December 14, 2017
You may not realize it, but there have been many attacks on churches in the last thirty years. The massacre at Southerland Springs Baptist Church in Texas a month ago was only the latest. I attach links below to lists of some of those sad cases.
You may also not realize that many mass shootings were prevented by a citizen engaging the attacker with his or her own firearm. In September a hero did this very thing at a worship service. Here is the link: https://crimeresearch.org/2017/11/hill-time-parishioners-lock-load-go-church/.
No matter how many laws are in place to stop criminals with guns, criminals are already committed to violating those laws. So, on behalf of my fellow elders, I want you to know that we allow those with concealed weapons permits to carry firearms at church events. This policy has applied for over four and a half years. At nearly all gatherings at least one person quietly carries to defend the group.
We believe that being armed to protect others is biblical. I include links below to a number of articles that show this, but here is one Scripture that makes it very plain:
And He said to them, “When I sent you without money bag, knapsack, and sandals, did you lack anything?” So they said, “Nothing.” Then He said to them, “But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one. For I say to you that this which is written must still be accomplished in Me: ‘And He was numbered with the transgressors.’ For the things concerning Me have an end.” So they said, “Lord, look, here are two swords.” And He said to them, “It is enough.” (Luke 22:35-38)
Our Lord obviously knew some disciples were already armed. His command is so urgent that disciples should sell whatever they must to be armed. He even bases His instruction on a quotation from Scripture. He did not authorize arms to advance His kingdom (thus His rebuke of Peter later that night when he cut off a servant’s ear), but approved arms for defense in the disciples’ daily lives.
The other part of our conviction comes from Paul’s teaching in Romans 13 and his example in Acts 16. Writing to the Romans he commanded believers to honor governmental authority. When wrongly imprisoned in Philippi, he zealously defended his rights as a Roman citizen. Essential to us honoring the authorities is us zealously guarding our rights as citizens. The 2nd Amendment to our federal constitution affirms that citizens being armed is vital to remaining free from tyranny and foreign invasion. That right is a responsibility. We must fulfill that duty even as we gather for worship and the Word.
Feel free to contact any of us elders if you have questions.
Your Brother in Christ,