Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Another Lesson on Providence

Deolexrex sent me the link to the video below with the question, "Recommended defense against a 2x6?" (Warning: lethally violent content)

It takes a special kind of person to club an unarmed, defenseless, academic-type to death, doesn't it?

Here are my recommended defenses when confronted by an orc with a 2x6:
  1. Run away -- fast! Hopefully, the prospect of running while carrying a club will not appeal to your attacker. Of course, turning your back to an assailant reduces his psychological barrier to taking your life, but let's face it, under the circumstances it looks as though the barrier doesn't faze him much.
  2. If running is not a viable option (and it isn't for heavyweights like me), meet his weapon with something bigger, better & more lethal.
  3. In the event you're not suitably armed, grab anything at hand -- stick, gravel (or a pocketful of change) to throw in his eyes, a trash can or even one of his friends to absorb blows as you maneuver inside the range of his club.
  4. If no improvised weapons lie within reach, you must get inside his effective range by either a) good timing & quickness or b) fending off a blow as you move in or c) both.
Moving in on someone with a big club sounds scary, but the bigger the club, the more unwieldy it is. Moreover, the orc will expect you to move away from the threat, which gives you an element of surprise, and if God's providence is with you, may even engender in him an element of fear.

Speaking of God's providence, let's not leave out the highly important need for prayer. My barber pointed this out to me in response to "Learning from Your Mistakes: A Survival Trait, 3".
He wrote to me:

But,let us not forget what else happened that day...The night before,as I always do, I said my nightly Prayers. Included in those Prayers were petitions for safe travel for my wife and I. As I drove up the highway,minutes from the location were this happened,I violated my standard routine. Every night,when I crawl into bed,lights out,and quiet, I begin my lengthly Prayers to the Lord. The night of the incident,I realized that I could fall asleep quickly without finishing the Prayers,I decided to alter my routine. To stay awake to my destination,I began my lengthly Prayers while driving. I was alone on the road,no other cars,wife asleep. I finished my Prayers for blessing and safe travel moments before my arrival at the incident site. I cannot discount the part that God plays in my life. I cannot marginalize the power of Prayer in my life. I cannot count the blessings that come with trying to live covenantally with God. God gets all the credit that night,'cause I was w-a-a-y behind the lethat curve. I need to work on that mindset,too.

Bottom line? Train as though it all depended on you, but pray knowing it all depends on the God & Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Roots of WARSKYL, 3

Continued from "The Roots of WARSKYL, 2"

Since a very important aspect of the Great Commission entails a change in the culture of all nations, I want to draw a very important conclusion:

The more any culture follows Christ, the more it will resemble other cultures that follow Christ, and the less it will have in common with its non-christian roots.

Thus, the Kingdom of God is itself a civilization which transforms and draws into itself any and all cultures as they submit to Christ. We used to call this civilization "Christendom" (the domain of Christ), but the demise of Christendom has left a secularized "Western Civilization" in its place.

The concept of Christendom clears up some of the confusion about what constitutes a civilization (language, ethnic peculiarities, race, etc.). Christendom is/was that civilization which embraces any nation that formally acknowledges Christ as its rightful sovereign.

To be continued.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Roots of WARSKYL, 2

As I said in "The Roots of WARSKYL", these posts about defense of self, family & church from a Biblical perspective are simply a small part of a total worldview based on Scriptural precepts.

I don't for one minute believe that my writings present the last word on the topic. In some ways, they are more important than that, because they pretty much inject the first word on these matters into the current prevailing culture.

Thus WARSKYL is a personal ministry that seeks to subdue one tiny part of culture to the authority & dominion of my King. It stems directly from that part of the "Great Commission" that requires us to teach the nations to observe all things that our Lord has commanded.

My objective is to make disciples, not of me but of Christ, who will follow as warriors in the Christian way. Most regular readers come back because they are Christians for whom this blog fills a great empty hole in the Church's teaching and preaching.

Every day, moreover, a few random visitors come to WARSKYL via search engines. They may not like what they see, and they may never return, but at least they know that Christians have engaged the problem of violence directly, and in terms consistent with their Biblical foundations.

