Creator?

          September 17, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          Jerome,
          One cannot disprove a god. Where is your proof that there is no Zeus?
          The fact that we do not understand does not mean that a god did it. Based upon what we do know, the creation myths of all religions are not correct, so the foundation of all religions is not correct.

          September 17, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          Re: before the Big Bang, we don't know, and that is a far superior answer than "Some unproven, unseen supernatural being did it." And note, I didn't claim there are no gods so I have nothing to prove. On the other hand, those that claim there are gods, even just one, have the burden of proof. At the very least they should be honest and qualify their claims for their god(s) with "for which we have no proof."

          September 17, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
        • Sara

          Jaden,

          HotAirAce asks

          'Who or what is this "God" thingy you mention? Do you have any evidence that such a being exists, and if not not, why do you have such a childish belief?'

          I'll go further and ask?

          What is this "Free will" thingy you mention? Do you have any evidence that such a thing exists, and if not not, why do you have such a childish belief?

          September 17, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
        • Raven

          No one is asking you to believe in God. No one is calling you "childish" because you don't believe. Why do you feel the need to insult and degrade others because they have beliefs that are different from yours. (And by the way, we have a thing in America called freedom of religion, and freedom from persecution based on religious beliefs). If I read my Bible or go to church, how does that affect your life? I can't imagine why it would bring you to make such hateful comments. Christians have done great things for those in need. Millions of people all over the world have been provided with food, clean water, clothing, shelter and emergency assistance due to religious organizations. I wouldn't be surprised if you, or someone in your family, has been the recipient of the love and generosity of Christians.

          September 17, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          And I have the right of freedom of speech – the right to ask questions and to have opinions and to voice those opinions. I am concerned because you mentally ill delusionals and liars (or do you have evidence to the contrary?) can't keep your craziness to yourselves. You continuously attempt to impose your myths on others. When you confine your actions to your private homes and cult clubhouses, I'll cease asking questions you can't answer (in any meaningful way).

          September 17, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        Stalin does not send anyone to the Gulag.
        It is those who have hardened their hearts against him who send themselves to the Gulag through their bourgoise atti/tudes and counter-revolutionary actions.
        This was not Stalin's plan at all.
        He truly wants everyone to go to the Worker's Paradise and it grieves him that so many harden their hearts against him.
        But he will not force anyone into the Worker's Paradise against their wishes. He respects their free will.
        If you don't want to go to the Gulag, just open your heart to the love of Stalin.

        Sound familiar at all?

        September 17, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
        • edward

          I have not hardened my heart against anything. I simply require that something be true to accept. What does true look like to you?

          Does it look like Islam? Does it look like Judaism? Have you hardened your heart to everything except what you believe or have been trained to believe?

          Anonymous writing about supernatural claims that go against all rational evidence does not equate to something believable, not matter how attractive eternal life is (or is eternal life as someone's worship slave really heaven?).

          September 17, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
      • Jaden

        When you choose to spend, let's say 12 hours a day on the belief blog, are you exercising your free will choice or did someone force a gun to your head to be here all day long???

        September 17, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          Seems to me you are attempting to deflect attention away from the questions posed. If there are no gods, religious concepts such as free will are irrelevant. Why do believers find it so hard to provide evidence for their most basic claims and beliefs? Why can't believers be honest and openly admit there is no evidence for any of their supernatural claims? Mental illness, force or deliberate lying are the only reasons I can come up with.

          September 17, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
        • Jaden

          If you ask another believer for evidence they will point you to the Bible or their relationship to God. Looks like this is not what you are looking for.

          Look, if you are looking for God to wave to you from the skies kind of evidence to believe in God then you have to seek Him first.Have you sought God lately?

          September 17, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
        • WhatintheWorld

          Nonsense. First off, which god are you talking about?

          All your god, or any gods, are good at is hiding and residing in ambiguity.

          September 17, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          Why do you believe The Babble? What evidence do you have for your alleged relationship with an unproven god? Why do I have to seek your god, which requires me to believe in something before I might actually find it?

          September 17, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
        • Jaden

          What evidence do I have? I was given Isaiah 43:10 as evidence when I was seeking God.

          September 17, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
        • WhatintheWorld

          And I was given presents when I was seeking Santa Claus. Then I grew up. You should too.

