Rick Warren Preaches First Sermon Since His Son’s Suicide

Almost four months after their son committed suicide, Pastor Rick Warren and his wife Kay addressed their congregation for the first time, promising to remove the stigma of mental illness from the church

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STAN HONDA / AFP / Getty Images

Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church speaks at a Clinton Global Initiative event on September 26, 2008, in New York City

Rick Warren has preached thousands upon thousands of sermons, but this message was different. The last time he had stood the pulpit at his Saddleback Church, in Southern California, was on Easter, seventeen Sundays ago — and five days before his youngest son, Matthew, 27, shot and killed himself, ending a lifelong struggle with mental illness. On Saturday night, for the first time since their son’s death, Rick and his wife Kay returned to their 20,000-member congregation. Together they faced the question tens of thousands of Christians have been asking: How are they — two of the world’s most famous Christians — able to hope in God in the midst of their despair?

Thousands of parishioners packed the auditorium and three overflow tents on Saturday for the first of Saddleback’s five-weekend worship services. A dozen local pastors all sat in the front row in a show of support for the Warrens, along with Roma Downey and Mark Burnett, producers of the hit television series, The Bible. When Rick and Kay walked hand in hand onstage, the crowd stood to their feet in appreciation and applause. Kay began to cry, and Rick kissed her on the forehead as he too grew teary. “Love you too,” he told the audience. He paused for just a few moments, and then he began to preach.

First he thanked his staff, his church, and, the hundreds of people who have supported them over the past four months. Above all, he thanked the Warrens’ other two children, Amy and Josh, who, he said, had loved Matthew and “talked him off the ledge” time and time again. “They really are my heroes,” he said, voice breaking.

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The Warrens spoke honestly about their spiritual struggles with Matthew’s mental illness. “For 27 years, I prayed every day of my life for God to heal my son’s mental illness. It was the No. 1 prayer of my life,” Rick preached. “It just didn’t make sense why this prayer was not being answered.” Kay spoke of how she couldn’t even read certain Scripture passages about hope for months after Matthew’s death.

Rick and Kay shared publicly for the first time about how they found out that Matthew had died. On the morning of April 5, both of them had a sense of foreboding that Matthew was not doing well. At 10 a.m., Rick was at the doctor’s office. He had just been diagnosed with double pneumonia, and so he decided to ask his brother-in-law to give the upcoming sermon, entitled, “What to do on the worst day of your life.” At home, Kay put on her necklace that said, “Choose joy.” Neither of them could shake the feeling that something was wrong, so the two of them went to Matthew’s house to check on him. His truck was in the driveway, but the house door was locked, and no one was answering. They wept together as they waited for the police to arrive. Then their worst fears were confirmed.

In the four months that followed, the Warrens have drawn comfort from the community of faith, both ancient and new. They have treasured old biblical passages from the prophet Isaiah — “When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown” — and from the Apostle Paul — “God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others.” Friends and family have also held them close. “I am in this family of spiritual redwoods,” Rick said. “Satan picked the wrong team to pick on.”

(MORE: How Faith and Health Go Hand in Hand)

Ultimately, they both hold to the hope that God is with people during their times of trouble, and that God will raise the dead. Matthew’s body was buried in brokenness, Kay said, but will be raised in strength. Rick reminded everyone that heaven is coming. He quoted the Book of Revelation: “Then God will wipe away every tear from their eyes and there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things will pass away.”

Rick then made a promise: Saddleback’s next big ministry push will be to remove the stigma associated with mental illness in the church. “Your illness is not your identity, your chemistry is not your character,” he told people struggling with mental illness. To their families, he said, “We are here for you, and we are in this together.” There is hope for the future: “God wants to take your greatest loss and turn it into your greatest life message.”

For the next six Sundays, Rick will preach a sermon series entitled, “How to get through what you’re going through.” He will devote a message to each of the six stages of grief: shock, sorrow, struggle, surrender, sanctification and service. A larger program to address the specifics of mental illness has yet to be revealed, but it will be similar, Rick said, to the way their church has helped to tackle the HIV crisis.

Then, as the service closed, Rick joined the worship team in singing a favorite evangelical hymn, “Blessed Be Your Name.” He lifted his Bible high above his head and declared boldly to the God he serves: “You give and take away, my heart will choose to say, Lord blessed be your name.”

