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How every church can prevent a massacre

Friday, November 10, 2017, 10:09 am | Randy Thomasson

Watch this interview with a very loving man, a professing Christian and a trained National Rifle Association instructor, who, with his AR-15 high-powered rifle, was able — he credits the Holy Spirit — to pierce the Texas church mass murderer’s body armor with two bullets: EXCLUSIVE: Texas Massacre Hero, Stephen Willeford, Describes Stopping Gunman | Louder With Crowder

 

This is perhaps the most important message I’ve ever written about the Church. Specifically, my message is about how to prevent murders on church property.

How do you prevent murders on your church’s property? I’m calling on all pastors who love children and families in their congregation to recruit a trained, armed man or two to guard every church meeting.

Argument from American history

At the very beginning of what eventually became the United States of America, the Plymouth Colony Christians in the 1620’s knew there was no conflict between biblical Christianity and self-defense. Much holier than today’s professing Christians, they knew that New Testament love isn’t only about saving souls but is also about saving lives within Jesus Christ’s commandment to “love thy neighbour as thyself.”

Here’s historical evidence that these Christians knew life is not only spiritual but physical, which is why they armed themselves to ward off a surprise attack.

See this eye-opening account from an old book, The Illustrated Pilgrim Memorial:

 

 

THE PILGRIM MEETING-HOUSE

On one of the most elevated parts of Burying Hill, in Plymouth, the Pilgrim Forefathers of New England erected their first place of religious worship. The exact position of this rudely built structure can be easily pointed out to the visitor who makes his pilgrimage to this hallowed spot. Only a few steps, in an easterly direction, from the tall granite memorial standing over the grave of Elder Cushman may be seen a slightly rising mound, and here tradition places the first site of the Pilgrims’ Meeting House. The following allusion to this interesting building, if such it may be called, appeared in the issue of the Pilgrim Almanac for 1860: —

“Close beside the green hillock subsequently selected as the grave lot of the venerable Elder, the fathers in earlier days built their humble sanctuary — small, indeed, but then the only one in New England, and that one their own, and untrammelled by the yoke of antichristian bondage. They did not place it obscurely, shaded and hidden from sight, as if afraid or ashamed that their house of God should be seen, but upon the hill top, a guide for the wayfarer, a mark for all, — the first object to attract and welcome the eye of the Pilgrim outcast, seeking shelter and repose in the land where the most abject and lowly might worship God according to the dictates of their own conscience, uncontrolled by the dogmas of an established church and the intolerance of a blasting hierarchy. Here, still earlier, stood the scanty fortification of the peaceful little band of puritans, — a simple platform, with slender roof and unpretending battlements, hewn from native forests. Slight as was the structure, it served well to protect them from the sudden inroads of savage beasts, and as a defense against the more wily and barbarous Indian foe. It served another and a holier purpose — it was the place of prayer and the place of worship — the first rudiments of the first building of the first church of the Pilgrim Fathers.”

From a letter of Isaac DeRasieres, evidently a French Protestant, written, probably, in 1627, the following mention is made respecting the same structure of the forefathers: — “Upon the hill they have a large square house with a flat roof, made of thick sawn planks, stayed with oak beams, upon the top of which they have six cannons, which shoot iron balls of four and five pounds, and command the surrounding country. The lower part they use for their church, where they preach on Sundays and the usual holidays. They assemble by beat of drum, each with his musket or firelock, in front of the captain’s door; they have their cloaks on, and place themselves in order, three abreast, and are led by a sergeant without beat of drum. Behind comes the governor in a long robe; beside him, on the right hand, comes the preacher, with his cloak on, and on the left hand the captain with his sidearms and cloak on, and with a small cane in his hand; and so they march in good order, and each sets his arms down near him. Thus they are constantly on their guard night and day.”

Argument from the Old Testament

  • God, through Moses, prophesied that repentant Jews would be brought back from captivity.
  • God commissioned a holy man, Nehemiah, to rebuild Jerusalem’s walls and gates.
  • Nehemiah heard and saw the murderous threats from unholy people against God’s work.
  • Nehemiah armed his workers so they could repel any attack against their mission.

Nehemiah 4:7-23

Now it happened,when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites heard that the walls of Jerusalem were being restored and the gaps were beginning to be closed, that they became very angry, and all of them conspired together to come and attack Jerusalem and create confusion. Nevertheless we made our prayer to our God, and because of them we set a watch against them day and night.

