Pastor: Don’t give in to fear

Published 12:48 am Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Americans think of sacred spaces as safe places

Americans can’t allow acts of terrorists to drive them from their places of worship, Darryl Calloway said.

At 9:50 a.m. Saturday, a gunman armed with an AR-15 style assault rifle and three handguns walked into the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh and shot everyone he could find, ultimately killing 11 people.

“Any time something happens like this, it is disturbing,”

Calloway, a licensed professional counselor and the pastor of First Baptist Church Whatley Street, said. “But since it happened during a sacred time, it is even more disturbing. For this to happen during a sacred time, regardless of religion, it is disturbing. Mostly because here in America we believe that it is safe during a sacred time.”

Calloway said that people cannot give in to fear during times of devastation.

“We have to know what is something that is within our control or not,” Calloway said. “It says in the Bible that God does not give us the spirit of fear. If this happened in a Wal-Mart, would you not go to the store? Or if it happened in your own home, would you move? We cannot let fear overtake us. We have to continue to worship especially now, and continue going to church.”

President Donald Trump suggested on Saturday that the situation might have been avoided if someone at the synagogue had been armed.

“It’s presumed that this is a case where if they had an armed guard inside, they might have been able to stop him immediately,” Trump said. “Maybe nobody would have been killed except for him. So it’s a very, very difficult situation.”

But Calloway said that protection at a place of worship is not the answer.

“I don’t think that would help,” Calloway said. “If any individual has it in their mind that they are going to do something horrible, they will do it. We have to pray that the individual will have a change of heart. We can take precautions, but I think we need to be cautious on how we take precaution.”

Calloway said that one thing that people can do for sure is pray.

“We need to pray for those people involved in the incident,” Calloway said. “We need to continue worshipping and find out what we can do to support the victims.”