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Christians and Gun Control

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Am I the only one that finds it disturbing that a majority of evangelicals are all about owning guns? I find it a bit of a difficulty that you can be both pro-life and anti-gun control. That seems like an oxymoron to me. It’s as if we think it’s a mortal sin to kill an unborn child in the womb but if that child grows up to become a robber than I want to make sure I have every right to put a bullet in that persons head so he doesn’t steal my flat screen TV. Pro-life… so long as that life doesn’t mess with me or mine.

Now I know what new people to my blog are going to think. They’ll roll their eyes and say, “Well, he lives in Southern California. Of course he thinks the government should restrict my right to buy a Glock so I can put a cap in someone whenever the Lord lays that poor sucker on my doorstep. He’s just another one of those California liberals.” You’d be wrong. I’ve been all about gun control for ages. I’m sure I made tons of my friends in Michigan roll their eyes. Personally, I liked to save my sentiment for the churches annual celebration of killing anything with four legs, the wild game banquet.(We both know Jesus hated Bambi.)

Am I the only Christian in the United States asking why others aren’t demanding their congressman to better control the sale of handguns, automatic weapons, and other non-sporting weapons designed to kill human beings? At least make every single handgun owner go through some sort of training. We make people take a test to drive a car! But buy a Colt .45? You just need to be a certain age and never committed a felony. God bless America, pass the ammo!

Back to my theory that Christians makes strange political bedfellows.

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69 Responses to Christians and Gun Control

  1. Joel Mayward July 30, 2009 at 5:13 am #

    I’m with you. And I feel your frustration about being brushed off with an eye roll and a comment about how I’m from Portland, OR.

  2. chris wilson July 30, 2009 at 5:31 am #

    Adam,

    We could have a long discussion about this, maybe the next time you pass through Cinci would be good. But for a short comment let me just say that the gun is but the modern day sword. While it my be a stretch for you and I am certain your opinion wont change (nor should it for that matter) but to put it in perspective. The disciples were armed, albeit with swords. If they were not armed, how did Peter draw his sword against the Roman? We are allowed, even as Christians, to protect our families and our lives. The comment about the flatscreen is just your selling your perception.

    Spoken with Love for a brother.
    Chris Wilson

  3. Richard July 30, 2009 at 6:43 am #

    Hey Adam,

    I agree with you. I’m just going to hope that it isn’t the majority of Evangelicals, but just some of the loudest.

    Also, I’m amused that this is the image that showed up in the ad on the feed.

  4. adam mclane July 30, 2009 at 6:50 am #

    @richard- that ad is amazing. Yeah, Google adwords is having a field day with this post. I’m seeing ads for body vests.

    @chris- I think you’re right. When I’m in Cincy this fall lets get together for an Obama inspired “beer summit.” :)

  5. Joel Mayward July 30, 2009 at 7:33 am #

    Chris, Jesus clearly wasn’t in favor of Peter pulling his sword or the subsequent act of violence. He rebukes him and explains that those who draw the sword will die by the sword, then goes ahead and heals the guy who was attacked. If anything, this is a great argument for why guns/swords shouldn’t be used.

  6. Kirby July 30, 2009 at 7:45 am #

    “At least make every single handgun owner go through some sort of training. We make people take a test to drive a car!” That is the main thing in this whole discussion. The buying and selling of guns for human harm will never stop, unfortunately, people are just evil (different subject). However it’s a matter of proper education and training. Not just saying, you can’t purchase a weapon for your protection/enjoyment at targets/hunting etc. Not all weapons are used to take human life. And just like many other things in this life, weapons can and will be used for the worse by the people using them. There’s a difference, I believe, in gun “control” vs. gun “restriction” (not the word i’m looking for); It’s the idea that you stop all gun sales, period. And that’s not right, in my opinion.

  7. schnerples July 30, 2009 at 7:56 am #

    Gun control isn’t an issue I care a whole lot about, but I will say this much. Stop making new laws and start putting the current laws into action. That alone will make a huge difference. Every time something bad happens people scream about needing new laws, when most of the time the current laws just need to be enforced.

    One other thing to realize is that many evangelicals are conservatives. Most conservatives read the 2nd amendment to mean that having weapons to protect the citizen’s right to overthrow the government.

  8. Johnny Carson July 30, 2009 at 1:40 pm #

    Nice opening sentence. It reminds me of Homer Simpson’s observation that every white guy is named “Lenny” and every black guy is named “Carl”. Maybe you’ve accepted somebody else’s caricature of an evangelical. Better work on that.

  9. Len July 30, 2009 at 8:19 pm #

    I see no confusion between these views. For me, both are centered around justice. It is unjust for an unborn child to be killed. It is just that I’m able to defend my family, if needed.

  10. adam mclane July 30, 2009 at 8:36 pm #

    @len- that’s the moral relativism I expected out of you. :) Liberal!

  11. Len July 30, 2009 at 9:22 pm #

    If I had a dime for every time I’ve been called a liberal. . . . I’d have about 40 cents. :-)

  12. Jon jones July 30, 2009 at 9:55 pm #

    I like Chris Rocks solution, personally. Just increase the cost of ammo exponentially and subsequently crime will drop.

