The media seems unsure what to make of the American church’s move toward arming itself in the wake of a series of church centered shootings.
Some in the media seem ready to mock Christians for not being filled with enough faith to trust that God will keep them from harm. Others seem oddly gleeful at the fact that Christians feel uncomfortable enough that this conversation is happening at all. Still others are ready to push for legislation to keep churches from protecting themselves and their parishioners by passing new laws to keep guns out of places of worship.
A church in Texas has started a ministry team to provide defense for the church:
The First Baptist Church in southeastern Texas is like any other, meant to be a place of reverence, a safe haven for anyone to pray and express spiritual beliefs.
“You allow people to come in, regardless of where they are in life,” Worley said. “But being gracious creates an exposure.”
A couple of years ago, he said, a member who worked as a policeman asked him about the church’s emergency plan. “We don’t have anything,” Worley said he replied.
Then, he said, the church went from novices to understanding how to become the “tip of the spear” for church safety.
The church founded the Hedge Ministry, which is inspired by the Bible to “create a defense,” Worley said.
The ministry now boasts 40 trained members who are posted at doors and monitor closed-circuit cameras, and several members have concealed-carry permits.
Worley oversaw the installation of a lockdown room in the church’s nursery.
“If there’s something happening in our building, a magnetic door shuts, and a shooter would not be able to get into that room,” he said.
The room’s phone, he said, “dials one number only”: the police.
A church in upstate New York has even gone so far as broadcasting on their signage that they are NOT a gun free zone.
From Fox News:
Pastor Ronald Russell said he wanted to remind people of the open-carry policy and send a strong message that an attack like what occurred in Texas last Sunday is not going to happen in his church.
“Ever since Sandy Hook, these individuals – whether it’s in Sandy Hook, whether it’s in San Bernardino – people like to go to gun-free zones to shoot ’em up,” Russell said on “Fox & Friends.” “And we’re just putting out a warning that we believe in the Second Amendment and we do carry, and it’s not going to happen in our church.”
He said that police officers do a great job at responding to mass shootings, but there is still certain to be at least some delay.
“If they have to respond, that means something already’s happened, the damage has already taken place,” Russell said. “It takes a good guy with a gun to stop a bad guy with a gun.”
All over the country churches are taking measures to ensure that they are not left defenseless during worship. Hopefully these measures will make criminals think twice before attacking another church.