Disclaimer: I am not a theologian, just a believer who is fed up with a trend I’ve noticed.
There is a distressing passivity and fatalism in the church these days. Many have been suckered by the false meekness of pacifism and even flaunt their defenseless, as if it is a badge of honor! To them, trusting in God means denying themselves the God-given right and command to defend themselves and others. For them, faith is submitting to all authority, even if that is the ‘authority’ of a scumbag caving their head in, or the head of their child with a club or simply accepting raping murderers into the country without question. They turn their cheek to make it easier for their attacker to slit their throat. Not only is this attitude disgustingly delusional, it is cowardice gilded with false piety.
I am not exaggerating with this example. When I took my mandated training course for my CCW permit, the instructor, a devoted Christian, told us a horrifying anecdote: While at a conference, he was advertising his business and an irate woman told him firearms, and for that matter self-defense have no place in the life of a Christian. Calmly asking what she would do if someone held a gun to her child’s head, the child having shown interest in this man’s booth, he received the response “If they died, that’s God’s will.” I hope you are as sickened and disturbed by this response as I was.
When talking with a female friend the other day, herself a shooter and believer in self defense, she was amazed I carry every Sunday into church, even when I volunteer in the nursery. Even for someone that believed in being armed, in her case with pepper spray (while waiting for approval of her CCW permit), it was foreign to her to think that I would do such a thing. The response I gave was to ask her a question. “Do you believe I could live with the guilt if one of my nursery children, or one of my students, or anyone for that matter was hurt, raped, kidnapped or even killed because I refused to carry a weapon when I am legally and physically able to?” Even when I am at my teaching job, I informed her, I carry some means of self defense. In my case, that is a pointed steel non-tactical pen. Sadly mis-matched against an attacker’s firearm–but as good of an option as I have available, until I can badger my principal into approving my application to our state’s teacher firearm certification program. I’ve also looked into a few options for concealed sheaths for screwdrivers, technically legal. A law abiding citizen considering resorting to a glorified shiv to protect children. Doesn’t that just fill you with hope for our future?
Armed at All Times
For me, there is an obligation to be armed whenever possible, even with meager and improvised means. This is not only what I consider a God-given duty, but one I think that every responsible Christian must be prepared to take up at all times. My friend is in agreement and she agreed to talk with the youth pastor she is courting, himself a shooter as well, about this issue. I pray both of them will be armed to the teeth, very soon.
There was hesitation on my friend’s part to be armed near children and I can understand that. There are of course ways to mitigate risks and I encourage you to consider how and what you would carry in that situation to protect the children and yourself. Her concern was valid and understandable, even coming from someone committed to their own defense. Can you imagine the resistance one of the ‘sheeple’ mentioned earlier would put up if you told them the same thing? These people, oblivious to their need for self-defense, require far more prodding and even then are unlikely to wake up from their often self-induced ‘meekness’ until the worst happens to them or someone they love.
One important thing is to start by explaining exactly why you are armed consistently and trained in weaponry. Remind them of the multiple church and synagogue shootings and attacks that have happened in just the last few years and the school shootings that so often plaster the news. While I believe the news exaggerates these instances to no end, typically to push liberal insanity on gun control, they do reveal a distressing reality: America’s churches are not secure and neither are our schools. That is why, when the government fails to protect us and our children, it is up to us to take up the responsibility of effective self defense.
Second, it is important to address the creeping idiocy that there’s no chance of such a horror happening to you. This is not just a Christian problem but one of general society as well. The first step before effectively defending oneself and ones loved ones is to admit that there is a chance, however statistically slim it is thank God, that we will face horrors in this life. For a Christian, we need look no further than John 15:19. It reads:
“If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you”.
I’d certainly say murder, kidnapping, rape, and assault are forms of hate, wouldn’t you? This is just one verse but it should already be clear that Christians must expect evil. Further, the idea of self defense can be found Exodus 22. If it is morally incorrect for us to defend ourselves and those we love, then why would God himself set guidelines for acceptable violence?
Further verses regarding self defense can be found in Luke 22:35-38 with it’s instructions to buy a sword even if it costs you your garment. Also read Nehemiah 4:13. While we are indeed instructed to turn the other cheek, this is in response to insults, not deadly attack. Anyone not understanding this should be reminded in ancient Israel, a slap was a common insult, along with beard tugging and spitting. It was not a physical assault as we would call it today.
Of course, this is not likely to work in a single conversation. Continue to lovingly and patiently speak with the people you care about, discussing and maybe debating these verses and others and current events. God-willing over time they may begin to see your point. There is no guarantee and I doubt anyone would assume these steps are concrete. However, it is important to have a Biblical and logical framework for your argument and I believe these steps will be useful to be that framework.
A Word to Pastors
Speaking particularly to pastors, you above all must bear responsibility for the protection of your congregation. If your church is a building and not a community, then you have failed. If your community is not protected, spiritually and physically by your leadership, you have failed. You are called by God to be leaders in your families and in your congregations, shepherds for your flock. If you personally are unable or unwilling to protect your flock then you must find men and women who will. If your congregation haven’t been entirely brainwashed by a foolish doctrine of weakness, then you will find at least a few with the guts to do it. Training and valuable information on church security can be found from multiple sources.
Again, consider if you are willing to watch your congregation slaughtered, your women taken and your children dead or broken by trauma for life. If you’re not man enough to be a protector, then find men and women who will.
I know in my church the pastor himself is not armed, but relies on a security team that has been put in place in recognition of our volatile times. In each service sits at least one armed member of this team, which includes trained citizens, police officers, and military service members. At all times, one of these people at the very least is protecting the pastor, with other members prepared to deal with entrances and so forth. As for me, my job will be to secure the nursery area.
I would like to caution anyone reading this from assuming that I believe only in lethal self defense. For many, I believe non lethal means are perfectly viable. Anyone considering the need for self defense should carefully consider what lengths they are willing to go to. Some will never be comfortable or legally able to carry lethal means of defense. For them, tools such as tasers, kubotans, and pepper spray are most likely going to be perfectly adequate. Even for those of us who carry guns and knives, non-lethal means are a useful addition to any of our arsenals. There is a large canister of pepper spray at the top of my stairs for a roommate who is uncomfortable with firearms. And I would not be hesitant to use it.
Unfortunately, we often turn people away from self defense with an all or nothing attitude. I support being armed with a gun at all times but I’d be more than satisfied to see more people encouraged to use non-lethal force if that’s what it takes to get them to defend themselves. Non-lethal force is no less Biblical than lethal force, in fact I can find even more support for it. Again looking at Exodus 22 we find that a thief killed in daylight would make the killer guilty of bloodshed. Does that mean we cannot defend ourselves with lethal force in daylight, no. I believe it points to using non-lethal force when possible. Of course, I may be wrong, but I believe this passage has more to do with being able to accurately perceive the threat, which is much easier in broad daylight. At night, being unable to see if an opponent is armed, it was allowable to strike with the intent to kill, as one could not be certain his attacker was a thief versus a murderer. In the daylight, it was possible to recognize that distinction and not employ lethal force against an unarmed thief.
To everyone that has stayed with me this long, thank you. I pray that something I have written has had an impact and perhaps you will find this useful for a God-fearing friend, spouse, or family member. I pray that they, and you, will take responsibility for your own safety and the safety of those you love.
Again, I am not a theologian, just a man concerned with the safety of God’s people. God bless you and keep you safe.