Georgia church ‘heartbroken’ after member charged in Atlanta killings

"The elders of Crabapple First Baptist Church issued a statement today (March 17) expressing grief after a series of Atlanta-area shootings yesterday that left eight people dead." - BPNews

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Mark_Smith's picture

Never good when a "member" goes on a murder spree.

It is interesting how many people who commit mass murders just bought the weapon they use. It does seem like a reasonable delay in gun purchases is warranted.

Once a student of mine told me they bought a gun that day intending to kill themselves, but "the store was out of bullets." I have wondered since then if the seller suspected something and didn't let the person buy bullets as well. Though they did sell them the gun, so...

Mark_Smith's picture

Crabapple Baptist Church has gone dark. They shut down their website by turning it private.  They also removed their facebook page.

Is this a good idea? What would you do?

https://www.crabapplefbc.org/

Mark_Smith's picture

They tracked the accused because his parents id'd him and the police used the GPS on his SUV to see where he was. And no COVID-19 vaccine microchip was needed!

Bert Perry's picture

....let's let an investigation proceed here.  The bright side of waiting periods is that it theoretically does give someone a chance to cool down; the down side is that people also die as they're waiting for a weapon.  One thing that comes to mind in particular is that somehow the individual killed 8 people--that's very hard to do unless one is familiar with firing a pistol.  Occasionally it's documented among those playing a lot of video games, but usually it means that the person already had access to pistols and  knew how to use them.

To draw a picture, when I started firing pistols, it took quite a bit of practice for me to hit a target, and it depended strongly on the particular "feel" (weight, barrel, trigger pull, grip, etc..) of the gun whether I could hit a target or not.  An Osama Bin Laden target someone posted was very helpful, actually.

Another thing that needs to be investigated is precisely what the individual's "sexual addiction" meant, and how it worked out in his life.  Does it mean he had a degree of mental illness that might have been diagnosed (and would have prevented him from buying that pistol), and was his addiction fed in part by "happy endings" (prostitution) at some massage businesses?  Or was he just lashing out because he had an addiction to some other kind of pornography or sexual behavior, and the massage businesses were easy targets?

Not that this ought to make a huge difference in the verdict this individual ought to get--life in prison or the death penalty both seem appropriate to me--but an investigation with answers to questions like those I've written here might give us a hint as to how we can avoid such problems in the future.

Another thought, courtesy of two heroes of mine, the Denhollanders, is that we really ought to examine our theology with regards to this; were women consistently blamed for lust by men and the like?  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Joeb's picture

When the Muslim Closet Gay shot up the Gay Night Club in Jacksonville he frequented we openly called that Lone Wolf Islamic Terrorism.  The motive was faith based and I'd like to propose was this killing has the same motive and should we not call it Christian Terrorism.  
 

Did this Church teach Patriarchy and Purity and was it a Trumper church.  The father was a Youth Pastor.  What would drive this young man to do this instead of going to his dad and saying hey dad I got a problem. Did the young man fear condemnation because it would reflect badly on his father. Who knows. From all I read the kid did not exhibit any questionable behavior.  I'd also raise the question was legalism involved here.  Very sad all the way around.  

Bert Perry's picture

From Jim's link, follow to USA Today.  We find that all three spas were prominently on lists of spas where "extra services" might be available, and a look at the facades suggests they were not exactly in the good part of town, or designed to attract legitimate business.  You generally don't put rows of pink lights outside a business because you're trying to attract families, to put it mildly.  24 hour service, blacked out windows, parking in back--do the math, brothers.  Left undetermined; did he ever patronize these businesses, or was it just a crime of opportunity?

Young man had run off with his girlfriend, leading to a police search and report at the request of his parents, and he apparently spent some time in inpatient counseling for sex addiction at Maverick Recovery of Roswell, GA.  Maverick follows a 12 step inpatient model for treatment.  Also in church most weekends, dad was still a pastor despite his son apparently living in sin with his girlfriend and being in treatment for sex addiction.  Roommates from the past year relate a guy with crushing guilt, according to USA Today--and also had had guns since he was eight.  Whether or not he owned other pistols is TBD. 

