Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Compassion is the only appropriate response.

You likely have read that Rick Warren's 27 year old son recently committed suicide.  I have read wonderful, compassionate responses to the Warren family's loss.  Len Sweet, for example, posted "I believe every suicide victim will be met by Jesus personally, who will embrace him/her at the gate & say, 'Son/Daughter, you found it a little too much for you, didn’t you? Welcome home.'”

The part I'm ashamed of is the other side.  Many "Christians" have condemned the Warrens, saying that if they had been better parents this would not have happened.  Others have said that Matthew Warren clearly is languishing in hell as no real follower of Jesus would ever commit suicide... and anyone who isn't a born again Christian automatically goes to hell.  Even the responses to Len Sweet's post were mixed with some responding, "maybe..."  I have to say that I wasn't really surprised to see these statements online.  I am ashamed and appalled to be affiliated with folk, even if only by name, who would even think such things, let alone say them.  

And it doesn't end there.  This morning I saw a facebook post from a Unitarian Universalist pastor who was collecting signatures for a sympathy card for the Warrens and read a number of comments that essentially said "the hater got what he deserved."  Again, I am appalled.

A young man struggled with more pain than he could bear.  A family is immersed in grief, the likes of which I don't even want to imagine.  The only appropriate response is compassion.  Regardless of how one feels about Rick Warren's ministry, views, or whatever... compassion is the only appropriate response.  And frankly, to expect less from Jesus than I expect from you is just silly.


Anonymous said...

In response to Mr. Sweet's quote, I'm personally not thrilled with the idea of a Jesus/God that essentially tells you, "You're a failure," on your arrival in heaven.

Michael Mahoney said...