In this current climate where shootings occur on the regular, it is only natural that people step up to defend themselves. A Florida Church is prepared to do just that, and they are setting the bar high.
The River at The Bay is an East Tampa Church that has decided to be proactive instead of reactive. In response to the recent Texas Church Shooting in Sutherland Springs, they posted their sign on Instagram, which they have had posted on their property for a while.
“We are heavily armed, and any attempt will be dealt with — with deadly force,” warned Pastor Allen Hawes.
The Pastor claims they are ready to protect themselves if necessary and they posted the signs on the property as a warning. There have been concerns that their pro-gun stance is unchristian but The Pastor believes that it is Church’s responsibility to protect its’ Congregation.
The River at The Bay Church seats 1000 people and broadcasts their church services on youtube.
This approach may be unorthodox but if it makes a criminal think twice then it is well worth it.
“I believe, if you look at the teachings of Jesus, Matthew, and different places in the scriptures, we see it will get increasingly darker — wars, rumors of wars, and people with no good intentions are going to look for a way to make a statement,” Hawes offered.
As the political debate rages over whether more guns make things safer, they admit the message on their front door is harsh. But they say everyone needs to face the reality that mass shootings can happen, even pointing to the shootings in Seminole Heights as proof that there is a local threat of violence.
“Would I rather ruffle a few feathers,” Pastor Hawes asked, “or do I want to count bodies?”