Church is not off the hook, but we also have to ask the question of whether things might have been helped if the police had been able and/or willing to investigate allegations of prostitution at businesses like these.  Evidently they're hotbeds of human trafficking as well--so it's entirely possible that some of those killed were essentially sex slaves.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Mark_Smith's picture

Bert Perry wrote:

To draw a picture, when I started firing pistols, it took quite a bit of practice for me to hit a target, and it depended strongly on the particular "feel" (weight, barrel, trigger pull, grip, etc..) of the gun whether I could hit a target or not. 

Then how many people have died because they needed a gun to defend themselves tomorrow, and not 10 days from now, given you can't hit the broad side of a barn without a lot of training?

FYI Bert, if you read the article, it says the accused bought the pistol Tuesday.

G. N. Barkman's picture

One possible benefit could be the spotlight of unwelcome attention on these businesses.  Left to operate in the shadows with a "see no evil" indifference, they will continue to practice illegal activities.  Now, they will find it difficult to continue, at least for awhile.

G. N. Barkman

Bert Perry's picture

The perp here has owned guns since he was eight or nine.  While it's not certain he owned a pistol before this, the lethality of his shooting suggests he did.  So it's doubtful that a waiting period would have saved lives here.

Regarding the possibility of waiting periods costing lives, it is documented.  On the flip side, the person who wields a gun in self-defense actually doesn't generally fire it at all.  Rather, the attacker tends to see the gun in the hands of his intended victim, and tends to decide that he doesn't want to find out how well the intended victim knows how to use it, or whether the intended victim will "luck out" and hit her (his) target without extensive training.

Unfortunately, waiting periods are just one of many gun control proposals that would have a cost in terms of freedom, but would not really save lives.  Another one recently is proposed bans of ~205 semi-auto rifles championed by Nancy Pelosi--who ignores the fact that total long gun (e.g. not pistol) deaths are just a few hundred each year, and to eliminate that, you'd need to spend tens of billions of dollars.  There are far cheaper ways to save lives, to put it mildly.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

josh p's picture

Bert, 

The young man said that he did frequent the places and that he killed them to "remove the temptation."

Also, to your point about trafficking, there was one near my house that was recently raided by the police. There were several slaves there. Terrible thing. 
 

 

Bert Perry's picture

Obviously a set of undercover brothels.  I realize that it's hard to police vice, but it sure would be nice if we had something where police could act on the obvious signs that something was amiss.  Maybe a law that states that when a massage business is open, the front door has to be open, too, and massage therapists need to have a basic license with the state, starting with an immigration check and an annual audit of pay stubs.

And if those working at these parlors were indeed sex slaves, we have a list of people who are virulently cruel to Asians on an ongoing basis--the Asian owners of the brothels.  Some victims of this kind of sexual abuse comment that it was in a way worse than death.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

There's a great deal of work going on to combat human trafficking, including sexual exploitation. But like quite a few social problems, the resources are limited and the problem continues to exceed them.

I don't have data on whether human trafficking/sex trafficking is still on the increase or is starting to level off, but I know that it's been on the increase for a good while. My hunch is that it hasn't peaked yet in the U.S., and certainly hasn't globally.

But there's a lot of work going into it. (e.g. https://www.theiacp.org/projects/anti-human-trafficking-training-and-tec...)

As for acting on "obvious signs," even if legal standards for reasonable suspicion and probably cause were lowered (this would actually have many unwanted consequences), the result would be more arrests but not more convictions--unless the courts changed the rules of evidence also.... again, many unwanted consequences. There might be room for a bit of reform in this area, but not much.

There are social problems that can't be solved coercively--or at least not mainly by coercionThe many non-governmental factors that shape a culture have to do the lion's share of the work. Otherwise, what happens is that you get increasingly oppressive government (the coercive arm), and often still don't solve the problem being targeted.

