On Hurtful Responses to Rick Warren’s Family Tragedy

As Christ followers, we are really good at hurting one another.  We have even found reasons to get around Jesus’ command to love one another (John 13:34-35).  In my recent post here, follower blogger Craig Benno shares how a local church turned on its own:

“Craig, 12 years ago, our son died by suicide. That Sunday at church, the preacher spoke about how all who suicide are going to hell. My husband stood up, took me and our daughter by the hand and walked out. We were blackbanned by the church as being back slidden. In the midst of our pain, the church we had belonged to most of our life, abandoned us. —- Craig, I believe in Jesus, we never have stopped believing in him.. but how the church has hurt us.”

Even someone as well-known as Rick Warren is not exempt from the hate and vitriol that comes for fellow believers.  According to The Christian Post, the grieving Warren posted through Facebook and Twitter: “Grieving is hard. Grieving as  public figures, harder. Grieving while haters celebrate your pain, hardest. Your  notes sustained us” (more here).

For some devious reason, we believe we can do and say anything on the internet as Christ followers and get away with it.  Commenting on the hateful responses to the Warren’s tragedy and pain, among other things, popular author and conference speaker Beth Moore had this to say,

“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.” (source)

But what I find even more appalling is our bent toward rationalization for our questionable and sometimes, as is this case, hateful responses, from members of the body of Christ.

Beth Moore refers to such fellow believers as “bullies in the Body of Christ.”

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4 Responses to On Hurtful Responses to Rick Warren’s Family Tragedy

  1. Jon Hughes says:


    Yes, this is disgusting and all too common. I’m learning to be less of a theological bully myself . As a relatively new believer, a misplaced zeal often got in the way.

    What I don’t understand is how (apparently) mature believers can be so hurtful toward their brethren.

    What I certainly DO understand is why many believers prefer the company of those outside the church, who seem to be better at relating to those around them as fellow human beings.

    • TC says:

      Sad to say, but it’s something of an epidemic among believers online, this bullying of one another, to echo Beth Moore. We need to grow up.

  2. Jon Hughes says:


    My wife Wendy has just reminded me of a true story that Adrian Rogers used to tell, which relates to your post:

    An adulterer in a congregation was gloriously saved. He then went off to Bible college, came back to the church, and began to question everybody (especially the minister) correcting them on their doctrine and understanding because of his newly-obtained-vastly-superior-knowledge. Eventually, the exasperated minister had had enough. Grabbing him by the lapels at the end of a service, he said to him: “Now look, brother, I liked you better as an adulterer. At least you were humble then!”

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