In the wake of this past weekend’s brutal massacre of gay nightclub goers in Orlando, Florida, by an Islamic terrorist, which left 50 dead and at least 53 injured, Christians find ourselves in an awkward position. We are straddling a fine line between showing compassion, while at the same time, not compromising Biblical conviction. For many it is very difficult to do. We are grieved for our fellow innocent human beings who were gunned down mercilously by a mutual enemy, and thus we offer condolences and desire to comfort those affected by the act of terror. Yet, on the otherhand, we do not want to be construed as supporting or condoning the lifestyles of the LGBT community. Some Christians I know are doing a great job at finding a perfect balance between the two, some are altogether abandoning their conviction to maximize their compassion, while a few others are showing no compassion at all and using our conviction to preach unGodly hate. In this article, I will examine the Christian responses I have seen thusfar and attempt to guide my brothers and sisters as to the best and worst ways we should be responding to the Orlando tragedy.
Before I get to the Christian responses though, it is important to first examine the responses of the gay community to us Christians, after the deadliest mass shooting in American history perpetrated by a Muslim. In my last article, I said that I hoped the LGBT community would finally come to realize that their REAL enemies are not us “bigoted” Christians, but rather the “murderous” Islamists. Sadly, the hatred of Christianity by the radical leftists and Gay Lobby was not quenched by the compassion we showed for the gay community. Rather, many LGBT advocates attacked CHRISTIANITY, while defending Islam. You can not make something this utterly ridiculous up.
Chase Strangio, a lawyer for the Godless ACLU, recently said, “The Christian Right has introduced 200 anti-LGBT bills in the last six months and people are blaming Islam for this. No.” He went on to say, “You know what is gross – your thoughts and prayers and Islamophobia after you created this anti-queer climate.”
A lesbian CNN commentator, Sally Kohn, also was too cowardly to speak out against the murderous “religion” that just massacred dozens of her people, so she turned her anger instead toward us peaceful Christians. She tweeted, “Hey right wing Christians desperately trying to point out that right wing Muslims are more anti-gay than you are: Your guilt is showing!” She continued in an anti-Christian Twitter rant, “Islamic extremists kill LGBT people. Christian and Jewish extremists just drive us to commit suicide. Either way, #HateIsHate.”
The New York Times reported that leading gay activists are beginning to “wonder” whether fights over “transgender” bathrooms and religious liberty could have “sparked” the Orlando terror attack. (No. I’m pretty sure the facts are clear that Islamic theology and ISIS sparked the attack, not Bathroom Bills. Nice try New York Times.)
ThinkProgress.org, the far-left liberal news outlet, penned these words in a recent article: “Radical Islam inspired the shooting, the argument goes, and so radical Islam deserves 100 percent of any blame or outrage that follows. The people making this argument are the same people who regularly speak out against LGBT equality, who support discrimination against same-sex couples in the name of “religious liberty”, and who demonize transgender people as mentally ill. Now, they are nothing but sympathetic to the LGBT community — if they acknowledge it at all — and quick to disregard the anti-LGBT sentiment that is ubiquitous in the United States. ISIS may sensationalize anti-gay violence, specifically to spark the anti-Islam sentiment that fuels it, but that doesn’t actually make radical Islam more violent against LGBT people than the conservative Christian sentiment that permeates the U.S..” (As always, regardless of how many gays are murdered in the streets of America by Islamic terrorists, thrown off of high-rise buildings, stoned or burned to death in the Muslim Nations, somehow Christian Conservatives are still the LGBT community’s “Enemy #1”.)
Those are just some of the responses to the attack from voices in the Gay community, and I’m sure many more share their sentiment. Now, does that mean we should stop showing compassion for them? No, not at all. We should show even more compassion and love for our enemies. Herein lies the trouble though which most Christians today have – showing compassion and love while not compromising our beliefs or conviction. Following the Orlando attack, I have heard of and witnessed many Christians going too far in embracing the LGBT community. They have blurred the line between sympathy and all-out support. There are Christians waving the rainbow flags, or attending Gay Pride parades in “solidarity”. This is NOT the way God desires us to respond in love. Condoning sin and loving the sinner are two completely different things. Here are some recent examples of Christian leaders not only EMBRACING the LGBT lifestyle, but of condemning our OWN Faith in response to Saturday night’s attack…
Catholic Bishop Robert Lynch said, “Sadly it is religion, including our OWN, that targets, mostly verbally, and often breeds contempt for gays, lesbians and transgender people. Attacks today on LGBT men and women often plant the seed of contempt, then hatred, which can ultimately lead to violence.”
Jesuit Priest and writer, James Martin, tweeted early Sunday afternoon, “Church leaders must speak out against hatred and violence directed against LGBT people.”
Catholic Bishop David Zubik said, “Our Muslim neighbors are grieving over this tragedy as much as our gay and lesbian neighbors. We are all God’s children.” (No, God’s Word is clear that we are all God’s children BY FAITH IN Christ Jesus.)
Matthew Vines, a Christian LGBT activist, wrote an article for TIME, saying, “While most Christians would never kill someone because of their sexual orientation, most Churches have still caused deep, lasting pain in LGBT people’s lives.”
The two most senior Anglican Archbishops issued the statement, “We have called on Christians to speak out in SUPPORT of LGBT people.”
Martin Saunders, of ChristianToday, wrote, “For the Church, this is the perfect moment to stop standing against the LGBT community, and start standing ALONGSIDE them.”
