The church attended by the white man charged with killing eight folks at three Atlanta-area therapeutic massage companies, most of them girls of Asian descent, condemned the shootings Friday and stated they run opposite to the gospel and the church’s teachings.
Crabapple First Baptist Church in Milton, Georgia, additionally introduced in a press release that it plans to take away 21-year-old Robert Aaron Lengthy from its membership as a result of it “can no longer affirm that he is truly a regenerate believer in Jesus Christ.”
Beforehand the church had solely issued a quick assertion expressing condolences, with out mentioning Lengthy. It additionally shut down its social media accounts and made its web site non-public.
On Friday it stated these measures had been taken to guard the protection of its congregants.
Congregants had been “distraught” once they realized the alleged shooter was a member of the group, the assertion stated. His household has belonged to the church for a few years.
“We watched Aaron grow up and accepted him into church membership when he made his own profession of faith in Jesus Christ,” it stated.
“These unthinkable and egregious murders directly contradict his own confession of faith in Jesus and the gospel.”
Investigators are nonetheless making an attempt to find what compelled Lengthy to commit the worst mass killing in the US in virtually two years.
Police say he advised them he was not racially motivated and claimed to have a “sex addiction,” and he apparently lashed out at what he noticed as sources of temptation.
Crabapple First Baptist stated it will proceed to grieve, mourn and pray for the households of the victims and that it deeply regrets, “the fear and pain Asian-Americans are experiencing as a result of Aaron’s inexcusable actions.”
“No blame can be placed upon the victims,” Crabapple First Baptist stated. “He alone is responsible for his evil actions and desires.”
The church additionally stated it doesn’t train that acts of violence are acceptable in opposition to “certain ethnicities or against women” or that girls are accountable for males’s sexual sin in opposition to them.
“Murder, especially, is a heinous evil and grievous sin. We also explicitly denounce any and all forms of hatred or violence against Asians or Asian-Americans.”
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