Christian psychologist and author Dr. John Townsend, an expert on Christ-centered recovery for mental and emotional health issues, will be speaking at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., for all five worship services this weekend, just a little more than a week since the death of Pastor Rick Warren's son, Matthew.
Townsend told The Christian Post in an exclusive interview on Friday that he had already been asked to speak at Saddleback prior to the tragedy in order to talk about an upcoming feature-length movie that includes the church's Celebrate Recovery program as part of the film's story. He said he now plans to include some of his thoughts about what the Warren family is going through.
Matthew Warren's death was ruled a suicide by a self-inflicted gunshot wound occurring on Friday, April 5. He was 27-years-old. more >>
As the evangelical community continues to grapple with the news about the suicide of Pastor Rick Warren's son, a respected theologian and author believes the Christian community needs to respond to suicide with "deepest compassion."
Dr. R.T. Kendall, author of the 2005 book Once Saved, Always Saved, told The Christian Post that "is what Jesus would feel and show."
"One should weep for the bereaved parents. We should pray for them in this their darkest hour," said Kendall, who was pastor of Westminster Chapel for 25 years and the author of over 50 books. more >>
[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 >>
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 >>
The memorial service for Matthew Warren, the son of Pastor Rick Warren who took his own life last Friday, will be a private one, Saddleback Church announced via its website.
"Since the Warren family is loved by so many, no building in Orange County is large enough to hold an open memorial service," church officials stated. "The family decided it was best to have a small, private service for their son."
The well-known Lake Forest, Calif., pastor "will speak publicly to our church family about the tragedy when he returns to preaching after a grieving period," they said. more >>