I have a habit of checking the news on my phone as soon as I wake up—it's almost like I fear all heck has broken loose overnight and I will awake to find out we're in one of these post-apocalyptic movies. So when I woke up Sunday morning and saw the news about the shooting in Orlando, my first thought was not again. It didn't matter to me whether the people who were attacked were old or young, black or white, Christian or not, gay or straight... What I saw was the news that someone took lives that were not theirs to take, and I was sad for the victims and their families.
Since then I've seen so much foolishness on social media, I'm tempted to finally delete my Facebook account once and for all. From people who claim to know God and people who claim to be preachers or representatives of God spewing hate, to anti-Christians pointing the blame at those who have chosen to follow God (of course I know that despite their word choice they're really pointing the finger at these same preachers who are saying the victims deserved to die).
I want to clear things up. You can like it, love it, hate it or ignore it, but homosexuality is listed as a sin. So, is premarital sex, adultery, dishonoring your parents, murder, stealing, lying, and a bunch of other things. The logic that a sinner deserves to die for their sin concludes that we should all deserve to be dead. You know, that time when I was 10 or 11 and screaming at the top of my lungs for my mom to "just go away and leave me alone?" Dishonoring my parents = death. That party I went to and had one too many shots? Drunkeness = death. The glory and beauty of the gospel is that Jesus died for exactly this purpose. So that I could grow up and realize how dumb I was for yelling at my mom; where would I be without a loving mother who always wanted the best for me? So, that I could wake up the next morning and know that I should never drink that much again. But most importantly, so that I could find my way back to God. God gave us all a choice, some people will choose to follow Him, some people will reject Him. Whether we agree with another person's choice or not, it is their choice to make.
No where in the Bible does it say Jesus got frustrated with the Pharisees, so He went to the Temple and shot them up (well, I guess stabbed would be more appropriate since guns didn't exist yet). No where. Jesus preached to those who chose to listen. Not only did He not go out attacking those who were not obeying God, He preached that we should be abundant in love.
He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
None of these quotes put qualifiers on neighbors or brothers. It doesn't leave any room for you to assume that because your neighbor commits a sin different than the sin you commit you are free to hate him. It says explicitly that if you hate someone you don't love God. All of these people claiming to represent God but spewing hate are false prophets showing their true colors. I don't expect people who are not believers to know this and be able to separate out the weeds from the flowers because they aren't necessarily studying the word to know that it isn't God who is wrong, but man. It is these people that turn people away from God because they're preaching false doctrine and a false god. It's partially their fault people like the shooter think it's ok to commit such a heinous crime.
I do find it interesting that people are saying it's not Islam's fault but are saying it is Christianity's fault, despite the shooter claiming to be Muslim. Obviously, he doesn't represent all Muslims, just as those idiot pastors do not represent the God of the Bible. What I see on my timeline is the passing of blame and the pointing of fingers—I guess this is the anger phase in the stages of grief. The fault lies on the man who pulled the trigger. The fault lies in the people who go to church but never read their Bible (or whatever religious text supports their religion, for non-Christians). The fault lies in the hypocrite that thinks they are better because their sin is more acceptable by society. The fault lies in the person that has drifted so far away from humanity that while watching all of these people on the news crying, frightened, and frantically looking for their friends/family, has a reaction of hate instead of compassion. The fault lies in the person who thinks two wrongs make a right.
Jesus died for each and every one of the souls that passed Sunday morning. I don't know them personally, but even if I did, I wouldn't know what their relationship was with God and it wouldn't matter. There's a reason Judgement Day is at the end of all things and why only the omnipotent God can carry out the judgement. The shooter had no right to murder a single person. Those so called pastors have no right to pass judgement on a single person. At a time like this love and compassion should be the prevailing emotions across society. Arms should be open, hands ready to wipe away tears, and ears ready to listen. We, as servants of God, should be heartbroken.
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Whoever you are, wherever you are, whatever you've done, whatever you believe, I love you. I pray that God will take away your pain, and I'm sorry you lost someone special to you.