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Is gun culture compatible with Christianity?

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  • Is gun culture compatible with Christianity?

    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.
    "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

  • #2
    It is admirable when Christians win over gun-toting predators by faith and love rather than violence, but I don't believe Jesus universally opposed use of deadly force in order to save one's own life or the lives of others. If He did, it would demonstrate that, contrary to explicit claims of Scripture, I AM *does* change, and Jesus Christ is *not* the same yesterday, today, and forever, because killing was clearly *not* universally prohibited in the Obsolete Covenant. The Covenants changed, the laws changed, but the nature of God did not change, and the most basic relational principle -- Treat others as you wish others to treat you -- did not change.

    If I broke into someone's house, I'd expect them to shoot me in the face. Anyone who breaks in here should expect the same.
    Geislerminian Antinomian Kenotic Charispneumaticostal Gender Mutualist-Egalitarian.

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    • #3
      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.
      A firearm is essentially a piece of metal with a bit of wood or plastic. It is what you do with it that matters.

      I'm always still in trouble again

      "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
      "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
      "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

      Comment


      • #4
        Cars kill more people than guns, so maybe Christians should not own cars?

        But -- "gun culture" -- can you unpack that a bit?

        I have a collection of firearms, but what would determine I'm in the "gun culture" any more than owning a half dozen cars makes me part of the "car culture"?

        Not being argumentative, just trying to understand how a Christian owning firearms makes him part of the "gun culture".
        The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
          Cars kill more people than guns, so maybe Christians should not own cars?

          But -- "gun culture" -- can you unpack that a bit?

          I have a collection of firearms, but what would determine I'm in the "gun culture" any more than owning a half dozen cars makes me part of the "car culture"?

          Not being argumentative, just trying to understand how a Christian owning firearms makes him part of the "gun culture".
          I had the same question. Please unpack "gun culture" a some more for me, too.

          I think my response is going along the lines of what NorrinRadd said.
          "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

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by NorrinRadd View Post
            It is admirable when Christians win over gun-toting predators by faith and love rather than violence, but I don't believe Jesus universally opposed use of deadly force in order to save one's own life or the lives of others. If He did, it would demonstrate that, contrary to explicit claims of Scripture, I AM *does* change, and Jesus Christ is *not* the same yesterday, today, and forever, because killing was clearly *not* universally prohibited in the Obsolete Covenant. The Covenants changed, the laws changed, but the nature of God did not change, and the most basic relational principle -- Treat others as you wish others to treat you -- did not change.
            Scripture Verse: 1 Tim 5:8

            Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

            © Copyright Original Source



            If I broke into someone's house, I'd expect them to shoot me in the face. Anyone who breaks in here should expect the same.
            No - center body mass!!! "The face" isn't a big enough target.

            The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

            Comment


            • #7
              First I object to the term "gun culture" as if there is some sort of gun worshiping going on.

              Second, guns are tools that have a lot more uses than killing people. They have been used for hundreds of years for hunting food for example. And most people who own guns just enjoy shooting them at targets. As a sport. And for personal protection. I see nothing in the bible that prevents a person from protecting his own life or the lives of others, using whatever they have available, from fists to knives, spears or guns. Jesus even told his disciples to take a spear with them on their journeys. God instructed the Israelites to use weapons against their enemies. Jesus accepted soldiers into his kingdom in the NT.

              So, no I see nothing wrong with Christians owning guns, or any other weapon. Whether for sport, hunting or self defense, or even just to collect.


              and that article you linked to is just wrong. Jesus never prohibits self-defense of yourself or others. Turning the other cheek is not a call to just let people kill you or your family. And the fact that Jesus didn't defend his own life is not meant as an example to us to never defend our own lives. He had a specific purpose to fulfill that could not be fulfilled if he had avoided his fate. And it could be argued that his death was the ultimate example of defending the lives of others. His death saved us all.
              “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends”
              Last edited by Sparko; 02-11-2022, 08:02 AM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Sparko View Post
                First I object to the term "gun culture" as if there is some sort of gun worshiping going on.

                Second, guns are tools that have a lot more uses than killing people. They have been used for hundreds of years for hunting food for example. And most people who own guns just enjoy shooting them at targets. As a sport. And for personal protection. I see nothing in the bible that prevents a person from protecting his own life or the lives of others, using whatever they have available, from fists to knives, spears or guns. Jesus even told his disciples to take a spear SWORD with them on their journeys. God instructed the Israelites to use weapons against their enemies. Jesus accepted soldiers into his kingdom in the NT.

