User Login    
 + Register
TV Banner
News : Church Raffles AR-15 Rifles To Increase Membership
Posted by Randy on 2014/6/24 4:42:03 (229 reads) News by the same author

JOPLIN, Mo. (joplinglobe.com) — Some churches give away televisions or vacations. Others sell homemade pies and quilts. And some raffle off semiautomatic rifles.
Click to see original Image in a new window

Ignite Church went with the last option.

On Father’s Day, June 15, the church at 710 S. Maiden Lane gave area fathers an opportunity to put their names in a hat to win one of two AR-15 rifles. Each father entering in the free raffle could submit a ticket for himself and was able to obtain tickets for each of his children who went to church with him. He also could get another ticket for bringing his own dad.

“We thought instead of a lot of small things, we’d give away stuff the guys were interested in,” said Heath Mooneyham, Ignite’s lead pastor. In a YouTube video shared on the church’s Facebook page, he called one of the rifles, made by Black Rain Ordnance in Neosho, the “Lamborghini of guns.”

The give away was part of an outreach by Ignite Church to a specific demographic group: males age 18 to 35.

“That’s the biggest black hole in our society,” Mooneyham said.

To lure them in, Sunday morning services start later (10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.) than many churches, the rock music is loud, the black-and-green color theme is almost reminiscent of a video game system, and the pastor has tattoos and a short mohawk.

“We’re not trying to put on a show for anybody,” Mooneyham said. “We’re just dudes.”

Church members have gone on hunting trips and outings to gun ranges as a way to create bonds, and the gun giveaway was done in the same spirit, Mooneyham said.

Still, the giveaway sparked some heated response online. One comment on the church’s Facebook page was: “God Does NOT Condone GUNS, VIOLENCE or WAR!” Another person wrote: “I literally cannot believe you are giving away assault rifles on Father’s Day … That is seriously messed up.”

Steve Urie, pastor at the Joplin Diversity Fellowship, 110 N. Range Line Road, said he shared those sentiments.

“I think giving away weapons, with all the violence in this country, gives way to new violence,” he said. “I don’t think it’s just nontraditional. I think it’s careless and reckless.”

Like Mooneyham, Urie leads a nontraditional church that is open to LGBT worshippers and does not specify a denomination. He said they meet in parks, play and sing modern music, and meet from time to time in the homes of members.

“There are other ways to attract young people,” he said. “If it takes an assault rifle to hunt, that’s not a sport.”

Dan McCain, who owns a local guitar shop and plays lead guitar for the church’s band, was one of the two AR-15 winners.

“I was very happy to win the rifle. I’ve never won anything in my life, so it was exciting,” he said. “I enjoy hunting and target shooting. I haven’t had the opportunity to hunt in a while, but hope to change that this season.”

McCain said he didn’t believe the gun giveaway sent a bad message.

“Firearm ownership does not equate to violence,” he said.

Mooneyham said the goal is to get people to church. “If we get people in the door, we get to preach the gospel,” he said. “If we can get more people to follow Jesus, I’ll give away 1,000 guns. I don’t care.”

The AR-15 is not a fully automatic weapon, but it can discharge rounds as quickly as its operator can pull the trigger. An AR-15 was one of several guns used in Aurora, Colorado, where a gunman killed 12 people in a movie theater, and a similar style of rifle was used in Newtown, Connecticut.

“I despise the term ‘assault rifle,’” Mooneyham said. “Whoever coined that phrase has to be misinformed. The appearance of things — I think that’s our story as a church — don’t let the appearance of something stop you,” he said.

He also referred to the biblical story of Cain and Abel. “People are crazy, period. Murder has been going on since the beginning of time. The first murder recorded in the Bible was with a rock.”

And the Father’s Day giveaway was cheered on by churchgoers, not criticized, he said.

“It doesn’t enter our minds that we’re potentially harming society by giving away a gun,” Mooneyham said. “It’s just our nature, where as if you have a church where it’s 75- to 85-year-old women, they would give away a nice quilt, and they’d be excited about it. That’s how excited our church got about the AR-15 because that speaks our language.”

In 2011, Ignite Church also drew national attention when it sponsored billboards featuring provocative photos of couples to tout a series about marriage and sex. The series discussed how married couples ought to have more sex to avoid vices such as pornography and adultery.

“It’s easy to not like us. It’s not hard,” Mooneyham said. “You don’t need to go out and find ammunition, we’ll just hand it to you — we give away guns and talk about sex.”

Printer Friendly Page Send this Story to a Friend Create a PDF from the article


Other articles
2014/9/19 6:40:24 - Police Radar Gun That Shows If You Are Texting?
2014/9/19 4:28:05 - Scotland Rejects Independence From U.K.
2014/9/19 4:24:51 - Prison Supervisor Guilty Of Hiding Guard Attack
2014/9/19 4:20:53 - Missouri Creates Office To Address Racial Issues
2014/9/19 4:17:24 - Governor Nixon Announces Plan For Lottery Education Funding
2014/9/19 4:12:20 - Police: Principal's Sexual Acts With Teen Captured On Cell Phone Video
2014/9/19 4:07:03 - Body Found Floating In Lake Of The Ozarks
2014/9/19 4:00:20 - Convicted Florida Felon Kills His 6 Grandchildren
2014/9/18 15:04:46 - Milan Coaches Shows For Thursday, 9/18/14
2014/9/18 11:28:04 - Mizzou, UCONN Agree To Home-And-Home Football Series
2014/9/18 10:54:16 - Teen Crashes SUV After Friend Sets Fire To Underarm Hair
2014/9/18 10:45:40 - Cat Euthanized, Shot By Neighbor With 9 Blow Darts
2014/9/18 9:30:00 - Strong Benton Tennis Team Shuts Down Trenton
2014/9/18 9:28:38 - Tickets For Potential Royals Playoff Games Now On Sale
2014/9/18 9:00:00 - Wright Memorial Hospital To Offer Reduced Cost Health Screenings
2014/9/18 8:47:28 - Court Of Appeals To Hold Session At Milan
2014/9/18 8:41:03 - Poker Run Set To Assist Trenton Toddler
2014/9/18 8:40:00 - Two Trenton Residents Charged In Leaving The Scene Of An Accident Case
2014/9/18 8:35:38 - Entries Continue For Missouri Days Parade
2014/9/18 4:47:49 - Dog That Went Missing In New York Found 2 Years Later In Florida
2014/9/18 4:35:57 - Suspect In Custody After Apparent Shovel Assault
2014/9/18 4:29:18 - Kids May Face Citizenship Test Under New Proposal
2014/9/18 4:24:15 - Sierra Club Endorses Grain Belt Transmission Line
2014/9/18 4:20:00 - Facebook Bans Mother For Posting Photos Of Baby With Birth Defect
2014/9/18 4:19:44 - Meth Blamed After Missouri Man Sets Himself On Fire
2014/9/18 4:15:41 - Bus Driver Resigns After Sick Child Left On Side Of Road
2014/9/18 4:08:23 - Teen, 14 Hit By Car On Way To School
2014/9/18 4:03:31 - Drag Queens Dress Down Facebook Over Names
2014/9/18 3:57:01 - KC Man Charged With Throwing Molotov Cocktails At Congressional Office
2014/9/17 7:30:00 - Princeton School Board Meeting Report



Bookmark this article at these sites

                   

Listen to KTTN-FM