Just because you have the freedom to say whatever you can... doesn't mean you should say what you want!
Now... let's be clear... I do not condone the acts of retaliation that have resulted in 10 people dead, so far. Nothing is worth killing over... especially the killing of innocent third parties... and I condemn outright the people who have killed them. I believe they have completely and totally overreacted.
However... I strongly believe this could be avoided.
Consider these verses from 1st Corinthians 13 (taken from The Message)... words both Pastors will be very familiar with:
"Love never gives up.I could pick out any line from the above, but I'd like to pay particular attention to the second line... Love cares more for others than for self... regardless of what you think of another person's Holy Book and their faith... the loving thing is to care more for them than you do for yourself.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.
Love doesn't strut,
Doesn't have a swelled head,
Doesn't force itself on others,
Isn't always "me first,"
Doesn't fly off the handle,
Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn't revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end."
This means taking their opinions... thoughts... feelings... beliefs... and values into account before acting.
When viewed in this way... the actions of Sapp and Jones were nothing short of selfish and unloving... and for Pastors... for representatives of Jesus in this world... that is nothing short of atrocious!
Yes... I would agree with some who say that... in this day and age... no one has the right not to be offended... but sometimes the best thing to do in response to a personal affront is not to do anything at all.
Except maybe to smile... and move on.
Just because you have the perceived right to say whatever you want in criticism of others... doesn't mean you should. Ten people are now dead because two Pastors held their freedom of speech as being more important and significant than their calling to love.
And we wonder why people walk away from the name of Jesus. God help us all!