Weeping With Those Who Weep

Last week [June 2016] a young homosexual Muslim man pledged his alliance to the Islamic state and begin to murder as many people as he could in a gay night club that he frequented. In the hours before the police stopped him (one officer taking a bullet to to the front of his kevlar helmet), he callously killed 49 people, and wounded more than 50. 

The Christian response should be obvious: sorrow over the loss of life and compassion for the loved ones of the victim. As Paul clearly instructed, “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.” (Rom. 12:15).

Yet some believers are hindered from doing this because the sins of the victims are clearly known. Are we hindered from grief because alcohol, drugs or some other wrong preceded an untimely death? But what did God say? “I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies,” declares the Lord GOD. “Therefore, repent and live.”” (Ezek. 18:12, also Ezek. 18:23; 33:11) God is not pleased with their deaths, nor the death of any sinner. Would He have been pleased with our death before the time of our repentance? The average age of those who died was 29, the youngest just 18. How many who are saints today were fully ready for judgment at those young ages? 

liby charges of hypocrisy leveled by those using this tragedy and the sympathy rightly flowing from it for political gain. Christians cannot and do not celebrate the lifestyle of those who were terribly murdered. We do not take pride it in or anything associated with it (Eph. 5:11). But not celebrating and encouraging a sinful life is not a hinderance mourning a tragic passing, or in this cases, scores of them. Our understanding of the spiritual component of this should make the tragedy sting all the more, not be a reason for caring less.