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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. Sanders Kaufman

    Jesus didn't like evangelists. He said they "babbled like pagans" and warned his friends not to become like them.

    September 17, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
    • tinkabouit

      liar

      September 17, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
  2. Guido Sartor

    Rick Warren's son's committing suicide is sad and makes me want to cry. However to exploit his son's suicide as unique is erroneous. My son committed suicide by hanging, (no guns in Canada) Depression is terrible and needs more attention.
    Many, many young people die because of this terrible desease. Please point out that many thousands of young people die because we don't see the symtoms.

    September 17, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
    • doobzz

      I am so sorry for your loss.

      We need to stop thinking that clinical depression is shameful and should be hidden away. People who suffer from it feel stigmatized enough, and they need is to know that they aren't alone in their struggle.

      September 17, 2013 at 6:31 pm |
      • QS

        Ideology, in my opinion, has much to do with this.

        Think about it – a person suffering from depression may have a hard time getting or holding a job due to their condition...but to hear conservatives tell it, they are not depressed but simply lazy and don't want to take any personal responsibility for themselves.

        Religion and conservatism tend to walk hand-in-hand....over other people!

        September 17, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
        • boredofceleb

          I doubt Rick Warren would agree with that now.

          September 17, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
    • MTW_SR

      My son also took his own life by hanging in 2010. Depression and mental illness is so taboo. We talk about cancer and other illness like it's no tomorrow, but mental illness is something we don't talk about. Since my son's death I've read and heard so many stories about suicide. With my son I never so it coming. People with this decease need to know that it's okay to discuss there feelings with this decease.

      September 17, 2013 at 6:45 pm |
  3. Atheist FOREVER

    Religion is a symptom of weakness, and of cowardice.

    It means that you refuse to own your own life, to take responsibility. It means that you are afraid to manage your own life. It means that you choose instead, to lay everything at the feet of an invisible sky spirit, and blame everything that doesn't go your way on an invisible horned red devil who lives in an invisible fire pit.

    People with real courage manage themselves, treat others right because they choose to. They succeed because of THEIR OWN work, and they fail because of their OWN shortcomings.

    It takes a lot more strength to take responsibility for yourself that to pawn that ownership off on imaginary fairies.

    September 17, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
    • QS

      It's a crutch and a coping mechanism for those who can't or won't live in reality and accept that they will actually not live for eternity in a magical land of clouds.

      I'll never understand people who believe this stuff – they are, for all intents and purposes, completely alien to me.

      September 17, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
      • Atheist FOREVER

        You and me both, and I just refuse to sit by and let it go by silently. I will always challenge those caught up in the sad pit of despair called religion, to take ownership of their own life, and to take total responsibility for themselves. They need to stop and really think about the wisdom of basing your life on an invisible spirit that has never been shown to be true with a single shred of verifiable evidence.

        September 17, 2013 at 6:29 pm |
        • QS

          More specifically – I don't try to convert religious people to Atheism...but, like you, I can't simply let religion walk all over people anymore without saying something.

          That's how religion became so powerful in the first place...too many people who wanted to speak out but never did!

          And I refuse to let it get that powerful again....especially in this country!

          September 17, 2013 at 6:35 pm |
        • AE

          God is real and His evidence is available. Just ask Him.

          Some people aren't as awesome as you, and need things like a crutch to get though life. Instead of trying to make them feel inferior why not just leave them alone?

          September 17, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
        • You're Almost There

          YOU TWO ARE SO SUPERIOR

          September 17, 2013 at 6:51 pm |
        • sam

          AE, they can be left alone as soon as they stop trying to legislate their morality while throwing bible verses everywhere.

          September 17, 2013 at 6:52 pm |
        • earthshoes44

          Being a Christian has everything to do with taking responsibility for one's actions. In fact, it's built on that premise. Eventually we all answer to God for our actions or inactions. We are challenged to use good judgement, to make things right when we wrong another, to care for the poor and the sick, and so on. Free will means have choices and are expected to do our best to make the right ones. Would a "Crutch" challenge people to look inward and examine their failings with the goal of self-improvement?

          You are (of course) welcome to not believe. But it wouldn't hurt you to actually take the time to understand the religions you've chosen to reject.

          . . . For whatever one sows, that will he also reap. Galatians 6:7

          September 17, 2013 at 7:25 pm |
    • PriceGrisham

      Hmmmm....I must say Mother Theresa does not strike me as a weakling; Dietrich Bonheoffer? Hmm...nope; JRR Tolkein? Nope...how strange.

