Friday, January 03, 2020

Should Christians Carry Guns To Church?

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Last Sunday, Associated Press, and other news organizations reported that "A man pulled out a shotgun at a Texas church service and fired on worshipers Sunday, killing two people before he was shot to death by congregants who fired back."

Since 1950, 98% of all mass shootings have taken place in gun-free zones. Including schools and churches.

Did you know there was a time in America when it was illegal "not" to carry a gun to church?

Be informed.

After taking a week off from writing this blog and producing our daily live radio program, it's great to be back.

Happy New Year.

The happiness of this new year will be found in knowing Jesus Christ personally---otherwise, it will be stressful and chaotic for many.

This is why we look at the day's news from a biblical perspective, not merely a political one.

Tragedy at the altar.

Last Sunday, Associated Press reported that "authorities praised the two congregants who opened fire as part of a volunteer security team at West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement."

White Settlement is about 8 miles west of Fort Worth.

The congregation was just beginning to partake of holy communion when the shooting began.

There were 242 people in the sanctuary at the time. A suspicious man walked in and was seated. Trained church members who were armed and part of the organized security team of the church, were watching over the congregation as they worshiped---and were carefully watching the individual.

The gunman can be seen on the church's live stream video, getting up from the pew and talking to someone in the back of the church before pulling out a shotgun and opening fire. A member of the church security team, Richard White, and a deacon, Tony Wallace, who was serving communion, were both killed by the shooter.

The church security team immediately responded, taking down the shooter.

Local law enforcement responded inside of 2 minutes. But by that time, the incident was over. The entire incident took 6 seconds.

Authorities praised the church for being prepared.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott asked the state to pray for the victims, their loved ones and the community. He said, "Places of worship are meant to be sacred, and I am grateful for the church members who acted quickly to take down the shooter and help prevent further loss of life."

By all honest accounts, this tragedy could have cost many more lives had the congregation not been prepared for such an event.

Why the church was prepared.

AP notes that "Sunday's shooting in Texas was also the second attack on a religious gathering in the US in less than 24 hours. On Saturday night, a man stabbed five people as they celebrated Hanukkah in an Orthodox Jewish community north of New York City."

In 2017, a man (Devon Patrick Kelly) opened fire on the congregation at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, killing 26 and leaving another 20 wounded. In that case, there was no trained security team on duty in the church service, but a man living across the street from the church who heard the shooting grabbed his AR 15 and took down the church shooter.

Following this tragedy, Texas passed a law allowing licensed gun owners to bring their weapons into church services.

At that time, the White Settlement church made the decision to organize a security team in their church. A retired FBI agent and member of the church organized the team.

It was once illegal "not" to carry a gun to a church in the US.

Bryan Fisher, with American Family Association, notes that "A 1631 Virginia law read 'All men that are fitting to bear arms shall bring their pieces to church.' In fact, a 1623 Virginia law prohibited you from traveling anywhere without being armed."

In 1639, the Newport Colony required that "none shall come to any public meeting without his weapon."

And in 1770, a Georgia law provided that "for the better security of the inhabitants," every resident was required "to carry arms to places of public worship."


Not all Native American Indian tribes were hostile, but some were. Those that were, had figured out that Christians met regularly on Sunday mornings for worship in a building. Not only was there a large crowd, in most cases, but they were a crowd of unarmed, unsuspecting people---sitting ducks.

The Christians were in one place, at one time, and utterly defenseless. Many services were attacked.

In fact, our Founders included in the Declaration of Independence a statement about "the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions."

It was a basic self-preservation.

The legal fact is that the Founders did not need to give them "permission" to carry a weapon to church, the Second Amendment already does that. It's the only carry permit a person should need.

The Second Amendment defines the citizen right "keep" (that means to own) and to "bear arms" (that means to carry them around) is a right so basic it does not belong to the states or even their militias but to the people themselves.

Over the past 15 or so years we have repeatedly seen churches, pastors and Christians attacked and killed while participating in worship services and Bible studies.

What would Jesus say?

Fischer notes that "the right of self-defense is rooted in the teaching of Jesus Himself."

He once told His disciples that He "would be numbered with the transgressors," and that as a result, their own lives could be endangered because of their association with Him.

He then commanded them, "Let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one" (Luke 22:36).

That's pretty clear.

It is not only a legal right for parishioners to carry a weapon to church, but a spiritual right as well.

Satan's mission is to "steal, kill and destroy" and there's no better place for the Prince of Darkness to carry out his hellish mission than in the Christian church while people are worshiping the true and living God.


Yes, I personally believe that churches should have organized, trained and armed security teams on duty during worship services.

Be Informed. Be Discerning. Be Vigilant. Be Faithful. Be Prayerful.