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Christian Leaders Defend Rick Warren Against 'Haters' Responses to Son's Suicide

( [email protected] ) Apr 11, 2013 11:49 AM EDT
Christian leaders called the Christian communities to reflect on the true meaning of being a Christian as they stand against 'haters', who made hurtful responses to Rick Warren's family tragedy.
The Rev. Rick Warren, on a jumbo television screen, preaching at the Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif. in October 2006. Monica Almeida/The New York Times

Christian leaders called the Christian communities to reflect on the true meaning of being a Christian as they stand against 'haters', who made hurtful responses to Rick Warren's family tragedy.

Upon hearing the death of Matthew Warren, Beth Moore, founder of Living Proof Ministries, wrote an article “Sadness and Madness” in her blog Saturday in response to reading the vitriol from Rick Warren’s “haters”, saying she became “madder and madder at the bullies in the Body of Christ.”

Moore has only attended and served in the Saddleback Church Women’s Ministry on a few occasions in the past. Yet, she relates to the Warrens in how much they must have gone through personally and “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,” she went on, adding that no leaders should be immune to questions, constructive criticism, and accountability, but she opposes bullying.

Moore said that there are scriptural ways to reason with a brother and sister about matters that “we genuinely consider to be off base, misleading, or in error.” But much of what was said in public forums is the “furthest thing from biblical,” she wrote.

“It is slander,” she pointed out. “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.”

Christian author Frank Viola wrote on his blog that some of the comments that were left on various Christian news websites made him “want to vomit.”

“Why do so many people not want to have anything to do with Jesus? It’s because of the cruel, harsh, self-righteous, and judgmental attitude that some professing “Christians” level against their fellow believers,” said Viola. “If you are a Christian and your heart doesn’t go out to his brother and his family, something is wrong with you spiritually.”

Moore continued, “Sometimes we need to speak up and call something wrong,” she said, adding that “hatefulness” is a bigger issue in the Body of Christ than immorality.

The founder of Living Proof Ministries said that she is “sick of bullying”, “mud-slinging and meanness,” “careless, idle words throw out in public square” by “hater-Christians”, who stands “on the neck” of other believers “to sound smart and superior.”

Encouraging and defending the Warrens, Moore said, “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 faith.”

“I love the Body of Christ. I don’t 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,” she said.

The hurt and grieving father of Matthew, Rick Warren, tweeted after reading Moore article, “WOW. We love you @BethMooreLPM for your powerful and prophetic #SadnessAndMadness blog [link].”