      September 17, 2013 at 6:30 pm |
      • doobzz

        Mother Teresa? Don't even get me started on that horrid, depressed old crone. She's the one who calls pain and suffering "a kiss from Jesus", and who took stolen money from known dictators and felons.

        By the way, she also states that the woman she "comforted" with the kiss of Jesus crapola responded, "And she joined her hands together and said, 'Mother Teresa, please tell Jesus to stop kissing me'."

        September 17, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
        • QS

          HA! 🙂

          September 17, 2013 at 6:39 pm |
      • AE

        Martin Luther King, JR? Nelson Mandela? CS Lewis?

        September 17, 2013 at 6:41 pm |
    • AE

      Stephen Colbert? He is a Christian and I have never heard him say he believes in imaginary fairies.

      September 17, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
      • sam

        He's Catholic, and smart enough to know when to poke fun at the religious right.

        September 17, 2013 at 7:09 pm |
    • a believer

      Dear AF, QS, I think you are mistaken if you think that only stupid people believe in God. We run the gambit, I suppose. I have compiled a summary of C.S. Lewis's conversion experience, that you may find here:http://www.bigtruth.net/2013/09/17/the-conversion-of-c-s-lewis/

      I hope you find it helpful.
      –WI

      September 17, 2013 at 6:45 pm |
    • earthshoes44

      Do you have a clue as to how many Christians have been martyred in countries where the Christian faith is not welcome? People who were given the opportunity to deny their faith, but chose not to?

      Newsflash: It takes a lot more courage to believe in God and live according to his statutes than it does to live without him. Faith isn't just about leaning on God, it's about standing up for one's convictions, doing the right thing even when no one is looking. It is about learning to choose one's words carefully, but speaking out when the situation calls for it.

      And the Warrens didn't just lean on faith. Their son had access to mental health care. Like many people who struggle with depression, the meds simply didn't work and he got tired of hurting.

      September 17, 2013 at 7:13 pm |
    • Interesting

      You have a very stereotyped, childishly simplistic and prejudicial way of judging believers in God. Your numerous comments express nothing but hatred and contempt. I feel sorry for you, to be wrapped up in so much negativity.

      September 17, 2013 at 8:02 pm |
  4. fromperpig

    I feel badly for the Warren's suffering; It's both real and tangible. Their need to relate this terrible tragedy with their faith, I don't necessarily agree with...but, I can understand why they do so. I may not agree with their beliefs but I don't see the need to ridicule how they make a living after the tragic loss of a child, either. I wish them peace and solace in the days ahead...any way they can find it.

    September 17, 2013 at 6:13 pm |
    • QS

      Loss of a family member is not a good enough reason to give a free pass on Warren's own bigotry and discriminatory views.

      September 17, 2013 at 6:26 pm |
    • Dippy

      Warrens', not Warren's.

      September 17, 2013 at 7:24 pm |
  5. vinster76

    Let us just get this straight. God is God, and you and I are not..............

    September 17, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
    • Atheist FOREVER

      Correct, because god (like Thor, Zeus, and Poseidon) is PURE MYTHOLOGY. He is imaginary. I on the other hand, actually exist. So you are quite correct.

      September 17, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
  6. jed

    I Briefly unknowingly dated a person with bpd. She accused me of endless invented things, cost me all my friends, and quite literally got off on destroying every physical and financial asset I had. After i broke up with her she accused me Of completely fictional stories of physical abuse. She actually injured herself and called 911 after i left for work. I got charged and put on a violent criminal list, lost all my money with a lawyer. My boss knew there was no way in hell i would ever disrespect or hurt a woman and understood what was happening but it hurt my job nontheless. Those people belong in a psychiatric center. Not the streets.

    September 17, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
    • sam

      So the cops were too dumb to understand that you were at work when she called 911, and your coworkers saw you at work?

      September 17, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
      • I've changed

        Take a nap Sam.

        September 17, 2013 at 6:45 pm |
        • sam

          That's always good advice. However, it doesn't answer the question. Do you have a problem?

          September 17, 2013 at 7:10 pm |
    • ldawg

      Yes, let's take everyone with bipolar or any kind of mental disorder, including depression and lock them away in dark sanitariums just like the good old days.

      You do realize that there are medications that allow many with mental disorders to function normally in life. The girl you dated sounds like she was off her meds.

      September 17, 2013 at 6:54 pm |
  7. Dyslexic doG

    The man is a snake oil salesman but I would not wish the tragic loss of a son on anybody. Sorry for your loss Mr. Warren.