In summary, this ministry seeks to provide you with the tools -- worldview, ethics, attitudes & skills -- consistent with Scripture to help you forge a Christian lifestyle. Then, as we live in community with others, the lifestyles merge to become a Christian folk culture. Perhaps, one day we shall see that folk culture develop into a high culture that will blow away secular humanist or Islamic or any other kind of culture that vainly tries to stand against the King.

To be continued

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I'm Back

I've been away for a few days, meeting some really great brothers & sisters in Ohio & speaking at their Sunday morning worship. Give me another day, and I'll try to get back on track with the blog.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

A Prayer for the Future

Dear Father in Heaven,
If, in your providence, the police ever come for me, may they also -- in your providence -- have the same competence levels as pictured below.
In your Son's name, Amen.

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Roots of WARSKYL

And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, "All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." Amen. (Mat 28:18-20)

The Great Commission of Jesus to the Church is too often narrowly construed as "witnessing" or as "soulwinning" Jesus actually commanded His followers to disciple the nations. That is, He told them to teach the nations to obey His authority and live according to His Law.

This involves witnessing and winning souls, but it goes much further. It requires that every facet of life be brought under the dominion of Christ -- not just the Church, but also family, business, education, the arts and the sciences.

The fulfillment of the Great Commission should produce a Church and society imbued with a Christian Worldview that evidences itself in all the knowledge, attitudes and actions of its members.

Thus, the Great Commission gives us a cultural mandate just as certainly as it gives us an evangelism mandate.

Why do I bring this up? Some recent exchanges here at WARSKYL have raised questions of culture, civilization and race. I think these discussions should be allowed to play themselves out in a context of mutual respect and courtesy, but I also see that I need to make my position (and therefore the position of WARSKYL) clear to any and all.

WARSKYL is my expression of the cultural mandate of the Great Commission in one area of human experience that contemporary American Christianity has sadly neglected. Therefore, the purpose of this blog relates directly to the kinds of questions raised in the discussions at hand.

Continued in "The Roots of WARSKYL, 2"

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

School Bus Beating

Deolexrex sent me the link to the video below along with the question, "What should one do if he finds himself here...?"

Good question, and I must say that in Jr. High School (Middle School, as you youngsters call it), I was there. The racial component was missing, but the brutality, the cheering for the hoodlums and the total disdain for the victim by passengers and bus driver are familiar.

If you think this bears further comment, let me know. There is much to say here, but I find it hard to keep my cool when I see this stuff and remember . . . .

Monday, September 14, 2009

Mindset: Aggressiveness

When I read Anthony Herbert's Soldier, I remember a statement that stuck with me. He said that anyone could learn the skills of close quarters combat -- they are not complex.

Then he went on to say that the deciding factor in an encounter did not depend on skill so much as aggressiveness. The combatant who seized the initiative and pressed that advantage invariably survived.

The following video illustrates the quality of aggressiveness in a self defense situation. Thanks to JWC for sending me the link to this video.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

More Motivational Quotes

The following quotes come from my Bible, my barber and Deolexrex (a brother & a worthy rifleman)

Thine eye shall not pity him, but thou shalt put away the guilt of innocent blood from Israel, that it may go well with thee. (Deu 19:13)

... what if you have a capacity for violence, and a deep love for your fellow citizens? What do you have then? A sheepdog, a warrior, someone who is walking the hero's path. Someone who can walk into the heart of darkness, into the universal human phobia, and walk out unscathed. - Dave Grossman

Be of good cheer; keep a song in your heart and a round in the pipe.

The streets are paved with the sun bleached bones of Lieutenants that wouldn't listen to their Sergeants" -Lt. Gen. Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, USMC

If you're not shootin', you should be loadin'. If you're not loadin', you should be movin', if you're not movin', someone's gonna cut your head off and put it on a stick. - Clint Smith, Director of Thunder Ranch

And finally, here's an ad my barber sent me. It's not his shop, but it sure looks like one I might be comfortable in.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Learning from Your Mistakes: A Survival Trait, 3

Continued from "Learning from Your Mistakes: A Survival Trait, 2"

Okay, you've had that light-bulb moment when you suddenly recognize that you made a mistake that could have been serious. Now what?

To explore the process, let's put you in my barber's place in that late-night encounter: Subject A appears out of nowhere as a distraction & you immediately sense someone behind you.

