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Related Elsewhere:

The Washington Postrecently covered a string of church shootings.

Previous Christianity Today articles on church shootings and church life include:

Securing the Faithful | What New Life Church did right ...

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Displaying 1–9 of 9 comments

Chuck Chadwick

October 06, 2009  10:06am

Churches in American still have a long way to go as far as being proactive. It is people like Carl Chinn that give us a real perceptive of what is going on in churches across the nation. As the nation's leader in Church Security education The National Organization of Church Security and Safety Management (www.NOCSSM.org) still faces the challenges of instilling the sense of proactive urgency in many churches. The current economy has led many churches to even cut back their security efforts because of dwindling contributions as unemployment rises.

Ben

October 03, 2009  11:58am

Good article. I started a security team at our church in 2003 utilizing fellow police officers who attend weekly services. We all wear undercover communications/radios so we can keep updated in case of an emergency. 95% of our "calls" for service are for medical assistance (falls, chest pain dizziness etc..) but in the event of a wolf getting into our church, we rely first on God's protection, and our trainging second. We all know each other so there's no confusion as to who's who if the shooting starts. Be careful when well intentioned people pull out guns to "help". They may become victims of friendly-fire and their lack of combat training may lead to loss of innocent lives. May God protect us, give us the eyes to see evil and the wisdom to properly respond to this dangerous trend in our churches.

Original Anna

October 02, 2009  11:50pm

I have been in many churches and have never seen a sign saying no guns posted on the entrance door. Maybe because we assume that people attending church have no weapons on them. Where do you people live. These creeps shooting up churches aren't even members of the church they attack 99% of the time. They don't even have a motive other than getting their moment in the media. Racial setting churches on fire and writing racial slurs on buildings occur more often than shoot-ups. We've had three such racial happenings in my city in the last ten years done by teenagers. Teenagers seem to love cemetary tombstones more than church buildings. In this country churches can concentrate on sinners and spreading the word as the law is darn good at catching those shooting up and damaging churches, it's not like in other countries where the law is incompetant about solving crimes against churches and even encourages the crime. As I sit in the back of Church, I'll remember the safety suggestions.

Song

October 01, 2009  11:17pm

Definitely the source of Church violence (or any other religious institution) are wrong attitude in life, wrong thinking which all lead to wrong actions, so wrong that even Churches can be attacked. KG's comment revealed such source of violence. But KG, you can take comfort that even though you have such a wrong thinking, God is mercifull and compensanate. All you need to do is to repent and believe in Christ, read the Word and be renewed in your thinking according to the Word and you will see things in proper and Godly perspective. I will pray for you, definitely!!!

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Dale Fincher

October 01, 2009  11:10pm

I'm glad to see more publicity on how people can take responsibility for their own safety. Lots of interesting advice in the article but I wonder how much it has been tested. Tackling someone as a group still takes one or two brave souls to start it. And throwing yourself on someone with a gun is considered, by even self-defense pros, a pretty stupid thing to do. Throw hymnals? That would be interesting to see how effective it is. As an itinerant speaker, I'm often puzzled at how many churches have a "no guns" sign on their front doors, keeping law-abiding conceal carry people from carrying in weapons of self-defense. We call those "criminal safe zones." Bad guys don't care about "no guns" signs. Only good guys do. And most good guys who carry also have training. So don't delete some of your defensive resources as you go about creating a defense for the congregation.

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Part of the problem....

October 01, 2009  3:59pm

Thank you, KG, for a very telling post....in other words, people like you are part of the problem. No thank you. Dakotahgeo, MDiv, Pastor/Chaplain

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Jon Privett

October 01, 2009  3:42pm

Great article! I just attended a Church Security Conference and am creating a task force to assess our security risk. We have a great number of officers and law enforcement personnel from which to draw from. We have limited risks but we do have some which we will consider. I think every church needs a plan for the 'what if' scenarios.

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KG

October 01, 2009  2:32pm

Thank you CR for helping us see how the church has brought this violence on itself. So if the church would only stand for gun control, more taxes, adulation of Obama, government takeover of the healthcare system, socialism instead of capitalism, and approval of homosexuality the violent would leave us alone?

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CR

October 01, 2009  1:12pm

My sympathies certaily go out to all the victims of church-related crime but we must consider taking some of the responsibility for aiding and abetting towards this angry ,hateful trend towards violence (in some cases) led dor cheeered on by the "church's" association with extreme right wing politics on such contentious issues as pro-gun stances, hostile tea-bag protests, Obama-hatred (including slanderous email campaigns), anti-healthcare fanaticism, extreme pro-capital punishment (when it's been proven it's unequally administered against minorities),homosexual hatred (i.e. "God hates fags") and so many other violence causing controversies. If we are to die, let's die for the Gospel of Jesus Christ; now that would bereal genuine martyrdom.

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