Bullets And Bibles

“…so he shot down the congregation.” – “Smackwater Jack” -Carole King/Gerry Goffin.  From her Tapestry album, 1971.

Photo: KSAT.com

Once again, here we are.  No words…well, not many.  Truly stunned about our new normal.  It’s interesting how when Carole King recorded “Smackwater Jack”, about a crazed man juiced up on his anger at others, rendering himself to only mass murder on his mind, it was considered a fantasy lyric.  Check out the first verse.

“Now, Smackwater Jack, he bought a shotgun. ‘Cause he was in the mood for a little confrontation.  He just let it all hang loose; He didn’t think about the noose.  He couldn’t take no more abuse so he shot down the congregation.”

The song was to be somewhat of a shock factor because that just didn’t happen in those days.  It was the stuff of movie scripts and shock-value songs.  But not anymore.  Check out American history.  These current events are missing in the track record of American citizenry.  If you do find a similar crime in the yellowed pages of America, it is a rare occurrence.

TRUTH:  The days are hideously showing the rise of evil hearts calloused and seared from desensitization.

In almost every instance, at least to my recollection, almost every perpetrator’s (each mass shooter, bomber, vehicular homicidal maniac) life has ended soon after or during the horrific act.  The murderer becomes the next occupier on the cold metal morgue slab.  Let me say, to those who are of atheistic mindsets, each one of these monsters adds to the truths of scripture.

” ‘Put your sword back in its place,’ Jesus said to him.  ‘For all who draw the sword will die by the sword.’ ”  – Matthew 26:52 (NIV)

The last time I wrote of homicidal maniacs, homegrown or otherwise, was just about a month ago. (See my post from Oct 3rd, “A Choice In Vegas”.)

Say what you will, but I call this “EVIL.”  Some call it a “Gun Owner.”  I would agree if not for the majority of good, solid and righteous thinking citizens who own guns who would never murder their neighbor.  So, allow me to point to another biblical truth concerning this topic.

“He 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.’ ” – Jesus – Recorded in Luke 22:36 (ESV)

Did you catch the significance as Jesus was advising His disciples what to take with them on their missionary journeys?  I think the huge phrase is found in the last sentence of the verse.  Notice how Jesus thought the cloak was less urgent than the sword.  In-other-words, “you might be cold on the road, but that sidearm is worth it.” (Alan’s paraphrase)

I sing in two different church bands at two different locations on two different days.  Both are small-medium congregations (below 200 people).  In both, there are security plans to protect the congregation from walk-in violence.  Because it is of a tactical covert design, I will stop there at its description.  However, Sheepdog Church Security is an organization well worth looking into for congregational protection.  It’s not rocket science, but it does take sincere planning.  I know of a pastor in Iowa who once told me the following, “It’s not just the Bible I’m packing when I walk up to the pulpit.” 

There should be no more, “Eh, it’ll never happen here.”  Or, “We’re too small of a congregation to worry about that big city stuff.”  Or, “We don’t need any of that mega-church planning.  The Lord watches over His small flock here.”  YES, the Lord never sleeps, however, the Lord Himself said, “sell your cloak and buy a sword.”  Why?  Simply put, the roads from village to village were laced with waiting thieves and murderers. (Barabbas was one of them.)  Jesus was instructing them to be ready with a sidearm for such dangerous times, for defense only.  Plus, there were aggressive theological zealots who were eager to kill Jesus and His followers early on.

As true with most terroristic murderers, domestic or foreign, all are without God and God’s Spirit who directs, conducts and trains.  Biblically, we are to recognize them by their fruit.  If the fruit is rotten, so are the trees’s roots.  These wolves plan for destruction either through false doctrine or ideology or physical violence.  If you describe yourself as one who holds to no faith, consider yourself, also, in the cross-hairs.  If you are under the flag of freedom, liberty and justice for all, you too are a target. (IE: Las Vegas, Oct 1, 2017, a Christmas office party in San Bernardino, a school in Columbine, a baseball practice in Washington DC, or a dance club in Orlando, etc.)  If the beautiful sanctity of a small town Baptist church in the heart of Texas, where babies and elderly are worshiping, singing and praying on a Sunday morning is disrupted by a mass shooter from the next county, then you, whoever you are, will be vulnerable as well.

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.  I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” – Jesus – Recorded in John 10:10 (NKJV)

I had a weekly radio talk show many years ago.  Shortly after Sept 11, 2001, one of my guests was a local FBI agent who was a special op team member of investigators focusing on terrorism.  His message was extremely clear.  Be diligent. Be a busybody.  Notice out of place scenes, people or objects.  Report what you see, even if it seems insignificant.  You can always remain anonymous.

Unfortunately, we also have witnessed radical Jihadists doing their hellish work for some time, attacking Christian congregations and the clergy in the middle-east and now in Europe.  Whether the chosen form is a rental truck, sword, knife, bomb or bullets, it is the sin-sick heart that kills.

There may come a time when little old ladies heading into church will be carrying their Bibles in one hand and a .357 magnum in the other.  Maybe we’re already there.  But for today, I carry, but not conceal, a tank of fuel for the race.

“For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now – and never to be equaled again.” – Jesus – Recorded in Matthew 24:21 (NIV)

3 Replies to “Bullets And Bibles”

    1. Nothing truly recent in America, only in Europe and Middleast with Jihadist like ISIS. So far most violent attacks have been in other public places. There have been a few church shootings here over the last 30 years. Sad.

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