One pastor in New York recently announced a unique plan for filling the pews at Grace Baptist Church. Everyone who attends on March 23 will be entered in a raffle to take home an AR-15 rifle.
While the drawing might seem like a mere marketing strategy, John Koletas has a serious message behind the innovative giveaway. According to a flyer, which was sent to registered gun owners in the community and is being published online, Kolestas’ mission is to illustrate how the Bible buttresses Americans’ Second Amendment right to own firearms.
A passage from the Book of John – “My peace I give unto you…” – is prominently featured under the attention-grabbing headline, “Win a FREE AR-15.”
In an interview regarding the promotion, Kolestas indicated that he is also standing up for persecuted citizens who are seeing their rights decimated by an increasingly unconstitutional government.
He said gun owners have been particularly targeted, adding that they “have been so viciously attacked by the anti-Christian socialist media and anti-Christian socialist politicians the last few years.”
Though he is obviously supportive of the Second Amendment, he also recognizes that many Americans have personal apprehensions about owning guns.
“If someone doesn’t want to own a gun,” he said, “that’s their right. At the same time, I don’t think we should be critical of legal gun owners who gave us our freedom.”
In defense of his comingling of faith and firearms, he told his congregation that the U.S. was “built with the King James Bible and the gun.”
A local Republican assemblyman and an evangelist have been invited to address the congregation during the special service.
Of course, Kolestas’ plan has rubbed some other pastors the wrong way.
“We promulgate the gospel as peacemakers,” said Rev. Willie Bacote. “We’re not people who give away guns.”
In the increasingly anti-gun state of New York, however, an opportunity to hear the gospel while interacting with fellow liberty-lovers might prove too enticing for many locals to miss.
–B. Christopher Agee
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Photo Credit: Linuxerist (Creative Commons)
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom