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PastorMatt

Bring your guns to church

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When it relates to our current day Christian walk, if example is as (or more binding) than command, then there are a bunch of people owning homes and property on this board that need to sell everything, share with the church and start walking across the known earth to spread the Gospel!

And don't give me that "I give money to send missionaries" line either, the example is the command so give and go, do both...and not just your neighborhood.

Conversely, you extreme-literalists, show some real faith and stop taking any government subsidies to live on. You should be following Jesus' example/words in the Gospels when he says your heavenly Father will cloth and feed you in the same manner as he clothes the flowers of the field and feeds the birds of the air. Come on, have some faith in God to protect you from the elements and live out in the field....no house needed.

Super spiritual and super self-righteous.....something akin to the Scribes and Pharisees!

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There will be no need to form an "opinion" because Scripture is very clear. Nowhere do the NT Christians gather weapons to take to church. Nowhere do they fight against those who are persecuting them' date=' whether it be merchants, government, citizens or whoever. They either accepted what came to them with joy or they fled to safer areas. [/quote']
You are correct, John. But again, you compare apples and oranges when you mix civil and religious matters. What is missing from Scripture is any incident where a Christian was attacked/persecuted for a different reason than just being a Christian...like a thief accosting a Christian man, or an intruder threatening the safety of a Christian's family, etc., not because they were Christians, but because he wanted to kidnap a child, or rape and kill the wife, etc. I would be shocked to learn that you do not think a man has an obligation to protect his family from harm, both physical and spiritual. Yes, we should rejoice when we are persecuted for being Christians! But when the cause is something different, then as protectors of those we love, we should do the right thing by intervening.

Just because Scripture doesn't mention Christians carrying weapons doesn't mean that they did not in fact carry them. The admonitions to live peaceably, turn the other cheek, etc., be willing to be persecuted for righteousness sake, etc., have nothing to do with the issue of this thread. Nowhere does Scripture advocate that Christians let themselves and their families get murdered for any other reason than martyrdom, which means death caused specifically by the person's religious beliefs.

Again, I do not think that church is the correct place to make political statements, which is all that this particular event really is. But if a man wants to carry a gun with him (and has proven himself worthy of doing so by passing all of the safety tests required by law), then there's nothing in Scripture to prohibit him from doing so.


If I remember right, the examples were what I addressed above...not talking about random assault, etc.


Right...The New Testament commends death for certain reasons. It is silent about death for other reasons.

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I'm curious as to why you are also not calling for the removal of laundry bleach' date=' sharp knives, garbage disposals, family cars, pets and other things that are statistically MUCH more dangerous than a gun; especially when most of the guns are locked up in some manner and these other dangerous items are not?[/quote']

Because guns are far more deadly than any of those. A person cannot walk into a crowded store and kill 10 people within a few seconds with a knife, much less any other item you mention. A gun can kill or seriously injur dozens within a matter of seconds.

Laundry bleach is not a public safety hazard in my place of business, or a shopping mall, or a church.

I'd like to see where you are getting your statistical information. I live right down the road from Westside school where two shooters killed a number of children in school with guns. If they had knives instead, I doubt there would have ben any deaths. Your logic is absurd. You cannot compare guns to any of those things. Guns posses an inherent deadly quality about them. Guns are made to kill people, and are designed very effectively to do so. None of the other items are designed to kill people, but for other purposes, and prehaps can kill people in an accident.

I'm not advocating banning all guns. I'm advocating banning guns in crowded public areas by the property owner, which they have a right to do. A private property owner can forbid you from carrying a gun onto their property. The government cannot forbid you from having a gun. Private v. public actor.

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When it relates to our current day Christian walk, if example is as (or more binding) than command, then there are a bunch of people owning homes and property on this board that need to sell everything, share with the church and start walking across the known earth to spread the Gospel!

And don't give me that "I give money to send missionaries" line either, the example is the command so give and go, do both...and not just your neighborhood.

Conversely, you extreme-literalists, show some real faith and stop taking any government subsidies to live on. You should be following Jesus' example/words in the Gospels when he says your heavenly Father will cloth and feed you in the same manner as he clothes the flowers of the field and feeds the birds of the air. Come on, have some faith in God to protect you from the elements and live out in the field....no house needed.