Then Judah said, “The strength of the laborers is failing, and there is so much rubbish that we are not able to build the wall.” And our adversaries said, “They will neither know nor see anything, till we come into their midst and kill them and cause the work to cease.” So it was, when the Jews who dwelt near them came, that they told us ten times, “From whatever place you turn, they will be upon us.”

Therefore I positioned men behind the lower parts of the wall, at the openings; and I set the people according to their families, with their swords, their spears, and their bows. And I looked, and arose and said to the nobles, to the leaders, and to the rest of the people, “Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, great and awesome, and fight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses.”

And it happened, when our enemies heard that it was known to us, and that God had brought their plot to nothing, that all of us returned to the wall, everyone to his work. So it was, from that time on, that half of my servants worked at construction, while the other half held the spears, the shields, the bows, and wore armor; and the leaders were behind all the house of Judah. Those who built on the wall, and those who carried burdens, loaded themselves so that with one hand they worked at construction, and with the other held a weapon. Every one of the builders had his sword girded at his side as he built. And the one who sounded the trumpet was beside me.

Then I said to the nobles, the rulers, and the rest of the people, “The work is great and extensive, and we are separated far from one another on the wall. Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us.” So we labored in the work, and half of the men held the spears from daybreak until the stars appeared. At the same time I also said to the people, “Let each man and his servant stay at night in Jerusalem, that they may be our guard by night and a working party by day.”

Bible scholar Adam Clarke, a protege of Methodist Church founder John Wesley (back when it was biblical and holy), wrote these notes about Nehemiah arming his workers in order to protect and advance God’s mission:

Verse 9
We made our prayer unto our God, and set a watch – The strongest confidence in the protection and favor of God does not preclude the use of all or any of the means of self-preservation and defense which his providence has put in our power. While God works in us to will and to do, we should proceed to willing, through the power he has given us to will; and we should proceed to action, through the power he has given us to act. We cannot will, but through God’s power; we cannot act, but through God’s strength. The power, and the use of it, are two distinct things. We may have the power to will, and not will; and we may have the power to do, and not act: therefore, says the apostle, seeing God has wrought in you these powers, see that You Work Out Your Own salvation, with fear and trembling.

Verse 14
Be not ye afraid of them – Are they more terrible or stronger than God?

Fight for your brethren – Your own countrymen, who worship the same God, and are come from the same stock; your sons, whom they wish to slay or lead into captivity; your daughters and wives, whom they wish to deflower and defile; and your houses, which they wish to seize and occupy as their own. They had every thing at stake; and therefore they must fight for their religion, their lives, and their property. A people thus interested, who once take up the sword, can never be conquered.

Verse 17
With one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon – That is, he had his arms at hand, and was as fully prepared to fight as to work.

Argument from the New Testament

Evil is real, and demonic forces hate true Christians. It’s high time for loving pastors to acknowledge this and prevent murder by having armed congregants stationed both outside and inside during church meetings. Because people who are influenced by demons hate and even target Christians.

“And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” (Revelation 12:17)

Here are the facts as I see them:

At this time in America, Christians are being religiously oppressed. Our culture, which has largely rejected God, has transitioned from verbal opposition to the actual taking of religious persons’ property (anyone in the wedding business can fall victim to homosexual activists and their politicians and judges).

Church shootings in Sutherland Springs, Texas (26 murdered, 20 shot but lived), Antioch, Tennessee (1 killed, 7 shot but lived) and Charleston, South Carolina (9 murdered) show how no congregation is safe.

“But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.” (1 John 3:17-18)

Application? A local church’s congregation needs protection. True shepherds will recognize this real life need of their brothers and sisters. To not recognize and accept the need for one or two trained, armed men at congregational meetings and events is equivalent to fleeing when the wolf arrives because a hireling “does not care about the sheep.”

  • You can harden all the doors to make them kick-proof.
  • You can install security cameras to aid you.
  • But the way to beat an armed bad guy is with an armed good guy.
  • And if the bad guy is wearing body armor, you need a high-powerful rifle.

Already, some loving pastors are taking action:

Texas church shooting underscores security concerns for houses of worship
Many churches have already been proactive in bolstering security. Brown Missionary Baptist Church in Southaven, Miss., a Memphis suburb, has an emergency response team that helps monitor activities at the 10,000-member church, about half of whom regularly attend services. The team was instrumental last year in helping local police apprehend a man who church personnel had spotted in the parking lot. His motives were unclear, but firearms and explosives were found in his car. Brown Pastor Bartholomew Orr said the church’s extensive security team includes members who are armed.

