It’s the Guns! It’s the Muslims! No, It’s Sin.

It’s the Guns! It’s the Muslims! No, It’s Sin. June 12, 2016

50 people at an Orlando nightclub were targeted, plainly, because of their practice of homosexuality. Omar Mateen reportedly committed himself to ISIS prior to the attack as well.

Yet what will come of this debacle will be the strong-armed, politically savvy propaganda against guns by the Left, and the grandiose, sweeping, anti-Muslim sentiment from the Right. Most on either side are simply grand-staging a tragedy in order to push a political ideology that will do little to actively treat the root issue.

While access to firearms for the mentally deranged is a concern we should have – as well as the threat of radical Islam, the root issue is one of sin. More clearly, it is a lack of the gospel and misappropriated worship carried out to its most severe form. Many on both sides of the debate will not care for this answer, nor the solution proposed within – but this is the fundamental issue at stake. Not education; certainly not global-warming; it is the affects of sin and an abundant lack of the gospel. External factors will always play a pivotal role in the fruit presented – but targeting external fruit will yield the result of only having pruned the exterior. One must identify the systemic issue and target this issue.

It is not guns. It is not Muslims. It is terrorism – born out of a sinful ideology that plants roots deeply in the blood of those whom they’d wish to purge the earth of.

We can argue all day on what helps deranged, psychopathic people kill other people or the expediency/ease with which they might do so. At the end of the day – that will not solve the issue or bring comfort to the mother who has had her child killed.

Weep for those bearing the Imago Dei, who were assigned to die and face judgment; pray for the families of those killed at the nightclub; speak with homosexuals about the radical grace of Christ which is reserved for all who repent and believe the gospel; speak with your Muslim neighbor without fear, patiently and ably demonstrating who Christ really is, rather than “just a prophet.”

Do not be leery of loving your neighbors, regardless of the cost. Warn them of the judgment to come so that they may flee to Christ.

Preach the fullness of the gospel, that is – that it is good news along with why it is good news. More clearly, do not shy away from the massive sin problem all of humanity is infected with and the judgment, which ensues – but be sure to give the clear and decisive hope that is found in the message of Christ crucified.

If you are fearful of those who can take the body – have greater reverence of the One who can take the soul.

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  • The issue of allowing the mentally deficient obtain guns has some validity; Most Moslems exhibit signs of derangement, and should therefore not be allowed to get guns. If they are found with guns, they need time in the slammer and if not born in america, deportation.

    • Iain Lovejoy

      “Most Moslems exhibit signs of derangement”
      There’s a sign of derangement, or at least catastrophic ignorance and stupidity, right there.

    • Gilsongraybert

      Jim, if a law abiding Muslim were to have a gun (I know at least three I consider friends), I would not be concerned in the least. We ought to apply some common distinctions that most people know rather than assume general, condemnatory statements based on race. There are distinct groups of Muslims who hold to drastically different religious values and ethical systems.

      • Raymond

        It would be interesting to see what information would have been found had the shooter been required to undergo a background check before purchasing an assault weapon.

      • So, it’s a crapshoot which kind lives in your neighborhood, or joins your club etc.

    • If you specify “devout Muslims” exhibit signs of derangement I agree. I hasten to add that “Devout Roman Catholics and other cults” also exhibit those signs.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    I read this blog and thought it didn’t say very much at all, other than “sin is bad” and sort of assumed the sin in question was violence and hatred (which would make sense). I then saw a response to another, rather more thoughtful, blog on this same issue, on which the poster, who was gay, described Grayson,’s blog above as “hateful”. I think there is a need to clarify what “sin” is being talked about here. If (as I first thought) it is violence and hatred, Grayson needs to clarify this urgently. If the “sin” concerned is supposed to include (which I hope not) the alleged sin of the victims (whether one regards it as sin or not) Grayson ought to be thoroughly ashamed.

    • Gilsongraybert

      It is not in reference to homosexual sin whatsoever. I am curious how much clearer I could get when I say the issue is that “it is terrorism, born out of a sinful ideology…” Homosexuality is not terrorism & I am confused as to how anyone would draw that this is in reference to that.

      And yes; simple, short writing. I feel we often cloud the issue with a bunch of external issues without reference to the nature of the root issue. The only goal was to do that and remind people of the gospel – because that has the power to change lives (i.e. Saul of Tarsus).

      • Iain Lovejoy

        I think your problem is that if you say enough unpleasant and patently untrue things about people, even when you are not people assume you are doing it again.