MORE: The Global Ambition of Rick Warren

536 comments
sina.etimani
sina.etimani

Continuous prayers and support to Rick and wife x blessings.

eomuno
eomuno

Such a shocking amount of hate at such a tragedy. They are parents before they're evangelists, homophobic or otherwise. You'd pray your own son or a loved one never commits suicide or do your best to help them treat the illness. I hope he gives sermons on clearing the stigma on mental illness. Keyword: illness, in light of this tragedy as well as never-ending mass shootings. We don't judge cancer or diabetes sufferers. I hope they helped their son find treatment. Medical intervention could be considered one of God's blessings. Good luck to them in their mourning, and to the cold haters on the internet. If there's a place in hell for an evangelist there's bound to be one for you too.

mcuraddoc
mcuraddoc

Karma is a bitch, isn't Rick? The death of your son is payback for the GLBT suicides you've predicated by opening your homophobic crusty pie hole. Rot in hell...

needs_donations
needs_donations

Children do commit suicide, and some tried it, as I died, more than once.  In this case, sorry, these individuals are suppose d to be trained in social actions and reactions, and should have know that something very serious was going on at home.  God is not enough, is it?  "Church" is the problem, with its phoniness, it's lack of cooperation with society by refusing to pay taxes like the rest of us, by raping minors and hiding it with the complicity of the bigwigs.  These two parents are guilty, and they should burn in hell.

oldhagggg
oldhagggg

@CarrollNowlin Your very first sentence "I sincerely hope the pitiable  Christians of this "Church" are not giving this world another Jim and Tammy Bakker." is insulting.  Calling the members "pitiable" and putting "Church" in quotes (it doesn't qualify as a church in your opinion) isn't helpful, it's rude.  Your problem with Jim and Tammy Bakker isn't relevant and you don't have any information about this church and it's leadership.  When the members reply to you with facts, your response is "what are you afraid of?" and "you are seriously deluded."  I smell a troll....

GotSurf07
GotSurf07

On a side note, I was a non-believer at one point, and realized how much hatred their was in the circle of people I was in.  There are many reasons for my belief, but take a note at all of the hurtful negative comments about a man and family who just lost a son and brother coming from non-belivers.  Hatred is NEVER the answer.

GotSurf07
GotSurf07

@CarrollNowlin 

Carroll and others that have made comments pertaining to this matter,

I have to share a few things with you.  I too at one point in my life did not agree with the idea of a big church, and a congregation of people that have big money.  I urge people to do research before they make rash judgments and conclude or project on to others things that may not be true.  I started attending Saddleback Church earlier this year, and I cannot express how much love, and I mean overwhelming love is poured out of this congregation.  All churches have individuals with varying degrees of spiritual maturity, and because this church is so large, there are so many resources available to people who need help developing their spiritual maturity.  Further, if you were to take a moment to do some research on Rick Warren, you would see that he actually reverse tithes and lives a fairly modest life.  He gives back 90% of his earnings.


Here is an article that you can take a moment to read about reverse tithing http://www.beliefnet.com/Faiths/Christianity/2005/10/Rick-Warrens-Second-Reformation.aspx?p=2

I urge people to live a life that is of love and compassion.  Our egos often get to involved and we are too concerned about being right.  I am at fault with this too sometimes.  I am a Christian of his church and I don't pity myself.  I have found myself to be a more complete person with the community of members and leaders of this church and will continue to stand by it.


Brian960
Brian960

All Rick's god delusion can't help him from the reality of life.  Today's religion is tomorrow's mythology.

CarrollNowlin
CarrollNowlin

I sincerely hope the pitiable  Christians of this "Church" are not giving this world another Jim and Tammy Bakker.  How can any pastor minister to over 20 thousand people???  I am so sorry for any family that loses a child no matter when.  But to make this pastor and his family  more than just ordinary people with a sad tragedy is DANGEROUS.  Not for most of the congregation but  for it's weakest most spiritually needy.  I pray that EVERY person  who is a member of this church never turns off their built in God given crap detector.  I lost several thousands over the years to Jim and Tammy because I "believed"....and I had a regular normal house while they used my donations to build one of the most ostentatious houses on a hillside overlooking Gatlinberg TN.  No overight no accounting of the millions of dollars collected.  If you are a member of this church  I beg you to ask for this from the pastor regularly.   "My congregation wants their minister to look good and to have a nice house" is NO EXCUSE for the kind of corruption great income can bring.   My church now has only a few hundred people in it but if I need my pastor he's there in person ready and willing to minister to my family or me.

