Every now and then we run across stories that make us want to stand up and cheer. This one is one of those for me. A Florida church – The River at Tampa Bay – is clearly posting that its members are heavily armed and they will take care of business if anyone threatens their parishioners.
“Welcome to The River at Tampa Bay Church — right of admission reserved — this is private property. Please know this is not a gun free zone — we are heavily armed — any attempt will be dealt with deadly force — yes we are a church and will protect our people.” The Pastors.
The sign – and it’s a big colorful one – is at every entrance to the church. Nobody will miss it. Nobody will be able to claim they “didn’t see the sign.” The signs also say that the “right of admission” is reserved. That means they don’t have to let you on the private property. It’s about time.
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In any state that has concealed carry, parishioners should be allowed to bring their guns… IF the leadership of the church knows them personally. That’s big caveat, but the Bible is pretty clear that you must “know those who labor among you.”And so, the Tampa church has private plainclothes guards, or uniformed deputies, as well as their own leadership with CCW permits.
Associate Pastor Allen Hawes told Fox13 News,
“I believe, if you look at the teachings of Jesus, Matthew, and different places in the scriptures, we see it will get increasingly darker, wars, rumors of wars, and people with not good intentions are going to look for a way to make a statement.”
So has there been any fallout from their bold stand? There are always those who sincerely WANT Christians to be rugmats, sheep, targets, and weak. They usually claim the scriptures used to mention self defense are “taken out of context” when they wouldn’t know the “context” if they were standing in the middle of a field of stinkweed.
Those of us who have actually studied the Bible know full well that the theme of taking care of your own is a thread throughout. Protect them, watch out for them, feed them both physically and spiritually. Meek is a different word than weak. Jesus told us to be meek – read that humble. Not weak.
The River at Tampa Bay Church is doing the right thing. The signs have been up for about a year- before the shooting at Sutherland Springs First Baptist, and before a serial killer began stalking the streets of Tampa.
“Would I rather ruffle a few feathers, or do I want to count bodies?” Associate Pastor Allen Hawes
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