It's probably fair to say that some of these problems are the price we pay for not living in a police state.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

josh p's picture

Trafficking is an area I feel strongly compelled to try and help. I have supported the Scarlet Road ministry as well as one local to me called Shared Hope. I believe it’s a great way to put our money where our mouth is in regards to gender distinction and loving kids and women in a society that accepts exploiting and killing them.

Bert Perry's picture

Aaron, there are things that can be done.  If we have a tendency to find that massage spas are undercover brothels that enslave people as prostitutes, then any number of towns have figured out how to address this in part.

  • Require massage therapist license, including background check, citizenship/visa check, and evidence of training.  You don't need to go to Chaska's requirement for something like 1000 hours, but enough to weed out those who are really just prostitutes.
  • Require an open front door during business hours. See the anti-slavery advocates pointing out that this is really to figure out who's a customer and who's a cop.
  • Limit hours that a spa can be open.  Open 24 hours a day is not necessary for most legitimate businesses.
  • Periodically audit the books to see if people are actually being paid.

No doubt that you don't want a force to spend all their time doing active "busts"--I know my wife would not want me to be a vice cop interacting with prostitutes, going almost all the way before cuffing them (not my desire either, BTW)--but if we can require liquor licenses, open doors, and limited hours for bars, why not massage spas?   Really, in this case, the police have been caught actively looking the other way as there were unmistakable signs that something horrendous was going on.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Joeb's picture

At least one of the places seem to be legit or partially legit.  One of the victims was the wife of man who was present and both getting a normal massage.   Plus one of the Asian Masseuse was licensed and the mother of two sons.  Seems to me either not all the locations were illegitimate or had illegitimate contractors in them. So if it was totally legit the kid shot people who were not even engaged in criminal activity.  

Joeb's picture

The church didn't get them all.  Watch Keep just posted one and it's Patriarchy Crap Big Time.  So you got to believe the Purity stuff was pushed to.  In my opinion if that stuff was pushed like appears to have been this church is complicit in the murders. This kid's head was probably filled with nonsense demeaning women. Sorry guys but now 8 innocent people are dead and in my mind this church has some responsibility in what happened.  Please correct me if I'm out of line but this Patriarchy and Purity Garbage is out right Satanic.  

Larry's picture

Moderator

Please correct me if I'm out of line but this Patriarchy and Purity Garbage is out right Satanic.  

You are out of line. The responsibility for murder lies with the person who murders. It's hard to know what you mean by patriarchy and purity garbage, but sexual purity is a well established Christian doctrine as is male headship. I have no idea what this church taught and it is likely you don't either. So it is better to not comment on it.

Joeb, you might consider a softer approach to posting. There is no need for the brashness and harshness that seems to characterize some of your posts. It doesn't help further the conversation. It often seems more like brawling than anything. I would encourage you to give a second thought to your approach here.

M. Osborne's picture

JoeB should review here:
https://www.baptistpress.com/resource-library/news/georgia-church-condem...

Which appears to be taken from here:
https://www.crabapplefbc.org/

Pertinent:

No blame can be placed upon the victims. He alone is responsible for his evil actions and desires. The women that he solicited for sexual acts are not responsible for his perverse sexual desires nor do they bear any blame in these murders. These actions are the result of a sinful heart and depraved mind for which Aaron is completely responsible.

Michael Osborne
Philadelphia, PA

Joeb's picture

Sorry if I sounded Gruff.  I apologize.  However the point I'm making still stands though and I'm not the only one asking the question. 
 

The Patriarchy and Purity programs in the IFB the SBC and the Conservative Evangelical realms  have been the base of Churches treating church sex crimes as moral failures not to be reported to the Police and the victims even being at 14 years old considered as consensual sexual partners and willing participants with lets say  a 58 year old Pastor in sexual affair.   This evil can't be denied.  This was practiced by Wendell Kempton Bob Jones Pastors Paige Patterson Jack HYLES Jack Schapp ETC.  The President of Moody just got caught giving an admitted pedophile Pastor a job recommendation for a Pastors position while handling the investigation of rape coverups on Moody's campus.  That Pastor who covered up for his Trans Pedophile Son now has allegations against him that while working for Bill Hybels he was having an aiding  abetting woman finding teenage sex abuse victims for him and then this lady referred them to him for counseling where he groped the gals as part of the treatment.  This is the kind of behavior that also leads to killings sometimes.  
 

