Murder in Church
Everyone by now has heard about the murders at a Colorado missionary training center and at a megachurch on Sunday
There’s a lot to think about here. The need by the media – especially our faithful ‘War on Christmas and Christians!!” news anchors – to keep mentioning the killer “hated Christians” in big headlines and topical chyrons. All of which fail to mention he was the home-schooled product of a family that was described as “very very religious” and that he was himself a student at the missionary school before being expelled three (or possibly five) years ago for “health reasons.”
This wasn’t an atheist gone berserk, nor a Muslim, nor a member of any other religion. This was a young man, brought up in a hyper-religious Christian family, who went to a missionary training school, and – for reasons we may never understand – came to hate them so much he killed four people, wounded more, and traumatized who knows how many. But you wouldn’t know that unless you listened to the whole program or read it in a much-later paragraph.
Another thing to ponder is that the killer was possibly brought down by an armed security guard.
Think about that for a moment – an armed security guard in a church. Church … guns. Guns … church. Anyone else having a problem with this?
I remember years ago, when I was 7 or 8 years old, there was some debate in our Baptist church as to whether or not the doors should be locked at night or whenever church personnel weren’t there. As I recall, it got pretty heated but I don’t know what led to the debate – perhaps churches in the area or this one specifically had been victims of burglars. I also never found out what the decision was, as I had to go get ready for my baptism.
I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure the topic of armed guards has never been mentioned at any church in the area in the three decades since.
Now, I can almost see the reasons for armed guards at a mega-church. There are thousands in attendence, certainly thousands of dollars are collected during the offering which would be a tempting target, as would the jewelry, wallets, etc., of the parishioners who were described as “upper middle-class.”
There are a couple of things that really bother me about this. Most especially the feeling that – even as an act to save lives, killing in a sacred space is horribly wrong. The killer surely will find his punishment awaiting, in whatever form it may hold.
But, sadly, so will that guard, if in fact it was her gun that stopped this madman. Killing is killing, according to the Christians’ Bible.
Yes, she saved lives. But how many times have we heard the stories of the ancient Christians who were slaughtered by the thousands by the Romans? They never took up arms against their persecutors, because – as I was taught – killing is wrong, even in defense of innocent lives.
That’s why they’re called martyrs for the faith. They were unarmed, unresisting, sufferers for Christ.
This really bugs me, because it’s just another example of the modern Christian’s version of “Do as God says, except….” Christians are supposed to believe in the will of God and that their expressions of faith — in the sacrifice of Christ, the acceptance of salvation, and the repentance of sin — guarantee them a place in heaven.
Even if the Romans seek to destroy you. Even if an armed gunman shows up at the church door. Even if a ticking time bomb is under the pulpit. Even if the entire week’s worth of offerings are about to be stolen. Whatever happens is the will of God and thus, Christians are supposed to accept it – even unto death – because of their assurance of life everlasting, “bought with the blood of the Lamb.”
At least, that’s what I was taught in church services and Sunday School. Maybe it’s changed in the last 11-12 years that I’ve been a non-Christian, and my area just hasn’t caught up with the trend.
All I really know is that if the ancient Christians had taken up arms, the Catholic church would be missing an entire pantheon of saints.