    September 17, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
    • Atheist FOREVER

      But let's all be honest enough to say that his HOKEY MYTHOLOGY and the guilt trip that it laid upon his gay kid, probably contributed HEAVILY to the suicide. If he had had a typical family, that was more accepting of his gayness, he might be alive today. I think this guy OWNS part of this due to his silly insistence on clinging to mythology.

      September 17, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
  8. Steve

    "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 sad. I assume these people also reject vaccines, blood transfusions and other medical care as evil.

    September 17, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
    • Atheist FOREVER

      Sadly, many do reject the last items that you mentioned.

      September 17, 2013 at 6:30 pm |
    • Julian of Norwich

      Mental illness appears, by and large, to be a chemical brain disfunction. Mo amount of bible study will "fix" a chemical imbalance, but there are medical treatments that can help significantly. Mental illness isn't "demonic possession", no matter what evangelicals or others think...

      September 17, 2013 at 6:39 pm |
  9. nullhogarth

    Fat preacher is fat.

    September 17, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
  10. Michael Davis

    There is one BIG FLAW with his ministry. If you don't make room for everyone then you are automatically wrong. Every human has God within them. Therefore a TRUE church, serving the one TRUE GOD, would have to accept all humans. There is another message that seems to be absent from ALL organized religions. You don't need them. You as a human being have a direct connection. I'm in the process of starting my own church based on these principles. We take the God inspired parts of different sacred text from many different religions and leave the man influenced parts in the trash. In other words if it is about Love and Compassion it will be included. If it is about fear, hate, and controling the masses, it's in the trash. God wants you to do his will but only thru your own freewill, not out of fear of punishment or retribution. God is Real. Want to know more? Contact Minister Mike... texas.mike@att.net, Founder and Spiritual Leader of Omnes Unus Dei...website under construction.

    September 17, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
    • Rob

      Michael: That is your opinion and belief which you have every right to. Does not mean you are correct though – I question anyone who believes they are the source of all truth and everyone else is as you say "crap".

      September 17, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
      • Michael Davis

        I'm not saying that I'm the source of all Truth. That is to be discovered by you for you. I'm saying there are obvious flaws in a religion when you exclude anyone. It's either everyone or no one. The Creator of All doesn't discriminate.

        September 18, 2013 at 10:04 am |
    • dirk

      And you know all this how exactly? Any scientific proof or evidence to back your claims?Forgive me for sounding condescending, but when you tell me your starting your own church while criticizing another, it sort of feels like you may have an agenda. I'm sure you'll find plenty of sheep to follow you unfortunately.

      September 17, 2013 at 5:49 pm |
    • QS

      I'll give you props for at least thinking outside the typical religious box.

      However, what I think you're missing is the fact that the actual flaw in any religion, including the approach you're suggesting, is the belief in any version of "god" to begin with.

      Any belief structure that insists you must believe in some version of an omnipotent being or another is still a method of controlling the masses.

      September 17, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
      • You're Almost There

        He was going to start a church, but then I'm sure he read your condescending comment and thought "on second thought, this random stranger makes more sense than anyone else I've met who said the exact same thing, so now I'm an atheist."

        September 17, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
        • QS

          Religious people think any comment against their beliefs is condescending, usually because those comments require reason and logic to grasp, which they lack – thus, they find reason and logic to be condescending.

          September 17, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
        • You're Almost There

          Or because respectful nonreligious people don't appreciate the hateful nonreligious people, so they refer to them as condescending.

          September 17, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
        • Rob

          Reason and logic are beliefs just as religion is.

          September 17, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
        • QS

          "Reason and logic are beliefs just as religion is."

          YIKES! This is precisely what scares me about the religious mind!

          September 17, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
        • Rob

          It may scare you but how can you disprove it ?

          September 17, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
        • QS

          "It may scare you but how can you disprove it?"

          Anybody who can honestly say with a straight face that reason and logic are just beliefs while also claiming that their superst.itions are real, have nothing to contribute to a rational conversation.

          September 17, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
        • Michael Davis

          No the condescenion and the repulsion toward God is more motivation to prove there is a better way than what is being presented by the current religions.

          September 18, 2013 at 10:15 am |
      • Michael Davis

        You don't have to believe. Actually I agree with atheist more than religious zealots. They have obviously thought more about this than the religious leaders of today. You can obviously do a lot without God. I am saying you can do more and feel more fulfilled with God. He is not judging you. Mankind is judging and condemning you. And you are judging and condeming God without trying to even get to know him.

