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Robert Jeffress, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dallas, releases the following statement in response to today's shooting at a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia, that wounded Rep. Steve Scalise and at least five others.
Along with all of us here at First Baptist Dallas, I want to assure those who are injured and their families that we are praying for them, and we are grateful for their service—whether of our elected officials whose service is dangerous in addition to demanding, the faithful staff members who assist them, and those in law enforcement who protect them and all of us.
When wanton acts of violence such as this occur, it's inevitable to wonder why God allows evil like this in the world. But we should not blame God for acts committed by depraved individuals who have exercised their own free will. C.S. Lewis' observation is more true and timely than ever: "Most suffering in the world has been produced by human beings with whips, guns, bayonets, gas chambers, and bombs." Today's cowardly act of violence is a reminder that evil runs rampant in the world, but it will not do so forever. The great hope of Christianity is that one day Christ will return and forever conquer evil.
Until that time, we pray for those impacted by this and all acts of evil and assure them as the psalmist said, "The Lord is near to the broken-hearted" (Ps. 34:18a).
This appalling act of violence also highlights the fact that the unrelenting demonization of our legitimately elected political leaders could lead to tragedy, and I refer particularly to the mainstream media, our universities, and to Hollywood. Now is the time to tone it all down, embrace real tolerance, report objectively and stop provoking our nation to conflict.
Jeffress isn't the only believer decrying the violent outbreak.
My Faith Votes CEO Jason Yates releases the following statement, calling for unity after a gunman attacked GOP Congress members and aides at a baseball practice Wednesday morning:
This morning's attack is more than a tragic act of violence or even a hate crime against our public servants. It's a direct indictment on the culture of hostility, division and, yes, violence too many of our nation's leaders, media, entertainment and public figures have encouraged and promoted.
Whatever motive led the attacker to carry this heinous act, we cannot deny that the hate that leads to this kind of violence begins in the heart. As Jesus said, "You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.' But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment."
Let's then set anger aside from both our mouths and our hearts, and instead, let's seek peace and the common good. America is strongest when, in the midst of our diversity and differences, we can still come together.
Our immediate prayers go to Rep. Scalise and the congressional aides and Capitol Police officers who were wounded during this tragic event. We thank the city's law enforcement and first responders who acted quickly and prevented a greater tragedy from occurring.
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