The shooting in the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas has shocked everyone. And in the midst of this tragedy, we’ve got some questions for church leaders and parishioners.
As we have seen in recent years, churches aren’t immune to acts of violence.
We need to protect ourselves — even at church.
Doug Giles has some fantastic advice:
Armed guards in churches.
Doug asks some great questions here — are we really taking security at church seriously?
Are pastors making certain that their flock is safe?
Some parishioners are already planning on taking Doug’s advice and bring their guns to church.
Ray Koenig, who has lived here in the area all of his 82 years, said people here often carry guns and knives but no one could have imagined being attacked as they prayed.
“You can bet that I am going to rethink sneaking my gun into church now,” Koenig said.
Source: Daily Beast
And when the details of this attack are revealed, it’s no wonder why.
At least 26 people are dead after a gunman opened fire inside a Texas church on Sunday morning, officials say.
The shooting occurred at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, approximately 30 miles from San Antonio, around 11:30 a.m. The shooter, who is believed to have acted alone, fled the church on foot and was killed by police, officials said. Police told reporters that the victims range in age from 5 to 72, with approximately 20 wounded being treated at area hospitals.
Those initial reports from police didn’t count the youngest victims.
Let’s look at the Holcombe family that attended First Baptist in Sutherland Springs. Three generations of their family suffered casualties.
Bryan Holcomb, an Associate Minister at the church, was heading up to the pulpit to lead worship when the gunman opened fire. Bryan was killed.
His wife of about 40 years, Karla Holcomb, was also killed.
Their son, 36-year old Marc Daniel Holcomb, also attended the church with his family. He was killed along with his infant daughter, Noah Holcomb, who was just a year old.
Marc Daniel’s brother, John, also attended the church with his family. John is alive, but his wife Crystal Holcomb was killed. Crystal was pregnant at the time of her murder and both were killed. Crystal and John had five children, three of them, Emily, Megan, and Greg were killed.
That’s devastating for Joe and Claryce Holcombe, parents of Bryan who lost their son, their daughter in law, grandson, wife of another grandson, and four great-grandchildren, and another that was yet to be born. Of the 26 murder victims, 8 were from the Holcombe family.
The Holcombe family could have benefitted from some armed guards at the doors of the church.
One witness told a KSAT reporter the he was dressed “in full gear.” During a press conference in Sutherland Springs, state and local officials said that Kelley had an “assault-type” rifle and first fired outside the church before entering the building. An armed citizen pursued Kelley by vehicle after he left the church.
Source: Daily Beast
Pastors, church leaders, parishioners — are you ready for that?
Sutherland Springs is a small town of about 1,000 or so residents. If it happened there, it could happen anywhere.
As Doug pointed out, Jesus was fine with self-defense.
Luke 22:36 (which you can read in your preferred translation here,) says:
He [Jesus] said to them, “But now let the one who has a moneybag take it, and likewise a knapsack. And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one.
– The Holy Bible, English Standard Version
Also, as Doug points out, the men and women in law enforcement that serve and protect us are commendable, but the response time means that they don’t get there when the bullets are flying.
Are you willing to wait 20 minutes for the police to show up?
It’s an issue that needs to be discussed within our churches and addressed by our church leaders.
We need some righteous badassery in the church to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and our brothers and sisters in Christ from the preventable evil in this world.
We need to Obey Jesus.
Including what he said in Luke 22:36. (See above)
And the best part? This shirt is made in the USA, printed in the USA, on an American-Made t-shirt press!
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