        September 18, 2013 at 10:11 am |
    • Master Cleanse - 10 Days

      ISo you're saying we don't need organized religion but you're starting your own church for people to follow your beliefs? I mean I get the general idea of what you're doing but am I the only one who thinks this is a giant contradiction?

      September 17, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
      • Michael Davis

        Organized in showing you that you have a direct connection and can talk directly without mediation of a church official. Coming together with like minds to commune and enjoy the knowledge of the afterlife and the peace and love that you can have in this life.

        September 18, 2013 at 10:19 am |
    • Atheist FOREVER

      Mythology is for the weak.

      Reality is for the strong. We accept it, and we regulate OURSELVES. We take RESPONSIBILITY for our own life, and we don't hand it over to an invisible sky spirit in an invisible cloud city, and we don't fear invisible horned red devils in invisible fire pits.

      We accept that we are mortal, and that one day the only thing left of us will be our offspring, and memories of those who remember. That's it. We are strong enough to OWN our life, and make the most of it while we have it, and to be responsible for ourselves.

      Religion is a weak person's "cop out", a lazy approach to life. Instead of being responsible for your own life, the successes, the failures, the happiness, the sadness, you blame invisible spirits, and lay everything at THEIR feet. It's a lazy and cowardly way to live life, and more get that every year.

      September 17, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
      • You're Almost There

        OMG YOU'RE SO MUCH BETTER THAN EVERYONE

        September 17, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
        • MennoKnight

          Do you shout this much in public and at home as you do on the forum?

          September 17, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
      • You're Almost There

        It's more of a loud whisper, really, when you compare the font size to the grand scheme of things.

        September 17, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
        • MennoKnight

          Actually I meant that for the Atheist FOREVER, but I guess you where shouting too. You BOTH (see I can shout too 🙂 ) hurt my ears with all your capitals.
          Lets ALL stop SHOUTING!!!!

          September 17, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
        • QS

          Then go back to regular whispering so we don't have to hear you.

          September 17, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
      • Rob

        If you were a believer then you would understand that everything you say is not what being a believer is about – it maybe an outsiders perception. To truly understand what believing is about one has to be a believer.

        September 17, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
        • QS

          Yet, the only way to be a believer is to buy in to a presupposed storyline that somebody else has taught you, which still doesn't, and never did, inspire much to believe in in the first place.

          September 17, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
        • Atheist FOREVER

          Been there, done that most of my childhood. Then I accepted REALITY, and quit believing in mythology.

          September 17, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
        • Rob

          Just about everything you learn is taught from someone else. If you were born on island by yourself I would imagine your knowledge of things would be fairly narrow. So everything that is taught must be believed.

          September 17, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
        • You're Almost There

          @Atheist FOREVER

          So now that puts you in a place where you can mock people who thought the same thing you did at one point. So because you now think differently, you are suddenly better? Sounds like you are more bitter than anything else. Adorable.

          September 17, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
        • MennoKnight

          Hey Mr. Atheist, making it capital letters doesn't make REALITY more REAL. Please use your indoor voice.

          September 17, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
        • Rob

          Reality is a myth – it is what you make or belief it to be.

          September 17, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
        • Atheist FOREVER

          No, you can teach yourself, given the availability of information, which just happens to be what I did. I realized that there is not a single shred of proof to support any imaginary invisible spirits, and refuse to believe in such nonsense out of fear that I will burn in an invisible fire pit with an invisible devil if I do not comply.

          And to be honest, even if I believe he was real, I would most certainly not bow down to an arrogant tyrant who allows innocent children to die horrid deaths every day when he has the power to stop it. "God's plan" my ayuss!

          September 17, 2013 at 6:26 pm |
      • Michael Davis

        By all means accept total responsibility for every part of your life. Don't be someone who sits back and says, "it's all in Gods hands now"....it's totally in your hands. But when you've done all you can do....and you're at your ropes end....then ask for help. What's the harm. Much better to turn to a belief in a higher being than a bottle of chemical substances to cure your ills.

        September 18, 2013 at 10:23 am |
        • WhatintheWorld

          " What’s the harm. Much better to turn to a belief in a higher being than..."

          The classic Pascal's Wager. The ultimate in hucksterism and used car salesman marketing ploy. Believing under "what's the harm" is not belief. It is sucking up. And it ignores all of the harm that does occur in real time. So thanks, but no thanks,

          September 18, 2013 at 10:37 am |
  11. dandy

    It's ok.. god took him home.. so why would he be unhappy?? All Christians find a bridge and jump since they can go home also.. what a bunch of crap..

