A man armed with a semi-automatic assault rifle walked into a small church in North Carolina during a sermon on growing violence in the community, was calmed by the pastor, sat through the preaching and stood up to accept Christ when an altar call was given.
“I’m the first person to see him and when I saw him, I thought it was a dummy gun, but then I saw the bullet clip in his hand and the bullets were shining,” Pastor Larry Wright of the Heal the Land Outreach Ministries in Fayetteville, told CNN of the incident that took on the New Year’s Eve.
The pastor, a 57-year-old retired soldier, then walked up to him and said, “Can I help you?” The gunman, who looked emotionally troubled, asked Wright to pray for him, which the pastor did, and asked him to give the weapon and ammo magazine he had. The pastor then asked him to sit in the front row and carried on with the message on senseless violence.
Someone in the congregation called 911, and police arrived, but the pastor asked the police to remain outside.
“I finished the message, I did the altar call and he stood right up, came up to the altar, and gave his life to Christ,” Wright said. “I came down and prayed with him and we embraced. It was like a father embracing a son.”
The man then apologized to the congregation, and told them he sat out that evening with intention to do something terrible, but the Lord spoke to him.
I have no problem with armed families, armed congregations, or armed Christian schools, ready to defend the innocent: indeed, I think that the need for them will grow in the future.
And Liberty University is wise to get their students armed, before The Religion of Peace comes to pay a visit…
But I accept all the ways God provides to protect the innocent. And – with or without armed force – it is the Lord who protects His people. He just uses different instruments, depending on the situation…
If God chooses to act with mercy, and the criminal surrenders his weapon, then Praise the Lord! A lost man has knelt to his Master, and has kept his life from the grave. Thanks be to God Most High!
If God chooses to act with justice, and the criminal is shot before he can shoot, then Praise the Lord! The innocent has been protected, and the wicked destroyed. Thanks be to God Most High!