I am a an American Christian which is almost an oxymoron these days. You see Christians in America for the most part have no idea what it means to be Christians. We embrace the American dream, teach our children moralism instead of the Gospel and don't even interact with unbelievers much rather share our faith with them.
Hear me out, sin is evil. It separates us from God. But as Elyse M. Fitzpatrick says, "I am more sinful and flawed than I ever dared believe, more loved and welcomed than I ever dared hope." God's grace is so much greater than our sin and he pours it lavishly upon us.
Orlando is my city. My heart beats with it. I take joy in its sights, sounds, and tastes. Like my God, my heart breaks for its people in prison to their sins, broken and bleeding. Recently we had several pastors fall to sin that stole their families, their lives, and their ministries. There are a lot of necessary steps when any of us falls greatly including professional counseling, Biblical community, and Godly accountability. But that process should always begin with grace and ideally end with restoration.
I'm tired of those who have suffered the effects of sin and mental illness believing their only solace is to take their own lives. I'm tired of churches where people don't talk about real issues and can't freely confess sins. I want my divorced friends, my childless friends, my homosexual friends, my addicted friends (lets be honest that most everyone we know, in some way, including ourselves) to run freely to the church (read: Body of Christ) because we freely hand out radical grace.
I don't want another Isaac Hunter story in my city. Instead I want churches, and small groups, and Christians to create a culture where we freely confess our sins and find grace and community. A culture that allows others to stand up and say, "me too."
"And as people increasingly leave the Church, often over issues such as these, it is becoming more urgent that the Church talk about how to care for every one of its members...And as we talk about them, we must remember to address them with humility, understanding and grace, keeping in mind our role as fellow hospital patients, not museum curators." -Zach Perkins