Author: Rev. Rob Schenck
The last two days here in Washington have been filled with talks of Orlando and the terrible tragedy that occurred there. In the most horrendous mass shooting in American history, a crazed terrorist wielding a powerful semi-automatic rifle cut down scores of defenseless men and women. (n) Members of Congress, fellow ministry leaders, and media are asking endless questions about how to deal with this growing threat.
It’s time for Christians in the United States, and for all people of good will, to follow the lead of our God and pray and work to stop the killing—including mass murders—and do what we can to ensure this can’t happen again.
The perpetrator carefully selected his victims because they were gay, lesbian, and transgendered. He was filled with hate. In America, no human being should fear getting killed because of who he or she is or because they’re out with friends in what they know is a safe space. Imagine being targeted, hunted, and brutally slain because of who you are and because of the people with whom you keep company—it’s a supreme violation of our most cherished freedoms.
This attack was multiple violations of the Divine Law, “You shall not murder.” Christians believe in the sanctity of every human life. God commanded His people to, “Choose life, that you and your offspring may live.” (Deuteronomy 30:19) Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10) The gruesomeness of gun violence mars the Image of God in every human being; it’s a flagrant affront to the Creator.
Our mission in the nation’s capital is to bring the Word of God to bear on the hearts and minds of those that make public policy in America. God has something to say about the shooting at the Pulse night club in Orlando. He has something to say about the increased violence in our American culture. And He has something to say about what we must do about both.
A clear indication of God’s ultimate intent to end human conflict, and one of the best-known prophecies in Scripture is Isaiah 2:4, “They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks.” While only the Lord can bring about ultimate peace between peoples, we can only do better by taking our cues from His desire and leading.
It’s time for Christians in the United States, and for all people of good will, to follow the lead of our God and pray and work to stop the killing—including mass murders—and do what we can to ensure this can’t happen again. That will require commitment and sacrifice. It may mean we must give up something we prefer for ourselves in order for others to benefit. The Word of God commands us to put aside our selfish interests and, “give preference to one another.” (Romans 12:10)
In Peter’s sermon at Caesarea, the Apostle spoke of Jesus who, “went about doing good . . . ” In the aftermath of this tragedy, let’s resolve to follow His great example!
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