          September 17, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          When "you gotta believe to believe" doesn't work, circular (il)logic is soon to follow. . .

          September 17, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
  6. Bob

    "The Purpose Drive Life". Really, CNN??? Heart-wrenching story and you can't even get something this simple right?

    September 17, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
    • Rob

      Editors don't edit anymore. If it passes spell check then it passes.

      September 17, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
  7. HotAirAce

    While I'm sure that losing a child is a terrible ordeal, I don't care what a mentally ill delusional believer thinks. When he sheds his delusions and gets well, I might listen then.

    September 17, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
    • Joe Seattle

      Not sure I understand your comment, which is rather incoherent. I'm definitely picking up some significant hostility, definitely past the point of intolerance, toward religion. But I guess Christians are a creed group we've decided its politically OK to treat with unbridled hatred.

      September 17, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
      • In Santa we trust

        Christians in the USA are the primary movers of initiatives to push religion in place of science in schools, to make laws based upon their religious beliefs, to have their beliefs form a part of public meetings (prayer), to put their religious texts on public buildings, etc.
        And you wonder why there is blowback?

        September 17, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
      • doobzz

        I understood it perfectly. I try not to speak for others but I think HAA was saying:

        "I am very sorry for their loss. However, Rick Warren is a fraud and a huckster who rakes in millions of tax free dollars from people who believe his claims that a supernatural creature exists and we must somehow appease this thing or it will send us to its perpetual crematorium. I have no interest in what he has to say in this or any other matter."

        Of course, I could be wrong.

        September 17, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          Well said!

          September 17, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      How do you go from "I don't care" to hatred, hostility, intolerance, etc? Feeling a little paranoid and/or persecuted?

      September 17, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
  8. Alex

    I would like to know if perhaps he was gay, and knew his family will never accept that fact. Could it be possible that was the cause of his depression as it is in so many cases such as this.

    September 17, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
    • Renee Brown

      Gay or not, it doesn't matter. We are all humans suffering. Suicide is unfortunate and incredibly painful. We simply cannot judge. Read the book, When The Devil Visits if you get the chance. You'll see.

      September 17, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
    • Moonshadow

      Daddy was a preacher and I had feelings that he felt the same about me, I think he thought that I would commit suicide, he told my mother "to get ready" for me that something is going to happen. It just seems to me if Mr. Warren had these feelings toward his son, his son probably picked up on these vibes and lost his faith in himself because he had not the faith of his daddy. Generally, the male clergys don't know how to love their children in the best way. Church is top priority and family is somewhere at the bottom.

      September 17, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
  9. Doris

    "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."

    Wow. No horror film could ever come close to something as scary as this notion and what it must mean for those whose lives are affected by people who think this way.

    September 17, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • Dave

      That's scary, and even scarier is that only 60% of people disagree!

      September 17, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
    • J.C.

      Exactly. No way that kid had a chance in he double l in that household.

      September 17, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
  10. shan22044

    Dear CNN Editor – really – "The Purpose Drive Life" ???

    September 17, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
  11. Bobby

    “God isn’t to blame for my son’s death. My son took his life. It was his choice.”

    I can only presume that Warren, like other evangelicals, believes that God is all-powerful and that nothing can happen without His allowing it to happen. If my presumption is correct, then Warren necessarily believes that God allowed his son's suicide to happen. What is the difference between God's allowing something to happen and affirmatively making it happen? If one fails to act when he or she could have acted to stop something from happening, this is, logically, causing the event to happen.

    I'm not an atheist or an agnostic. I just have a real problem with the "God is all powerful, and all good too, so anything bad that happens is not God's doing" argument. It flunks basic logic.

    September 17, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
    •  

      Bobby, you're beginning to see the light. Keep thinking.

      September 17, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
    • Jack

      If God allows us to have free will, then harming ourselves would be an aspect of that free will, would it not?

      September 17, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
    • shan22044

      For argument's sake though, wouldn't you say that life is full of seemingly contradictory dualities?
      We are each alone but we are not alone.
      We are independent but interdependent.
      We are animals but we have souls or a conscience or whatever you want to call it?

      To say that God is in control yet acknowledge that people have free will – well, whether you believe it or not, it's one of many things that could make sense in a Universe that is at once chaotic yet orderly, random yet designed...

