Sunday, April 7, 2013

Sunday Faith Post

Rick Warren's son committed suicide Friday night.  I write this because the pain must be horrible and I ask for prayer for Rick Warren and his family and all those who loved his son.  He had major depression and suicidal thoughts much of his life and finally ended it.

I ask you to pray for all those with depression as it can be such a difficult thing to handle and the pain must be intense and immense, even for the loved ones who have to watch it.

For the record, I am not a big fan of Rick Warren's, but I certainly admire all the work he does, that's for sure.  He's been a big comfort to millions.  Even then, depression can make it impossible to reach out and help someone, the someone you'd have liked to have helped the most.   How painful this must be for Warren.  His wife's suffered with two bouts of cancer and is quite a woman.  HERE is information on her....she suffers from mild depression, too.  As you know, this can be genetic.

It's often said that those who become true witnesses of Christianity get hit with harder tests than others of us.........Perhaps that's what's happening here...forces against Christ aren't too happy?

Psalms 34:18,19  "The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. (19) A righteous man may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all."

Let's hope and pray that 27 year old Matthew has been saved and delivered to heaven, finished with his earthly pain. What a joyous thought, and probably the only thing which will sustain the Warrens for a very long time to come.God bless their family and ALL families of those suffering depression.  Please share anything you can add that might be a help to my readers who might have depression in their families.........



Anonymous said...

That is really sad. I am sure he is in heaven now like the article says.

Always On Watch said...

I'm no fan of Rick Warren's.

That said, the suicide of his son is a tragedy that inflicts terrible pain upon the family -- pain that never goes away.

I read a few comments threads about the suicide this morning. Several commenters couldn't wait to jump onto the bandwagon of "He committed suicide because he was gay, and his father doesn't approve of homosexuality" and "Rick Warren got what the deserved."

What is wrong with people???

FreeThinke said...

I read of this on DRUDGE around 5:00 AM, and was struck first by the hideous irony, and wondered what the "real" story must be after I read the article which, of course, contained nothing but platitudes.

I also thought very sadly that there were going to be a lot of people indulging in unholy displays of Schadenfreude over this terrible news. Apparently, I was right from what AOW just said.

Very frankly I have never understood Rick Warren's appeal, his looks are very much against him. I tend anyway to have an instinctive distrust of religious figures who appear to follow the Elmer Gantry model. Jimmy Swaggart and Jim and Tammy Fay Bakker immediately come to mind, but I wouldn't wish something like this on my worst enemy.

It's always been hard for me to accept the idea that mental illness could have a PHYSICAL cause. If anything I tend to believe that most illness is caused by extreme mental stress, self-centeredness, and the fear of being unable to cope with life's demands, but I could be wrong. It just seems a cop out to me.

It does seem many of the children of very famous people do poorly. Irony of ironies Doctor Spock's son committed suicide, so did Mary Tyler Moore's, Caroll O'Connor's and one of Carol Burnett's children. There have been others too, I know.

It just might be that Pop Culture's Ideals of Fame are unhealthy and illegitimate.

I saw a picture of the young man along with the article posted at DRUDGE, and he really did LOOK like a weirdo. There was something very disturbing about his cast of features.


Always On Watch said...

So many of the comments about Rick Warren and his son's suicide are APPALLING!

Neurology and human behavior are complicated matters. We will likely never know how or why some people develop mental problems, which come in so many varieties.

Ed Bonderenka said...

Let me preface by saying, I have a son who didn't turn out as I'd like.
He's not hateful, or violent, but he was easily swayed by his poor choice of companions, twice, and is now serving ten years in federal prison.
This, I fear, reflects poorly on me and my parenting, but I can't see why.
It hurts.
I also am not a fan of Rick Warren's (a discussion of commenters opinions of him might be good for another day), but I would be hesitant to lay this at his feet for the above reasons.
I used to think that depression was a result of personal outlook or should be manageable by prayer, etc. Then I heard a famous pastor on James Dobson's show describe it's effect on him and how people kept telling him it was a spiritual attack, a flaw, buck up, etc.
I'm reminded of Job's friends, yet that wasn't mentioned.
The point is that he finally turned to medication and his life got back on track.
Having said that, I have a number of family members (by marriage) who are very close, very upright, seeking God, and on depression meds. And I wonder if the prescription is as called for as they think it is.
And when they've tried to back off, things didn't go well. So they are certainly stuck on the meds.
How did people survive before the meds? How many are misdiagnosed onto the meds.
Is this similar to "ADHD" and Ritalin?
The Catholic Church taught for years that suicide was a mortal sin, because despair was the opposite of Faith, by which we are saved.
But if it takes meds to overcome a physical condition that might cause one to take one's life, I believe the Lord is not that harsh.
I considered suicide once.
I was alone, on drugs, had no vision for my future, but considered the effect my death would have on others and backed off.
after I got saved, my former drug dealer turned to God, and he told me that he had a .357 in his mouth when the Lord spoke to him and called him back from the brink (he believed in response to his parents prayers).
So, you asked:"Please share anything you can add that might be a help to my readers who might have depression in their families" and I just rattled on.
Pray for your loved ones, love them, talk to them, encourage them.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to write my son.