    • Gilsongraybert

      There is also quite a bit of this happening all over the web. Given that I’ve plainly called homosexuality sinful I am likely among those whom some might assign blame to.

      • Iain Lovejoy

        Having now read some of your writing on this, I would say that if all you did was “call homosexuality sinful” you could consider yourself wronged. That however is a dishonest description of the unpleasant rhetoric you actually employ.

        • Gilsongraybert

          Where have I done more than this? Everything I have written on the topic has not stepped outside the bounds of scripture

          • Iain Lovejoy

            “transgenderism, homosexuality, and sexual deviance of any sort”
            “This is a generation revealing the wrath of God by their suppression of the truth, through the gleeful boasting of futile, foolish, hostile, and darkened hearts. They have been given over to a debased mind so that they may fill themselves to their heart’s content with sexual impurity, the degradation of their bodies, unnatural sexual relations.”
            This is not objective expounding of theology.

          • Gilsongraybert

            Have you read the book of Romans?

          • Iain Lovejoy

            Yes. Have you read any of Romans at all except 1:26-27?
            Read the rest of Romans 1. It is not (as you seem to think) a tirade against homosexuality at all but a warning of the spiritual consequences of idolatry and rejecting the true God: read the rest of the chapter as to what those consequences are.
            Your blogs come across as conceited and malicious, and slander as God-haters and not true Christians anyone who does not share your particular views. You also appear repeatedly to imply connections between homosexuality and pedophilia and have in places falsely slandered as abortionists on no discernable basis all those who do not share your particular theology.
            It is evident that you pick out homosexuality (if that is the right understanding) from Romans 1 as the important bit because, conveniently, it is the only bit you personally need take no trouble to avoid. The rest you are apparently OK with.
            Finally, read Romans 12:
            “14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly.[h] Never be wise in your own sight. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it[i] to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

          • Gilsongraybert

            You are intentionally skipping a great deal of scriptural content in the book of Romans (I’m referring to all of chapters 1-3, which explicitly deals with sin and the sanction thereof), and I have written on sexuality a lot in general simply because it is the prevailing issue this day where people don’t bake a cake and it is considered religious extremism – yet one shoots up a nightclub and people blame the cake bakers. Do you not see how absurd that is?

          • Iain Lovejoy

            Sexuality is only the “prevailing issue this day” because you make it so, as it is an easy issue for such as yourself to find ways of thanking God you are not as other men are, and smugly clutch your fondly-imagined golden ticket exempting you from the eternal torment to which you gleefully delight the rest of humanity are assigned. (Oh, and yes I did spot your oh-so-clever weaselly “assigned” to die when you shed your crocodile tears for the dead.)

          • Gilsongraybert

            That “assigned to die” is a quote from the book of Hebrews; look in the comments above. We all have an expiration date. Per your first point, it is certainly not a prevailing issue because of me…but ok.

          • Iain Lovejoy

            It is a misquote to make a quite different point. Hebrews says: “It is appointed / destined to man to die once, and after this comes judgement. ”
            Your obscene little snark, though, and I bet you chuckled over this, is that what you, as a good little Calvinist, believe is that the dead were deliberately assigned by God to die under the bullets of the killer, hence the odd choice of words.

          • Gilsongraybert

            Is appointed conveying something different? And please, stop projecting feelings on to me. I had no delight, and take non still.

    • Statistics Palin

      You can’t shame the shameless,
      .

      • marik

        //

  • RustbeltRick

    Do the countries with fewer mass shootings have less of a sin problem?

    • Gilsongraybert

      Not at all; it is simply a conversation pertinent to me as I live in the US, have friends on both sides of the debate, and know the gospel speaks clearly into this horrible situation

      • RustbeltRick

        Your column insists that addressing the root issue is the only way to combat this. Since mass shootings are virtually unheard of in Japan, can we conclude that they have addressed root issues of sin and evil and therefore have made their citizens safer?

        • Gilsongraybert

          The gospel is the only measure to affect true heart change and reconcile one with God. Obviously laws may help change the external measures as was already pointed out above. But this does nothing to change the murderous heart or system of beliefs that engender the murder of homosexuals. I am speaking specifically toward a change of heart that address the root issue of sin, which manifests in multiple different ways. A safer society does not necessarily indicate an address of the root issue. If you subscribe to Christianity, the scriptures teach man’s primary problem of sin, and the primary solution of Christ.

          • RustbeltRick

            This is over-spiritualization as a way to avoid the conversation we ought to be having. And you’re not the first or last person to do this on the gun issue, but I think it’s a pretty tired tactic. It seems to happen, virtually word-for-word, after every mass shooting. Basically, it’s a way to be spiritually passive while fitting your faith around your gun fetish.

