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Is gun culture compatible with Christianity?

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  • #31
    Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
    Note that the question I'm asking is not whether gun control works or is good public policy. On a personal level, do Christians have business owning guns?

    Scot McKnight hasn't thought so for awhile. His recent blog post is thought provoking: https://scotmcknight.substack.com/p/...tian-own-a-gun

    Personally, I'm not at the point where I'm going to condemn Christians for owning guns. But I don't think that American gun culture is compatible with Christianity. The NRA with Ted Nugent on the board openly talking about shooting liberals, is not something I can see Jesus supporting. Period. Or "jokes" about killing intruders/people dating your daughter/etc.
    what do you mean by American Gun Culture?

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    • #32
      Originally posted by RumTumTugger View Post

      what do you mean by American Gun Culture?
      I would say making one's gun ownership a major part of one's identity, and a part of that being an enthusiastic eagerness about the idea of using them (as opposed to viewing guns as a last resort tool for self defense or perhaps protecting others).
      "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

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      • #33
        Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
        Note that the question I'm asking is not whether gun control works or is good public policy. On a personal level, do Christians have business owning guns?
        Jesus walked around with an armed gang and explicitly mocked pacifism, so yeah. Arguably, their ownership is mandatory where legal.

        Scot McKnight hasn't thought so for awhile. His recent blog post is thought provoking: https://scotmcknight.substack.com/p/...tian-own-a-gun
        I dunno who Scot McKnight is but he can't even make his own arguments, plagiarizing instead a list that includes lies like "The Gospels depict Jesus himself as prohibiting acts of violence even in self-defense". So I'm fine not knowing who he is.

        Personally, I'm not at the point where I'm going to condemn Christians for owning guns. But I don't think that American gun culture is compatible with Christianity. The NRA with Ted Nugent on the board openly talking about shooting liberals, is not something I can see Jesus supporting. Period. Or "jokes" about killing intruders/people dating your daughter/etc.
        Christians should be as dour and humorless as humanly possible.
        "As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths." Isaiah 3:12

        There is no such thing as innocence, only degrees of guilt.

        Comment


        • #34
          Originally posted by Darth Executor View Post


          I dunno who Scot McKnight is but he can't even make his own arguments, plagiarizing instead a list that includes lies like "The Gospels depict Jesus himself as prohibiting acts of violence even in self-defense". So I'm fine not knowing who he is.

          I see no evidence of plagiarism. There was a cited reference to a list that McKnight considers a reasonable argument, and he is presenting a brief review of a book.

          The statement, "The gun is a temptation to become a kind of powerful self, with the capacity to kill instantaneously. This is an arrogation of power that the New Testament’s witness does not support, even in self-defense" falls short of saying that "Jesus prohibited acts of violence even in self defence."
          1Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω
          Come to your senses as you ought and stop sinning; for I say to your shame, there are some who know not God.
          .
          "when the church no longer teaches its people why they believe what they believe, the world will often step in and fill in the gaps." Ryan Danker

          "The synoptic gospels claim that Jesus was crucified on the 15th day of Nisan and buried on the 14th day of Nisan:" Majority Consensus

          Comment


          • #35
            Originally posted by tabibito View Post

            I see no evidence of plagiarism. There was a cited reference to a list that McKnight considers a reasonable argument, and he is presenting a brief review of a book.
            Almost the entire list is someone else's material. You hand this in for an assignment, even in high school and it'd be blatant plagiarism.

            The statement, "The gun is a temptation to become a kind of powerful self, with the capacity to kill instantaneously. This is an arrogation of power that the New Testament’s witness does not support, even in self-defense." falls short of saying that "Jesus prohibited acts of violence even in self defence."
            I literally cut and pasted "Jesus prohibited acts of violence even in self defence" from his blog. Read point 5 on the list.


            To add to my previous post, it's actually interesting to note that Jesus reacted worse to Peter's non-violent attempt at stopping Jesus's execution than to the violent assault of the servant when they came to capture him.
            It's even more interesting to see that Peter's Iaijutsu was so fast he could cut a man's ear off before anyone in his party (which included trained military men) could react, and Jesus presumably caught his ear and reattached it before anyone could cause further trouble. The incident indicates Jesus's gang had a high level of military proficiency. Certainly one that went beyond what one would expect from fishermen and preachers.
            Last edited by Darth Executor; 06-07-2022, 03:33 PM.
            "As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths." Isaiah 3:12

            There is no such thing as innocence, only degrees of guilt.

            Comment


            • #36
              Originally posted by Darth Executor View Post

              Almost the entire list is someone else's material. You hand this in for an assignment, even in high school and it'd be blatant plagiarism.
              The presentation would need to be adjusted for formal acceptance, but as it stands for the circumstances in which it is presented it is adequate: properly declared to be a citation.

              I literally cut and pasted "Jesus prohibited acts of violence even in self defence" from his blog. Read point 5 on the list.
              You attributed the content of McKnight's citation to McKnight himself. McKnight's own comment, not wholly in accord with the citation, was also cut and pasted from that same article.