      September 17, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
    • Mark

      The difference is that people have free will, and God allows them to exercise that will. He allows people to make bad decisions. He also allows them to repent and be forgiven. Sounds like a good system to me.

      September 17, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
      • WhatintheWorld

        errrrr, which god? And please explain why you chose that god and not one of the other 10,000 or so that our specie has believed in throughout time. Be specific.

        September 17, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
    • vinster76

      Two thousand years ago, Jesus was born, the Only Sacrifice for all mankind. Since His death, burial, and resurrection from the dead, the absolute main concern of God has been mankind's receiving of that Sacrifice......That is the main thing. Not that we have 80 plus years of blissful, happy, worry-free life, that is NOT the concern......Receiving Christ is the reason He came to earth. If Matthew received that free gift from Christ, then Matthew is in the presence of the King of Kings.....

      September 17, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        What a boring regurgitated fairy tale...

        September 17, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
      • Jo

        I was 'brought up' with this STORY!!! Took years of therapy and 12 Step Program to realize it was a 'Story' and to accept it as Truth was detrimental to my health ! My life is finally working! I stay far away from this 'Version' of Christianity! Far away!

        September 17, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          What version of Christianity denies this Jo?

          September 17, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Free will is incompatible with the concept of an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent Creator.

      September 17, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
      • Jack

        No its not, not a Creator who chose to create agents with free will. What would be incompatible is if God created such free agents, and they never exercised that free will.

        September 17, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Omnipotent – All powerful
          Omniscient – All knowing
          Omnipresent – Exists everywhere and everywhen

          Free will means that we are able to act independently of God's will. That means He is not all powerful.
          We can choose to do things that God cannot predict. That means He is not all knowing.

          If we are the creations of such a being, then said being knows every moment of our lives – every word we will utter, every choice we will make.
          It's the old saw – can God create a boulder so large that even He can't lift it?

          September 17, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
        • Repugno

          "Free will means that we are able to act independently of God's will. That means He is not all powerful."
          – I can kill my own children, but I don't. This doesn't mean I can't, I just choose to not do it.

          "We can choose to do things that God cannot predict. That means He is not all knowing."
          God is omnipresent, so he experiences all at once. What could that imply in this scenario?

          I think you are trying to apply logic to the infinite in ways that don't work very well. It's like trying to apply macro-physical logic to quantum principles.... In other words, it is difficult to explain how superposition is possible using our intuition of how the world works at a non-quantum level, because our "axioms" don't really apply in that context. Not to say that we shouldn't apply logic to the metaphysical, I'm just saying we should definitely scrutinize our assumptions to the nth degree before we make assertions.

          September 17, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
      • ms jackson

        The creator whose image mankind is cloned from.

        September 17, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          1970's Xerox 101 – Never make a copy of a defective original...

          September 17, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
      • Jack

        "If we are the creations of such a being, then said being knows every moment of our lives – every word we will utter, every choice we will make.
        It's the old saw – can God create a boulder so large that even He can't lift it?"

        Yes, it is an old saw, an old illogical saw. The greatest possible being could not make something greater than Himself any more than He could make married bachelors or square circles. God is constrained by what is logically possible because reality would be utterly irrational otherwise. The fact that He knows something does no mean He is control it – and if His desire is to let us chose between good and evil, if that is what is good, then it must include the possibility of us choosing wrongly, BY LOGICAL NECESSITY. So yes, if He can be good, omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient and still necessarily act within the constrains of logic – which means free agents have the freedom to a ct freely, full stop.

        September 17, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          So God is contrained by the laws of Logic that He setup – and yet can still violate those laws and perform miracles?
          He was able to have plants on the Earth before there was a Sun?
          He was able to ensure that inbreeding would pose no issues even though he reduced the populations of all life on Earth to single mating pairs? Well, except for humans – there were three breeding pairs of us, though all the males were first order relatives.....
          Doesn't sound very logical to me.

          September 17, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Lewis could not have said it better Jack. Kudos.

          September 17, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
        • Jack

          "So God is contrained by the laws of Logic that He setup – and yet can still violate those laws and perform miracles?"

          A miracle does not defy logic – it defies natural order, two different things. Logic isn't something God created, any more than He created goodness or love, they are inherently to His being.