You cover your wallet with your left hand, reach for your knife with your right and simultaneously push past subject A, pivoting to face both subjects. Later you realize this is wrong, because you should have employed your left hand to defend yourself.

The next step is to ask, "How could I have better used my left hand?" The answer seems fairly obvious: to defend your vulnerability.

Your whole back was open to subject B and unprotected. Perhaps, instead of pushing past subject A, you could have simply pivoted to your left, as you swept with your left arm.

This would deflect any weapon in subject B's hand and leave you in a position to counterattack. This is especially good if you've trained for infighting, as you do not have to close the distance between you and your assailant. He's right there. Staying in close quarters with your knife would be especially important if subject B had a handgun.

But let's say that close quarters against two adversaries does not appeal to you. In that case, you might choose to push past subject A and either
  1. use your left hand to push subject A into subject B or
  2. use your left arm to trap subject A and use as a shield between you & subject B.
(Note that if you use these options in a case where the subjects have made no overt threats or moves against you, law enforcement personnel & judges will interpret your actions as simple assault.)

Of course, my analysis & solutions are not the only ones, and I'm sure they're not the best. Put yourself in the situation, think about it and come up with solutions of your own.

My barber always contacts me off-blog, so I'd be pleased if he'd email me his own views on the situation.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

American Islam in Action, 2

This is not so much an expansion or update of the material in the post "American Islam in Action" as it is an invitation for you to view the comments that post has generated.

I think the conversation that has developed between Randall & Seth reflects the whole "culture wars" theme present within conservative circles today. I think it would be a good exercise for you to read their exchange.

If you want to join the conversation, that'd be great, but before you dive in, here are some points to consider:
  1. Exactly what is a civilization?
  2. What are the roots of Western Civilization (Jerusalem or Athens)?
  3. How far can "Western Civilization" stray from its roots before it turns into a different civilization?
  4. Is Europe today an example of traditional, historic Western Civilization or is it something else?
  5. Is this cultural issue something about which Christians should be concerned?
  6. If Christians should be concerned about the "culture wars", what are their primary means and methods of changing the status quo (political action, armed rebellion, preaching & teaching, etc.)?
If you think you have answers to these questions, perhaps it would be better to make your comments to this post rather than disturb the focus of the conversation that is already in progress. If you have something to add to that conversation, however, feel free to do so.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Romans 13:1-7

In 1853, James M. Wilson published his Civil Government: An Exposition of Romans 13:1-7. Here is a quote from page 5o for your Sabbath meditation:

Do [civil authorities] oppress knowingly and obstinately? Do they slight and dishonor religion? Do they bestow their favors upon any kind of false religion? Do they disregard God and repudiate the paramount authority of His Bible? Are they guilty of any or of all of these sins? If so, then, whether they be few or many, the friends of liberty, of religion, and of God, should withhold from them their conscientious obedience; for they are not “a terror to evil doers, and a praise to them that do well.”

How does someone come to this conclusion while exegeting a passage that exhorts submission to authority? I suggest you read the pages leading up to that quote in order to find out.

One thing is clear. On one side you have those who explain this passage, while on the other you have those who explain it away.

On which side does Wilson fall? You decide.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

GA Police Shoot First, Ask Questions Later, 2

Continued from "GA Police Shoot First, Ask Questions Later"

As I've prayed for Pastor Ayers' grieving family, friends and Church flock, a solemn truth has crept into my consciousness. It has to do with officer-involved shootings.

Very often, when a police officer shoots a suspect under questionable circumstances, his defenders arise with some pretty compelling arguments:
  1. The officer has just a split-second to make a life/death decision in a crisis situation (with his own life hanging in the balance);
  2. These confrontations usually happen in the dark, so the officer's vision is obscured;
  3. The officer labors under the extreme of adrenaline stress, which reduces cognitive function and can reduce sensory input (i.e., tunnel vision, etc.).
These are good points, and I think that, in light of them, most of us are willing to cut an officer some slack in such situations. But this sword cuts two ways.

