A Pastor’s Response to the Sutherland Springs Church Shooting

I’ve been in full-time ministry since 2000.  I’m a pastor.  I love my church.  My wife and I have poured everything into starting our church from scratch.  What we witnessed playing out on cable news coverage Sunday afternoon left us horrified.  The Sutherland Springs church shooting shook Amber and I so deeply for two reasons: One, it could have been any of us.  Two, it was us. In Christ, we are one.

Our deepest prayers and compassion are extended to South Texas.

We cannot imagine the shock and grief they are going through today.

The tragedy that occurred is my greatest nightmare. 

Words fail me when I think of the victims, ranging in age from 5 to 72.

 

Evil is real.

If there is one thing that current events and the Scriptures agree on, it is that this world is broken.

Whether you are religious or not, we all inherently know that this is evil because God has placed eternity in the hearts of men (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

As a pastor, my solution is Jesus.  He is the One who will make all things new.

I’m just a Nobody trying to tell Everybody about Somebody.

 

The Bible is also concerned with justice for the weak.  For example, I am not for abortion, I am for life.

Don’t worry, I’m not a religious wing-nut who screams at abortion clinics and holds vile signs over my head.  Angry preachers who scream eventually lose their voice.

My approach is encouraging adoption and caring for orphans and single mothers.  My wife and I have served multiple times in African orphanages and we have adopted four children.  We are pro-life.

 

But it would be hypocritical for me to say I’m for life at conception and to remain silent about life being extinguished.

I’m not just pro-life, I am whole-life. 

I am for all people at all times (except in Just Wars) to live whole lives.

 

I come from a proud family of immigrants.  I love my country.  I love my church.

As a pastor, I am always careful to remain apolitical.

I never use my platform to push any political party or political agenda.

 

The conversation that will begin after this church shooting is not a political conversation.

It is a conversation about the right to life.  Everyone’s right to life.

Just as I am for babies in the womb having the right to life, I am for worshipers in the pew having the right to life.

 

One shoe bomber tried to blow up a plane and now we take off our shoes.
1,520 mass shootings since Sandy Hook and Congress has done nothing.

 

It is not the evil of the shooter that confounds me.  The Bible explains evil clearly.

It is the non-action of our government leaders that perplexes me.  I respect my government leaders as the Bible instructs me to, but I do not understand them at this moment.

This is not a political issue; this is a justice issue.

And I will pray for justice for all lives to prevail.

 

Jonathan is the founding pastor of Life Church Michigan.

You can get his new book at HolyShiftBook.com.

He once bought pantyhose with Tina Fey (true story).

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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