            Imagine another tragedy, where two planes collide at an airport and hundreds die. The obvious question is, how did it happen and how do we prevent it? And maybe the FAA recommends more minutes between flight departures to unclog the airports, and that measure is adopted eventually. Now imagine that nation’s Christians piping up with, “the problem isn’t air safety; the real problem is sin….” Do you see that lack of engagement in everyday issues as a problem? I do.

          • Gilsongraybert

            If you can start with a proper foundation you can evidently work toward legitimate solutions. The problems you have with this is simply that you deny the foundations. I don’t even own a gun – but keep projecting buddy. You’ve continued to do so in nearly every post I’ve seen you comment on and I am not surprised to see it again here. I’ve not once said inactivity or passivity are the proper routes, now have I?

          • RustbeltRick

            After the worst shooting in American history you have made the statement that the REAL problem is something other than the shooting, or preventing future shootings. Why would you do that? To what end? After the next mass shooting, will you once again remind all of us that sin is the real problem? I’m thinking you will. To actually call for gun control would not fit with the contempt you show for “the Left” and their nutty solutions to things like mass shootings.

          • Gilsongraybert

            I am a minister of Christ, so regardless of a shooting I will continue to point out that sin is our greatest threat and that there is abundant hope in the gospel of Jesus Christ and Him crucified, even if five years from now I still get the same response.

  • Donna

    And yet last night I read the words of a Baptist pastor who said he was celebrating this massacre. He states that ALL gay people should be put to death. It’s in the Bible, after all, he clearly points out. Has he forgotten that we are no longer under the Law? His public statement of hatred toward other human beings makes me cringe. I surely hope others don’t think he is representative of all Christians.

    • Gilsongraybert

      Steve Anderson (I believe is his name) is an awful, awful wolf

    • Dove

      Hey, if one guy says something, he speaks for all Christians, right?
      You’re very perceptive.

      • Donna

        No need to be snarky here. He is the pastor of a church, the authority to the members. Others who are hateful toward Christians can read his words, and just feed their beliefs that Christians are a hypocritical mass who believe in a fairy tale. This man is a representative of Christ, by his vocation, and his words are deplorable. Stating that I am perceptive in a sarcastic way was completely unnecessary.

  • RustbeltRick

    The gunman had known terror ties, yet still obtained guns easily. Obviously, that’s a problem, and obviously, the gun lobby refuses to budge on any restriction on gun purchases. This could have changed six months ago, but gun-friendly senators voted against any restrictions, so there’s blood on their manicured hands. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/senate-democrats-gun-control_us_56608755e4b08e945fee73e5

    • Brand New Key

      Yeah, I saw photos of those senators, definitely bright red hands. Anything in HuffPo is straight from Mount Sinai.

      Funny that you’re the sort of man who would notice men’s manicures.

      • RustbeltRick

        Admin: Please do not remove Brad F.’s post. It’s the perfect illustration of . . . everything.

        • Brand New Key

          Your posts get progressively stupider. I guess that’s what “progressive” means.

  • The Happy Atheist

    Great. A post from another Christian that amounts to a call to do…nothing. So you – or someone like you – should have reached Mateen with the “gospel” earlier? Is that it? If only he’d been exposed to the Truth! Honestly, this is exactly how ridiculous the assertion sounds. Look, somebody like Mateen, who is already firmly mired in competing monotheistic dogma, is never going to convert. But we could collectively make it a whole lot harder for him to access weapons that enable him to kill dozens of people at a time. We could actually DO that.

    • RustbeltRick

      My only regret is that I can only Like this one time.

      • Vaughn D

        Use your sock puppets.

    • Gilsongraybert

      Ahhh, another atheist who clearly has done more than furiously type behind the screen at Christians who are praying.

      • Ryan Dabian

        Perhaps or perhaps not. Maybe he donated blood, called his congressman expressing his outrage, maybe started a fund for the families of the victims. Whereas you are called to…what? Muttering a few words to your hands as a means to make you feel better?

        • Gilsongraybert

          The point was used to point out a rhetorical device in order for him to see what you just did for him. Are you positive no Christians did any of the above..?

          • Ryan Dabian

            They could have, why not? No one is against that. They’re just tired of the meaningless platitudes thrown at the victims and their families from people who would otherwise call them depraved, perverted and disordered. It rings hollow at best.