  13. Steve July 30, 2009 at 10:10 pm #

    I agree with Len’s point, and would add: Unborn babies can’t make decisions, adults do.

    I don’t own a gun, nor do I own a flat-screen TV, and I’m not a hunter. It’s not about stuff, anyway – it’s about defending my family and my community should I have a need to do so. I’m thankful that I live in a decent area and don’t feel like I have that need. But I’m glad I have a choice, and so do you.

  14. Bradley Buhro July 31, 2009 at 3:53 am #

    Maybe it’s just because I’ve been thinking about Bonhoeffer recently, but @schnerples hits the nail on the head when it comes to my views on the subject.

    The 2nd amendment was penned to ensure that the federal government could not take away the power of its citizens to overthrow a corrupt government. Sometimes the most pro-life thing one can do is to take up arms in defense of life – something Bonhoeffer came to realize while working with the resistance in Nazi Germany. It’s not about protecting property. It’s not even about protecting my own life. It’s about the responsibility of good men and women to resist evil when necessary.

  15. adam mclane July 31, 2009 at 6:22 am #

    OK, let’s talk about the 2nd amendment. It’s original intent (we’d all agree) was that the people of the nation could bear arms for the purpose of preventing tyranny. You should watch the History Channel. Unless the 2nd amendment allows me to bear nuclear arms, it’s null and void. There is absolutely no way that you’d be allowed to form a militia that could overthrow our government. Anyone here old enough to remember Waco? The government will surround you, burn down your property, and murder your children long before you collect enough weapons to over through a TOWN… much less a city, state, or government.

    I will concede that our courts have upheld that the 2nd amemndment gives you the right to defend your property.

    But I thought believers were not citicens of this land? I thought we lived under a higher court? I thought that our laws supercede those of the government which allow us to routinely break God’s law.

    You tell me, kind friends. Who is the author and finisher of a human life? Where does Jesus give me permission to buy a gun (pre-meditation) and kill a human being for the sake of protecting my own life or the life of my loved one. (Or property?)

    My argument is that we have sychrotized our rights as American citizens with our rights as believers in Jesus Christ, bought and paid for on the cross of Calvary.

    My only other point is much more simple and less theological. We live in a modern police state. Very rarely will the need arise for us to defend ourselves with deadly force. Every day in this country hundreds of thousands of trained professionals use non-deadly force to maintain the peace. (But having that option as a method of ABSOLUTEL last resort.) Our owning handguns and running around like John Wayne does not make us safer. It gives us a false sense of security. It is simply not worth the risk of that gun getting into the hands of the wrong person. (in future use, whether stolen from your home or legally sold to another individual, etc.)

    OK, there’s some more hot metal for this fire. :)

  16. Joel Mayward July 31, 2009 at 6:34 am #

    Adam, I’m with you once again. It takes a lot more intelligence, tact, and training to defend one’s family effectively without having to kill someone in the process. Jesus makes it pretty clear in Matthew 5 to love our enemies and not strike back when attacked. I’m not against owning guns, but I wonder if the motivation for owning them is a motive of fear and not of love. Like you said, the use of deadly force should be an absolute last resort.

  17. Bradley Buhro July 31, 2009 at 7:16 am #

    Actually, I’d argue Waco is a very bad example of the proper use of a militia. The 2nd amendment was not written to ensure a handful of disgruntled people could overthrow the American government (although, I’m not sure that’s what the people who lost their lives at Waco were), but rather to ensure that should the government become so corrupt that it merits being cast down, a nationwide grassroots movement (which would likely include many in the military who refuse to follow the commands of the corrupt executive branch) could offer meaningful resistance. We’ve no example of such a situation in America in modern history, so whether or not it would be possible is arguable. (Though one might argue that we have an example of just such a movement in Honduras right now.)

    However, what is clear is that should a corrupt executive be given the power to decide who is allowed to possess the means for armed rebellion, the ability of the people to guarantee that their government is the representation of their collective will is weakened.

    Just because we are citizens of heaven does not mean we do not bear a responsibility to the world in which we live. In fact, I’d argue the truth is quite the contrary. And if we’ve learn anything from the example of the Confessing Church in Nazi Germany (flawed and limited though its resistance may have been), we must acknowledge that it is possible that one day the most Christlike thing we can do is to resist our own government for the sake of our world and those our government oppresses.

    You ask “Where does Jesus give me permission to buy a gun (pre-meditation) and kill a human being for the sake of protecting my own life or the life of my loved one. (Or property?)” It might not answer your question, but I’d ask, for what reason did Jesus command his followers to purchase a sword, even if it meant going without a cloak? Or is that just one of those times we assume he misspoke?

    I’d also ask, is it possible to wield the sword without living by the sword?

