February 20, 2017

Should a Christian Carry a Firearm?

Should a Christian Carry a Firearm
 
 
I was originally going to write about whether a Christian should carry at church, but the issue is broader than that, so I decided to expand it, and discuss carrying at church as a part of this topic.
 
 

Should a Christian Use Self-Defense?

I covered this topic thoroughly in Should Christians Practice Self-Defense. In an attempt to keep this article slightly less than a novel, I am only going to bring up a couple issues here about Christians and self-defense.

I have been accused of twisting God’s Word and told that I should be ashamed for telling people that God is in favor of people using self-defense. First, I have come to my belief based on what scripture says and the use of common sense. I have not twisted scripture to fit my already held belief. If you are of that opinion, do me a favor and show me where I am wrong in scripture. We’re both entitled to our opinions about the use of violence. However, we are not entitled to making scripture say something it doesn’t say. I can show you several verses where God either used violence, or mandated it.
 
 
The Lord Abhors Violence

“The Lord hates violence” is a saying I have heard a few times in my life. It never really made sense to me, because of how He used violence to defeat His enemies throughout the Old Testament and will in Revelation.

I have a hunch that the person who came up with that saying and those who espouse it now, are actually the ones that hate violence! Doing a search for the word violence at Blue Letter Bible brings up over 50 verses and not one of them includes “The Lord hates violence”.

There are several verses decrying the use of violence, but what these people either don’t see, or leave out is that these verses decry the use of violence by those who clothe themselves in it and love it. Not one mention is made of never using violence to defend oneself.

Here are some examples:

Psalms 11:5 “The LORD examines the righteous, but the wicked, those who love violence, he hates with a passion.”

Psalms 7:9 “Bring to an end the violence of the wicked and make the righteous secure— you, the righteous God who probes minds and hearts.”

Proverbs 21:7 “The violence of the wicked will drag them away, for they refuse to do what is right.“

Now one might say that doesn’t say we’re permitted to use violence. There are several verses where God commands the use of force to destroy His enemies or uses it Himself.

Where is the line; when are we permitted to use violence then? Let’s take a look at David.
As a very young man, he stood before an entire army and condemned them for their blasphemy against God. He then proceeded to kill Goliath and cut off his head. He entered into many wars and smaller conflicts throughout his life. It wasn’t until David turned away from God, murdered Uriah and let his bloodlust take over that he got into trouble with the Lord. David’s love of violence and unrighteous use of it, is what almost led to his being eternally separated from God.
 
 
Jesus is a Pacifist

No, no He is not. He was non-violent. There is a big difference! A non-violent person is non-violent until they need to be. A pacifist refrains from it even at the cost of their own or a loved one’s welfare.

Jesus practiced avoidance and de-escalation at various times; when they went to get stones to kill Him and again when He said “he who is without sin cast the first stone” are two examples that come to mind.

I have read a few articles that say that the angel referred to as the Angel of the Lord, was actually Jesus, before He was born of the flesh. I don’t know if this is true or not and is something I have wanted to look into, but have not yet. If this is true, then read the Old Testament again and look at the different accounts the Angel of the Lord using violence. One would be killing 185,000 Assyrians for example.

Even if that is not true, it does not change His use of violence in the end of days. He kills with the very word of His mouth:

Revelations 19:15 “Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty.”

Revelations 19:21 “The rest were killed with the sword coming out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh.”
 
 
Turn the Other Cheek

There are so many people who think this verse means, offer the other cheek to be slapped, to not only not defend yourself, but to ask for more. The trouble with this is that context is important. I have done a fair bit of research and I have found four theories that take the verse in context of the Jewish people at the time of Christ.

The following are some things to keep in mind.

Many cultures have used the left hand for “unclean” tasks and I believe some still do. I remember my father, who is left handed, telling me that when he was a child his parents tried to force him to use his right hand for writing and other tasks. I mention this only to give some example of how widespread this practice was. Because the left hand was used for unclean tasks you would not use it, not even to strike someone you deemed less honorable than yourself.

Honor is something else that is lost on western culture. In many cultures, even today, honor is valued higher than life. This is why there are honor killings in some religions and cultures. Honor was also very important in the days when Jesus walked the earth. He condemned the Pharisees for always wanting to sit in the place of honor. He also rebuked the disciples, telling them in Mark 9:35 “Anyone who wants to be the first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else.” One would only slap someone they considered less honorable than themselves and Jesus states, “If your right cheek is slapped.” Since the left hand would not be used, one would have to use their right hand for a backhand slap. A backhanded slap carries more dishonor than a palm.