          • Gilsongraybert

            The sad thing is that love seems to be defined as acceptance no matter what rather than being able to disagree, even firmly – yet still provide care

          • Ryan Dabian

            Disagree with what? Do you see me calling Christianity a mental disease, a stain on the mind? Then do gay people the same courtesy.
            Why not simply hold your tongue and help, like I don’t know? Like a sympathetic person, without all your judgments. And as a non-believer, you using Christianity as a justification doesn’t differentiate it from regular bigotry.

          • Gilsongraybert

            I’ve called it a sin, just as I’ve called many things which are clearly indicated by scripture. The problem we are having here is that many don’t see that I apply these same rules to myself and only find hope in the gospel. Sanctioning sin is not a good or normal thing – and contrary to popular thought – it is one which ought to be warned of, especially given the prominence of normalization. This is not my standard, but I am equally bound by it. Without a proper understanding or acceptance of sin, one cannot understand undeserved grace.

      • The Happy Atheist

        “Christians who are praying” = doing nothing. It’s exactly the same as sending somebody good vibes, which is great, but will ultimately accomplish nothing. Pulling for sensible gun laws will absolutely reduce the number of these awful tragedies, but you are specifically leading your audience *away* from it in favor of a discussion about “sin.” I’m saying that “sin” isn’t the problem even if you believe in it.

        Focusing on the problem of “sin” is totally pointless because – and I really want you to get this – even if you’re right and “sin” is the universal problem at the root of mass slayings like this, how do you propose to address the problem? Christian doctrine has at its center the concept of original sin, the sinful nature, and the total corruption of mankind as a result. The whole point of “salvation” is that “sin” is a problem we cannot solve, not even when we accept the reality of god, the crucifixion, and the resurrection. Christians are forgiven not sin free, right? So, if we can’t prevent shootings by solving the problem of sin, then shouldn’t we focus on solutions that are at least possible and not spend time telling people otherwise?

        • Gilsongraybert

          I’m not advocating passivity, but only a foundational issue which is ignored: the problem of sin. I would wholeheartedly suggest Christians do both praying AND serve those affected.

          • The Happy Atheist

            You’re obviously a really nice guy, but I feel like you’re still missing the point completely. While serving those affected is wonderful, it is also entirely after the fact. Christians could do a whole lot more by working for sensible gun restrictions; a total ban on assault rifles would be an excellent place to start. It’s sort of like the issue of abortion, in this way: if you’re stolidly pro-life, it’s great to support women who have had abortions and regret them, but shouldn’t the goal be working on the underlying social problems of which abortions are the symptom?

          • Gilsongraybert

            Of course, the thing I am trying to draw toward is an unfailing, eternal hope. Circumstances and laws can always change, for better or worse. We ought to strive for the continual betterment of society – but history has made it fairly clear that this has a way of unraveling when men take it upon themselves to act outside of the law. I’m not seeking to present a false dichotomy, as if loving a person is relegated to prayer or “good vibes.” Rather, I’m drawing toward the crux of the issue – which is the problem of evil in mankind, and the solution found in Christ – not solely in redemption here and now, but when He returns to set all things right and sin, death, and pain will be no more.

          • The Happy Atheist

            I get that, and there is a strong sense of kindness in it, which I appreciate. I also appreciate your strong writing skills. If we’re going to disagree, we might as well do it artfully, right?

          • Gilsongraybert

            Absolutely – thank you for interacting charitably as well. At the end of the day, these are the types of conversations we need to have even if we walk away with strong resolve toward our original points. We are all human beings, mixed up in many ways with a large problem we both want to solve.

          • What sin specifically are we talking about? Drinking? Dancing? What exactly do you think goes on in a club?

          • Gilsongraybert

            I’m using the term vaguely for a purpose; sin is not simply what one does, but resultant of all of one’s life being tarnished by it. The grand sin of mankind is simply not giving honor to God.

      • The Happy Atheist

        One other thing…what you’re doing right now, whether you know it or not, affirms one of the biggest anti-theist arguments out there, that fundie Christians and Muslims retard growth and progress in societies. They both actively work to further regressive agendas. For instance, when reasonable people push the idea that assault rifles should maybe not be available to the general public, who howls the loudest? Conservative Christians from the heartland. Fundie Christianity and Islam are both profoundly anti-science, roundly rejecting even the concept of global climate change, which endangers not just them, but billions of others. Both teach that millions of people are fundamentally broken because they love people of the same sex, all based on religious texts written millennia ago, neither of which contain a single scientifically accurate fact that would even hint at their utility for solving modern social problems. If y’all would simply limit your religious pronouncements to yourselves, your lives, and your communities, then all would be well. I would have absolutely no problem with any of that. But you don’t, do you? As a result, it takes decades, sometimes centuries longer to solve serious problems.

