This Preacher Ain't Packin' (My God and Your Guns)


I don’t understand Christians who love guns.

I don’t mean Christians who own guns or use guns or even like guns, but those who champion them, glorify them, flaunt them, cheerlead for them, fight for them, worship them, lust after them, and revel in them.

The combination of a Christians and a gun was not on my radar as a young boy. Growing-up in a Catholic elementary school, I was unaware of the NRA or the 2nd Amendment or American gun laws, but knowing what I knew about the Bible and what I understood of the teachings of Jesus at that time, it would never have even entered my mind that a follower of Christ and an advocate for guns could be compatible vocations, let alone intimately connected ones.

A Christian with a passion for firearms feels an awful lot like a vegan with a love for fur coats and leather shoes. For me, it just doesn’t compute. It’s an absolute disconnect; a pairing of two incompatible causes.

As I’ve gotten older and seen the endless debates rage and the battle lines drawn on guns and on our “rights” as Americans, it has always startled me that the support for guns has always been most vocal and most fervent from Evangelical Christians; from the people of Jesus. Moving to the South ten years ago only magnified what already seemed to me to be an oddity.

One time I remember driving behind a pickup truck that had a bumper sticker that read “GUN CONTROL MEANS HITTING YOUR TARGET”. It was right next to another one for a church (whose logo thankfully, I did not recognize).

Being a pastor in an Evangelical church for nearly twenty years, it ‘s always just been assumed by my friends that I should be for guns. It’s some strange Christian “given”, and to be honest it’s always been a place where I often feel like an alien on my home planet.

It’s not that I don’t think Christians whose cause is guns have any less faith than me, love God any less than I do, or want Jesus to be honored any less than me. I just don’t see the connection between those shared desires—and celebrating weapons of deadly violence.

There is so much suffering and injustice in this world, and with all of the things one who follows Jesus could fight for, lobby for, slap on a bumper sticker for, I could think of a million things that seem to make more sense as a follower of Jesus than guns; poverty eradication, racial equality, abolishing human trafficking, gender equality, sobriety, cancer research, life, education, marriage, prayer, puppies, and on and on and on—but guns? How have they become a flaunted and foundational part of our American Christian tradition?

Can we really read the Gospels and get from them any sense that Jesus would want his disciples carrying? Can we see his words and his manner (and his death) and still claim lethal self-defense as a sanctioned personal priority?

I remember hearing a story about a friend of ours whose father is a country pastor, and from time to time he makes it a point to let the congregation know from the pulpit that “The Preacher is packin’ “. I’m sure it gets a good laugh from folks in the pews and more than a few hearty “Amens” from the faithful, but I’m just not sure any of them are coming from Jesus.

Guess the loaded preacher hasn’t read the Apostle Paul’s writings closely. Paul, faced with continual danger and violence and threat, says: “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21) He is essentially saying that death is not a reason for me to ever fear, because it only brings me closer to Christ. Paul’s God was big enough to do the defending. Maybe that’s what this gunlust really reveals in us: a tiny, nurtured, wimpy God. I wonder just how much we really trust God is who He says He is, if we’re that consumed with fear, that preoccupied with our own protection, that trigger happy.

For me this is not a political issue, it is a theological one.

It’s not a Republican vs. Democrat, Conservative vs. Liberal battle.

This is my own personal fight for Christlikeness. It’s the way I feel called to emulate Jesus.

I often hear or read Christians defending guns by using the 2nd Amendment as their justifying ammunition. Now we could argue until Jesus comes back about what those words actually mean for us today, but the question I have is, “Since when is a man-made law the final one Christians answer to anyway?”

Aren’t we supposed to be walking a narrower path than our culture? Is consent from government something we’re supposed to be concerned about? Is it what Christians are known for these days—accepting the government’s position?

There are all kinds of areas where Christians protest and defy current American law, when we loudly reject our President or government’s policy and position, but when it come to guns all of a sudden America is the final authority, and she gives us the go-ahead to holster up and so we roll.

