“Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” Psalm 82:4
My friend Joel and I had just returned to the town Victoria Falls after ministering at a retreat for parents in Hwange Main Camp, Zimbabwe when the tragic news came through: An attack by a gunman on the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.
He opened fire on a congregation where his former in-laws worshiped.
Twenty-seven people died in the attack, including an unborn baby; and another 20 were injured.
When the attacker exited the church, an armed neighbor, 55-year-old Stephen Willeford, shot him to stop any further carnage. The attacker managed to get into his vehicle and took off.
Willeford then jumped into the car of Johnnie Langendorff. Together, they chased the shooter into a nearby county, where he ran off the road.
Authorities said the attacker was found dead inside the vehicle, apparently from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
A Christian response
Willeford made the comment: “I think my God, my Lord, protected me and gave me the skills to do what needed to be done.”
What a humble way to describe such a heroic action. He gave glory to Whom it belonged.
Pastor Jack Campbell (missionary and marine) and I on the range!
Those who reject self-defense play into the hands of the law breakers. They encourage the wicked to take advantage of them by creating a safe environment for the attacker.
Our Christian duty is to make the working environment of the bad guy as dangerous as possible. The political Left may find this fact an inconvenient truth, but the only person who can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. Tellingly in today’s times, this is treated as a controversial statement. But it is self-evident that unarmed victims are pretty helpless. It’s a reality not lost on the killers.
Christians are not called to be doormats for the wicked. In fact the Bible teaches us: “Like a muddied spring or a polluted fountain is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked.” Proverbs 25:26
Surely we are “giving way before the wicked” if we choose to remain unarmed and unable to protect our family, friends and churches.
Maybe it is time for us to call a spade, a spade, and clearly state that those Christians who are not prepared to protect their loved ones from violent attacks are shirking their Biblical duty.
Indeed, it is a duty.
Christians don’t just have a right to self-defense; they have a Biblical duty to protect the innocent. That is also why all gun owners should stand for the protection of their right to bear arms and the right to life in the womb. These two positions—among the hottest topics on the planet—are interdependent. Both require the defense of innocent life against acts of violence and evil.
I was told by a South African that home invaders raped his wife in front of him in his own home. He claimed that all he could do was pray. He was against my call for armed resistance in such circumstances. He thought that his stand was “more spiritual” than even the Bible. I had a Christian duty to point out to him that his sin of inaction was certainly spiritual—it was following a spirit of fear. We know that “God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control…” 2 Timothy 1:7.
We are commanded to love our wives, like Christ loved the Church. We must be prepared to die for our wives, not stand by and watch while she is being raped. We must do everything in our power to defend her, even if it means that we might lose our life while defending her.
“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” Ephesians 5:25
All life is precious because we are made in the image of God. And because He has created us, we have to live by His rules. They are not merely suggestions! We may only take life when He says we can! And defending life abides with just such an occasion. Exodus 22:2-3 makes this very clear.
Are you ready?
Some Christians appear to have adopted the pagan fallacy of animism (extremely prominent here in Africa). This belief ascribes a soul to everything, even inanimate objects, and grants supernatural power to such objects. It claims that evil lurks in things (guns), rather than people. Demonizing inanimate objects (guns) makes no sense! Guns can be used for good or evil. The heart of the handler is what makes the difference.
Dr John Lott in his book “The War on Guns” explains and shows in detail how killers choose gun-free zones: “Mass public shooters avoid places where victims can defend themselves. After all, how quickly people can arrive with a gun to stop the attack reduces the number of likely victims and the publicity that the killer will be able to get.”
The commander of the terrorist attackers of our church in 1993 agreed on this issue when he admitted that they thought that our church was a gun-free zone. He continued by saying that I had a surprise for his cadres when I returned fire.
Are you ready to defend your family and friends? For my friends in the West, this was once a distant, abstract concern—a danger restricted to farther-flung locales and commonplace in disorganized, developing nations.
That latter fact is sadly still true for my countrymen and I. The former sense of contentment and complacency regarding personal safety, we know all too well, no longer resonates with reality in the West.
It well behooves all men of God to know the Biblical answer to this question—and prepare accordingly.
PS. WND’s Bob Unruh kindly interviewed me on the same topic: Armed Christian who disrupted ’93 church attack weighs in on Texas massacre
Charl van Wyk