  • You have continually, fervently, and viciously attacked LGBT people in your posts, Gilbert Grayson. You have attacked our lives, our families, our intimacy, our identities. You have attacked our civil rights and our right to live openly and safety. There is as much blood on your hands as anyone’s today.

    I do not accept your prayers. You will not mourn with me.

    • BoyPinoy

      That’s cool. There are lots of gay blogs you can hang out with.

    • Gilsongraybert

      Because I have said something is sinful – that gives me equal footing with the man who murdered people..?

      • When you promote theology that treats LGBTQ people with contempt, disgust, aversion, and prejudice, you don’t get to wash your hands like Pilate when someone takes that contempt and disgust to its final level.

        • Gilsongraybert

          Just to be clear, I am genuinely asking if you personally see it this way:

          Is calling something sinful, hateful and prejudiced?

          Is saying gay marriage is not pleasing to God, hateful and prejudiced?

          Is saying that one can be free from sin through Jesus Christ, hateful and prejudiced?

          • Ryan Dabian

            To someone who doesn’t believe in sin, Yahweh, Satan, demons or angels: it means nothing.

            Calling someone who doesn’t believe sinful is like the equivalent of calling them a dirty muggle. Equally laughable.

            The problem is the self-righteous assertion that being gay is something wrong or sickly, and people of your creed try their best to makes that perfectly and unpleasantly clear.

            If that’s your personal opinion, fine. People can hold any bigoted beliefs they want, but when they seek to implement these beliefs in laws and society is where we see problems.

          • Gilsongraybert

            To be quite honest, I don’t believe many feel the same way as you (if one were to relegate it solely to personal belief, that is). Regardless, we stand at an impasse simply because I don’t see it as an ethical norm, nor one that should find legality in SSM. Yet in that statement, you find enough warrant to label me self-righteous. I am sorry if any have acted as if they are any more righteous than you or anyone else. The belief in forgiveness through Christ excludes that. No man is righteous on his own; the only righteousness to be found is in Christ.

          • Ryan Dabian

            I believe I heard of that term. Christ-righteous. Yeah…didn’t convince me then and certainly not now.
            Let’s agree to disagree then.

          • You’re mixing up two different things when it comes to marriage equality. Believe what you want about what your deity approves or doesn’t, but you want to interfere with the lives of people who don’t believes as you do. You also think that gay sex shouldn’t be legal? Did I read that correctly? It’s find that you think it’s wrong. But you think people should be arrested for not following your religious beliefs? That’s quite different than just what you believe. You want the state to enforce your religious rules on people who don’t necessarily follow your religion? Would you be okay for that to be reversed?

          • Frank

            Sin doesn’t require your belief or acceptance to be sin.

          • To claim a part of my identity is sinful is hateful and prejudiced.

            To say my marriage is not pleasing to God specifically because of the gender of my partner is hateful and prejudiced.

            To claim that my sexual orientation is something I must free myself from while you delight in your own is hateful and prejudiced.

          • Gilsongraybert

            And due to those beliefs you hold, you feel I am partly responsible for one murdering? To paraphrase another – Christians are to lay their lives down for others, not take them. That is the difference, even if we say something is sinful. Just as a point of reference: I am equally in need of grace as you – and just as displeasing to God on my own merits. I mean that sincerely. Without Christ, I have no audience to have anything in and of myself to be good. These are His standards, and one must either reconcile with them through Christ, or reject them and Him.

          • You literally told Ryan Dabian in the comment below this that you don’t believe homosexuality is ‘an ethical norm, nor one that should find legality.’

            Let’s repeat that plain meaning. You actually believe and proclaim that being gay should not be legal.

            And you are here telling me that you are ‘equally in need of grace’ when you tell another one of your commenters that an intrinsic part of my own identity should be prohibited under law. What penalty it should receive I don’t know, and I don’t care to know.

            But yes. Given everything you have said and continue to say in these comments, I hold you to the same moral – not criminal, but moral – level as another man who tried to destroy LGBT lives early Sunday morning.

          • Gilsongraybert

            Sorry – I don’t believe gay marriage should be legal; homosexuality is not an ethical practice according to scripture. Yet it is not outside the pale of Christ’s ability to forgive.

            If I am at the same moral level as a murderor in your eyes for saying that, I don’t believe we will have much fruitful conversation. I earnestly do wish you well, sir.

