Wednesday, May 19

Remembering Maryville Baptist and God's Sovereignty

Seventy-five religious leaders had met for a daylong workshop at Missouri Baptist University. This was in response to the horrible incident that took place at the First Baptist Church of Maryville more than a year ago, when a schizophrenic man walked into the sanctuary and shot pastor Fred Winters to death while he was preaching his sermon...If churches become like prisons or other institutions where entrance requires some form of clearance, they will have lost their credibility as places where God is present. It is one thing to keep the church doors locked when worship isn't taking place, but it's quite another when a service is under way.

This article brings up a great point and important topic for us to discuss. How much security is too much? I have talked with churches on both sides of this fence. Some want to lock all their doors during their service and others don’t understand why it is important to lock a door at all.

The below two paragraphs are an excerpt from Southern Seminary is Louisville, KY. It helps bring some insight to this topic.

“In 1 Peter 5:2, the spiritual leader is exhorted to “exercise oversight.” While we rightly see this text as primarily about spiritual oversight, we must also acknowledge that physical oversight is not outside of the spiritual leader’s responsibility. In fact, spiritual leaders must provide a safe environment for worship so that the purpose of the Lord’s church will not be hindered.

In today’s world, the Church has experienced increasing physical opposition and hostility. These challenges are forcing Christian leaders to consider how to react in a biblical manner—fully embracing God’s sovereignty while simultaneously acknowledging and fulfilling their responsibilities as overseers. Because the local church must be faithful to meet together (Heb. 10:25), we must consider the wisdom of proper safety and security measures when assembling in today’s reality.”

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