 So all I am saying is if this was prevalent teaching in this church that  caused this young man to see these women as the cause of his sin then there is a direct connection to the murders.  Not in a criminal sense but in a failure sense that the church was involved in what I'd  say is Satanic Baloney.  Beth Moore Rachel Dehollander Julie Roys Boz and others fighting this stuff would whole heartily agree with my position.  If you don't like them then we differ in that area. 
 

If Pastors on SI are still having this purity nonsense and patriarchy nonsense in their churches and are offended by what I said I think they need to take a step back and see the harm this nonsense has caused in the church.  No female is responsible for a criminal act or a moral failure in a so-called Godly man   That's just plain wrong putting the onus of the behavior on the female   So the teaching directly ties into the murders if it was taught   

As far as this SBC church is concerned why did the church go immediately dark on the net and take down everything about their teachings.   I'm not the only one asking that question.  That is the question being asked by a lot of people.  So me bringing this argument up is fair.  
 

Also Restating the churches position on matter is meaningless.  How long did the supporters of Ravi Zacharias keep up their lies defending him while he continued to rape and pillage and sex trafficking for three more years until he died. His son was on a tweet 3 weeks ago spouting Cancel Culture Baloney in regards to a visit he did at a church in Delaware County PA.  Does Ravi's son have any idea he works for a totally corrupt organization that's in the process of folding.   How foolish can one be.   

Even BJU learned their lesson here and is going in the right direction along with schools like Allegheny Bible College and a few others.  Sadly that's not the case with many others.  I'eve said many times BJU in the Big Christian Higher Education Category is the only honest game in town.  The rest have compromised leadership and/or corrupt leadership.
 

Now I'm not saying a church should roll over and tell their youth to do whatever they want but I am saying any teaching that puts the sin on the head of the gal for a fallers by a supposedly a young Godly man is totally Satanic Teaching.  Jack Schapp tried to use that as a defense so guys you know SOME churches are still buying  into that baloney.    

Bert Perry's picture

Here's a column by Rachael Denhollander about the issues many fundagelicals have with blaming women for leading men astray.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Jim's picture

Bert Perry wrote:

Here's a column by Rachael Denhollander about the issues many fundagelicals have with blaming women for leading men astray.  

Teachings that place the burden and blame for men’s sexual addictions on women are rampant in conservative theological circles. Assertions that women are both the cause of men’s sexual addictions and the solutions to their sexual needs fill the pages of popular sex and marriage books in evangelical circles, and infiltrate counseling sessions for followers in crisis. 

I have never seen this! I've been around (as a Christian) for 50+ years and I haven't lived under a rock

Bert Perry's picture

....and heard it in sermons, but the most common place I've heard it (might be Mrs. Denhollander's source too) is in parachurch ministries, especially those ministering to homeschoolers.  I've had to confront it in my own family at times as well.  Generally it's suggesting that a young lady wearing something that shows her figure is leading a man to sin by inciting lust.  See Pollard, "Christian Modesty and the Public Undressing of America", for example.  You'll see it with Vision Forum, Bill Gothard, etc..

Really, if you think about it, it derives in a way from the notion in the Middle Ages of the woman as temptress, IMO.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

G. N. Barkman's picture

Can anyone reasonably question that it is possible for a woman to deliberately tempt men by the way she dresses?  The book of Proverbs has several references to this kind of behavior.

Can anyone reasonably question that some take this obvious, common sense reality too far?  Some blame women who are dressing modestly and have no intention of tempting men of sexual temptation because their figure is not entirely hidden.  Nonsense!  Read the several Bible references to women being beautiful of face and form.  Simply being able to detect feminine form is not ungodly.

Can anyone reasonably question that some men blame women for their own sinful hearts?  If a woman is sexually tempting to you, look the other way!  Men have as much responsibility as women.

It's not all women.  It's not all men.  It's Adamic fallen-ness, and we all must learn to control our eyes and thoughts with the aid of God's Spirit.