          • Statistics Palin

            Don’t juggle any poisonous snakes.

          • Frank

            You are the one who mistakenly has made your sexual attraction your identity.

    • Ryan Dabian

      I’m really sorry for what everyone is going through, but I think it’s best not to mourn here. All you’ll find here are empty gestures and more dogma.

    • AustinRocks

      No problem.

  • rtgmath

    “Weep for those bearing the Imago Dei, who were assigned to die and face judgment…”

    Ahhh, another so-called “Christian” blaming the victims. To you, they deserved “judgment,” and they got what they deserved. You do not see them as victims of prejudice. No, you say, “speak with homosexuals about the radical grace of Christ which is reserved for all who repent and believe the gospel.” You blame them for what was done to them, as if God sent the killer. Nor do you accept them for who they are. You mark them for wrath and judgement.

    So, in large measure, you are complicit with the killer. You are not like Jesus, who ate and drank with sinners. You are much more like the Pharisees who stood afar off and judged others with pious-sounding nonsense.

    Get your hands dirty. Work for justice. Strive to make violence less acceptable — including your violent theology! Let people see you value them as they are, and maybe they will find something in your Jesus to value. But as you are now, you only turn others away from any “grace” you pretend to offer.

    • Gilsongraybert

      Heb. 9:27 “And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment.”

      Everyone faces judgment. Everyone dies. There was not any place wherein I claimed they deserved being shot down in cold blood.

      • Statistics Palin

        You do claim the victims were guilty of homosexual sin, how can you know that? Perhaps, the victims weren’t half as promiscuous as you are.

    • Amen and amen and amen.

  • Basement Berean

    I assume you wouldn’t tell us to do something you aren’t doing, so how is the preaching to homosexuals and Muslims going?

    • Gilsongraybert

      Actually, not as awful as one might think. I have a few good friends observing Ramadan currently. This time of the year always opens up excellent opportunities to preach Christ to the Muslim community. Literally all of my homosexual friends don’t live near me, so that is a more difficult task to do at this point. But nonetheless, I have gay friends who don’t believe I hate them, or are guilty of bloodshed.

      • Basement Berean

        Good on you!

      • Statistics Palin

        Just thought I’d let you know you suck when it comes to dealing with gays.

  • Maine_Skeptic

    You’re correct that the problem isn’t guns or Islam, but your version of Christianity only contributes to the problem. You can’t even refer to who the victims were: you see their sexuality as a “practice.” When you look at heterosexuals, do you envision them having sex? Is that how you define them?

    You don’t see the image of any god in your fellow human beings, and that’s clear by the tone of this article. When you say to weep,you’re not talking about having actual empathy. Real compassion can set aside beliefs and love people as they are, but you’re not able to do that. You started out with a recitation of the types of sinners you think were involved in this story, but before you even mention the ACTUAL pain and suffering taking place, you call it propaganda to even discuss whether access to weapons like these should be limited.

    “(the problem) is a lack of the gospel and misappropriated worship carried out to its most severe form.”

    Don’t bother with any introspection, brother. Soul-searching is for the heathen and the nominal Christians. Because *you* have nothing to learn from this situation. You’re not like the rest of us; everyone else just needs to follow your lead.

  • winmeer

    Some confusions in this article. (1) “not education.. (2) the effects of sin..(3) lack of gospel..”. Surely people need to be educated about the teachings of the Old and New Testaments rather than be preached at. The effects of sin are the consequences of disobedience to the Torah, to take two examples,” Thou salt not kill” or the command of Jesus “Love your enemies”. These commands are /have been discarded by people of all religions. In particular what is the role of Priests/Vicars amount troops, blessing instruments of war (to make them more efficient as instruments for killing)?

  • Cheryl Simon

    HATE is the biggest problem. As for the guns issue, there is no reason why any civilian should own a weapon which was designed for use by the military. NONE! Oh, and your god does not exist and your bible is a bunch of fairy tales. Where WAS your god when these 49 people were murdered, hmm???

    • $136305622

      The implication is clear – they died because they were sinners in the author’s eyes. It is a sad belief system that can think that way.

      • Gilsongraybert

        Not at all: tragedy befalls all men.

        • Cheryl Simon

          “If there is a god, he will have to beg for my forgiveness.”

    • Gilsongraybert

      Look into a topic called a “theodicy.” You will find much more than I am able to bring to light here.

      • Cheryl Simon

        Riddle me this, sir – where is the evidence that your god exists? Why is there no contemporaneous accounts, other than your holy book, of the existence of your god?