Anonymous said...

It's always been hard for me to accept the idea that mental illness could have a PHYSICAL cause

I'm no expert but the issue is that the way you think changes your brain wiring and even your DNA. So it's very tough to get out of a deep depression whether it's your brain chemistry or something created by life. It's a very complicated matter.

Z said...

Ed, I am so sorry about your son.
And you're right..I could never lay this at Warren's feet, that's for SURE.

I think that when depression, etc., can be so well helped with medications, it's clear that something needed fixing ... I think anybody who's felt it knows that it's like a curtain that falls and one can't get it to lift no matter what. horrible.

When I saw that Rick Warren's son had done this, I knew that the media would have a hay day with it..."another Christian falls!" It's because many secularists believe that Christians are supposed to be perfect once they're believers which is possibly THE most ridiculous, anti-Scripture understanding ever. It's just that Christians then know how much they need God!...and know better how to implement His words in their lives.

Always On Watch, it's horrible that what we thought would happen DID happen (but typical these days, isn't it)... it's so easy and such a cheap shot to intentionally misunderstand depression and blame a Godly man for what happened.

Obviously, if this had been a beloved secular celebrity's child, the media would be in awe-ful respect and give the father or mother every out they could come up with.

FrogBurger, you're so right.
Dick Cavett's book describes it very well, I think...his autobiography. It's stunning and takes a very long time to get out of AND then, sometimes, the drugs which helped stop helping. Mr. Z's cousin suffers from chronic and deep depression and that's the situation for her. Meds work, then they don't. Then it's a long time before they find a med which does work.

God be with the Warren family...

Elmers Brother said...

Praying for the family....mourn with those that mourn.

Elmers Brother said...

Warren wasn't an Elmer Gantry or Swaggart type, he wrote a couple of popular books. I havent read them. I simply don't know why a person who doesn't want to be judged would judge this young man based on a picture.

Always On Watch said...

Thank you for sharing that information. It can't have been easy for you to open up those wounds.

Always On Watch said...

I know a bit about depression. Not my own -- although getting discouraged is certainly a part of my life now.

The depression that I know too much about is the depression that Mr. AOW suffered after brain surgery in 1993.

Back then, medical protocol did not call for meds for post-op depression for this particular kind of brain surgery. The trauma of the surgery and the massive doses of necessary steroids combine to affect these post-op patients in adverse ways that vary.

About two years after the surgery, I came home to find my husband curled up in a fetal position on the bed. The brain doesn't always realize its own illness, and he did not know what was wrong. It was all he could do not to blow his own brains out, and he had been quietly struggling with toughing out depression -- didn't want to be a whiner.

As medical proxy with full power of attorney, I pulled a lot of strings and got an emergency appointment with our family doctor, and the doctor put Mr. AOW on medication. It didn't work. The doctor tried another, which also didn't work. Finally, the third medication DID work! But all the time required! Most anti-depressants take over 2 weeks to kick in, and, even then, dosages have to be adjusted. We were on a roller coaster for months on end.

My guess is that Rick Warren and the entire family were on a similar roller coaster for years on end. Assigning blame to any of them is abhorrent to me.

Z said...

AOW, I couldn't agree with you more.

Elbro, thanks...I forgot to mention that and had meant to in my last comment; Warren is not a Gantry/Swaggert type at all. He's quite humble, though his words have affected many. As I said before, I'm not a big fan of much of his theology, but he seems to have done a lot of people a lot of good.
When his book became a big seller (huge), he gave all of his 25 years of salary back to his church and takes no salary now. He lives on 10% of what he brings in. Quite a humble man, though if I were he, I'd be politely protesting the moniker "America's Pastor" which I've heard him called on radio interviews and heard no protestations.

Thersites said...

I know a little bit about depression (melancholy) as well... but after a tragedy like this, this is probably not a good time to share it.

