The argument goes on and on: to be armed or not to be. Those in favor say the other side should agree, while the opposed say no. And time and time again I have heard ministers and church people make the argument that we should NOT be armed if we serve on a church safety team. In my humble opinion, I believe that every church has the right to do as it deems necessary, acting under the scope of its laws and ordinances - as well as church policy.
But you cannot make the argument that a church can never utilize armed personnel. If you do, you might upset the Apostle Paul.
Paul didn’t always utilize the “faith-only” approach when it came to his personal protection. Sometimes, he took advantage of... “armed security.”
Read it for yourself….
In Acts 23 a group of about 40 men vowed to not eat until they had killed Paul. They were so enraged at his teaching about Jesus that they determined to kill him.
They convinced their religious leaders to summon Paul to their court under the pretense of asking him more questions.
But their aim was to murder him.
Paul’s nephew learned about the plot and rushed off to tell him. Paul’s response is worth noting. He did NOT tell his nephew, “Have no fear my son, the Lord will protect me.” Instead, Paul used common sense. He summoned a nearby police officer and told him to escort his nephew to the commander. Simply put, Paul called 911.
The nephew met with the commander and exposed the plot. The response is, to say the least, very interesting. Read it for yourself:
“Then the commander called two of his officers and ordered, 'Get 200 soldiers ready to leave for Caesarea at nine o’clock tonight. Also take 200 spearmen and 70 mounted troops. Provide horses for Paul to ride, and get him safely to Governor Felix.'”
Think about that for a moment. OVER 400 ARMED GUARDS WERE ASSIGNED TO PAUL! These men had...SWORDS ... and SPEARS...
The religious mentality often tells us, “We should just trust the Lord for protection.” But the SPIRITUAL mind is different. It realizes that “faith without works is…DEAD.” Paul could have told his nephew, “Don’t panic. The Lord will get us to Rome. He promised us!”
Rome was Paul’s destination. God had told him he would testify before the authorities in Rome. And here we see God using armed people to fulfill His purpose for Paul.
Paul will eventually get to Rome - and the Gospel will spread throughout the Roman Empire - and with the assistance of Armed Security!
God could have protected Paul with Angels – or a dozen other ways – but He chose to use a large group of ARMED men to provide cover for His Servant.
Not every church can afford to hire police or security services. The budget of some churches barely gets the basics paid. In light of this, we make our appeal to all churches and their leaders to recognize the Second Amendment, and, based on the laws of your particular state, encourage and allow the churches to defend themselves as they deem necessary (AND T-R-A-I-N)!!!.
Church Leaders: there may come a day you find yourself in a lawsuit. The charge will be that you restricted your people from protecting themselves in the face of a massacre. Your posted sign kept your flock gun-free: but had no affect on the heart of the wicked.
There could be a tragedy in one of your churches that might could have been prevented had someone who was armed been allowed in the church (or on its property).
A terrible tragedy happened to a friend of mine in Illinois, Mary Shepard. While working inside her church one day in 2009, she was viciously attacked. Mary was 69 years old. Her co-worker, 76-years old, was also beaten. They were attacked by a man burglarizing the church where they worked.
The attacker was 6'4" and weighed 240 pounds.
Mary's injuries were severe. According to Arrest warrants, the would-be killer repeatedly kicked the heads and bodies of Shepherd and her fellow worker (he got away with less than $600).
Mary suffered a skull fracture, concussion and a possible broken bone in her right cheek. Medical staff at the hospital told family members the injuries were like nothing they had ever seen. Despite that, she reportedly suffered no damage to her brain or eyes.
Mary sued the State of Illinois for denying her the right to self-defense. She won and became one of the first recipients of a concealed carry permit.
Now let me be perfectly clear about something. I am NOT a gun-fanatic. I HAVE NO OBSESSION WITH GUNS. My “gun-collection” totals about three.
But I am a fanatic about the prevention of violence committed by criminals such as the one who attacked Mary and her sister in Christ.
I am a believer in the Second Amendment because I am a fanatic about the Second Commandment: "Love your neighbor." And love, the Apostle Paul said, "...always protects..." (1 Corinthians 13:7).
And these individuals who want to storm onto our faith-based property and kill the innocent, must not be tolerated.
We must LOVE our people enough to provide them with some means of security, and not feed them with faulty ideas such as "God will protect us while we are in His house.,” while we do NOTHING.
If that be true, that such protection is warranted when inside a church sanctuary, why, then, is God not protecting other houses of worship around the world?
For example, beginning in 2012, over 1000 churches in Nigeria were eventually burned to the ground. WHY DIDN'T GOD PROTECT THEM?
Why didn't God protect Mary Shepard? Why isn't God protecting all of the Christian women overseas, 6 of whom are raped every day because of their faith in Christ.
Why didn't God protect the Rev. Carol Daniels, who was murdered inside her Oklahoma Church in 2009? An autopsy report indicated Daniels had been stabbed several times and her head was nearly severed from her body. Police reports state Daniels’ body was posed in the form of a cross. Other reports says the killer set her hair on fire.
There is one other matter I must quickly call to your attention. Have you ever heard of the Reverend Daniel Simmons? Rev. Simmons was one of the nine parishioners killed at Mother Emmanuel in Charleston, S.C. in June of 2015.
According to his son, Dan Jr, his father was the family’s protector. Furthermore, his father had a concealed weapons permit and nearly always carried his pistol – even in church.
Dan Jr testified at the trial of the killer, admitting, "I didn’t understand why he didn’t carry a weapon to church that night. It was hard for me, not knowing why he didn’t protect everybody.”
When Simmons received the keys to his father’s car from the coroner he got his answer.
The list of examples is endless. Church leaders, love your flock enough to put something in place to stop these killers.
Yes, pray for the attacker: pray against all violence in your city and that which is aimed at your flock. Cry out to God, fast, seek Him in sackcloth and ashes if you must. But remember your flock; they are counting on you.
Oh, and just for clarity's sake, Paul did not suffer from a lack of faith. He simply understood a certain truth: "Faith without WORKS is dead..."
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