    September 17, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
  12. Atheist FOREVER

    If it wasn't for this guys STUPID BELIEFS IN MYTHOLOGY......

    His son might not have felt that he had to kill himself for being gay, as he was born.

    This CLOWN had to force his idiotic_mythology down the kids throat, fill him with guilt, and then tell him that "prayer is the answer". He probably played a HUGE role in the kids demise. Very sad.

    September 17, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
    • RogerII

      People commit suicide outside of circmstances this man faced.

      September 17, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
    • Michael

      What do you believe in Athiest Forever? What determines right and wrong for you?

      September 17, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
      • Atheist FOREVER

        My own moral values. I don't need an imaginary sky fairy to tell me what to believe, how to treat people, or anything else for that matter. I have FREE WILL. You should try it. You might find it shocking, but you can completely dismiss this garbage as the mythology that it is, and STILL not be running around raping, killing, robbing, and pillaging the countryside. Believe it or not, some people are actually capable of CONTROLLING THEMSELVES! What a shock huh?

        September 17, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
        • MennoKnight

          Free Will is the greatest Gift of God.
          I have the free will to follow God and freedom to not. Freedom to choose my se.xua.lity, and freedom to choose what morality that I want to.

          I choose to follow the morality and the truth of the New Testament Bible because it leads to the most freedom for me and those around me.

          September 17, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
        • Atheist FOREVER

          Religion was invented for, and still used to control the masses. You certainly don't get "freedom" from being bound to a mythology where you are forced to "be good" or face the threat of eternal fire and torture. What a load of hooey.

          September 17, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
        • Interesting

          Seems like your hate is controlling you, Atheist.

          September 17, 2013 at 8:18 pm |
  13. Atheist FOREVER

    Truth is, that religion fosters mental illness. Believing in invisible sky fairies in invisible cloud cities, invisible devils in invisible fire pits, and actually holding conversations with these invisible creatures from a book of mythology, doesn't exactly set someone up well for dealing with reality.

    The rabid religious views in this family no doubt contributed to any guilt this young man was being tortured with. I'm sure he was told to pray to the imaginary sky spirit, and of course, it didn't help. He was probably put through ridiculous religious ceremonies, and preached too by this clown.

    For anyone with severe depression and mental illness, this sort of religious nonsense most certainly didn't help, and probably worsened the problem.

    September 17, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
    • RogerII

      There is no forever in atheism. When you die, that is it. All your theories and pseudo logic dies with you. Everything you think is right and wrong, ceases to be right and wrong. Because it all just existed in your head.

      September 17, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
      • QS

        LMAO!

        September 17, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
      • Atheist FOREVER

        Talk about "projecting"! All in your mind? You mean like taking literally, a book of mythology?

        September 17, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
        • MennoKnight

          The Bible is a book of History. It is the history of the people of God.
          From the time of Abraham until the beginning of the church it is a real history book about how God worked through some very imperfect people to bring about the church.

          September 17, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
        • Atheist FOREVER

          History is it? You mean like the earth being created in a week? The great "flood" that covered the earth (though there is not enough H2O on earth to do that...).

          And as a "history book" how did it conveniently "miss" the existence of dinosaurs, who walked the earth far longer than we have? Could it be because that they MEN who wrote the bible didn't know dinosaurs existed yet?

          September 17, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
        • MennoKnight

          My faith is built on the reality of Jesus Christ and the church in the book of Acts.

          From the time of Abraham until the early church has been proven by archaeology to be history.
          Ask any serious biblical scholar and they will say that the time before Abraham is pre-history.

          September 18, 2013 at 11:33 am |
        • WhatintheWorld

          There is as much proof that Abraham existed as there is for the tooth fairy. Barely more for jesus. Less still for any god that has been created in the minds of man since day one. You can believe; you can speak of it; you can spin tales upon tales about it. But that does not make it true.

          September 18, 2013 at 11:40 am |
    • atheists Are Silly

      If God is nothing what compels you to say an asinine comment like the "invisible sky fairy" - ? The fact you let something that does not exist compel you to make up silly words to describe the "nothing" atheists speak of has always been a good laugh for me. Your silly drivel amuses me, thank you.

      September 17, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
      • QS

        LOL! Oh how logic fails the defenders of superst.ition!

        September 17, 2013 at 5:51 pm |
      • Atheist FOREVER

        Is he invisible? Does he live in "heaven above us"? Of course we both know that you believe that don't we?

