Preachers and Bodyguards

Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years, and had suffered many things from many physicians…When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment…And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My clothes?” But His disciples said to Him, “You see the multitude thronging You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?'” Mark 5:25-27; 30-31

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always wondered why preachers, like drug barons, have bodyguards. Not only do some preachers travel with armed bodyguards, but some even have these bodyguards on the pulpit or around the pulpit, in church! This begs the question, “Why does a preacher need bodyguards in church, and even so on the platform or around the pulpit?”

Recently, I accidentally came upon an article on a website that featured an interview with Bishop Noel Jones, Pastor of City of Refuge in Los Angeles, California. A particular paragraph in the article caught my attention. About Bishop Jones, the writer wrote:

“Many actors, actresses, singers, and other celebrities attend his church. He himself travels with armed bodyguards. On a typical Sunday morning there are several bodyguards present, two of whom are present on the church platform. The others are often discreetly positioned in the church building.”

In the context of the article, the writer was impressed by the fact that celebrities attend Bishop Jones’ church. But even more so, he was impressed by the fact that Bishop Jones has armed bodyguards! As if God gives special awards to the preacher with the most celebrities in attendance, or the most armed bodyguards.

Now, I don’t know if the writer is a Christian or not. But the fact that he thinks that a preacher having armed bodyguards is impressive speaks of his spiritual maturity, more so his knowledge (or lack thereof) of the Bible or the life of Jesus and the Early Disciples. But the writer is not the issue here. The issue here is the idea of preachers having bodyguards.

Why does a preacher need an armed bodyguard? Is it because of a preacher’s hard-hitting, unpopular and controversial sermons?
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Is it because of a preacher’s hostile environment? Or is it just because of a preacher’s ego, and his/her obsession for the things of the world and to look like the world?

When you think about it, most preachers with armed bodyguards don’t fall in the category of those preachers with hard-hitting, unpopular, controversial sermons. Many of their sermons are anything but controversial or unpopular. Matter of fact, many of these preachers preach to the gallery, i.e.; they preach what the people want to hear: prosperity, healing, self-empowerment, etc. So, why would a people-pleasing preacher have armed bodyguards?

I may somewhat be sympathetic toward a hard-hitting, unpopular and controversial preacher, living in a hostile environment, having bodyguards. Say a preacher in Iraq or Saudi Arabia or some other countries that are hostile to Christianity. But not preachers who preach what the people want to hear, and living in the freest country in the world – America.

Speaking of hard-hitting, unpopular and controversial preachers, no one was hard-hitting, unpopular or controversial as Jesus Christ and the Early Disciples, yet none of them had bodyguards. In fact these men were so controversial and unpopular that they were killed for their unpopular teachings.

If anybody needed bodyguards, I think it would have been Jesus and some of the Early Disciples; because of their unpopular teachings and because they preached in hostile environments. Yet they didn’t. In fact, when Peter tried to act like Jesus’ bodyguard when He was arrested before His crucifixion, Jesus rebuked him for cutting off the ear of one of the men that came to arrest Him, and placed back the man’s ear.

“…If these preachers were Jesus, the woman with the issue of blood would have died in her sickness, because she couldn’t get near them to touch the hem of their garment…”


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