With ISIS Rising, More Churches Making This Controversial Move

People gather at a United Methodist Church for a prayer vigil for the victims of the San Bernardino shooting. As terrorist attacks against Christians increase, some churches are taking precautions.
People gather at a United Methodist Church for a prayer vigil for the victims of the San Bernardino shooting. As terrorist attacks against Christians increase, some churches are taking precautions. (Reuters)

After rumors the San Bernardino shooters targeted a Messianic Jew, many are stepping up to arm church members against possible danger.  

Gun safety instructor Geoff Peabody now offers free shooting courses to California church members, according to a recent article on CBSBy completing the course, church members will be authorized to conceal carry guns, even at church.  

"The Bible tells us to be our brother's protector ... it's just another tool," church security team member Bruce Shoff tells CBS.  

Peabody isn't the only one using his second amendment to equip members in the Christian community.  

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Earlier this fall, Frontier Firearms' Brant Williams announced he would offer discounted guns to Christians wishing to arm themselves.  

"If Christians are going to be targeted, we need to protect ourselves," Williams says. "The best way to protect yourself is with the best weapon available, and that happens to be a handgun." 

Williams told media his sale was a direct response to the Umpqua Community College shooting in Oregon in October.  

Indeed, it appears Christians have been specifically targeted in many violent outbursts this year, including San Bernardino, UCC and Charleston's Emanuel AME shooting.  

"We feel like we owe it to our congregation to engage any type of threat," Texas Pastor Brian Ulch tells TIME. "If people aren't willing to combat a threat, then they're making themselves vulnerable." 

However, the world isn't in a place where people put rational, faith-filled thinking above anger and revenge, which leads men such as Liberty University's Jerry Falwell Jr. to advise students to carry guns on the college campus.  

In an article for the Washington Post, writer Nick Anderson declares that, for some, "guns and God go hand in hand." 

With the California massacre fresh on our minds, many Christians are turning to Scripture to find answers on how to survive in today's violent world.  

"Many are prepared militarily but not spiritually, instilling unhealthy fear in their families," writes Charisma News columnist Shane Idleman.  

"We are putting the fear of man into them rather than the fear of God. I hear all about Glock, Smith and Wesson and Remington, but little about brokenness, surrender to God and humility. Our gun safes are full, but our prayer closets are empty. This is the real problem—we need to spend less time watching O'Reilly, Hannity, Beck and Coulter and more time reading Matthew, Mark, Luke and John," Idleman writes.  

Nevertheless, many churches across the country are moving forward with gun tips and training, with one church even opening a gun range as a ministry

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