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!