Glenn Ward, Director of Missions
IS SAFETY AND SECURITY FOR CHURCH A NEW THING?
With recent shootings in churches one of the current topics of concern—and rightly so—what are we to think or do about it? There have been two training events held recently for the churches of our Association, and we have another one scheduled for Sunday evening, August 5, to be held at Waples Baptist Church. You can read more about details in this issue of the Beacon.
Without wanting in any way possible to make light of the current situation, it’s interesting to think about historical events in which churches also had similar concerns. The first pastor of Acton Baptist Church, where I served as pastor until retiring and coming to this position, was Joseph “Fighting Joe” Robinson. He would arrive at the services, tie his horse to a tree, lean his rifle against the pulpit, and preach. On one occasion, one of the men who had been posted to watch the horses came running in to announce that the Indians were stealing the horses. Pastor Robinson grabbed his rifle, dismissed the service and he and some of the men pursued the Indians and eventually recaptured the stolen horses! While that may not sound like what has happened in several churches in recent days, it does remind us that danger has often been very real for church-going folks.
Our culture seems to be rapidly moving in a direction that most of us, as followers of Jesus, would rather it not be going. The truth is that we likely will not return to the time when churches were off-limits to criminals and “active shooters” such as we have today, unless and until there is a spiritual awakening like happened in Wales over 100 years ago. The Lord swept across that land so powerfully that the jails were empty, saloons were closed for lack of customers, churches were filled to overflowing, and the policemen began forming singing groups because they had no crime to fight! Only God can transform hearts like that!
It may be that He’s waiting to see if we really want that kind of spiritual movement that could change the overall attitude and focus of our culture. While it’s not wrong to make adjustments through training and precautionary measures, a true spiritual awakening and revival would be the best safety and security action possible! Would you pray about it?
I’m so glad to be your DOM,