dbower
dbower

I note that Rick plans to build his sermons around the "six stages of grief."  Current empirical research demonstrates that grief is an individualized experience.  While the 5 (or 6 or 7) stages popularized by Kubler-Ross continue to be cited, they have been shown to reflect the experience of only a minority of mourners.  Grief is not linear.  It is more accurate to think in terms of Worden's tasks of grieving, which can occur in any sequence and repeat themselves.

HelenAnnSwartwout
HelenAnnSwartwout

Prayers and encouragement for the Warrens in this endeavor to bring light on the struggles of mental illness (. I have battled with anxiety and depression myself). While I don't believe that God 'took' their son, I fully trust that God is in the business of helping us turn the grief of life into hope for ourselves and others. And I trust that God has always been and will continue to be with this family as he is with all of us.

Monarae
Monarae

I understand Matthew. I have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder w/anxiety and have been an addict since I was 23. I often times ask myself, "What came first? My addictions or my mental illness?" Trust me...nobody wants to be categorized as mentally ill, so for many years I believed the addictions caused my mental problems. Over the years, attempted suicides, relapses, mood swings so bizare that I am pretty much alone, I searched my past. My early teen years...times when I was so tired I could not walk home from school; times when my feelings were too much and I chose to mask them with alcohol, and then drugs. For years my family justified my present condition by saying, "you're an addict"...discounting the diagnois by several doctors. Until a time came that I had to live with certain family members...I was drug and alcohol free...yet my behavior was and is still so obviously off the scale that they had to come to terms with the doctor's diagnosis. My type of bipolar is more depressive than manic..though the times when I was manic I pretty much caused more harm then at any other time. When I heard of Matthew's suicide, i was very sad indeed. I was reminded of a time my sister had gone to a certain Christian church and asked to do an internship - her Master's is in psychotherapy that she received from a Christian university. She was turned down. Why? Because that particular church did not believe in Biblically based counseling for mental illness. That only the Lord will heal. Yes, he dos heal. I hope this message helps to relieve the stigma held by many "Christian" churchs and universities that the Lord will only heal through a pastor or a prayer group. While these things are important...it is also important that the afflicted have a safe place to go to, an educated person to talk with - that will not judge him or her. Thank you. M.

JamesSundquist
JamesSundquist

I invite you to  be alerted to the following updates on Rick Warren, including the recent film documentary on him by Elliott Nesh:

Church of Tares: Purpose Driven, Seeker Sensitive, Church Growth & New World Order
http://www.theperfectpeaceplan.com/peacemedia.html

Also see this article by Elliott just posted:
http://www.holybibleprophecy.org/2013/07/03/warren-tells-young-leaders-listen-critics/

Here is my response to Rick Warren attacking critics:

So just how would Rick Warren have Christians he calls "Sanballats from Hell", "Enemies of the 21st Century" respond to Warren's criticism of them?

I hope the Christian Post, in the interest of balanced journalism, and this Scripture, will now do an article allowing the testimonies of the victims of his Purpose-Driven Global Peace Plan speak:


"He that is first in his own cause seemeth just; but his neighbour cometh and searcheth him."  Proverbs 18:17

Case studies of these "critics" and so-called "haters" can be heard in a new film documentary on Warren:

Church of Tares: Purpose Driven, Seeker Sensitive, Church Growth & New World Order
http://www.theperfectpeaceplan.com/peacemedia.html

and in the articles section of
http://www.perfectpeaceplan.com

Finally, does Warren's advice look anything like the Apostle Paul's criticism of the Judaizers in Galatians where he twice eternally damned them for trying to put Christians under the law?  Part of the law was compulsory tithing, which Warren forces members to do, in just one of his four covenants, in spite of Paul's instructions that giving to the church financially should "not be out of compulsion"

http://www.perfectpeaceplan.com

ahandout
ahandout

Obama praises Christians and religion in speech:

“Throughout our history, Christianity has contributed to the character of our country, and Christian-Americans, and their good works, have helped to build our nation – and we’ve seen the results. We’ve seen those results in generations of Christian immigrants – farmers and factory workers, helping to lay the railroads and build our cities…Every day, Christian-Americans are helping to shape the way that we think and the way that we work and the way that we do business. And that’s the spirit that we celebrate tonight – the dreamers, the creators whose ideas are pioneering new industries, creating new jobs and unleashing new opportunities for all of us.”

