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Churches Rattled by Texas Shooting

Law enforcement officials works at the scene of a fatal shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas

Churches around the country are rattled after the horrendous attack today in Texas — understandably so. I went to our church's evening service tonight — a Baptist church in a small town, not unlike Sutherland. We arrived late due to inclement weather in the area and found the doors locked from the inside. One of the deacons, acting out of an abundance of caution, had locked the doors and was "on patrol" in the lobby.  There were conversations afterward about how churches can/should prepare for an active shooter situation. I know several men (and probably a few women) in our congregation carry when they're in church, but today's attack was a complete ambush. Most, if not all of the congregants would have been focused on the sermon or the music at the front of the sanctuary. An attacker could get off hundreds of rounds before anyone realized what was going on. There's no way a church can fully prepare for such a situation, and most wouldn't want to employ armed guards or force attendees to go through metal detectors.

That said, many churches are actively taking steps to protect church members:

 

It's a sad commentary on our depraved culture that church sanctuaries are thought of as targets now.

He's not alone. I've thought the same thing, even in our little country church in Ohio.

Many churches offered prayers and support for those affected by today's tragedy:

 

After our church service, we comforted each other with God's promises, knowing that "Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord" 2 Corinthians 5:8. Most, if not all of the victims who perished today had that same assurance and are worshipping in heaven today.

Pastor Paul Burford, who ministers at a church near First Baptist in Sutherland, echoed those words of hope tonight:

“We’re just standing on the fact that all those that were in that church were believers, to be absent from the body is to be present with the lord,” Buford said. “That’s the thing that is going to keep us strong is knowing in our faith, they are with their lord and savior right now.”

Amen to that.