Super spiritual and super self-righteous.....something akin to the Scribes and Pharisees!


I completely agree that I should sell my property and give to the poor. That is one area that I struggle with, and have not relinquished to the full control of Chirst. I admit, it is a struggle to do. The commands of Christ are hard to follow...thus why the rich young ruler went away sad when told to sell his property and follow Christ. Why doesn't that command apply to us? Why can't we use strictly what we need to live, follow Christ, and give the rest to the poor? Why do we justify our actions by saying "Jesus didn't really mean that, he only meant that for that particualar person becuase that person had a problem with money." Well, don't we have a problem with money and materialism if we do not do this as well. It is easy to say we would be willing, but if we do not do it and follow through, are we not just like the rich young ruler? Perhaps I am more like him than I care to admit. I'm deeply challenged by this, and it is a current struggle. But it is what Jesus said to do, and is in fact what the early chruch did do in carrying out Jesus' teachings.

Liberalism/conservatism has NOTHING to do with being a Christian. It has solely to do with one's view of the role of government in society. I know both liberals and conservatives who are devout followers of Christ.

I admit I am not there yet. Jesus' commands and teachings are hard. It is hard to let go of our resources and let God provide and sell all we have and give to the poor. It is hard not to look at others with lust. It is hard not to curse an enemy, much less turn to the other cheek and love them. Nothing is easy about being a follower of Christ. His actions led to his persecution and death. Should we expect anything less? Following his teachings led the early church to persecution. Should we expect anything less?

Christ was radical. His teaching were radical. His life was radical. His commands were radical. The disciples left all they had to follow Christ. They turned the other cheek (most of the time) when persecuted after Christ's resurection. As did the early church. They were not concerned with making a living. They earned a living, but gave all excess they had to the poor and needy among them. They were not concerned with protecting themselves. They let God do that and endured persecution.

Why should we be any different? Is it a challenge? Beyond any challenge I've ever encountered. I'm not there yet, but hope to move more and more to being a radical, in selling what I have and giving all excess to the poor, of being a peacemaker, of turning the other cheek, of loving all people regardless of race, sex, sexaul orientation, creed or religion, and spreading the gospel of Christ. It is challenging, and his commands are easy to justify, but if we do not take his commands and example at face value, what are we?

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When it relates to our current day Christian walk, if example is as (or more binding) than command, then there are a bunch of people owning homes and property on this board that need to sell everything, share with the church and start walking across the known earth to spread the Gospel!

And don't give me that "I give money to send missionaries" line either, the example is the command so give and go, do both...and not just your neighborhood.

Conversely, you extreme-literalists, show some real faith and stop taking any government subsidies to live on. You should be following Jesus' example/words in the Gospels when he says your heavenly Father will cloth and feed you in the same manner as he clothes the flowers of the field and feeds the birds of the air. Come on, have some faith in God to protect you from the elements and live out in the field....no house needed.

Super spiritual and super self-righteous.....something akin to the Scribes and Pharisees!


Look to all of the NT, not just one isolated portion. It was the first Christians in Jerusalem which sold their property and shared all they had with one another. It also doesn't say they sold their homes and lived in fields. They did NOT, on their own, spread forth spreading the Gospel. It wasn't until massive persecution arose that they spread forth; and it wasn't as missionaries. Rather than fight, they fled the persecution and took their faith with them. They moved to other cities to live where they shared their faith.

The example of NT Christians in the epistles shows they lived their lives with homes and work. It also shows they truly gave sacrificially in support of the Lord's work and their fellow Christians.

My God does supply our every need, just as He has promised.

Following Scripture, as Christ commands, has nothing to do with being "super spiritual" (there is no such thing) but has to do with obeying the Lord.

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Scripture says love your enemies, pray for your enemies, turn the other cheek, if someone takes your coat give them your shirt too, if someone forces us to go with them we are to go even further. Christians are called to a very high standard which is very different from nonChristians.

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If your main concern is health and safety, then are you saying it is just too dangerous for people to carry their own guns per se? If so, wouldn't you say the same about carrying guns anywhere--say, a shopping centre or a football match?

Personally, if I was a Pastor who was concerned about health and safety, I would put a sign up banning motor cars before I put a sign up banning guns. They're much more dangerous; I wonder how many people are killed each year by car journeys back and forth to church.


