You Don’t Kick a Man When He is Down

Erik Raymond —  April 9, 2013

By now most people have heard of the suicide of Rick Warren’s son, Matthew. Over the weekend the news broke and all parents, particularly Christian parents felt sympathy for Rick and Kay Warren.

Well, apparently not all.

Sadly, many people and even many professing Christians are taking this opportunity to express their lack of support for and even opposition to Warren’s ministry. Cathy Lynn Grossman, writing in USA Today noted that many Atheists, proponents of same-sex marriage, and even professing Christians are publicly piling on the wounded Warrens.

As I read the article and some of the related comments I became frustrated but not surprised by non-Christians kicking him while he is down. While I don’t like it, I understand it theologically and experientially. However, I do not understand and am frankly disgusted by any professing Christian who would use this opportunity to land a cheap punch in the emotional kidneys. You don’t do that. Far from kicking a man when he is down Christians are to come alongside their brothers and sisters who are hurting, to bear their burdens with them (Gal. 6.2), weeping with those who weep (Rom. 12.15).

There is absolutely no place for this type of thing from any professing Christian. And shame on you if you are doing this. This would be wrong behavior if such a tragedy happened in the life of an unbeliever, much less a fellow brother and sister in Christ. Those who do so unwittingly undermine their own message and demonstrate a shockingly ironic level of a lack of discernment and theological maturity. If you happen to come across such rubbish I hope that you would boldly call it what it is and direct them to a more Christ-like path.

Erik Raymond

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Erik has been writing at Ordinary Pastor since 2006. He lives in Omaha with his wife and kids while pastoring at Emmaus Bible Church. Follow regular updates on Twitter at www.twitter.com/erikraymond

3 responses to You Don’t Kick a Man When He is Down

  1. It is difficult to imagine the pain and grief of the death of a son or daughter … and Pastor Warren’s Q rating insures that the worse is yet to come … He will condemned whether he authors something about Matthew’s death or he doesn’t … because the media has an insatiable hunger for picking clean the bones of public figures … Trust and faith in God is the only real hope

  2. This is a wake up call to all of us. We get behind our little key boards and take shots at whoever doesn’t line up with our awesome theology, totally oblivious to the fact that most of what we are posting is done in an ad hominem manner.

  3. Chris Tolbert April 9, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    It is heartbreaking on many fronts, Erik. The end of Luke 6 comes immediately to my mind.

    43 “For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, 44 for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. 45 The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

    46 “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? 47 Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: 48 he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.[c] 49 But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.”