To see the full list of theories please see Should Christians Practice Self-Defense

After my research, I believe that what was meant was to not react to insults, not that we should offer the other check to be slapped.
 
 
Sheep, Wolves and Sheep Dogs

Here is an excellent excerpt from the book, On Combat, by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman. More can be read from this excerpt on his website Killology Research Group.

One Vietnam veteran, an old retired colonel, once said this to me: “Most of the people in our society are sheep. They are kind, gentle, productive creatures who can only hurt one another by accident.” This is true. Remember, the murder rate is six per 100,000 per year, and the aggravated assault rate is four per 1,000 per year. What this means is that the vast majority of Americans are not inclined to hurt one another….

I mean nothing negative by calling them sheep. To me it is like the pretty, blue robin’s egg. Inside it is soft and gooey but someday it will grow into something wonderful. However, the egg cannot survive without its hard blue shell. Police officers, soldiers and other warriors are like that shell, and someday the civilization they protect will grow into something wonderful. For now, though, they need warriors to protect them from the predators.

“Then there are the wolves,” the old war veteran said, “and the wolves feed on the sheep without mercy.” Do you believe there are wolves out there who will feed on the flock without mercy? You better believe it! There are evil men in this world and they are capable of evil deeds. The moment you forget that or pretend it is not so, you become a sheep. There is no safety in denial!

“Then there are sheepdogs,” he went on, “and I’m a sheepdog. I live to protect the flock and confront the wolf.” Or, as a sign in one California law enforcement agency put it, “We intimidate those who intimidate others.”

I only have a few things to add to this. The Sheep Dog Mottos is “Only a predator can stop a predator.” This is absolute fact. Watch any place with a bully in action. People may tell the bully to stop picking on the lamb, but the young wolf ignores them. That is until a sheepdog steps in front of the sheep to confront the wolf.

I was a sheep during my childhood. Back then Autism and Asperger’s wasn’t well known, so I was looked at as being quiet and, well, a little odd. Because of this, I was picked on horrifically from 1st grade until 10th grade. The summer after 9th grade, I made a decision not to be bullied any more and hit the weights. God blessed me with a growth spurt as well. Oh there were still insults, but the violence had stopped, and I was now mostly ignored, which was fine with me.

Civilization continues on because of sheep dogs; in uniform, wearing a badge or civilian. The choice must be made to stop being a sheep, and anyone can make that choice. A 4’, 90lb woman with the mindset and will to use a firearm is just as capable as a 6’, 200lb man is of stopping a wolf!

I’m sure many of you will agree with this; I don’t ever want to use violence. I will try to deescalate, and avoid violence if possible, only using it as a last resort. However, if the wolf comes and tries to hurt my family or myself, I don’t care if it’s bigger, stronger or if there are more of them; I will be a danger to my enemy. Trust me, the cost they will pay in pain and blood is not worth whatever benefit they were after. I may not go unscathed, but “baa” is not in my vocabulary, and it is not in my nature to allow my loved ones or myself to be victimized.
 
 
Violence at Church

“Be on your guard; you will be handed over to the local councils and be flogged in the synagogues.”
~Mathew 10:17

This is a subject I have covered before in Rising Church Crime and Security back in 2011. Things have only gotten worse. I recently attended the Sheep Dog for Churches Seminar with Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, Carl Chin and Jimmy Meeks.

While I knew some of what was covered from my past research, I learned a lot and was blessed by listening to these men of God and sheepdog trainers. I will cover the seminar in more detail in a future post, but will just cover some high points now.

Since 2006 the rate of deaths at churches or at church functions or buildings has skyrocketed over 1000%! That is NOT a typo! There have been over 549 violent deaths at churches since 1999!

In the 36 months of 2012 (75), 2013 (45), 2014 (74), there were more deaths at churches than at schools! Remember that this was the time period for one of the bloodiest, most horrific school massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary.

I’m not trying to diminish the problem of school violence, I’m simply trying to make you more aware of the problem of violence at faith-based centers.
 
 
Should a Christian Carry a Firearm?

If you have read everything thus far, you would think my answer is “yes”. However, my answer is, “actually, it depends”. If you cannot get your mind ready to take the life of another, do not carry, as you would be a liability.