Knoxville churches juggle security, openness after Texas shooting
Doug Stauffer is the pastor of Antioch Baptist Church on North Broadway in North Knoxville. He said the church has been proactive in protecting its members and has had members with concealed carry permits as security for 15-20 years. The small group goes through a security training class as well, he said. “The idea is the security of the facility … we sort of saw the handwriting on the wall that society is getting much more violent,” he said.

And security experts are urging caring pastors to take preventative action now:

Calls for Armed Security in Churches After Texas Massacre
After the horrific shooting at a Texas church that left 26 people dead and 20 injured, there are growing calls for increased security at houses of worship. Chuck Chadwick, president of the National Organization of Church Security and Safety Management, provides churches with security services personnel through a church volunteer “Gatekeepers Program,” contract security services, consultations and assessments. On “The Daily Briefing,” Chadwick said his first thought when he heard about Sunday’s massacre was, “I sure wish they had had a ‘Gatekeeper’ there.”

Texas AG Ken Paxton: All Churches Need Armed Security
Paxton said his own church in North Texas pays for professional armed security, and suggests all churches, big and small, do the same. “If you can’t afford that, maybe it’s a decent idea to get some people in your congregation trained and ready to respond,” he said. “Had there been people in that building, ready to respond, it could have made a huge difference.” Under Texas’ concealed carry law, churches can forbid people from taking guns inside by simply posting their policy on the door. But Paxton said churches that don’t allow even parishioners to carry guns are making a big mistake. “You’ve got to have people ready and able to respond to these situations,” he said. “We just have to do a better job of being prepared, ready and able to respond, and not just law enforcement.”

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep.”
Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, in John 10:11-13

Blessed be the Lord my Rock,
Who trains my hands for war,
And my fingers for battle—
Psalm 144:1

The 2nd best gift you can give your children

Sunday, December 4, 2016, 7:15 pm | Randy Thomasson

I’m writing this with the assumption that you intensely love your children and grandchildren.

This month of Christmas can be a time when you think about the best, lasting gifts for life that you can give your children. Because a good gift that powerfully affects a child internally is always better than satisfying temporary wants or external needs.

I’ve already written how I believe the very best gift a parent or grandparent can give a child is to introduce them to their tremendous need to repent before, trust in, and worship their risen Savior, Jesus Christ, with all of their heart, mind, soul, and strength.

But now I want to share with you what I believe is the 2nd best gift that you can give to the children you love. And it totally supports and applies the best gift.

First, a stark truth about a big educational problem:

Today’s public schools are no longer good for children academically, socially, physically, or spiritually.

Here are some disturbing facts that every parent should realize:

1. If your children are in California government schools, they will be sexually indoctrinated.

It’s because of 10 statewide laws promoting sexual anarchy (homosexuality, bisexuality, transsexuality, and heterosexual sex among minors) to children as young as kindergarten, with no parental opt-in or opt-out. Harmful, sexual indoctrination? These laws guarantee it.

2. Your children are unlikely to learn to read or compute adequately in the public schools.

According to the 2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress (“The Nation’s Report Card”), only one-third of California public school kids are proficient in reading or math and two-thirds aren’t.

4th grade reading, proficient or above: 34%
4th grade math, proficient or above: 34%
8th grade reading, proficient or above: 31%
8th grade math, proficient or above: 33%

Reading and mathematics proficiency are the #1 thing that schools should be teaching, right? Kids should be taught to read well, write well, and compute well, correct? Obviously, academic excellence and loving children is no longer the goal of the union-controlled, government-run school system.

3. Your children will be greatly subjected to negative peer pressure in the public schools.

Children in public schools are more likely to have earlier experiences and develop negative habits in these areas: lying, cussing, cheating, excessive dieting, wearing revealing clothes, pornography, sexual activity, smoking, drugs, alcohol, and even violence. The Bible affirms that “bad company corrupts good character” (1 Corinthians 15:33). Read more about peer pressure

Hopefully what I’ve written has interested, disturbed, and motivated you to take action. Because you have only one chance with your children — they grow up fast!

Please accept my good challenge to think about what I’m saying. Show decisive, sacrificial love to your children. Determine to rescue them from today’s dysfunctional, negative, non-academic, godless government schools.

