Orlando suffered unspeakable horror in the shooting early Sunday morning at the Pulse, Orlando’s “hottest gay bar.” Forty-nine of the clubs patron’s were killed and 53 were wounded. The killer was Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old Muslim of Afghani heritage, who claimed allegiance to ISIS. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack.
This story will be sliced many ways. Everyone with an agenda will have enough grist to make their case in the media. This atrocity will no doubt be billed as
- The fruit of illegal immigration
- Nothing more than domestic violence
- Another evidence of the need for gun control
- A terror plot directed by ISIS from outside the country
- A lone home-grown terrorist
- Brought on by the LGBT community by their values and behavior
What we know for sure is that 50 Americans are dead (the gunman included) and 53 are wounded; and this is by far the worst mass shooting event in US history since Wounded Knee.
But there is something else we know for sure: Jesus Christ died on a Roman cross for my sins and yours. He died for the sins of the shooter, Mateen, and his victims.
Christian businessman, writer and cultural/political commentator Steve Berman shares his thoughts in an article “LGBT Americans Deserve Our Protection.”
The American LGBT community deserves protection, not condemnation. The answer to this problem is not President Obama’s first reflexive reaction–to eliminate guns from civilian hands (which he again incorrectly called an “assault rifle”). The president did, however, get one thing straight: We must combat hate with love.
Gays and lesbians have been inculcated with values that place Christians in their enemy’s camp. The Bible, Christianity, and those who seem to want to limit marriage, military service, and other things the LGBT political agenda wants to claim for themselves to traditional roles and morals have been the boogeyman for decades. Muslims oppose most Christian moral agendas, which makes sense if you consider that Muslims believe in polygamy.
But the enemy of my enemy is seldom my friend. In this case, the radical Islamic agenda has been horrifically exposed for what it is. The hate is driven by an ideology that causes gays in the Middle East to be subjected to jail in even “moderate” countries like Saudi Arabia, or thrown from buildings by extreme groups like ISIS.
American Christians may not agree with the LGBT political agenda. I certainly do not. But I do value their lives, because they are precious to God, and therefore to me. Their lives are not precious to radical Islamists. Contrary to everything the gay community believes, they will have no greater friend in this battle of ideology than American Christians.
The LGBT community does deserve our special protection. Not against Christians, however. They deserve protection against Muslims who follow an evil ideology sprung from their holy books. We can argue all day long over whether that evil is a misinterpretation of the Quran or the actual interpretation of their beliefs. I don’t care, because radical Islam kills, and will continue to kill until it is crushed.
I would gladly stand guard, AR-15 in hand, at any gay bar to protect these Americans, with whom I disagree, but will defend with my life. I do this because I love them like Jesus loves them.
Whether Jesus would have stood guard at the Pulse with an AR-15 seems unlikely. But he would have sacrificed himself for those LGBT citizens in the Orlando night club. In fact, he did. And Berman is correct: hatred is to be replaced by love. People who profess the name of Christ dare to seek ways to love radically.
Orlando is a call to love
In my book Emancipating the World: A Christian Response to Radical Islam and Fundamentalist Atheism I suggest that the Christian response to the terror cells of radical Jihadists should be love cells. The Word became flesh through Jesus Christ; now the word is to become flesh through the church.
American pastor John Piper calls for “persistent public love.” Love needs to be translated into action. Persistent public love drove William Wilberforce to fight to end the slave trade in the British Empire. Persistent public love led William Carey to fight to end widow burning in India. Persistent public love caused Martin Luther King Jr. to lead the civil rights movement in the United States.
The most prominent word for love in the Greek New Testament is agape – the self-sacrificing love of God. Christians are called upon to love as God loves with selflessness and self-sacrificing love. Christ calls us to love with the love of God. We are to love our family, our neighbors, our fellow countrymen, and strangers. And, yes, we are to love our enemies.
Cyprian (208-258 AD), the Bishop of Carthage, describes the nature and extent of the call to Christian love:
The people being assembled together, he first of all urges on them the benefits of mercy…Then he proceeds to add that there is nothing remarkable in cherishing mercy on our own people with the due attentions of love, but that one might become perfect who should do something more than heathen men or publicans, one who, overcoming evil with good, and practicing merciful kindness like that of God, should love his enemies as well…Thus the good was done to all men, not merely to the household of faith.
This is love in action! This is how the invisible kingdom of God becomes visible through a life.
There is nothing to stop Christians from forming love cells the way radicals form terrorist cells. Let us respond to the violence of Orlando with persistent public love, love both for the victims of the Orlando LGBT community and for the radical Jihadists who perpetuated the violence.
- Darrow Miller
Kay SchirmJune 16, 2016 - 1:07 pm
Good, would like to post to my Facebook site but something technical is preventing me from doing so…same is true with your other blog offerings. Could it be a problem on your end? ….or some mystery filter on my computer. Have others had this question?
Your writing is so worthwhile, Darrow, I’d really like to share so others may have the advantage of your insights.
adminJune 17, 2016 - 7:41 am
I’m writing in response to your comment on Darrow’s post Orlando: Love is Greater than Hate.
I’m sorry you are having this problem. I have the same issue. I cannot publish a DMF post to my FB page by clicking the FB icon on the post. When I try, I get a momentary window that immediately disappears and nothing else happens.
However, while I can’t post to FB with a click, if I copy the URL of the DMF post (in this case, https://darrowmillerandfriends.com/2016/06/16/orlando-love-greater-than-hatred/) and paste it at my FB page that works.
In the meantime I’m checking into a solution.
Blessings to you,
adminNovember 10, 2016 - 3:13 pm
Kay, you can now publish our posts directly to Facebook. The problem has been solved.