If you have a prepared mind, then yes, I do believe, if you are legally able, you should carry. I support law enforcement but it is not possible for an officer to be everywhere at all times. If they are there, they will try to protect and serve. If they are not, they will document the crime scene.

God has called us each to serve Him in some manner that no one else could do like we do. Not to toot my own horn, but when I started this site, there were two other sites that looked at some of the same issues but they were posted to and updated infrequently. I have heard from scores of people who thank me for putting a Christian perspective on preparedness topics. If I had decided I wasn’t up to the task, would there be a Christian voice on these topics? It’s possible, but they wouldn’t have covered them the way I have.

Now, we all have a calling. However, because He gave us free will, it is possible that Joe Dirtbag may come along and interrupt God’s plan. Is it not our duty to defend ourselves and protect God’s plan so we can further work for His glory?

I believe that if we see a wrong being done to another person and choose to do nothing we then bare some guilt for that wrong. Not only that, but for future wrongs the evildoer will accomplish as a result of not being stopped. Because Joe Dirtbag doesn’t like being stopped and doesn’t want to possibly go to jail, he sometimes uses force to stop the Sheepdog. “A predator is the only thing that can stop a predator” and a gun is what gives that predator, the sheepdog, teeth.
 
 
Should We Carry at Church?

In some states, carrying a gun in places of worship is illegal. In states where it is not, whether or not to carry is a debated issue. With everything I have listed here and what I will cover soon in my review of the Sheep Dog for Church Seminar, I absolutely will carry in every church I attend.

I believe it was LT. Col. Grossman who said that “if we love the people we worship with, we should carry the tools to protect them.”

Again, Jesus Himself said violence would be done to believers in our places of worship. History, over the last 2,000 years, has shown Him to be correct. I believe the future will continue to prove so as well.

 
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Comments

  1. Rev. Dr. Michael E Harris says:

    New International Version
    Luke 22:36 — 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.”

    The world hates Christians and we have an obligation to protect ourselves.

    • Chris Ray says:

      Obligated indeed.

    • Absolutely! We do not trade in our citizenship, common sense nor our innate instinct for self-preservation, when we accepted Jesus as Savior. If anything, we need to step up all those and be ready and able to defend those less equipped or able. A former pastor of ours, got death threats from a kook and several of our elders/ushers always wore theirs (a couple were policemen and ex-military)…that made me feel very safe. Especially the day that several of them had to carry him out of the building one week! I hate to think what could’ve happened, had he had a gun and they didn’t….

  2. A lot goes into the law concerning the concealed carry permits. In Texas, it seems that everywhere they ban the concealed carry happens to be a typical location where a shooting has occurred in the past. Whether it be a school, government building, shopping center, theaters, or a business where a “no carry” sign is posted, the criminal has chosen those places to shoot other people. Is there a reason these places are chosen? Ask the criminal. Personally, I think the criminal knows those are gun-free zones where they will not be in danger of being stopped by a law-abiding citizen carrying a gun. Sadly, one of the places designed as a no-carry place is a church where several killings have occurred in the past, as mentioned in your article. That said, the salient word in concealed carry permit is “concealed”. One of the main reasons for getting a concealed carry handgun license is to protect the individual with the license and their loved ones. Thus, I would ignore that restriction and carry a concealed weapon in church. Several people in my church carry concealed weapons. Ironically, it’s much easier for a woman to carry a concealed weapon in her purse than it is for a man to carry one concealed on his body. As a result of this knowledge, I feel much safe in my church knowing there are others around that will help defend the congregation in the event a crazed gun-carrying criminal would enter and threaten them. The fact that our church sits in a rural setting near an interstate access makes the congregants even more vulnerable to being a target. So, yes, I will continue to violate the law to protect those I care about. Perhaps our legislature will get smart one day and change the law to permit concealed carry in those places most vulnerable to violence.
    I not only believe we Christians have the right and authority from Scripture to protect those other Christians around us, we have an obligation. I also believe those that do not believe in the carry of firearms would quickly change their mind if they were among those saved by a vigilant person that chose to violate the law to defended them against a murderer while sitting “safe” in their pew on some Sunday morning!
    Finally, in many locations, law enforcement personnel are required to carry their weapon while off duty. Does this exempt law enforcement personnel that are Christians from carrying that weapon while attending church services? Absolutely not!

    • Chris Ray says:

      Remember the shooting at a theater some years ago. I believe he passed up 2-3 other theaters that did not have banned signs up.