  18. Jonas Knudsen July 31, 2009 at 7:24 am #

    This is a subject I have been struggling over for quite some time now. Adam, Joel, I agree with you guys. I don’t see anywhere in the scriptures where we are taught to pick up a gun or (sword) and fight. I struggle with the desire I have to protect my family. If someone broke into my home and threatened my family I would want to do everything in my power to protect them. I personally don’t own a gun and I don’t plan to, but I’ve been involved with martial arts for 5 years now and we believe that using deadly force is a last resort. Joel, I agree, I tend to believe those who own guns for self defense are motivated out of fear; this is neither logical or safe.

  19. Paul July 31, 2009 at 7:57 am #

    I’ve discussed this issue with Christian friends at length. Many Christians have divorced themselves from Biblical principles and embraced conservative political philosophies. Somewhere along the line, the two have gotten mixed up.

    The sword passage in Luke is interesting, but as Joel pointed out, a few minutes later Jesus rebukes Peter for using the sword-even in what must have felt like self-defense to Peter (a loved one being unjustly betrayed and taken away). I’m not sure why Jesus asked the disciples to buy a gun. But it’s worth noting that he didn’t ask all of them to get a gun. They had 2 and he said that was enough. Maybe he wanted to make sure that there would be a sword around so he could reveal his true intentions about weapons by healing the Romans ear and rebuking Peter.

    It seems clear from Romans 13 that we’re not supposed to just destroy all the guns-the gov’t “bears the sword,” but I think it’s difficult to argue that Jesus would have joined the NRA. Or been a big proponent of tax cuts that benefit the rich at the expense of the poor. But that’s a different issue…

  20. Paul July 31, 2009 at 8:05 am #

    Another indication of Jesus meaning might be what the disciples did in light of what Jesus said. Even though he tells them to buy a sword, Christians are never mentioned with weapons again in the NT. Throughout Acts, Christians are attacked by mobs, religious authorities, and the gov’t and there isn’t any record of them fighting back with swords or AK-47s. They cried out for God not to hold the sins of their enemy against them (Acts 7:60) and, as Romans 12 instructs us to do, did not repay anyone evil for evil and left the wrath to God.

    If there was a strong self-defense component to Jesus request for swords for the disciples, the early church seems to have forgotten about it.

  21. chris wilson August 1, 2009 at 7:24 pm #

    As Paul and Joel have noted, there is a whole in my theory, however, both of you took your verses from Matthew and Luke, if you read the story from Johns point of view, it alters a bit. Jesus didnt rebuke him in this verse, as to tell him he was wrong, just to tell him that this was not the right time to fight. In Marks account, Jesus didnt even offer a rebuke.

  22. Todd Porter August 2, 2009 at 3:47 pm #

    I personally own two rifles for hunting. However, I see no reason in there being assault rifles available for personal use. I personally see no need for the average citizen to own an assault rifle.

    As far as handguns are concerned, I agree with Adam and believe that there needs to be some kind of training and licensing available before people are allowed to purchase them. Mainly because of their ability to be easily concealed. If it were harder for them to be purchased then I think it would reduce most of the gun violence.

    Most of the violent gun crimes come from handguns or assault rifles and not much from hunting rifles. So if we bring control to those things then I, personally, think it will help.

  23. Mike Andrew August 26, 2009 at 12:21 pm #

    Listen people, evil exists. There are different tools to fight different evils. When you take the tools away to combat evil, evil has a good chance of winning. Guns don’t make people evil. Evil is in the heart. If evil doesn’t have a gun, are they gonna suddenly get a change of heart and say, well, since I can’t blow someone away, I’ll be a good boy now? NO. THEY WILL FIND A WAY TO CARRY OUT THEIR EVIL DESIRES, WITH OR WITHOUT A GUN.
    I accept the responsibility and duty of protecting myself and my family. I also accept the duty of protecting my fellow man. Get a grip. Responsible, accountable and trained gun owners? You bet. Enforcing current laws regarding the illegal obtaining of firearms by people who shouldn’t get them? Absolutely. I own guns because I choose to, for hunting and self protection. I don’t force anyone else to own a gun. Who are you to force me to disarm? A man who presumes to tell you that you cannot own a firearm (is not just peeing on the United States Constitution and the Second Amendment) he is presuming to tell you how much your life is worth. He is saying he sees no reason to make it easier for you to defend that life, or the lives of your family. He is declaring his supremacy over you by presuming to judge your life and its value. I value my life and I value my God. My God does not say that being humble means being defenseless. If you don’t think so, read Neh. 4:11-18. How about “If a thief is caught breaking in and is struck so that he dies, the defender is not guilty of bloodshed.” (Exodus 22:2)

    If the good men didn’t bear arms, evil men would march across the world without opposition.

    If you don’t want a gun, don’t get one. But don’t dare stand there with your pious ego and demand I disarm, I’ve done no wrong and I will not be treated as such. God’s word is full of instances of protecting the weak, standing up for the oppressed and ensuring self defense against evil, both in the spiritual and physical realm. We are called to do what is right, and not doing so is the only illogical thinking there is. Picking a fight and fighting to protect are two separate concepts.