At a football match, or any game, wouldn't it be a bad place for people to be carrying concealed handguns, its bad enough as it is, can you imagine what it would be like if they got mad at one another over the game and pulled out their concealed handguns and started shotting each other?

So far, I'm 62, I know of know one who attended the churches I have who have been in a wreck coming or going to church.

Now my grandmother told me of a black panther who stalked them one night many years ago after they had left church services about dusty dark in their wagon going thru the woods on their way home. In fact that spot is about 1 mile from where I live. The next day a young man on a horse was attacked by the panther along that trail, the panther jumped from a ledge trying to knock him from his horse but missed him but his claws caught the horse behind the saddle and left some bad gashes.

After this incident all the men in the community went hunting and did not stop until they had a dead black panther. That was when my mother was a little girl, Wow, I miss all the stories my grandmother use to tell me from the old days. Thanks for making me think about this.

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Because guns are far more deadly than any of those. A person cannot walk into a crowded store and kill 10 people within a few seconds with a knife, much less any other item you mention. A gun can kill or seriously injur dozens within a matter of seconds. I'd like to see where you are getting your statistical information. I live right down the road from Westside school where two shooters killed a number of children in school with guns. If they had knives instead, I doubt there would have ben any deaths. Your logic is absurd. You cannot compare guns to any of those things. Guns posses an inherent deadly quality about them. Guns are made to kill people, and are designed very effectively to do so. None of the other items are designed to kill people, but for other purposes, and prehaps can kill people in an accident.

Here's some stats: cars kill 15.5 people in the US, whereas firearm deaths are between 10.5 and 15 people per 100,000. I would agree that cars aren't designed to kill people, which makes their efficacy at doing so all the more shocking. At my local school, no-one has ever been shot, whereas every year several teenage pupils are killed in road 'accidents', the drivers usually taking out between 2 and 10 people with them, depending on the number of passengers, vehicles involved etc. In fact, the World Health Organisation recently listed roads as being the single biggest killer of teenagers worldwide.

The fact that guns are designed to kill people is irrelevant unless you are attempting to argue that bringing guns into churches will cause churchgoers to shoot each other on purpose. In your earlier examples you were talking about accidental shootings; well the capacity for cars to kill and injure accidentally far exceeds that of guns. Fire a gun in the wrong direction? You might kill two people. Fall asleep at the wheel? You could kill 10.

Sorry to go off on one but you did claim trc123 was being 'absurd' for comparing cars with guns.

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At a football match' date=' or any game, wouldn't it be a bad place for people to be carrying concealed handguns, its bad enough as it is, can you imagine what it would be like if they got mad at one another over the game and pulled out their concealed handguns and started shotting each other?[/quote']

Yes, you're right. Sadly, I could see people doing that over a game.

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There will be no need to form an "opinion" because Scripture is very clear. Nowhere do the NT Christians gather weapons to take to church. Nowhere do they fight against those who are persecuting them, whether it be merchants, government, citizens or whoever. They either accepted what came to them with joy or they fled to safer areas.

Some have posted examples of this in this or one of the other recent threads but they seem to have been ignored.

Christians are told clearly they are to be very different than non-Christians. Part of that difference is not fighting back against enemies. Part of that difference is esteeming ALL others as better than yourself. Part of that difference is being more concerned about ALL others salvation than your own life. Part of that difference is accepting that this life is for God's glory, not for our own pleasure, or for us to see how long we can live, or to do our own thing or anything other than living for God and serving His purpose. Part of that difference is accepting that God doesn't intend for all of us to live in peace, or to live a long life, or to die in our sleep, or to have our loved ones with us for any certain amount of time.

No matter what happens to a Christian in this life it amounts to the briefest blip of time in comparison to eternity. How horrible to be beaten or raped to death but how glorious to suddenly be with the Lord!

Our ways are not God's ways and we can't understand the beginning from the end as He does. Sometimes it serves the Lord's purposes for us to suffer well or even die well. By "well" I mean biblically, as the New Testament commands us.

The New Testament Chrisitans trusted the Lord for their protection and provision. They knew if they were attacked that nothing could happen to them unless the Lord allowed it...and if the Lord allowed it there was good reason for it. When we trust in God and obey Him, we know we can trust that God will work ALL THINGS together for good.


