Verses that support security at the church

Day by day, we try to live the life that God wants us to live. Unfortunately, many Christians believe that this means we should be pacifists. They believe God will take care of us, which he will, but we must also do our part! We must protect God’s children! I believe it is biblical, and today, I want to help you to lay out a case for protecting your flock in your home church.

Many years ago, I had an older Pastor say to me “You know, Jesus told us if someone smacks you on the cheek, we should turn the other cheek, but he didn’t say what to do if they hit that other cheek.” While this is not may not be a biblical defense on judgement day (for defending yourself), there are versus that lead us to believe that self-defense is acceptable to our Lord.

If we look at Exodus 22:2-3, we see:

(2) If a thief is caught breaking in at night and is struck a fatal blow, the defender is not guilty of bloodshed; (3) but if it happens after sunrise, the defender is guilty of bloodshed.”.

So does this mean we can only defend ourselves at night? To the contrary, God wants us to protect ourselves and others all the time. If we look at Romans 13:4 we see:

(4)For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.

I don’t want this taken out of context, so I should mention that this was not written about our ability to defend ourselves, but rather the government defending us. Essentially, I see this as to the modern day equivalent of law enforcement. However, this brings to mind the question the authorities that we have appointed in the church. Does God look on our security teams? I think that this is answered in Psalms 82:3-4:

(3) Defend the weak and the fatherless;
    uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. (4) Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.

We are charged with protecting the fatherless, the weak, and those that are poor. We are to deliver them from the wicked. Wouldn’t this be a church security team in our churches? Similarly, if we look at Proverbs 24:11-12 it says:

(11) Rescue those being led away to death;
    hold back those staggering toward slaughter. (12) If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,”does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?
Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay everyone according to what they have done?

We are called to step in when others are being led away to death, and from my understanding of these verses, we will be judged for not doing so. I believe this says that security teams are not only acceptable, but required. If evil invades our sanctuary, and our congregants are being slaughtered, aren’t we called to stop them from being killed? If we look at Proverbs 22:3 , it says:

(3)The prudent see danger and take refuge,
    but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.

Interesting! So God calls us to take refuge from danger. What if we are taking refuge in our houses of worship? I believe Nehemiah 4: 7-8 describes how we (as a church and a religion) should defend ourselves.

(7) But when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites and the people of Ashdod heard that the repairs to Jerusalem’s walls had gone ahead and that the gaps were being closed, they were very angry. (8) They all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and stir up trouble against it. But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat.

They posted guards? Hello! This is a security team! I believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God. If you also believe this, ask yourself why God would leave this passage and the entire story in scripture. If we read further into Nehemiah 4, we see how they prepared.

(16) From that day on, half of my men did the work, while the other half were equipped with spears, shields, bows and armor. The officers posted themselves behind all the people of Judah (17) who were building the wall. Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other, (18) and each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked. But the man who sounded the trumpet stayed with me.

(19)Then I said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “The work is extensive and spread out, and we are widely separated from each other along the wall. (20) Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, join us there. Our God will fight for us!”

(21) So we continued the work with half the men holding spears, from the first light of dawn till the stars came out. (22) At that time I also said to the people, “Have every man and his helper stay inside Jerusalem at night, so they can serve us as guards by night and as workers by day.” (23) Neither I nor my brothers nor my men nor the guards with me took off our clothes; each had his weapon, even when he went for water.

Again, God shows that we sometimes have to protect our people, and they didn’t hire someone else to protect them, they protected themselves. While I could provide a substantial amount of information from the Bible that supports protecting our churches, I fear that this blog post would be entirely too long! We could look at Jude 1:23. or even Jeremiah 22:3,  but I will let you see the versus and the context for yourself.

To close out this week’s blog, if we were not supposed to protect the flock, why would have Jesus said in John 15:

(12) My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. (13) Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (14) You are my friends if you do what I command.

Until next week, … Mark

Never enough information!

On Monday, I attended a Sheepdog training seminar in Peoria IL. Some of you may be wondering why someone who has tens of thousands of hours of research over 14 years would go see a competitors seminar.

Well, let’s start of with the word competitor. In our business, we are not competitors, or at least we shouldn’t be. We are missionaries looking for the same end, protecting the flock. We should be working together, just like multiple Pastors work together to save souls.

How true is this? While there, I talked with Jimmy Meeks, and when he realized who I was, he asked me if I had enough business cards to hand them out to everyone (I believe the final count was 402 people). Notice he didn’t revert back into a hole and try to be defensive, he wanted me to be active in teaching the principles to save peoples lives. Those of us that are in this for the right reason want to work together to protect God’s Children. You can see some of what Jimmy teaches and preaches by watching this video.

The second thing that I want to point out, I went there to gain more knowledge! Maybe they were teaching something new, something that I was not aware of, something that could save a life! I learned several things, but what was most telling to me were the actual testimonies, such as the one by Carl Chinn.

Carl was involved with two incidents, at two separate venues. The first incident in 1996 was a mentally disturbed gunman, who brought a bomb and firearms into Focus on the Family ministry. Carl and two woman were held hostage for hours. The second incident occurred in 2007, at New Life Church in Colorado Springs CO.  A gunman who had killed two people at a ministry the day before, waited until hired law enforcement left the church, then he began killing people. He started in the parking lot, and then worked his way inside. Carl talked about the way chunks of concrete pillars seemed to explode from the gunman’s shots, and how Jeanne Assam was in the right place at the right time, and she shot the perpetrator. Here is a brief video of Carl being interviewed about this incident. Carl is an advocate of tactical training for church security teams.

I should point out that Saving Lives and Souls does not advocate for, or against, using firearms to protect the church. We do however believe that that the right type of firearm in the hands of a well trained individual can save lives in the event of a church shooting. The decision is ultimately up to the church.

The third and final speaker was Lt. Colonel Dave Grossman. Dave talked about preparing yourself bulletproofing your mind. Dave, who has a graduate degree in Psychology, spoke about the mindset we need to have. Dave told many stories and provided a lot of information. One my favorite stories he shared was about World War two, and can be seen in this video.

In the end, I walked away with more knowledge about how to protect the flock. That is the reason I went to this and will go to other seminars. You can never have too much knowledge when it comes to protecting God’s flock. That is why we all encourage you to attend more than one training on protecting the church. I also invite you to look at materials that these men of God offer. Don’t forget the tourniquet, which can save lives! Until next week, … Mark