  24. julie s September 17, 2009 at 4:59 pm #

    Thank you, Adam, for speaking my mind…I am highly disturbed that evangelical Christians are determined make the 2nd amendment biblical. Your picture says it all…Jesus would be more concerned about us looking at our responsibilities rather than our rights.
    You see no example of new testament Christians defending themselves…they were martyred, and went willingly, as they knew God was sovereign, and could intervene if He desired. I only pray I could have that spirit of Stephen if I am in that spot!
    To think that one mere handgun would protect me against Christian persecution is ludicrous!
    There are far more cases of handgun accidents in this country than incidents where a homeowner properly used a gun to defend his family. In order to be so prepared, you have to have a gun loaded and ready when you hear that intruder or he will be on you with his gun first anyway.

  25. YA BOY AYE January 30, 2010 at 10:29 pm #

    First of all thank god for this web meeting about this issue. My opinion is that it’s ok to own a gun if it’s not motivated buy any kind of fear because you can’t put your trust in a gun that is why you have god. But to basically tell someone it’s a sin to own a gun is like telling a off duty police that if someone breaks in to your house to kill you and your family you gotta take it like a man and they do to. And listen to this the pentecostal church teaches that it’s not rite for a man to have facial hair what does that tell you about us as christians that a lot of us is lost and confused so that tells you that you gotta put your trust in god and his holy spirit not every bodies opinion. And dont even 100% trust me god bless holla.

  26. teancum March 23, 2010 at 5:42 pm #

    im just gonna be short on this. i am 23 years old and am known with my peers as a good christian. yes i own a gun and guess what, i havent killed anyone. so guns arent the problem. the problem is the wickedness that is in the world. even if there are no guns, if someone has it in their mind to rob or kill someone taking away guns isn’t going to do anything, they will use a knife, a bat, or anything they can get to do it. the only thing to do is continue spreading the gospel and use the words of
    christ to change the wicked.

  27. adam mclane March 24, 2010 at 3:15 am #

    “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” — John 10:10

    Bottom line: Buying a lethal weapon for the purpose of protection is intent to kill. Ultimately, that’s an act of faith. Jesus asks us to have faith in Him like a little child. He asks us to give Him control of our lives. Having a gun in your home is an act of the opposite. It’s saying, “I am in control. If the thief comes to steal, kill, or destroy. I will kill him first.” It’s just not a New Testament attitude.

    In other words, what part of “Love thy neighbor as thine self” is killing your neighbor?

  28. Josh May 16, 2010 at 5:42 pm #

    In the Old Testament, God said that if a thief broke into your house at night and you killed him you were’nt guilty of murder. God told the israelites to stone to death a man who broke the sabbath. He sent his people to war and had them burn down cities and every man, woman, and child in it. if God told his people to do this, how do you find a problem with using a gun to stop someone from murdering you and those around you (your neighbors whom you must love as yourself.)? and by the way, the vast majority of times a gun is used for self defense, a shot is never fired.

  29. Josh May 16, 2010 at 5:52 pm #

    Oh and about the # of times a handgun is used successfully for self defense. Almost all of those studies count how many intruders are killed by handguns, not how many times a crime is stopped and the intruder flees or is caught by the police while being held at gun point.

  30. Josh May 16, 2010 at 5:55 pm #

    and gun control laws could never work completely anyway aince criminals, by defnition, don’t follow the law.

  31. adam mclane May 16, 2010 at 6:44 pm #

    @josh- thanks for your comments. Just a question for you. When Jesus was arrested in the garden and his buddy pulled out a weapon in defense of Jesus… what did Jesus say?

    You can’t selectively pick and chose versus from the Old Testament law to apply today. That’s just really sloppy hermeneutics.

    Why isn’t that same logic applied to other Old Testament laws? Should I start listing all of those you’d consider silly or archaic?

    In John 10:10 says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

    All throughout the New Testament we see Jesus’ principles applied. Read Romans 12:17-21. Tough to read those words of Paul and justify owning a gun with the intent to kill an intruder.

    You or I are not the author or creator of life. Buying a gun with the intent to protect yourself or your family is premeditation.

  32. me May 16, 2010 at 7:21 pm #

    um, just to mention a little about what was said by adam just a bit ago. most of it does make sence. christ did come to save us and to give us life, if we accept it. but, he never said once that we could not defend our families or ourselves from the thief or robber. and in romans, paul did say some real good things, but keep reading. and read verse 18. it says if it be possible, as muchas lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. key words, IF IT BE POSSIBLE. that ends when someone enters my home, with any weapon, trying to do harm to my family. then i can try to defend my family with any means necessary.

  33. Josh May 16, 2010 at 8:52 pm #

    Jut curious. How do you feel about someone who lives in an area with lots of, say, wolves or bears buying a gun to protect themselves from animals?

  34. adam mclane May 17, 2010 at 6:10 am #

    Josh, it’s funny how you skirt the principle Jesus taught in order to go after a phrase. This wasn’t a gray area Jesus barely taught on– this is pretty core to who Jesus is. He didn’t come as a conquering King with a sword in his hand, he came as a baby. He won people hearts, not their bodies.