          September 17, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
    • Bobby

      So, "free will" is the answer. "Yes, God is all good and also all-powerful, but at the same time He gives humans free will, so that they can choose to do bad things." Sorry, but logically there's no difference between God's affirmatively doing something bad and at the same time delegating the option of doing bad or good to humans. If He is all-powerful, and all good, and all-intelligent, then how do you explain His decision to grant free will to humans? That's like if I have a gun that only I have the trigger unlock key for, and I vow that I will never use the gun to kill anyone, but I then give the gun and the key to a convicted murderer and tell him, "do as you please." Would you characterize my actions as good?

      September 17, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
      • Robert Brown

        Would you prefer to be a robot?

        September 17, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
        • Bobby

          This debate is not about what I prefer. It's about Rick Warren's claim that God "wasn't to blame" for His son's death while at the same time maintaining (presumably) that God is all-powerful and all-good. Again, I'm not an unbeliever. But I am a logical thinker.

          But since you ask what I would prefer, what I would prefer, if I were making a wish list to God, was that evil did not exist and everything was perfect, all the time, for everyone. Like Heaven is said to be. But right now. I'd ask Him to just forget the whole redemption of man through Jesus thing and salvation and all that and just let everyone be a part of paradise, right now. And make everyone be incapable of experiencing anything but utter happiness and bliss and euphoria, and be utterly happy and blissful and euphoric about only being able to experience happiness and bliss and euphoria. If He's all-powerful, then He can do that if He wants to. Again, I'm not arguing against His existence, or against His goodness or His omnipotence. I'm just answering your question.

          September 17, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
    • Roberio D'agnelo

      Your logic is flawed in the sense that you assume that the Christian God -who is said to know of all things- will automatically, and magically prevent all things. This is not that case because he has endowed all humans with volition. Thus one gift of being human in a Christian-centric point of view is having freewill to choose, and with this great freedom comes great responsibility and the consequences that follow. Humans do not choose when God intervenes that is God's choice and His choice alone for whatever reason He chooses, His thoughts are not our thoughts, His ways are not our ways.(Isaiah 55-8,

      September 17, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
      • HotAirAce

        Now, for your "logic" to be true, you merely have to prove there is a god. Anxiously waiting for the first successful proof for centuries of unproven bullsh!t. . .

        September 17, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • Logic

      You cannot bring logic to bear on delusion.

      September 17, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
      • Jack

        If atheism is true, then rationality is a delusion, as is free will.

        September 17, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          Clearly the religious concept of free will is a delusion but please explain why atheism would mean rationality is a delusion. In my book, atheism is rationality!

          September 17, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
      • Jack

        " In my book, atheism is rationality!"

        There is nothing about a brain that was constructed as the result of unguided natural forces that would lead us to conclude it is particularly rational. Especially given the case you claim that it often isn't.

        September 17, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
  12. Whatever

    It's amazing how everyone who comments has an opinion. and I suppose you are all perfect.

    September 17, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
    • Mr. Thanatos

      If you haven't caught on yet: the is an place where people come to post their opinions. Thanks for participating.

      September 17, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
    •  

      Godless Vagabond
      I don't know about the others, but I am.

      September 17, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • Kmmie

      Are you new?

      September 17, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Thank you for your useless and pointless opinion... we shall file it accordingly...

      September 17, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
    • ms jackson

      Not perfect, just better than you. All the best!

      September 17, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
      • Kiska K

        Let me guess...you're a Christian.

        September 17, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
        • Strong Tower

          Let me guess...you're a Communist.

          September 17, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
  13. Susan

    Really everyone? Someone's son died....just like most of us, they work, they pray, and they loved their child. Where is your compassion?

    September 17, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      It's proper to feel compassion for Rick Warren. I certainly do. But why are these stories here? To encourage people to express compassion?

      September 17, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
      • boredofceleb

        Let's hope so. The world is in short supply of it these days....

        September 17, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
    • JT

      Agreed. If his delusion that praying/talking to an invisible nonexistent being works then I wouldn't be so heartless as to debate him on it.

      September 17, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
    • Atheist FOREVER

      "Someone's son died" because "someone" laid guilt trips on their son about being gay, and told him he was a "sinner", and implied that if he didn't "pray the gay away" he would burn in the invisible fire pit for eternity. They laid a guilt trip on the kid, and kept going with the prayer nonsense until this poor soul gave up on life. Rick Warren needs to own responsibility for this, and others who guilt trip young gay people like this own their part in the misery suffered by young gays.

