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'Arm the churches,' says Minnesota pastor after Texas tragedy

The bestselling author says churches "can no longer remain soft targets and must arm themselves."

In the wake of the horrific mass shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas, a celebrity preacher from Minnesota is suggesting that America's churches arm themselves with guns.

Rev. Robert Bakke is known for his high-octane brand of Christianity, which he practices through his racing-themed "Performance Ministries" in Golden Valley.

There's also his book, Prayer at Full Throttle – an Amazon bestseller, according to Bakke's website. 

In a Monday press release, Bakke says that churches "can no longer remain soft targets and must arm themselves" against the sort of attack seen in Texas on Sunday.

"Our God is almighty and all-powerful, and we are made in that all-powerful nature … it is time for the people who target churches to get a taste of that reality," he added.

And Bakke, a self-described gun advocate, apparently practices what he preaches. The release says that anyone attempting to "disrupt" one of his services "would quickly realize they have made a mistake," apparently referring to mass shooters such as the Texas gunman. 

His comments are raising eyebrows across the world, as evidenced by their appearance on the Jerusalem Post on Tuesday. 

But Bakke's not alone in arguing that churches should start packing heat; Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton made similar recommendations in the wake of the shooting, while a well-known security consultant suggested churches employ armed guards.

Aside from his ministry, Bakke is "a jet captain, a black belt, a NASCAR driver and was running a multi-million dollar company by the age of 24," his website says.

You can watch him in a TV interview here:

Latest on the shooting investigation 

On Sunday, Nov. 5, a gunman dressed in black tactical gear walked into Sutherland Springs' First Baptist Church during Sunday services and opened fire, unleashing some 450 rounds of ammo on the congregation. 

26 people died, and the shooter, identified as 26-year-old Devin Patrick Kelley, was later found dead in his car, apparently of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. 

Investigators are now looking into Kelley's troubled past, and trying to determine a motive.

As the Washington Post notes, what led to the deadly rampage "remains unclear," but authorities believe he may have been targeting his mother-in-law. 

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