The Texico Conference and Ohio Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Respond to Mass Shootings In Their Territory.

North American Division Editor’s Note:

On Saturday, August 3, 2019, a lone gunman opened fire in an El Paso Walmart in the U.S. state of Texas. Twenty people were killed and at least 26 more wounded. The suspect was captured alive.

In the early morning hours of Sunday, August 4, a gunman opened fire in a busy neighborhood in Dayton, Ohio, also in the United States. Nine people were killed, including the suspect’s sister, and 27 more injured. The gunman was killed by police.

Below are statements from both the Texico and Ohio Conferences, where the incidents took place.

You can also read the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s official statement “Ban on sale of Assault Weapons to Civilians,” here.

Texico Conference:

We are shocked and saddened by the unspeakable tragedy that was experienced today in an El Paso Walmart as a lone gunman unloaded his weapon into a crowd of ‘back-to-school’ shoppers. There is simply no rational explanation for such a heinous act of violence and destruction.

Members worshipping in Texico Churches in the El Paso area were made aware of this attack through an Emergency Alert system that erupted on every cell phone. One of our four churches was temporarily locked down and the police set up a command center in their parking lot to create a perimeter for this incident. The reports of the loss of life, the injuries that were sustained, are heartbreaking and we join with the many others in praying for their comfort, strength and healing. May God grant peace and hope to these families and to all the folks in El Paso as they try to move through this dark night of fear and loss. Our hearts cry out ‘even so come. Lord Jesus’!

Ohio Conference:

Many of us in the Ohio Conference of Seventh-day Adventists are heartbroken, awakened early this morning to learn of yet another mass shooting — the 250th this year — only this time in our own backyard in Dayton.

We mourn the loss of innocent lives and extend our deepest condolences and prayers for the nine people killed and at least 27 wounded or injured, their families, loved ones, and friends. We also pray for our Dayton community, and the heartache and sadness experienced as a result of this tragedy.

We offer heartfelt thanks to the Dayton Police Department and all first responders, as well as the medical community, including our own Kettering Health Network.

Our prayers are also with the victims, families and community of El Paso, Texas, along with our sister conference, the Texico Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.

“A world filled with hate needs to see the love of Jesus in His people as never before,” shared Ron Halvorsen Jr, Ohio Conference president.

This article originally appeared on the North American Division website.

Photo by Anjo Antony on Unsplash

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/9779

We can’t grow numb. This can’t be the new normal. As members of many communities we need to follow the good example of Christ and these conferences in doing everything we can to help others.
Realistically, the roller coaster only ends when we take seriously our role in coming to a resolution; complacency will get us nowhere. Our willingness to participate in this cycle of violence, grief and then silence is out of line with our calling in the Gospel of Matthew to be salt and light in this world. There is work to do. That includes discussions about gun control, mental illness and expressing our values clearly.

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The second amendment begins with the words A well disciplined militia. The means vetting and training none of which are required to purchase a fire arm made for war. Thus training and licensing should be required.

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Perhaps we should start with our pastors. On facebook a group of Adventist pastors is seriously discussing whether pastors should obtain a concealed and carry license - which I read to mean stepping fully armed into the pulpit…

While I have a lot of sympathy for the feeling of helplessness in face of such horrific violence, and the urge to protect the church and our loved ones, I am nevertheless wondering what kind of a Christ we are following, what example of faith and trust in God we give.

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I’m not sure there’s a unitary perspective on these issues when it comes to different situations one may find people having to deal with surrounding culture. After all, churches have locks and we don’t assume that these locks are to keep people who need Christ outside. There’s a pragmatic nature of this issue that we have to discuss.

Our responsibility is to defend the week from those who are hopelessly deranged. So, we can argue over the meaning of that as per “The Mission” movie, and that’s where one’s personal conviction should guide individuals. It shouldn’t be a broad mandate.

If Pastors carried guns ? They do in Texas! -

  1. Texas pastor says he’ll now carry gun while preaching …

Tragic!

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We live in a tragic world.

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The Texico Conference’s statement, which offers nothing but thoughts and prayers, is shockingly inept and disgraceful in its failure to strongly denounce white nationalism.

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when i first read our church’s official statement, cited in this article, and saw that it was attributed to neal c. wilson, i thought i’d discovered a relatively understandable typo…and then i saw the 1990 date…it’s amazing that nothing has really changed in 29 yrs…the issues are eerily the same…

i really applaud the dayton street crowd’s chant to ohio’s governor of DO SOMETHING…staying out of this moment in history and doing nothing is actually doing something: it’s facilitating a recurrence of tragedy…one wonders if flipping the presidency and the senate, and essentially denaturing the influence of the NRA, is the answer…

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Andreas, should the members also carry a concealed firearm? Just in case they don’t like the pastor’s message? … :slight_smile:

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Well, George, in Germany one participant in the discussion even suggested how much more fun all the discussions about the hymn book (big issue in Germany) would be, if members were armed :wink: and obviously, a pastor not preaching “my” gospel, needs to be eliminated immediately for the sake of the protection of all the other church members. So I guess … your logic does make a lot of sense.
And as mental health folks we know of course, that this is the best way to treat problems. Results are permanent - which we can’t always say for psychotherapy.
Actually, George, I find such gallows humour somewhat borderline (excuse the pun) - and yes, I am pretty disturbed (oops, did it again) by some of my colleagues’ attitudes about killing for a “good cause”.

