Violence and the Spirit of God – The Bible Factor

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We live in a violent world that appears to only get more violent every day and we have seen this violence show up in our churches in the last few years. But when a man walked into a North Carolina church just before midnight waving a gun in one hand and ammo in the other the pastor did not run but stepped down from the pulpit to meet him in the aisle.

Larry-Wright-496x620Pastor Larry Wright greeted the gunman and would be mass shooter with kindness by asking, “Can I help you?” and after speaking with him was able to ask for the gun and pat him down for other weapons.

There is more to the story as Pastor Wright invited the unnamed man to sit on the front row and hear the gospel presentation as the Holy Spirit worked on the man’s heart. To the amazement of the congregation not only did this man sit through the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ but he actually gave his life to the Lord and apologized to the church for his intended actions.

Of course the man had to answer to police for his actions but the police waited outside because he had surrendered his weapon and did not pose an immediate threat to the church.

Jesus commanded us to love our neighbor, to turn the other cheek and to answer cruelty with love and kindness. This runs counter to our nature. We often think that fighting violence with violence is the only answer but our nation is in need of heart change. Pastor Wright is a retired soldier but I know that his boldness did not come from his military training but from the Holy Spirit of God.

We are not promised tomorrow, but we are to be faithful to our calling and gifting in service to God. If it is time to go home, so be it, but until that day, until that very moment we are to continue the work we have been given.

I know without a doubt that this North Carolina church has reason to praise the Lord because they saw a miracle, not the miracle of a man disarmed but the miracle of salvation and a man set free.