I think most of us will agree that we are happy to see 2020 go by the wayside. I saw a billboard that said, "I want a refund for 2020". Most people my age can tell you where they were on the day JFK was assassinated. Those that are not as old as me can tell you where they were on September 11th, 2001. But how do you describe a whole year that will go down as one of the most bizarre years in recent American history? There was never a dull moment in 2020.
As the year kicked off, I was in Virginia for my mother's funeral. We had the shooting that happened on December 29th, 2019 that was on every church safety team member's mind. At Trinity Security Allies we started watching events happening in the nation that could affect the churches. The political parties were at each other's throats and caught right in the middle were conservative churches. If you supported pro-life, pro-law enforcement, pro-Israel, marriage between a man and a woman, and pro-Trump, your church became a target. We saw a large mega-church lose a lease on two of its satellite churches because a person complained about the pastor's like on a conservative tweet.
We watched as the COVID-19 pandemic spread through the country, and certain governors said that churches were non-essential and could not have services. We witnessed pastors being arrested because they refused to close down, and congregations were warned of possible prosecution. It was okay to go to Walmart or Sam's Club and practice CDC guidelines but don't meet to talk about Christ. In some states, we saw the courts step in and say you couldn't close churches, but other states refused to see the need for Christ and enforce stricter fines on those that defied their mandates.
Social media started to flag conservative Christian talk as inappropriate, false, or harmful material. After our June 2020 blog "Is now the time for a Christian Revolution," Facebook flagged us, not allowing us to share or boost the post with our followers. I saw church members leave because they felt most of us in the congregation was too conservative for them. Members from other churches came to me and told me of issues of their church pushing the "Critical Race theory" ideology on their congregation.
Then the incident in Minneapolis happened where a black male died after being arrested and in police custody. Black Life Matters and Antifa took the streets, and while the media called it peaceful protesting, we saw cities burn and under siege. Then a BLM leader stated that all depictions of a white Jesus Christ, Mary, and His white associates needed to be taken down because it represented white supremacy. We witnessed a rise in the destruction of statues and paintings of Caucasian Christian figures.
In 2020 at Trinity Security Allies, we went to God when the pandemic started and asked for guidance during this unprecedented time. We wondered if we would have to shut our doors because of the effect COVID-19 had on churches. Yet God provided, and in some areas, we flourished. We started to use social media to get the message out on church safety, and we traveled across this country sharing the Gospel and the reasons we need to be ready for the future of the American Church. Where I had been hesitant about writing a book, the Holy Spirit inspired me to bare all. It was not easy, but it has kept me closer to Him by sharing my story, hoping it will show anyone that no matter how bad you may think you are; Christ has a place for you in His family. Now with what we have already seen in the past, we know that our ministry will grow with the issues churches are going to be facing with the possible next administration.
So, if we thought 2021 would be better and we could relax, we need to think again. The Secular Democrats of America put out a paper called "Restoring Constitutional Secularism and Patriotic Pluralism in the White House." In this document, it states, "We urge you not to underestimate the institutional strength of what we refer to (interchangeably) in this document as the "Christian nationalist movement" or the "religious right." This movement is extraordinarily well-funded and well-organized, and the manifestation of its extreme and sectarian agenda is on constant display under the Trump-Pence administration. Its political ideology is anti-democratic and anti-scientific. It provides constant cover for white supremacy."
Let's break down that their statement. Words like "Christian nationalist movement" or "religious right" cause any person, no matter if you are a conservative or liberal Christian concern. But this group is not finished with their attack on Christians. Look up the word sectarianism. It is described as a "narrow or bigoted person" by Merriam-Webster. The last sentence in that paragraph states that the Christian nationalist movement is a constant cover for white supremacy. If I didn't know that Christ's teaching is so far from this rhetoric, I would wonder if Christianity wasn't an alt-right movement, but I know it isn't.
Paul states in Galatians 3:28, "There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." When we look at Christ himself, He preached love even toward our enemies, something we do not see in this document. If you go to the Secular Democrats of America's website where they state, "Secular Caucuses, while advancing a positive vision of pluralism and secular democracy, are on the frontlines fighting Christian right's agenda. We won't stand by as they siphon taxpayer dollars into private religious institutions, establish Christianity as the de facto "American" religion, and undermine hard-won civil and human rights in the name of "religious liberty." First, they are violating their own rule of pluralism, more than one opinion. They are also not a group for the love of their fellow man; this is an organization that promotes hate against conservative Christians. And what I define as a conservative Christianity are those that are pro-life, pro-law enforcement, pro-Israel, that God alone created the heavens, earth, and man, and believe that marriage is between one man and one woman. If you fall into this category, understand you are a conservative Christian.
I need every person that is concerned about the future of Christianity to read this document. There is too much to cover in this blog and we will be talking about it in the days to come. This organization, Secular Democrats of America, is coming after your church and you. If you think that the 2013 IRS scandal that bullied conservative groups wasn't bad enough, wait till those groups that want to shut you down get started on your church, your private Christian school, or any group that claims to be a Christian organization.
So, for 2021, turn your eyes on the Creator. Pray for His will and guidance during these concerning times. Watch for the wolves that are at the door. Look for ways you can help the church get out the Word while protecting the Bride. Those that turn to the Lord about their concerns in the church understand He has your back. You that have been chosen to protect the flock, and there is no rest. "I have posted watchmen on your walls, Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the LORD, give yourselves no rest," Isaiah 62:6.
So many people are claiming the end time is near. I will not even go there. While He has me on this earth, I will follow Him and do what He has instructed me to accomplish, spreading His love with a little church security on the side. You have heard me say it before, but I look forward to that day where all of us that have worked so hard on protecting the flock go home and meet our Lord and Savior. As 1 Peter 5:2-4 says, "Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away."
If ever there was a time when churches needed a safety team, the time is now. Let us work together to make 2021 a safe year for our churches. Let us be ambassadors for Christ and spread his love while watching for the wolves looking for someone to devour. Let us remember who we work for and know that His strength, peace, comfort, and wisdom is giving to those that ask. “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21. Let Wendy and me know how we can assist you in your walk with Christ and protecting your flock in 2021.
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Jim has many years of law enforcement experience and has run the safety team at his church for several years. TSA was formed after he realized God's calling when multiple churches reached out and asked him to present at their church.