Here’s what I know, friends: When I read Scripture and pray, and in the quiet of my heart and the silence of my room when I see Jesus as clearly as I am able to in this life, there just is no room and no use for firearms. I simply cannot see Him and them occupying the same space and you won’t convince me otherwise. I don’t need this to be true of you, but it is my personal faith conviction.

To all my Christian friends who are passionate about guns, I leave that to you as your right, not as Americans but as those free in Christ to decide. I do not judge you or begrudge you at all, but I do flatly disagree with you. It’s a road I cannot in good conscience walk.

So for as long as I am alive, I can promise you—this preacher ain’t packin’.

33 thoughts on “This Preacher Ain't Packin' (My God and Your Guns)

  1. I think for many it would be the same if the government said you can’t own a knife, or bow and arrow or SUV or microwave, etc. People who I know who are most passionate about gun ownership feel that way because they have a fundamental distrust of government as a corrupt institution that, if not kept in check by an armed society (their logic, not necessarily mine), will end up persecuting or oppressing people for various reasons.

    And since it played such a pivotal role in the Revolution and founding of this country, the thought process behind the 2nd Amendment is tied closely with concepts of individual liberty, fights against tyranny and things like that.

    Personally I’ve always been neutral on the gun issue. I don’t own one and probably never will. But I’ve also never been a hunter or sportsman who has need to use them. And in terms of self-defense, I think they most often cause more harm than they prevent (but that’s spoken as a lifelong martial artist, so perhaps I’m biased!).

  2. Well, I personally am a Christian and I own /endorse guns and gun ownership. I support the NRA, but I support the church way more.

    While I agree that one should lay down his life in the name of Christ, I don’t necessarily think that one should lay down his life for any and every other reason, especially not the evil and misguided whims of a criminal that may be willing to use any force to take whatever they want.

    To put if a different way, I think there are times when violence is warranted. And if you remove the ability to respond to violence with violence (i.e. by removing the ability to lawfully own a weapon and defend yourself) then anyone can be physically overwhelmed by someone that’s willing to break the law to get whatever they want. Also, for me, it’s not just about guns. It’s about a gun as a tool of self defense. If a sword was the ultimate form of personal weapon available to the populace, I would study and defend the right to own and use that. Likewise knives, bows, jo-staffs, clubs, or rocks.

    Let’s take a tough hypothetical situation. Let’s say someone breaks into your house in the middle of the night with the specific intent to rape your wife and kill you and your children. Do you honestly believe that it would be a better testimony to Christ that you allow yourself and children to be killed and your wife to be raped and taken captive than to use a gun to control the situation? What would be the purpose of this testimony? That you’re morally superior to a murderer / rapist because you refuse to do violence? Are your wife and children comfortable with this testimony? (P.S.: I’m sorry for the fact that this example is graphic, but this is the ultimate conclusion of the “I don’t care if guns are regulated out of law-abiding citizens’ hands” mentality.)

    Let’s take another tough hypothetical situation. Let’s say a band of armed, radical Muslims is going from house to house and dragging people out into their yards and demanding that they submit to and praise Allah. If not, they execute you. I could see a Christian arguing that in this instance, it WOULD be necessary to allow yourself to be killed in the name of Christ rather than respond with violence. This act MAY actually be an appropriate sacrifice to further the name and kingdom of God.

    What separates these two situations in my mind is whether or not you are being specifically persecuted for Christ or are just the unfortunate target of an evil act. If you’re being specifically persecuted for Christ, I can see an argument being made that you should lay down your life. But if laying down your life will only serve to propagate evil by allowing an evil act to be perpetrated without consequence, then I don’t see the morality of that. I’m not sure how I would act in the second situation, but I AM sure how I would act in the first.

    And just to be clear, although the situations I’ve discussed are hypothetical, people in other parts of the world are faced with these are situations regularly, although we don’t often see this in America. And just to be clear, I believe an armed citizenry is one of the reasons things like this don’t take place as often in America.