Let's look at the Georgia shooting from the pastor's point of view.
  1. Bible college or seminary most probably did not school him in techniques for managing an adrenaline dump (such as police officers receive) as part of his exegesis and theology courses;
  2. Life-threatening crises do not comprise an expected part of his job (as it is with police officers);
  3. The crisis situation took him totally by surprise (not so with the officers involved);
  4. The adrenaline dump reduced sensory input (seeing only the guns & hearing, if anything, only loud shouting) and cognitive function while creating a fight-or-flight response.
Police forced the pastor into making a split-second decision under extreme duress. They created a situation for Pastor Ayers such that, if their positions were reversed, they would plead that they could not be held to a standard that required deliberative reflection and weighing the options.

Let's remember who these officers are: undercover agents. By definition, they take pains to not resemble law-enforcement personnel in any way.

They claim they wore badges around their necks -- which a subject under the stress of an adrenaline dump might interpret as 'bling' -- if he noticed them at all. After all, should it surprise anyone if a panicked civilian sees only the guns pointed at him? No matter how many times they shouted, "Police! Get out of the car," they were only adding to the confusion of the moment.

I have written this because in the aftermath of this totally unnecessary tragedy, the powers that be will do everything they can to shift the blame to Pastor Ayers. They will close ranks and repeat the litany that citizens must learn to become more compliant . . . more passive when police suddenly descend on them with guns drawn, yelling like barbarians.

A number of years ago, I held a security job that included overseeing the fire brigade of a manufacturing facility. At one of the training sessions, we watched a film on explosive entry by law enforcement.

After the first half-dozen or so presentations of the use of explosives to blow a suspect's door in, one of the firemen asked, "Whatever happened to just knocking?" Good question. Moreover, whatever happened to approaching citizens with courtesy?

It's hard to take the police motto "Protect & Serve" seriously, when a significant portion of the law enforcement community seems to operate on the principles of "Cover Your Butt & Dominate".

Friday, September 4, 2009

Learning from Your Mistakes: A Survival Trait, 2

Continued from "Learning from Your Mistakes"

In "A Late Night Encounter", I related an incident wherein my barber had to snap out of a sleep-deprived fog and react to a potentially violent, perhaps lethal situation. His performance was exemplary, except for one thing.

He employed his left hand to cover his wallet rather than for personal protection.

He recognized this after the fact and mentioned it to me in the phone call. At some point, the part of his mind that puts the jigsaw puzzle together saw that piece and said, "What's wrong with this picture?"

At that moment, he says to himself, "Good grief! Someone behind me could have driven a knife into a kidney while I was covering my wallet." For someone like my barber, however, this is not simply a could-a, would-a, should-a moment that ends in frustration and self-blame.

As I said in that post, "Every encounter we survive provides experience for the next." Recognizing your error is simply the first step.

Let's look at the second step in another post.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

GA Police Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

You're a young pastor who has just dropped off a woman you've been counseling. You stop at a gas station to make a withdrawal from an ATM, and then go back out to your car.

A black SUV speeds into the station and two armed men pile out of it, shouting and trying running up to your car. What do you do?

If you're the 28-yr-old Rev. Jonathan Ayers, you probably think you're an intended victim of armed robbery, you panic, and then you die. Your killers will probably never go to trial, because they are undercover drug agents.

Police say they had no idea who Pastor Ayers was, and they just wanted to question him because his passenger was under investigation for drug charges. Oh, really?

Since when do police use shock-and-awe tactics just to question someone? How about just walking up to him as he exits the gas station, showing your badge, identifying yourself and saying, "Do you mind if I ask you a few questions?"

Sadly, too many police today are addicted to the adrenaline rush. They operate on adrenaline and testosterone, which tends to cloud good judgment.

In addition, too many have watched too many episodes of COPS. And too many police agencies have policies and procedures that ape those dramatic TV episodes.

The local GA Fox affiliate gave the sanitized version (police identified themselves twice, etc. etc.)of the story. Here's a link to a video with a little more complete report:

WYFF News 4

The security camera caught the whole incident on video, and it's over in seconds. Try stopping the video to see if you can find where the pastor "hits an agent" with his car. See anyone fall down? Anyone lying on the ground?

It looks to me as though the undercover agent ran around behind the car when it was already in motion. If he made contact, it's a tossup as to who ran into whom, and it certainly didn't seem to slow him down at all.

Pray for the poor family of this man who was gunned down by the very people sworn to protect him.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

American Islam in Action

Watch the video, and then imagine what would have happened if security at a Christian gathering had tried to treat a group of Muslims asking questions this way.