I recently read a letter from a church bishop in Texas who serves a particular denomination. In his letter, directed to all churches throughout his diocese, he instructs them to create a gun-free zone. We are to advocate "peace and security," he writes.
This dear minister, who does mean well, actually thinks that if you post a sign forbidding guns on your church property, that such will be obeyed - perhaps even by those with criminal intent.
In all honesty, bishop, how many places where massacres have occurred, would NOT have happened, if a sign forbidding guns had been hanging on the outside doors?
So if you create a gun-free zone by posting such a sign, do you think that when the killer arrives he will have a change of heart - based on a sign he glances at while on his way in to slaughter? Tell me, I ask, where has that occurred?
Consider this, dear bishop. Up and down the roads of our country, speed limit signs can be seen everywhere. There are thousands of such signs lining the roads of our country.
Furthermore, those signs are placed there because the legislature of each state grants their approval for them to be there. They are there as a matter of law.
However, in spite of this, according to some sources, over 100,000 speeding tickets are issued every day in the United States.
Think about it: we have passed speeding laws in our legislatures, and back it up with signs up and down the freeway, yet, in spite of all this effort, we still have over a hundred thousand people ignoring these laws and signs every day (and that's just the ones who get caught).
Is there anything that works? Is there a way to slow ... people ... down?
Yes, there is.
Put a police officer on the side of the road with a radar gun, and people will ... slow...down...
I am certainly not saying that having armed security, or concealed handgun carriers, will always stop a killer: but it may be helpful to have a good man with a gun - if a bad man with a gun shows up.
Paul the Apostle understood this.
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.
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...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.
Antonio Milow is a Denver, Colorado Police Officer. A few years back, on a Sunday morning - after working the midnight shift - he came home and asked his son what he would like to do today.
“Take me to church dad."
Antonio got dressed, secured his gun on his person, and off to church he went…
When the service ended, the minister told his small congregation (about 40) that he felt led to pray for some of them. He soon summoned Antonio to the altar. “Antonio," the minister said, "God told me you’re going to do something you’ve never had to do before. And you’ll be brave and you’ll see it through – and you’ll be ok.”
A few minutes later, a man crashes a stolen car in the church parking lot. Then, to everyone’s astonishment, he exits his car and starts shooting, killing Antonio’s aunt who had rushed out to help.
Antonio ran outside and the gunfight was on. The battle rages; Antonio shoots the man several times, but he doesn’t go down. Antonio goes back inside and warns the congregation to stay put. Meanwhile, the gunman enters the church and Antonio engages him again.
Antonio shoots the killer just inside the door, ending the killer’s life.
Antonio saved several lives that day.
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.
Dear Bishop and other 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 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 First Baptist Church in Anna, Illinois (where both ladies 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 clear on something as I close. I am NOT a gun-fanatic. I'm just not. I own two handguns, that's all. 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."
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 9 parishioners killed at Mother Emmanuel in Charleston, S.C. in June of 2015.
According to his son, Dan Jr, his father had 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. Please, dear bishop and all other 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.
UPCOMING SHEEPDOG SEMINARS
- Jamestown, North Dakota, this coming Saturday, February 17. Click here for info
- Greenville, South Carolina - Friday and Saturday (Feb. 23-24). Click here for info
- Princeton, Kentucky - Saturday, March 3
- Lincoln, Nebraska - March 11.
- Salt Lake City, Utah - March 17
- Other locations include Des Moines, Tulsa, and Oklahoma City. See complete list of seminar locations here