What would you do?
We have seen some tragic attacks on places of worship lately. Sadly, this is nothing new for God's people. We have been, and continue to be, attacked simply for our service to our King Yeshua.
According to Lost Christianities By Bart Ehrman, there have been groups of Yeshua/Jesus followers who have been essentially lost and forgotten for centuries. Many of them have been recently wiped out or dispersed from the current wicked raiders in the middle east.
The spirit of Haman abounds in just about every corner in the world. We have to think of this. How capable are you in protecting yourself. A better question might be, "How capable are you at defending others?
How can you physically prepare yourself to stand up to bullies who walk into our churches and synagogues? Countless styles of self-defense are put to the test in modern times, and many have been proven insufficient. What we have to realize is that all styles are not created equal. Mastering a martial art will not make you invulnerable to attack. In reality anyone can lose in a physical confrontation.
Here are some tips to consider in preparing yourself for a violent incident.
Simply put, this is prayer. Pray for the protection of your property. Pray a covering of protection for the entire building and all that enter. While this is key, unfortunately there are entryways to evil, even in good congregations. That is why we need to face the idea of an attacker in the midst of the group.
Weapon #2 - Your Mind
Your mind is so much more powerful than most folks give it credit for. Would you be shocked to discover that great self defense moves are not the key to surviving the streets? Sure, they play a part in defending yourself from attackers, but they're not the main factor. Knowing your environment, being aware of your surroundings, and knowing where not to venture (and when) are crucial.
Weapon #3 - Your Gut
Also, it's imperative to follow your gut. It is placed there by your creator. It is discernment with no real way of verbalizing the reason. If your intuition steers you in one direction, pay attention. It's there to assist you in staying safe. Look at The Gift Of Fear by Garin De Becker for more info on that.
If you are a woman, and seeking effective self defense moves for potential attacks, I strongly urge you to take a women's self-defense program, as opposed to a traditional martial arts class. While martial arts training is great in some respects, it may not be what you're looking for. Unless you're training for competitions or MMA events, look for something a bit less drawn-out and involved. A basic women's self-defense course will be fairly brief so you can absorb it. The qualified instructor will teach you practical self defense moves that can definitely save your life on the street and in assembly. He/she will go over potential weapons that you already have on your person, how to escape dangerous situations, when to fight back and when to run screaming.
Staying safe on the street doesn't mean infinite years of kung fu training. It means basic knowledge, a few high percentage self defense moves, and trusting your God-given intuition. Anyone who takes the time to learn can stay safe from potential attackers and dangerous situations in the church or synagogue.
I can touch on the idea of gun self-defense later, but let me leave you with these two thoughts. The recent Waffle House attacker was stopped by a person, not by a gun. And... Even if you can't stop a gunman from killing everyone, wouldn't you rather go down trying? ...and, possibly save lives as well?
May this scenario never happen in your congregation, but may we all be ready if it does.