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Heroes

posted Nov 7, 2017, 10:08 AM by First Baptist

 

Hardly a week goes by without the news of another massacre somewhere in our beloved country.

 

The latest was in the small town of Sutherland Springs, TX, where a masked gunman walked up & down the aisle of the First Baptist Church shooting worshippers sitting in the pews. He killed 26 and wounded another 20. Among the wounded was a 5-year-old, who was shot FIVE TIMES.

 

 

Stephen Willeford & Johnnie Langendorff

 

In the midst of this senseless tragedy, we are heartened by the heroism of Stephen Willeford, 55, and Johnnie Langendorff, 27.

 

When Mr. Willeford heard the shooting, he left his house barefoot with his AR-15 rifle and started exchanging gunfire with the shooter outside the church. An expert shot, Mr. Willeford aimed for gaps in the shooter’s body armor and shot him at least once. When the shooter got in an SUV and sped off, Mr. Willeford flagged down Mr. Langendorff, who was at a nearby stop sign, jumped in his truck and told him to give chase.

 

Mr. Langendorff didn’t ask questions. He followed the shooter at 95 mph down the highway, until the perpetrator ran off the road. Mr. Willeford hurried out of the truck and rested his rifle on top of Langendorff’s hood and shouted for the shooter to give himself up. The murderer apparently took his own life with a gunshot.

 

 

Martin Luther

 

At the same time that I’m hearing about the church shooting, I’m reading Eric Metaxas’ new biography of Martin Luther. While the circumstances are much different, Martin Luther is no less a hero than Willeford & Langendorff.

 

Luther posted his 95 Thesis on October 31, 1517. Due to the recent invention of the printing press, it didn’t take long for his opposition to the practice of indulgences to reach the pope in Rome. The pope promptly dispatched a cardinal to travel to Luther’s hometown and order him to recant. Their “meeting” lasted two days and, at certain points, the cardinal screamed at Luther and threatened him in various ways.

 

It’s difficult for us to appreciate how powerful the Roman Catholic Church was at this point in history. Luther fully expected to be arrested by the cardinal and taken to Rome, whereupon he would be judged a heretic and burned at the stake. Nevertheless, Luther refused to recant, God protected him, and the Reformation began.

 

 

Created & Prepared

 

I’m reminded of Ephesians 2:10:

 

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

 

 

Pastor Dan

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