    As to JM’s statement that guns cause more self-defense problems than they solve, I suggest you read up on that a little bit to see exactly how many crimes are prevented as a result of gun ownership. You might be surprised. Also JM, I’m a firm believer in martial arts and gaining the ability to defend yourself as well. However, I think gun ownership /training is the ultimate representation of self defense. The fiercest martial artist in the world doesn’t stand a chance against someone trained and armed with an AK-47 or 9mm pistol unless the closing distance is only a few feet and the martial artist is well trained in disarming his opponent. If I had to walk in the cage with my AK47 in hand against the biggest, nastiest UFC heavyweight champion and his bare hands, I wouldn’t exactly be worrying about the outcome. AK wins every time if the person knows what they’re doing. One last thing about martial arts as one’s only line of self defense: I believe the place where this is the biggest misnomer is for females. I’ve known several females that were rather accomplished martial artists that would be in serious danger if confronted with an untrained, but motivated and overly strong assailant. Again, in my opinion, the gun is the great equalizer in this situation. All the strength in the world doesn’t mean anything if your heart is pumping blood into a few holes in your lungs or chest rather than your huge muscles.

    Sorry to be so graphic and opinionated, but I think this is an important issue. And I think this is one where your ‘thought experiment’ or soul-searching must travel all the way to its logical conclusion. You can’t go halfway on this one. One can’t sit in the relative safety of an American home and proclaim that gun ownership and advocacy doesn’t match up with Christian values just because no-one’s ever broken into his home and used force to hurt him or his family.

    Lastly, just FYI, Jesus also did not just allow himself to be taken captive or killed the first few times an angry mob made an attempt to do so. He made a conscious decision to allow Himself to be captured and crucified on His terms and in His timing and to achieve a much greater purpose than any of us could hope to achieve with our deaths.

    Jon-Michael Vandergriff

    • Thanks for the thoughts, Jon Michael. Obviously they are deeply held and I appreciate them.

      Frankly though, I don’t see anything in them that lines up with a Jesus who says:

      “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’39 But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well.” Mattthew 5:38-40

      “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matthew 10:28

      The ideas you have laid out speak more about fear than faith. They assume that you need to do what God claims to do for you. Your post is absolutely logical for a person without a belief in a Sovereign, powerful God who has your life in His hands. All the statistics or scenarios you can ever give me, don’t change Jesus and His call on His people.

      A quick story: We were recently coming home late at night on the train from the circus. The cars were literally packed with people. A homeless man pulled out a knife within inches from my family. A man and I stood up to him, unarmed and he backed dowm quietly. Had one of us had a gun, we could have easily, overwhelemed by fear, created a catastrophe, and had he pulled out a gun and then we did as well, it would have been a shootout with hundreds of people in the crossfire.

      JonMichael, I simply don’t believe that we as Christians can live our lives with that kind of fear and that kind of deadly responsibility in our waistbands. Even if every other person out there wanted to do wrong and use a gun, it has no bearing on me as a believer being justified to do so.

      Thanks again for the feedback, but I don’t believe I will ever see guns as something that I as a believer in good conscience, will ever possess.

      • There is a very big difference between your personal story and the above posters hypothetical one. Yours the man pulls a knife. Yes, it could have gotten out of hand but the intent was clearly different than the hypothetical of breaking in, raking and killing the entire family. Most, although many do have a concealed weapon permit wouldn’t just fling out their gun in a situation one a train with a bunch of people towards a homeless man who by all purposes is pulling it out for what where clearly the intruder intends to rape and kill the entire family. While I do not know the motive, those are two very different scenarios altogether. I suppose you could create a hypothetical on the train as well which is warranted however it’s the same thing, really. If being attacked with an intent to do harm to another person (kill, rape, murder, harm, etc) I do not believe we are supposed to stand there and take it. Jesus was beaten and treated most horribly, but the realization there is that He was and it happened in order so we could live and be set free by Him dying on the cross. We aren’t supposed to sit back and watch our family or ourselves be raped, murdered, etc. to be set free so others can live. Yes, we can hardly compare our lives to Jesus’ but the example was used to be like Him. I try daily picking up my cross and follow Him, but I also know that others make choices that are not aligned with Christ as well. The person breaking in to my home and raping my daughter or wife in front of my entire family then killing all of them while I watch has nothing to do with fear (even if one is fearful) at this point. It has to do with protecting them in the moment the intruder made the choice to come in to my home and violate my family.,