        • Gilsongraybert

          You clearly have no clue as to how the bible was put together, archeology, or Jewish history.

          • Cheryl Simon

            Actually, I do. You did not answer my questions.

    • Frank

      Stop embarrassing yourself.

      • Cheryl Simon

        How am I embarrassing myself? Do tell!

  • tmselden

    You had me until I read your bio. Your generation seems to like the pleasure they find in drinking. Go explain that to your fallen brother steeped in alcoholism after being introduced to it by the “cool, hip, trendy church crowd.” That first drink will lead to more drinks that can cause death in all areas of life. You, Mr. Gilbert, think you are above judgment. I am a follower of Christ and I find your drinking offensive. What do you say when someone in your circle of friends harms himself or others or maybe your children as a result of drinking a little too much? does the Bible tell you to do if a sister or brother in Christ is offended by your behavior? Study Pauls behavior towards offending others. It is totally contrary to your own. Who is right? I will choose Paul as he follows Christ’s footsteps. You are using the grace of God to participate in the things of this world and society and thinking God doesn’t care. Drinking is making “provision for the flesh” that we are commanded not to do. It is no different than any other seed of sin–that first look that goes into lust, that first little lie, that first penny stolen and that first drink. I am sure that you would agree that all of those things have potential. Don’t be fooled by the voice of this age. Do not mock God. Grace was given so you could be strengthened to avoid sin not to participate in activities that could have the potential to kill. Yes, Mr Gilbert, the problem is sin and unrepentant sin. And that problem comes from a church that overuses the grace card to their demise.

    • The Happy Atheist

      Dude, relax. Have a beer. It’ll all be fine.

      • Gilsongraybert

        We most certainly agree on this point at least

    • Gilsongraybert

      Read some things from Joe Thorn on Christian Liberty – and then read the puritans on the same subject. Don’t assume my church or that I presume upon cheap grace; scripture has no qualms about condemning the hypocrite, just as much as it condemns the legalist. We ought concern ourselves with what Paul prescribed as sinful rather than drawing implications from something that is not condemned.

      • tmselden

        I don’t much care what Joe Thorn or whomever has to say. Man will twist anything they can to justify their sin. Joe Thorn will be a really poor advocate for your views on judgment day. You, sir, are putting stumbling blocks before others with no care for others. Your kids are going to reap the results of your grace bending. You are better off to tie a millstone around your neck and fall to the depths of the sea rather than cause one of these little ones to stumble. Your faith in your flesh is amazing. You obviously think, like others, that you have a special pass when it comes to certain chosen behavior. What other sins, besides drunkenness, are you exempt from? There is not a sin that anyone of us is not capable of. Your problem is pride and you think you are better than you are. Until you realize your depth and potential for wickedness, you are just ploy for the enemy. Only time will tell who your drinking will affect. God forbid that it is one of your children. But being cool. hip and trendy today far outweighs our impact on others. Time to grow up and become a man that is not held master to anything that has potential for death.

        Next time, try reasoning with scripture. It is the final word.

        Sola Scriptural.

        • Gilsongraybert

          I recommended them because I didn’t feel the need to present a scriptural defense when they have amply done so already. Secondly, you have provided no scriptural support in your diatribe. Third, you literally have no concept of the measures of accountability I have in place, if I’m an antinomian (spoiler alert: I’m not), how often or much I have a drink, if I even remotely care if I am perceived to be cool (spoiler alert: I don’t), what may or may not have mastery over me (spoiler alert: it certainly isn’t alcohol), my recognition of the potential to sin, how I am raising my children, or my devotion to Christ and obedience to the scriptures. Fourth: it’s sola scriptura, and it isn’t a license to neglect the historic teaching of the church. Lastly, I am exceedingly grateful and indebted that my advocate on judgment day is Christ – and that while my works shall be judged, they shall not condemn me because of the work of Christ.

          Please take your comments elsewhere if you can’t maintain a moniker of respect and refrain from making snap judgments about me saying that I enjoy an occasional scotch.

          • tmselden

            Just how much respect did Jesus offer the Pharisees when he addressed their blatant hypocrisy? Maybe you better reread some of his condemnation to them. He was disgusted as I am. You see, I have an extended family of educated successful churchgoers. As of this date, four have died from taking their first drink. Innocent, huh? My family was severely debilitated by a drunk driver who took her first drink, killing one and making my parents with five children unable to work. They were crippled for life. Ask any alcoholic where they got started and it began, yep, with that first drink. You, sir, are on a slippery slope. And, sadly, many other professing Christians are on that bandwagon with you. You are conformed to the sinful ways of society and you are commanded to be different than them, but you have become like them. What is the draw? Desensitization, relaxation, escape? Or is it just plain rebellion?

