I want to start by stating how tragic the recent shooting in Dallas was, as well as others who have lost their lives during encounters with police officers. It is not my intent to try or convict any person on either side of the aisle without due process, and I believe it to be highly irresponsible for others to do so. At the heart of the matter is sin, and the only answer to sin is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The families of the individuals who have lost their lives, in Dallas, and elsewhere, are in my prayers. I pray that through the sin of man, and the consequences thereof, that Christ will be made known, and God will be glorified.
What is often overlooked, especially in the Christian church, are the after effects of our response to these tragedies. While it seems admirable that people from all walks of life would come together to mourn the tragic loss of life, many times when Christians participate in an event like this, the unintended consequence is a total disregard for God’s commandments. Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.”
An interfaith prayer gathering is being held in Dallas where President Obama is expected to speak, and choirs from multiple religions and faith backgrounds will be singing together. It will be followed by an interfaith prayer with Christians, Muslims, and Jews. Interfaith prayer leaders include Rev. Dr. Sheron C. Patterson, The United Methodist Church of North Texas, Imam Omar Suleiman, resident scholar of Valley Ranch Islamic Center and founding member of Faith Forward Dallas Rabbi Andrew Marc Paley, senior rabbi of Temple Shalom Dallas.
In promotion of this event, Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberties Commission tweeted the following:
The image linked in the tweet can be found here.
I’m having an extremely difficult time trying to figure out what the biblical motivation is for his promotion of this event. What possible good does Moore believe will come from gathering God haters with believers in unholy unity for a prayer service to multiple dieties?
I can understand the human nature to grieve over the tragic loss of life, but as Christians, we use the opportunity to promote Jesus Christ. What seems right in the eyes of man is unfruitful, shameful, and brings death (Romans 6:21). Will God even be at this event? Scripture says,
But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear. -Isaiah 59:2
Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him. -John 9:31
Unless you believe that Muslims and Jews are worshipers of God–that is, the true God of the Bible–then you must logically conclude that God is not going to hear their prayers. Scripture is replete with passages that teach that God does not hear the prayers of unbelievers (Proverbs 1:24-28, Jeremiah 14:10-12, Isaiah 59:2, John 9:31, etc.).
Further, the Scriptures clearly command believers not to partake in any spiritual enterprise with unbelievers.
Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? – 2 Corinthians 6:14
God is truth, and truth has no timing. The truth is, the majority of these people are lost (Matthew 7:13-14). The majority of residents in Dallas are lost, and in need of a savior. Many of the family members of the officers lost in Dallas do not know Jesus Christ. The natural inclination of man’s wicked heart (Jeremiah 17:9) is to be quiet, join hands, and try our best not to offend anyone who is mourning, but Scriptures teach we are to preach the Gospel in and out of season, and correct those who are mourning, and looking for answers outside of Christ (2 Timothy 4:2). Scripture teaches that those who are in Christ that mourn will be comforted (Matthew 5:4). It is only Christ that can bring comfort–not an interfaith, Christ-denying service that downplays the Gospel (John 14:6). We as Christians need to be leading the charge for the advancement of the Gospel–the Gospel that saves, comforts, and reconciles–in the face of a grieving, lost world.
I’m not saying that we should beat these mourning people over the head with a bible, per se, but they should not only be able to see the joy that is in us, through Christ, even during a time of mourning, but they should also be able to see our strength and resolve in Christ, by not compromising the word of truth, by holding hands and praying with those why deny our God, and hate our savior, Jesus Christ.
Stand apart (2 Corinthians 6:17), and be salt and light.
“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” – Matthew 5:13-16
[Contributed by Pulpit & Pen]