By Lemor Abrams

PLACERVILLE, Calif. (CBS13) — It’s a love of faith with a twist of fire.

“The scriptures make it clear that Jesus has issued a very quotable directive that we are to arm ourselves with the tools and machinery of lethal force,” said Geoff Peabody.

Peabody teaches gun safety courses free of charge to local church members, from ministers to their security teams. But the deadly mass shooting at a Texas church that claimed 26 lives is sparking interest from religious leaders across the country packing heat to protect their congregation.

“Ministries in the faith community are getting their head out of the sand and trying to get a clue that we are actually our brother’s keeper,” he said.

ALSO READ: After Texas Church Shooting, ‘Most Of Our Church Family Is Gone’

We first met his students after the South Carolina Church shooting that killed nine members of a bible study group. He’s since trained close to 1,000 people. Deacon Bruce Shoff is one of them. He’s qualified to carry a concealed weapon and he does so in church, quietly.

“We really don’t talk about it. We talk about it with the safety team,” he said.

He’s also a coach at the range.

“God has given us the brains, the tools — hopefully common sense that if it came down to it, we have to step in between an evil person and somebody else. He’s given us that perfect timing to be there at that place,” he said, referring to the Texas man no being hailed a hero for chasing the church gunman after the killings. Officials say the man wounded the suspect twice. The gunman died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

IN PHOTOS: Gunman Kills 26, Injures 20 At Texas Church

Peabody and Shoff realize being faithful with firearms isn’t for everyone. Many in their own faith community are resisting the urge to carry, and some instructors warn even a good guy with a gun can be a danger.

“You might end up shooting another concealed weapons holder you don’t recognize,” said police active shooter trainer Peter Blair.

Peabody is proud to say his classes have been accident-free but he prays people continue seeing the value of his mission.

“We are directed to protect the flock,” said Peabody.

ALSO READ: Pres. Trump Dismisses Question On Extreme Vetting For Gun Ownership

While the courses are free, students are asked to pay for the ammo.

A two-day lesson can cost about $300.


Comments (19)
  1. Joyce Maurer says:

    That’s the first smart thing to come out of this. YOU have to be your first responder.

    1. Rick Blaine says:

      There is a warrior’s attitude, and I won’t explain it, you’ll have to understand it yourself, and it is, “No one is coming, it’s up to us.”

      And, yes, I am armed at church, and have been for a long time.

  2. Jerry Walton says:

    Every man and woman who want to and can qualify should carry at all times. Too many crazies out there and logistics wise, law enforcement can’t be everywhere all the time.

  3. Fred Whitney says:

    Texas law currently prohibits carrying ito a church service or sporting event. That will have to be changed.

    1. Fred, I saw the TX Atty General last night on television, can’t remember if on Carlson or Hannity’s show. He said that current TX law DOES allow concealed carry in a church unless the church specifically prohibits said carrying. He did say that the current law was poorly written (vague) and gives the impression that carrying in a church is prohibited. Again, it is NOT prohibited by state law.
      He did also say that he will be working soon on clearing up that statutory language.

  4. Paul Roberts says:

    I encourage anyone going to Church to pack. I will from now on. “The Clergy, Ministers, Pastors”, should also.

  5. bigjohn767 says:

    We have several members who are licensed conceal carry. We are starting a training program to ensure that all armed members know where every other armed member is located. Most of us are former military. We are telling our members to NOT stand up and run but to drop between the pews. We are also installing surveillance cameras at all entrances with monitored video in our media room. Our best weapon is our prayers to God to keep us safe but we also feel we need to do our part.

  6. Harry Buskin says:

    Jesus himself said “Those who have no sword, let them sell their cloaks, and buy swords. Many will attack you in my name, …”

    He did not envision sending the Gospel out and letting those who preached, to be killed out of hand.

    I have no sword. I DO have pistols by SIG-Sauer, and I am content to follow Jesus’ advice.

    Ite, missa est.

  7. Dylan Roof proved this. No gun zones and places are death traps.

  8. The other thing you must do as a house of faith is have a plan for mitigating the aftermath. Sadly, many people bleed out, go into shock, or asphyxiate between when the shooting stops and the first EMS responder is allowed to attend to the wounded. Our Synagogue was attacked by an active shooter in 1997. Since then we have a safety team that is radio equipped, CCLs are respected, video monitoring, and gunshot trauma kits placed in strategic areas of the building. Having armed worshippers is excellent and the first line of defense. There are other things you can and should do so don’t stop with allowing CC. Never forget, no mass shooter has ever successfully continued pressing his attack once brought under violent counter attack.

