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Good News statement on Orlando terrorist attack

CUS744GreatestLoveWith all United Methodists across the nation, we mourn the death of the 49 victims in the Orlando terrorist attack. Whether they were gay, straight, bisexual, or transgender, they were the children of parents who will never again be able to hug and kiss them and assure them of their love. In a news cycle of press statements and polemical political discussions, we are reminded of the very simple common humanity that we share with the victims in Orlando.

United Methodists condemn the murder and injury of those loved by God whether they occur in a church building or a gay nightclub. With God as our Creator, whatever our theological difference may be, we resonate with Florida Bishop Ken Carter’s hope that “we can discover creative, pastoral and grace-filled ways to bear witness to all — including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons — that together we are God’s beloved children.”

Our hearts and prayers are with those who lost their lives, the wounded, the families, and the emergency personnel who are all dealing with this horrific situation.

We believe this tragedy should unite all Americans in prayer for the victims and in reasoned study and conversation about what can be done to prevent terrorist attacks. No Christian can condone hate filled forms of violence against any person, regardless of sexual orientation or practice, race, ethnicity, or gender.

Responses of fear, hatred, or violence do not embody the holy boldness and sacrificial love that Jesus demonstrated and calls his followers to imitate. As Christians we must work together to counteract hatred and violence directed at LGBTQ people. May the Holy Spirit guide our thoughts and prayers and empower our actions over the coming days.

“Our world needs the good news – let us be people of good news! Our world needs Jesus – let us be people who invite others to know the One we know,” writes Bishop Mark J. Webb of the Upper New York Annual Conference. “In the midst of violence, let us not shrink from the hope we have in the one we call Savior. May we not shrink from offering the hope of Jesus to a world in desperate need. Spiritual forces of darkness will not have victory – the victory has been won in Jesus the Christ!”

With Bishop Webb, our prayer is for comfort and peace for the families of the victims. “Lord, in your mercy comfort those who mourn, touch those who need your healing and provide peace in the midst of fear,” he writes. “Lord, in your mercy allow goodness to overcome evil and light to pierce the darkness.”

 

Good News has been an independent, evangelical ministry and magazine within The United Methodist Church since 1967. 

Comments

  1. Jane P. Ives says:

    Do you have any idea how galling your words of compassion for the LGBTQ community are to those who see you relentlessly pursuing maintenance of an untenable position in our UM Book of Discipline? Although you claim to accept all persons as beloved children of God, you insist on labeling same-sex eros as “incompatible with Christian teaching, making no distinction between a faithful committed relationship (marriage) and predatory and promiscuous behavior. So, according to your statements, homosexuals are beloved children of God but must go through life alone, without finding and committing to a mate or forming a family based in love. Such teaching causes some persons who find themselves clearly endowed with same-sex attraction to hide in shame and to despair of ever being loved for who they are. Such teaching also justifies bigots who discriminate against, exclude, and yes – even kill homosexual persons. If you truly want to “… work together to counteract hatred and violence directed at LGBTQ people,” admit that your efforts have fed the kind of hatred (self and other) that led to the Orlando massacre. Surely that is not what you intended! Do you have the courage to repent, as did the Exodus organization, or will it take even more horrendous tragedies for you to see the consequences of your actions? Agree to the removal of the offensive language from our Book of Discipline and trust local churches and annual conferences to uphold high standards of morality. Focus your passion on prevention of child sexual abuse, sexual trafficking, rape, promiscuity, and other behaviors which have nothing to do with love. For every moment that passes without your admission of complicity in the ongoing hatred of and violence toward LGBTQ persons, you reveal your lack of faith in a Living God and contradict the statements of care and compassion you have made. Praying that the Holy Spirit will indeed “guide our thoughts and prayers and empower our actions over the coming days.”

    • James Reynalds says:

      Do you want god to be “OK” with adultery? or drunkenness? or anything else that causes harm?

      Look what he said to the prostitute that was brought to him “Go and SIN no more! Why? “least a worst thing come upon you”. He was concerned for her and didn’t want her to be hurt.

      I believe he would say the same to any LBGTQ person out of complete love towards them.

      All the “Do’s and Don”ts from God are out of fervent love for us not out of anger.

      How does homosexuallity harm us? I DON”T KNOW! But biblical verses seem to indicate it can.

      For those who hate LBGTQ people you are totally WRONG! and not showing Gods love to them.

  2. Elaine says:

    Excellent statement!

  3. Erin Riley says:

    “As Christians we must work together to counteract hatred and violence directed at LGBTQ people.”
    I would like to know exactly what Good News is going to do to live into its words. All I’ve heard from Good News previous to this week was a lot of talk about homosexuality compared to same sex acts in the Bible. That talk ignores the fact that homosexuals have full lives, not just sex lives. That kind of talk ignores the fact that everyone sins, and everyone’s sins are condemned in the Bible. That kind of talk shows how narrowly the Good News readers read the Bible. The men — yes, it always seems to be men — in Good News seem to be obsessed with the sexuality of homosexuality. The families of homosexuals are never mentioned. The children, the parents, the couples with dreams of mortgages and babies and retirements. The gay police officers, bankers, farmers, and business owners. If you really want to work together to counteract hatred and violence directed at a group of people, first you must see them as people, not just sex acts.

  4. David R Nelson says:

    And now in spite of the facts, we as Methodists are lumped in with the Islamic hate, that declares all gays should be exterminated? Oh and Christians too! This was an Islamic attack, was it not?

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