        If you don't like the term fairy (as in fairy tale – what the bible is full of), the would you be OK with invisible sky spirit? Because that is what you believe in no? Think about it for a moment, you talk to invisible spirits that live in an invisible world that nobody can see. How do you seriously rationalize such nonsense?

        September 17, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
        • Interesting

          Infra red and ultraviolet light can't be seen by the human eye. Doesn't mean they aren't there. 300 years ago, people laughed at van Leeuwenhoek when he told them about the creatures he in his microscope because they refused to believe in something they didn't see. 500 years ago, Galileo was punished for the things he saw and understood about the solar system but which others did not. There are theoretical subatomic particles that no one has seen but physicists have faith that they are there. It seems above ridiculous to me to declare that something isn't there just because you can't see it.

          September 17, 2013 at 8:16 pm |
  14. QS

    "A pretentious, showy life is an empty life; a plain and simple life is a full life." – Rick Warren

    What an empty life he must have then.

    September 17, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
    • Benjamin

      You clearly know little about this man's life, then.

      There are a lot of showy megapastors in the world. Rick Warren a'int one of them.

      September 17, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
    • Atheist FOREVER

      And a life of religion is a life of living LIES. Actually taking as literal word, a book of mythology, and then basing your life on that book is simply absurd. 500 years from now people will look back at people like this guy the way we now look back on the ancients who believed in gods for the sun, sea, crops, thunder, lightning, and everything else that wasn't understood at the time.

      September 17, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
  15. QS

    "If you prayed as much as you complain and quarrel, you'd have a lot less to argue about and much more peace of mind." – Rick Warren

    False.

    September 17, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
    • Atheist FOREVER

      Yep, all this praying did nothing to save the most important people of all, his family.

      All of the praying that happens every day does NOT ONE THING to help the starving, the sick, the dying, and the tortured that span our globe. Religion DOES however, exist as the root of most wars, killing, starvation, torture, etc.

      September 17, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
    • Matthew

      Disagree. Prayer and communion with God is one of the most calming things I know.

      September 17, 2013 at 7:35 pm |
  16. QS

    "The only really happy people are those who have learned how to serve." – Rick Warren

    False.

    September 17, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
    • Atheist FOREVER

      He served the invisible sky creature, but his son was allowed to suffer and die a horrible death anyway. All that praying did JACK huh?

      September 17, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
      • Cpt. Obvious

        Correct, Atheist FOREVER. In this case, prayer did exactly what it always does: Nothing.

        September 17, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Albert Schweitzer said it first. But what does he know. Right?

      September 17, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
      • Cpt. Obvious

        I didn't know that Warren was a thief, too. Huh. Did he "borrow" quotations from other famous people, Bill?

        September 17, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          I dunno. I'm not especially a supporter but have you ever said something somebody else said? I don't recall seeing RW claim he originated the statement. I think it was erroneously attributed to him

          September 17, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
      • doobzz

        I'm fond of this one:

        "Our culture divides people into two classes: civilized men, a title bestowed on the persons who do the classifying; and others, who have only the human form, who may perish or go to the dogs for all the 'civilized men' care."

        September 17, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
  17. QS

    "You weren't put on earth to be remembered. You were put here to prepare for eternity." – Rick Warren

    What a sad way to go through life...thinking that nothing you do here matters because it's all about an imaginary place that you go when you die!

    September 17, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
    • 1606td

      ... not what he meant & I'm pretty sure you're aware of that. This life on earth is simply not to be seen as "it". This is only a beginning & thus being remembered ultimately has no value.

      September 17, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
      • Atheist FOREVER

        An increasing number of people REFUSE to live their lives based on books of mythology, and this gives some degree of hope.

        September 17, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
  18. Paul

    Maybe a small portion of those labeled "haters" (sounds like something a middle school girl would say) aren't against Warren's theology, methods, or even his success–they're just sick of their local pastors pushing Warren down their throats. Sick of campaigns where you shell out $ for books and workbooks. Sick of their own pastors refusing to teach, and instead showing a DVD. Sick of being shepherded by remote/outsource/a man who will never meet them personally.

    September 17, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
  19. QS

    "God intentionally allows you to go through painful experiences to equip you for ministry to others." – Rick Warren

    Great, so Rick believes that the painful experience of losing his son can equip him to denounce gay people better than ever!

    September 17, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
    • 1606td

      Since you don't really speak to anything the man shared but simply sling "nu uh's" - I'm guessing you're just mad at him?