SukeMadiq
SukeMadiq

This fat slob is nothing but a conman.

mubarika.sami
mubarika.sami

Very moving. To God we will all return. 

I have a mental illness too but thank God am coping with a normal life. A supportive family makes a big difference.

lindac1212
lindac1212

@mcuraddoc such hatred!  I'm sorry for you!  My best friends are gay.  My only child committed suicide, so am I reaping Karma for being a loving, tolerant, kind person who feeds the homeless?  God only knows why these things happen.  We are NOT to judge and hate...seems you are full of venom.  I'm sorry for you.  It has only been a few months since watching my 21 year old son, who seemed happy, put a gun to his head and blow his brains out.  He had locked the door so I couldn't get to him and stop him. But, I could see what he was doing through the window.  I had tried every shrink and only the best to get him help!  His girlfriend told him to  kill himself.  Is that what this world has come to?  Hate and venomous words?  Where is the love?  My heart is shattered and broken.  But, honestly I feel sadder for you, and others like you, and truly hope and pray you find love and peace in your heart and life.  <3 to you as well as blessings.

sina.etimani
sina.etimani

God bless you man. I hope you find Jesus and not Satan before you die.

lindac1212
lindac1212

@needs_donations We don't need to judge others and none of us are God so we have NO right to say where someone should go!  We don't know their journey, only God knows that and can judge that!  My own only child, my 21 year old son, shot himself in the head this past New Years due to his "girlfriend"  telling him to kill himself. I saw it happen, shall we accuse me of not stopping him?  My son had locked the door so I couldn't get out of the door fast enough!.   I've never been a "big" church goer.  BUT, I DO believe in God!  I tried and tried to get my son help.  He saw the VERY best psychiatrists there are!  I even had him committed at one point!  All the meds they gave him, he couldn't tolerate.  Ours is not to judge but to love.  God knows I've beaten myself up and am FULL of guilt!  I go over and over and over the past few months, prior to the incident, trying to see if I missed some sign!!!  He seemed happy and it seemed he was doing good.  This World needs less judgment and more love and understanding.   I am so sorry for the Warren's loss.  I know in my case,  there is a wound in my heart that will never heal!  My heart is completely shattered.  But, I choose to be strong for my son's sake and try to help other parents, children and to educate people.  I hope you find peace "needs" and that you NEVER have to go through such heartbreak!  May God bless you and give you peace and wisdom.

lindac1212
lindac1212

@GotSurf07 @CarrollNowlin So true-WELL SAID!  Church is like a hospital, for people who are spiritually sick.  I recently lost my son to suicide and I had done EVERYTHING to help him!!!  I prayed everyday as well!  I even tried to bargain with God, take my life if that will make him well.  But, God knows what He's doing and has a reason for everything.  I believe God will take this incident as well as the Warren's and turn it into victory!  There is NO greater pain than losing a child!  My prayers are with the Warren's as well as all parents who lose a child!  This World needs more love and understanding and less hatred and judgment!  My son had received a text message from his "girlfriend" telling him to  kill himself.  I pray for her.  Love and blessings to all!  <3

Lamprn
Lamprn

@CarrollNowlin I believe you have confused what God is doing in your life verses what man did with your money....be careful of that Carroll.  God never promised a perfect life on Earth, only a forgiven life and eternal life. When we carry bitterness and don't forgive and move on, we turn into the very person we hate the most.....Rick doesn't take money from the church...NO PAYCHECK for him. He lives off the blessings of God through the sales of his books and his house is very modest.  How can one pastor minister to 100?? The same way Rick pastors to us. He, like Jesus, teaches the Word and relies on others to help minister, which is exactly what God asks all of us to do! Rick is not the only pastor at Saddleback Church...we have many pastors!  Rick is not our god. Your pastor cannot be at every hospital bed, funeral, wedding or crisis event at your church every single day of the year. I only pray your church has the love and support for those needing your pastor when you are busy taking his time. Rick preaches that we only need God and the Bible. I don't need to see Rich personally everytime I need a prayer....Thank God for that! I have my small group and my church family when I need guidance. When a pastor tries to do it all in his church, he is acting more like a god instead of teaching others to find God themselves and ask Him for direction and guidance. If you have anymore concerns please reply. I'm sorry for your loss of money to those evil people, but please do not degrade another Christian. The Bible tells us to hold each other up and forgive those who have helped us. And trust me, Rick, Kay and the rest of Saddleback Church as helped MILLIONS....and for over 30 years...with a clean record....I promise!

