Sunday, June 12, 2016

Thoughts on the Orlando Shooting

My heart is broken for the families of the people murdered in Orlando last night. I've heard snide remarks about the fact that this occurred at a gay bar. I am overwhelmed by the hate that defines our society. These people died. They are people. Just people. I assume that they are gay, since they were in a gay bar, and I believe that homosexuality is a sin...but i do not hate them, nor do i think they are any more sinful than i am. If my sins were broadcast for all to see, i would be hated by many, I'm sure.

See, someone hates you. They may hate you because of your skin color, because of where you were born, or because of your level of education. They may hate you because of who you worship or who you vote for. They may hate you because you believe you have a choice in whether or not you have an abortion...or they may hate you because you want to take away their right to choose. They may hate you because you are homosexual, transsexual, transgender, or heterosexual. They may hate you for any number of ways that you are different than they are. Someone hates you...possibly enough to kill you.
It's like a cancer eating our souls.

I believe that God is our creator. I believe that God is holy and that He cannot be in proximity of sin. I believe that we are sinful by nature and i believe that this separates us from God. I believe that God hates sin because it separates us from Him and because it causes us pain. I believe that God loves the human race so much that Jesus came from heaven, was born of a virgin, lived a perfect life and was crucified to pay the penalty for our sin... for all our sin. For the murderer, the embezzler, the rapist, the gossip, the adulterer, the person filled with hate, the homosexual. I believe that ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and therefore I believe that Jesus died for every single person on earth. I believe that Jesus died, and that paid the price for my sin (and yours) and I believe that He defeated death and rose from the grave 3 days later and that gives me (and you) victory over death.

I believe that God went to great lengths to restore people to Himself. He did that out of love for them.
I believe that everyone should have the opportunity to choose to trust and follow Jesus for themselves and I believe that since God provided a way for our restoration to Him out of love, then it is by His love that those of us who are restored to Him should be known.

I also know that not everyone will choose Christ. I know that others believe what they believe just as strongly as I believe what I believe. It makes me sad, not angry. I don't hate them. My heart breaks for them. But...I respect their choice.

I believe that the Bible is  God's revelation of Himself to us. I believe that God's Word tells us of His character and of His will for us. I believe that God's Word is clear about His expectations of us, of what He delights in and of what He calls sin. While some people's sin is more evident and more socially controversial than mine, i know that God sees it all and condemns it all. I also believe that Jesus died for all.

Someone in my life made choices that were against the things that God's Word says are good. She lived a life that was characterized by rebellion. Several years ago, I realized that I hated her sin more than I loved her and I was devastated. I believe that God does not accept sin...I believe that He hates sin... but He provided the way for us to be restored to Him out of His love for us....He does not hate us, even when we hate Him.

None of us are innocent. We all fall short. Thankfully God loves us despite all our many faults, flaws, and sin. He saved me...From my rebellion, from my sin, from my determination to do things "my way" ...from myself.

It is not out of hate that I tell others about Jesus. I tell them about Jesus because I love Jesus and because I love Jesus, I love who He loves....

and He loves you.

I am so sad for the families who lost loved ones last night.
I am so sad that there are people who hate sin more than they love people.
I am praying that those of us who have experienced the love of Christ have a burning desire to share His love above everything else.
We're all just people, fighting our own battles.
Our enemy is Satan not each other.

Sending love and prayers for those who are suffering tonight,
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