        I respect anyone’s decision to not own a gun or to own one as well, because it is their choice to do either or. But I would never stand by and allow harm to come up my family and would use the gun in a situation that warranted it. I would not have pulled my gun out on the train, but I would do so if an intruder came in to my home and hurt my family. In the end guns are a choice just as much as it is for someone to choose to walk with Jesus or not. It does not make me less of a Christian because of that choice and you more of a hero because you do not.

      • What do you say to Luke 22:36-38, then?
        “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. It is written: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors’; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment.” The disciples said, “See, Lord, here are two swords.” “That’s enough!” he replied.”
        ‭‭Luke‬ ‭22:36-38‬ ‭NIV‬‬

        • And what happens the first time one of the disciples (Peter) uses that sword (to do the honorable and justifiable thing; defending Jesus from being unfairly arrested and attacking a soldier)? He rebukes Peter and undoes the damage he caused.

          Be careful about using the Bible without really considering what’s actually happening.

          Jesus is showing people the different way his people respond.

          • Then you’re implying that Jesus gave the disciples a command only to rebuke them at a later date because they followed that command? That sounds a bit looney to me. If Jesus is sovereign, which I believe He is, He is able to protect anyone at anytime. But at the same time, we shouldn’t sit back and become victims either. Having murder and revenge is one thing. Defending yourself is another.

      • What if that homeless man would have used his knife (or pulled out a gun) and started methodically killing everyone on the train? Would using your own gun to stop him seem un-Christian to you? Does Matthew say it is our Christian duty to stand and be injured or killed in the face of evildoers? Are we as Christians not to exert any force at all in defense of our own lives or the lives of others? If Matthew says using a gun to protect a life is wrong, is it not also wrong to use our fists?

      • But…but….you just quoted the Bible as saying that you should not resist an evil person. You did just that when confronted with a knife wielding man. You FEARED for your family’s safety and you acted on it by resisting. You just said that this action does not line up with what Jesus would do.

      • Mr. Pavlovitz, I would argue that by thinking that Jesus telling Peter to put his sword away and remedying the damage he did was Him rebuking weapons is an example of you not being careful when using the Bible without carefully considering what is actually happening. These things had to happen in order to fulfill the scripture about the life of Christ.
        You stated that Jesus would not want his disciples “packin'” and Luke 22:36 is a verse where Jesus specifically tells his disciples to sell their cloak to obtain a sword.
        Unfortunately, Jesus never specifically says that we should or should not use weapons to protect innocent lives. I strongly believe that it is not in the best interest of the Kingdom for Christian leaders to use their position to try to assert their own personal political beliefs when there is not clear scripture backing them.

        • I would also add that the shedding of innocent blood God hates. Yes we are all guilty apart from Christ. With Christ we are righteous and our guilt is gone. Wouldn’t it then mean that the shedding of believers blood God hates?

      • Have you ever shot a round of Skeet or Trap? Do you have any familiarity with hunting or target shooting? Do you realize shooting sports are a part of the Olympics? Do you know that the shooting sports are the fastest growing youth program area in 4H? I think you need to be exposed to a little wider slice of life – you might find that Jesus shows up in some unexpected places.

      • John,
        I agree we are not to live in fear, we are also called to be wise. Do you wear and require your children to wear seat belts in a car? How about having a fire extinguisher in your home? Do you have any police officers that attend your church because there’s a good chance they are carrying concealed. How a person choses to protect themselves and their family is between them and God. It is a lot easier to train someone to protect themselves with a firearm then to get beat up at a dojo 1-2 years.