chattykim1
chattykim1

@CarrollNowlin Quit being so bitter> Rick Warren is wonderful!! I attended Saddleback Easter Service years ago and felt so welcome and I'm from Ohio! What a great group of people who care! I loved every minute of it! Don't compare Rick and Kay to Jim and Tammy Baker! There's no comparison! Maybe YOU should attend Saddleback and you wouldn't be so bitter in your life!! God Bless You!!!









GotSurf07
GotSurf07

Carroll and others that have made comments pertaining to this matter,

I have to share a few things with you.  I too at one point in my life did not agree with the idea of a big church, and a congregation of people that have big money.  I urge people to do research before they make rash judgments and conclude or project on to others things that may not be true.  I started attending Saddleback Church earlier this year, and I cannot express how much love, and I mean overwhelming love is poured out of this congregation.  All churches have individuals with varying degrees of spiritual maturity, and because this church is so large, there are so many resources available to people who need help developing their spiritual maturity.  Further, if you were to take a moment to do some research on Rick Warren, you would see that he actually reverse tithes and lives a fairly modest life.  He gives back 90% of his earnings.


Here is an article that you can take a moment to read about reverse tithing http://www.beliefnet.com/Faiths/Christianity/2005/10/Rick-Warrens-Second-Reformation.aspx?p=2

I urge people to live a life that is of love and compassion.  Our egos often get to involved and we are too concerned about being right.  I am at fault with this too sometimes.  I am a Christian of his church and I don't pity myself.  I have found myself to be a more complete person with the community of members and leaders of this church and will continue to stand by it.


Read more: http://swampland.time.com/2013/07/28/rick-warren-preaches-first-sermon-since-his-sons-suicide/#ixzz2awpaMbAy


jhamilton
jhamilton

@dbower I am a trained Stephen Minister and in our learning on stages of grief, we indeed learned that stages of grief weave in and out and some stages get skipped altogether when ministering to a grief struck person. Kubler-Ross was a great start to our way of thinking about grief for years and offered grieving individuals a "go to" book as they looked for confirmation that their grieving was in fact "normal and okay".  We now can use that book as well as others to regain our emotional balance and once again experience joy from living and loving in God's beautiful world.  

I might also comment that most preachers have 4 week, 6 week, 8 week sermon series and I doubt highly that Rev. Warren will stick to the six stages of grief - as we know them - he will most likely in fact encourage us to lean on scripture and prayer to make it through the grieving process.  Prayers and blessings to the Warrens, their church family and all those who grieve with them.   

CarrollNowlin
CarrollNowlin

@HelenAnnSwartwout Please I beg you not to give your trust to a wordily man who is, as we all are, weak when offered great wealth or great power.  I applaud your trust in God but running  a church this large is truly a business.

CarrollNowlin
CarrollNowlin

@JamesSundquist Sorry sir but the love of money is the root of all evil...and I guarantee in a few years with no one to guide him and no one to remind him of the dangers of too much adoration will corrupt even the holiest of men.  Never forget I'm saying this ...with no axe to grind and no interest  one way or the other...

CarrollNowlin
CarrollNowlin

@ahandout As long as it doesn't mean a brand new cadillac and a new boat and and a luxury suite for him and  his wife on the Queen Mary.  I'll believe.  But if you think I'm wrong WATCH and remind me I was wrong on my facebook page in years to come...As much as we have all the martyred early christian apostles and the doubt of their audiences we have a more recent example of holy men who have been corrupted by great adoration and great wealth:  Jim and Tammy Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart and Jim Jones ...shall I go on?  You tell me how one man ministers to a congregation of 20 thousand souls???