      September 17, 2013 at 6:41 pm |
  14. felimarie

    '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."

    I had a friend tell me that I should just pray when I was diagnosed with bi-polar 2 disorder. A few months later my doctor found a tumor, it was removed and poof no bi-polar issues (well after a long recovery). I am glad I went to the doctor. I think religion can be a great thing and has potential to be a great benefit to society however people take it and change the basic understanding to whatever fits their agenda it is truly unfortunate.

    September 17, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Religion should be seen as a genre of fiction, or maybe performance art.

      September 17, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        'performance art' LOL

        September 17, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
  15. Grafted Olive Branch

    Not all Christians believe that one’s life is “preordained”. I believe our lives are the consequence of our own choices and the choices of those around us. In other words this world’s societies are the results of mankind’s choices and actions. However; I also believe that God reserves the right to intercede in His creation at any time for His own purposes, to work His own plan. I think mankind will eventually prove to him self and nature that we cannot manage this world or govern ourselves without God’s intercession and His Kingdom established.

    September 17, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    •  

      Godless Vagabond
      So if we screw up, god will fix it for us? Yeah, right!

      September 17, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
      • M

        I'm and atheist, but you're an idiot.

        September 17, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
        • There are times when Turth hurts...

          Nice M, name calling, nice! Your true colors rise to the surface....

          September 17, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
        • Eyeroll

          What is Turth?

          September 17, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          Turth is the name of turtle that sneaks into your laundry room at night and steals only one of your socks... (not to be confused with the gnomes that steal your underwear from your room at night)

          September 17, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
    • WhatintheWorld

      riiieeeeeeeght. So he will intercede to help you get that raise but the poor starving kids or the child born with Spina Bifida not so much. No intervention there.

      Makes perfect sense, you self absorbed kook.

      September 17, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
      • Geoffrey

        The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

        September 17, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
        • WhatintheWorld

          blah, blah, blah. You know what happens after we die? Or, more likely, you are making it up and also regurgitating nonsense you were brought up with.

          September 17, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
        • Crazy

          thanks for the laugh.. YOU SO CRAZY

          September 17, 2013 at 7:19 pm |
  16. SLM

    Piers Morgan why don't you get your head out of Obama'a ASS and think for youself?

    September 17, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
    • SLM

      Not as bad as bad as being an ass like me.

      September 17, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
    • Eyeroll

      Why don't you get your head out of Wayne LaPierre's?

      September 17, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
  17. Strange

    "God isn’t to blame for my son’s death" – why would you even mention this? Why would you even dare to blame God for anything? God does whatever he wants to. Just accept it, don't try to rationalize his act.

    September 17, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      It is called 'cognitive dissonance'.

      September 17, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
      • Strange

        hmm...I am not sure about "cognitive dissonance". I see trying to rationalize God's act all the time. I find it rather strange for a believer of God who is support to be the almighty, the creator, and all. Just sayinn...

        September 17, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
        • Rett

          Strange, you are in good company. King David, a man after Gods own heart, questioned God as well...wondering why the wicked prosper and the righteous suffer....

          September 17, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Ummm...cognitive dissonance would be correct, when you have the idea that god is responsible for EVERYTHING, but somehow is not responsible for unnecessary suffering it is cognitive dissonance.

          September 17, 2013 at 9:36 pm |
    • Commonsense_guy

      The Easter bunny was at fault either. How do you expect a fable to be at fault ?

      September 17, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
      • Strange

        My argument was for the believer only. If you believe in God, then why would you question his action? Not meant for atheists.

        September 17, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
    • Cynthia

      Ummmmmm, he's a minister...kind of natural and expected he'd be thinking about God.

      September 17, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
  18. LouAZ

    Oh, he gave me special instructions back of the pulpit Christmas Eve. He got to howlin' "Repent! Repent!" and I got to moanin' "Save me! Save me!" and the first thing I know he rammed the fear of God into me so fast I never heard my old man's footsteps! – Lulu Bains in Elmer Gantry by Sinclair Lewis 1927.

    September 17, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Advertisement
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.