Er, brilliant. Found here. Courtesy Al Stefanelli.
Reports from several sources reveal the latest twist being used by Texas churches to grow their flocks involve offering firearmtraining classes, including one church in San Angelo that claimsthe training is necessary for defense against their worship time being interrupted by armed Mexicans.
ThinkProgress reports that James Miller, the pastor of Heights Baptist, located in a rural area outside of San Angelo, told the NRA news,
“We’re about 150 miles from the border with Mexico and we’re very unsure about our insecure borders — about what’s coming into our cities. Personally, I feel more secure that should our worship time be interrupted by a life-threatening intrusion, that we would at least stand some kind of a chance in stopping either a mass killing or terrorizing experience.”
When asked about biblical insights to justify packing heat in the pews, Miller references Luke 22:36, stating,
“Jesus advises his disciples to sell their cloak and buy a sword. He instructed his people to be prepared to defend themselves.”
The Daily reports the efforts have been spurred by a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center that revealed approximately twenty percent of Americans having stated they are unaffiliated with any church.
Bill Leonard, Professor of Church History at Wake Forest University, is quoted in The Daily as stating the uptick in firearms training is being done out of desperation as church membership continues to decline.
These efforts are outside of mainstream Christianity, according to the report, which cites the support in 2010 of strict gun control laws by the National Council of Churches of Christ. The organization represents approximately 100k people from Protestant, Anglican, Orthodox and Evangelical churches. Total membership is roughly forty-five million.
The Daily reports that the council does not believe the allowance of assault weapons can be justified through the bible or doctrine, citing the Gospels in general being anti-violence.
For more details, links and relevant commentary, read the rest of the story here.