backs are for stabbing

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Last night I posted an update on my Facebook page expressing my condolences to Rick Warren because his youngest son committed suicide Friday night. Tragic and sad. It surprised me how quickly some people rushed in to blame Rick Warren or provide some theological explanation as to why this happened. There are no shortages of Job’s comforters. Only some of them aren’t even attempting to comfort anymore.

I also posted another update on Facebook last night:

It’s crucial to critique ideas and practices, and mature people invite it because the goal is a better world, not personal glory.

So, for example, I will certainly attack the sexist theology of John Piper, as I did yesterday, but I refuse to attack the man. I have no difficulty distinguishing the two. Some do, however.

Some people really do believe backs are for stabbing. Why not let’s use them to help carry one another’s burdens?

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  • Like the pastor or not, he lost a son! I won’t disparage someone that just can’t handle life! Nuff said! We will let the family grieve. Because we are better than that!


  • Lisa

    I rarely comment here but enjoy you r posts immensly. I was crushed to hear about Ricks son…I too fight the fight of mental illness so I understand how crushing it is to deal with it. I will never be glad about his son passing, but this is a critical time for the church to see the pain and devestation we have to live with each day. Everyday I fight, everyday I lay my head down knowing Im not alone–I’ll never give up. Its an illness and people die from illness, but the thing about mental illness is it cannot be cured. I can go into remission, but never cured. Its my heart cry for the people to see first hand the suffering we face! I was laughed out of church because of mine. I was gossiped about, and even told by the Pastor in a very mean way that my faith was not enough b/c I wasnt healed. His wife said the same about me. Ill never go back to church again b/c of my experience. I hope church people understand we dont need demons cast out of us or hands laid on us, we just need to abide by our treatment plan and understanding and help too. Thank you kind sir for your labor of love.
    I am a very competitive person, fun natured and highly successful in my career, mental illness is just one part of me! 🙂
    Silver Spring MD

  • Pat

    Amen! I was really saddened to read some of the comments. Like him or his theology or not, he is still a human being that lost a flesh and blood relative. As I read his statement (and I nor anyone else was there to know for certain) he sounded quite sympathetic with his son’s struggles. Now that doesn’t mean that the pressure of being a PK or being Rick Warren’s son didn’t add to Matthew’s struggles, but again, none of us knows that. At the end of the day, a father and a mother lost their son and in a very tragic way. I prefer to just feel their anguish today and wish them God’s comfort at this time.

  • kathy

    Lisa, what happened to you at church is disgusting to me. I also left church some time back. I send best wishes for your peace, contentment and well-being. I appreciate your comments, and made similar ones myself in regards to this sad story.

  • Carol

    I disagreed with much of Rick Warren’s theology, but I admired his gentle spirit. Now I know why he was accepting in spite of some of his theological convictions. As the mother of a daughter who suffers from clinical mental illness, I can assure you than there is more driving a person who is coping with mental illness than the lack of their parents parenting skills. Think chemical imbalences and neurological wiring.

    The most painful think about having a clinical mental illness or loving someone who is coping with it is the utter powerlessness when the symptoms occur. While it is possible to make the illness worse by guilt-tripping or lack of empathy, it is not possible to make it better.

    I suppose that is why there is often more faith in 12-step programs communities than in church communities. Grace is the only hope for people who have heroically tried repeatedly to measure up to society’s expectations without success.

    Most American middle class Christians have replaced the theological virtues of faith, hope and love with the civic virtues of the Protestant work ethic. Church is often the LAST place you want to take someone with struggling with a clinical mental illness.

  • Gail

    “It surprised me how quickly some people rushed in to blame Rick Warren or provide some theological explanation as to why this happened.”

    Rick Warren wasn’t the one who was in so much pain he had to end his life to free himself from his environment. Aren’t we rushing to judgment by believing that it did not contribute to his pain. Matthew died way before he shot himself. I’m just so sorry, no one noticed.

  • Kris

    Somewhere along the line, many of us have forgotten that we are all human beings that go through difficult times and need comfort. People need to stop and think about. I often worry if some would not stop to help someone in trouble if they knew their ideology is not the same as theirs. Were did we lose our compassion for our fellow man?

  • “It surprised me how quickly some people rushed in to blame Rick Warren or provide some theological explanation as to why this happened.”
    I shudder to think about the comments being left at mainstream news blogs on this story, but I’m keeping a safe distance away.