                So, no I see nothing wrong with Christians owning guns, or any other weapon. Whether for sport, hunting or self defense, or even just to collect.


                and that article you linked to is just wrong. Jesus never prohibits self-defense of yourself or others. Turning the other cheek is not a call to just let people kill you or your family. And the fact that Jesus didn't defend his own life is not meant as an example to us to never defend our own lives. He had a specific purpose to fulfill that could not be fulfilled if he had avoided his fate. And it could be argued that his death was the ultimate example of defending the lives of others. His death saved us all.
                “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends”
                Fixed an error

                I'm always still in trouble again

                "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
                "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
                  Fixed an error
                  Thank you.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Sparko View Post
                    First I object to the term "gun culture" as if there is some sort of gun worshiping going on.

                    Second, guns are tools that have a lot more uses than killing people. They have been used for hundreds of years for hunting food for example. And most people who own guns just enjoy shooting them at targets. As a sport. And for personal protection. I see nothing in the bible that prevents a person from protecting his own life or the lives of others, using whatever they have available, from fists to knives, spears or guns. Jesus even told his disciples to take a spear with them on their journeys. God instructed the Israelites to use weapons against their enemies. Jesus accepted soldiers into his kingdom in the NT.

                    So, no I see nothing wrong with Christians owning guns, or any other weapon. Whether for sport, hunting or self defense, or even just to collect.


                    and that article you linked to is just wrong. Jesus never prohibits self-defense of yourself or others. Turning the other cheek is not a call to just let people kill you or your family. And the fact that Jesus didn't defend his own life is not meant as an example to us to never defend our own lives. He had a specific purpose to fulfill that could not be fulfilled if he had avoided his fate. And it could be argued that his death was the ultimate example of defending the lives of others. His death saved us all.
                    “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends”
                    There very much is a such thing as gun culture. People have cars full of bumper stickers about their love for guns - that's a culture, just like there's sports culture. We all know people who collect them (and I used to work with a guy who had an entire arsenal and liked to talk of the day when the civil war would come and he could shoot people to his heart's content).

                    I agree that guns are a tool, and it would be appropriate to view them as such. But the level of obsession some have with them approaches putting one's trust in their guns, and not God.

                    I also agree McKnight goes too far to prohibit all self defense, but his broader point still needs to be addressed separately.
                    "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

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      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.
                      Jesus didn't seem to have a problem with his followers carrying swords. And, no, it wasn't for fishing or utility reasons.

                      It was a volatile era during that time, and the Jews, including his followers, were expecting a war against the Romans to happen led by Messiah ben David. They obviously thought (prior to his crucifixion) Jesus was that Messiah, hence, the reason they carried swords.

                      And before you bring up Jesus reprimanding Peter's action in the Garden, obviously Jesus knew they had swords, so he was criticizing Peter for his action (and the deeper meaning of them not understanding his true purpose, even though he stated it plainly beforehand), not the fact he was carrying a sword in the first place.
                      "What am I doing here?" -- Joe Biden 2021

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by seanD View Post
                        Jesus didn't seem to have a problem with his followers carrying swords. And, no, it wasn't for fishing or utility reasons.
                        I'm trying to figure out how fishing with a sword would work.

                        I'm always still in trouble again

                        "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                        "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
                        "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
                          I'm trying to figure out how fishing with a sword would work.
                          You need a purpose built, specially trained sword:

                          Swordfish.jpg
                          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


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
                            I'm trying to figure out how fishing with a sword would work.
                            I've heard some Christians (apparently who can't seem to come to terms with the fact the disciples were bent on overthrowing the empire at first) argue that it was to protect against bandits robbing their catches.
                            "What am I doing here?" -- Joe Biden 2021

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by seanD View Post

                              Jesus didn't seem to have a problem with his followers carrying swords. And, no, it wasn't for fishing or utility reasons.

                              It was a volatile era during that time, and the Jews, including his followers, were expecting a war against the Romans to happen led by Messiah ben David. They obviously thought (prior to his crucifixion) Jesus was that Messiah, hence, the reason they carried swords.

                              And before you bring up Jesus reprimanding Peter's action in the Garden, obviously Jesus knew they had swords, so he was criticizing Peter for his action (and the deeper meaning of them not understanding his true purpose, even though he stated it plainly beforehand), not the fact he was carrying a sword in the first place.
                              I acknowledged earlier that a gun can be used properly as a tool. My broader question, which you haven't addressed, relates to the culture that has grown around them in the United States. (I do think the interpretation that the only reason Jesus had them take swords was to provoke the crucifixion as the time had come is plausible, but for the sake of argument I'm granting that there was nothing inherently wrong with having swords in general.)
                              "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

                              Comment

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