    There’s a big difference between living at peace with everyone and putting two holes in their chest to protect your property. (or loved ones)

    The bottom line is that you can twist Scripture to fit your personal preference and/or political idealogies. But you simply cannot make a biblical justification that people living in the New Testament killed others in defense of themselves.

    Do you really need a gun to defend yourself from wild animals? I’ve lived a bunch of different places in this country. Never seen a wolf or bear in the wild. Much less had one attack my home.

  35. Josh May 20, 2010 at 12:37 pm #

    me niether. i was just curious.

  36. Anonymous June 26, 2010 at 10:48 pm #

    Here’s the problem with your logic:

    the fetus is innocent. It has done nothing wrong. Therefore, it deserves the right to life. However, when somebody is committing a crime, they are no longer innocent, and you can kill them to defend yourself if the need comes up. Being “pro choice” and supporting gun control means you’re killing the innocent while protecting the guilty. That’s idiotic.

  37. adam mclane June 28, 2010 at 7:02 am #

    @anonymous- Idiotic? Funny how you’ve not responded to the substance of the article while clinging to a tired line. No where in the New Testament does the Bible support taking another persons life. You simply cannot be pro-life and pro gun ownership. Protecting life in all of its forms is pro-life. Buying a gun with the intention of killing is a pro-death position. Whether or not you think it is idiotic is up to you, but a pro-gun control position is impossible to justify for New Testament Christians. It’s merely a mixture with American culture.

    BTW- if your position were so bullet proof (pun intended) why not assign your name to it?

  38. Stephen August 27, 2010 at 5:21 pm #

    Wait until you see the sword that comes out of His mouth if you really want some fireworks. Hey… what is it about these post-modern sensibilities that warp minds into believing that HANDLING POWER is inherently evil? I would welcome a mature and responsible figure to instruct in this manner. It seems to belie some serious daddy-issues in the panty-wastes that cringe at the demonstration of authority and power. Perhaps it isn’t disturbing that Christians own guns. Perhaps the disturbance was a pre-existing condition.

  39. David August 30, 2010 at 10:58 am #

    What I also find interesting is that the individuals who claim they purchase guns for self-defense have never really been in situation where their lives were at risk or live in crime infested neighborhoods. In fact, how often do you hear about individuals in the news using guns in self defense or warding off an attack with one. Plus, guns aren’t portable to every environment. Are you going to have one coming from the swimming pool if you were to get attacked on the way to the locker? You are better off making your body a weapon and learning fighting styles like Krav Maga or Muay Thai with the gun for situations with multiple or overpowering opponents. Easily handing out guys to every Tom, Dick, and Harry without doing some time of assessment to make sure they are mentally stable. Don’t get me wrong, I am not against having guns, just feel they need to be more structure around obtaining and keeping one.

  40. Izzy Roush September 1, 2010 at 5:55 pm #

    Why would you ever leave Michigan?

    • me October 7, 2010 at 3:42 pm #

      So true.

  41. Willie Roubal January 12, 2011 at 7:04 pm #

    just wait, on day all the anti gun people will get there way and guns will be outlawed. so only criminals will have guns. and gun crimes will never stop. so in the end nothing is solved. Thank guys, for trying your hardest to prove agenst needing to protect yourself.

  42. Luis January 19, 2011 at 4:30 pm #

    Here is an answer to this very question from a Catholic magazine

    “(Q: I am wrestling with whether or not to purchase and carry a handgun. What does the Church teach about self-defense?

    A: The Church’s teaching on the legitimacy of self-defense can be found in paragraphs 2263–7 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Of particular interest is paragraph 2264:

    “Love toward oneself remains a fundamental principle of morality. Therefore it is legitimate to insist on respect for one’s own right to life. Someone who defends his life is not guilty of murder even if he is forced to deal his aggressor a lethal blow.”

    The Catechism quotes Thomas Aquinas, who said that a man has the right to defend his life with necessary violence but must not go beyond what is necessary to save his life (cf. ST II-II:64:7). Of course, in the heat of battle it may be difficult to moderate the force with which one defends one’s life. Aquinas does not say that a person must “pull punches,” so to speak, when defending his life; he merely is cautioning that one cannot deliberately choose to inflict excess violence after one has ensured his own safety. )”

    And here is what the whole section of the Catechism says

    “(Legitimate defense

    2263 The legitimate defense of persons and societies is not an exception to the prohibition against the murder of the innocent that constitutes intentional killing. “The act of self-defense can have a double effect: the preservation of one’s own life; and the killing of the aggressor. . . . The one is intended, the other is not.”65

    2264 Love toward oneself remains a fundamental principle of morality. Therefore it is legitimate to insist on respect for one’s own right to life. Someone who defends his life is not guilty of murder even if he is forced to deal his aggressor a lethal blow:

    If a man in self-defense uses more than necessary violence, it will be unlawful: whereas if he repels force with moderation, his defense will be lawful. . . . Nor is it necessary for salvation that a man omit the act of moderate self-defense to avoid killing the other man, since one is bound to take more care of one’s own life than of another’s.66

    2265 Legitimate defense can be not only a right but a grave duty for one who is responsible for the lives of others. The defense of the common good requires that an unjust aggressor be rendered unable to cause harm. For this reason, those who legitimately hold authority also have the right to use arms to repel aggressors against the civil community entrusted to their responsibility.

