Sunday, June 19, 2016

The Orlando Shooting: A Reminder to Christians

It remains one of the top stories in the news. Each day we learn a little more about the victims and the alleged shooter who targeted gays in an Orlando nightclub. Along with the related news items it seems each day brings another commentary on how Christians should respond. Usually this advice is written by those who would lecture the church. To be honest, even before this tragedy I agreed with those who say Christians need to examine how we respond to the LGBT community. In fact Orlando should serve as a reminder that we fight not against flesh and blood.

Unfortunately Christians have been drawn into a battle in which all too often people have been attacked because of their sexual orientation. Unlike what happened in Orlando these attacks are not physical but emotional in nature. And yet, in many ways over time these emotional attacks can be just as damaging. Adding to the offence our words are often delivered without the teaching of the Gospel with which we have been entrusted. Such a delivery denies those whom we challenge an opportunity to hear about the love and power by which they will be saved.

Followers of Christ must recognize that our battle is spiritual. When we fight spiritual battles by attacking those whom we can see, we lose sight of the fact that every person is a soul in need of love and salvation. Love should compel us to teach the Gospel. It should also compel us to cry at the loss of human life whether or not we agree with the lifestyle of the victim. Orlando should remind us that the LGBT community is made up of people. As followers of Christ we should approach this community of people the same as we would any other.