Monday, December 30, 2019

Be sober Be vigilant

This weekend saw two horrific attacks on religious people in the United States. The outcomes were markedly different. In Texas, a lawfully armed parishioner halted the attack in under six seconds with a well places shot to the head. That would be mass murderer died at the scene from terminal stupidity.

The gathering at the home of Rabbi Chaim Rottenberg was disrupted by a machete wielding member of the Black Hebrew Israelite cult. The assailant didn't manage to kill anyone, but five members sustained severe injuries. Cujo's New York does not allow people the right to defend themselves. Texas, wisely, allows people to return force with force.

What does that say for each of us when we go to worship the GOD of Heaven? Even with Texas' laws allowing for carry inside houses of worship, there have been several attacks in recent years. These servants of Satan, the real one, not merely HiLlARy, are not deterred by the possibility of encountering armed resistance. They are willing to die and some it seems want to die in their act of violence.
As the end times approach, and they are coming, these things will worsen. Whether we have a year, a century, or a millennium, GOD himself only knows, but we are assured they will come, and with them all manner of evil. Some unimaginable, even by people who have witnessed things like the holocaust and the various genocides of recent times.
When Jesus sent his disciples out the first time, they did not take a bag, a weapon or even a cloak. When he commissioned them at the Last Supper, he told them, and us, take a weapon, and if you don't have one, sell your coat to obtain one. We need to give careful consideration to GOD's instructions. Especially now.
It is not enough to arm yourself. you need to train. The defender in Texas fired one well placed shot. he did it in a room full of people in full panic. His concentration was great, his aim was true. It only took him one shot.
Depending on the size and structure of your church, there may be more than one person carrying. Would you know who else was a parishioner?  Could you react in a shoot don't shoot drill and not engage a good guy who also reacted? Can you react under pressure and hit a moving target? One that may be shooting at you?
The other key is coordinate. Your minister needs to know if you are carrying, and if you plan to act in the event of an intrusion. Coordination also involves prepositioning. The people charged with reacting need to be in key locations including one or more outside the church sanctuary. AND they need to function as a team.
I hope that by now, every church in America has people in the pew armed and ready. We cannot rely on the police. In an emergency, they could be called away to an accident or another situation, and in any event, the old adage applies, when seconds count, the Police are only minutes away. You are your own first line of defense. And with anti-semitism, and anti religious movements happening the way they are, we need to be always on our guard.
The last thing is, when the police arrive, stand down. They are responding to an active shooter, and may engage you since no one is wearing vests identifying them as good guys. When the cavalry gets there, even if you are engaging the shooter, be prepared to set your gun down and assume a position of no threat, hands behind your head, away from your weapon if possible. Remember, they are often less trained than you and me. There is no point in being a dead hero.

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