      In Minnesota one is not supposed to carry inside an establishment with a sign, but I do on many occasions. This is not a crime; it is only a misdemeanor if you refuse to leave after that.

  3. Kermit Jones says:

    Chris,
    Some excellent points! As a Chaplain and minister of the Gospel, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to explain the proper meaning of “Turn the Other Cheek” and you nailed. There is further context with the other two analogies Christ gives in that passage… (walk another mile… because the Soldier would then be asking you to put his pack down so he wouldn’t get in trouble; and if sued for cloak, give shirt as well… them apparently causing your nakedness would then be shamed). Each instance is about “turning the tables” from being a reactive victim… to being a proactive person that doesn’t let the circumstance determine their reaction (the end goal is that we understand that we are all to spread God’s love… how others treat us shouldn’t impact our reaction to them… we should be proactive from the start).
    So thank you. And yes, I believe we have duty to protect those with whom God has entrusted to our care.
    BTW, many insurance companies discount their premiums if your church has a security team that regularly has people who “conceal carry.” It avoid mass murders at soft targets.
    Take care!
    Kermit

  4. Excellent article Chris. Enjoyed the comments as well. I have been through Lt. Grossman’s seminar and have always been for the underdog. I believe we must have a sheepdog mentality in todays world and I do not just preach it, but I imitate it, just as I imitate Christ. That being said, I carry anywhere, anytime and always with that mentality. Thank you for standing up for the Christian prepper.

    Be Blessed, Stephen

  5. Dr. Allen says:

    If you have not actually worked face to face with the criminal mindset – in prison – male and female – you might think about doing so before your mind is set on remaining without protection, or “convincing” them of their wrong thinking.
    Whatever you may read in their defense – the criminal believes and acts out their absolute convictions that rape, murder, torture, robbery, intimidation, ect. are normal for them. That they were “born” that way, or their environment left them no choice, or their survival demanded such a response is their justification.
    You need to be well and properly trained and armed – everywhere – as they are predators – and only their acceptance of the Grace and Mercy of God will change them.
    You cannot make friends with ebola, rabies, rattlesnake or wolves.

    • Chris Ray says:

      “You cannot make friends with ebola, rabies, rattlesnake or wolves.”

      I like this a lot

    • Our pastor is doing prison ministry, and has learned – from two of them she’s worked with – that the psycho-babble “counseling” usually given to inmates indoctrinates them with the ‘victim’ mindset. If they didn’t enter prison with it, they will most likely, by the time they get out. No wonder our penal system has a revolving door, and very few of them ever get turned around, outside of the transforming love of God, as Dr. Allen states. When they do get out, everything is stacked against them; I do not savor the idea of facing one of them in dire straits without protection! Many commit a crime just to get sent back, where they know they will be taken care of. And then there is the prevalence of Islamic ‘evangelizing’ in prisons; many institutions are wide open doors for them to convert and train inmates for life after release.

  6. Should one protect themselves and others (particularly their own family)? Yes. That is obvious. But can anyone show me scripture that would support your “God given right” to own/possess a firearm? Look, I support the 2nd amendment and as long as it is in place then it is up to each individual American to decide for themselves if they choose to own/possess a firearm. But us owning/possessing firearms has nothing to do with God’s word. God instituted human government and we are under its authority. According to Romans 13, as long as that government authority is not out of line with God’s word, I am to submit to that authority. If the government were to ban and confiscate firearms, can anyone show me scripture that would support us not submitting to that authority? I don’t care what anyone feels or thinks….I care what my preserved bible tells me. I cannot find a single verse that tells me that God gives me the right to a firearm. Nor can I find a single verse that would support me going against my government if I don’t like what they are doing (unless they are in direct conflict with God’s word). Sure, I support the 2nd amendment but I hold my bible as the final authority. I am just asking for scripture that would support me going against the authority if I don’t like what they are doing and they are imposing on my American ideals. And please……we live in the dispensation of grace. We are to get our instructions primarily from the books Romans-Philemon. Show me where our Apostle, Paul, would have us rebel against our government if they take away our guns….

    Thank you…
    JWH

    • Chris Ray says:

      I agree, that God’s word needs to be the authority. I wrote an article sometime ago that delves into God’s law vs man’s law. http://preparedchristian.net/gods-law-vs-mans-law/

      I broach the subject there of Roman’s 13, and think you might be taking it out of context.

