Rick Warren: My Son Wasn’t Gay and I Don’t Blame God

( [email protected] ) Sep 18, 2013 12:48 AM EDT
In his first interview since his son’s suicide in April, famed pastor Rick Warren told CNN that he knew his son, Matthew, had bought a gun, dismissed rumors that Matthew was gay and said he doesn’t blame God for the tragedy.
Rick and Kay Warrens sat down to speak with CNN's Pier Morgans on Tuesday on Sept. 17, 2013. CNN

In his first interview since his son's suicide in April, famed pastor Rick Warren told CNN that he knew his son, Matthew, had bought a gun, dismissed rumors that Matthew was gay and said he doesn't blame God for the tragedy.

"I have cried every single day since Matthew died," Warren said in an interview with Piers Morgan on CNN, as reported on CNN's Belief blog. "But that - that's actually a good thing. Grief is a good thing. It's the way we get through the transitions of life."

In the five months since Matthew ended his life with a gun on April 5, the Warrens have been privately grieving away from the national spotlight, but they are now opening up about their personal tragedy so they can "save other families from the pain they are walking through."

Though they remained composed and strong, the Warrens' voices were on the verge of breaking as they recounted the moment that they knew that their son had committed suicide.

"The day that I had feared might happen one day, since he had been born, and the day that I had prayed would never happen ... happened," Rick Warren told CNN, as reported by The Huffington Post.

Rick Warren and his wife, Kay, founded Saddleback Church in Southern California in 1980, growing it from a small congregation to a multisite megachurch with some 20,000 weekly worshippers.

Warren is also author of the spiritual self-help guide "The Purpose Driven Life," one of the best-selling books of all time, with more 36 million copies sold, according to CNN's Belief blog.

But even as the Warrens grew in prominence -- attending conferences with presidents and prime ministers -- their son Matthew struggled with borderline personality disorder and deep depression, they said during the interview.

Despite the horror of their son's passing, the Warrens have held on to their Christian faith.

"I never questioned my faith in God; I questioned God's plan," Rick Warren said, according to The Huffington Post. "God isn't to blame for my son's death. My son took his life. It was his choice."

Yesterday's shootings at the Navy Yard in Washington D.C. were also part of the discussion between the Warrens and Morgan, as the issues of gun control and mental health are increasingly part of the same conversation.

Morgan cited a statistic stating that 35 people in America are killed every day from gun violence, and asked the Warrens about their stance on guns given both tragedies.

"Now that you've been so personally touched, and you're in such a position of authority, is it affecting what you're going to be saying going forward?"

Rick Warren replied, "Well yeah, it's going to affect me in all three of those areas- not just in simply gun control. By the way, when I heard about those deaths at the Naval Yard- the first thing I did was get down on my knees and pray for those families of the victims, those who died and those who were wounded. My heart went out to them."