How Can a Disciple of Jesus Do That?

Yesterday afternoon, a co-worker received an email from a woman at his church asking for prayers for her husband and family over the next 24-48 hours. He instantly knew what that meant. Her husband is one of the best snipers in the state. When there's a serious hostage situation in Ohio, or even the surrounding states, he's the man they call. Something must be happening, something big.

I immediately wondered, "How can a Christian reconcile his faith with a job that's about killing (or at least incapacitating) another person?" That's his job, to take out the suspect without harming the innocent. He's hired to kill (not his only role, I suspect).

Later, it became clear where he had been called to. A federal prisoner escaped from a mental institution in Youngstown OH, carjacked a vehicle and made his way to Columbus where he robbed two banks, stole another car, crashed it on Norwich street in Hilliard and fled into a business taking two hostages. Barricaded in the building, police rushed to the scene. I discovered this when my wife called and told me that the kids were late coming from school because their schools were placed in lock down due to the incident.

Reality hit home when I realized that my oldest daughter's school was about 1/2 mile from the hostage location.

Suddenly, the fact that there was a man of God, highly trained, with a high powered rifle prepared to stand in to protect the innocent from harm didn't seem like such a disconnect. I'm sure he doesn't relish the assignment.

I don't endorse the simple answer of violence to solve problems. I suspect neither does he. Still, I have a new respect for a man who would rush into a dangerous situation, placing himself in the middle of a life and death moral dilemma for the sake of the rest of us who would rather only consider such things hypothetically.

(The situation was resolved peacefully and no one was hurt. Once the police had established a perimeter around the situation, school was let out normally, although about 1/2 hour late.)


At times like this I appreciate my desk job.

One of the hardest dilemas that many Christian fathers have wondered what they'd do if someone was going to attack their family. Prayerfully it never happens but I say shot to wound. It'd be pretty hard for a guy to keep attacking with both his knee caps blown off. Of course then a turnaquette would be applied to help him survive. And, perhaps if their was some sexual offense intended or attempted maybe a third turnaquette too! Still, pretty clear that we shouldn't kill.

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