- (Photo: Saddleback Church)
Rick Warren, pastor of Southern California's Saddleback Church, and his wife, Kay, will appear in an extended interview with CNN's Piers Morgan that is set to air at 9 p.m. ET on Tuesday (Note: Interview originally scheduled to air on Monday changed because of Naval Ship Yard shooting coverage). This will be Warren's first media interview after he lost his 27-year-old son in April.
Since his youngest son, Matthew Warren, committed suicide on April 6 after suffering from mental illness since his youth, Warren has shared his thoughts on Twitter and Facebook, but he hasn't answered the questions on many people's minds, CNN says, announcing the interview to be aired on the night of Sept. 16.
Those questions include, "How has Matthew's death changed Warren's faith? Does he hold God responsible?"
Pastor Warren, who gave the invocation at President Obama's first inauguration, and Kay will also talk about their new mission to raise awareness about mental illness.
In an email to his staff after Matthew's death, Warren wrote, "Only those closest knew that he struggled from birth with mental illness, dark holes of depression, and even suicidal thoughts. In spite of America's best doctors, meds, counselors, and prayers for healing, the torture of mental illness never subsided. Today, after a fun evening together with Kay and me, in a momentary wave of despair at his home, he took his life."
Warren also recalled that many years ago, after another approach had failed to give relief, Matthew said, "Dad, I know I'm going to heaven. Why can't I just die and end this pain?" But he kept going for another decade, Warren said.
Warren, author of the international bestseller The Purpose Driven Life, returned to the pulpit on July 28 with the new series of sermons called, "Getting Through What You're Going Through."
During the first message at Saddleback after son's death, Pastor Warren and Kay vowed to remove the stigma of the disease. They have worked during the last decade to remove the stigma of HIV/AIDS.
"If you struggle with a broken brain, you should be no more ashamed than someone with a broken arm," said Warren. "It's not a sin to take meds. It's not a sin to get help. You don't need to be ashamed."
Warren also said, "In the middle of all that intense pain, Kay and I have felt the favor of God because of your prayers and we intend to spend the rest of our lives comforting others with the comfort we ourselves have been given by God."
The couple shared three main areas of biblical truth that gave stability during their grief. First, life doesn't make sense, but people can have peace because "God is with us and loves us." Secondly, everything on earth is broken, but "we can have joy because we know God has a greater plan." And third, "we know that life is a battle, but we can have hope because we know there is more to the story."
Last month, Warren was in Rwanda to encourage residents of the Central-East African country "to be a nation of purpose, dignity and hope." He met with local leaders helping to advance his PEACE Plan and Purpose Driven Church initiatives.
Even before his return to the pulpit, Warren had been active on social media. He requested his friends to pray for his family on July 18, the day Matthew would have turned 28. "It'll be a hard day," he tweeted.