      We are permitted to stand against our government and have a duty to if they go against God’s word. If our government was going to do something really against God’s word, against us and citizens in general, I believe they would take the guns first. We then would have no way to stand.

      • SmOakley says:

        To my atheist ears, standing against the government for going against your idea of “God’s word” is equivalent to Sharia law….

        • Chris Ray says:

          You either misunderstood what was being said, or are twisting it.

          I don’t like some of our governments decisions, but I do not feel they are oppressive toward Christians. If they became like Sharia law, and became oppressive, then yes, I believe we as Christians and as citizens must stand against them. Could this happen? I can see a few examples where it might happen for a short time while order is established, do we stand against them then? Don’t think so. But if I ma wrong and they do over reach as they do in some of the prepper fiction books, then yes.

          • I believe you should at least google “Sharia Law”. Your (Chris) understanding of it appears to be backwards, as it is law based on religious edicts (specifically Islamic law).

          • Chris Ray says:

            I don’t think my understanding of Sharia law is backwards at all. It is extremely oppressive. Please clarify what you mean.

          • Our government goes against God’s Law continuously. Thou shalt not murder. – It’s a woman’s right to murder her unborn children. The murderer shall be stoned to death. – Life in prison, parole in 10 years.
            God says, “Thou Shalt NOT”, man says, “Pay me for a permission slip.”, ie. permit to change the drywall in your bathroom, a drivers license, etc.
            Sharia Law is strikingly similar to the law in the Bible, forbidding the same behavior. However, the judgments are different ie. Stealing in the Bible requires restitution, sometimes by triple and servitude if the debt can not be paid while Sharia Law calls for removal of the right hand.
            The most distinct difference between the Islamic world (government or way of doing things) and the Christian world is actually practicing what we were told by God to DO.
            The Quran, just like the Bible forbids usury. Christians ignore this edict while Muslims adhere to it. THIS is the critical key to the quagmire in the Middle East. The adversary manipulates entire populations with money … appealing to greed and vanity. If a large group of people stand in the way, world domination is hindered, and those folks MUST be demonized and destroyed. Then you get “Blowback”. We had excellent relations with the Arab countries until 1947 and to get a clearer understanding of what changed, you might want to read King Abdullah’s letter in November of that year which was printed in the New York Times.
            “Thou shalt have no other gods before me. (#1, yes?) But we keep expecting Uncle Sam or President Whoever to “save” us. We vigilantly gaze at Fox News for the latest signs of the boogey man when the reason we’re in this mess (and worsening daily) is clearly explained in Deuteronomy 28 – 32. If only we could only bring ourselves to admit that OUR OWN lawlessness has brought this upon us we could stand on the promise of 2 Chronicles 7:14. BUT, we are a stiff necked people, arrogant and foolish, turning to Our Father only as a last resort. We got a long way to go and it ain’t gonna be pretty.

        • SmOakley,

          There are two factors at stake that must be considered.

          First, Scripture is clear… a) obey the government; b) if the government goes against God’s law, obey God (e.g.,Nazi Germany and genocide); c) accept the consequences of the government if there are any (and gladly because you’re being persecuted for Christ’s sake)

          Second, however, unlike Sharia law or any other government out there, America was the first to implement: “We hold these truths to be self-evident…that whenever any form of Government becomes destructive of [life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness], it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. [W]hen a long train of abuses and usurpations…evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new guards for their future security.”
          –American Declaration of Independence, 1776

          Note “the Right of the People” – regardless of what U.S. code of 1940 (nearly two centuries later) proposes.

        • Carl Rooker says:

          In this context, standing up to the government for going against God’s Word would be if said government tried to outlaw Christianity (or any other religion), which is against our constitution to begin with. Or that the government were to oppress any group for what they believe.

          Thus standing up is NOT akin to Shiria law, which is trying to force all to follow that religion or die. Not the same thing at all.

  7. Mic Roland says:

    Chris,
    Self-defense is a tough topic among believers. Even in my little church, opinions range all along the spectrum.

    The popular image of Jesus as milk-toast pacifist doesn’t mesh well with him driving the money-lenders out of the temple with whips. He used force when he needed to.

