If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. – 1 John 1:8-9
On New Year’s Eve night, a man armed with a rifle entered Heal the Land Outreach Ministries in Fayetteville, North Carolina, to rob congregants. Pastor Larry Wright, a city councilman and retired Army sergeant, did the unexpected. From the the Fayetteville Observer:
“If he was belligerent, I was going to tackle him,” said Wright, who is 6-foot-2 and 230 pounds.
But the stranger was calm, and Wright took the weapon from him. He then patted him down, and the pastor summoned four strong deacons to embrace the disarmed man, in an effort to make him feel welcome.
Wright then prayed for the man, who fell to his knees and began crying.
Were Wright’s actions counterintuitive? Perhaps not, for a Christian. He’d removed the obvious danger, and the man certainly needed prayers. Regardless, it worked. Unbelievably, the man stayed, listened to the sermon, went to the altar to pray, and asked for God’s salvation — while the police waited outside.
“He gave his life to Christ,” Wright told the Fayetteville Observer. The pastor took a huge risk, and it paid off. Although Christians certainly can use force to defend themselves, what this pastor did is a reminder of Christ’s faithfulness.