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Armed Christian who disrupted '93 church attack weighs in on Texas massacre

Charl Van Wyk

Democrats are demanding more gun control following last weekend’s massacre in a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, where a now-dead suspect, Devin Kelley, 26, shot and killed 26 people and injured 20 more.

But the man who famously fired back at terrorists who charged into a church in South Africa in 1993 – and chased them off – says such efforts to curb gun ownership are rooted in paganism.

“Some Christians appear to have adopted the pagan fallacy of animism (extremely prominent here in Africa) – that evil lurks in things (guns), rather than people,” said Charl Van Wyk, whose story of shooting back against terrorists has been told in both book and movie formats in “Shooting Back.

“Demonizing inanimate objects (guns) makes no sense! Guns can be used for good or evil. The heart of the handler is what makes the difference,” Van Wyk, a Christian missionary, author and activist in Africa, told WND.

Democrats have been going to extremes to control those “inanimate objects.”

The Blaze reported Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., walked out of a moment of silence in the U.S. House to honor victims of the Texas church shooting and demanded “gun safety legislation now.”

“My colleagues right now are doing a moment of silence in the House of Representatives’ chambers,” he said on a publicity video he recorded instead of participating in the moment of silence. “I respect their right to do that and I myself have participated in many of them. But I can’t do this again, I’ve been to too many moments of silence. In just my short period in Congress, three of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history have occurred. I will not be silent.”

Read the stunning story of how a Christian missionary reacted when terrorists attacked during a worship service. He shot back! The full details are in book and now a movie. Get “Shooting Back,” the bundle, now!

He insisted Congress “act now” on his demands for weapons bans and such.

Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., took a more traditional path.

USA Today said he “blasted lawmakers for failing to pass laws that could prevent tragedies like Sunday’s Texas rampage.”

He didn’t specify those laws. And House Speaker Paul Ryan pointed out that the existing laws already prohibited Kelley, a man involved in domestic abuse, from having a weapon.

More evidence of Kelley’s instability was a report from the Washington Post that he, in 2012, had fled a mental health facility after “he was caught sneaking guns onto an Air Force base.

It happened about the same time he faced a court-martial, and police officers were told then Kelley “was a danger to himself and others.”

Van Wyk’s knowledge of mass shootings and church attacks comes from surviving the St. James Massacre in South Africa.

It was July 25, 1993 – a cold winter’s night in Cape Town. Van Wyk was attending the Sunday evening service in St. James Church, which held about 1,500 people, making it one of the larger churches in South Africa.

Because of the cold and the pouring rain outside, there were only about 1,000 worshippers present.

Suddenly, four men entered, and Van Wyk immediately thought it was part of a play. He had heard the youth were planning a show in which people acting as police would barge through the door and kidnap some of the youth for the purpose of having a discussion about what would happen if they were no longer allowed to practice their faith in South Africa.

However, Van Wyk soon realized it was not a play. The men, terrorists from the Azanian People’s Liberation Army, opened fire with automatic rifles, and the panicked churchgoers all hit the floor.

The attackers also carried hand grenades, to which they had affixed small nails to maximize the damage. One 21-year-old worshipper fell on top of a grenade to save the people around him.

Van Wyk hit the floor, too, but he happened to be carrying his revolver in an ankle holster. He pulled it out and knelt behind a bench.

Aiming as best he could, he fired two shots toward the attackers. However, the attackers were at the front of the church, and Van Wyk was four rows from the back. His little revolver, with its two-inch barrel, was designed for close-range self-defense.

So Van Wyk got down on all fours and crawled to an aisle. He discreetly slipped out the back of the church, planning to circle around to the front of the building and shoot the terrorists at close range from behind.

However, as he ran around the corner of the building, he saw the terrorists were already at their getaway car. Van Wyk didn’t know at the time that one of the two shots he fired at long distance inside the church had hit one of the terrorists, and they were already in fast retreat.

One of the terrorists was standing just outside the back left door of the car, staring at the church door through which he and his fellow attackers had just fled. Looking back on the incident later, Van Wyk realized the terrorist was probably waiting for him to come through that door, at which point he would have blown Van Wyk away with his automatic rifle.

But thankfully, Van Wyk was behind the terrorists. He fired another three shots at them with his revolver, and they all jumped into their car and sped away. One of Van Wyk’s bullets was embedded in a car door, which later helped police identify the car. Also, blood from the man Van Wyk had hit was on a car seat, which would later help forensics experts identify the terrorist.

In all, the terrorists killed 11 people and wounded 58.

In addition to pointing out that “evil” does not live in inanimate objects, such as guns, Van Wyk told WND the Bible’s instructions on defending oneself and others are clear.

“Those who reject self-defense play into the hands of the law breakers. They encourage the wicked to take advantage of them by creating a safe environment for the attackers,” he said.

“Our Christian duty is to make the working environment of the bad guy as dangerous as possible. The only person who can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun – unarmed victims are pretty helpless,” he said.

“Christians are not called to be doormats for the wicked. In fact the Bible teaches us: ‘Like a muddied spring or a polluted fountain is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked.’ (Prov 25:26) Surely, we are ‘giving way before the wicked’ if we choose to be unarmed and unable to protect our family, friends and churches,” he said.

“Maybe it is time for us to call a spade, a spade, and clearly state that those Christians who are not prepared to protect their loved ones from violent attacks are cowards and an embarrassment to our Christian faith!!”

Van Wyk said Christians “don’t just have a right to self-defense; they have a biblical duty to protect the innocent; that is why all gun owners should also stand for the protection of life in the womb – those threatened by abortion.”

“If they are not for life in the womb then their argument for the right to bear arms, to protect only those outside the womb, is clearly flawed.”

He related a story.

“I was told by a South African that home invaders raped his wife, in front of him, in his own home. He claimed that all he could do was pray. He was against my call for armed resistance in such circumstances. He thought that his stand was ‘more spiritual’ than even the Bible. I had a Christian duty to point out to him that his sin of omission was both cowardly and an embarrassment to our Christian faith,” Van Wyk said.

“We are commanded to love our wife, like Christ loves the church – we must be prepared to die for her – not stand by and watch while she is being raped. We must do everything in our power to defend her, with lethal force, even if it means that we might lose our life while defending her.

“All life is precious because we are made in the image of God – and because He has created us, we have to live by His rules – which are not suggestions! We may only take life when He says we can!”

Read the stunning story of how a Christian missionary reacted when terrorists attacked during a worship service. He shot back! The full details are in book and now a movie. Get “Shooting Back,” the bundle, now!