    For another Biblical example, consider the book of Esther. Haman tricks the king into signing a decree that people can take whatever they want from the Jews. A king’s edict could never be reversed, but through the Lord’s leading in Mordecai (and Esther), they got the king to issue another edict:

    Chapter 8: verse 11 “Wherein the king granted the Jews which were in every city to gather themselves together, and to stand for their life, to destroy, to slay, and to cause to perish, all the power of the people and province that would assault them, both little ones and women, and to take the spoil of them for a prey,”

    The Jews were to “stand for their life” and “cause to perish” those “that would assault them.” Since they could (now) defend themselves with force, they were not attacked at all. The threat of violence was negated by the promise of counter-violence.

    Oh, and I do recommend a study of The Angel of the Lord in the Old Testament. There are strong indications that he IS the pre-incarnate Jesus. As you said, he did some heavy lifting back then.

    Keep up the good posts!

  8. Heartily agree. Last time I studied the Hebrew word for “violence” or “violent,” I was surprised to find it has an overtone of malicious intent. Thus, in the Hebrew of the Bible, there could be no such thing as a “violent storm.” A “violent auto wreck” would only be an apt statement if the wreck were an intentional act. If that is so, then my carry intent that is defensive (in behalf of myself and helpless others) is far from a preparation for violence as it carries no malicious intent.

  9. I am totally not comfortable with people carrying a gun to church and would not want to be a part of congregation that endorsed this. We do have a gun for family defense if things ever get bad, but I am totally against this in a house of prayer.
    It is just a sad pitiful situation where this is actually brought up as a topic.

    • Chris Ray says:

      this just amazes me. so the New Life shooting where the subject killed three and wounded several more before being shot by the church security team, you think they were in the wrong for being armed and killing him?

      what is sad and pitiful is that this topic NEEDS to be brought up.

      • Further quotes from the Lt. Col. Dave Grossman article sited above:

        “The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence… The sheepdog disturbs the sheep. He is a constant reminder that there are wolves in the land… Until the wolf shows up. Then the entire flock tries desperately to hide behind one lonely sheepdog.”

        I suspect there may have been people at New Life who were irritated by the presence of the church security team, until the wolf showed up.

    • That’s the nice thing about the First Amendment. “the free exercise thereof…” If you don’t like being in a congregation where people are actually being protected, you have the protected right to go somewhere else.

    • Gayle, consider that if someone wants to “target” a place where a bunch of people are likely unarmed and who likely believe opposite views… church is a great place to start. One IED would/could kill hundreds.

      So when that person shows up at your service… will someone have time to run home to get their “family defense firearm”?

      No one is saying you or anyone else has to carry… just that there are many who feel obligated to protect those around them. And if they are law-abiding citizens who have the right… why should you be uncomfortable?

      Blessings,
      Kermit

    • Rebecca says:

      Gayle,
      I struggled for a long time with meshing the things I did as a military member with the hereafter. I’ve made my peace with whatever may come of it.

      One thing you mention, though. You say you have guns at home, but do not believe in them in a “house of prayer.”
      If we pray, maybe especially if we’re of religions where we observe rosary meditations, stations of the cross, or advent wreaths in our homes as well as at church, is that, too, not a house of prayer?

      The number-one point of the article was excellent (as always) in that: If you’re not comfortable carrying to kill in defense, don’t carry. That applies here as well.

      But maybe, thinking of church as simply another home and home as simply another house where God is welcome will increase your comfort should you find out that somebody does carry there.

      If they are, they have probably weighed it. If they are, they are likely standing there to defend against massacre. They are likely filling the role of a cop of soldier on the street or standing a post.

      Maybe if you accept those in other places you can accept them in churches, too.

      I attended an awful lot of services in sand, firearms slung, in other countries. Maybe thinking of those soldiers and Marines will help, too.

      I can’t see too much difference anymore, between locations, different types of roofs. But I understand if you still can’t accept it and us.
      -Rebecca

  10. Carl Rooker says:

    Some good points Chris.

    I do believe that several things that Jesus said was not about not defending themselves, their family, or innoncents, but that He was telling us not to take revenge for a wrong done.

    If attacked, it may be OK to defend, but it is not His will to go after the perp to get back at him. Nor are we to initiate hostilities.

  11. Stephen says:

    I have come across many Christians in my lifetime who tend to be complacent or bury their head in the sand when this very topic is presented to them. Yes I stand on the Word as our authority, for fifty years to be exact, however our Creator gave me a mind and a brain and a thing called common sense, which a lot of people seem to lack. That being said my Christian Brothers and sisters, this complacency and burying our head in the sand has produced results that our God is not pleased with! No school prayer. Result: school shootings. No morality. Result: gay and lesbian marriages, slaughtering of the unborn, corrupt government, generations that believe the government should support them. It is these very actions from past generations, mine included, that have catapulted this world out of control. I am keeping my gun, carrying in church and God help us for what we have allowed to happen to His world he created for us. I am so ashamed. Forgive us Father.