Some other time perhaps. Here's something for the mourners...

Thersites said...

Resolution of the conflicts arising from prohibition through afterwardness only works when a father dies first. When a son dies first, it is always a tragedy.

Always On Watch said...

May the Warrens find solace in Psalm 69.

Z said...

I think it's important to make the distinction of DEPRESSION and FEELING DEPRESSED or DOWN......BIG difference.

FreeThinke's right in suggesting that some who say they're depressed are too self-involved..."I'm so depressed.." gets a lot of sympathy and even cajoling. Clinical Depression is something quite different, and that's what this post and most of the comments are talking about.

sue hanes said...

Z - Some people don't realize what a terrible thing depression can be.
I think it is especially hard for men - who have trouble getting the help they need for it.

It must be hard for the Warrens to have their son suffer from the illness and yet not be able to do anything about it.

My prayers go out to them.

Divine Theatre said...
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Anonymous said...
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sue hanes said...

Z - There was a couple at our church who had an adult son. He had a wife and two children and a successful career but he suffered from depression for a long time.
Everyone knew he had it but he just couldn't get treatment to get rid of it. Finally - when he could stand it no longer he shot himself.

His parents were devestated and they nearly didn't get over it.
It was a long time until they could reconcile themselves to it.

No one seemed to be able to identify with him and he couldn't live with it.

We use the term 'depressed' in a casual way - saying 'I'm so depressed' or 'that is depressing'
but true depression is a terrible thing.

It's too bad that there isn't better treatment for it - before it's too late for some people.

Pris said...

How devastating for this young man's family. No parents want to outlive their children. I know I don't. It has to feel unbearable.
May God be with them in their hour of need. How terribly sad.

Z said...

Richard, sadly, the percentage of suicides by atheists is very high. I'd google it if I were you.
Were you implying loving and having faith in God has anything to do with atheism?

I'm not sure all liberals feel that way about the flag, but I agree with a lot of what you said!
..particularly the silliness of denying the huge hand Christianity had in the founding of our country and the positive attributes of our country.

By the way, I wish you believed in God, too.

Z said...

Sue, what a sad story. It's so different than just "I was depressed yesterday" kind of talk, isn't it. It's all encompassing and there feels like there's no way out.
Usually, drugs help quite a bit, but I believe they don't always. Obviously, the man at your church didn't get the help he needed from medicine.

Yes, Pris...and I"m hoping the secularists pull a little back from piling it on Warren at such a sensitive, sad time.

Z said...



First, I don't request a blogger profile and second, is there somewhere to register or something?

Or do they, like Richard, just don't have a blog?

Anonymous said...
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Z said...

Richard, thanks! In other words, I'm not doing anything wrong trying to get INTO it, right? :-) The blogs which say what I quoted above are just not BLOGS..?

I run a pretty good blog but, techie-wise, I'm not so hot! (thank God for very good friend/commenter Elmer's Brother's help)

I'm glad you came by; please come again!

Anonymous said...
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Robert Sinclair said...

Is suicide devastating to the families?

Will family members carry this hurt with them all the days of their lives?

In that sense, is suicide an act of selfishness and spitefulness?
In my view, yes.

Will any of it matter 100 years from now?

Anonymous said...


"Progressives are anti god and anti religion except when it comes to Islam."

Maybe we can give them credit because they understand that it's NOT a "religion". And that mocking the political ideology that islam is always results in a death sentence, mayhem, chaos, fatwahs and salivating drooling illiterate savages who become instant barbarians at the slightest..."provocation" or negative comment?

sue hanes said...

Z - That's the sad part of depression. He had received medication and treatment but in severe cases it doesn't help as much as it's needed.

Severe depression is hard to treat and as you can see it leads to depair and the taking of one's life.

This was the case of Matthew Warren. He had it for so long that he couldn't stand it anymore.

Suicide is such a sad thing - knowing that your loved one was alone and desperate at the last moments of their life.

Z said...

Robert Sinclair...then when does anything truly matter?

Imp....It's so nuts that in this country today people respect islam more than christianity...that's no accident, and it's certainly not Christianity which causes that, except the constant glee with which the media likes to share ANY bad news about ANY Christian. I mean, if a murderer today taught a Sunday School class 40 years ago, they include that this nut taught that class... etc etc.

Sue, I know. I can't imagine the pain the Warrens are feeling.
I'm hoping that they're even maybe feeling some relief; they've gone through grief for years hoping and praying their son would improve; now maybe they can all have relief that he's free.