John, thank you for such a stirring response.

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John, thank you for such a stirring response.



John - you make me laugh sooo hard with your pacifist comments. God forbid - if something happened to one of your loved ones? You'd be a "Vigal Anti-Crusader" along with ALL of the other pacifist men on OB. Give me a break!! Really. I'll believe this when I see it. And, I hope and pray that I don't. I am certainly glad that I don't rely on you to protect me. I would be in serious trouble!

Molly

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Complete pacifist's don't bother me, I think they are mistaken in their understanding of scripture, but as scriptural mistakes go I would consider it a minor one. It reminds me of the joke about a Christian during a local flood, his house floods and he has to go up to the second story of the house, a rescue boat comes by and tells him to get in but he tells them "I am a Christian, God will deliver me". They can't change his mind so they leave, but the water gets higher and he has to go up on the roof. Then a rescue helicopter comes by and tells him, look, we know you wouldn't come in the boat but the water is rising, things are get worse, you really need to come with us. He tells them "No, I am a Christian, God will deliver me". They can't talk him out of it and there are others to be rescued so they eventually leave him. The water rises some more, his house is swept away, and the man drowns. Next thing he knows he is in heaven, he is glad to be there but he thought God was going to save him. He asks the Lord, "why didn't you save me? I was completely trusting that you would." The Lord tells him, I sent the boat and the helicopter, why wouldn't you get in?

I think extreme pacifism can be similar to that at times. God may choose to deliver us by natural means, we shouldn't shun that hoping for something that we think is is a "bigger" miracle.


While some pacifists may take offense that I don't believe Christ would have Christians be pacifist at all time in all situations, the reverse is not true. [bible]Romans 14:23[/bible] comes to mind, so I have no problem with those who's conscience leads them to pacifism, I just think they are wrong.

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Here's some stats: cars kill 15.5 people in the US, whereas firearm deaths are between 10.5 and 15 people per 100,000. I would agree that cars aren't designed to kill people, which makes their efficacy at doing so all the more shocking. At my local school, no-one has ever been shot, whereas every year several teenage pupils are killed in road 'accidents', the drivers usually taking out between 2 and 10 people with them, depending on the number of passengers, vehicles involved etc. In fact, the World Health Organisation recently listed roads as being the single biggest killer of teenagers worldwide.

The fact that guns are designed to kill people is irrelevant unless you are attempting to argue that bringing guns into churches will cause churchgoers to shoot each other on purpose. In your earlier examples you were talking about accidental shootings; well the capacity for cars to kill and injure accidentally far exceeds that of guns. Fire a gun in the wrong direction? You might kill two people. Fall asleep at the wheel? You could kill 10.

Sorry to go off on one but you did claim trc123 was being 'absurd' for comparing cars with guns.


I would expect if you got all the dunk drivers off Americas highways along it the doped up drivers that the death rate on our highways would drop drastically.

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Its quite amazing at the put down Christians will give towards Christians who has enough faith to trust God.

31 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field:
32 Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.
Matt 13:31-32 (KJV)

How much faith do you have in God?

Maybe a better question is, how do you decided on which things you going to trust God with and which things you will not trust Him with?

You state you trust God with your soul, but yet in this life you never trust Him with nothing, you even feel you must carry a gun to church for protection, do you really have saving faith? Do you have the type of faith Daniel. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had?

I can quickly imagine some of you being hecklers towards Daniel. Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, and many other Bible characters who trusted in God with all their all their heart, soul, and mind.

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Scripture says love your enemies' date=' pray for your enemies, turn the other cheek, if someone takes your coat give them your shirt too, if someone forces us to go with them we are to go even further. Christians are called to a very high standard which is very different from nonChristians.[/quote']

John, I'm going to attempt to pin you down here, since up until this point you have spoken only in generalities, without commenting on how the principles you mention are applied in real life, and (I think) without considering the context of the verses you've alluded to.

First, how should I respond if my four-year-old girl is being kidnapped from my home? I have the ability to attempt to deter the kidnaper (loaded gun or other weapon). How would you respond in a situation like this?