  12. Here is a scripture,
    Matthew 26: 52
    Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. Paul never carried a sword. Yes he was beaten , flogged, and left for dead, but never fought back. Somehow our modern society has stopped trusting God that He will see them through, and deemed it ok now to carry guns as a form or self defence. So what do you trust more, God or a gun?

    • Chris Ray says:

      you’re taking one verse, and not looking at scripture as a whole. Jesus told the disciples in other verses to sell their most valued possession their cloak to get a sword. When He was told they had two, He said that was enough. Did the two carrying swords trust in Him any less than the others? No, they were commanded to get them! In the Old Testament we are also told of how God sent some of the soldiers home, because if they had all fought they would not have depended on Him.

      David carried a sling with him everywhere, He trusted in God to kill Goliath. Nehemiah told the people to hold their sword in one hand as they repaired the wall.

      There are always a small percentage of people who have a warriors spirit, and train and carry the weapons of a warrior. They trust in God that if they ever must use their training and their weapons, that He will see them through.

    • Bill,

      Context is key. Paul did those things suffering for the Gospel at the hand of people who were trying to stop him from evangelizing.

      That is a different cry from those who want to protect themselves and their loved ones from senseless violence. I very much trust God more than a gun. But I also see that He has blessed me with the opportunity to carry said gun. But I’ll roll with your logic for a moment:

      I invite you to consider the same logic applied elsewhere… Do you go to the doctor and use medicine? “Somehow our modern society has stopped trusting God that He will see them through, and deemed it ok now to use [chemotherapy, antibiotics, and surgery as a form of healing]. Or do you simply trust God to see you through? Who do you trust more, [doctors] or God?”

      Me? I trust God to use doctors and medicine to bless my family and heal us. I still believe very much that miracles happen at His Word, but it doesn’t stop me from going to the Dr.

    • Could it be that Jesus was saying there’s a time a place for the sword and now isn’t it? Jesus knew his own death was to be crucifixion without cause and Peter was about to defy the prophets.

  13. True Story.
    In 1996, a young man who had only arrived in our sleepy little community a few months earlier, shot the preacher from the back row of a church. He ran out the door and before he’d made it to the end of the block, he was shot in the back six times. He was shot once by six different people attending church with him, two of whom were women – one a homeschool mom of four and the other her 70 year old mother who used knitting needles to keep her hair in a bun. No charges were pressed. It was later learned that he was wanted in two other states for murdering preachers – all of whom preached vehemently that the Law of God still exists and that Christians must repent of their tolerance (and unjustified forgiveness) of sin. None of these churches were under the restrictions of the 501c3 compliance issues. Hmmm (?)…
    Of course, stories like this are not covered by the MSM because the people who own those “news outlets” want anyone who opposes their agenda silenced. Any time an incident like this does get out, it’s the preacher who is made to look like the bad guy. You know, the right wing radical, gun-toting, racist, fundamentalist with a screw loose. No wait, the screw isn’t just loose, the threads are stripped.
    “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.” – John 15:18
    ‘World’ in Strong’s Concordance – Greek 2889 means government or order of things. We have been under the New World Order for at least 6 decades even though we’ve been seduced by the powerful weapon of celuloid film in motion into thinking it would happen all at once at the hand of UN soldiers. It is so glaringly obvious that “they”, “them”, “those” in control of our ‘elected representatives’ are the men of lawlessness Paul spoke of in 2 Thesselonians 2:3 because there are so many laws passed everyday that are 100% contrary to the Law of God. As Christians, we must first defend ourselves by clearly identifying the enemy and how they are destroying us. Deuteronomy 28 !! Carry a gun for everything else.
    “He that hateth ME hateth my Father also.” – John 15:23

  14. excellent article and case in point. Who is going to stop a bad guy with a gun? More than likely, a good guy with a gun, Christian or otherwise.

  15. Catherine says:

    Excellent article, and interesting replies. I have had, and heard others have this discussion. I am always amazed at the people who take partial scriptures to prove their viewpoint. I would rather carry, or be in the presence of someone who carries, and be safe, than be a self-righteous dead person. God doesn’t tell us to be victims.

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