Posts Tagged ‘Rev. Fred Winters’

Pastor Shot and Killed

March 9, 2009

On Sunday morning, March 8th, Pastor Fred Winters was shot and killed while delivering his sermon.  This did not happen in some far away country but In Maryville, Illinois,  a suburb of St. Lois.  At this time, there is no known reason for the murder.  The gunman tried to commit suicide, but was prevented from doing so, by members of the congregation, who were themselves, injured by the assailant.    I imagine that in the days ahead he will give the reasons for the attack.  My sincere sympathy is extended to his wife, family, friends and congregation.  May God help them to deal with this horrific tragedy.   

I wonder if this is a sign of things to come?  A colleage of mine keeps a file of the “hate mail” that he has received over the years.  People can sometimes have very strong feeling about the actions that a pastor takes in leading the church.  Furthermore,  I have noticed that Christians, and pastors in particular, have often been poorly represented in movies and television.  Finally, the  accusation is made of  “preaching hate” when activities are labeled as sin.  These three things when added together   are a powerful toxin to the attitude that people have towards the work of the church. 

Pastors are supposed to provide leadership for their churches.  They will make decisions that will not be popular with everyone.  Pastoral leadership is not supposed to be about popularity, but about doing the will of God.

It would be nice to see the entertainment industry portray Christians, and pastors in a better light.  There are many wonderful people of faith and it does not do anyone any good to make a mockery of what is so important to so many people.   

Finally, it is not hate to call sinful activities sin.  Christians are called first to love God, and then to love those around them.  Christians are motivated by love, not hate.  When we condem sin, it is an expression  of  a religious belief, not an expression of hate. We have religious freedom in this country.  That means that I am free to preach what I believe to be true.  You don’t have to agree with me, but I hope that I won’t someday be shot for preaching the truth as I understand it.