What if you are trapped in a terrorist attack? Today “good Morning America” had a segment on the Paris atrocities in which a terrorist expert gave advise on what to do if you are caught in a terrorist situation where gunmen are shooting away. His advice was to: 1 – flee, 2 – hide, 3 – attack (as the Americans in the Paris train). This is sound secular advice. BUT, there may be something more practical and effective one can do: take authority and paralyze the demonic entities motivating and animating the terrorist. The model for this is Paul in Acts 13: 8-12 as he blinded the sorcerer who was opposing the Gospel. I am quoting from a blog originally written in response to the Sandy Hook elementary School massacre, but it is applicable in any terroristic setting: But Elymas the sorcerer (for that is what his name means) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul from the faith. Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said, “You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord? Now the hand of the Lord is against you. You are going to be blind for a time, not even able to see the light of the sun.” Immediately mist and darkness came over him, and he groped about, seeking someone to lead him by the hand. When the proconsul saw what had happened, he believed, for he was amazed at the teaching about the Lord. Note that this is not an exorcism, but the immobilization of a person through blindness. The Church is just awakening from its cessationist period and into its Holy Spirit powers. As of yet, no Spirit-filled Christians I have met has ever discussed doing any such thing on any demonized person. I am a Charismatic from way back in the 1970s, and I have never seen a teaching on this, Pentecostal or charismatic. Neither have I found it in the literature of classic Christian spirituality. (If I am wrong on this please let me know in a blog comment.) Cessationist commentators easily write this off as history, and a special grace of Apostolic times without present day relevance.
With this scripture in mind, let me turn again to the issue of mass shooters with a final speculative word, but one that may be life-saving.
First, a sensible word from the US government. FEMA recently put out a brochure advising churches on how to react to mass shooters. It suggests that ministry staff talk about the possibility of a mass shooter incident and develop a quick response plan. It gives very sensible, secular advise. Basically: run, hid, and fight (i.e. “take aggressive action” as in throwing chairs, fire-extinguishers, etc.). The brochure is in PDF format for dowwloading and available HERE.
Not hint of a spiritual remedy – naturally. Now let me add that there may be an effective spiritual weapon in these incidents. IF, and only IF, one finds oneself trapped in a group with a demonized person shooting at people, and IF there is no way to run, hide or fight, try this: Speak towards the shooter but to the demons and command: “In the name of Jesus, be bound and paralyzed!” Now, I cannot guarantee this will work, and if all you get is a quick trip to heaven I will see you there some time later and personally apologize. But if you are about to be shot anyway, what is there to lose?
Rightly, there are many difficulties in using this scripture from Acts as model. I frankly do not know if a spirit of sorcery is more easily bound than a spirit of murder. But the scripture is there, and it is not difficult to understand – but all too easy to dismiss. I repeat this is speculative. I have no stories to tell of having done such a thing. But with so many armed, demonized persons out there it is good to keep this in the back of your mind, just in case.
Steve Webb [11/16/2015 11:32 AM]
This is a topic I struggle with mightily. My response is probably skewed, but I’ll put this out for discussion.
I feel different people are wired differently (fight or flight), Peter exhibited both at times. Jesus run the money changers from the temple with a whip, yet told us to pray for our enemy. Then there are examples of Paul such as the one listed.
Modern day Bonhoeffer worked as a spy to remove Jews from harms way in Germany during WW II. So where do I see an appropriate response?
First, prayer and fasting. Not at the time of, but now. We must proactively pray and seek the Lord for direction and protection.
Second, when or if the threat materializes, have a team assembled (in even the smallest churches) that will respond with quick, aggressive, physically neutralizing force.
As a concealed carry person, one trained in hand to hand combat, and a hard wired “fight” response I have at times served as security. I’ve had to forcibly remove persons from the church for the bodies good. I hated doing that as much as anything. The sanctuary is to be a safe place, but unfortunately it is not in this time. We must meet the threat when it comes.
John Kissinger [11/16/2015 12:49 PM]
well, assimilation would not work – that’s for sure Alan N Carla Smith http://cupandcross.com/toward-a-pentecostal-solution-to-the-refugee-crises-in-the-european-union/
John Kissinger [11/16/2015 1:00 PM]
William DeArteaga Spencer Stone, one of three Americans who helped foil an attack on a French train this summer, is in a serious condition after being stabbed outside a bar in Sacramento in what authorities have described as a “nightlife-related incident” that is not being investigated as a terrorist act. http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/oct/08/spencer-stone-stabbed-france-train-attack
John Conger [11/16/2015 1:42 PM]
If we could all do that there would be no martyrs
Alan N Carla Smith [11/16/2015 3:02 PM]
If you haven’t already started praying; what are you waiting for??
Defend yourself and your family
John Kissinger [11/17/2015 5:31 AM]
Is Islam a religion of peace? http://www.revelationtv.com/programmes/episode/the-late-show496398
Alan N Carla Smith [11/17/2015 9:39 AM]
John Kissinger NOPE!
John Kissinger [11/17/2015 10:41 AM]
the UN just voted on Article 42(7) http://cupandcross.com/henry-kissinger-and-russias-prophetic-destiny-in-syria/