You can do what’s right in God’s sight. You have the ability to train up these precious young ones and protect them from bad influences. Choose today that you will rescue them with the gift of homeschooling or a solid church school!

See how to rescue your child
at our special site, RescueYourChild.com

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
Deuteronomy 6:4-9

What’s the #1 gift you can give your child?

Saturday, December 3, 2016, 6:43 pm | Randy Thomasson


At Christmastime, worship of the Savior and Judge of the world, Jesus Christ, has largely been replaced in our secular culture by presents, decorations, music, food, and frivolities.

But in God’s sight, it was vital that Jesus Christ came down from heaven to be born as a baby. It was so He could die on a Roman cross as an innocent and pure Lamb, substituting for and identifying with anyone who truly repents and identifies with Him.

Jesus was born, and he lived, taught, died, rose, and ascended so that we could have a chance at real Life, real Love, and real Purpose today, and so that we don’t have to go to hell when we die.

But only humble persons who recognize Jesus is indeed God in the flesh, realize they are dirty and doomed in their sin, repent of their known sins, and sincerely receive Jesus Christ in prayer as their Savior and their Master to obey can be truly saved.

Salvation is conditional based on our response. Jesus Christ Himself said so:

“He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” (John 3:36)

“Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” (John 8:24)

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.” (John 5:24)

This solemn truth is why the best gift you can give your child — at Christmastime or anytime — is to introduce them to the reality of Jesus, their own sin, the coming judgment, and how to repent before, trust in, and obey the Risen Christ.

How to present the Good News of Jesus Christ to your children
“Evangelizing Children” from Grace To You

The heart of evangelism is the gospel, “for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (Rom. 1:16). If a child is to repent and believe in Christ, then, it will be through the proclamation of the message of the cross (1 Cor. 1:18–25; 2 Tim. 3:15; James 1:18; 1 Peter 1:23–25). Children will not be saved apart from the gospel.

For this reason, parents need to teach their children the law of God, teach them the gospel of divine grace, show them their need for a Savior, and point them to Jesus Christ as the only One who can save them. It is best to start from the beginning—God, creation, the fall, sin, salvation, and Christ in His life, death, and resurrection.

The wise parent will be faithful,
patient, and persistent, being careful
to look at every moment of the child’s
life as a teaching opportunity.

As they teach their children, parents must resist the temptation to downplay or soften the demands of the gospel and must proclaim the message in its fullness. The need to surrender to the lordship of Christ, for example, is not too difficult for children to understand. Any child who is old enough to understand the basic gospel is also able by God’s grace to trust Him completely and respond with the purest, most sincere kind of repentance.

The key is to be clear and thorough. Parents more than anyone have ample time and opportunity to explain and illustrate gospel truths, to correct misunderstandings, and to clarify and review the most difficult aspects of the message. The wise parent will be faithful, patient, and persistent, being careful to look at every moment of the child’s life as a teaching opportunity (Deut. 6:6–7).

One such teaching opportunity is found in the parents’ responsibility to discipline and correct their children when they are disobedient (Eph. 6:4). Rather than seeking simply to modify behavior, the wise parent will look at discipline as an opportunity to help his children become aware of their failure and inability to obey, and subsequently, their need for forgiveness in Christ. In this way, discipline and correction are used to bring children to a sober assessment of themselves as sinners and to lead to the cross of Christ where sinners can be forgiven.

As parents explain the gospel and exhort their children to respond to the gospel, it is best to avoid an emphasis on external actions, such as praying “the sinner’s prayer.” There is an urgency inherent in the gospel message itself—and it is right for parents to impress that urgency on the child’s heart—but the focus should be kept on the internal response Scripture calls for from sinners: repentance from sin and faith in Christ. As parents diligently teach the gospel and take opportunities each day to instruct their children in the truth of God’s Word, they can begin to look for signs that their children have indeed repented and believed.

Evidence to believe in (for teenagers and young adults)
TheGodDare.com

It’s not about man-made religion, opinions or traditions. It’s about what’s true and God’s amazing love for you.

If we could sit down and talk about what’s most important in life, we would eventually get to matters of your heart and soul. Wherever you are spiritually, or think you are, you’re invited and challenged to take The God Dare.

jesusholdingchildOver the course of His ministry, Jesus often presented children as an example of the type of faith adults are to have. When Jesus blessed the children, He told His disciples, “Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it” (Mark 10:15) Question: “How did Jesus interact with children?”