      • I do not understand how so many who claim to be Christians are so afraid of death. If it is my time, God will be there to wrap me in his arms.

        “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21)

  3. I like this point. I think the heart of it lies in where your heart is and where your trust lies most, in guns OR God and His mighty arm. I see them as useful as I live on the frontier, do I believe that God can calm a charging Grizzley bear or wolf. Absolutely! But there is also the proverb “Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him. The sluggard says, “There is a lion in the road! A lion is in the open square!” As the door turns on its hinges, So does the sluggard on his bed.…” Guns have a whole other meaning when in the wild. I agree whole heartedly with the spirit of the perspective and thought I would offer mine! =)

  4. I’m wondering what you do with Luke 22:36 where Jesus tells the disciples to buy a sword if they don’t have one when they travel for the gospel as they had previously done without a sword? They tell him they have two swords, which they take with them to Gethsemane. Yes, there Peter draws one of them & uses it; and yes, Jesus says to put it away; but when does Jesus ever instruct us to do something for nothing? If a person never has need of a weapon to protect themselves or those they have a protective responsibility for then why would Jesus instruct them to buy a sword after initially sending them out on the road without one? Certainly I may choose to not defend my own life, but what about the lives of others? What about the commands to protect the widows, orphans & the powerless? How is it Christ like to stand by and watch as an innocent person is beaten and killed; and evil is thereby allowed to go unchallenged and unchecked?

  5. Pastor John, it is so encouraging to hear your heart on this issue. God has lead me to your words for so many reasons. I believe we truly serve the same God. He is a God of love, forgiveness, compassion, and healing to name a few of His mercies. I too cannot understand the combination of Christians and guns. So many claim to have them as a lack of faith in Gods protection. Just today I was thinking of how Jesus would react to so many so called Christians loving their guns so much that they don’t want any laws to protect the innocent from them. I personally believe Jesus weeps over this. Live by the sword, die by the sword, but unfortunately so many children have no choice and die by the sword their parents choose. The Jesus I love and serve is not hunkered down in some bomb shelter surrounded by a years worth of food and ammunition, stating the world is ending and you can take my gun when you pry my cold dead fingers from it. My Jesus is walking amount the homeless, sharing his meals with the sick and desolate sinners, loving the discarded humans whom the world deams as worthless, making miracles for the hurting, hopeless souls. He shares the shirt on his back, as he offers blessings to his enemy’s, not gunfire or hatred. I’m blessed to be His, and blessed to call you pastor. I always look forward to the words of your heart. May Gods blessings continue to be yours.

  6. So-called “Christians” who endorse/support/champion guns an gun ownership prove they love their “stuff” more than Christ, and this comes from Christ himself (Matt. 6:19-21; 24)

    So, sadly, you are mistaken… those who own guns to “protect” themselves DO NOT wish to honor the Christ, according to God’s word.

  7. But doesn’t your viewpoint discount the entirety of the Old Testament and hold a rather narrow interpretation of the New Testament and Christ’s teachings? Are none of the examples of the Lord ordering his followers to destroy entire cities of any lesson to us, or speak to this very issue? How about David and Goliath? Didn’t David have faith that his God would protect him, yet still pick up the stones and take up his sling to do battle with Goliath? In essence you are implying that those who believe in self-defense lack faith in God, or if their Faith were stronger, they would never need to defend themselves or others.

    You bring up Matthew 5:38-40 and turning the other cheek. I do not believe that this passage promotes or instructs pacifism, but rather warns of the dangers of vengeance and revenge, of reacting to a wrong with an angry heart or evil intent. If someone strikes me out of anger and I return the blow out of anger, then you are correct, there is no place for that in the Christian heart. But that is not what we are talking about. When someone breaks into your home and rapes your wife or daughter in front of you, Christ would most certainly not command us to turn the other cheek. Should we offer our daughter after they are done with our wife? Of course not, but this is exactly what you are proposing. Using deadly force, if necessary, would be completely right in this situation. Why? Because the act is done in the righteous defense of yourself and others, and is not done out of anger.

