Orlando Shooting

The shooting in Orlando yesterday was an atrocity. As Al Mohler tweeted, “The Bible honors weeping with those who weep. A lot of our LGBT neighbors and their families are weeping now. Christians must weep with them.”

When I retweeted Mohler’s statement, someone responded that we’re hypocrites because we think gays are going to burn in Hell and God will be happy about it. Not true.

The Bible teaches that all people – every single person – is a valuable human being born with God’s image, and that we have an obligation to respect that. Every one of us. The Bible also teaches that all human beings are fallen and lost. The consequence of that is that all people – every single person – will be lost forever unless we are reconciled to God. No person, no group, no particular sin is singled out, because all sin breaks relationship with God. And even though we are all lost, while we are yet lost, we are valuable human beings who still retain the image of God and deserve respect.

The Bible also teaches that reconciliation with God is available to all people – every single person – through Jesus, God in the flesh who came to us to make that possible. And the Bible teaches that those who have been reconciled to God because they have realized their lost situation are now reconcilers themselves, appealing to others to accept peace with God that He has made possible through Jesus, God Himself.

We’re all the same – valuable human beings. We’re all in the same situation – lost and alienated from God. And peace with God is available to all.

As Russell Moore stated today, “We don’t have to agree on the meaning of marriage and sexuality to love one another and to see the murderous sin of terrorism.” To disagree on political and policy issues is totally different than loving others and offering them the forgiveness we needed, too.

Let’s be as clear as we can be in our message and have our actions back up our role as ministers of reconciliation.

So we grieve at the loss of valuable human beings. We are angry at the atrocity of targeting LGBT people. And we show Jesus’s love for them and all people at all times.

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Melinda Penner

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