June 13, 2016


Dear Christ Followers,


I have waited until this morning to communicate with you regarding the horrific attacks on those at a night club in Orlando, Florida early Sunday morning.


The picture is much clearer now.  It is always wrong to form opinions based on bits and pieces of info.  We still likely don't have all the pieces of the puzzle, but there is enough to pen this to you.


At the Pulse night club  - which is a prominent "Gay Bar" in Orlando 50 souls were murdered and another 53 injured and medical professionals are anticipating that some of the wounded may yet die.


As Christians who continue to be more Christ like what can we draw from this incident:


1. Although those who practice a sexual orientation that Scripture declares wrong are wrong: they are not our enemies.  It is wise for us to want Biblical values as a part of the fabric of our society, in part because we know that those principles honor God.  However, we are all impacted by sin and are sinners (Romans 3:23 / 1 John 1:8-10).  With that said, it is not our role to single out a particular sin and declare it worse that others (see: lying, cheating, gossip, divisiveness, adultery, etc.).  We know that different sins create different consequences, but that all sin has a consequence (Romans 6:23).


2. Radical Islam is our enemy.  Even with that declaration, we are reminded to love and pray for those who are enemies (Matthew 5:44).  It does not mean that we can't want an end to their reign of terror.  This should be considered both spiritual warfare, as well as physical warfare.  Unfortunately, these types of attacks are unlikely to end, so it behooves us to be on alert, but not fearful.  This radical form of Islam has no value for life, including their own.  Our faith is one of life, both now and forever.


3. Please be praying for those victims who are still fighting for their lives, for the families and friends of those who have perished, and for those who are on the front lines in Orlando tending to the various needs of the community.


4. Let's not give anyone a reason to lump sincere Christ followers with any other religion.  We are not a religion.  Ultimately, we are based on relationship: first with our Savior and then with others (Luke 10:27)  -  the righteous and the unrighteous.  We must be firm with our convictions that are forged out of the authority of God's Word, but we can also be tender with the grace, mercy and love that we ourselves have experienced given to us by the Author of that very Scripture.


In His Grace,


Pastor Terry


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