    Let’s look at another example that brings to light just how fundamentally incorrect this ideology is: If your assertion is that there is no need to defend innocent life from acts of evil, why do we, as Christians, fight so adamantly against abortion? By your logic, the unborn child simply does not have enough faith in God to prevent their own murder. Of course I don’t think you actually believe this, because it becomes apparent rather quickly that you do, in fact, believe that there are times where defending the innocent is obviously not only appropriate, but a moral and Christian imperative. So the issue is really that you have drawn an arbitrary line at when you will defend innocent life from evil and when you won’t and by what means you are comfortable with, not whether it is Christ-like or not.

  8. I understand where you are coming from. To your point I would ask, do you lock your doors? A door lock is a security measure for you, as a gun is for many others. Christ does encourage you to lock others out of your house, he encourages you to welcome them in with hospitality.

  9. This is the equivalent of saying Christians have no right to defend themselves. Yes, we have the “Sword” but, that does not mean we should allow the enemy to think we are defenseless in a world of combat. Nowhere in Scripture will you find Christ condoning, people being defenseless. Yes, we are to “turn the other cheek” but that’s a far cry from allowing someone to cut your head off. “To live is Christ, and to die is gain” is not a suicide pact. I also Think that’s the dumbest analogy I’ve ever heard…It assumes that gun owners only have them to kill other people. That kind of thinking is ignorance at best. Here’s an analogy for you. A Christian against protecting innocent life is like a vegan in favor of slaughter houses. Neither are sticking to their principles. No, I am not saying all Christians should own guns or conceal carry. What I’m saying is, protecting yourself is not a sin. Physically defending the weak, is our duty.

  10. I won’t try to respond to each of your points, and there are points upon which we agree. However, If owning a gun is the result of a lack of faith in our sovereign God, so is wearing a seatbelt, owning health or life insurance, installing a home alarm, locking one’s doors, or any host of other actions Christians do to protect themselves. I agree that American Christians often equate concervative political positions and Biblical ones, and that is a grave error. However, that does not mean Christians cannot celebrate and use the freedoms afforded them in this country. Even Paul exercised his rights as a Roman citizen to avoid an unjust beating. By your logic, it was wrong of Paul to take any affirmative steps to avoid a beating because it flowed from a lack of faith in God’s providence.

    • Why have you got to take the issue to ridiculous extremes? We talking guns here, not insurance (another evil in my opinion anyway) or alarms, etc, etc. What you have to ask yourself is whether your exercising your freedom is actually endangering another persons life inadvertently, which could be avoided by you not exercising your right or freedom. You also have to consider how effective owning a gun/carrying a gun really is in self-defense. Even armed police get shot and killed in confrontations, and they are trained. Most members of the public are not going to be able to defend themselves against an armed terrorist, even if they are themselves armed. The only thing it might do is give you a false sense of security in feeling a gun under your jacket/pillow/car seat/or wherever you keep it. But it really is a totally false sense of security. That’s where faith now comes in to play as we must trust the Lord to be with us come what may, even if we are shot in the process. Personally, I would rather trust the Lord and be shot. As someone else said, why fear death? I know where I’m going. And I’m happy to take the quick ticket should you deal it out to me.

  11. Thank you, John. And thanks to the posters here, of all opinions, for making your points with civility. (Mileage on that may vary as new comments are added….)

  12. John, I’ve only been following you a few weeks, but you sound like a Mennonite to me. Come over to the Anabaptist side! And thanks for cheering me up these last weeks by talking about things that need to be talked about.

  13. Although there were some things that I agreed with in your post, there are many things that I disagreed with. Three things in particular stuck out to me.

