Christians Carrying Concealed Weapons - Falwell vs. Piper

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Deacon, Dec 26, 2015.

  1. Deacon

    Deacon
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    There's a great open discussion among Christian Leaders going on.

    Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. makes remarks at Convocation December 7, 2015 [LINK]
    "As the president of this university community of nearly 15,000 students and 7,000 faculty and staff, I take very seriously my responsibility to keep you safe in an increasingly dangerous world. That’s why in 2011 I asked our Board of Trustees to consider a concealed carry policy. It wasn’t because of Islamic terrorism, it was because what happened (just) up the road at Virginia Tech. More than 30 innocent students and faculty were murdered viciously and none of them had the ability to protect themselves. The day that happened, I thought we needed to do something different here at Liberty… [We have] 950 here now with concealed carry permits, and after I made those remarks on Friday we had 240 sign up for a course tomorrow night."


    Should Christians Be Encouraged to Arm Themselves? By John Piper December 22. 2015 [LINK]
    Does it accord with the New Testament to encourage the attitude that says, “I have the power to kill you in my pocket, so don’t mess with me”? My answer is, No.
    Here are nine considerations that lead me to this conclusion.
    #8. A natural instinct is to boil this issue down to the question, “Can I shoot my wife’s assailant?”
    My answer is sevenfold.
    1) This instinct is understandable. But it seems to me that the New Testament resists this kind of ethical reduction, and does not satisfy our demand for a yes or no on that question.
    3) Jesus died to keep that assailant from sinning against my family. That is, Jesus’s personal strategy for overcoming crimes was to overcome sinful inclinations by giving his life to pay debts and change hearts.
    4) I realize that even to call the police when threatened — which, in general, it seems right to do in view of Romans 13:1–4 — may come from a heart that is out of step with the mind of Christ. If one’s heart is controlled mainly by fear, or anger, or revenge, that sinful disposition may be expressed by using the police as well as taking up arms yourself.
    6) I do not know what I would do before this situation presents itself with all its innumerable variations of factors. And I would be very slow to condemn a person who chose differently from me.​

    Here is one person's blog post response: Why I Disagree… [LINK]

    Where do you stand on this issue?

    Rob
     
  2. Revmitchell

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    Someone is willing to harm or kill my family or puts their life at risk in any way it will be handled in a black and white fashion with no hesitation, no question and no pause. Their life will be over. Period.
     
    #2 Revmitchell, Dec 26, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2015
  3. HeDied4U

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    I stand with Jerry Falwell Jr.on this issue.

    If armed, anybody, whether Christian or not, has to have a greater chance of surviving an attack/break-in as opposed to (hopefully being able to) call(ing) 9-1-1 and waiting X number of minutes for police to respond.

    Just my $0.02 worth. As always, YMMV.
     
  4. Van

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    Acting as individuals, Christians are to turn the other cheek, and do good to those who would harm us. However, acting as the Church we are to fight using words, ideas, examples to persuade the lost to come to the light. And finally, acting as apart of a defense organization, we may use force as necessary to protect our loved ones from harm. Look at the last 5 names in the list of heroes of the faith in Hebrews 11, they are all soldiers.

    Since Christians are targets of a faction of Islam, providing reasonable man defense is appropriate. Thus an immediate armed response force should be provided. Concealed carry in the absence of a substantial armed presence is completely biblical. Whether it is the way to go is another question. The down side of gun ownership cannot be disregarded.
     
  5. JamesL

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    I appreciate, and must side with, the one who says "here's what i see in the New Testament"

    I don't agree with Piper's theology in general, but i would say he's on the right track

    1Peter 2:21
     
  6. InTheLight

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    Piper uses the argument that the Bible teaches us to endure persecution, therefore we should not arm ourselves. However when persecution is discussed in the Bible it is almost always in reference to the government being the perpetrators. The situations with conceal and carry have to do with defending yourself against criminals.

