Tags: rick | warren | pulpit | son | suicide

Rick Warren Returns to Pulpit Following Son's Suicide

Sunday, 28 Jul 2013 08:36 AM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Nearly four months after his son's suicide, popular pastor Rick Warren returned to the pulpit Saturday afternoon at the Southern California megachurch he founded.

Warren, dressed in his usual casual black T-shirt and jeans, took the stage at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif. with wife, Kay Warren, and was greeted with a long standing ovation by the congregation.

A shout of "We love you!" came from the crowd before Warren began.

"I love you, too," a smiling Warren replied. "Have I told you lately that I love you?"

It was the first time Warren had taken the Saddleback pulpit since his 27-year-old son Matthew shot and killed himself on April 5.

In the sermon, first in a series called "How To Get Through What You're Going Through," Rick Warren said he had the perfect role model for his struggles.

"God knows what it's like to lose a son," Warren said.

He remained mostly composed, but choked back tears at times, including when he thanked his surviving two children.

"How proud I was of Amy and Josh, who for 27 years loved their younger brother," Warren said. "They talked him off the ledge time after time. They are really my heroes."

He delivered a formal, prepared speech with notes and quotes from Scripture but often broke off to talk frankly about his son.

"I was in shock for at least a month after Matthew took his life," Warren said.

But, Warren said he was grateful to come from "a family of spiritual redwoods."

"Satan picked the wrong team to pick on," he said.

Warren has been an essential figure in the modern, megachurch brand of Christianity.

His multimillion-selling book "The Purpose Driven Life" made him a national star in the realms of religion and self-help, and he delivered the opening prayer at President Barack Obama's 2009 inauguration.

Saddleback, the church he founded in 1980, has grown to 20,000 members, according to Warren's biography on the church's website.

But in April, Matthew Warren, after a lifetime of struggle with depression, shot and killed himself in what Warren at the time called "a momentary wave of despair."

"For 27 years I prayed every day of my life for God to heal my son's mental illness," Warren said.

But Warren said Saturday that he intended to turn his grief into a message of service and hope.

"God wants to take your greatest sorrow and turn it into your life's greatest message," he said.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Judge Overturns Mississippi Same-sex Marriage Ban

Tuesday, 25 Nov 2014 21:52 PM

A federal judge has overturned Mississippi's ban on same-sex marriage, but he is putting his order on hold for two weeks . . .

Judge Rules Arkansas Ban on Same-Sex Marriage Is Unconstitutional

Tuesday, 25 Nov 2014 20:45 PM

A U.S. district judge ruled on Tuesday that an Arkansas constitutional amendment defining marriage as being only the uni . . .

Obamacare Architect to Testify on ACA's 'Deceptions'

Tuesday, 25 Nov 2014 20:12 PM

Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber, whose comments citing the healthcare law's lack of transparency and mocking "the st . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved