While on His way to the Garden of Gethsemane after celebrating the Last Supper with His disciples, the same Jesus who taught His followers to turn the other cheek said something that many find hard to believe. He said to His disciples, “When I sent you out without purse and bag and sandals, you did not lack anything, did you? But now, let him who has a purse take it along, likewise also a bag, and let him who has no sword sell his robe and buy one.” (Luke 22:35-37) The disciples responded that they had two swords, and Jesus said that was enough.
Apparently there is a time and a place to use a weapon in defense of others, or yourself. And as Peter demonstrated by swinging wildly and slicing off the ear of the high priest’s servant, it’s also imperative that if you carry a weapon you must become proficient in its use.
Sadly, the need to protect followers of Christ, and the need to know how to use defensive weapons, was demonstrated in a Church of Christ in Texas last week. As the Lord’s Supper was being served, a disturbed individual who had not been satisfied by the minister giving him food instead of money, pulled out a shotgun and killed a man who was passing communion, and another who attempted to stop him. Within six seconds he was, however, stopped by the head of the church’s volunteer security team.
In light of renewed concern about the threat of a violent intruder into a house of worship, I want to assure you that we have taken steps to keep everyone as safe as possible. Several of us attended a Sheepdog Seminar a few years ago where we were taught how to protect the flock, and we do have armed individuals in our worship services who train regularly. We also lock the doors shortly after the services begin, and the children’s worship leaders and nursery workers have been instructed to take the children to the outdoor nursery playground in the event of an intrusion.
If the need for defensive action to be taken should ever arise, it would be very helpful if everyone would take cover in the pews for a few moments, before going to make sure their children are safe.
Obviously, we pray such action will never be needed.
God Bless, Rick