On June 12, 2016, America woke up to one of the deadliest mass shooting in its history. According to a report, an armed man stormed a gay bar in Orlando, Florida and killed at least 50 people and wounded dozens of people. The gunman, Omar Mateen, is said to have pledged allegiance to ISIS and have perpetrated this attack in the name of his religion.
With news like these, we are once again rocked by the fact that we are living in a dangerous world. Anything can happen in an instance without any warning. As Christians, what must we learn from this incidence?
Blaming the gun rather than the shooter?
It is mind-blowing for me to listen and read the statement of President Obama about this recent attack. He said:
“Today marks the most deadly shooting in American history. The shooter was apparently armed with a handgun and a powerful assault rifle. This massacre is, therefore, a further reminder of how easy it is for someone to get their hands on a weapon that lets them shoot people in a school, or in a house of worship, or a movie theater, or in a nightclub. And we have to decide if that’s the kind of country we want to be. And to actively do nothing is a decision as well.”
Hillary Clinton seems to agree with what President Obama said. Hillary mentioned:
“Finally, we need to keep guns like the ones used last night out of the hands of terrorists or other violent criminals. This is the deadliest mass shooting in the history of the United States, and it reminds us once more that weapons of war have no place on our streets.”
Gun ownership is a very controversial topic in the United States. I even know some church members who own a gun. Many people believe that a stricter gun law will prevent things like this from happening. However, will this actually solve the problem?
For one, guns are definitely designed to kill if not harm. However, it does not take a genius to conclude that guns can’t kill or injure anyone by itself. It has no power to function without anyone using it.
Therefore, it is not right to blame the gun for this terrorist attack like what so many people would love to think.
However, let me set the record straight: I don’t support gun ownership. I don’t see any way how owning a gun can protect me. I only rely on God’s divine protection. He is more POWERFUL than any gun. He is more than enough for me.
The people in Pulse Club died because of a man named Omar Pateen. They did not die because of the gun. They die because of Omar Pateen who used a gun.
The issue of gun ownership remains to be debatable. But one thing is for sure: a person who has the strong intent to kill another human being will look for ways to carry out his mission no matter how strict gun laws may be.
Did they deserve to die?
The shooting happened during the national Gay Pride Month in the United States. The shooter killed people inside a gay bar called Pulse nightclub. Most of the people killed are part of the LGBT community.
Radical Islam considered homosexuality as an abominable sin. We have heard the news about ISIS executing gay men, and it is very common for Muslim countries not to tolerate homosexual behavior.
There is no doubt that the Bible does not support homosexuality either. We can read a lot of verses that talk about homosexuality as a sin. While so many Christian leaders and pastors would love to argue that homosexuality is an acceptable behavior just to be popular and attract more followers, no one can deny what the Bible plainly teaches about homosexuality.
So, did the people in Pulse nightclub deserve to die? The answer is NO. While homosexuality is a sin, killing people is a sin as well. Christians must not commit the mistake of condemning these people. We are all sinners, homosexuals or not. It is just that we sin in different ways.
Every sin is a sin. All sins must be repented of and after repentance, it is our Christian duty to stop repeating the same sin.
Instead of hating them, Christians must be an INSTRUMENT to lead them closer to God. Instead of condemning them, Christians must have the outgoing concern and care for them. I am not saying that we must tolerate sinful behavior. I am saying that we must be a light to the world. Instead of demonstrating hate, we must demonstrate love.
Christians must be a light of the world. So that when people see our light, “they may see [our] good works and glorify [our] Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
A time to turn to God
It is quite sad to see how the United States, a nation built on Christian principles and moral values, have degraded to become a secular society. There is no doubt; there are frightening repercussions when a country turns their backs from God.
The United States and every nation on this earth must take heed these words from the Bible:
“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (II Chronicles 7:14).
We are seeing the fall of the most powerful nation this world has ever known. It is not because of external threats that are making them weak. It is their people that are causing the problem. History tells us that one of the reasons for strong empires to collapse is MORAL DECAY.
The Orlando Massacre that has taken at least 50 lives will not be the last of its kind. It will be followed by more and more terrorist attacks. Some will be less impactful while others will truly leave a dent in our history.
While we don’t have the power to change the entire society, we have the power to change our individual lives. It is high time for all of us to turn to God. Start living a life that is pleasing to Him. Seek to build a closer relationship with God because at the end; that is the only thing that will matter.
This world is heading for chaos, destruction, and self-annihilation. It is up to you to make the right decision. TURN TO GOD. Make that decision today!