Archive for the ‘good samaritan’ Tag

A Good Guy with a Gun Saves People   Leave a comment

It happened right here in Alaska — well, Anchorage, which is sort of Alaska. I happen to know Anna Bosin … she used to be married to a long-time friend. And the comments are incredible to follow. It really shows the lack of common sense from the anti-gun crowd. But it just goes to show that a good guy with a gun can save lives and sometimes do it better than the mall guards or the cops who are 20 minutes away. I have been in the 5th Avenue mall with a friend who always carries concealed. Nothing was going on that day and we had a good time. There’s an excellent coffee shop there and a great bookstore.


A security incident involving an armed robber at the Anchorage 5th Avenue mall in downtown ended safely Sunday afternoon after another armed man helped detain the suspect, police say.

Police spokeswoman Anita Shell said in a statement Sunday evening that about $1,200 in goods from the robbery’s target, the Buckle Clothing Store, were recovered during the arrest of 18-year-old Yan Bangout. Nobody was injured during the incident.

“Employees believed the man was attempting to conceal the clothing in a bag while in the fitting room and alerted mall security,” Shell wrote. “As the suspicious man left the store, he was confronted by mall security and a struggle ensued over the bag containing stolen goods. During the struggle, the suspect drew a gun from his waistband; however, a good Samaritan, also armed with a gun, stepped in and assisted security in taking the man into custody.”

Anna Bosin, a customer at the mall’s nearby Apple Store, said the incident occurred at about 12:15 p.m. Sunday, when “somebody was trying to enter the store.”

Bosin said the man was tackled before entering the store: “Two guns were involved, and I think the person of interest had a gun — so they were trying to get the gun from him.”

Bosin said the Apple Store was evacuated so quickly that customers weren’t reunited with their personal possessions until after the incident was resolved.

“Everybody at the Apple Store did a professional job evacuating the store,” Bosin said. “We went over to the Anchorage Museum and then they heard from mall security that the mall was cleared.”

The mall’s security office deferred questions to the mall’s marketing staff, who weren’t available Sunday.

Shell said Bangout was charged with robbery, theft and four counts of assault. He was held at the Anchorage jail on $10,000 bail, with a third-party custodian required for his release.

We Are the Guy in the Ditch   4 comments

Pastor Gary Cox is a great theologian, in that he seriously thinks about what he’s preaching about. I sometimes marvel at what he gets out of Bible passages simply by applying the evangelical mindset of “God is in control and we are almost never the subject of what Jesus is talking about.”

It provides a whole new perspective on standard Bible passages that we all know too well. The Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) takes on a whole different light when you view it through that lens. When I put myself in the Samaritan’s shoes, I either feel really good about my efforts to live up to God’s love or I feel really bad about myself for failing to live up to God’s love.

Most Westerners know this story so well that even the Biblically-challenged can tell you the gist of it. Gary asked our Chinese congregation for their interpretation of it. They were unfamiliar. Apparently, Chinese Christians don’t spend much time on the story and it’s hard to have Vacation Bible School when the Red Army is looking to arrest you just for what you believe. But these brilliant University of Alaska scientists, researchers and graduate students put their minds to the story from their understanding of evangelical Christianity and came up exactly where Gary thought they should.

The Good Samaritan is not us. We’re the guy in the ditch. Jesus is the Good Samaritan. And that makes all the difference in the world.

Many of Jesus’ parables were told as a means to answer the trick question of the Pharisees, priests and scribes. He would then explain them to His followers in the after-session. This story is one such — a law professor asked Him what he needed to inherit eternal life. The Pharisees (about one-fifth of the Jewish population of Judea at the time) believed you needed to live an exemplary life to inherit eternal life. Jesus knew differently. He had come to make certain people understood that eternal life came through Him and Him only, by faith, not works. He’s encountered plenty of trick questions and this was no doubt one of them. He turned it back on the professor. “You’re the expert. How do you read it?” He asked.

The law professor quotes the Shema. “Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul, strength and mind” (Deuteronomy 6:5) and “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Leviticus 19.18). Jesus commended his answer, but the lawyer wanted to justify his own lack of love, so he asked “Who is my neighbor?”

Jesus already had a reputation of hanging out with prostitutes and tax-collectors and He’d not been unkind of Gentiles. Whenever a trick question was put to Jesus, almost without variation, He would answer with a parable.

Parables can be taken multiple ways, which is rather the point. The law professor took it to mean what most of the Western world takes it to mean — go be nice to your neighbors, feed the hungry and clothe the homeless.  There’s nothing wrong with these activities, but they won’t buy you eternal life, because you are not the Good Samaritan.

You’re the guy in the ditch.

The guy in the ditch took a dangerous route and paid the consequences. He was beaten and left for dead. First a priest came by and avoided him. The priest clearly represents religion. Religion sometimes walks through the dangerous places of this world too, but it doesn’t really have anything salvic to offer us. It looks good, but it’s powerless. Next, a Levite comes by. Think of the Levites as legalists. There are all sorts of people in this world who think that if you just follow the rules (you can pick them) you’ll be fine and if you end up in the ditch, well, you must have broken the rules. These people also have nothing to offer the broken and contrite sinner.

But along came a Samaritan. Samaritans were rejected by the Jews because they were half-breeds and didn’t exactly worship God exactly how they were supposed to. Kind of like Jesus, Who didn’t fit the Jews idea of a Messiah. The Samaritan stopped, took care of the man, transported him to a place of safety, spent the night tending to him, provided for his care during his recovery and promised to pay any future expenses. The guy in the ditch did nothing to deserve this great treatment. The Samaritan went out of His way to provide it. He then provided for the beaten man’s future. You can bet that the man was grateful and perhaps motivated to “pay it forward.”

Jesus left heaven to step down into our messy existence to sacrifice Himself for us.  He saves our souls, He binds our wounds, He provides us with a place of sanctuary, and He promises that He’ll take care of us in the future. In this story, the innkeeper is the church, by the way. We are the guy in the ditch, helpless to do anything for ourselves.

“Go and do likewise,” Jesus told the law professor. Doesn’t that mean that we should be picking people up out of the ditch? Yes, but remember also that Jesus said “the poor will always be with you” as His feet were being washed with expensive perfume. The Christians primary ministry on earth is not to care for the poor, feed the hungry, or provide housing for the homeless. It is to spread the gospel. That is what gets sinners out of the ditch. While those other things are worthy activities, they should not ever be the primary focus of the churches because feeding a body while the soul misses heaven is — well, nothing to do with eternal life.


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