Orlando Nightclub Massacre: A Christian Response to Steven Anderson

steven anderson orlando massacre

“Pastor” Steven Anderson’s Message of Hate

In the wake of the horrific terrorist attack that occurred in the early pre-dawn hours at a gay Orlando nightclub on June 12 that left 49 innocent people dead; blogs, media personalities, and spokespersons from all corners of the ideological spectrum are scrambling to voice their grief, anger, confusion, and sympathies for those affected.

Some however, are rushing to the microphone to voice their satisfaction and celebrate the deaths of 49 Americans. The alarming part of this, is that these people are considered “Christians”. Westboro Baptist Church rushed to their twisted platform to spread their message of hate within hours of the shooting. But this has become par for the course for this group of hate-filled people who have the audacity to attach Christ’s name to such a tragedy.

Another message of “moral victory” in the wake of the massacre came from popular Tempe, Arizona Pastor Steven Anderson. In a YouTube video posted a short time after the shooting (that was since removed by YouTube for hate speech), Anderson rants Westboro-style against those that died, claiming that since they were homosexual, they deserved their fate.

Here are a couple of choice excerpts (link):

“The good news is that there’s 50 less pedophiles in this world, because, you know, these homosexuals are a bunch of disgusting perverts and pedophiles. That’s who was a victim here, are a bunch of, just, disgusting homosexuals at a gay bar, okay?”

“I will say this: The Bible says that homosexuals should be put to death, in Leviticus 20:13. Obviously, it’s not right for somebody to just, you know, shoot up the place, because that’s not going through the proper channels. But these people all should have been killed, anyway, but they should have been killed through the proper channels, as in they should have been executed by a righteous government that would have tried them, convicted them, and saw them executed.”

First off, it bears establishing that these 49 people who were brutally slaughtered were Americans. The media, politicians, and just about everyone else loves to shove all of us into little boxes with clean labels on them in order to classify everyone by race, religion, sexual orientation, etc., and then try to pit one group against the other. But at the end of the day, we’re all Americans, and labels are meaningless. On 9/11, terrorists killed 3,000 Americans. I even bet a chunk of them were homosexuals. But the “Christian” hate squad wasn’t going around cheering for their blood, because it it wasn’t a gay club that was attacked.

It isn’t supporting the gay lifestyle, or the “homosexual agenda”, or advocating and endorsing homosexuality to feel sympathy and sorrow for innocent people having their lives brutally taken from them.

It isn’t supporting the gay lifestyle, or the “homosexual agenda”, or advocating and endorsing homosexuality to feel sympathy and sorrow for innocent people having their lives brutally taken from them. In fact, as Christians, we are commanded to exemplify love and compassion toward our fellow man.

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. – 1 Corinthians 13:1-3

Luke 6 is an extremely powerful teaching by our Lord Jesus Christ, and one that Steven Anderson and those in his camp would do well to read again, if they’ve ever bothered to read it in the first place.

But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful. – Luke 6:35-36

“Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” – Luke 6:37-38

“For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. For every tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. – Luke 6:43-45

It’s quite clear the example that Jesus laid out for his followers with what manner to treat our fellow man. Anderson and his followers would do well to heed the words of Christ in this regard.

To Judge or Not to Judge?

Often, Christians speak of a righteous form of judging others. There are different versions of the same thing that float from circle to circle, but basically, many believe that as long as you are judging the sin and not the sinner, that this is acceptable. However, it depends. Is the sinner a believer? If so, then the previous thought process is correct. We are to exhibit righteous and prayerful judgment, coupled with humility, toward the sin of believers.  However, nowhere in the Bible are we as Christians commanded to judge those who are not in the Body of Christ! This is specifically God’s realm alone! Paul writes:

I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world (emphasis added), or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world.  But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person.

For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? But those who are outside God judges (emphasis added). Therefore“put away from yourselves the evil person.” – 1 Corinthians 5:9-12

Notice how Paul addresses the confusion and carefully differentiates between judging believers versus judging non believers. Our only role in the world is to be a picture of Christ’s love and sacrifice, while spreading the Gospel. Too many Christians today, such as Pastor Steven Anderson, appoint themselves as righteous judge and jury over the world, forgetting that he himself is but a sinner saved only by grace through faith. His righteousness is but “filthy rags” according to Isaiah, and it is not because of his self-perceived perfection, righteousness, and purity that he is saved; but rather in spite of having none!