      September 17, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
  20. dmj

    I can belIeve in God always as I have witnessed several personal miracles – like life itself- but I can't believe what I am reading here. Trust me there is A God. If you don't want to believe my personal miracles, think about this. Who but God could prophesy events thousands of years in advance – read the bible and the history books on some that have already happened and are still unfolding. Who could have protected the Word for thousands of years for our benefit? I am alive – twice – because of His hand. There is no other explanation. And what if you nonbelievers are wrong? Wouldn't want to be in your shoes when you take your last breath. By the way, He's the one who gave you that breath through His Divine Power.

    September 17, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
    • david greenberg

      i have reported you to the moderator as someone who is abusing the right to comment on news stories by preaching your revolting B.S.

      September 17, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
      • guest

        it's one thing to respectfully disagree with an opinion/belief, it's another thing to infringe upon one's freedom of speech.

        September 17, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
        • Not So

          Free speech isn't protected on a private website.

          September 17, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
      • Hmmmm

        Really, wow we are scared, did you run a concentration camp as well ?

        September 17, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
      • bill serena

        similar to what those of the athiest religion are preaching. Interesting that you are so biased against one group and cannot look objectively at the situation. We all have faith of one sort or another. I have faith that there is a God that created us with a free will, you have faith that there is no God (at least that is what i gather from your comments). Can you not accept that you are preaching a religion as well, because you are. if you don't like what a christian has to say, don't listen, don't read it. But it seems that you are passionate about your religion of atheism. sounds alot like a trait you are complaining about in Christians. Seem to be an aweful lot of zealous atheists on this comment thread.

        September 17, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
        • AE

          Yes. We all have faith in something.

          September 17, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
      • Rett

        Did you also report the posters who rant on about God being a sky fairy, or the Bible being a book of mythology?

        September 17, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      I challenge you to prove even just one of the several unfounded claims you made above. If you cannot, being an honest christian, you should admit that you are full of sh!t and your beliefs are founded on same.

      September 17, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
      • Jennifer

        I totally agree.

        September 17, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
    • cbtx67

      Nostradamus foretold events. Is he god?

      September 17, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      There are thousands of gods, hundreds of creation stories. Yours is a retelling of previous cultures stories and beliefs. Your religion is recycled.
      Nothing you mention is evidence of any gods.
      Life, where does it come from? We do not know. There is an infinite number of possibilities, your hypothesis (that god did it) is one of those infinite possibilities, with an extremely low probability.

      September 17, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
    • AE

      God is real. Thanks for sharing.

      September 17, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
      • In Santa we trust

        And your evidence is?

        September 17, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
        • AE

          You are my evidence. Thanks "Santa".

          September 17, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          Do explain.

          September 17, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
        • AE

          80% of the time I am on here, you show up asking for evidence of God. You seem to spend a lot of time thinking about this God that does not exist. To me, that is evidence you are looking for God, but don't know the way to knowing him.

          September 17, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          You god was real. I asked for evidence. Your logic is failing you. The fact that I ask for evidence of your claims is no indication of what I think about. I certainly do not think about god nor am I seeking one as I have seen no evidence of a god. Still waiting for your evidence.

          September 17, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
        • AE

          God is real.

          If you want evidence, ask God for evidence. He has given me all the evidence I need. Seek humility and ask Him to reveal Himself to you in a way you can understand. Do this every day.

          But doesn't sound like you are looking for God. It sounds like you are looking for an idol. That may be your problem with not finding the evidence.

          September 17, 2013 at 6:32 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          Your pretzel logic is failing you. I'm not seeking anything apart from the evidence that you have to definitively state that there is a god. You say it all the time but can never provide evidence – you only try to turn it around that I must be seeking something so that I conform to your comfort zone of needing some supernatural being as a crutch.

          September 17, 2013 at 6:58 pm |
        • AE

          An atheist who posts a lot on the CNN Belief Blog under the name "In Santa we trust" does not have enough evidence for him to believe in God.

          Yet God still exists. Despite his denial. I'm fine with that.

          September 17, 2013 at 7:46 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          I'm not really sure what you mean by that but if you have a problem with me posting on the CNN belief blog either stop posting that god is real or provide some evidence to support your assertion.

          September 17, 2013 at 9:30 pm |
        • AE

          I don't care if you post here. You seem to like to ask me for evidence for God. When I try to explain why I honestly believe you start ridiculing me.

          But you aren't a credible source for anything, to me. Just a guy who posts on the Belief Blog who doesn't like Christians. That's about all you've revealed about yourself to me.

