As we continue to pray for the survivors and loved ones of those killed in the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, we cannot help but ponder many things.
After the Las Vegas mass shooting, former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly wrote: “Public safety demands logical gun laws but the issue is so polarizing and emotional that little will be accomplished as there is no common ground…” Whatever you may think about Bill O’Reilly, he is absolutely correct about this – we are all so firmly ensconced in our cultural silos that we have made it impossible to have any movement on steps to improving gun safety and preventing war-like mass shootings in the United States.
I am a Christian, so you’d better believe I will pray about something this terrible and vexing. I am a Christian, so I cannot believe that, in a world ruled by the providence of God, that this is a hopeless situation, and that resignation or despair in the face of appalling violence is our only possible response. I am a Christian, and I believe that the Body of Christ is one body with Christ as its head. I am a Christian, so I believe that the Spirit of God working in the Body will call us together to do God’s will in Christ’s way.
What does being a Christian mean in the face of exceedingly tragic events like Parkland? I am a Christian, and I believe the transforming power of God can reform the worst of sinners and defeat the greatest of evils. Because I am a Christian, I know that I do not have all the gifts and insight necessary in and of myself to see the transformation through however. I have a proposal to make to the conversation about cultural issues (including gun violence) in a Gospel direction. Keep an eye out for our next post for what I hope may be a new path for us to walk as people of faith and those who care about making our common life safer.
Rev. Robert Johnson – New Hanover Presbyterian Church