            To put some scriptural perspective on this, I leave you with God’s Word. It might not be wise to call Him legalistic and tell Him to take His comments elsewhere.

            Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

            1 John 2:15-17 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

            Proverbs 20:1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler,and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.

            Leviticus 10:8-11 And the Lord spoke to Aaron, saying, “Drink no wine or strong drink, you or your sons with you, when you go into the tent of meeting, lest you die. It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations. You are to distinguish between the holy and the common, and between the unclean and the clean, and you are to teach the people of Israel all the statutes that the Lord has spoken to them by Moses.”

            Proverbs 31:4-7 It is not for kings, O Lemuel,it is not for kings to drink wine,or for rulers to take strong drink, lest they drink and forget what has been decreedand pervert the rights of all the afflicted. Give strong drink to the one who is perishing,and wine to those in bitter distress; let them drink and forget their povertyand remember their misery no more.

            Isaiah 5:22 Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine,and valiant men in mixing strong drink,

            Romans 14:13-21 Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died. So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding. Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for anyone to make another stumble by what he eats. It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble.

            1 Peter 4:1-7 Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God. For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry. With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you; but they will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. For this is why the gospel was preached even to those who are dead, that though judged in the flesh the way people are, they might live in the spirit the way God does. The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers.

          • Gilsongraybert

            Listen, I am so sorry to hear of your family being affected by alcoholism and drunk driving. I understand that has caused a tremendous amount of pain for you and can understand why you have reached the conclusions you have. I believe you have read into the scriptures here to make a blanket condemnation of alcohol, when the scriptures clearly define that it is drunkenness which is the issue. At the end of the day, you will still see fit to speak to me as a Pharisee (even though what was condemned of the Pharisees was legalism) and have done nothing but assume I’m worldly and indulging the flesh – in more ways than one. Because of that, I simply won’t continue to speak with you.

  • kippy1957

    Are you serious? It’s the right wing Christians who have promoted this kind of angry by your criticism of anyone who doesn’t believe the fairy tales taught to you in Bible.Religion was the biggest mistake ever created.

  • Cindy Bird

    Another Christian using this tragedy to proselytize and demand all become Christian because otherwise you’ll die because of your sins. Using pain and horror as a vehicle to “bring others to Christ” is unconscionable. 49 people dead, 53 injured and instead of offering love, unconditional love, you use them to shout for YOUR brand of religion. You kill them again by turning them into nothing more than an excuse, killing their humanity and the love each carried through this world. Congratulations, you do the exact opposite of what Christ would do.

  • Joint Heir

    Thank you, Mr. Gilbert, for being willing to speak scriptural truth, even when you know it won’t be received well. Though many of your readers do not see it this way, you are speaking the truth in love. You are planting seeds. May God bless your ministry.

  • Yes….but Muslims seem to be over-represented with this type of sin…so you would be a fool to ignore that fact…….

    • Have you ever been to Northern Ireland? I lived there on and off for a few years during the Troubles. My mother’s family is from Belfast, The Real IRA set a car bomb off on the street I was playing on when I was eleven. I promise you, Christians are just as violently terroristic as Muslims are given the right incentives.

    • The Happy Atheist

      What? You do know that white evangelical “patriots” commit these kinds of atrocities at a much higher rate than American Muslims, right? Are white evangelical “patriots” over-represented with this type of sin as well?

  • Glenn Walter

    Using your nomenclature, the myth of divinity is the real “sin” in this world… believers of the myth are given tacit approval for heinous acts to be committed against non-believers in the name of a “god.” So long as you and others like you talk about “the other” as “falling short in the eyes of a wrathful god” we will always have “terrorists” here and abroad. Stop being afraid of “judgement” and start doing good works in the world (and that does not include preaching the “good news” of Jesus). Works involve concrete actions for equality, justice, feeding the hungry, housing the homeless, caring for the sick… you know, things your “Savior” advocated. I was raised in a “Christian” household… the hypocrisies of the pious lend mentally unstable believers support in their hate.

    • BoomerGal

      Non-Christians are never hypocrites. Only Christians can be hypocrites.
      Glad you got it all figured out.

  • cken

    The sin was murder. A minority of both Christianity and Muslim teach what they believe is scriptural homophobia.