Church Posts Warning on Doors that Pastors and Parishioners are “Heavily Armed”


Pastors say it is the duty of every churchgoer to protect oneself and others.

The River at Tampa Bay Church in Florida has a clear warning to would be shooters:[/tweetit] come at your own peril; the churchgoers are armed to the hilt. The sign proclaiming the warning was posted on the church door by Rodney Howard-Browne, the Senior Pastor. The sign also said the church protects its people. This place of God is social media savvy, and as an aftermath of the church massacre in Texas, the church sign made headlines. The Sutherland Springs, Texas massacre had 26 victims. The sign on the Tampa Bay church is not new, it has been fixed there for one year now, but the massacre brought this sign into focus.

Church Posts Warning on Doors that Pastors and Parishioners are “Heavily Armed”[/tweetthis]

Allen Hawes, the Associate Pastor of River at Tampa Bay Church, told media that he has a personal permit relating to concealed-carry weapons. He said that services in the non-denominational church attract about 1,000 people. The church official said that other than parishioners having concealed-carry permits, weapons are also in the hands of uniformed deputies on security duties and private plainclothes guards.

To the would-be killers, Hawes has a message: if they think that can come to the church and kill indiscriminately, there will be a tough response. He pointed out that these signs are in full public view. He added that the church will protect its people. Hawes said that what the church is doing is in accordance with the Bible. The Bible teaches to look after individuals who are in care.

The Associate Pastor said that a meticulous reading of the Bible, and especially the teachings of Jesus and Matthew, it is mentioned that the world will get increasingly darker. There will be war rumors. Individuals with bad intentions will search for ways to send their messages across.

The step adopted by River at Tampa Bay Church has attracted praise and also criticism. One Social Media user said that it is a requirement to carry firearms and also be alert for any killers while worshiping. The user said that it is a right to protect oneself and also others even when inside the confines of a church. Another user said that although God protects everyone, it is one's duty to protect oneself. Carrying a firearm, the user reasoned, is like wearing helmets or use seat belts. There has been criticism too of the steps taken by the Tampa Bay church.


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