Last Sunday night, a deranged madman sprayed automatic rifle fire into a crowd of people listening to a country music concert in Las Vegas. At the time of this writing, 59 people are dead, and over 500 people are injured. From what I understand of the injuries some suffered, the death count will rise.
The responses were quick. A CBS executive posted that she wasn’t the least bit concerned over the deaths, saying, “I’m actually not even sympathetic [because] country music fans often are Republican gun toters.” What?
Hilary Clinton posted about her concerns, then added that people need to battle the NRA so things like this won’t happen again.
I read column after column attacking gun owners, gun owners attacking gun haters, and somebody blaming somebody else.
None of that shocked me or surprised me. None of it made me sad, because I have become deaf to the vile and hateful political rhetoric that is being spewed throughout our country right now.
But one post made me mad. One post made me feel so bad that I felt like I had to apologize for it, even though I didn’t write it.
The post that really got me was from a “Christian,” saying that the shooting was God pouring out judgement on a wicked city.
As soon as sinners read the post, I am sure, CONVINCED, that millions of them hit their knees crying out, “God, please forgive me and save me from my ways of wickedness.” Nah, not really.
Instead, I saw what happened. People began to ridicule the guy who did the post, and Christians looked like a bunch of judgmental morons.
What was the guy thinking? “You know, if I point out how wicked this city is, then yea verily, people who read my remarkably insensitive comment will turn to Jesus.” Wow, what a great man of compassion you are, keyboard warrior.
I wrote to the non-Christian guy who had this moron post on his page, and apologized for somebody so insensitive that he would make a comment like that. I quoted my grandfather who once told me, “They know as much as about Jesus as a pig knows about Sunday.”
Are we really so foolish? Do we really believe that if Jesus was around today instead of calming the wind and the storms that he would blame it on someone’s sin? When Jesus was approached by the Roman Centurion, did Jesus launch into a diatribe about how wicked the soldier was, and that was why the kid was sick? No, he healed him.
If the savior of the world didn’t seize on tragedies to dangle people like a hot dog over the fires of hell, why do we think it’s okay for us to do it? If Jesus was about love and compassion (and he was), then why are we immediately judgmental and offensive?
Let us never lose sight of what Jesus said in John 3:16-18 “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.” (The Message)
Let’s offer words of hope and peace in the midst of these tragedies. When people see our love and compassion, they will see the beauty of the life Jesus offers. When they see our judgmental attitude, they just see ugliness.
Hoping for the best out of Christians… Jerry