    2266 The efforts of the state to curb the spread of behavior harmful to people’s rights and to the basic rules of civil society correspond to the requirement of safeguarding the common good. Legitimate public authority has the right and duty to inflict punishment proportionate to the gravity of the offense. Punishment has the primary aim of redressing the disorder introduced by the offense. When it is willingly accepted by the guilty party, it assumes the value of expiation. Punishment then, in addition to defending public order and protecting people’s safety, has a medicinal purpose: as far as possible, it must contribute to the correction of the guilty party.67

    2267 Assuming that the guilty party’s identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor.

    If, however, non-lethal means are sufficient to defend and protect people’s safety from the aggressor, authority will limit itself to such means, as these are more in keeping with the concrete conditions of the common good and more in conformity to the dignity of the human person.

    Today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crime, by rendering one who has committed an offense incapable of doing harm – without definitely taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himself – the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity “are very rare, if not practically nonexistent.”68 )”

    And this is a quote from you.

    “(You can’t selectively pick and chose versus from the Old Testament law to apply today. That’s just really sloppy hermeneutics.)”

    See Adam, your are doing just that, picking versus, the Old and the New Testaments are not suppose to contradict or cancel each other out, but they compliment each other and work together.

    Just because you don’t see Christians defending themselves in the Bible does not mean they didn’t. Weren’t Christians the ones that burned Rome anyway?

    Your question “How can one be pro-life and be pro-gun? works the other way around too, How can one be pro-choice and be anti-gun? I guess the difference lies whether you agree to kill the innocent or a criminal. Which one would you choose? probably none because both imply killing but whether or not you chose not to defend yourself because is not biblical, the Bible does not forbids the ownership of swords, or in this modern age guns.

    • adam mclane January 19, 2011 at 4:46 pm #

      Want to own a gun and kill an intruder? Go right ahead. That is blood on your hands.

      The rest of your logic all seems to flow from that. You can’t be both pro life and pro “I want to reserve the right to kill if I am perceived to be in danger.”

      • Luis January 19, 2011 at 4:57 pm #

        Sorry, I don’t recall saying I wanted to own gun or shoot anybody nor saying you can be both pro-live and pro-gun at the same time just saying that is not necessarily the case. Just as not all doctors kill babies not all gun owners want to kill people

  43. GOD February 5, 2011 at 8:01 am #

    “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your
    ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher
    than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my
    thoughts than your thoughts.”
    Isaiah 55:8-9, KJV

    Luke 22:36 KJV Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.

    Ecc 3:3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

    6th. commandment, Thou shalt not kill.

    “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your
    ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher
    than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my
    thoughts than your thoughts.”
    Isaiah 55:8-9, KJV

    • adam mclane February 5, 2011 at 8:22 am #

      Your theology is about as good as your view of yourself. You aren’t God. Maybe that’s why you think it’s ok to kill?

  44. Brandon Dunegan February 5, 2011 at 8:56 am #

    “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17

    “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” John 1:1-5″

    And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14

    these passages are GOD.

    [Note: adam edited this comment to comply with the site rules]

  45. Brandon Dunegan February 5, 2011 at 8:58 am #

    Psalm 14.1-3 – The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”

    ?

    [note: adam edited the name on this comment to comply with site rules]

  46. Bradley Buhro February 5, 2011 at 9:17 am #

    “these passages are GOD.”

    That is quite possibly the most asinine thing I have ever read. Isolated proof texts are not God. And neither are you. What’s more, by your own admission, God’s thoughts are above yours, therefore to assume your interpretation of God’s Word fully comprehends the mind of God on the matter borders on blasphemy.

    Even God’s word acknowledges that there is room for disagreeing interpretations within the church. As Paul writes “All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained (Philippians 3:15-16, NIV).”

  47. Brandon Dunegan February 5, 2011 at 9:42 am #

    and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

    all i can say is you need to read the bible more.

    you sir need to also read the right one ”niv” lets have a look at the bible verse you quoted from a

    revelations 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

    don’t cite from a copy that is amiss.

    Matthew 24:35, the Lord Jesus said, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”
    Proverbs 30:5-6, Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.
    Revelation 22:18-19, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

    and the correct version states.
    15Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.

    16Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.

    so i might ask you, are you perfect?

    [note: adam corrected the name to comply with site rules]

    • adam mclane February 5, 2011 at 9:48 am #

      Dude, use your real name and I’ll publish your comments. No trolls allowed. Want to play with the big boys, get off the porch.

  48. Brandon Dunegan February 5, 2011 at 9:48 am #

    http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Philippians+3&version=KJV

    Ecclesiastes 12:13(King James Version)Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter………

    [note: adam edited name to comply with site rules.]

  49. Brandon Dunegan February 5, 2011 at 10:12 am #

    and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

    all i can say is you need to read the bible more.

    you sir need to also read the right one ”niv” lets have a look at the bible verse you quoted from a

    revelations 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

    don’t cite from a copy that is amiss.

