To Love & To Lead: Staff Discussions

ARE WE SAFE?

Posted on Nov 15, 2017 by Roger Goins, Director of Ministries

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Absolutely not!  This world is a dangerous place.  There are over 58 armed conflicts around the world.  There are frequent terrorist attacks in the news.  Practically every day, we hear of someone killed by a friend or even spouse.  We read about fathers molesting their own children, drivers killing other drivers, drivers killing pedestrians, and even people taking their own lives.  There is nothing safe about this world!   Churches are not even sanctuaries anymore!  It would be easy for us to become fearful or depressed.  It would seem that things are getting worse every day.  But as Solomon said, “There is nothing new under the sun.”  Since Adam and Eve’s fall, this world has been filled with war and violence.  The weapons are different—maybe even more lethal—but the people welding the weapons are the same.  The truth is that we are in the midst of a war—a battle between the forces of darkness and light, good and evil.  Peter tells us to “ Be sober, be vigilant; becauseyour adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” 1 Peter 5:8. Peter was not just using an analogy; there are warriors all around us.  Read 2 Kings 6:15-17!  We may not see the warriors, but the casualties of war are visible all around us.

So how do we live in the middle of a battlefield?  Do we dig foxholes and hide?  I learned a long time ago that defense never wins; the best that defense can do is a tie.  It doesn’t matter if it is a gunfight, a football game or Tic-Tac-Toe; defense alone cannot win.  One of the greatest generals in American history, General George S. Patton is quoted saying “Always advance. Never dig in.”  How do we advance as Christians in a fallen war-torn world?  First, we have to walk in a spirit of power and love and of a sound mind not fear (2 Timothy 1:7).  One of Satan's primary weapon is misinformation; that's why he is called "The Deceiver."  Fear makes us especially susceptible to misinformation.  Think about all the fake news we see and hear today; fake news targets the fearful.  Be courageous; God is still on His throne!

Second, we have to be wise as snakes and innocent as doves (Matthew 10:16). Use your brain.  Don't be an agent of misinformation and share that news link just because you agree with it; make sure it is true.  I like the new clip that CNN is running, "This is an apple.  People can call it an orange and you can believe it's an orange but it is still an apple."  Don't put yourself in bad situations; if you don't want to be accused of having an affair then don't take that coworker to lunch alone.  Be aware of what's going on around you.  If something doesn't look right, ask why.  Don't just assume that someone else will take care of it.  And for goodness sakes, PRAY!  Ask for discernment; ask for wisdom; ask for help.  When Paul told the Thessalonians to "pray without ceasing," he meant it!

So, what does all this look like at Heritage?  We take security seriously but we don't worship in fear.  We love on everyone who attends.  Make a point to love on the people you don't know or recognize each Sunday.  If you see someone alone, be bold and brave and say "Hi" and love on them.  Be wise.  Lock your parked car and don’t park in the driveway. Don't prop doors open—exterior or interior—unless you are going to stay there and watch who comes through that door.  IF you see something dangerous, don't simply run or hide; do something or tell someone.  Remember, the greatest evidence of love is to lay down your life for a friend.  And to answer your question, "Yes." We have law enforcement and others trained in every service; there is no need for you to bring a weapon to worship—what's worse than one shooter in a crowd? Two!

Heritage is a great place to worship in this battlefield of life!  Let's continue to love God and people passionately and lead them to a passionate relationship with Jesus.  That is the mission—may we never be distracted!

Roger



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