Sympathies flow to Pastor Rick Warren after son's suicide death

(Photo: Saddleback Church)Rick and Kay Warren

Christians all over the world have been quick to express sympathies through social media as news of the death of the son of author and pastor Pastor Rick Warren has spread.

From Facebook to Twitter, Christians and church leaders expressed sympathies and words of encouragements Saturday for the Warrens.

"My heart is broken over the sad news of Rick and Kay Warren losing their son today. Please keep them in your prayers," said T. D. Jakes, senior pastor of the T. D. Jakes Ministries and the Potter's House, on the T. D. Jakes Ministries Official Facebook page.

The Dallas-based Potter House has more than 30,000 members and more than 50 ministries.

"I'm praying today for Pastor Rick and Kay Warren on the tragic loss of their son. May God be their comfort and strength," said John Maxwell, author of numerous leadership books and founder of the nonprofit EQUIP and John Maxwell Company.

"You may have heard the tragic news that Matthew Warren, the 27-year-old son of Pastor Rick Warren and his wife, Kay, has died. I too have had a son die, so I have a sense of the pain Rick and Kay are facing.

"But their circumstances are different and my heart goes out to them," said Greg Laurie, author and senior Pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship.

Like Saddleback, Harvest is also based in California and is considered one of the U.S. mega-churches.

Laurie lost his son Christopher in a 2008 auto accident.

Victoria, wife of the famous evangelist and author Joel Osteen twitted: "‪@RickWarren ‪@KayWarren1 My heart goes out to you and your family. May His peace and comfort surround you."

Even those who do not agree with the mega church pastor's religious and political views expressed sympathies.

"I've never been impressed with Rick Warren, but this is a pain no parent deserves. I hope he and his wife can find the comfort their hearts need," a reader of Huffington Post said.

"I believe that compassion is the best way to reach out to people whose political differences drastically differ from our own.

"It may get them to reconsider their stance on certain things once they put a compassionate face on their "enemy" and realize that we're not all bad," a reader of the New Civil Rights Movement commented.

An Evangelical, Warren drew flak and earned admiration for his stand on hot-button issues such as same-sex marriage, abortion, and interfaith dialogue with Muslims.

On April 6, Pacific Standard Time, the Saddleback Valley Community Church released a statement confirming Warren's youngest son Matthew committing suicide.

The statement said that the 27-year-old Warren has struggled with mental illness and depression throughout his life.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), suicide is 10th in the causes of death in the United States. It accounted for 34, 598 deaths in 2007. The Institute said that for every suicide death, an estimated 11 suicide attempts occur.

Suicidal behavior is a complex phenomenon.

According to Christian Life Resources, causes include but are not limited to depression, alcohol and substance abuse, firearm, medical illness and social isolation.

Saddleback spokeswoman Kristin Cole confirmed to Fox News that Matthew died Friday night.

Warren took the Christian world's center stage after writing The Purpose Driven Life in 2002.

The book sold more than 32 million copies worldwide in 50 languages including Afrikaans, Arabic, Farsi, Rwandan, Sango, Kiswahili and isiZulu.

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