  9. Bill Adams says:

    Luke 22:36 ►
    New International Version
    He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.

    Jesus has spoken. Listen.

  10. I have no issue with people carrying a gun to church, but the comment made by Peabody don’t square with the Bible. From the article: ““The scriptures make it clear that Jesus has issued a very quotable directive that we are to arm ourselves with the tools and machinery of lethal force,” said Geoff Peabody.” I’m not sure what “scripture” Peabody is talking about, but inn Matthew 26:52 we read “”Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.” The injunction in Matthew is that Christians shouldn’t “take up the sword” in defense of Jesus. Now you could argue that the scripture is dealing with a specific incident, where Peter was getting ready to kill a Roman soldier who had been sent to arrest Jesus. That’s find. But you can’t also say that a Christian is to take up the equivalent of a sword when Jesus says you are to put the sword in it’s place. That is of course unless the “place” the sword/gun is to be put is in a concealed holster. 😉

  11. Nice alliteration on the title of the article. Do you people have no shame whatsoever? Just give us the facts without the 12th grade editing flourishes, please.

  12. Palin Smith says:

    Let the liberals have a monopoly on gun free zones.

  13. David Robson says:

    At our church in Oregon that shooter would not have left the building alive. Likewise many of them in the environs of SE New Mexico.

  14. The congregants have their backs the door and the pastor is facing the door and he is usually behind a podium that could be cheaply modified with bullet proof plastic inside so he could be armed, trained, and have hidden protection. The real problem with most pastors is to accept the training and their willingness to protect the flock.

  15. Chris Bee says:

    Absolutely YES, everyone should be concealed gun carriers, especially the ushers or those monitoring the doors. And, maybe the door should be locked after a certain period of time after the service starts?

  16. Kim Wibbing says:

    Totally disturbing, and this proves that God’s people are not only ignorant of the Scripture, but are letting false teaching guide their lives.

    Luke 22 was NOT about arming yourself and fighting bad guys. In order to understand Luke 22, you have to read all of the teachings of Christ, and you have to understand the events of His ministry on earth.

    In the beginning of His ministry, He and His disciples were free to walk among the people and minister. They were not only welcome by the people, but even the religious leaders came to hear and consider what He taught.

    As time went on, things changed, and became more and more difficult to walk freely among the people because the religious leaders had turned against Him.

    By the time of Luke 22, just hours before His arrest in the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus was now being hunted down as a criminal of the people and as a blasphemer.

    Luke 22:35-38 is His teaching on this to His disciples, warning them that, as He was now being treated as a criminal, they, also will be treated as criminals because they follow Him. The portion about selling cloaks and buying swords was a “tongue-in-cheek” way of saying, “Now I’m a criminal, and so are you, because you are following me.”

    35 Then Jesus asked them, “When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?”

    “Nothing,” they answered. ((In other words, were you welcomed and supported by the people? The answer was yes, we were. We lacked nothing, because we were so welcomed and provided for…))

    36 He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. ((In other words, that’s all over! You will no longer be welcomed among your people, because you follow me…))

    37 It is written: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors’; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment.”

    ((Here, Jesus is saying that His new status as criminal was foretold in Scripture, in Isaiah.))

    38 The disciples said, “See, Lord, here are two swords.”

    “That’s enough!” he replied.

    ((Jesus is NOT saying, “Good! That’ll be enough swords to fight off the temple guards and the entire Roman army…that’s just plain silly. THIS WAS A CORRECTION, because His warning went right over their heads, and they didn’t understand what Jesus was saying at all. Jesus knew His time was short–they did not.

    Just as we correct children who are doing or saying something wrong by exclaiming, “That’s enough!” In other words, “Stop now!”, This is what Jesus was doing.))

    Jesus didn’t bother to try to fix their understanding because He KNEW He would be arrested soon, and then they would understand what He was teaching them.

    Later in the garden when Peter attacked the servant with the sword, Jesus MAKES VERY CLEAR his feelings of violence and fighting back:

    Matthew 26:52: “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.


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