Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Church Tragedy

I want to express my deepest sympathy for the families of the church shooting in Milwaukee this past weekend. I know this story is still new and all the facts are not out yet, but some questions come to mind. The biggest being “Why”? Why would this man come in during a Saturday worship service and kill seven people? The early reports say it had something to do with a sermon that the Pastor preached at another service. As a pastor this can mean one of two things.

First, when we stand up ever week to preach the Word of God, we must realize that it will be controversial and will convict people. We have to accept that fact that some people will be angry. However, the anger should not be taken out on the pastor just because he is preaching the Word of God.

Second, some pastors stand up every week and preach a message based not on the Bible, but on tradition. There are many churches that force rules that are not found in the Bible on their members. We as pastors have to be careful not to preach some legalist rules that are not found in the Bible.

Again, I don’t want to pass judgment on the church or the pastor. I am not saying that he preached a message apart from the Bible. I simply think this is a time for all pastors to examine what we preach. If we are preaching Biblical truth we should do it unapologetically. As it says in Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

My prayers go out the Pastor’s family and the families of the others killed or wounded in this awful tragedy.

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