[UPDATE 4:45 p.m.] Rick Warren, lead pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., tweeted Thursday afternoon: "Someone on the internet sold Matthew an unregistered gun.I pray he seeks God's forgiveness. I forgive him. #MATTHEW 6:15."
[This is a breaking news update. Check CP's earlier story below.]
Police of Orange County's Sheriff's Department in California are saying that Matthew Warren, son of Pastor Rick Warren, was "probably not" the owner of the gun he used in a tragic suicide. more >>
Bishop TD Jakes of The Potter's House in Dallas, Texas, said in a recent sermon that he is tired of the "Hollywood spirit" that has taken over the church and placed a large focus on the size and popularity of ministries rather than the value of the message they preach.
"I am so sick of this Hollywood spirit that has overtaken the church," Jakes said, according to The Atlanta Daily World.
The preacher leads one of the largest megachurches in America, attracting a congregation of 30,000 members and celebrates its milestone 35th anniversary last year. more >>
Thousands are expected to gather in Miami, Fla., next week at the 5th annual "America's Night of Hope" with Joel and Victoria Osteen of Lakewood Church, one of several events that also will see youths descend on the city in service before culminating in a night of celebration and hope at Marlins Park.
The main event, scheduled for Saturday, April 20, will gather tens of thousands from the Miami-area and beyond at the 37,000-seat MLB stadium for a night of inspiration and worship, much like last year's "American's Night of Hope" event in Washington, D.C., at Nationals Park, which drew tens of thousands of participants and was attended by The Christian Post.
"Victoria and I love the people of Miami," Pastor Osteen said in a statement shared with CP. "We're excited to come to this beautiful city again and bring our signature event here. I believe people will be uplifted and filled with an expectation that their best days are still out in front of them." more >>
The anonymous creator of the Joel Osteen Internet hoax that claimed the Lakewood Church leader had lost his faith revealed that his intentions were not to attack the pastor but to "send him a message."
"I would like to state unequivocally my intent was not to defame Mr. Osteen," the anonymous person behind the fake website told NPR.com in an email. "He seems like an infectiously nice and genial character."
On Monday, a website claiming to represent Osteen's ministry produced a fake statement from the pastor, reading: "I believe now that the Bible is a fallible, flawed, highly inconsistent history book that has been altered hundreds of times. There is zero evidence the Bible is the holy word of God. In fact, there is zero evidence 'God' even exists." more >>
Well-known Pastor Rick Warren's personal tragedy of losing his son Matthew as the result of suicide last Friday has not only garnered sympathy and condolences from around the world, but also online vitriol from his detractors. Perhaps most disturbing to Warren and many in the Christian community is that some of the attacks have come from people professing to be Christians, as well.
Warren posted through Facebook and Twitter: "Grieving is hard. Grieving as public figures, harder. Grieving while haters celebrate your pain, hardest. Your notes sustained us."
Upon learning of the news of Mathew Warren's death and the response on the Internet by some Christians, Beth Moore, founder of Living Proof Ministries, wrote in her blog post that after a mixture of emotions on Saturday, she became "madder and madder at the bullies in the Body of Christ." more >>
Christians throughout the world were shocked to learn that Matthew Warren, the son of Pastor Rick Warren and his wife, Kay, had committed suicide Friday evening at his home in Mission Viejo, Calif., following a lifelong battle with depression and mental illness.
A 2012 report published by the Centers for Disease Control reveals that 38,364 people died in the United States in 2010 from suicide – an average of 105 deaths each day. From 2008 to 2009, an estimated 8.3 million adults reported having suicidal thoughts. And among teenagers and young adults, 15 to 24, suicide accounts for 20 percent of all deaths each year.
The Rev. Dawn Anderson, a part-time pastor at Highland Park United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas, started the Christian Survivors of Suicide (CSOS) support group 17 years after she experienced the trauma of coping with the aftermath of her late-husband's suicide in 1993. more >>