The recent church attack at Centurion, 26 July 2020, came just a day after the anniversary of the St. James Massacre, 25 July 1993. The prompt action of an armed member of the congregation prevented a similar tragedy. Armed citizens can save lives. Unarmed citizens often become helpless victims.
“But if anyone does not provide for his own and especially for those of his household, he has denied the Faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”
1 Timothy 5:8
During times of crime, violence, instability and increasing threats against Christians worldwide, it is necessary to be prepared. Many churches are instituting security ministries,
“…Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, great and awesome and fight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters, your wives and your houses.”
How prepared are you for crisis situations? Christians should wisely anticipate danger and make provision to deal with potential threats.
“A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself, but the simple pass on and are punished.”
We are not to fear the future. We are to fear God alone. God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, of love and of sound mind. We are warned to plan for the future and to prepare ourselves for adversity.
“For man also does not know his time: Like fish taken in a cruel net, like birds caught in a snare, so the sons of men are snared in an evil time, when it falls suddenly upon them.”
It was not raining when Noah built the Ark. To be mentally, emotionally and practically prepared for adversity and to cultivate situational awareness, is essential.
“If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.”
The Law of God is clear: “If the thief is found breaking in and he is struck so that he dies, there shall be no guilt for his bloodshed.”
When terrorists attacked the St. James congregation in Cape Town, 25 July 1993, a Frontline Fellowship missionary, Charl van Wyk, shot back, wounding the terrorists who were machine-gunning the congregation, cutting short their attack. The Police Commissioner commended Charl’s prompt and courageous action which he said, doubtless, saved many lives.
On 29 December 2019, a man armed with his shotgun, entered West Freeway Church of Christ in Texas. He shot two church members before a Deacon on the church security team shot the attacker, ending the attack. The governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, publicly commended the prompt action of the church member who neutralised the threat and saved many lives by his accurate reaction.
“Do not be afraid of sudden terror, nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes; for the Lord will be your confidence.”
With increasing attacks on churches in Nigeria, Egypt, Iraq, Kenya and Tanzania, it is important for Christians to take practical precautions to defend their families and congregations. For this reason, I produced the Security and Survival Handbook, drawing from 4 decades of experience serving Persecuted Churches, working in 38 countries and involved in 8 different wars. This looks at case studies, Biblical principles and practical strategies to save lives and protect our loved ones.
The right to life is in our Bill of Rights. Citizens have the right to be armed and to take reasonable precautions against clear and present dangers. Locking church doors during worship services, having security gates, assigning individuals for security duties, practising situational awareness, laminating windows, placing a grid over some windows to make it difficult to throw a fire-bomb, or grenade, through a vulnerable window, are just some of the practical security measures, congregations can consider where appropriate.
“Watch, stand fast in the Faith, be brave, be strong.”
1 Corinthians 16:13
Dr. Peter Hammond
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa