Christians, Let Us Never Forget the 49

 

For several reasons, I took a little break from writing over the last few weeks.  Mainly because I was trying to see exactly what direction to go in for my next post.  And yes, I was lazy with mind and keyboard also.  I had to be honest with that.  But I also have been in the midst of a brief series on the topic of fear, and I wanted to wait to see how I might approach the topic this time around.  However, I am moved to write on something that is long overdue, and that much ink has been spilled on.  This particular tragedy in Orlando has been on my heart a lot lately.  It has taken me a few weeks to write on it, because it has been hard to process the proper way to respond.  It has been difficult not to be influenced by much of what I have read.  Not that every influence was bad or anything, just that I wanted to be honest in sharing my own perspective.  I wanted my mind to be as clear as possible, so as not to be insensitive or to comment on things that are secondary to the matter of grieving families and community.

Of course, this tragedy is on many people’s hearts all over the country.  And rightly so.  Every tragedy should be remembered and grieved over.  Grief is universal.  It affects everyone……male or female, gay or straight, young or old, Christian, Hindu, Muslim, or atheist.  Everyone, at some level, grieves.  Sometimes for the right things, sometimes for the wrong things.  This one should break our hearts.  After all, the Orlando shooting was the worst massacre in US history, committed by a man named Omar Mateen. 

What happened at the Pulse Nightclub around 2am on Sunday June 12th should bring us to tears, and to our knees.  That should be our immediate reaction when we think of Orlando.  For Christians who are reading this, didn’t we all grieve last year on June 26th when the Supreme Court made their Landmark Decision on gay marriage being a Constitutional right?  And yes, we believe in the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman, and so we should.  The Bible clearly teaches it.  But should we not also grieve even more for real people created in the image of the Holy One?  None of us have forgotten about the Supreme Court Decision.  And so we shouldn’t.  But brothers and sisters, let us not forgot Orlando.  Let us not forget the LGBTQ community.  Yes, the sanctity of marriage is an important issue for discussion.  It is important for our children and society at large.  But while realizing this, we must also remember that gay people are living, breathing individuals whose families and communities are suffering great loss right now.

This is not a universal rebuke against Christians, as though believers are not mourning over this horrific event.  Many believers are grieving.  This is simply a warning to us all, Christians and others who oppose gay marriage.  The warning is this: let us be careful that important issues do not take such preference in our lives that we end up forgetting to love human beings in the process.  The throne of God must be approached for these victim’s loved ones.  And I believe that, in doing so, our hearts will be more ready to reach out to them in acts of love.  And we’ll be more prepared to offer them the hope of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  For more perspective on how we should respond to the LGBT community, please listen to RC Sproul in this interview.  His church is about a half hour away from the Pulse Nightclub.

Christians, we need to grieve wholeheartedly for the LGBTQ community.  And I mean really, really grieve.  How?  By praying, giving, and being careful with our rhetoric by speaking the truth in love (see Ephesians 4:15).  What I fear is that somehow, in the midst of arguments on gun control, immigration, and even marriage rights, that we are forgetting to grieve.  49 people created in the image of God have died.  They have died in a very violent manner.  They were scared.  Really, really scared.  Their families know this, and they have to live with that knowledge.  Their children are not coming home anymore.  Let this sink in.  Pray for their loved ones……….brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, friends, and their gay partners.  They all have lost someone they love and care about.  I know that I have failed to soak them in prayer the way that God calls us to.  Let us try to imagine what these victims, pictured here, were truly going through.  Please, click on the link to see pictures of the victims.  It will be a heartfelt, sobering reminder of the preciousness of human life.  They were like me and you in so many ways.  They worked hard, they had hobbies, they had cares and concerns, and like us, wanted to be able to visit a public place without fear of being murdered.  A brutal terrorist named Omar Mateen ended all of their future hopes, plans and joys.

Beloved Christians, let us not forget June 26th 2015, as we know that God was grieved because of that Supreme Court decision.  But brothers and sisters, let us be careful not to let Obergefell choke out our love for Orlando.  Yes, we must speak the truth on marriage.  We must call sin what it is.  At the same time, we must choose our words carefully and make sure our timing is right.  We must have a tenderness about us as Christians that is easy to notice.  Jesus addressed many broken people in the gospels, especially women who were sexually broken.  And He always did it with love.  He had a soft heart for broken sinners.  Let us follow His example.  Beloved, I hope and pray that June 12th, 2016 is etched in our memories for the rest of our lives, so that we never forget the 49.

If you are gay and are reading this post, thank you for taking the time.  I appreciate you and your comments, even if you don’t agree with everything I believe.

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