Headlines: “At least 26 killed in a mass shooting at Texas church” (Source)
Dear Church Elders/Leaders EVERYWHERE: So-called “gun-free zones” are, by a factor of FIVE (5), the most dangerous locations for mass shootings. If you want your congregations to be safe, PLEASE DO NOT create a so-called “gun-free zone” in your church by depriving them of their Constitutional right to keep and bear arms. All that does is stop your members from defending themselves. It DOES NOT stop mass shooters any more than laws establishing gun-free zones or restricting carry have stopped mass shooters.
Indeed, “…only in a “sheer utopian fantasy” would people expect that “homicidal maniacs” would follow gun laws.” (Source
) The churchgoers at New Life Church here in Colorado Springs are certainly convinced. Many of their lives were saved when an armed member of the congregation shot and stopped a mass murderer before he could open fire during worship service. (Source: New Life Shootings
While we armed, law-abiding citizens are not cops, we can and will protect ourselves and our loved ones in situations involving active shooters. Many of us are either current or former military or law enforcement. We are careful, conscientious, mature, and well-trained. Had one or more of us been present in Texas, the shooter would almost certainly have been stopped long before he managed to murder 20 people and seriously injure many dozens more. Indeed, this morning the news reports indicate a nearby neighbor heard the shooting and fired at the shooter as he went outside the church to reload. The shooter then diverted to his car and sped away. Thus, an armed, law-abiding citizen DID prevent the murder of many additional people.
This could have been prevented. It WOULD have been prevented, or at least largely mitigated (stopped while in progress) had the leadership and members of the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas prepared themselves in accordance with the protections afforded all Americans by our Second Amendment and “highly encouraged” by God himself throughout many areas in both the Old and New Testaments of his word.
My sincerest condolences to the surviving members of the First Baptist Church. Too many of you went to be with the Lord far too early. Remember the words of Nehemiah, who, when faced with the fallen walls and gates of Jerusalem, cried out to God in heaven, confessing the sins of himself, his family, and all Israelites before asking, “Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man.” (Nehemiah 1:11)
The “the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses” include maintaining a strong defense against one’s enemies. Throughout the book of Nehemiah, he details the multi-faceted nature of that defense, including walls, gates, daggers, swords, spears, slings, and bow and arrow.
“MT” of BiblicalDefense.com makes some very clear and astute observations:
In Nehemiah 4, Israelites have been sent back from captivity to rebuild Jerusalem. They were rebuilding their lives with the sanction of the civil ruler, King Artaxerxes. This was not a wartime scenario. It was closer to a racial integration scenario where racists wanted to kill them. Think of the KKK threatening black homeowners and students. They are surrounded by people who hate them and want to kill them.
These were citizens, not soldiers. Nehemiah 4:13 says that people stationed “people by families” around the city. These were not trained soldiers or law enforcement officers. They were merely concerned residents and settlers—citizens, not professional soldiers or law enforcement agents.
Note that these families were armed, with “their swords, their spears, and their bows.” This is a situation where they are willing to apply lethal force to defend themselves.
Let’s briefly discuss swords, spears, and bows. Swords and daggers killed Ehud, Amasa, and eighty priests. At longer ranges, we know bows and slings killed men like Goliath, King Joram, and King Ahab. Spears killed men like Asahel, Absaolm, the Israelite man and the Midianitish woman, and many others. These are handguns, shotguns, and rifles. These are implements of lethal force. In fact, at close range, a sword is more deadly than a handgun. These ancient weapons are as deadly as their modern counterparts.
Note that they are carrying these weapons for personal defense and civil defense, and that these are “assault weapons”, namely, the same types of weapons that armies would use for offensive purposes. And why wouldn’t they want assault weapons (for those weapons are the most effective weapons for defending oneself)? Why would you not want to use the best tools available for the task at hand?
Against what are they defending themselves? The crime of unlawful, racist murder. Hate crimes. They are defending their lives and their homes. Nehemiah 4:14 specifically says, “…fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses.” It is good and right to defend your family, even using lethal force weapons.
One final observation: In self-defense, these citizens did not merely own weapons. Rather, where they perceived a risk of harm to their persons, they carried their weapons with them, as many people legally carry weapons with them today, for the purpose of self-protection:
Nehemiah 4 17 Those who were rebuilding the wall and those who carried burdens took their load with one hand doing the work and the other holding a weapon. 18 As for the builders, each wore his sword girded at his side as he built, while the trumpeter stood near me. … 21 So we carried on the work with half of them holding spears from dawn until the stars appeared. …. 23 So neither I, my brothers, my servants, nor the men of the guard who followed me, none of us removed our clothes, each took his weapon even to the water.
If you live somewhere where you have reason to be concerned about crime, this would be similar to legally carrying a weapon to defend your family, even when running daily errands to the store.1
This tragedy was avoidable. So long as we live in a fallen world, we will always be under siege from others controlled by our enemy, Satan. The real tragedy in this incident involving the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, however, was the fact that the members of its congregation, same as the Israelites, have allowed the forces of the day to tear down their walls, unlock their gates, and disarm them to such a state they were no longer capable of defending themselves and their loved ones in Godly, Biblical self-defense.
1. Biblical Self-Defense. (2013). The biblical view of self-defense: What does the Bible say about self-defense? Retrieved from http://www.biblicalselfdefense.com/.
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Original version of the copyright notice: All rights reserved. This article comes from www.biblicalselfdefense.com and was written by MT. You are permitted to print and distribute up to 30 copies of this article so long as this paragraph is included and you notify us of your usage. To distribute more than 30 copies, you must first request permission.