The June 2016 Orlando Terrorist Attack

What Hate Really Looks Like

By S. Michael Houdmann, Got Questions Ministries

As I was watching the news coverage of the June 2016 terrorist attack in Orlando, a commentator was asked what we should learn from it. He brought up several good points. One of them particularly caught my attention. He said something to the effect of, "The LGBTQ community needs to understand that conservatives/evangelicals are not their enemies. Radical Islamic terrorism is the true enemy of us all."

As I pondered what he said, and tried to grasp the pure unadulterated evil that took place in Orlando, I kept coming back to, "this is what hatred truly looks like." Hatred is a much over-used term in our culture. It is not hatred to believe people should use the bathrooms that match their biological gender. It is not hatred to refuse to make a wedding cake for a gay wedding. It is not hatred to agree with the Bible and 3400 years of Jewish and Christian teaching that homosexuality is an immoral and unnatural sin.

Hatred is going into a gay bar, murdering 49 people, and wounding more than 50 others.

To the LGBTQ community, you need to understand this. The vast majority of Christians believe you have the right to live your life however you want and to love whomever you want. Most Christians may disagree with your lifestyle, but they also believe you should be free to live that lifestyle in peace. As strongly as many Christians may oppose the social and political agenda of some in the LGBTQ movement, they do not hate individual lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgenders, or queer people.

So, the next time you are tempted to accuse a Christian of hate, remember Orlando. Remember what hatred truly looks like.

To flip this on its head, the Orlando terrorist attacks should be a wake-up call to my brothers and sisters in Christ who suffer from "persecution syndrome." We often complain about persecution that is not truly persecution. Whether it is atheists calling us idiots, or liberals wanting us to pay more in taxes, or even people in the LGBTQ movement wanting to silence us and/or confuse our bathroom policies that is not persecution.

Persecution is having your life threatened by someone who hates you because of your faith in Christ. Persecution is what some Christians in other parts of the world experience on a continual basis. The Orlando terrorist attack was the deadliest mass-murder in US history. It likely wouldn't make the top 100 in ISIS controlled territory. Radical Islamic terrorism poses a far greater threat to Christianity than atheism, socialism, and gender dysphoria.
To the individuals in the LGBTQ community: Christians are not your enemies.
To Christians: The individuals in the LGBTQ community are not your enemies.
I truly hope the 2016 Orlando terrorist attacks give us all some perspective.

For more on how Christians should react to the Orlando terrorist attack against the LGBTQ community, see:

Russell Moore, "After Orlando, Can we Still Weep Together?"
Marty Duren, "Let's Love First"
Nabeel Qureshi, "Grieving for Orlando, Responding with Truth and Love.
Albert Mohler, The Briefing 06-13-16

Image Credit: Mariamichelle; untitled; Creative Commons

TagsBiblical-Truth  | Controversial-Issues  | Current-Issues  | Hardships

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Published 6-14-16