Almost everyone is familiar with possibly the most well-known passage in the entire Bible, John 3:16. But it is quite a shame that few bother to continue reading the very next verse:

For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. – John 3:17

If Christ Himself didn’t come into the world to condemn it, then who does Steven Anderson think he is? The entire purpose of Christ, and our subsequent representation of Him here today, is to win the lost to salvation. Celebrating the violent deaths of 49 of our American brothers and sisters simply because they happened to be homosexuals, doesn’t accomplish that task. In fact, it greatly impedes it.

Anderson Cites Leviticus

Another point of contention, is that Anderson has the audacity to cite the book of Leviticus as his defense for wishing violent death upon gay people. Much could be said regarding the restrictive 613 old covenant laws that this is a part of, and certainly Anderson himself doesn’t employ them in his own life. Leviticus also commands parents to stone their obstinate children to death (20:9), not wearing clothes comprised of mixed fabrics (19:19), and eating only fruit in the fifth year after it is borne by the tree (19:25).

Does Anderson observe these laws and teach others to do the same? Or has he simply cherry-picked a singular law against homosexuality that was valid for the Israelites prior to the advent of Christ, and chosen to use that as his foundation for his mad rantings?

In Matthew 5:17, Christ declares, ““Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.” Upon His coming to Earth, death on the cross, and resurrection, He has fulfilled the law that was in place only as a temporary steward until the Messiah should come.

But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. – Galatians 3:23-25

Now that Christ has fulfilled the law through his death on the cross, we as believers are no longer under the law that Anderson falsely cites as a valid and biblical reason for celebrating the murder and destruction of his fellow man.

This doesn’t mean that homosexuality is no longer considered sin. Paul makes it clear that it is a form of sexual immorality, and urges believers to avoid it. But nowhere under the New Covenant established by our Lord Jesus Christ are we as Christians commanded to hate those living in sexual immorality; and certainly we are never told to put them to death.

Sharia law is a set of ideals that looks almost identical to the book of Leviticus in practice, with simply a different god honored at the center of it. We see the impact of this type of society every day in the Middle East – gay people thrown to their deaths from rooftops; women completely subjugated; and freedom denied in every possible way. Is this really what God desires for us – except with a “Christian” label tacked onto it? Not according to His own Word it isn’t.

As mentioned above, our role involving the sins of the world is exactly zero involvement. This is exclusively God’s domain. He has called us as believers to be examples of Christ’s love, and save as many as possible before His return. After all, we are but sinners ourselves, saved only by grace through faith. How dare Steven Anderson, a filthy sinner himself, call for any other sinner to be put to death; when God’s desire is that none should perish, but all should have eternal life!

Anderson’s message of hate is in direct conflict with the Word of God and the message of His Son Jesus Christ. He has established himself counter to God’s Word, and spreads the message of Steven Anderson, not the Most High. His most egregious act, is to have the unmitigated gall to assign his hate-filled rhetoric as scriptural teaching.

Repent Steven Anderson! For you are in grave error, and risk the measure of mercy that you show toward your fellow man to be shown to you, according to Christ Himself in Luke 6. Your heresy and bigotry have no place in the Body of Christ!

One Comment
  1. If I were to write to my Minister whether or not to let Steven Anderson come to our country

