Three Brief Reflections on June 20…
Colonial Lake photo courtesy of Spencer Means/flickr.com
…on the Orlando Tragedy:
My heart is broken for the families and friends of the 49 victims of the terrorist attack at Pulse nightclub in Orlando. Although there are political voices trying to make this into an opportunity to support or demonize agendas, I have no interest in any of the politics surrounding this massacre. People, made in God’s image, were killed in cold blood by a hate-filled terrorist. In response to this, I encourage the application of the biblical truth, “weep with those who weep.”
…on the Emanuel memorials:
I am grateful for the testimony of our Emanuel families who have consistently showed God’s grace in the face of hatred. Charleston has honored these families well over the week and made powerful statements about racial unity. I have appreciated these memorials, but our city may be experiencing compassion fatigue at this point. My heart goes out to Pastor Betty Deas Clark of the Emanuel AME Church. She has had a non-stop schedule for the past two weeks and this week is nearly as busy. She has maintained an amazing spirit of care and concern for her congregation and for the people of our city. As the commemorations end, I pray that racial unity will continue to grow in our city. May the grace of God continue to empower the churches to build bridges with the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
…on a meeting with the Republican nominee for President:
I have accepted an invitation offered to evangelical leaders from around the country for a visit with Donald Trump the presumptive nominee of the Republican party. The meeting will be on Tuesday, and I have submitted questions in advance. For those of you concerned that I am going political, I will accept the same invitation from the Democratic nominee should it be offered. I think both parties could benefit from a conversation with evangelical leaders, not in order to gain support, but rather to gain insight. Mr. Trump has spoken frequently about his religious commitment, but I fear for his soul based on much of what he says and does. I am hoping this gathering can be a time when the candidate listens to voices who can help him at a personal level. On a political level, I am hoping to advance concerns of evangelicals like religious freedom and the first amendment. Sadly, Mr. Trump has alienated many people for a variety of reasons, and our country needs a substantive and robust campaign for President based on ideas and principles. If our meeting helps to advance this goal, then it will be worth it.