Thursday, June 18, 2015

Violence in the Sanctuary

                                                                     Thursday, June 18, 2015
Deadly church violence up 422% 

under current "president"

The tragic attack on the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal
Church in Charleston, S.C., that left nine dead has been classified as a
hate crime.

Police say a young white man entered the church during Wednesday night
prayer, and opened fire. Police mobilized an all out military-style search
for the gunman. Our hearts and prayers are for the families of the victims
and the greater church family of Emanuel AME.

State Senator Clementa Pinckney, the church's pastor, who reportedly
had been campaigning with Hillary Clinton prior to the service, was among
those who were murdered in the shooting. Politically motivated? Racially
motivated? Religiously motivated? Whatever it is, it is evil.

Former Focus on the Family employee Carl Chinn began researching church
violence after he was a responder in a standoff with a gunman who took
hostages at the Focus on the Family ministry in 1996. According to his
website, from 1999 through 2008, there were 186 incidents resulting in
199 deaths.

Deadly incidents in churches jumped to 108 in the first year of the current
"president" up from 64 the previous year.  Since then, there has been an
extraordinary climb in deadly church violence. Since the current "president"
took office, there have been 786 incidents resulting in 370 deaths. Baptist,
non denominational, and Catholic churches suffered nearly 59% of the
deadly violence, Islamic 1.4%.

Chinn's statistics break down the incidents by denomination, but not by race.
Notwithstanding, it is a tragic and curious statistic that deadly church violence
since 2009 (when the current "president" took office) has increased 422%
over the previous 11 years.

Deaths increased 342% during the same period.  It would be a reasonable
prediction based on these statistics that the current "president" has arguably
presided over the most violent time against churches in recent American history.     
He didn't physically go out and do the violence. But his characterization of
conservative Christians (pro-gun, pro-life, pro-marriage) as racists, radicals and
extremists may have contributed to inciting such violence.

Growing up, I remember that church was sanctuary.  There was a level of respect
for a church.  No one would enter a church to come after a criminal or to pursue
a fight.  No one would dare break the holiness of the Lord by penetrating the
sanctuary of a church.  Except the hate-mongers and the mentally deranged.

Sadly, this has all changed.  The atmosphere has been established where churches
and Christians, in particular, have become targets of a dark and evil element in
our society.  There is no just cause for such violence.

Jesus said in Matthew 24:9 that "ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's
sake."  Sadly, in America over the last seven years, this hate is stronger than it
ever has been.

Have a Blessed and Powerful Day!
Bill Wilson

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