    1. Your description of guns as “weapons of deadly violence”. Two of my sons have been competitive shooters. One of my sons won a prestigious award for being the best shooter in the state a few years ago. Both have been to national competitions many times. Millions of Americans are involved in shooting sports, including hand gun shooting sports, every year. Not to mention the millions of people who are hunters and depend on the food that they get from hunting to feed their families each year. Yet because of relatively few people in comparison who choose to use a gun for violence many people are up in arms about guns and call them “weapons of deadly violence”. Yes, I know that in the title of your post you referred to “packing a gun” and I’m sure that you assumed we would all figure out you weren’t talking about all guns, but you didn’t specifically say that.
    Also, there are a lot of things that can be used as a deadly weapon. Cars, knives, hammers, even rocks and stones in the Old Testament. Indeed, as I was doing a bit or research because I didn’t want to throw out ridiculous numbers, I saw one headline that said more people die from stabbings than gun violence and another that said more people die from hammers than guns. I don’t know how accurate those results were as I didn’t click on the article to read them, but it just shows that many things aren’t necessarily used for violence can be used for violence yet we don’t necessarily classify them as “weapons of deadly violence”.
    I know in this post you did not advocate outlawing guns, however, there are many people who are advocating for that. My point is that just as there are people all across the board in the stricter gun law camp, there are also people all across the board in the gun advocacy camp. Not all of us have gun carry laws as our top reason for advocating although that be a reason way down on our list, it isn’t necessarily a top reason. Please don’t assume that all Christians who are gun advocates are gun toting shoot ’em up self defense people.

    2. I enjoyed your list of things that you think “seem to make more sense as a follower of Jesus than guns”. My question to us is which ONE thing on that list do you advocate for? You seem to think that Christians who advocate for gun rights only advocate for gun rights. I dare say that there are many things on that list that you advocate for. Why? Because I think that you probably can walk and chew gum at the same time. Although you don’t say that you are a gun control advocate, that seems to be the mantra of a lot of people who do believe in gun control. They constantly babble off a list of things that they think would be much better than guns to advocate for. Just as you, though, gun supporters are able to walk and chew gum at the same time. Many of us are against abortion, help the poor, are for racial and gender equality, give to cancer research, volunteer, I could go on and on as well. I dare say that the reason why you reposted this post on social media (which is how I found it) at this time is because of the shooting in California a couple of days ago. Every time there is a shooting there are those that talk about stricter gun laws. You don’t usually hear or see people for gun rights out on the streets protesting or writing blog posts unless there is a lot of talk about gun control. We are able to do other things and advocate for other things. I dare say that soon after clicking “enter” on facebook you were thinking about some of the Christmas activities at your church. Don’t assume that this is what we Christians who are gun control advocates do 24/7 and that we are obsessed with this and I won’t assume that telling folks that you will never be a gun toting preacher is what you do 24/7. We both have lives and we both probably have a lot more in common that we have not in common.

    3. Finally, I don’t agree with your assumption that people who feel the need to carry a gun for protection are not trusting or having faith in God enough. Do you go to the doctor or do you just sit at home and pray God will heal you? Probably you do both. You go to the doctor and claim that God gave man knowledge and put doctors on the earth for a reason and pray for God’s will. Often God chooses to use a doctor’s hand to heal someone. So, why can’t God use a gun to prolong someone’s life? I know that a cold steel thing that can be used for violence seems like an inconceivable thing for God to use for protection, but why not? Just because something is used for violence does not mean that it can’t also be used for protection. And, why is that you assume that God uses doctors to heal but can’t use guns to protect. God is God. He does a lot of inconceivable and imaginable things.

    Having said all of that, I only found this post because of a recently joined Facebook Christian Bloggers group. I haven’t read any of your other blog posts yet and, as I said, I’m sure we agree on many more things than we disagree on. You seem like a wonderful person and I look forward to reading some of your other posts.

  14. Talk about Jesus would not want his disciples to “pack”. They didn’t have guns then, they had swords and his disciples sure did “pack” them. One cut off a soldier’s ear with his. I guess Jesus forgot to tell him to not carry weapons.