These are what I referred to earlier as the WRONG responses by the Christian community, sacrificing Biblical conviction to maximize worldly compassion. Still there is even a WORSE response which Christians can give, which is showing absolutely no compassion at all and using the tragedy as an opportunity to teach blatant violent HATE. These responses come from folks like the so-called Christian “Westboro Baptist Church”, and by Pastors like Roger Jimenez from Verity Baptist Church in Sacramento, California. He told his congregation on Sunday that “Christians shouldn’t be mourning the death of 50 sodomites. The tragedy is that more of them didn’t die. The tragedy is, I’m kind of upset that he didn’t finish the job.” Now that is the absolute worst way any Christian could respond to any attack on innocent human beings. Yes, they are sodomites, sinners, but to wish more of them had died is downright satanic.
There are many Christians who think that they are doing good by “not judging”, or by embracing and supporting the LGBT movement. Yet, in reality, embracing and supporting them is the worst thing you could do for them. You are doing the gay community a great disservice. By making them think that their sin is acceptable, and even not sin at all, you as a Christian servant of God are walking them by the hand straight into Hell. We are to hate the sin, but love the sinner. We are to show them their sins, so that hopefully they will repent and turn from their sins. We don’t force our beliefs on them, but we also must not justify their beliefs. We cannot give them a false hope of Heaven that is just not there if they do not change their ways.
So then, what have the RIGHT responses been to the Orlando tragedy by Christians? Correctly balancing compassion and conviction? Here are a few ~
The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association immediately sent trained chaplains with the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team to Orlando to offer emotional and SPIRITUAL care to victims of the attack early Sunday. While caring for the victims, they also shared the love of Jesus with them.
Chick Fil A, which is one of the Christian businesses that the LGBT community has hated most and boycotted, opened it’s doors on Sunday (when they are normally closed) in order to prepare food for first responders and for the people donating blood to victims of the shooting. While Chik Fil A did not embrace the gay lifestyle, they put aside their differences to show them what the Love of Jesus Christ truly looks like.
Finally, my friends the Benham Brothers, Jason and David, though hated by much of the gay community because of their uncompromising stand on the Truth of God’s Word regarding homosexuality, issued a powerful statement after the attack. They said that they would stand in the gap between Islamic terror and the LGBT community to defend the gays from anyone wishing to harm them. They said in a Facebook video, “Here’s the interesting thing, we as Christians believe that homosexuality is wrong, and the Islamic extremists, they believe it is wrong. But our response is different. We’ve been going to gay pride marches for the past decade, and we’re planning on going this year to the Charlotte gay pride march. But we’re going to bring the love of Jesus, to people who need Jesus… Look, these are our gay brothers and sisters, and we need to stand up for them now. That’s our Christian response. We’re here to tell you that if we were in that nightclub there.. we would have placed our lives in front of those victims. We pray that God does some mighty work in the lives of their families, and we’ll be praying for them. Let’s see a revival and an awakening in this nation. We need God more now than we ever have before.”
AMEN. That is the perfect response for us Christians to the Orlando attack. Though we disagree with the LGBT community, that doesn’t mean they deserve to die. As Christ laid down His Life for US sinners, we should be ready to lay down our lives for sinners as well. It could lead to their salvation. We can defend gays without fully embracing their lifestyles, and without jumping on the “Pride” train. That is the difference between convicted Christians and radical Muslims. The Christian message to the LGBT community is “REPENT, accept JESUS as Lord of your life, and be SAVED.” The Islamic message to gays is “Convert or DIE.”
It is vitally important in the coming days and weeks, that we Christians do not let this tragedy compromise our conviction. On the contrary, it should strengthen our conviction, that we may be a refuge, comfort and beacon of hope to the LGBT community and all those who feel far off from our Merciful God. We must continue to share the Truth in love. There are 49 souls that lost their lives Saturday night who really wish now that they could have heard THAT Truth.
“JESUS said, I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to REPENTANCE.” ~ Matthew 9:13 & Mark 2:17 & Luke 5:32
“They CHANGED the Truth of God into a LIE, and worshipped and served the creature MORE THAN The Creator, Who is blessed FOREVER. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto VILE affections: for even their women did CHANGE the natural use into that which is AGAINST nature: And likewise also the MEN, leaving the NATURAL use of the woman, burned in their LUST one toward another; MEN WITH MEN, working that which is UNSEEMLY, and receiving IN themselves that recompence of their ERROR (S.T.D., Aids, etc.), which was fitting RETRIBUTION; And even as they did not like to retain GOD in their knowledge, God gave them over to a REPROBATE mind, to do those things which are NOT convenient.. Then there are those, Who knowing the JUDGMENT of God, that they which commit SUCH things are worthy of death, NOT ONLY do the same, but have PLEASURE in them that DO them.” ~ Romans 1:25-28 & 32
“You shalt NOT LAY with men, as (you lay) with women: it is ABOMINATION.” ~ Leviticus 18:22
“Woe unto them that call EVIL good, and GOOD evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness…” ~ Isaiah 5:20
“Know you NOT that the unrighteous shall NOT inherit the Kingdom of God? Be NOT DECEIVED: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor EFFEMINATE, nor abusers of themselves WITH MANKIND.” ~ 1st Corinthians 6:9
“FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT OF FAITH, lay hold on Eternal Life, whereunto you are also CALLED, and have professed a GOOD profession before MANY WITNESSES.” ~ 1st Timothy 6:12