Why church elders should carry concealed

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4 mins read

It’s because they are shepherds:

A Michigan man is accused of being an ISIS supporter after he told an undercover FBI agent that he wanted to shoot up a church to show his support for the terrorist group…
When investigators asked Abu-Rayyan why he allegedly wanted to target a church, he said: ‘It’s easy, and a lot of people go there, plus people are not allowed to carry guns in church.

Now I’m as skeptical of sworn affidavits as every American ought to be, but only a fool cannot discern the signs of the times. We are witnessing the simultaneous rise of Islam and breakdown of Western culture. The chaos wrought by that combination means that people with a lot of different motivations are going to be looking for soft targets.
Your sheep should not be soft targets.
It’s probably due to our modern unfamiliarity with actual shepherding that we ignore the implications of Jesus’ choice of metaphor here. We think of shepherds – and pastor is the Latin word for shepherd – as sort of lounging guides, watching the stars at night and occasionally chasing a stray lamb that has wandered away from our group. It seems a very relaxing, if boring vocation, filled with simple joys. And sometimes it can be. But there are other duties that a shepherd must be willing to take up.
A Christian shepherd, like the Good Shepherd himself, must be willing to lay down his life for the sheep. In fact, it’s expected of him:

I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep.
— John 10:10-3 (NASB)

But it’s not just a matter of not running away from danger or of being the first to die. I submit to you that an actual shepherd must also be willing to kill:

But David said to Saul, “Your servant was tending his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and took a lamb from the flock, I went out after him and attacked him, and rescued it from his mouth; and when he rose up against me, I seized him by his beard and struck him and killed him. “Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, since he has taunted the armies of the living God.”
— 1Sam 17: 34-7 NASB

This is not to say that Pastors need to slay people who taunt God, or deceive people, or even who deface or destroy property. That’s not their job as pastors nor is it ever our duty as a church. Those outside are under God’s authority, not ours (1Cor 5:12). Buildings are just property, and that’s why you buy insurance.
But we are also called to be shepherds of real people, and we are to protect them from wolves. Those wolves may be of the spiritual kind. Those demand a spiritual response. Or they might be of the physical kind and therefore demand a physical response. In times where the flock is experiencing rising danger, the church shepherd must be prepared for both.

El Borak is an historian by training, an IT Director by vocation, and a writer when the mood strikes him. He lives in rural Kansas with his wife of thirty years, where he works to fix the little things.

15 Comments

  1. Excellent. I may extend this and relate the role of shepherd to the husband:
    Ephesians 5:21-33 New International Version (NIV)
    Instructions for Christian Households
    21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
    22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
    25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her
    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians+5:21-33
    A wife should submit to her husband. A husband should be as Christ, he needs to protect, spiritually and physically, his family, even as the shepherd does unto death and as the Great Shepherd did unto death.

  2. Man who Follows God:
    Starting your quote with verse 21 is like waving red meat in front of a pack of hungry dogs. Why did you include verse 21? Is that verse in the context of the household? Get out with your mutual submission garbage.

    • He copied starting from the header, which is placed there by the converged NIV Bible but not in other translations like the KJV, which doesn’t have one.
      ESV adds a header at verse 22.
      Wives and Husbands
      22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.

      • Yep. The NASB also makes v21 the last exhortation of the previous section (where it belongs) and begins anew before v22:
        20 always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to [n]God, even the Father; 21 [o]and be subject to one another in the [p]fear of Christ.
        Marriage Like Christ and the Church
        22 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord…

    • Is submission all you care about in my post? Do you not submit your own self-centered desires to support your wife with emotional support even when you would rather not or in other endeavors that would both support the marriage and your devotion to God and wife? We shouldn’t pick and choose what we want to follow from the Bible and our Father.

  3. I sit where I can get a clear view of those who come in the two doors, and I k ow how far those doors are from where we sit. I am not a gunfighter, or a badass, but I will be damned if a bad guy gets to shoot up my church with no return fire. Of course, this isn’t with approval of my church.

  4. Any gunman that thought my church was a soft target would be in for a shock. More people are carrying in my church than are not. and we’ve got everything from veterans of foreign wars to US marshalls.
    Be lick a basket of fried chicken showing up to attack a church potluck.

  5. My church has armed security volunteers at the doors and in the hallways during every service. Love this blog, do not forget who rules this Earth for now: the prince of the power of air. God bless, and endure to the end, brother.

    • A few months back, at church, I was speaking with a fellow member after services, and we began to discuss different carrying options. I mentioned that I used to carry in the small of my back, but normally use an IWB holster now on my hip, and I reached over to point to his back where I formerly carried. And I touched his pistol, which he was carrying in the small of his back, hidden beneath his jacket. We both smiled, and carried on.

  6. An informed man will point out that Peter was carrying a short sword… really not much more than a big knife. Not a long sword fit for battle.
    A wise man will note that we carry handguns. Not battle rifles.

  7. Ya know, I’ve been hunting something or other, for most of my life. Been in & out with lots of goofy guys, and occasionally a woman or another.
    I just can’t remember ANY of them being a preaching “man of God”.
    I guess I hang with Heathens.

  8. I attend a large church whose congregation is made up of oldsters, young families, kids and other people who have no desire to touch a pistol, much less carry one anywhere. Like most people, they pay little or no attention to the likelihood of threats and would, in any circumstance, expect the police to come running before thinking that they, themselves, are the first and best line of defense.
    Of course, that is a shame but all veterans and men or women who hunt and have shooting skills should always carry. For my part, I refuse to go anywhere without a properly stoked .45 hugging my hip and my constant concern and hope is that I never find myself in a situation where I have to use it but I will forget all of that if deadly evil raises its head to harm people in church.

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