Words by Chan Bam
How comfortable are you, knowing your pastor is packin – not just with his spiritual armor, but also with a pistol?
The ongoing debate was recently revived, when North Dakota and Illinois permitted the carrying of concealed weapons in the church, just last month. Arkansas had already approved it back in February. While my initial imagination went to ushers pistol whipping patrons who refused to sit up close and fill in the empty seats, I had to let the logical & realistic side of me explore this a little more.
Carl Chinn, a church security consultant, will be pitching this ‘pastors with pistols’ idea in a seminar next month, for several local churches in a community of Wisconsin – a community who was affected by a gunman just a year ago, who killed six of their members.
But while my imagination wanted to veer left with hostile hostesses and upset ushers, Chinn won’t be posing that just anyone be handed a Desert Eagle and box of bullets – but instead, designated and fully-trained, church-goers.
“I advise them that it’s a good thing to do with trained responders, not just good guys with guns, but people who have some level of training,” says Chinn.
The core of the debate: where is your faith? Many believe that choosing to have guns in the church, is putting your faith in a weapon for protection, instead of trusting in God to keep you from harm’s way. And while prayer is always necessary, Chinn believes, “there’s nothing like a firearm that can stop another firearm.”
While this way of thinking may seem logical and a smart way to protect oneself, Reverend Phillip Blackwell, feels quite the contrary. He says, this type of behavior only encourages refutation against the churches teachings on trusting in God. It seems to edify the physical armor, rather the spiritual armor that Paul taught to stay guarded with – (Ephesians 6:10-16).
The report outlines several violent incidents that have taken place on church grounds, fueling the discussion on what should be done to protect the church – if anything at all.
I can’t imagine being robbed or held at gunpoint on my way to the church-house, dressed in my Sunday’s best, but then again, I’m sure none of the aforementioned members could either. This is definitely a debate that will not be sorted any time soon.
If your church has or could be threatened by local gun-toting heathens, would you want your pastor to invest in beefed-up, firearm security or in weapons training? Would you feel safe or unsafe knowing there are armed guards on the grounds? Does this go against the teachings of peace and total trust in God?
What say you congregation?
Words by Chan Bam