A great tragedy occurred this week at Rutger University, but I believe an even great tragedy may have played out in the responses to the tragedy.
For those that are not aware, a freshman at Rutgers was secretly filmed by his roommate having a homosexual encounter and posted the video online. The young man that was filmed was so distraught that he committed suicide and the roommate and a female accomplice have been arrested.
It truly is a tragedy all around and on so many levels. It is also a tragedy that hits close to home. Both as a Christian who has been in the homosexual lifestyle and as someone who has contemplated suicide on numerous occasions I, in some way, can relate to what the young man went through. I have also been reminded this week how close another friend of mine who was outed in college could have come to a similar end.
So many emotions went through me when I read about what had happened. I was saddened by the suicide, by the roommate and accomplices betrayal, and that our culture is such that we find entertainment in the outing of anyone in this country. I was also angered for all the same reasons. I even felt a little bit of anger towards the victim for taking such a way out.
My emotional horror was compounded all the more when I began to read the comments concerning the story. Most were of sympathy and those comments I understand, but there was a large amount of other comments as well. Some of the comments were about how sad it is that people are ashamed of their sexual and how they should just be okay with being gay. Many of these comments included helplines for LGBT teens. The other side of the comments were ignorant jackasses who tried to use the Bible and the name of Christ to boast in the young man's death. Nothing makes me madder than people using to name of God to hate their neighbor.
Don't get me wrong, I'm a conservative Bible believing Christian to the core and I do indeed believe that homosexual practice is wrong, but I take no joy in anyone's death for my desire is repentance and faith for all who will.
That is really where the fork comes into play. The message the Christian should be sharing in tragedies such as this is not either of the above options.
First, we must hold true that all have sinned and that we all deserve eternal punishment. What we need is not a self-help program so that we can see ourselves in a better light and love ourselves for that would be a lie. We should understand that we truly are filthy and wretched before a holy God because of our sin whether that sin be homosexual practice, theft, lying, or hatred of our brother. We are all worms deserving of God's fury and wrath.
Second, we must proclaim that God in His infinite love for His people sent His son, Jesus Christ, to take our punishment for those sins through His death on the cross. He died on that cross, but rose again three days later to reign as King of kings and Lord of lords.
Third, we must shout that this God is so kind and loving that not only will He forgive your sins, past, present, and future, but that He will also deliver you from you shame. He died that you might be His.
People in sin considering cutting, or drugs, or suicide, or anything else don't need another inspiring pep talk. They need the Christ , the living God.
The challenge we will face when we tell people that truth is that we can seem opportunistic and taking advantage of a tragedy, but what else can we offer hurting people besides the only HOPE, Jesus Christ.
How great is our God that He not only takes away my sin, but my shame over that sin as well. He is truly worthy, deserving of all our praise.
So I beg of you to point people to that Christ. If you don't know for sure that you know Christ then run to Him with open ares he is waiting for you.
If you have any questions feel free to contact me at any one the ways below.
Soli Deo Gloria,