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    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,506820,00.html

    Pastor Dead After Shooting at a First Baptist Church in Illinois

    Sunday , March 08, 2009



    An Illinois pastor used the Bible he was reading from to shield himself from bullets being pumped at him from an unknown gunman who opened fire during Sunday services at the First Baptist Church in Maryville, Ill.

    Senior Pastor Fred Winters was preaching during the 8:15 a.m. service when a man entered the church, walked down the aisle and started shooting, a parishioner told FOX News. Four others were also reportedly shot.

    The .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol then jammed and the suspect started stabbing himself with a knife, Ralph Timmins of the Illinois State Police told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

    Timmins said the gunman slashed two parishioners when they tried to subdue him.

    The suspect is in serious condition and is heading to the operating room, according to Saint Louis University Hospital.

    Winters was shot three times, police said. He was pronounced dead on arrival at Anderson Hospital, a spokeswoman told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

    Five other people were taken to local hospitals.

    Police said there were about 150 people in the church at the time of the shooting.

    The church has an average attendance of more than 1,200 and was officially organized on March 4, 1945, according to their Web site.

    Click here to read more on this story from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

    Click here to read more on this story from MyFOX2Now.com in St. Louis.

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    On the contrary, this is ammunition for us that would go armed to church.

    When I'm not involved in the homily then I often consider what unarmed I would do in such a circumstance.

    The reporter's mention of the Bible as unable to shield the Pastor is unnecessary, disingenuous and even evil.

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    But it's also more "ammo" for those of us (like Yours Truly) who keep sayingthatpeople should carry EVERYWHERE, even in church.

    Still,so many pastors and church members continue to insist on being naive, ignorant or in denial -- and therefore unarmed. And even if SOME FEW members actually do carry, the vast majority of the other church members do not, still refusing to take personal responsibility for their own protection and unfairly expecting other (armed) members to step in harm's way to protect them...THAT is not right, either. Shame on them.

    Christians need to "get with the program," realize that criminals/psychos don't respect churches any more than they do schools andtake personal responsibility for their own defense. Until they do,they will continue to be easy targets.

    And frankly IMO, those who will not defend themselves deserve the results...I have no sympathy for anyone who won't take responsibility fortheir own defense or at least makean effort to do so...rather than just HOPE something bad won't happen (leave that to the liberals as it is one ofTHEIR characteristic traits, as is leaving their protection up to others).

    Of course it'sone's choice -- church member or the average Joe or Jane -- not to be armed, but it's also their choice that got them killed if that ends up happening.

    -- John D.

    P.S. Posted BEFORE I saw Doug's post as he posted his while I was editing mine.

    (formerly of Colorado Springs, CO)

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    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/church_shooting

    "Our great God is not surprised by this, or anything," Nate Adams, executive director of the Illinois Baptist State Association, said in a statement. "That He allows evil and free will to have their way in tragedies like this is a mystery in many ways. But we know we can trust Him no matter what, and draw close to Him in any circumstances."
    Not to rank on people of faith, but this is why many still choose to go about unprepared for the world. Why would a person defend themselves, it's Gods will for good or bad.

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    cloudcroft wrote:
    But it's also more "ammo" for those of us (like Yours Truly) who keep sayingthatpeople should carry EVERYWHERE, even in church.

    Still,so many pastors and church members continue to insist on being naive, ignorant or in denial -- and therefore unarmed. And even if SOME FEW members actually do carry, the vast majority of the other church members do not, still refusing to take personal responsibility for their own protection and unfairly expecting other (armed) members to step in harm's way to protect them...THAT is not right, either. Shame on them.

    Christians need to "get with the program," realize that criminals/psychos don't respect churches any more than they do schools andtake personal responsibility for their own defense. Until they do,they will continue to be easy targets.

    And frankly IMO, those who will not defend themselves deserve the results...I have no sympathy for anyone who won't take responsibility fortheir own defense or at least makean effort to do so...rather than just HOPE something bad won't happen (leave that to the liberals as it is one ofTHEIR characteristic traits, as is leaving their protection up to others).

    Of course it'sone's choice -- church member or the average Joe or Jane -- not to be armed, but it's also their choice that got them killed if that ends up happening.

    -- John D.

    P.S. Posted BEFORE I saw Doug's post as he posted his while I was editing mine.
    It is more than just Christians. It is everyone.

