On November 5, 2017, an angry man, estranged from his ex-wife and in-laws, opened gunfire on a little Baptist church in Texas. He had one goal: murder everyone in his path. It did not matter whether it was a grandmother or granddaughter, all were targeted to die. He slaughtered 26 people and wounded twenty more. In the investigation, police found 15 empty AR-15 magazines with 30 round capabilities. Imagine the time that he spent in shooting, reloading, shooting, and reloading. What if there had been a trained, armed security team at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs on that fateful day?
Should a church family be resigned to passivity? Should Christian people only resort to prayer? Or is it ok to both pray and shoot a killer who walks into a church sanctuary, brandishing a knife or gun?
Pastor Tim Rupp rolled up his sleeves and wrote the book, Pistol in the Pulpit, to seriously engage church leadership on the topic of church security. In the Intermountain West, we would maintain the rights of the farmer or rancher to protect their animals from the predators in the wild. We would defend the shepherd for carrying the rod in guarding the sheep. So why shouldn’t a church family have a plan for defending themselves against someone wearing black tactical gear, a ballistic vest, and a black face-mask featuring a white skull, wielding an AR-15 pattern Ruger AR-556 semi-automatic rifle, and seeking to kill your mother or daughter in cold blood?
In Tim’s book, he builds a biblical defense for the right to bear arms, pursues righteous motives of the heart for defense, answers evangelical misinterpretations and objections, and teaches logically and wisely on security plans. And to especially captivate your interest, he weaves in personal anecdotes and stories, from both a personal and national level. I was totally riveted—especially when I was exactly midway through the book. Honestly, you must read or hear the whole story from Tim for yourself.
If you have any hesitations about discussing plans of church security, I would encourage you to read Pistol in the Pulpit. Tim’s purpose is not to incite fear among church families in Idaho Falls. His desire is to have a conversation with you. He motivates God’s people to be prepared. He promotes the idea of men who desire to protect the innocent and do battle with evil. The presence of evil will be removed once and for all when Jesus comes back again. But until then, it is the responsibility of leaders to protect the sheep.