    Matthew 24:35, the Lord Jesus said, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”
    Proverbs 30:5-6, Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.
    Revelation 22:18-19, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

    and the correct version states.
    15Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.

    16Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.

    so i might ask you, are you perfect?

    http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Philippians+3&version=KJV

    Ecclesiastes 12:13(King James Version)Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter………

    • adam mclane February 5, 2011 at 10:29 am #

      You are trying to paint the Bible into your own worldview/painting. First off, did Jesus allow his disciples to use lethal force? No, to the contrary he reprimanded them in the garden.

      If you will get less hung up on prooftexting and trying to control what English translation a person uses and get to the principles Jesus was teaching you will see that a militia/self-defense mindset was directly dealt with. Jesus’ message in the Gospels is, over and over, that you are called to win hearts, not bodies. Jesus refused repeated calls to create a revolution and kick out the Romans; while instructing his disciples to conquer peoples hearts.

      To the matter of owning a gun, this is ultimately about control and trust. When you wield a gun you are saying to yourself, “I control and protect.” in fact, this reveals that you don’t trust Christ yet with your very life.

      It’s one thing to be in the military; it’s another thing to Pre-meditate murder by declaring that you will kill an intruder.

      Let the blood of Christ wash over you, protect you, and guide you. Surrendering control of your life is a major step towards trusting Christ. Holding that level of control demonstrates that you wither don’t understand the Word you are reading or havent let it penetrate to the meat of your life.

  50. Bradley Buhro February 5, 2011 at 10:28 am #

    Laying aside the arguments about translations, which I’m unwilling to argue on Adam’s blog, let’s look at your prooftexting. Note: John 1 says that the Word was God. To extrapolate that phrase to argue that a few isolated passages (from the King James Version only) are God fails on a number of grounds. First, I would argue it gravely misunderstands John’s inspired use of “the Word.” But even conceding for the sake of discussion your assumption John intended us to understand “the Word” to mean Scripture, your argument commits the fallacy of division. Even operating under your assumption, the whole of Scripture, not your isolated passages nor your interpretation based as to what those passages mean, is God.

  51. Brandon Dunegan February 5, 2011 at 11:50 am #

    the main/biggest issue for me on gun control (i do not personally like guns, however i do own a couple) is how much of the government are you willing let control you.

  52. adam mclane February 5, 2011 at 1:32 pm #

    I guess I have a couple of thoughts…
    1. “How much of the government are you willing let control you?” Isn’t that an attitudinal question? You could focus on that, like libertarians chose to, but in truth we have way more freedoms than restrictions compared to the rest of the world.
    2. The whole point of this thread isn’t just about guns. It’s that Christians make weird political bedfellows. Being pro-gun and anti-abortion are antithetical. So is small gov’t and big uncharitable church.

    One problem we face in the church today is that we whine without having thoughtful solutions that the majority are willing to accept/listen to. A solution for less violence isn’t more guns just like a solution for abortion is abstinence education.

    No one cares that this was allegedly a “Christian nation” at one point. It’s not anymore. We live in a pluralistic society and its time that the church wakes up.

  53. Brandon Dunegan February 5, 2011 at 1:51 pm #

    Adam Mclane wrote: ”A solution for less violence isn’t more guns just like a solution for abortion is abstinence education.”

    i believe if we where Christians (Christ-like) we would have peace on earth.

  54. aron February 6, 2011 at 7:30 am #

    i was just reading on what was being said and i just had a question. is this saying that a person is a bad christian for owning a gun and thinking about protecting yourself, or just owning a gun all together? i just am asking because i own a couple guns for hunting and for the fun of shooting at targets and that doesnt make me a bad christian. i guess thats why i dont like too much gun control only because its punishing me who is a good person. and besides, those who do want to use guns for crimes are gonna get them eitherway. so its punishing the good for nothing.

  55. adam mclane February 6, 2011 at 9:14 am #

    I think all Christians are “bad Christians,” as Paul defined us in Romans 8-9. I am arguing that if you purchase a gun to protect your family, yourself, your possessions, that this is a form of pre-meditation and a lack of faith in Christ as our protector.

    I’m all for killing and eating Bambi. And I love to skeet shoot. And I love paintball.

  56. aron February 6, 2011 at 2:51 pm #

    ha ha very true. we can try but we seem to fall short somehow. but we must try. and thanks for clearing up my question, cause just owning the gun doesnt make you a bad person

  57. G. White, MSgt US Army (Ret) April 6, 2011 at 11:24 pm #

    I find it peculiar that people who obviously know nothing about firearms (and very little about the law, or history) seem to think they actually have an opinion on the subject that is worth listening to.

    You are apparently suggesting that it is inherently wrong to make any effort to protect yourself or your family — that one should go through life blindly, trusting in God to protect us from everything and everybody, taking no responsibility at all. One assumes also that you are against any form of insurance, since death and disaster are all part of God’s plan and he will take care of us.

    At first reading I suspected that your opinion was tongue-in-cheek, but amazingly enough you seem to be serious. i am amazed.