              To add to my previous post, it's actually interesting to note that Jesus reacted worse to Peter's non-violent attempt at stopping Jesus's execution than to the violent assault of the servant when they came to capture him.
              I can see the argument. The one was an attempt to avert God's will, and not in circumstances where fear and anger would reasonably arise.

              It's even more interesting to see that Peter's Iaijutsu was so fast he could cut a man's ear off before anyone in his party (which included trained military men) could react, and Jesus presumably caught his ear and reattached it before anyone could cause further trouble.
              No conclusive evidence that Jesus reattached the ear is implied by the text, but the action is not precluded.

              The incident indicates Jesus's gang had a high level of military proficiency. Certainly one that went beyond what one would expect from fishermen and preachers.
              I'm not sure that iaijutsu would be a defensible conclusion on the basis of the text, nor is such a conclusion precluded. The two year old who shot and killed his father a few days back could not reasonably be considered a marksman nor to have had "a high level of military proficiency."
              1Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω
              Come to your senses as you ought and stop sinning; for I say to your shame, there are some who know not God.
              .
              "when the church no longer teaches its people why they believe what they believe, the world will often step in and fill in the gaps." Ryan Danker

              "The synoptic gospels claim that Jesus was crucified on the 15th day of Nisan and buried on the 14th day of Nisan:" Majority Consensus

              Comment


              • #37
                Originally posted by tabibito View Post
                No conclusive evidence that Jesus reattached the ear is implied by the text, but the action is not precluded.
                Luke says Jesus touched his ear then healed him. If his ear was still on the ground there would be no ear to touch. Although I suppose it's possible Jesus was holding the ear while regrowing it on the man.


                I'm not sure that iaijutsu would be a defensible conclusion on the basis of the text, nor is such a conclusion precluded. The two year old who shot and killed his father a few days back could not reasonably be considered a marksman nor to have had "a high level of military proficiency."
                A gun takes considerably less skill to use effectively and can easily be discharged and kill a man by accident. The toddler doesn't need to propel the bullet. Trained soldiers should be able to respond to an amateur drawing his sword and striking. So I don't think the analogy is a functional one. I think the best explanation for why the apostles wanted to fight is that they were confined in their martial abilities, and Peter particularly displays great skill with a sword. It COULD have been a lucky strike but I think the setting as described is best fit by my explanation.
                "As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths." Isaiah 3:12

                There is no such thing as innocence, only degrees of guilt.

                Comment


                • #38
                  Originally posted by Darth Executor View Post

                  Luke says Jesus touched his ear then healed him. If his ear was still on the ground there would be no ear to touch. Although I suppose it's possible Jesus was holding the ear while regrowing it on the man.
                  1/ Merely touching the detached and fallen ear would not be enough, more would have to be done. 2/ The text does not differentiate whether the ear was fully or partially detached. 3/ The Koine Greek is not so explicit as to identify that the ear itself was touched.

                  A gun takes considerably less skill to use effectively and can easily be discharged and kill a man by accident. The toddler doesn't need to propel the bullet.
                  Would a person trained in swordsmanship and actually in conflict aim to strike off a person's ear? Peter's target was not a soldier.

                  Trained soldiers should be able to respond to an amateur drawing his sword and striking.
                  Assuming that they were close enough and actually paying attention to Peter, yes. Would their attention not have been focussed on Jesus?

                  So I don't think the analogy is a functional one. I think the best explanation for why the apostles wanted to fight is that they were confined in their martial abilities, and Peter particularly displays great skill with a sword. It COULD have been a lucky strike but I think the setting as described is best fit by my explanation.
                  Again, would a trained swordsman actually aim for an ear?

                  1Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω
                  Come to your senses as you ought and stop sinning; for I say to your shame, there are some who know not God.
                  .
                  "when the church no longer teaches its people why they believe what they believe, the world will often step in and fill in the gaps." Ryan Danker

                  "The synoptic gospels claim that Jesus was crucified on the 15th day of Nisan and buried on the 14th day of Nisan:" Majority Consensus

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by tabibito View Post

                    1/ Merely touching the detached and fallen ear would not be enough, more would have to be done. 2/ The text does not differentiate whether the ear was fully or partially detached. 3/ The Koine Greek is not so explicit as to identify that the ear itself was touched.
                    1. Again, Luke said he was healed.
                    2. the word says take away/remove. Even if koine does not have a word for partial detachment I'm sure it has a word for cut or wound that would be more appropriate.
                    3. Whether it completely detached or not is not relevant. My scenario might even work better if it's not completely detached.


                    Would a person trained in swordsmanship and actually in conflict aim to strike off a person's ear? Peter's target was not a soldier.
                    As a warning/display of prowess? Sure.

                    Assuming that they were close enough and actually paying attention to Peter, yes. Would their attention not have been focused on Jesus?
                    No, they would have been focused on all of them. Especially since multiple disciples asked if they should attack before Peter acted on his own.