Second, how would you respond if you came home from work, noticed the front door had been forced open, and found your wife or daughter getting raped in a bedroom? (I'm sorry to be graphic, but I have not seen you address anyone's questions other than to give general principles which may or may not apply in all cases.)

Third, how should I respond if I am getting personally assaulted/raped?

I'm curious about how you will answer these questions, John.

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Allow me to add to the equation that the perpetrator is giving NO indication that it is due to religious affiliation --- just his opportunity and your (or your family member's) presence occured simultaneously.


(This is not Ger4Christ, but OFP)

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John - you make me laugh sooo hard with your pacifist comments. God forbid - if something happened to one of your loved ones? You'd be a "Vigal Anti-Crusader" along with ALL of the other pacifist men on OB. Give me a break!! Really. I'll believe this when I see it. And, I hope and pray that I don't. I am certainly glad that I don't rely on you to protect me. I would be in serious trouble!

Molly


Molly is there really any need for personal assaults? How does pointing out what Scripture says make one a "Vigal Anti-Crusader" (which I have no idea what that even means!)? I'm not a pacifist at all. There are times for confrontation. The important thing is following what Scripture commands and in the course of our life to allow the Holy Ghost to guide our actions. I have nothing against guns. They have their place and uses. As Christians, Scripture should be our guide with regards to guns. Neither you or anyone else should rely upon another for protection. God is our shield and protector. Everyone who truly knows me knows that if trouble comes about I would be between them and the trouble. Over the years I've been called to a friends house to defend him and his sister from her drunken former boyfriend. My sister has called upon me several times. In my younger days several incidents came about where friends and loved ones were threatened yet not a one of them was touched. Back then I was foolish enough to believe it was me that protected them and held the wicked back but now I know it was all by the grace of God.

Do you recall the prophet of the Lord taking Jews from Babylon to Jerusalem to rebuild the wall? They had all those miles to travel, filled with bandits, criminals and worse. However, he had proclaimed to the king his God would protect them so he didn't ask for an armed escort. They took their situation before the Lord and the Lord provided them with the protection they needed.

Never forget, the angels of the Lord encamp round about His people. With God, we are never outnumbered.

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What does Scripture say about being willing to lay down your life for your friends? The answer to all things is in Scripture.

Yes, John, this is exactly what I was getting at. I'm glad that when all the layers are peeled away, you are in agreement that a person has an obligation to protect those he loves. (Whew! took a while to get here!)

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Who said that, i sure didn't, so why say that, it has nothing to do with the topic. It has everything to do with it, because people are trying to say if the Christians of the NT didn't do it, neither should we. So, we should do all the things they did and none of the things they didn't. Including protecting ourselves.

By the way, Jesus not only told him to put away the sword, Jesus also said they who live by the sword die by the sword. Yep. But He also told them to go buy swords. Funny, isn't it? He would have them secure swords, and then tell them those who live by them die by them. Could it remotely be possible that He was saying it was fine and good to have them, but not to be nuts about them? Hmmmm - maybe He was trying to teach a balance?

And I completely fail to understand why anyone would ask kindofbule why He keeps bring up Jesus. I never asked anyone why they keep bringing up Jesus.

Your advocating taking guns to church, of all places our faith ought to be greater when we are gathered together as a church than at any other time. I'm not advocating bringing guns to church. I am saying that I don't see a Biblical problem with it. Those who are trying to stretch scripture to make it say that it's wrong are doing exactly that - stretching scripture, according to their opinions.



By the way, if anyone had the right to live by the sword it was those of the early church for they were persecuted much more than you or I. Yep. As were the Christians in early America - who carried guns to church!

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Here's some stats: cars kill 15.5 people in the US' date=' whereas firearm deaths are between 10.5 and 15 people per 100,000. I would agree that cars aren't designed to kill people, which makes their efficacy at doing so all the more shocking. At my local school, no-one has ever been shot, whereas [i']every year several teenage pupils are killed in road 'accidents', the drivers usually taking out between 2 and 10 people with them, depending on the number of passengers, vehicles involved etc. In fact, the World Health Organisation recently listed roads as being the single biggest killer of teenagers worldwide.

The fact that guns are designed to kill people is irrelevant unless you are attempting to argue that bringing guns into churches will cause churchgoers to shoot each other on purpose. In your earlier examples you were talking about accidental shootings; well the capacity for cars to kill and injure accidentally far exceeds that of guns. Fire a gun in the wrong direction? You might kill two people. Fall asleep at the wheel? You could kill 10.

