Like many Americans, I awoke to read the tragic headline of evil hitting Charleston, SC as a gunman killed 9 Christians during a prayer meeting. The suspect, Dylann Storm Roof, 21, has been captured and is yet to speak out about his motive. Is Roof a deplorable racist, hateful of blacks? Is a an angry atheist, hateful of Christians? Or maybe both?

While we do not yet know the motivation for his act of evil, my prayers go out to the families of those killed in cold-blood. I pray they can find peace in the abiding grace of Jesus Christ—Lord and Savior of those 9 beautiful souls.

EDITORIAL UPDATE: JUNE 19, 2015

The suspect has now confessed and it appears that his motives for attacking are rooted in a pervasive racial hatred of blacks. His affiliation to an ideology of racism clearly makes this mass killing far more worse than a hate crime, but a deliberate act of terrorism. 

Dr. J.R. Miller is a Professor of Applied Theology and Leadership & Dean of Online Learning at Southern California Seminary. Outside work, he is a church planter. Dr. Miller has a diverse educational background and authored multiple books on church history, biblical theology, and Leadership. Joe and his wife Suzanne enjoy the sun and surf with their 3 sons in San Diego, CA.

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