We must be very careful of stepping into the place of God and rendering our personal prejudices and judgments as God’s own. This is not a time to express your disdain for the LGBT community, it is a time to show your heart for God and express His love towards ALL of His children – especially those who are suffering in the face of tragedy – just as He does towards you – IN SPITE of ALL your sins.
In Luke 13:1-5 Jesus is told about a tragedy that ended with the death of some Galileans and how Pilate had mixed their blood with the sacrifices. Someone must have insinuated the sins of those who died were in some way related to their tragic deaths because Jesus’ response directly addresses the ego/pride of such a self-righteous statement:
“Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? 3 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. 4 Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”
In a moment of tragedy, Jesus didn’t take the time to condemn and/or attack those who died. Jesus used it as an opportunity to invite those who stood before Him to examine their own relationships with God and address/repent for the sins in their OWN lives. And that’s the only thing representatives of God should be doing right now, especially those who claim to follow the teachings of Christ.
Truly, those who died at Club Pulse (June 12, 2016) are no different than those who died during the senseless shootings in Paris, France in November of 2015, those who gathered to run the Boston Marathon in April of 2013, or the thousands of people who died that fateful morning on September 11, 2001. Yet, not a single person blamed the victims of those attacks for their deaths, they called it was it was – terrorism and hate – and the attack on Club Pulse is no different.
We cannot continue to be so naive that we claim to serve a God of love as we hold on to an ideology that teaches (and encourages) hate. This is a distorted, demon-fed ideology that has been handed down [to our detriment] without enough question for centuries; and it is responsible for continued acts of violence, even genocide, against people who believe, worship, or live differently than the stronger/majority cult (yes, cult).
Let’s be honest, we each live with the reality that the next second could be our last. Regardless of our sexual orientation, race, religion, or sins – ALL of our lives are fleeting. Tragedies like the Club Pulse shooting in Orlando, Florida are horrifying reminders of just how fragile life is; and it reminds these terrifying acts of violence can happen to anyone – anywhere – at any time, no matter how “righteous” we think we are.
Today it’s a club that caters to #LGBT individuals in Orlando, tomorrow it could be a grocery store in a conservative suburban community, a busy downtown office during the morning rush, the end of a mid-week bible study (#NeverForget #Charlestonnine), or a classroom full of innocence at an elementary school (#NeverForget #SandyHook).
To use this as an opportunity to claim someone’s sexual orientation as a reason for their murder is justifying hate and murder period. This was a conscious choice by an individual with hate in his heart towards the LGBT community; so much hate, that he walked into a club with an assault rifle and murdered at least 50 people, injuring over 50 more – the same kind of hate that is often bred within religious circles under the name of God.
Parents have lost children. Children have lost parents. Families and friends lost loved ones.
These were people whose lives touched others and whose absences will make a noticeable difference in the worlds of those left behind. These were people who mattered.
People who are more than their sexual orientation. People who were created and loved by God! People you are also called to love as He loves you.
For those who can’t find enough compassion to speak a word of comfort or peace towards the LGBT community in the aftermath of such tragedy, you have the right to remain silent. Now is not the time for your hate. Now is the time for love.
To my LGBT family, remember: You are called. You are loved. You are a child of God. Don’t let anyone tell you different. You CAN be LGBT and live a life that is pleasing to God!