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SBC officials: Fort Worth church shooting, ‘beyond comprehension&#821


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Promises of prayer support and heartfelt sympathy were expressed by three Southern Baptist Convention officials concerning the shooting of seven people in a Fort Worth, Texas, Baptist church Sept. 15.
“My heart is greatly saddened at the tragic news from one of our great churches in Fort Worth that also affects our sister seminary at Southwestern,” said Paige Patterson, SBC president and president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, N.C. “We extend our heartfelt sympathy and promise of prayer support to all families at Wedgwood Baptist Church and Southwestern.”
Calling it a “tragedy almost beyond comprehension,” SBC Executive Committee president and chief executive officer Morris H. Chapman, said, “The murder of these innocent people is tragic, but for their murder to occur in a place dedicated to the proclamation of the gospel of hope, a house for the worship of the God of peace, makes the tragedy even more stark.
“The families of the young people and adults who were brutally murdered have our prayers. The pastor and church leaders have been under the load of this burden without intermission, and we are praying for them that they may have unusual insight, stamina, and ability.”
R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Ky., in special remarks during a Sept. 16 chapel, “It has long been said the church is watered by the blood of martyrs. That has seemed a very old thing to us — very remote truth to us.”
Mohler asked the congregation to pray “to intercede for our brothers and sisters who hurt beyond words. … Let us pray that these who died in Christ may be witness not only to the church but to the world. Let us pray that as God so shakes, that which can be shaken is exposed and that which cannot be shaken is revealed as being of the true and living God, for there is not other explanation.”
Mohler reminded the students “this gunman does not have the last word. The last word is the word of he who speaks and ever lives.”
Chapman said the Executive Committee staff gathered early Sept. 16 to pray “for the folk at Wedgwood Baptist Church.
“They (staff) are but a few of the many Southern Baptist Christians across the country who are lifting our brothers and sisters up to God in large groups and small in the churches, institutions, and agencies of our denomination.”
Patterson sees a correlation between tragedies, like the Fort Worth church, and two entities in the United States.
“One wonders how long it will take the U.S. government and particularly the judiciary to realize they have created a social order that coddles and encourages criminals and restricts Godly and righteous people. As long as the criminals are loose, and good people are behind safety bars in their homes, churches and schools, incidents like this will continue to proliferate. It is high time that the government stops trying to fix the hardware and restores freedom to those who can fix the software.”
Chapman said early reports indicate the gunman was unemployed, disillusioned, and angry at God.
“He acted that anger out against those he identified with God. We understand that the only ultimate solution for the violence that punctuates and permeates human society is the transforming power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”