  15. It seems many miss the point of your post. Gun fervor is abundant here. If Jesus said ‘2 swords are enough ‘ then the idea that some limitation on weapons is a truly Christian ideal. I am a non-conservative Christian and don’t carry a gun. I’ve never been saved by a gun or a gun enthusiast (military excepted) nor has anyone broken into my home and raped my wife or children. I don’t waste a single minute worrying about these things because I know God has a plan regardless of what plans I may have. Living in constant fear of things that are statistically unlikely and clinging to the idea that a gun will save you are not Christian principles. Gun advocates basically never give an inch because they claim someone is trying to take a mile. There’s not a single shred of evidence to support their claims. Also, I don’t mind a bit if you have your guns, but please stop trying to convince everyone it’s a Christian thing. By the way, Jesus mainly used a hammer and you can’t build a house with a gun.

  16. Wow! Such a hot issue to you Americans. As an outsider I see the appalling figures for this year, that there have been more mass killings in the USA than days in the year so far. Surely that is directly a result of the freedom to own weapons. If only everyone was responsible and only using them for self-defense it would be fine, but that clearly is not the case. As someone said, what are the stats for successful incidents of self-defence to support/justify the owning of weapons for such? And what cost this is in terms of innocent lives! It’s tragedy after tragedy and more innocent lives lost daily. Is it worth it? What will you gun-toting, gun-loving folk say when it’s your loved ones gunned down in the mall, or in school, or at the restuarant, where there’s no chance for self-defence anyway. Sorry to be so forthright, but I think you must be crazy to want to own guns. It’s total madness. You all want your own private war? WTF!

  17. With all due respect . . . Your observation: “If only everyone was responsible and only using them for self-defense it would be fine, but that clearly is not the case,” is an accurate one. But that is also the point – How does prohibiting those of us who are responsible gun owners from owning a weapon, keep the “irresponsible” people like the San Bernadino shooters (who it is becoming more clear, had preplanned their gun and pipe bomb attack on people who do not share their religious beliefs) from acquiring a weapon to do what they planned to do? It may make it harder for them to acquire a weapon but a person intent on perpetrating evil will find a way. Sadly, despite whatever the current defensive shooting statistics are, as more of these attacks take place citizens will feel the need to protect themselves by fighting back by whatever means necessary, because those in the highest levels of governance have refused to take the immigration precautions necessary to protect America and its citizens. When a nation reaches that point the crisis is grave and the consequences will be devastating. I continue to pray that our leaders will have the wisdom that comes from above and will see the danger and act with prudence.

    • It is clear, to me anyway, that people will and do use any justification at their disposal to advocate for guns. They like their guns. They don’t really care if you don’t because they like their guns..a lot. You can talk, you can show statistics, you can even plead for gun sanity until you’re blue in the face but it has no effect. We all know that Jesus would have never carried a gun, don’t we? I really can’t see Jesus walking around with a 9mm in his coat pocket or having an AR-15 slung over his shoulder, can you? No one is advocating you stand by and watch your family being murdered so don’t be ludicrous. This gun love is totally alien to me. I can never understand how after every single mass murder gun sales rise. It’s fear, I understand that but you let fear rule your thinking and your actions. Fear should be anathema to a follower of Jesus. You always say prayers for the victims afterwards but you fight tooth and nail to stop them from being victims. Don’t go to “Well if they all had guns..” That doesn’t flush . I know you might not like it and won’t believe it but it’s been proven so many times that the outcome would have been the same except for maybe the gunman to be killed or wounded before they fled the scene. Stop your afterwards praying and gun loving long enough to advocate for people before they are victims.

  18. Interesting to see such an eloquent statement regarding self defense and it’s role in the Christian church.
    And then watch as the inevitable bowl full of turds known as the knuckle draggin, god lovin, peace keepin, gun ownin, scarey cats flush down upon you with the same hot steaming pile of dung as always. Nothing but fear.
    But then, I guess, the same could be said for the teachings of Christ, who tells us that you better love him or you’ll feel the flames of hell licking at your feet, eventually consuming you in a fiery eternal incendiary punishment.
    Maybe that’s where they get all this negativity and fear from.

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