Nobody seems to know what drove Terry Sedlacek to shoot and kill Rev. Fred Winters as he delivered his sermon in church last Sunday, though he reportedly suffers from some form of mental illness which his mother attributes to Lyme disease.
Nobody that is, except for Gary Cass of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission, who knows exactly what caused it – anti-Christian hostility and a lack of guns in church:
The tragic church shooting and death of Reverend Fred Winters, pastor of First Baptist Church , Maryville Illinois, has once again raised the under-reported issue of violence directed at Christians and churches … Anti-Christian hostility is reaching a new, more violent level. Churches used to be sanctuaries that were regarded as sacred, unfortunately now all church leaders must be prepared to defend their congregations and themselves from violent acts even with the use of deadly force.
Self-defense is not just a right, but a Christian duty. Jesus told his followers, “If you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.” Jesus did not send his disciples out unprotected into a hostile world. In a world filled with gun violence, Christians must be prepared to respond with appropriate force to defend their family, neighbors and themselves.
It is not virtuous for Christians to be a soft target for the hateful and deranged. Church leaders have a moral duty not to tempt a crazed gunman to come and shoot up their congregation by being unprepared.