Unspeakable evil visited Orlando over the weekend.
More than a tragedy. More than a disaster.
In trying to make sense of events like this, we’re all capable of saying something stupid.
Christians are no exception to this. Sometimes we say dumb things. Things that hurt when we’re trying to help.
In this, and other past events (sadly, there are just so many of them) I’ve noticed five dumb things Christians tend to say.
1. “This is an opportunity for the church…”
Evil acts are not opportunities. They’re just evil.
Can God redeem them? Of course. That’s the central principle of the gospel – how the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus overcame evil with good.
But when we use words like ‘opportunity’ we sound – well – opportunistic.
This is not the time to look for an angle. It’s time for prayer, grief, compassion and love without agenda.
Of course, it’s always time for that. But now more than ever.
2. “This is God’s wrath for…”
We live in a sinful, broken world. We’re the ones who broke it. And we break it a little more every day.
Evil acts, like the terrorism of last weekend, are prime evidence of that brokenness and of our inherent sinfulness. The sinfulness we all share.
No matter why the terrorist targeted that club, one thing is clear. He wasn’t sent by God.
If you think he was, then you have to be in favor of what happened. No believer in the Prince of Peace can do that.
3. “Did you hear…?”
Rumors are coming.
And conspiracy theories.
They always do, following incidents like this.
Followers of Jesus must always speak with grace and truth. Not innuendo and rumor.
Resist the urge to pass along any news that hasn’t been proven by reliable sources. There’s enough misinformation out there without Christians starting or sharing untruths.
4. “I don’t agree with their lifestyle, (or politics, or religion, or…) but…”
When people are in pain, why even mention our differences?
I don’t care what side of the moral, religious, political, ethnic or sexual fence you’re on right now. Even if you’re not on my side.
In the face of massive loss due to horrifying evil, we need to concentrate on our common humanity.
5. “Everything happens for a reason”
No. It just doesn’t.
Evil has no reason. It is anti-reason. And anti-love.