CarrollNowlin
CarrollNowlin

@Lamprn @CarrollNowlin   I am NOT bitter.  I am a happy person who loves life and do not need some preacher to tell me how much he loves me to feel good about myself.  And if you are one who is not mentally needy or weak or ignorant of how a charismatic con man could hurt those who are then  that is ok for you.  But I do worry about those who are sad, or weak and needy emotionally who would give to any  guy what they could be giving to God.  By the way I was just as worried/skeptical when Oral Roberts climbed up in his prayer tower and told his people they had to donate a million bucks to his church…because GOD told him to do this.


I have not ever given to any church that  took my money and didn't give back to the community .  I hope that those of you who have reacted so hatefully to my words of warning need to re-assess what you should give to God and what you properly give to a man on this earth.  Have any of you given any thought to why there are so many Christian churches?  After all God created "HIS church"  a long time ago.  and it was not a Baptist church or a Methodist church or any of the present day churches but one.  It was corruption in that church that caused one of it's most holy men to quit it and rebel and nail his grievances on his churches' door.  Or don't any of you believe your own bible…Peter it is on your back I will build my church….  I'll try one last time to say…power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.  You all say he is a good man…fine.. My prayer is that the stays that way and is  not corrupted by unquestioning loyalty and love.

CarrollNowlin
CarrollNowlin

@Lamprn @CarrollNowlin believe as you wish sir.  I was not attacking just reminding...  what is the old saying?  "A word to the wise is sufficient?"   God is God and man is man...Only God is perfect.    so many of the "believers" have attacked me for questioning it makes me even more leery...or at least wonder more why they are so sensitive and charge an innocent questioning to an attack?  I don't belong to his church.  so what would  be my motive for an attack against the man.

Lamprn
Lamprn

@CarrollNowlin LOL...I meant to say "forgive those who hurt us"....I've been at this computer all day! Please forgive me Carroll!?

CarrollNowlin
CarrollNowlin

@chattykim1 @CarrollNowlin  Lady I am not bitter.  I am a skeptic.  I am entitled to my beliefs just as you are.  So maybe just maybe I will be the one voice who will find some way to encourage you to be careful in your willingness to follow along blindly just because he has a nice voice or  sounds welcoming.   All con men do don't they?  If he had a rough way or was hateful you would not be willing to give him your money to do with as he pleases would you?  All I am saying is don't drink the koolaid.  Keep just a small part of you inside you, that still recognizes  you are the captain of your soul and not some slick talking welcoming preacher.

CarrollNowlin
CarrollNowlin

@GotSurf07 Sir:   I am NOT concerned about being RIGHT...I am not a member of the church.  But dude...if you think this kind of money is not tempting to any earthly man you are seriously deluded.   Do you believe what is donated should be used to help the members of the congregation if they need help?  That's all I am saying.  The monies donated are not for the lavish lifestyles like what Jim and Tammy Bakker enjoyed.    this is why I believe that huge churches cannot know which parson needs what kind of help...

ahandout
ahandout

@CarrollNowlin @ahandout My post above was a real speech given by Obama praising a religion, BUT it wasn't Christianity.  Substitute Islam and Muslims in the above speech and you will have the true picture of BHO.  

mubarika.sami
mubarika.sami

@suziepup @mubarika.sami The difference is that we are the creation and have limited faculties and time on Earth whereas God or whatever you choose to call our Creator is Infinite, Eternal and All-Knowing. We cannot begin to make such claims about ourselves. If God did not possess these attributes the Universe would not be in existence.

suziepup
suziepup

@mubarika.sami Why anything? Why not No Thing?...We are all aspects of the WHAT IS...we are Conscious...now and hereafter...we are GOD at play...HE is US

BrentMike
BrentMike

@CarrollNowlin @Lamprn We defend the Warrens because many of us have been skeptical ourselves, Carroll. They have proved us wrong in believing they are in this for themselves -- countless times. 

As for Pastor Warren being able to "pastor" 20,000 people: he doesn't. Nor does he claim to try. As soon as he wasn't able to remember every single member's name, kids' names, dog and cats' names, he realized he needed to help train other pastors to help him lead the church -- precisely for the reason you cite. There are plenty of pastors within Saddleback who DO know your name, who DO know your struggle, who share in that struggle and do their best to provide the resources to help you through it. If anything, he is the figurehead of Saddleback because there is no way to manage a staff of hundreds without a visible leader, someone who is looked up to for his leadership, for his pastoring, and points all of us closer to our God. 

