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Church robberies on the rise in Jackson, Mississippi

People praying in a church pew.
People praying in a church pew.
AP Photos

There seems to be a growing trend among thieves, or a pattern of a particularly elusive thief, of breaking into churches and robbing them. On January 22, 2010, Free Missionary Baptist Church was robbed. Also, on January 24, 2010, Cornerstone Baptist Church and Cherry Grove Baptist Church were both broken into. The weekend before, three other churches were hit in the Capitol Street area. The Jackson Police department does not have any leads at this time, but has said that they are organizing a plan to stop the burglaries.

All of this bad news provokes a question to be asked. "Will a man rob God?" This question is in the Bible in the third chapter of Malachi, but that scripture is actually talking about people that don't pay their tithes and offerings. Unfortunately, this story is more dramatic than that. This also seems to support some of the facts stated in "Fighting the Bible Belt Mentality" about the decline of Christianity. Unfortunately, this isn't about the decline of a Christian majority. Not here. These robberies reek of a lack of reverence and knowledge of God, but they also expose a weakness within the Church. Why is it that only one of these churches had an alarm to scare off these criminals? Has the local body forgotten that Jesus sent Christians into the world to be sheep among wolves? Has the Church forgotten to be wise as serpents, yet harmless as doves? This tells me that I don't have to be Rambo everywhere I go, but I don't have to be a big easy target either. Why did these churches not have insurance to cover stolen items? I know that Christians aren't supposed to be of the world, but Christians shouldn't forget that they still live in the world either.

Please don't misunderstand me, or get offended. These robberies are not the fault of the churches. This is absolutely horrible. We should all pray for these churches as well as pray for the person/people that did this. God is able to cause them to repent and turn themselves in or be caught with everything stolen in working order (and God, I pray that is exactly what You do). I just pray that we all acknowledge that we must always watch and pray. These two verbs work best when paired together.