Sorry to go off on one but you did claim trc123 was being 'absurd' for comparing cars with guns.


But look at the number of people that own cars compared to guns. If as many people owned guns as owned cars, I guarantee you gun deaths would be much higher than car deaths. You've got to take into account that while most families own a car or more than one car, and use the cars every day, there are probably more families than not that do not own guns in their house.

I am in full support of raising the driving age to 18, because most car deaths involve teenagers, and are very dangerous.

The two cannot be compared. Why? Nearly every family owns and uses a car ever day. Not everyone owns and uses guns. If you look per capita, I'm certain gun deaths are a much higher percentage.

And someone did ask me why I kept brining Jesus into this...I'd have to go back and look to see who it was, but you can look back and find it if you are curious.

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I would like to add that there is a big difference in protecting yourself or familiy member form an intruder in your home, and taking it up on yourself to protect a crowd in a public place.

The first example, it is your responsibility to protect yourself and family, and there is no dobut that God would want for me to protect my wife and daughter from harm. I am a pacifist by and large, but there is a point where we must defend those that we love. If it were just me, I'd tell the intruder to take everything I own and be on his merry way. But if my wife or daughter, I would do what is necessary (though I would not use a gun because I do not own one).

The second example, security is a public decision. The church must make a plan and enact a security plan, and an individual should not do so when doing so may put the lives of others in danger. The church should have designated people looking for trouble and ready to act if necessary to protect others. IF the church has a plan, and an individual acts outside of that plan, it might actually cause more harm and more danger, especially if such actions mean firing a gun in a crowded place. Look at the folks in Illinois where the pastor was shot and killed...they handled the situation without guns, and subdued the killer before he could do even more harm. Anytime a gunfight breaks out in a public place full of people, it increases the danger of deaths.

Those in charge of securing public places such as malls, chruches, sporting arenas, etc., all must have a security plan...they have the responsibility. An individual taking it upon himself to brandish a gun and subdue the perpetrator is placing the lives of others in more danger than they already are. That kind of stuff is great in the movies, but in real life, can get very messy. There are saftey and liability issues invovled, and it is foolish for anyone to take that upon themselves without being given the job to do so by those in control of the property.

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Isn't the main point about whether Christians need to bring guns to church or should? It seems we've got far away from that.

I've taken the Gospel into the heart of Chicago gangland. I've walked in places where the police won't go without backup. Never once did I carry a gun (or any other weapon for that matter). I've dealt with Black Gangster Disciples, Vice Lords, Spanish Lords, Latin Kings, etc. I've been threatened, confronted and seen several weapons displayed to intimidate me. I'm no "super Christian", I'm no Elijah seeing the army of the Lord about me, yet trusting in the Lord I went into these places and dealt with those who were known for robbing, beating and killing those who violated their territory, especially whites.

My story is a minor thing, many other Christians have went into far more dangerous places and have faced as deadly and deadlier lost folks. They carried no weapons, they relied upon the Lord for their protection.

Should we not be able to have the same faith and trust in the Lord for protection in church as we can when we face the violent street gangs or savage natives in the outland?

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Isn't the main point about whether Christians need to bring guns to church or should? It seems we've got far away from that.

I've taken the Gospel into the heart of Chicago gangland. I've walked in places where the police won't go without backup. Never once did I carry a gun (or any other weapon for that matter). I've dealt with Black Gangster Disciples, Vice Lords, Spanish Lords, Latin Kings, etc. I've been threatened, confronted and seen several weapons displayed to intimidate me. I'm no "super Christian", I'm no Elijah seeing the army of the Lord about me, yet trusting in the Lord I went into these places and dealt with those who were known for robbing, beating and killing those who violated their territory, especially whites.

My story is a minor thing, many other Christians have went into far more dangerous places and have faced as deadly and deadlier lost folks. They carried no weapons, they relied upon the Lord for their protection.

Should we not be able to have the same faith and trust in the Lord for protection in church as we can when we face the violent street gangs or savage natives in the outland?


John,

I know we don't agree on much on this board, but I am 100% in agrement with you on this issue.

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