                    Again, would a trained swordsman actually aim for an ear?
                    It's a good way to show off skill and intimidate without killing somebody.
                    "As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths." Isaiah 3:12

                    There is no such thing as innocence, only degrees of guilt.

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Darth Executor View Post

                      3. Whether it completely detached or not is not relevant. My scenario might even work better if it's not completely detached.
                      Your scenario works only if the ear is not completely detached. {{ Literally: Jesus touched the (something unspecified) of the ear and healed it.}}

                      As a warning/display of prowess? Sure.
                      There is no way to determine whether any of the disciples had military training. In Peter's case it is most unlikely.

                      No, they would have been focused on all of them. Especially since multiple disciples asked if they should attack before Peter acted on his own.
                      So there was no specific focus on Peter. The soldiers would have been watching for aggression from a broad area and multiple potential sources. If a soldier had been close enough to act against Peter, it is a fair bet that he would have done so before Jesus had the chance to speak. Nor can it be determined from the text whether Peter was physically within the group that asked whether they should strike, or if he was, whether he was in plain view of the soldiers.

                      It's a good way to show off skill and intimidate without killing somebody.
                      The text provides no description of the sword. The most likely weapon, a gladius or similar, was not particularly suited to slicing, which would mean that Peter was particularly inept. Of course, the sword might have been something like a scimitar, which would change that scenario.

                      1Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω
                      Come to your senses as you ought and stop sinning; for I say to your shame, there are some who know not God.
                      .
                      "when the church no longer teaches its people why they believe what they believe, the world will often step in and fill in the gaps." Ryan Danker

                      "The synoptic gospels claim that Jesus was crucified on the 15th day of Nisan and buried on the 14th day of Nisan:" Majority Consensus

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Interesting to see how much of what we "read" is supplied by our own brains, as opposed to the text itself.
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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by NorrinRadd View Post
                          Interesting to see how much of what we "read" is supplied by our own brains, as opposed to the text itself.
                          The only way to prevent it is to conduct a reading comprehension exercise for the text in question. It is much easier to pick up a commentary by an author who hasn't done so and adopt his assessments: provided of course that those assessments are acceptable to the reader. (or to rely entirely on one's own (uncritically arrived at) understanding.)
                          Last edited by tabibito; 06-07-2022, 06:56 PM.
                          1Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω
                          Come to your senses as you ought and stop sinning; for I say to your shame, there are some who know not God.
                          .
                          "when the church no longer teaches its people why they believe what they believe, the world will often step in and fill in the gaps." Ryan Danker

                          "The synoptic gospels claim that Jesus was crucified on the 15th day of Nisan and buried on the 14th day of Nisan:" Majority Consensus

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Originally posted by NorrinRadd View Post
                            Interesting to see how much of what we "read" is supplied by our own brains, as opposed to the text itself.
                            I wonder how much of what I think might be the result of something I read 30 years ago and have forgotten about reading it but not the content.
                            "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

                            "Theology can be an intellectual entertainment." Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by tabibito View Post

                              Your scenario works only if the ear is not completely detached. {{ Literally: Jesus touched the (something unspecified) of the ear and healed it.}}
                              No, it works in both cases.

                              There is no way to determine whether any of the disciples had military training. In Peter's case it is most unlikely.
                              You can learn swordsmanship without any military training. In Peter's case the one recorded time he uses a sword he pulls off an unlikely stunt for a newbie.


                              So there was no specific focus on Peter. The soldiers would have been watching for aggression from a broad area and multiple potential sources. If a soldier had been close enough to act against Peter, it is a fair bet that he would have done so before Jesus had the chance to speak. Nor can it be determined from the text whether Peter was physically within the group that asked whether they should strike, or if he was, whether he was in plain view of the soldiers.
                              It's not a fair bet at all, especially if peter was right next to Jesus and Jesus got between peter and the opposing crowd right as peter's swing finished. It's also notable that there is no record of anybody else reacting. That indicates Peter's Iajutsu was so fast they may not even have realized what had happened.

                              The text provides no description of the sword. The most likely weapon, a gladius or similar, was not particularly suited to slicing, which would mean that Peter was particularly inept. Of course, the sword might have been something like a scimitar, which would change that scenario.
                              On the contrary, it would prove considerable skill to make a precision cut with a weapon that's not very well suited. That goes well with my scenario earlier where Peter cut off his ear as a warning rather than with intent to kill.
                              "As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths." Isaiah 3:12

                              There is no such thing as innocence, only degrees of guilt.

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Originally posted by Darth Executor View Post

                                1. Again, Luke said he was healed.
                                2. the word says take away/remove. Even if koine does not have a word for partial detachment I'm sure it has a word for cut or wound that would be more appropriate.
                                3. Whether it completely detached or not is not relevant. My scenario might even work better if it's not completely detached.




                                As a warning/display of prowess? Sure.



                                No, they would have been focused on all of them. Especially since multiple disciples asked if they should attack before Peter acted on his own.



                                It's a good way to show off skill and intimidate without killing somebody.
                                It's also an indication of someone swinging wildly with a weapon he wasn't all that familiar with.

                                I'm always still in trouble again

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