Pistol Packing Preacher

I used to belong to large metropolitan Baptist church in Washington, DC. I began there as the evening sexton. In this position, I cleaned the bathrooms when the janitorial crew wasn’t there, I opened the doors to the church in the evenings for the many choirs, ministries and boards that met there. Unofficially, I fed the hungry, gave money to the needy, protected and secured the place. And most of all I watched church people not be at their Sunday best.

After a year of service, I confirmed my calling into the ministry but wanted out of that job. I am a deeply spiritual person that believes in the deity of Jesus as the Christ. This is not a big testimony or shock to anyone except “churchy” people that see my face on this site, have seen me on the television or heard of my name mentioned somewhere as the Black Man With A Gun. There is supposed to be a contradiction of values here.

After several months after my initial ministerial sermon, I was called to account for my pro-gun stance by the board of deacons and elders of the church. I served as an aid to the pastor of this big church and was seen as his protector, valet and servant. That of course was ok. There is a funny thing about the God I serve, He exalts the humble. My profile was raised and people wanted to know more about this young man that followed the pastor. They assumed that I would change into a more pious looking minister. They assumed that I would no longer ride motorcycles; participate in sport shooting events, and pro-gun rallies. They assumed that this former federal police officer and trainer of counter terrorism would denounce the right to carry and be more like a traditional African-American Baptist preacher. Or if I didn’t, I would do so covertly, “on the down-low” (DL) as if I were hiding something dirty or irresponsible.

My church had over twenty licensed ministers and one senior pastor. Because some coveted for pulpit time I didn’t have many friends among them because I was too close to the person who could arrange some preaching time. That was OK to me, sad but understandable. I was not called to pastor there but to serve. But my service wasn’t enough. I was “called on the carpet” for admitting the name of the church in the Washington Times interview I had called Preaching God and Guns. I almost lost my license over it. There were murmurs and whispers that “this man shouldn’t be in the pulpit. How can a so-called minister be about guns and Christ?” I believe God has sent me here to be an effective witness to those that don’t fit the stereotypical image of a Christian or didn’t always do the right thing. I am here for those that stayed in the “fast lane” a little too long or lived in the “wilderness” and liked it. Strong men identify with me.

I minister to the hunter, the outdoorsman, the biker, the real man that you don’t always see in a church. I do not advocate murder or taking vengeance upon someone for doing you wrong. My feet are not swift to shed blood. I do not live by the sword. Like many, my belief in self defense and the right to keep and bear arms has been taken out of context and misinterpreted. I have been trained by the best to teach safety, security and self-defense with a firearm. For many it is a hobby or even their profession. Jesus changes your heart not always your career. When He called men to follow him, He never said they had to put down their sword to be called a disciple. Simon Peter, aka the Rock, one of if not the closest of friends to Jesus carried a weapon. Jesus knew it. He knew in advance what Peter would do if attacked. I advocate personal responsibility and accountability.

I believe the US is the greatest nation on the planet but even here, someone is trying to take away the freedoms you have. Freedom is not free. You have to protect what you have. That is why we need a military, a police department and private citizens to protect themselves. The government takes care of its’ own and the responsibility flows down the scale until it reaches you. You are responsible for your own life and your own actions. You will be held accountable for what you do and do not do. The police have no legal responsibility to protect you. They “respond” to your calls for help, they do not come before or during the crime. Jesus called businessman, fisherman, tax collectors and regular guys to become his disciples. He did not disarm them when they became His followers. He did not disarm the army commander [see the centurion mentioned in Luke 7:6-10] whose faith healed his servant by acknowledging the supremacy of God. Nor did Jesus disarm Simon Peter before arriving to the place called Gethsemane where he used his sword to cut the ear off a guard that had put his hand on Jesus.

The scripture of Matthew 26:51-54 (KJV) is often misquoted as the reason for pacifism. And, behold, one of them which were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priests, and smote off his ear. Then said Jesus unto him,

Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall
perish with the sword. Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he
shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall
the scriptures be fulfilled that thus it must be?

Instead Jesus healed the guard and told Peter “put up your sword back into its place: You are outnumbered and outgunned here. Don’t you know that I could pray to my Father, and he would give me more than twelve thousand angels to protect me? Then how will the scriptures be fulfilled”? Jesus told Peter he would be committing suicide to choose to fight in this situation- as well as undermining God’s plan to allow Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection. The first murder happened before gunpowder was invented. Cain slew his brother Abel in a fit of jealous rage and pride and consequently God punished him. The biblical book of Exodus, (22:2-3) says you can kill a thief that enters your home in the dark of night. The New Testament actually does not condemn or actively support self-defense (Luke 22:36). That is mans interpretation. There is no record of Cornelius or other Roman soldiers in the Bible leaving their post upon becoming believers (Luke 3:14). From what I have found at least up to 170 AD; the early church did not specifically address the issue of ware and self-defense. No nation could retain its liberty or preserve the lives of its citizens if it were not prevented from maintaining any sort of army for its defense. It is therefore reasonable to conclude that the right of self-defense is a prerogative of its people. Self-defense is not something that needs to be taught to people, but is part of our natural reaction to danger. Self-defense comes natural to all animals and even some plants. The only reason we get beat up about religion and our self defense/pro-gun beliefs is that we are not sure of the God-thing ourselves—“church people” especially. The church thing was resolved.

I basically was counseled to not include the name of the church ever again in anything I was associated with, and that I represented THE CHURCH no matter what I did. I started a ministry just for people like me after that called In the Wilderness Ministries. Too many have been hurt by THE CHURCH made by men rather than the one Christ wanted us to become. My faith is not in question. My beliefs are still firm. I have seen and done things only the Creator of the universe could have engineered. I no longer belong to that body of believers but my ministerial workload has increased. The un-named church imploded soon after that in a series of events that sent (too) many back into the wilderness. But guess what? That is why I was sent. My God still reigns.

Yes, I call myself a Christian.

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