Another Church Shooting! What should we do next?
Is there any place where we can be safe?
Heavenly Father, have mercy on us. Gracious God, hear our prayers and comfort the family and friends of our brethren at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.
Many of us are thinking, is there any where that we can be safe on this country? Seems like every week there is a new incident where a mass shooting and other forms of terror attack takes place. By the way, regardless of what the motive was on this latest tragedy, this was an act meant to terrorize people. It was an act of terror.
One question we should ask, was the perpetrator successful? Did his act of terror succeed in instilling fear on the community, on the united states and amongst Christians?
Security experts suggest congregations should arm themselves
As I watched the news reports by different stations, many of the security experts that were commenting on the matter, began to make calls for people of faith to arm themselves or their congregations on Sunday. They suggest that this is the only way to prevent such tragedy from happening in their church.
What do you think? Are they right; should we start carrying guns to church on Sunday to protect our congregation? Should we perhaps start new ministries of people who are tasked with standing guard during worship, with loaded guns in hands, prepared to shoot down a would-be assassin?
To some this may sound like a great idea. We must protect our congregations. Pastors are increasingly having to deal with this issue of keeping their congregations safe. Congregations are putting pressure on pastors, and pastors feel totally responsible for their people.
However, before jumping into the lake without making sure that there aren’t any alligators lurking in the water, pastors should step back and look at this tragic event, and events that have taken place in recent years within the context of the war of God versus evil. After all, this is really what is going in on here. The enemy, satan, is out there putting fear in the hearts of people, and we as pastors and followers of Christ need to re-assure people that we have nothing to fear because God is in control.
That is what it boils down to at the end of the hour. It is all about Jesus Christ, and about us trusting Him with all our hearts and all our minds. That is the battle that we are facing.
As a Christian I call for us to take drastic measures
Times are in such a state that I feel we as believers of Christ need to take drastic measures when it comes to dealing with this matter of security and congregations. The time has come for all of God’s people to put down their weapons of war and arm themselves with spiritual weapons. We must do this to confront the evil that took place in the First Baptist Christ in Sutherland Springs, Texas, and in other churches in the United States in recent years.
I mean, think about it; the devil, the “liar and the father of all lies” (John 8:44) wants you and me to believe that God is powerless. The liar wants you and me to think that if we want to be taken care of and protected from evil, that we should pick up the weapons that the enemy uses to destroy and cause pain in our hands, so that we can fight fire with fire.
Yet, that is not what Scripture says brothers and sisters. The Bible tells us that “though we live in the flesh, we do not wage war according to the flesh. The weapons of our warfare are not the weapons of the world. Instead, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.” (2 Corinthians 10:3-4)
Whatever you do, do not defile the temple
So, any inclination we may have to arm ourselves with guns and bullets is not rooted on Scripture, but instead is rooted in fear and in distrust that God can overcome anything the enemy throws at Him. Remember my dear brethren, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. The one who fears has not been perfected in love.” (1 John 4:18)
Therefore, do not give into temptation and turn your place of worship into a den of thieves. After all, when “Jesus entered the temple courts and began to drive out those who were buying and selling there.” [He also] “overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those selling doves.” [Additionally,] “He would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts.” (Mark 11:15-16) In other words my dear friends, Jesus removed anything and anyone who was not there to worship God the Father. There were no exceptions to the rule.
Hence, if there had been people there with guns and bullets walking up and down the temple, something tells me they would have been kicked out as well.
After all, how can we make the argument that we are bringing guns and bullets to our houses of worship because we are there to give honor and glory to God; how can we say, ‘we worship you and give you thanks Heavenly Father, but we don’t trust you’, all in the same breath?
After all, doesn’t Jesus Christ our Lord tell us “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all the nations’?” (Mark 11). So, we must take great care that we do not send the wrong message to the world, to our children, and as pastors to the people we minister to, by picking up the tools that the enemy uses as we try to protect the people we love. The only weapon that we should bring to worship on Sunday is the Bible and a humble and contrite heart alongside our prayers.
Let us pray:
Lord Jesus Christ, we need your help and guidance in dealing with all the violence that seems to be becoming more prevalent in our communities of worship and in our country. Now days everyone has a gun, and that makes us vulnerable to gun violence everywhere we go.
We want to feel safe when we come to church on Sunday. The place we gather for worship on Sunday is a place where our families should be safe. However, all these attacks are instilling fear and suspicion in the hearts of many believers, and we need your help to remain faithful to you Lord.
Please protect us. Cover us with the Holy Spirit, and send your angels before us to protect us. In Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.