G. N. Barkman

Joeb's picture

GN it doesn't matter if she is naked. Their is no consent given to have your way with a women just because of the way she is dressed or undressed.  It can't even be raised as a defense for rape.  It doesn't matter how many men the women slept with so to teach it is her whole fault for the sin even goes against the law. So to teach that in a church is Satanic PERIOD.  
 

I believe DeHollander's oped in the Washington Post supports my concern.  So those who immediately dismissed my contention as being divisive and wrong I say IM NOT THE ONLY ONE SAYING IT.  

To those who say the Liberals are running amuck with this let's remember probably the same people in the evangelical church were saying the same to defend Paige Patterson and Ravi Zacharias big time.  Then when the proof came out those same believers said oh we don't want to talk about that.  I'd bet good money those same believers are BIG TIME TRUMPERS fighting the evil liberals and siding with White Supremacists.  
 

Let's be honest here. There are justifiable issues that should be addressed by the church in question.  Why?  As Mark said why did they go dark on the Internet.  Is it an admission of guilt. Do they have something to hide.  
 

I have not even brought up the racism issue.  Personally I don't think it was racism in the sense that I hate Asians.  However I'm in a Bible Study with a just retired Japanese man who is brilliant like Bert in intelligence.  The guy has a BS in Engineering BS in Bible from a Bible College in Oregon and MS in Enginering and PHD in Statistics.  He just retired from the Company in Princeton that dose the SATs.  I believe it's ETS.  Like Bert no matter what his age is he is still highly sought after by Private Indistry for his God given high intellect.  
 

Well since this has happened my friend  is actually fearful of White Mobs and blames churches that strongly supports Trump because their not speaking out against racism.  I always told Bert if he met this believer in the Lord they'd probably end up as fast friends being they share the same God given talents and use of logic.    
 

Just to give you guys an idea of how smart my friend and Bert is this guy had a older BMW Motorcycle that the transmission went bad on.   Well instead of ordering a whole new transmission unit and installing it himself my friend took the whole transmission apart found the one or two bad pieces and order replacements and put the whole transmission back together and installed it back on the motorcycle.  Most of us would say that's insane but people like my friend and Bert don't look at it that way.  Their God Blessed talents give them a total different way of looking at things the normal person can't even conceive. Hence some of us are Rocket Scientists some of us are not.  

Bert Perry's picture

A woman can attempt to tempt men by the way she dresses, as in Proverbs 7, but it ought to be noted that this isn't what's going on here. 

Mr. Long lived in Woodstock, where there are several theoretically legitimate massage businesses.  He chose instead to get a few hundred bucks in cash to pay for the transaction, go to northeast Atlanta in the red light district (bad neighborhood at best), possibly after doing an internet search for massage spas where prostitution was offered, waited at the door to be let in, waited in the waiting room, and then finally saw the massage therapist.

In other words, Long was primed to sin sexually, and it wouldn't have mattered if the massage therapist had been wearing an outfit from The Handmaid's Tale.   Now that doesn't mean that the pimp(s) and/or any willing prostitutes get off the hook (no pun intended) for promoting prostitution, but it does mean that this is not an issue of immodesty.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Larry's picture

Moderator

Still waiting for Joeb to tell us how he defines the patriarchy and purity culture he is speaking of.

Like Jim, I have never heard the stuff that Denhollander speaks of. If Bert or someone else has links to it, it would be interesting to see.

In general, we are confusing a violent crime with something else and that doesn't do either topic well.

It is interesting that some who think the woman has absolutely no culpability and that the man is solely to blame also think that the church does have culpability and the man is not solely to blame. I wonder how you would reconcile these two things.

G. N. Barkman's picture

Joe, what did I say that prompted your comment that in the eyes of the law it doesn't matter if the woman is naked?  I certainly did NOT say that a woman's immodest dress excuses a man's sinful behavior, did I?  Did you actually read when I said?  I'm afraid your off balance agenda discourages you from hearing what is said.  Please re-read my post, and tell me what you think is incorrect.

G. N. Barkman