On a side note, Saddleback is one of the few "mega churches" that does not have a huge auditorium to seat 10,000 people, nor are their plans to build one. It does not align with the mission of the church.

Lamprn
Lamprn

@CarrollNowlin Oh...one more thing....Rick gives back over 90% of his book earnings back to the church as tithing! I think he's pretty much innocent of being another Jimmy! 

CarrollNowlin
CarrollNowlin

@lindac1212 @CarrollNowlin @BrianB @GotSurf07  Son I am not the one out there willing to drink the koolaid.  Believe as you wish but do not attack anyone who disagrees with how you believe as being  ignorant or hasn't thought things thru.  And please do not insult my intelligence or my credulity by saying you pray for me.  T he only thing you pray for is for you to be right and for me to shut up.  I am a college educated registered nurse and I have probably saved more lives than anyone you know.  And as an American I have a right to be as skeptical as I want.  You need to stop trying to squelch dissent.  I makes you look even weaker than blindly following along.


If you want a clue and you probably don't  check out the choice of watch he wears.  If it is a Rolex or other incredibly outrageously costly one ask yourself why?  Did your donation buy it ?

lindac1212
lindac1212

@CarrollNowlin @BrianB@GotSurf07 You state why you should?  If you are going to criticize then you should stop being ignorant and investigate it.  I can assure you that the IRS audits these mega churches constantly!  I can sense your anger and I am sorry for you for that.  I pray you find healing and wisdom.  Bless your heart and may you find peace, love and forgiveness.  <3

CarrollNowlin
CarrollNowlin

@BrianB @CarrollNowlin @GotSurf07 Would you please tell me how I could go about checking this?  Or why I should?  I am not a member of his church.  I have no axe to grind about this man.   What are you so afraid of...Is it your contention he is above being questioned/made accountable  about money given to the church?  

What  I DO worry about is someone using the position of pastor to make MONEY ...Just as I was duped by Jim and Tammy Bakker...OK?? Just a warning.  not an accusation.  I urge the people who are members always remember that with great wealth or great power comes  great temptation.  I am sure Jim Bakker was a good guy in the beginning...But not after he was seduced by the money and the power.  /so stop attacking me and tend to your own bias.  Dude I am uncommonly decent.  as I am 70 years old and was raised in an era way before we had televangelists.   My pastor knows my name.  Knows who in his congregation has a need for spiritual guidance, or with a sick child, or who is having marital issues and the like.... HOw can a man with a church of 20,000 could keep track of all of them???  just asking because I am never going to have blind faith with no checks and balances EVER again.




BrianB
BrianB

@CarrollNowlin @GotSurf07 perhaps if you had the common decency and simple sense to actually check - Rick Warren DOESN'T take an income from the church!

suziepup
suziepup

@mubarika.sami And morals...no...it's LOVE...a high point of experience...we know it's that...and all it encompasses...a "built in goal'...we STRIVE...and it's all EXPERIENCE...if we met the goal...nothing left to do...LOL...thank you...GOD...we're all in together...ONWARD

suziepup
suziepup

@mubarika.sami Listen to any MUSIC you feel is beautiful and moving...and you will know you are not limited...in TIME

suziepup
suziepup

@mubarika.sami @suziepup Purpose??/...TO EXPERIENCE...To live it out in multitudinous Consciousnesses...and why just ONE LIFETIME of consciousness??? SEEMS ABSURD TO ME...regrowth everywhere...Consciousness goes on and on...different cloaks...you will return...GOD DOES NOT LIMIT HE/US...Experience does persist...AT PLAY

mubarika.sami
mubarika.sami

@suziepup @mubarika.sami Our consciousness is limited to our own experiences and is limited by death. It cannot equate to God as He is much bigger than that. A created object cannot equal it's creator. Only the creator knows it's purpose.


suziepup
suziepup

@mubarika.sami @suziepup "GOD" is EXPERIENCE...that is it....there is no Judge of experience...IF there is infinity..."infiniteness"... There is EVERYTHING that can be...THERE MUST BE AN EXPERIENCER...of that EVERYTHING...you,me every experiencer....THAT is GOD