“One hundred religious persons knit into a unity by careful organization do not constitute a church any more than eleven dead men make a football team. The first requisite is life, always.“ – A. W. Tozer
Recently we were contacted by a potential student who voiced disappointment that our Level I Handgun Course was only offered on weekends, as Sunday training would conflict with his church attendance.
Not being a theologian, I’m in no position to council anyone on matters of faith, nor would I suggest anyone violate their beliefs or place themselves in a moral quandary over one of our classes. However, I would suggest that all of us have to come to terms with reality.
Most people of faith, when asked, would profess that their chosen deity holds the foremost place in their life. I also think that most good people (regardless of faith) would put their family and loved ones before themselves. In fact, I think most good people carry guns not because they have a secret desire to be heroes, but because they realize their duty to stay alive for those they’re responsible for.
Such responsibility exists 24-hours a-day, 7-days a-week, including the time spent at one’s chosen house of worship. And, as past events have indicated, criminals don’t give church facilities a pass. They consider no place sacred ground, and give no fair warning
If we consider it important enough to carry a gun, and we understand that holstering a pistol and walking out the door is declaring to the world that we are capable of making life and death decisions, including while using the other members of our church as a backstop, then perhaps our deity will understand our need to get proper training on a single Sunday of the year. The same way that deity understands the need of dairy farmers to milk cows on the Sabbath, and understands your need to miss church because you’re running a fever, and also understands police officers, firefighters, and military personnel missing Sunday services while on duty (men and women we’ve contracted to do so for our benefit, by-the-way.)
Of course, I suppose one could always just tell an attacker they won’t be returning fire on a Sunday because it’s a day of rest, but something tells me that course of action would not be on the side of the angels. If you think missing one service is unacceptable, consider how many you’ll miss when dead, or in jail, or attending the funerals of those in your charge. Training is not a “vacation” from church; training is a responsibility you’re undertaking for your church.
Your heart. Your intent. Your choice.
If not you, who?
“In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility”. – Eleanor Roosevelt