Greetings In The Name Of The Lord:
2 Timothy 3:1-2 (NLT2)
1 You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. 2 For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred.
When criminologist Dallas Drake and two interns first searched for church shootingsin the United States, they found 137 instances between 1980 and 2005, the majority of them causing no deaths. More recently, Drake decided to update the database, and found a disturbing trend: There were more shootings in Christian churches between 2006 and 2016—147 of them—than in the 25 years prior. (The database does not include non-Christian houses of worship, such as mosques or synagogues.) In the wake of a shootingthat left 26 dead in a small church in rural Sutherland Springs, Texas, Drake’s research helps answer some questions about shootings in churches, which would seem to be particularly vulnerable in that they are often welcoming to any passerby. Yet the data suggests churches aren’t any more or less likely to be sites of gun violence in the U.S. than other publicly accessible spaces. “It’s almost that there isn’t any place that’s not at risk,” says Drake, the senior researcher at the Center for Homicide Research, an independent non-profit based in Minneapolis, Minnesota (https://psmag.com/news/church-shootings-are-becoming-much-more-common). It is for this reason that we need to be prepared. We cannot say to ourselves, “It can’t happen here,” because it can. Jesus said, “Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. So be as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves” (Matt. 10:16, NLT).