I know it is kind of old news but I was perplexed when I heard of the church shootings in the US just before Christmas, perplexed mainly that I heard that the church (or YWAM base) had an armed security guard. Anyway, my mate Gary puts it better on his site than I ever could, here’s the full post –
I sigh to admit that it was not the fact of another USA shooting that got my attention so much – after all, we hear about them all too often (what is wrong with Americans? they kill nearly 30,000 of themselves every year with guns) – it was the “church security guard” who “took down” the gunman (SkyNews wording) that really grabbed me.
According to the NY Times, ‘The Rev. Brady Boyd said he had watched the events unfold from his second-floor office. “My heart is broken today for the people who lost their lives,” but he added that the church had a security plan in place and that “many, many” lives were saved because of the security guard’s actions.’
Now, come on. Let’s think about that for a minute. Here is a christian mission organisation that hires armed security guards? And that congratulates itself on saving lives by taking lives? Intentionally participating in gun violence, in the name of reducing gun violence? ok, let’s have every church patrolled by armed guards. Let’s have pastors preach the ‘good news’ with armed security. That would be a great idea. Of course, any reference to Jesus would have to be even further suppressed in order to maintain such a fundamental contradiction.
Let me illustrate, (from the Jerusalem Times, c.29AD) “The Apostle Peter said he had watched the events unfold from his second-floor office in the temple. “My heart is broken today for the people who lost their lives,” but he added that the disciples of Jesus had a security plan in place and that “many, many” lives were saved because of the security guard’s actions. Of course, we had to hire the armed guard without Jesus knowing. You can imagine the fuss He would have made if He’d known. He’s so naive about using violence. We feel we need to protect Him from Himself. There are forces out there who would like to crucify Him!”
We don’t know the full extent of the tragic Colorado story at this stage, but even when we do, the question will remain…what possible claim can followers of Jesus make to having any Good News of an alternative nature to offer, if they choose to use the methods of violence – yes, even in self-defence. Surely there are causes for which followers of Jesus may be willing to die; but can there be causes for which they are willing to kill?
There are many layers of tragedy here, not least of which is the close identification of the dove of the holy spirit with the eagle of the republics of mankind.