Guns at church

You have probably seen this news by now, Police Seach for Links Between Two Deadly Shootings at Colorado Christian Centers. If not, you might want to click the link and catch up. Basically, someone went to a Youth with a Mission training center and killed some people then traveled about 70 miles and went to a megachurch (New Life, the church Ted Haggard founded) and shot people there before being killed himself.

This is so sad and tragic. We’ve seen more and more of these attacks in the news and it is disturbing.

But here’s the thing…the man from these attacks was killed by an armed member of the security staff at the church! Really? An armed security guard at church? Really? Does that bother anyone else? I know that places where we assume some relative safety are being invaded by violence; schools, malls, workplaces, church. I know that in a lot of these places there are armed security guards. But church?? Do the people who attend New Life feel safer at their worship because they know there is security on the campus? Is their worship better for them because of that? There are so many thoughts in my brain now…the persecuted church around the world…the pure humility of Christ who could’ve called on his armies of angels at any time or who rebuked Peter for cutting the guards ear…but the direction I’m going in now has to do with what we put our trust in.

Where is the armed security to protect you from the tumor that will appear tomorrow and change your life and then take your life? Where are the big guns to protect you from the distracted driver on the highway? Where is the security guard that will keep you safe from the blood clot traveling to your lungs? Is there an armed guard to protect you from finding out that your daughter has been molested, or your husband has been cheating and will leave you, or your son is addicted to meth? Life. Death. Pain. Joy. Being sinned against. They all happen outside of our sphere of control. We cannot protect ourselves from any of these things and posting a guard will only make us feel safe. Maybe your guard for some of these things is denial. If you deny it, it’s not happening. Maybe it is seclusion. If you just stay inside, no one can hurt you. Maybe it’s a prescription that numbs the pain. Let me tell you this… God is in control of all things. Nothing happens that surprises God or that throws God off his game. There is hope and peace and safety. It is in the arms of God alone. Cast your cares upon Him for he cares for you. (I Peter 5) Have you read the whole context of this wonderful promise?

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen” I Peter 5:6-10

Jesus left his armies of angels to become fully man in obedience to the God the father and because of love for us.

“So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:1-11.

I guess one thing that bothers me about an armed security guard at church is that it is the gospel being preached that brings peace, freedom, and safety, not bullets. If someone comes to my church with evil intent, then they do it by the sovereign hand of God and it is God that I put my trust in, not an armed guard.

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