Statement From Rev. Samuel Rodriguez Regarding Rick Warren’s Family Loss and the Passing of Their Son Matthew

“Our collective heart stands broken as a result of Pastor Rick Warren’s loss; the passing of his son Matthew. We pray for healing and strength for the Warren and Saddleback family. Yet, this tragedy facilitates an opportunity if not an obligation for the Christian community to address mental illness. Mental illness exists in and outside of the church community. Christians struggle with depression and even suicidal thoughts. It does not make you less of a Christian. Just like heart disease or cancer does not dilute our Christianity, neither does mental illness.

Nevertheless, we must stand committed to ‘creating space’ and providing ministry to those that struggle with depression, and other mental illnesses. In partnership with medical professionals, the church of Jesus Christ can bring attention to this silent illness with grace, compassion and love. For at the end of day, suffering from mental illness is not a sin. Yet, not addressing it, may very well be.”

Rev. Samuel Rodriguez
President NHCLC
Hispanic Evangelical Association

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