Paul Buford, pastor of River Oaks Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, had a pointed response on Monday when an MSNBC reporter asked him if prayers are really enough in the wake of the horrific mass shooting at First Baptist Church.
“I think, absolutely they are,” Buford, whose church is just two miles down the road from First Baptist, said during an on-air segment. “It’s only our faith in God that’s going to get us through this.”
The preacher went on to say that “prayer works” and delivered a mini sermon about how Christians believe that those who died at First Baptist and who knew Jesus are now in heaven. But the conversation took yet another interesting turn when the reporter asked how, outside of prayer, society can stop events like this from happening.
“I’m not sure we’re going to be able to stop those things, because the word of God tells us that we are gonna face trials and tribulations, that evil is out there, and it’s doing everything it can to attack,”Buford said. “We talk about it’s a gun issue, or we talk about a mental health issue. Well, as pastors and as Christians, we talk about it and say it’s not that; it’s a heart issue.”
He then went on to say that people are focusing on the world and not God, lamenting the state of affairs.
“If we were focused on the [God], then we wouldn’t be having those things,” he said. “We continue to push God out of our schools, out of our communities, out of our government.”
At that point, the reporter interjected to question whether Buford was blaming the shooting on those things and he clarified that he was not and was, instead, speaking to a broader issue that he believes is unfolding.
“We’re in a spiritual battle, we believe, in this world. It’s evil against good,” he said. “Now, we know that good is gonna overcome that.”
Watch Buford’s comments below: