Orlando, FL, in the early morning hours of Sunday, June 12, 2016. 50 men and women dead in a club, all shot by the same gunman, and many more wounded.
That information alone is enough to crush one's spirit. It did mine. Who goes out and senselessly guns down men and women like that in cold blood? When I heard the news and the massive amount of lives lost, it hit me to the core and I grieved and continue to grieve for those affected by this senseless act of violence.
Oh how I wish that we could all see it that way, as a senseless act of violence committed by a man whose intention was nothing short of evil. Yet we are not allowed to see it that way, not in our politically correct world. By the way, whose idea was it to put the words "political" and "correct" together in the first place? Talk about an oxymoron!
The victims were at a gay bar. They were all gay, thus it's a hate crime against the gay community.
The shooter was a radical Islamist. He claimed allegiance to Isis, thus it's about Muslim terrorism.
Guns are the problem. We need gun control!
On and on the rhetoric has flowed. Is any of that true? Maybe some of it is or perhaps all of it is, but when we succumb to the labels and the venom and the finger pointing that the media and our politicians vomit on us, we find ourselves going down paths that take away from the reality of not only this tragedy, but any tragedy that we see or experience in our world. Real people lay dead, all sons and daughters who will never return home.
So in the midst of all of that, I want to encourage you to turn off Fox News and CNN and MSNBC and I want you to close the Drudge Report page on your web browser.
You see, what really is the core issue in all of this is not the sexual preference of the victims nor the religious ideology of the shooter or even the types of weapon made available on the free market. The root cause goes much deeper, all the way to the heart and the soul. The reason this tragedy and tragedies like this happen are because we live in a lost and broken world that has been indelibly marred by sin. And sin, when it takes root, bares it's ugly head in unimaginable forms.
Will seeing this from a theological perspective change what happened? Will calling it sin stop the next nut job with a gun from mowing down people in public places? I am not saying that we cannot respond in a way that offers prevention and helps those who have been affected right now by such senseless acts. Decisions must be made by those whom we have entrusted to make those decisions.
But for the rest of us who have the luxury of playing armchair talk show host while we busily click away at our computer keyboards on social media sites, our task must be different. We must begin by seeing the flaws in humanity as they are, not as we want to make them out to be.
The problem is sin. The solution is Jesus.
Jesus died for the sins of the world, not just the sins of those who are straight but also the sins of those who are gay. Not just for those who would one day place their faith in Him, but also for those whom He knew would reject Him. We are ALL sinners. I am, you are. And because of sin we are marred by it and we act in ways that sometimes only affect our own lives but more often affect the lives of others. If sin wasn't a problem, then Jesus would not have died. We all have sin and all of us need the forgiveness and redemption that only Jesus can offer.
Because of that, I am broken in my spirit over the affects of sin in our world. Whether it is a drunk driving accident that causes fatalities, physical abuse of a child, millions of abortions around the world that prevent unborn babies from living the lives for which they were created, or even the ravaging affects of cancer as it destroys the human body, sin always leaves its mark.
And this is the perspective I am asking you to take in all of this: To grieve for the lives that were lost to the sinful acts of this man and to offer up prayers of peace and comfort to 50 families who will no longer hear the voices of their loved ones or see them over the next holiday. Call upon the name of the Lord and pray for a mighty rush of revival in our land. Do not fall into the trap of reserving your empathy for only those who look like your or believe like you. Jesus did not distinguish in such a way and neither should we.
Maranatha. Come Lord Jesus.