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Cowards.

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Christopher Dombres / Wikimedia

Christopher Dombres / Wikimedia

 

Dozens and dozens of people were dead. The images were horrific. Yet again, someone opened fire on a church. With images of blood fresh on my mind, I went to the leadership of our church. Out of fear, I suggested that we hire armed security for the church. Everyone agreed. Even though I felt like I’d done something really good for the church, there was a part of me that wondered.

 

The service was about to start. I noticed one of the armed security officers in front of me. Not too far into the service, a deranged man slammed open the door. Incessantly, the man screamed threats and obscenities. When he lifted moved his hand strangely, the security officer fired two shots. The first hit ceiling. The second hit my throat. As I started to lose consciousness, I heard familiar words, “Those who live by the gun will die by the gun.”

 

I survived. After extensive rehabilitation, I was able to return to a normal life. Well, somewhat normal. Now, I’m an advocate for the elimination of guns in churches. Whenever someone questions whether Jesus is with me, I point them to the message of Jesus. How can you love you neighbor and shoot them? There is no fear in love. How can you cling to your life and give it to Jesus? There is no greater love than to give your life. Stop clinging to it. Throughout my experiences, I’ve become certain of one thing…God hates guns…and so should we.

 

This story is an amalgamation of many stories. I was moved to construct it based on the messages and calls I’ve received all week. People are terrified after the recent shooting in Sutherland Springs. Churches all over are adding armed security. Fear is driving so many away from Jesus.

 

Questions should haunt us at this hour…

 

Who will be our God? Will it be love or fear? Love or fear? Love or fear? Will it be God or guns? God or guns? God or guns? There is no fear in love. There is no God in guns.

 

Churches that have armed security are not churches…they are enemies of love…they are enemies of God…or…simply put…they are…

 

Cowards.

 

Amen.

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