Dear Christians: Just shut up about Dylann Roof

I sit here with a broken heart.  A deeply troubled young man has taken the lives of so many precious people.  My heart aches.

I am on Facebook (which is sometimes good, sometimes bad).  Today, it’s bad.  I’m reading of great leaders of our churches calling Dylann a “racist little punk,” “evil-hearted monster” and saying he should be hung or lined up in front of a firing squad.  A friend of mine I went to Bible college with posted:  “I hope he doesn’t get off on an insanity plea, what he did was just plain evil and he deserves the chair.”  His own uncle stated “He’ll get no sympathy from us” and ““He’s going to pay for what he’s done, I’d pull the switch myself, if they’d let me.”

If these statements reflect what you are feeling, stop reading now because I’m only going to tick you off.  Seriously – so stop.

 

DylannRoof_

First, I cannot hate this young man.  “Whoever hates is still in the dark, stumbles around in the dark, doesn’t know which end is up, blinded by the darkness.”  (1 Jn. 2:11)  If I hate him, how am I any better than he is?  Don’t stop reading just because there’s Bible verses thrown in there.  Hear me out (but there will be more verses).

Not only am I not able to hate him, I must love him.  “The person who refuses to love doesn’t know the first thing about God because God is love – so you can’t know him if you don’t love.”  (1 Jn. 4:8)  I don’t get to choose who I hate and who I love.  I’m commanded to love.  Period.

“Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you.”  Eph. 4:32  Who the heck do I think I am to not offer forgiveness and love to others?  Can I disagree with Dylann’s actions?  Absolutely!

Satan used this young man to bring so much misery to so many people.  Did you get that?  SATAN used this man.  This man was originally created for a charlestonGodly purpose.  God has his eyes on him and lovingly created him for a reason.  Somewhere along the way, satan got his hands on Dylann.  What difference could someone loving him had made?  I read somewhere online “He almost changed his mind because they were so nice.”

What if he heard reports of his uncle saying “We love you” rather than “Ride the lightening”?  I hope he is hearing the message of the victims’ families saying:

‘You hurt me. You hurt a lot of people. But God forgives you. I forgive you.’

Gary and Aurelia Washington, center left and right, the son and granddaughter of Ethel Lance who died in Wednesday's shooting, leave a sidewalk memorial in front of Emanuel AME Church comforted by fellow family members Thursday, June 18, 2015, in Charleston, S.C. Dylann Storm Roof, 21, was arrested Thursday in the slayings of several people, including the pastor at a prayer meeting inside the historic black church. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
(AP Photo/David Goldman)

No, they were not my family members he murdered.  How can I talk about love and forgiveness when I’m not the one affected?  But you know what, the victims families ARE talking about forgiveness.  According to news.Yahoo.com – “Relatives of the Charleston church shooting victims gave emotional statements during Dylann Roof’s initial court appearance Friday, some of them breaking into sobs as one after another they told the man suspected of killing their loved ones that they forgive him.”

Now, whether you believe in God or not, THIS ought to make you think.  Dylann didn’t show any signs of remorse.  He didn’t ask forgiveness from anyone.  Yet they have offered forgiveness to him anyway.  Through their pain, maybe even hatred towards Dylann, they are forgiving him.  Why?  Because they follow this crazy man named Jesus, you know, the one who sat with drunks, had patience with jerks, hung out with sluts and had dinners with thieves.  The Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church is modeling what it means to truly follow this Jesus character.  Not just going to church Sunday mornings when it’s convenient,  not just when it’s easy but when it’s really, really hard.  They are showing Jesus to the world right now.

So now for my special note to Christians specifically.  The world is watching.  They’re watching what the victims’ families are saying.  They’re watching how the church responds, they are watching how YOU respond.  When you say things like you hope he fries, you look exactly like the rest of the world.  There is no light in that.  Jesus calls us to be the light of the world, set apart and showing love.  Pray for these families who have lost loved ones.  Pray for Dylann.  These families know where their loved ones are.  They are sad but they know.  Dylann’s soul is lost and needing saved right now.  Pray for these families but also pray for Dylann.  My Mama always told me if I didn’t have anything nice to say, to not say anything at all.  So, I’ll put it to you this way:  Church, if you cannot reflect the heart of Jesus, just shut up about Dylann Roof.  You’re only feeding what the world thinks about “those Christians” if you only spew more hate.

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16 thoughts on “Dear Christians: Just shut up about Dylann Roof

  1. Thank you for so eloquently stating the truth, how can we call ourselves Christians if we will not obey his command that we ‘love one another’ that includes the dirty homeless man, the profanity spewing woman, the vicious thug and the violent racist. Jesus died for their sins as well and our sins are just as unacceptable in Gods sight.

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  2. I agree with everything you’ve said here except one thing … There is a nicer way to say than, “shut up,” and you need to address those Christians who are spewing hate, not make a blanket statement about Christians … In these days of political correctness, which I personally hate, you still have to be careful. Just saying.

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    1. Thank you for your input. I rarely use that word unless I feel it’s a very strong emotion I’m trying to convey and that was the case here. In the article, I am very clear that I’m addressing the Christians who are spewing hate, not just saying it to all Christians. I do understand where you are coming from. God bless!

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  3. A friend told me about this blog post. I personally am a Christian and knowing that Ephesians 6:12 is BEYOND true, I hate the evil behind Dylan’s actions. However, I will be very honest, it was hard, even as someone who loves the Lord like I do, to not get caught up in the anger, especially when there’s so much hatred online and people saying things like “he should be praised for the good deed he did”, etc. Yes, someone actually said that. A man by the name of Kurtis Cook in Texas posted it on his Facebook and I think he lost his job. Anywhooo, as a young black woman Mrs. Lanham, this all has been so hard. To watch people being murdered for the color of their skin, especially when they have the same skin as mine, is heartbreaking and maddening. So maybe those Christians who are speaking out in anger are just that: angry and hurt but if Dylan Roof deserves our forgiveness and understanding, then these people who are angered righteously definitely do. God bless.

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  4. This may have been the thing he was to do to bring him to God, even tho’ it’s a terrible tragedy. How tortured he must be inside. Hate just eats a person up. Because hate comes from satan. Jesus knew who was going to betray him….did he try to stop it? No, as far as we know, he showered Judas nothing but love.

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