A California Pastor has made headlines recently because of statements he made about the recent mass shooting in Orlando. Pastor Roger Jiminez of Verity Baptist Church has said among other things, “I wish the government would round them all up, put them up against a firing wall, put a firing squad in front of them, and blow their brains out.” He has also expressed that he does not mourn the deaths of these individuals because they deserved to die.
Let me first make clear that the Scripture teaches that homosexual behavior is a sin. If one is a Christian seeking to view life through the lens of the Bible, then there really is not another reasonable position to take, but that is a topic for a different time.
The disturbing thing about Jiminez’s statements is not that he describes this behavior as sin, but in his response to that sin. At the heart of the Christian faith is the belief that all people are sinners. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” The prophet Isaiah described the righteousness of people as “filthy rags” in the sight of God (Isaiah 64:6). When the Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians he talked about some of them being involved in homosexual behavior before their conversion to Christianity (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). Jesus said that all manner of sin will be forgiven with the exception of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (Matthew 12:31).
So were those murdered in Orlando sinners? Yes, but so are all of us without Christ. Are many of them in hell today? Probably so, but not for the specific sin of homosexual behavior. If they are in hell, it is because they did not believe on the name of the only Son of God. Jesus said that those who do not believe are condemned already (John 3:18). Jesus has provided all people with the way to God if they will recognize that they are a sinner in need of saving and reach out to God for that salvation. Did they deserve to die? Yes, but we all do, because we have all sinned. Even one sin makes us guilty in the eyes of God and death is the result of sin (Romans 6:23). But praise God, He has given us life through Jesus Christ. So can I mourn for these people? Yes I can. How can we not mourn for any lost soul that passes into eternity? Do we wish hell on even the worst of criminals? Peter wrote that God is not willing that any should pass into eternity lost, but that all would be saved (1 Peter 3:9). For the Christian, holding a sincere belief that homosexual behavior is sin and sincerely valuing the lives of those who participate in this behavior are not mutually exclusive. Is our heart so hard that we would wish hell on even our worst enemy? If so, may God help us to love people as He does.