    In NoVA there as been "acts of hate" against Jewish Temples. There has even been outright threats. Yet, they feel safe because they have a LEO or two sitting outside.

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    Read Charl Van Wyk Shooting Back:The Right and Duty of Self-Defense

    "Charl Van Wyk was an ordinary Christian man until the day he was called upon to be extraordinary. The date was 25 July 1993 and the the event was what was to be known as the St. James Massacre. Charl was catapaulted to the media's attention by shooting back at the terrorists who attacked the innocent congregation.

    This is his story.

    Shooting Back deals with t he burning questions that plague all God-fearing people:
    Should we carry arms?
    When is it appropriate to defend ourselves and our families?
    What can we do when our freedom to carry arms is legislated away from us?"

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    Dozens of lives may have been saved by a jammed pistol! It is a shame those parishioners were at the mercy of a malfunction.

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    And this is why I and several more like me go CC to church every week.
    We discuss tactics every so often, to know each other's strategies and try as best we might to stop an armed assault.
    Because the church is in a "low rent" district, there are numerous suspicious characters about, and not a few known sexual predators wander by, I suppose eyeing the children.

    We will never convince the majority of the congregation that any of this is necessary. Most would argue that we have divine protection. That may be, but divine protection may use conventional means.

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    I am the Senior Associate pastor at my church and I'm ALWAYS carrying. When I'm not preaching, I position myself tactically- ready to protect the sheep (not a derrogatory term when used to refer to the congregants). When it's my turn to preach, nothing changes- I'm armed and ready.

    There is absolutely no theological or ethical disassociation with being a man of God and being armed. The commandment thou shall not murder Ex 20:13 "Thou shall not murder"actually requires every lawful means of preserving life and does not enjoin the believer from taking a life when justified. Taken to its logicalconclusionit can be argued that failure to stopa violent criminal would be sinful.



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    possumboy,

    I agree...I also implied I was talking about everyone.

    But even Jews -- who have been targets since ancient times and who you would assume to be up-to-speed re: dealing with assailantslong before now -- STILL don't get it as many synagogues are still easy targets.

    If THEY can't wake up and smell the gunpowder after all this time (heck, they can't even deal with thePLO or Hamas right), I don't know what more to say about Christian churches.

    -- John D.
    (formerly of Colorado Springs, CO)

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    And like so many of these incidents, as soon as the shooter had any resistance at all, this time from his own jammed weapon, he tried to kill himself.



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    The meaning of important Bible passages has been twisted over the years to support all kinds of nonsense, and left-wing pastors have led the charge. I don’t know the biblical theology or doctrine of this pastor or church, only that they are of the Baptist persuasion. The last two Baptist pastors I have had have both encouraged me to carry my sidearm to church.

    The sixth commandment (Exodus 20:13) is translated into English in the King James Version of the Bible as: “Thou shalt not kill.” Now that sounds pretty black and white. Don’t kill. Anything. Anytime. For any reason, even to save your sorry rear end, or your pastor’s life.

    The Hebrew word translated in the King James translation of the Bible (KJV) as “kill” is actually a word that denotes the taking of life in an illegal, immoral or criminal manner. The meaning of the word “kill” in modern English is quite broad and does not necessarily indicate a criminal act (“The vegetarian killed a head of lettuce for his salad”). A more precise and correct translation of the sixth commandment reads in modern English: “You shall not murder” (New International Version, NIV, and other translations). The word “murder” in modern English is quite different from the word “kill.” Murder requires criminal intent, and is the criminal, willful, unjustified taking of a human life, something that is clearly wrong. “But if a man schemes and kills another man deliberately, take him away from my altar and put him to death (Exodus 21:14).” God apparently doesn’t have any problem with the death penalty for murderers, either.

    In other passages, the Bible instructs us that killing in defense of self or our family is fully justified. “If a thief is caught breaking in and is struck so that he dies, the defender is not guilty of bloodshed.” (Exodus 22:2).

    Nehemiah records that workers routinely carried weapons for protection during the rebuilding of the wall around Jerusalem. “…Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other, 18 and each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked... (Nehemiah 4: 17 – 18).”

