Christian Leaders on Mass Shootings: ‘Enough Is Enough’

Mikaela Mathews | Contributor | Monday, August 5, 2019
Christian Leaders on Mass Shootings: ‘Enough Is Enough’

Christian Leaders on Mass Shootings: ‘Enough Is Enough’

As the nation reels in the light of the mass shootings that killed 20 in El Paso, Texas and 9 in Dayton, Ohio over the weekend, Christian leaders called out white supremacy, offered encouragement, and begged for change. 

Several of Christian leaders spoke against white supremacy after it was revealed the El Paso shooter was racially motivated against immigrants and Hispanics in his attack. 

Shane Claiborne, an author and activist, according to Relevanttweeted several thoughts on the need for reform. Claiborne wrote, “2 mass shootings in 24 hours. 20 dead & 26 injured in El Paso, TX. 9 dead & 16 injured in Dayton, OH. Let us pray for all those affected... and then let’s honor their lives by taking action to end gun violence. Another America is possible.”

He continued, “Saying that it's ‘not the right time’ to talk about gun control after a mass shooting... is like saying it's not right to talk about train safety after a deadly train wreck. #ElPasoThis is exactly when we need to talk about it.”

Claiborne then shared several statistics on gun violence-related deaths in developed countries, noting that America has the highest number of gun-related deaths. “Of all the civilians killed by guns in developed countries, 86% are in the US. Of all the children killed in 23 developed countries, 87% are in the US. We have more gun homicides in the US than all the other industrialized countries combined. 4 times more than the next country,” he wrote. 

Singer Nichole Nordeman called on pastors to rise to the challenge in a tweet writing, “Sincerely praying for pastors across the country this morning. For the courage and conviction to name this, denounce it and lead. You didn’t answer a calling to be polite and popular. Find your fire,” she urged.

Father James Martin argued that gun control is a pro-life issue, linking to an article in America Magazine that he wrote in 2012.

Author Trillia Newbell mourned the losses and petitioned for change writing, “What a tragedy in El Paso. Politics aside, at some point we have to say enough is enough.”

“We are watching humans die week after week in mass shootings. So tragic,” Newbell added.

Author and pastor Ed Stetzer used his platform to specifically call out white nationalism in several tweets.

He wrote, "Pastors: Tomorrow at church, it would be a good idea to mention that your hispanic members and neighbors are loved and welcomed – that you care for them and will speak up for them when they are caricatured, maligned, and (as we saw today) targeted.”

He continued, “Racism, white nationalism, and white supremacy all make no sense if you are a Christian. Christians literally worship a dark-skinned, Jewish savior from the Middle East. Not only is racism sinful, it is remarkably stupid for anyone who identifies as a Christian.”

Stetzer then thank law enforcement officers for their hard work and bravery. He wrote, “I'm deeply thankful for law enforcement officers who rush toward the danger when others are running away. In the midst of the darkness, their actions bring a bit of light.”

Author Karen Swallow Prior linked to an article she wrote with Jen Hatmaker on gun control, calling for “common ground and common sense.”

Louie Giglio – pastor and author – raised a call for the next generation and President.

Giglio wrote, “More young men in their 20’s taking life like it’s nothing. We are living in troubling times with a troubled generation. I don’t care about political persuasions or agendas—the President must take the lead and bring change. I pray for those who mourn, for all wounded and the for leaders of our nation of all parties. Jesus, help us all.”

D.A. Horton, a pastor in Long Beach and board member of W.A.M. tweeted, “People radicalize racist rhetoric. They write manifestos and mobilize to kill those they publicly proves (sic)to hate. These are not ‘lone wolves.’ These #massshootings are organized with target demographics in mind. When these manifestos outline the motive as #WhiteSupremacy, the church CAN’T be silent in calling this out! #WhiteSupremacistTerrorism. This doesn’t mean everyone of European descent is a White Supremicst (sic). But it does identify the system of hatred that is rooted in evil.” 

Adam W. Greenway, President of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, echoed these sentiments writing, “As president of @SWBTS, I want to be clear that we condemn in the strongest possible form any and all ideologies of racial/ethnic superiority/inferiority that fuel the kind of hate evidently motivating the #ElPaso shooter to commit such a horrific act of violence in our state.”

Some leaders offered their condolences and petitioned for prayer.

Franklin Graham, in a press release for the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team (RRT), asked people to join him in prayer. Graham wrote, “Please join me in praying for the grieving families whose loved ones were killed today and for the nearly two dozen more who are injured and being treated in nearby hospitals. Even the youngest of children were not spared from this senseless evil. Unbelievably, all at a local Walmart. I join with Governor Greg Abbott who said, ‘We ask God to bind up the wounds of all who’ve been harmed.’” 

Pastor and author Eugene Cho tweeted, “Heartbroken...again. We pray & grieve for all who've been impacted by the shooting in El Paso, Texas. It's tragic that violence & mass shootings in America seem normal. It's not normal. It's insane. We can't keep going on like this. When will we change our ways? How long, O Lord?”

J.D. Greear, president of the SBC and pastor of The Summit Church voiced his grief writing, “In the face of such tragic loss of life, we weep with those who are now weeping. And we plead with God for healing. Maranatha!”

Dr. Tony Evans, a pastor and author in Dallas, tweeted, “Praying for all in El Paso and Ohio. Join me in praying for peace and healing.”

A few leaders also acknowledged the spiritual issues underlying gun violence. 

Greg Laurie – pastor, evangelist and author – said, “29 dead in two mass shootings in America in 24 hours. What on earth is happening? Pundits will make this political, each blaming the other side’s ideology. But something bigger is happening here. It’s called evil and it’s motivated by Satan himself. This is a spiritual battle.” 

“‘The Lord reigns’ (Psalm 97:1). We need that hope. And in Christ, we have that audacious hope towering over all the disheartening madness of this world. Now let’s go serve our suffering world today, in His name,” Laurie concluded. 

Ray Ortlund pastor and author tweeted, “Mass murder is not a ‘tragedy.’ A cyclone or an earthquake or a tornado that takes lives is a tragedy. But mass murder is evil. And if motivated by racism, it is evil compounded.”

Eric Metaxas spurred on believers to turn from evil and instead to Christ.

“The spirit of mass-murder is the spirit of anti-Christ. Instead of pointing fingers at each other & sharing in that foul spirit, let us turn to God in repentance. Can it be that He has allowed this evil so that we will return to Him in prayer & repentance? #jesus #severemercy,” he wrote

And, Anne Lamott, a Christian author, infused the situation with hope for the future in her tweets.

She wrote, “There is no meaning in the massacres—yet. But I’ll tell my Sunday School kids this morning that there will be, and it will be our belief that Goodness is sovereign here, no matter how ghastly things look. The animating love we have for each other for the poor, and the crushed.

We see Christ crucified today, in the agony, the ongoing tragedies of being human. We can’t pretend that this is anything other than insane, evil. But it’s not the end of the story. We’ll march soon. Today, we do what we can: we try to be good & kind to one another, and the poor.”

As Christian Headlines previously reported, two mass shootings took place over the weekend. On Saturday morning in El Paso, Texas a gunman opened fire killing 20 people and injuring 26. In the early morning hours of the next day, another gunman opened fire outside of a bar killing nine people and injuring 27.

Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Mario Tama/Staff

Christian Leaders on Mass Shootings: ‘Enough Is Enough’