    You also seem to be of the opinion that full auto firearms represent some sort of threat to society, though you would be hard pressed to find many examples of them ever being used in crimes. And unless one tortures the definition of “assault weapon” beyond recognition, the incidence of their use in crime (the usual liberal mantra) is pretty close to zero, and always has been. Classifying a firearm as inherently evil based on whether it has a bayonet lug or a certain type of handle (stock) is beyond all logic, for anyone with even a basic understanding of firearms.

    However, that is rather ancillary to your real point, which seems to be that making any preparation at all to protect your family, or indeed any effort to protect your family in the face of violence, is evil and un-Christian. Any of the Methodist or Presbyterian churches that I grew up in would have been appalled by this philosophy. However, seeing the overall politicization of Protestant churches in the past few decades (skewing noticeably leftward), I can’t say I’m truly surprised.

    There is obviously no common ground for discussion here, but one can’t help wondering whether you would feel differently if your family were faced with the mindless violence that is all too prevalent in our society. In my 60+ years I have only had to use a firearm once for protection (outside of a military situation), but I have no doubt that without that handgun three of us would have been dead. It’s one thing to pontificate from a position of safety, but quite another to actually face some crackhead with a knife.

  58. adam mclane April 7, 2011 at 5:22 am #

    Mr. White.

    First, thanks for your service to our country. Because of men and women like yourself, defending our constitution and more importantly our nations people, we have the right to disagree in a free society.

    Second, understand that many Protestant denominations have been held non-violent positions for hundreds of years. While my opinion may be in the minority, it has historical reference.

    I’m curious if you can make a New Testament justification for possessing a lethal weapon for the sake of self-protection?

    Even though I wrote this nearly 2 years ago I still agree with it. Believers are to put our trust first and foremost in Jesus, our protector, the author and creator of all life.

    I can see owning a gun for the pleasure of target shooting. But buying it with the intent to mortally wound an intruder? I find that a difficult leap to make in light of Jesus’ teachings.

    Thanks again for taking the time to leave such a well-articulated comment. Blessings.

  59. SFC Gardner (Ret) April 20, 2011 at 7:02 am #

    Adam,

    I would like to bring your attention to Luke 22:36
    New International Version (©1984)
    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.

    In Jesus’s day swords were only used for one purpose. They were used for protection of yourself and family. This is a direct quote from Jesus. Christianity has taken quotes less direct than this and spun whole theologies from it. For instance the idea of pre-tribulation comes from Mat 24:40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left.. If there was ever a mandate from heaven that I have the right to protect my family Luke 22:36 is it.
    If this doesn’t persuade you lets look at Jesus in the garden, Mat 26:51 “Suddenly, one of the men with Jesus reached out his hand, drew his sword, and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his ear.” Now granted Jesus healed the man’s ear however if Jesus was against personal protection in general why would he allow his companions to carry swords. Bottom line is this, you think this way because you have never been up close and personal to violence perpetrated without any cause other than you had something someone else wanted. Consider yourself blessed.
    Here is the problem with your arguement stated to MSG White. If a person is attacked, is it because they lacked faith in God to protect them? we know this isnt true because every disciple except John died very violent deaths. I don’t why God protects some and not others. It is one of the things I expect he will tell me when he is ready.
    I appreciate your courage in Christ and I understand your position. I have one last question. Did the attributes of God suddenly change when He became Jesus? Look at the Old Testament and the wars God sanctioned. God is not against killing, He is against Murder. There is a difference. By killing in self defense I have not sinned. I may have even prevented someone else from sinning by not allowing someone to murder me or my family.

  60. Violet October 24, 2012 at 12:21 pm #

    “Don’t assume i came to bring peace on the earth.I did not come to bring peace,but a sword.” Matthew 10:34 Explain that. p.s Loving the pic,going to print it out.

  61. sdm December 29, 2012 at 9:01 am #

    I think the deeper issue is the mental health needs and addressing them. In the 80’s to show they were tough on crime, the people in government positions, closed the facilities that took in the mentally ill, to afford and open more prisons. If you have ever had a family member in need of help for their mental health it is too expensive and many times, in fact overwhelmingly most times, just not there. So we as Americans throw up hands and walk away and have them fend for themselves. They are adults with mental issues who we leave up to them to take their meds. Have you ever taken meds the Doc. has prescribed? You are supposed to take it all. But you start to feel better and you stop your meds because you feel better, and you didn’t finish them. The same thing happens with the mentally ill, they feel better when taking their meds and they quit taking them. They need to be checked on for all our sake. These people are out there, time bombs and they are going off. I believe in more gun control but some of these people are right. People who want to will find a way. Wake up America the mentally ill is all of our responsibility.

  62. Jillian George December 5, 2013 at 9:52 pm #

    Good thoughts. I’ve been trying to get a handle on a Christian perspective on this issue. I also found this guy’s thoughts interesting:

    http://thegoodbookblog.com/2013/nov/18/seek-the-welfare-of-the-city-the-biblical-argument/

    He’s a Bible prof at Biola University

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