    One of the most direct passages in the Bible supporting our right and duty to defend ourselves is found in Luke 22:36. Here, just before Christ was arrested, He told His disciples “He who has no sword should sell his coat and buy one.” This is no small instruction. Most people living in this time didn’t have closets full of coats and shoes and clothes like we do today. Telling someone to “sell his coat” could very likely have entailed a significant sacrifice, particularly for Christ’s disciples, who generally left behind everything they had to follow Him. Christ appears to be telling His disciples that having and carrying a sword, a personal weapon, a means of self-defense, is important enough that, if necessary, they should sell the clothes off their back in order to do so. It is perhaps equivalent to being told today to “sell your only car and go buy a gun”.

    My prayers are with the pastor’s family, friends and congregation. An armed person in the congregation might or might not have had time to make a difference. But they would have had a chance.

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    Only reason I don't carry in church is because it's at a school.

    "Our great God is not surprised by this, or anything," Nate Adams, executive director of the Illinois Baptist State Association, said in a statement. "That He allows evil and free will to have their way in tragedies like this is a mystery in many ways. But we know we can trust Him no matter what, and draw close to Him in any circumstances."
    While I understand where this is coming from, I don't think that by carrying a gun you are not trusting God. I haven't heard from God that He will keep me safe from violence, thus I'd be testing God to meet some expectation He never mentioned. If I had good reason to believe that God did not want me armed and that He would protect me, then cool, I'll leave it in His hands. But not being prepared because of some notion that you should rely on God when He made no guarantee that He'd keep you safe from violence is wrong.

    God gave us a brain for us to use, and love that drives us to protect. I'd say we're wasting the gifts God gave us if we dismissed rational thought that could help us protect those we love.

    There is absolutely no theological or ethical disassociation with being a man of God and being armed. The commandment thou shall not murder Ex 20:13 "Thou shall not murder" actually requires every lawful means of preserving life and does not enjoin the believer from taking a life when justified. Taken to its logical conclusion it can be argued that failure to stop a violent criminal would be sinful.
    One of the things I like about the pastor at the church that I go to, is that he rightly places the same emphasis on the often more subtle sins of omission, as he does on sins of commission. While I wouldn't go so far to say that every failure to stop a violent criminal is a sin, I believe that if you are charged with the protection of someone, and you fail due to negligence or something similar, that is a sin. Not saying that was the case here, just my opinion on that subject in general.

    EDIT:
    Found a good article on the Bible and self defense:
    http://home.earthlink.net/~ronrhodes/qselfdefense.html

    A good highlight from the end:

    Prior to His crucifixion, Jesus revealed to His disciples the future hostility they would face and encouraged them to sell their outer garments in order to buy a sword (Luke 22:36-38; cf. 2 Corinthians 11:26-27). Here the "sword" (Greek: maxairan) is a dagger or short sword that belonged to the Jewish traveler's equipment as protection against robbers and wild animals. A plain reading of the passage indicates that Jesus approved of self-defense.

    Self-defense may actually result in one of the greatest examples of human love. Christ Himself said, "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:14). When protecting one's family or neighbor, a Christian is unselfishly risking his or her life for the sake of others.

    Theologians J. P. Moreland and Norman Geisler say that "to permit murder when one could have prevented it is morally wrong. To allow a rape when one could have hindered it is an evil. To watch an act of cruelty to children without trying to intervene is morally inexcusable. In brief, not resisting evil is an evil of omission, and an evil of omission can be just as evil as an evil of commission. Any man who refuses to protect his wife and children against a violent intruder fails them morally."



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    School is only in session Monday through Friday anyway. Does the FGFSZ act include primary schools that are owned and run by religious organizations or only public government indoctrination centers, I mean public schools?

    holeinhead wrote:
    Only reason I don't carry in church is because it's at a school.

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    In my case, the beef is with state law. At least the way I'm reading it, it bans the carry of weapons at all private and public schools (k-12). There's an exception for picking up a student, but that's pretty much it.

    Also if I'm reading the law wrong, please let me know. :P

    Here's the law:
    http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=9.41.280

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    ...Arkansas just recently failed to pass a law giving folks the right to carry at church...sad commentary...

    ...when my wife first became aware I carry a .45 to church, she was "righteously indignant"..."I believe that GOD can take care of trouble at HIS CHURCH", she delivered....I replied "He sure CAN, and He'll use good men armed with guns to do it!!!"...nothing remotely faithless or un-Christian about being willing and prepared to stop evil wherever it rears its ugly head....

