On June 12, 2016, on opposite sides of our nation, two tragedies occurred.
The first occurred in Orlando, Florida where a crazed radical shot and killed 50 people, injuring another 53.
The second occurred in Sacramento, California when a purportedly “Christian” pastor proclaimed, from his pulpit, a callous and perverse message of hatred, applauding the deaths of those viciously murdered in Orlando.
Speaking on behalf of Veritas Church (NOT the church involved in this sermon of hate), its pastors and its membership, and joining with many other churches and Christians throughout our region and across this country, let it be clear that any such character of hatred and any such perversion of biblical Christian teachings are, in the strongest sense, absolutely and unconditionally opposed and rejected as heresy.
John 3:17 demonstrates the love of God for the sinner when it says, “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” Christ came to save the lost, not endorse their slaughter.
Anyone – and especially someone claiming the position of “pastor” – proclaiming anything contrary to Christian love towards all does not speak rightly for Christians, for the Church, and certainly not according to the teaching of Jesus and/or the Bible.
The greatest tragedy and the greatest sin ever committed in this world was the murder of Jesus Christ – the only genuinely “innocent” person to have ever lived. And it was, during the course of his murder, a life given for the redemption of sinners, that Jesus, the Son of God, spoke these words: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)
If Jesus would seek the forgiveness of those guilty of condemning and carrying out his unjust and undeserved death, how can we imagine that he would commend the murder of others for sexual sins?
While Veritas Church cannot support nor condone sexual sin – homosexual or heterosexual sin – we vehemently oppose any message of hatred toward others, and especially condemn any such hatred originating from the pulpit.
In truth, such hate spewed forth as Christian doctrine is not only contrary to Christ’s teaching and purpose, but is also destructive to our Christian mission of reaching the lost for God’s Kingdom. How might we expect a world of lost sinners to receive our words of grace and salvation through Christ when ignorance so loudly proclaims the false message of our desire for their destruction?
Christians love sinners. Christians were, and are, sinners.
Our sincere prayers are with the Orlando victims and families of those victims. We also earnestly pray that the Sacramento church leader proclaiming hate in the name of Christ would recognize and repent of his own sins, and seek forgiveness.
~ Pastor Kurtis Banchero, Veritas Church, Roseville