Law and Order Teacher said...

Mental disease is something few of understand. My computer blew up. I want to keep connected so I'm on my phone.

Robert Sinclair said...

When does anything truly matter?

It matters when you are selfless in your dealings with others; when you are kind; when you demonstrate genuine concern for others. It matters when you place God first in your life.

But I think whenever a person is selfish, when their behavior is designed to cause others pain, few outside the immediate family even care, and no one will even remember them beyond a few generations.

Ducky's here said...

z, the media is not disparaging Rick Warren. The story has been reported with respect.

The damage Rick Warren has done to religion in America preceded this tragedy.

That said, it happens every day, happened in my family and to many here. The fact the father was Rick Warren this time is irrelevant.
I feel sorry for the young man. I know the black dog is a hard master.

Z said...

Law and Order....."blew up!"? Good luck with getting back on line...and yes, please stay connected!

Robert Sinclair...I asked you because of your comment above mine "will it matter in 100 years?"

I agree with you on what matters, but I do know that deep clinical depression ends in suicide and I don't think that's selfish. It IS, in the end, because it leaves everyone around you speechless and grief stricken, but I don't think it's done for that; notes left behind usually say it's just to escape the constant pain.

Ducky, baloney.

Elmers Brother said...

The damage Rick Warren has done to religion in America preceded this tragedy.

Irrelevant to the subject.

FreeThinke said...

Abraham Lincoln was a manic depressive. He just didn't know it, because the disease hadn't been "discovered" yet.

His life, his marriage, his children, his likely bisexuality -- all reasons that might have impelled him toward suicide, but he did not travel that route.


It's possible he believed he had a "mission" to complete that was more important than his personal feelings and the relatively petty concerns of his everyday life.

Jen Nifer said...

Depression is black and unrelenting. It won't let you breathe or rest. It's a pull downward with nothing to grab onto.

I hate it.

My heart goes out to the Warrens, and everyone else who suffers from this disease.

My own grandmother once told me to"pull myself up by my bootstraps". She clearly never experienced clinical depression.

Z said...

Elbro, plus I'm thinking Catholic priests have done more to hurt religion in this country than just about anybody else, sadly.
There are SO many good ones, but...

FreeThinke, Lincoln actually was afraid to have knives around him at certain times in his life, I read. He suffered with suicidal thoughts, too, apparently.

Jen ...(email me! xxx)...You are SO WISE (as usual)
"Pull yourself up from your bootstraps" doesn't even come're right.
Deep depression is like you describe.. you have such an amazing way of saying things.

Elmers Brother said...

Elbro, plus I'm thinking Catholic priests have done more to hurt religion in this country than just about anybody else, sadly.

Z, it crossed my mind too, but I hate to generalize and hurt any of my Catholic friends just to give Duhkkky a piece of his own medicine. However, it is a point well taken.

Jack Whyte said...

Lincoln gay?

My gosh, you people are amazing. You wonder why our young people are nitwits ... it comes from illustrating at every turn that America is not exceptional, that all of our founding personages were flawed ... and to what purpose? To destroy America and pave the way for a communist state.

Disgusting. Utterly disgusting.

Z said...

I have to admit I didn't see FT's suggestion of Lincoln being bisexual!! There's a new one!! :-)
Yes, that's pretty astonishing.

Elbro...I hope you know that slamming Catholics is something I have NEVER done here or anywhere else. I actually very much like the beauty of the Church and can't abide Protestants who consider it not Christian. I just pointed out a fact... I'd never intentionally hurt anybody, either...and yes, I haven't stooped to the type of hateful, immature and silly anti-protestant "you Calvinists" we get from Ducky, ever... but did think this was worth mentioning.

Walk A Mile In My Shoes said...
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IMHO said...

Z said...
I have to admit I didn't see FT's suggestion of Lincoln being bisexual!! There's a new one!! :-)
Yes, that's pretty astonishing.

Now if he had said that Shaw was bisexual, I'd agree completely!

Elmers Brother said...

I know Z

Elmers Brother said...

I was going to say that very thing that I've seen you chide commenters for deriding tie Catholic Church

Always On Watch said...

Abraham Lincoln a bisexual???

I did a Google search and found THIS in Vanity Fair. Definitive proof?

Elmers Brother said...

A lot of conjecture in that article AOW, ' certainly anal sex was a part of his comedy...."
Hardly definitive.

Divine Theatre said...

I fear I may have offended you with my post. If so, I apologize. It's deleted.