    ...at my last renewal class, the instructor made the comment that people would be astonished to know how many North Texas pastors carry 24/7....now that's good news for sure....

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    Just wait, at some point in the next week there will be something either from Washington or Springfield stating legislation has been introduced restricting possession of firearms in assemblies, parades and so on and will be promoted by the brady bunch of cowards and others. What they don't realize, what they may NEVER realize is gun control does not prevent criminals from obtaining, possessing or using firearms in the commission of a crime. Gun control ONLY serves to disarm people like those in the church today in suburban Maryville, IL. The gun probably came from Chicago or St. Louis and was likely possessed by a felon or mental defect. Either way a law had already been broken prior to the homocide. More laws restricting gun ownership and possession can and will not protect the masses who cowar at the very thought of a man with a gun.

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    Isn't Illinois one of the only states in the country that does not allow people to carry pistols (neither concealed nor open)?

    ...I don't think those parishoners had a choice.

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    ...we always have a choice...I know a man who's carried since he was 17...over 42 years...legally and not...noone ever spotted his weapon and never needed it at church...but it was there....it requires a decision...but we all have a choice...

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    Wait a second, the guy was stabbing himself and some people got cut when they tried to subdue him? Sounds like they should've let him finish and maybe he'd subdue himself.

    Illinois bans carry of guns. For results, see OP.

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    Still,so many pastors and church members continue to insist on being naive, ignorant or in denial -- and therefore unarmed. And even if SOME FEW members actually do carry, the vast majority of the other church members do not, still refusing to take personal responsibility for their own protection and unfairly expecting other (armed) members to step in harm's way to protect them...THAT is not right, either. Shame on them.
    Sadly, alot of people are like that. They wont take responsibility for their own safety.

    And frankly IMO, those who will not defend themselves deserve the results...I have no sympathy for anyone who won't take responsibility fortheir own defense or at least makean effort to do so...rather than just HOPE something bad won't happen (leave that to the liberals as it is one ofTHEIR characteristic traits, as is leaving their protection up to others).
    And if a armed citizen was to save the life of a lib I guarentee you that the lib would attempt to villanize his benefacter. That's another of the lib'scharacteristic traits. Look athow the lib media attempted to villianize Jeanne Assam.

    ...when my wife first became aware I carry a .45 to church, she was "righteously indignant"..."I believe that GOD can take care of trouble at HIS CHURCH", she delivered....I replied "He sure CAN, and He'll use good men armed with guns to do it!!!"...nothing remotely faithless or un-Christian about being willing and prepared to stop evil wherever it rears its ugly head....
    Amen to that! God helps those who help themselves. David had God on his side when he fought Goliath yet he still needed that sling to do the job.





    "You can teach 'em, but you cant learn 'em."

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    I legally concealed carry in NM in a church two sundays ago (sick the next two). I don't have my concealed carry permit yet....it's in route. I had my smart carry holster, G27 in one pocket of the holster, and a loaded mag. in the other. The shooter would have been full of holes in less time than it would have taken someone to call 911 inside the building. In NM, you can legally carry concealed (if your gun is not loaded), into most places (some exceptions, but churches are not forbidden). With God's help to steady my hand and my eye, this will not happen on my watch where I attend.

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    More proof that Gun Free Zones are are a murder's best friend. Another Suicide Bangman strikes but only one victim because his gun jams. I wonder how many others he would have killed had it not. All the more reason Michigan's legislature need to act on pending legislation to recind the GFZ's at the veryleast for concealed holders.
    "Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death !" Patrick Henry

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    as a christian and preacher of the gospel since 1980 I have been amazed at the head in the sand approach most christians have about self defense. Jesus was not the limp wristed, milque toast "pacifist" that most make him out to be.

    He twice DROVE the money changers from the temple with a whip and in Luke 22:36 he taught his followers that it was more important to be armed than to have a coat to protect one from the elements.


    edited to correct one of the typos

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    The more I think about this, the more it adds to the pro-gun position. "If" IL had right to carry law, this could have been prevented. Without it, it could NOT have reasonably been prevented. A gun jam limited the shooter's terror. That said, it is very doubtful Obammie's home turf is likely to change their position.

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