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You mean white supremacist, I trust. It seems some are getting their Info straight from the pen of Jim Wallis for articles and thoughts posted here. Such as Racism, Americas original Sin on
Sojourners as well as Christian Century.
There is nothing inherently wrong with the word nationalist or yellow, black or white nationalist. A racial supremicist is another issue.

I wont argue with you about that possibility. Automatic weapons are not legal in this classification.
Besides a background check to have a right/permit to carry a concealed weapon, you do have to take a class and demonstrate capability.
The 2nd also says “the right of the people to keep and bear arms.”

I don’t expect that these “copy cat” killings will stop…quite the opposite. I also don’t believe that what causes them will change much. I do expect that there will be more people carrying firearms for protection, more Pastor packing, and hiring of security professionals to protect congregations, etc.

Sad as it is to say this- we in the US are on a trajectory where these types of shootings may not even get national attention. Yes, a very sad “new normal”.

You have made it clear in numerous comments on this site that you are a white nationalist. White nationalism is incompatible with biblical Christianity. “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Gal. 3:28 NKJV. And if it is true that you are no longer a Seventh-day Adventist, (I infer this from other comments you have posted), I encourage you to keep it that way.

White nationalism is also hostile to what America is. America is not a race, ethnicity, culture, homeland, nationality, or religion. America is an idea, a highly-experimental one that we should not take for granted. The idea is this: If you work hard and play by the rules, you can succeed in this country, irrespective of who you are, where you came from, and what you look like. The central idea of white nationalism, that America needs to maintain and preserve whiteness, is antithetical to what America is.

You are free to respond. I may reply back to you. But I probably will not, because I tire from conversing with white nationalists. But I thank you for your comment, because irrespective of whether you are still a Seventh-day Adventist, there are many Seventh-day Adventists who are white nationalists, who have fundamentally betrayed Jesus Christ, and they congregate in some online groups, such as the fulcrum7 community, which aggressively promotes white nationalism. It is too bad that the Seventh-day Adventist Church is not capable of being a leader on this issue, as indicated by this inept and disgraceful statement of Texico Conference.

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Hi Phil,
So this is how the new “game” is played. We have a filter in which we categorize acceptable words and language. And, if someone is outside of “our categorization” they are outside of “the club.” We are free also to say they are “incompatible” with Christianity.
I am 74 yrs. old. I am using the same language I have all my life. If I say I am a white nationalist, it means this…tho I don’t normally classify myself this way. It so happens I am a Caucasian and it so happens I love my country. I am NOT a racist or a “white supremacist” despite your new language classification that would like to categorize me as such. I will not allow you or your new “language police” to define my means and method of communication. So frankly Phil, I don’t care what you think.
I actually appreciate you commenting to me in this manner because it shows what foolishness “your club” has arrived at in deconstructing language. It also shows the absolute hypocrisy of you suggesting I am the divider. if there ever was something un-Christian that divides people it is “your clubs” categorizing everyone through their filter to evaluate who is worthy!
Cheers Phil,
Pat
@Paul62
@tjzwemer
@cfowler
@Timo
@Arkdrey

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Similarly, imagine my chagrin when it was pointed out to me that I was a white supremacist.
Blew my mind-and then to discover, if i dared breath a protestation -or dared attempt defend against this unwarranted and groundless malignation - that meant my white fragility was to blame. Then I realized that in fact this word. “white fragility”, was code for “black supremacy”.

There is nothing new under the sun.

When culture, race, or politics (or religious stripe) is trotted out as the filter, it is apparent that what is lost on the “insistent dividers” is the common human denominator.

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I have never defined myself as a white nationalist. But, he did . I merely had asked him, you mean "white supremicist " and that immediately obviously hit Phils nerve . I have no idea his race and dont care. I am simply sick of the language police!
Thanks

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but as tom is pointing out, that right is in the context of maintaining a militia, which is a thing of the past, given that a national military exists now…the 2nd amendment doesn’t grant the right to bear arms as an individual right, outside of a citizens’ militia…the point is that because the need for a militia no longer exists, no-one has a constitutional right to bear arms…

of course this is what your constitution says…however it isn’t what your supreme court, which has invented law on this point, has said…

On June 26, 2008, in District of Columbia v. Heller (PDF), the United States Supreme Court issued its first decision since 1939 interpreting the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution. The Court ruled that the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution confers an individual right to possess a firearm for traditionally lawful purposes such as self-defense. It also ruled that two District of Columbia provisions, one that banned handguns and one that required lawful firearms in the home to be disassembled or trigger-locked, violate this right.

Souce- The Law Library of Congress.
Confusing it with Canada Jeremy.:wink: