I wonder how many Christian will struggle to feel compassion for the victims of the shooting in Orlando since it took place in a gay bar?1,2 There are many Christians in the U.S. who believe that it’s most important for Christians to take a stand against sin, to point out and condemn these wrongs. (Never mind that all sins aren’t addressed equally.)
Interestingly, there were people like this in Jesus day. Of course Jesus lauded their efforts and joined them in condemning the prostitutes, drunks, and other sinners. No one could have imagined questioning Jesus’ impeccable moral character and love for God’s word.
Errr… only that’s not how the story goes. The people who stood against sin in Jesus day were the Pharisees and teachers of the law. Rather than lauding their efforts, Jesus criticized them more harshly than any other group, calling them posers.3 (This doesn’t mean Jesus didn’t love them—or even didn’t like them—he loved them just as much as anyone.) And rather than being known for his impeccable character, Jesus was accused of being a drunk and partier and was known for his friendship with sinners.4 This certainly ought to give us pause to consider how we view (and subsequently treat) others.
So not only do I pray for the victims and everyone impacted by the tragic shooting in Orlando, I also pray that Christians will have soft hearts which love others in the way Jesus did, despite what may or may not be in their lives.
1 I don’t want to be opportunistic here. I hate how many people seem to take advantage of situations like this to make a political statement or promote their cause. It feels disrespectful to those who are morning. I hope I am not adding to the noise.
2 Ironically, some Christians may be torn between the narrative of standing against homosexuality and that of protecting the U.S. against Islamic inspired terrorism.
3 “Hypocrite” was a term for an actor and was something which Jesus accused the Pharisees and other religious people of being.
4 Matthew 11:19, Luke 7:34.