Home Christian News ‘This Is Horrific’—Church Leaders Express Heartbreak Over School Massacre in Texas

‘This Is Horrific’—Church Leaders Express Heartbreak Over School Massacre in Texas

Phillip Bethancourt, pastor of Central Church in College Station, Texas, wrote: “Let’s pray for the people of Uvalde after this horrific elementary school shooting. May the churches in that area show the love and compassion of Christ to those who are brokenhearted!”

In a two-part interview on Fox News, California pastor Greg Laurie spoke to Shannon Bream about grief. Laurie, senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, lost a son in a car accident 14 years ago. In his “hour of despair,” the pastor said, he “called out to God, and he was there for me.” Now Americans also need to call on God, pivoting from asking “Why?” to “What should I do?”

To families who are mourning, Laurie said, “These children are safely in the arms of Jesus in heaven, and if you put your faith in Jesus, you will see them again.” Christians have hope that “life does not end in death.” And instead of being a crutch, Laurie said, Christianity is “a whole hospital” for people who need God—which is “all of us.”

Crying is important, Laurie added, because “the depth of your sorrow is an indication of the depth of your love.” Prayers for victims’ families and our country also are vital, he said, adding, “This is not a time to go into our partisan corners and take shots at each other. This is a time to come together and try to bring comfort to these people and also to thank God for our own families.”

Despair Evident in Many Leaders’ Comments

Echoing refrains heard throughout America yesterday, many faith leaders shared despair over Tuesday’s horrific news. “O dear Lord, no,” tweeted Texas-based author Beth Moore. “The children. O dear Lord, no. Christ have mercy.” She added: “I want so much to have some words for y’all but all I can do right now is sob. My good friend says that tears are liquid prayers. That is how I’m praying for now.”

Christian performing artist Preston Perry wrote: “Not [an] elementary school. Not babies. Lord come save us. My heart hurts.” And Christian artist Canon wrote: “These school shootings are unbearable. How are we [supposed] to protect our children today? I’m literally sick to my stomach hearing about the Elementary school shooting in Texas.”

Duke Kwon, pastor at Grace Meridian Hill in Washington, D.C., tweeted: “I can already feel it—this one’s hitting differently. And I think this is why: deadliest mass shooting at an elementary school since Sandy Hook, and some of my kids are now about the same age as today’s victims in Texas. Have mercy, O Lord. Have mercy.”

America’s Gun Debate Continues

As typically happens after mass shootings, debates have begun about guns, background checks, mental health, and other societal concerns. Texas Pastor Zach Lambert, who leads Restore Austin, tweeted: “I honestly don’t know how I’m supposed to share a country with people who would rather see my little kids gunned down than have their ‘gun rights’ restricted.”

In “The Briefing” on Wednesday, theologian and seminary president Albert Mohler decried the “moral atrocity” and “evil intent” behind the Uvalde rampage. He acknowledged that even prayers can’t “bring about full healing,” in the form of putting “those precious young children back into their chairs behind those desks in that school.”

While discussing the gun debate, Mohler said because of the Second Amendment, “there actually is no real political solution to this problem” of mass shootings. That’s “not to say that there could be no policies that might help to restrict access of the wrong people to guns at the wrong time,” he added. “But…the problem is we lack the ability to read a human heart.” Although “something is deeply broken in our society,” Mohler said, all political issues will run up against moral limits “until Jesus comes.”