Flippant words

Jesus Christ said that “a tree is known by its fruit,” and there was obviously a lot of “bad fruit” being lived out in this whole situation at Mount Carmel. But fruit that is just as bad is all the sarcastic, mocking and joking words people have flippantly spoken toward the Branch Davidians.

There was an occasion when Christ was told about two events in which people who were considered strange and evil by the general population had been killed in very unusual circumstances. His response? “Do you think that these were greater sinners than everyone else, because they suffer this fate? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”

I happened to be at a popular Waco lunch spot which has a large screen TV when the compound was set on fire and burned down. As this room full of people watched these events actually taking place, many of them were laughing about it, making jokes and saying, “Well, they’re just getting what they deserve.”

Upon talking with several of my friends, I found out that they, too, were at area stores and restaurants filled with people making the same type of remarks.

Christ said, “In the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.”

Matthew Chapman


God’s the judge

May God forgive us all for being so judgmental. What a sick society we have become.

Which one of us can cast the first stone? It doesn’t matter now who’s at fault. What matters is all the lives lost.

Why can’t we have compassion for others?

I would not have wanted to be in the Davidians’ shoes nor the ATF’s or FBI’s.

Only God himself really knows the truth and only he can be the judge of who was right or who was wrong.

All I know for sure is that not one of those poor children was wrong or at fault.

Catherine R. Thompson


Not ‘Messiah’

Enough is enough already.

I’ve sat back and watched and read about the events at Mount Carmel and of David Koresh and the ludicrous claims he’s made.

I’ve sat back and listened to some of the comments made by participants involved in this tragedy and by the media.

I heard one person quoted as saying, “They were just there reading their Bibles.”

I’m sorry, sir, but they weren’t reading the Bible that I read. I believe it’s obvious to any Christian with even a cursory knowledge of the Bible that Koresh and his followers were in no way, form or fashion the “Messiah” and his followers.

Bob Turner


By grace of God

When I read John Young’s column I sometimes agree with his opinions, more often I do not. But I must comment on his theological small talk of April 25 [“Heaven adds security.”]

Asking the question of how one gets into heaven, he answers “acts alone” and backing up “words with deeds.” This is absolutely the opposite of what Scripture teaches.

Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not as a result of works, that no one should boast.”

The Bible is clear that salvation comes only by the grace of God. None of us is good enough to get into heaven nor can we earn our win in.

Tim Keenan


Read the Tribune-Herald's 7-part investigative series on the inner workings of the Branch Davidians. Hours after Part 2 appeared in print, the ATF raided the group's compound.

Read the Tribune-Herald’s account of the ATF raid on the Branch Davidian compound on Feb. 28, 1993. Four ATF agents and six in the compound were killed in the gunfight.

Read the daily news accounts of the 51-day siege at the Branch Davidian compound near Elk, which began Feb. 28 and lasted until April.

April 19 and beyond: FBI agents began inserting canisters of tear gas into the Branch Davidian compound in the early morning hours. By noon, it was on fire.

Federal officials left the compound site in late May 1993. As identifications of bodies continued, questions about the survivors, the compound and the cult itself began to emerge.

As the world began to take a critical look back at the events and legal proceedings continue, the ATF's bombshell report forces a shakeup at the top after the raid gone "tragically wrong."

In 1994, the surviving Davidians went on trial in San Antonio. Over six weeks, more than 140 witnesses testified, with the verdict coming just two days prior to the anniversary of the ATF raid.

The Rodenville shootout and the 1988 trial, the end of the world in 1959 and more stories from deep in the Trib archives.