Another Shooting, This Time in a Church. How Should We Respond?

We don't have answers; Christ offers hope and grace and peace.

Yesterday was the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. Thousands of churches around the world gathered in prayer, remembering those whose lives were cut short at the hands of those who don’t believe as they do.

In fact, my friends at the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary estimate that each year, 100,000 Christians are martyred for their faith. According to the 2017 World Watch List released by Open Doors, 215 million Christians experience high, very high, or extreme levels of persecution in their home countries.

And yesterday this reality—the reality that you can lose your life for showing up to church—came to a small town in Texas. It’s a small Southern Baptist church pastored by Frank Pomeroy. A gunman opened fire during a worship service, killing at least 20.

And again we are left mourning, like we were after Las Vegas last month and Charleston two years ago. And wondering why.

Today in CNN, I published an article on how we might reply to the tragedy and evil in Texas. If you haven’t already, I’d encourage you to read the piece. In it, I said:

When we as believers made a commitment to follow Christ, that commitment included sacrificing all and following Him even unto death. For many in Texas they died doing what we believe is the most important thing—worshiping the One in whose arms they now rest.

Sometimes, the tragedies we read about can seem like too much for us to handle. Or we get weary of all the suffering and sadness, and we seek to disconnect. What this little church family in Texas can teach us is that our love for our Lord is our ultimate purpose in life—as I like to say, making much of Him. This is our ...

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