VI – Self-Defense

Pastors Network: Churches Have Biblical Duty to Protect

The American Pastors Network (APN) says churches have a biblical and moral responsibility to protect their congregations from attacks.

[ Read the SemperVerus article, Church Shooting Analysis Reports ]

APN offers 10 biblical recommendations for churches to consider when devising policies concerning church security:

1. Understand the biblical and moral responsibility of safety. It is the duty of pastors and church leadership to do all they can to protect the lives of those in the congregation.

2. Develop and train a security team. Dedicate certain individuals, whether staff or volunteers, to undertake the important issue of security. Train these personnel how to identify potential threats and how to de-escalate potential threat situations. During services or functions, outfit the team in plain clothes.

3. Perform a risk assessment. Where is the church vulnerable in its facility and grounds? Consider a community threat assessment as well.

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Church Shooting Analysis Reports

A killer murdered two people during the morning service at West Freeway Church of Christ in Fort Worth, Texas December 29, 2019. He was about to kill a third person and probably more congregants when he was fatally shot in a skilled self-defense maneuver by a volunteer member of the church security team who undoubtedly saved many lives. The murderer’s six-second terror spree and the armed civilian’s rescue were video recorded. Here is a collection of links to resources examining the event to arrive at lessons learned for future self-defense and church security planning:

The 5 Elements of Self-Defense Law

Attorney Andrew Branca has distilled the laws in all 50 states that concern themselves with self-defense. He says, “There are at most 5 elements to any self-defense case (and often not even that many). That’s true in every one of the 50 states, and all US territories.”

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The 5 Elements of Self-Defense Law are:

  • Innocence
  • Imminence (ability, opportunity, jeopardy)
  • Proportionality
  • Avoidance
  • Reasonableness (subjective and objective)