This is an original blogpost by Beth Moore about the tragic death of Rick Warren's son, Matthew. I think EVERYONE should read this. She makes a wonderful point. I am subscribed to her blog so I get the emails, so I copied and pasted here so you can read it, or just click the link below to go to her site. Regardless, please read it.
"Saturday shortly after noon, I filled up the dog bowl on the back
porch with water and pitched dishes in the dishwasher so that I could
head out with Melissa for a bite to eat and maybe a little shoe
shopping. She’d spent the night with Keith and me in the country and
we’d had a lazy Saturday morning over coffee and conversation. I’d set
out my purse and keys and decided to wipe down the kitchen counter
before we walked out the door. Just as I sprayed the cleaner and grabbed
the dishtowel, Melissa walked in staring at the screen of her phone
with the oddest expression.
“Mom, I don’t know if it’s true or not but I’m seeing references on Twitter to Rick and Kay Warren losing a son.”
She was ashen. My stomach flipped and, over the next few minutes as
she read to me bits and pieces of breaking news, we feared the worst. I
felt a hot sickness in my throat. My relationship with the Warrens is
the same as most of yours. I have simply been served and led well by
them. Although I had the joy of ministering to women on the Saddleback
campus some years ago, my stay was brief and our schedules were wrapped
entirely around the event. I have not had the opportunity to get to know
the Warrens in the way that personal friends know one another but I
always knew in my heart that I’d like them so much. We’re similar ages
and in similar seasons with our families. Meanwhile, I have loved them
and esteemed them in Christ as faithful and mighty servants of the
living Lord Jesus Christ. And quite possibly, among the mightiest to
ever serve this generation.
Within an hour of Melissa walking into the kitchen with those first
pieces of news, someone very close to the Warren family confirmed the
tragedy on Twitter. We were heartsick and not for media personalities or
even public servants. We were heartsick for a family of real people
with breakable hearts. And we wept. Many of you undoubtedly did as well.
An odd mix of feelings overtook me with increasing force through the
afternoon and into the early evening. The sadder I got, the madder I
got. Mad at an astonishing satanic force that stoops viciously and
swoops in unscrupulously to attack children and to prey on their
weaknesses as they grow up, shooting so relentlessly at one spot that
they can barely get to their feet between arrows. I’ve been that child
and many of you have, too. Madder still that the devil in all likelihood
delights in nothing more than targeting the children and dearest loved
ones of true servants of God. Nothing tries our faith like the suffering
of our children. At the end of the day, our faith is what the devil is
after most. Without it, it’s impossible to please God. This is why Paul
could say with relief nearly palpable on the page of his final letter,
“I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith.”
We’ll all finally make it to our finish lines but the cliffhanger
along the way will be this: will we keep our faith? That isn’t the same
thing as keeping our salvation. I don’t believe my salvation is
something I can give back. I received it by grace through faith from
Christ Himself and my works don’t secure it no matter how my woes
obscure it. His grip never loosens. Nothing can snatch us out of our
Father’s hand. What’s at risk is our active belief in who God says He
is, what He says He is like, and what He says He can do.
Is He good? Is He faithful?
So the enemy sets out to knock the feet of our faith out from under
our walk. And there is nothing more effective toward that end than
targeting the ones we love most on this planet.
I don’t say that to scare you. I say it because I believe it is the
hair-raising truth. No, we are not abandoned here as victims on this
damaged sod. We are not abandoned at all. Our God is with us. The Spirit
of His Son is in us. We are more than conquerors through the One who
loves us. We are not at the mercy of Satan. We are at the glorious,
life-breathing mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, a mercy that leads, as
Jude 21 says, to eternal life and will ultimately spill like a river
into a sea of reality where no sufferings of our past will compare with
the glory of our present. In the meantime, greater is He who is in us
than he who is in the world but make no mistake. This is a vicious world
we’ve been left to serve. One God still loves or we would not still be
And then, in that mixture of emotions Saturday afternoon, I got
madder and madder at the bullies in the Body of Christ. I thought how
much it turns out that the Warrens have been through personally and, if
they are like most leaders, all the while putting out fires and putting
up with a bunch of trash-talk from people who would call the same Jesus Lord.
God help us. In the words of James, These things should not be so, my brothers and sisters.
I don’t believe one of us here in this community thinks that leaders
should be immune to questions, constructive criticism, and
accountability. That’s not the kind of thing I’m talking about here.
I’m talking about bullying. There are Scriptural means for going to a
brother or sister to reason with them about matters we genuinely
consider to be off base, misleading, or in error. You and I both know
that much of what happens out there in public forums is the furthest
thing from biblical.
It is slander.
I went on a walk through the woods Saturday late afternoon and did
something I don’t often do. I cried angry tears. I got so mad that I
could have hit somebody. I kept thinking how believers attack one
another and sling stones at each other like the other can’t bruise or
break. And all the while that person may be in so much personal pain
that it’s nearly unbearable. I’m not transferring this to the Warrens. I
do not know them personally. I’m telling you what I know to be true
about most people out there. Most of us are in significant pain of some
kind. That doesn’t mean defeat necessarily. It just means pain.
Life is hard enough without hatefulness rife in the Body of Christ.
We are called to carry one another’s burdens, not pile relentlessly on
top of them. We can still hold one another accountable. We can still ask
questions. We can still disagree. But we can do it with respect.
I’m sick of the bullying. The mud-slinging and the meanness. I’m sick
of careless, idle words thrown out there in the public square and
professing believers in Christ standing on the necks of their own
brothers and sisters to sound smart and superior. As if it’s not enough
that we are surrounded in this culture by Christian haters, we’ve got to
have our own hater-Christians. It’s insane.
When we turn people into caricatures, everything’s game. The moment
we depersonalize them, our consciences harden and we can mock and
slander at will and have a blast doing it. Snide blogs and tweets and
Facebook posts about various leaders can also be effective ways to jump
in their spotlight. Bullies aren’t just mean. They’re self-serving.
They’re platform-hunting. They have to borrow one to perform.
No, I don’t think that saying all of this will change it much but
some things still need to be said. Sometimes we need to speak up and
call something wrong. There’s a bigger issue in the Body of
Christ than immorality. It’s hatefulness. If the greatest priority
Christ assigned to us was love, the gravest offender is hate.
Just about the time cynicism threatens to overwhelm us and turn us
into the very people we can’t stand, genuine love – the real thing –
erupts right here on this earth like concrete breaking open to a spring.
Compassion and tremendous affection are pouring forth from the Body of
Christ for the Warrens right now. It is right and it is lovely. We have
been served well by them and have learned so much from them. To respond
with expressions of love, comfort, and intercession is our honor and
privilege. We must and we will.
But even now at the hardest moment of their lives the Warrens can
teach something vital if we are willing to learn. Their heartbreak
demonstrates what has always been true but has never been more
profoundly overlooked: these who serve us publicly also suffer
privately. They are not caricatures. They are not just personalities.
They are people living on a painful planet with the rest of us.
The Warrens will come forth like gold. The enemy will not win. They
will fight the good fight. They will finish the race. They will keep the
I love the Body of Christ. I don’t want want to get cynical. I don’t
want to sit around and hate the haters or I become one. But this morning
I just want to say this. We can love each other better. Let’s do.
People have enough hurt. Let’s be careful with one another."