          September 17, 2013 at 10:07 pm |
    • QS

      The epitome of religious indoctrination – "just trust me, everything I say is true even though I can't prove it to you....just trust me!"

      LMAO!

      September 17, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
    • WhatintheWorld

      Smug, condescending, ignorant, indignant...you hit them all. Trust you? Well, ok. If you say so. Why don't you, instead, trust me that there is no evidence for a god. Any god.

      And why don't you cite, with specificity, any of the prophesies?

      Look up Pascal's wager. Holding a belief for fear of retribution or celestial favors is not belief; it is sucking up. No better than a used car salesman (to quote Hitchens)/ "C'mon. Believe. What do you have to lose?"

      Finally, to quote Richard Dawkins, what if you're wrong?

      September 17, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
      • AE

        I am wrong.

        God is right.

        September 17, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          Have you found any evidence to share yet?

          September 17, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
        • AE

          Do you honestly want to know God?

          September 17, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          AE, I might want to know god, if he exists, and I might not. It depends on the sort of god it is. Do you have any proof that a particular god exists? If you do, I will honestly evaluate it to see if it is likely that he exists. After I determine whether or not his existence is likely, I will explain to you why I do (or do not) want to "know" that god.

          Of course, when anyone asks you tough questions, you ignore them and change the subject to the ad populum fallacy or something like that, but what the hey. You got any proof? Let's see it, if you do.

          September 17, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
        • AE

          "change the subject to the ad populum fallacy"

          Hey, yesterday you accused me of that. But I explained that was not my reasoning. You used your words, not my words, to explain why you imagined that is what I was doing.

          Why do you honestly want to know God?

          September 17, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          If you have evidence I'd want to evaluate it. But no more "you need to believe to believe".

          September 17, 2013 at 7:03 pm |
        • AE

          God wants your heart. The reason why you want to know Him is important. If you are seeking God so you can have something to prove to people you may be headed in the wrong direction.

          September 17, 2013 at 7:50 pm |
      • acrabahyiouspe

        Yes, quote Richard Dawkins who bravely ran away from debating Dr. Craig, to the laughter and scorn of theists, and to the shame of atheists everywhere.

        September 17, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
        • WhatintheWorld

          Dawkins did not have to debate Craig. Hitchens annihilated that charlatan a few years earlier. No need to pile on.

          September 17, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
        • Joey

          You can't actually win a debate with a theist because when backed into a corner they can just claim that god can do anything he wants, which if god were real would be true I guess, but it makes for a lame debate.

          September 17, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
    • Jennifer

      Religion.....is BS!!!

      September 17, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
    • Atheist FOREVER

      The bible makes sweeping, general predictions that are bound to come true here and there over thousands of years. Nothing ever specific. Nothing ever that accurate.

      By the way, when will that three headed see monster be coming at us? How about the dead rising from the grave? And how about that "earth was created in a week deal"? Are you feeling that one too? And did you ever wonder how this brilliant book completely missed the dinosaurs? Could it be because the book was written by people that didn't know dinosaurs existed?

      September 17, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
      • I believe!

        .....just an FYI, there ARE references to Leviathan and Dinosaurs in the bible.

        Book of Job.

        September 17, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
        • Atheist FOREVER

          According the the bible, people were created in the first week, yet we KNOW that dinosaurs lived long before we were here, and lived here for Millions of years without us. The bible would indicate that animals only lived without people for several days.

          So no, dinosaurs were never mentioned. Nice try though.

          September 17, 2013 at 7:13 pm |
    • dmj

      OK. Here are just a few prophesies, If you want more, just let me know. *Israel would suffer enslavement in Egypt, but be freed and established in their homeland. * Nineveh,capitol city of the Assyrian Empire would be captured and destroyed. * The ancient Egyptians would lose their national status and never again rule over other nations. * The nation of Judah would be defeated and exiled to Babylon. * The Jews exiled in Babylon would be allowed to return to Jerusalem after 70 yrs. * The Babylon Empire would fall to the Medes. Have more if you would like. Oh, and most important, the Messiah was also prophesied in the O.T. Also, the bible verses where you can look them up for yourself And "please" do not make fun about my personal life. I am 76 years and have lived (possibly) a lot more than you, so show some respect!

      September 17, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
      • MennoKnight

        dmj,
        Great reply. Thanks old man! (I am in my 30's and I respect my smart elders 😉 )

        September 17, 2013 at 6:32 pm |
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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.