    To the Honourable Minister of Home affairs Malusi Gigaba
    Mr President and Honourable Minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba the bible goes to great lengths teaching about same sex relations with many exhortations. I bring to your attention what the Word of God says about this matter. It important that you understand that God spoke with finality.
    King Nebuchadnezzar refused and failed to understand that God is Sovereign over the kingdoms of men. As it is revealed in the following verse (Daniel 4:17) ‘The decision is announced by messengers, the holy ones declare the verdict, so that the living may know that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes and sets over them the lowliest of people’. King Nebuchadnezzar despised God’s sovereignty. Which (Daniel 4:30) he said, ‘Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?’ At the utterance of these words a verdict was made in heaven and a sentence was given him. His sanity was taken away and was to live with animals until he would confess that God is Sovereign over all things. (Daniel 4:25) ‘You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like the ox and be drenched with the dew of heaven. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes’.
    God might not drive anyone to live with animals or take away their sanity since God has revealed himself and has shown his ways to the world and continues to reveal himself to the saints. In those days God was saying (Ezekiel 38:23) ‘And so I will show my greatness and my holiness, and I will make myself known in the sight of many nations. Then they will know that I am the LORD’. In these present times we know that God has revealed himself through Jesus Christ his Son. It is well known that Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sins of man. It common knowledge that Christians around the world are earnestly waiting and yearn for Jesus’ coming. They hope in the coming of that Great and Dreadful day of Judgement.
    To address the matter at hand Steven Anderson truthfully quotes Leviticus 20:13 ‘If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.’ This is the Word of God which not only still stands to this day but is also a command from God. It is the Law of God the same way the Ten Commandments are to be taken as the Law of God. It is the Law that Christ is referring to when he says (Matthew 5:17) ‘Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them’. The commandment in Exodus 20:8 which is as follows ‘Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy’ was fulfilled by Christ. He takes it a step further by calling himself the Lord of the Sabbath which means that every day is to belong to the Lord. It is important to understand that there are practices that are merely human (Matthew 15:9) ‘They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules’. It also important to distinguish between these teachings and the fundamental principles and beliefs that come from God. At the advent of Christ because of his mercy and grace there are things that God has made clean. Those who think that there are foods, except the food sacrificed to idols, that make them unclean lack Spiritual discernment and faith. Peter is of great assistance in this occasion in Acts 10:
    11 He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. 12 It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds. 13 Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.”14 “Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.”15 The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”
    And Apostle Paul in 1 Timothy chapter 4:
    3 They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. 4 For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5 because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.
    Sexual immorality on the other hand has always been unclean and an abomination before God. It is the same sin that made God bring Sodom and Gomorrah to ruin. Apostle Paul in the Spirit says people should not be deceived; in 1 Corinthians 6:9 he writes, ‘Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men’. Sexual immorality includes premarital sex which is fornication, adultery and homosexual sex. All the perpetrators of these sins shall not inherit the kingdom of God. Christ the fulfiller of all things takes it a step further and in Matthew 5:28 and declares, ‘But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart’. He is basically saying that God will not judge only the act itself but also the intention to commit this act.
    All saints that love God and read their bibles would agree on Steven Anderson’s stance on homosexuality. It is a sin before the eyes of God. I am grateful amidst the changing cultures and sentiments to the contrary; my denomination, the ‘Assemblies of God’, Back to God Crusade, as founded by the late Nicholas Bhengu, still preaches and teaches these spiritual truths. Many other denominations preach this spiritual truth in South Africa, thank the Living God.
    The reason for this letter has to be written is to say that no one should defend, Steven Anderson, neither the saints that love God or read their bibles. This man at the death of 50 people he gloats over their death. He does what the Word of God directly prohibits. Proverbs 24:17 ‘Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when they stumble, do not let your heart rejoice,’ He uttered the following:
    The good news is that there’s 50 less pedophiles in this world, because, you know, these homosexuals are a bunch of disgusting perverts and pedophiles. That’s who was a victim here, are a bunch of, just, disgusting homosexuals at a gay bar, okay?”
    Even though their lifestyles and what they were doing that night is condemned by the Word of God it is clear that Steven is not a man of love. To this effect 1 John 4:20 says, ‘Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar’. Steven may claim to love God but does he really love him. They may not be our brothers and sisters in the faith but they are our brothers and sisters and we are called to love them.
    Steven has set himself as a judge sending people to heaven and sending others to hell at the utterance of his word. (Matthew 7:1 -2) ‘Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you’. What we can be sure of is that the same measure he has judged other people’s sins, that is without mercy, he sins will also be judged in that measurement.
    This is a man who has publicly said that he is praying for President Obama to die. Here is a man who has prepared a sermon preaching on how much he hates his president. This is not acceptable criticism or rebuke but instead it is anger and wrath. He shows disdain to authorities. As Christians we are called to pray for those in authority. (1 Timothy 2: 1) ‘I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness’.
    We regret that we live in a world with Christians such as Steven Anderson. Christians who come with anger and wrath. ‘He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation”’. That was a mandate that Christ gave to all Christians. It is to be done with humility; (John 8:11) ‘”Then neither do I condemn you, “Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin”’; Spiritual rebuke, ‘”You unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “How long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you?”’; and love ‘”A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another”’.
    Herein Minister is a fresh perspective that would be of help you to reflect on your decision of allowing the man in question into this country. I can only leave it to your discretion. Such a man I am afraid I cannot defend, he will not only show disdain for you, our authorities, as it is evident that he seeks worldly fame to the detriment of the primary mandate to feed the sheep of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
    Yours Sincerely
    Anonymous Wits Student

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *