By BosNewsLife Americas Service with reporting by BosNewsLife’s Stefan J. Bos
LAKE FOREST, USA (BosNewsLife)– Famed American Pastor Rick Warren warned Sunday, May 26, that “fake Rick Warren Facebook” website pages have appeared “asking for donations in the name” of his son, who committed suicide last month.
In a statement monitored by BosNewsLife, the grieving church leader said “a large number” of these pages “have been popping up – where unscrupulous crooks are ripping off people and making money by asking for donations” on behalf of Matthew Warren who took his own life at his Mission Viejo home on April 4.
“They are all fake. We’ve shut down over 150 of these fake Facebook pages but new ones keep multiplying daily,” Rick Warren said.
“The only way I know to counteract this deceit is to ask you to do three things,” he told his Facebook friends. “First please “unfriend” any fake pages in my name that may have scammed you. Secondly, please “like” this real page” [by clicking on the word “like”] as this Pastor Rick Warren page is my only true, authentic Facebook page,” he wrote.
“Thirdly, please pass this request on to others who may have been scammed for money by a fake page pretending to be me” Warren said, adding “a million thanks” and “love you!, Rick.”
ADDRESSING “CHURCH FAMILY”
The pastor made the announcement after he and his wife addressed their evangelical Saddleback Valley Community Church in Lake Forest, California, for the first time since their son died at the age of 27.
“For the first time since my youngest son died, Kay and I spoke briefly to our church family, thanking them for their love and prayers,” Warren explained.
Matthew Warren, who was very active in his father’s congregation, struggled with mental illness, deep depression and suicidal thoughts throughout his life, the church said in an earlier statement.
“I’ll never forget how, many years ago after another approach had failed to give relief, Matthew said, ‘Dad, I know I’m going to Heaven. Why can’t I just die and end this pain?'”, explained Pastor Warren recently in written remarks.
Matthew Warren went on to live another decade, reaching out to help others in need, according to Christians familiar with his life.
In a message on the Twitter website, monitored by BosNewsLife, Rick Warren wrote: “We pray ‘Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven’ since in heaven God’s will is done always…On earth,it’s done rarely.”
Rick Warren founded Saddleback Church in 1980 and watched it grow to 20,000 members, according church estimates.
He is also the author of the multimillion-selling book The Purpose Driven Life.
(BosNewsLife, the first truly independent news agency covering persecuted Christians, is ‘Breaking the News for Compassionate Professionals’ since 2004).
Help BosNewsLife to be the voice of the voiceless. Click here for a subscription.