    Piper's argument to this point is that Christ died for this sinner and Jesus' response would be to lay down his life for this person. The tacit implication is that we as Christians should take whatever comes our way, including death. The irony is that as a Calvinist Piper says that Jesus died for the assailant trying to harm us, however we all know that Calvinists believe Christ's death was only for the elect so how can Piper say whether or not the assailant was elect? Not only that, but the Calvinist fruit inspectors would say that an armed assailant is proof someone is not elect.

    I do not agree with Piper.

    Sent from my Motorola Droid Turbo using Tapatalk.
     
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  7. Revmitchell

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    This is a bad argument. The logical conclusion of Jesus dying does not lead to the idea that Jesus died to keep that assailant from sinning against my family. Jesus wants the heart changed but the change in heart comes only after regeneration. This would also be a huge contradiction for any who holds to predestinarian theology. How would anyone know if any particular "assailant" was elect according to predestinarian theology.
     
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  8. agedman

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    Statements in the NT of "living in peace" are generally speaking made to the assembly being gentle and gracious with each other.

    Many on the BB took and oath to "support and defend" the constitution. That constitution allows me the right to assemble, the right to organize, the right to speak, the right to bare my arms and to brandish a weapon against all manor of terror both foreign and domestic.

    I don't see the God in heaven objecting.

    What I do see the Father objecting to is excessive bail , excessive fines imposed, cruel and unusual punishments inflicted out of some thinking that long periods of incarceration are in some manner a deterrent. Punishment for a crime should be like the flu. Swift, severe, and rejoicing that it is over, with no desire for a repeat performance.
     
  9. Revmitchell

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    You said just exactly what I was getting ready to post only was as also going to include that our response to an assailant is not revenge as Piper so wrecklessly characterizes it. It is sad when in order to debate an issue one must demonize the other side in order to develop an argument to tear it down. The protection of our family is just that. It is not revenge. Further, our constitution (governing document) gives us the right to defend ourselves. So Piper's argument that only the government can do it is incorrect. Piper's argument is sophomoric at best. I'm disappointed.
     
  10. agedman

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    I agree.

    It was not until the night before the day of the cross that Christ allowed anyone to touch Him in an abusive manner.
     
  11. InTheLight

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    That section of scripture in 2 Peter is about submitting to authority, not submitting to criminals.

    Sent from my Motorola Droid Turbo using Tapatalk.
     
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  12. JamesL

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    Historically, authorities have been the biggest criminals.
     
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  13. HankD

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    Those of us who are veterans have sayings like "once a marine always a marine".

    Veterans have always been considered as part of the militia having been trained in warfare and we can still be called upon by the government as a domestic branch of the military in defense of the nation.

    I have absolutely no compulsion against protecting the general population (if it comes to that) against those who want to kill us for any reason.

    I pray very often that it would not come to this. But if ISIS comes down my rural road to kill my family they will be met with whatever resistance of which I am able and have the means thereof.

    But even if I weren't a veteran, I would consider it part of my duty to protect at least my immediate family with deadly force if necessary.

    1 Timothy 5:8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

    This IMO includes protection from lunatics, head-choppers, those who would mow us down like the proverbial sitting ducks, etc...

    My wife is well trained in the use and safety of firearms of which we have a few.

    "turn the other cheek" is given in a non-life threatening context.

    BTW, here in Mason County Washington, on Christmas eve, it sounded like war had broken out with all the gunfire practice. Christmas sales of firearms (especially to women) has been at an all time high because of the administration's limp wrist policies (or the perception thereof) and ironically WA (a deep blue state) is known as the People's Republic of Washington.

    HankD
     
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  14. HAMel

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    When seconds count the cops are only minutes away.

    Arm yourself to the teeth and be ready for any calamity.
     
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  15. preachinjesus

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    As a Liberty alum...Mr Falwell's remarks were unsettling and sad.

    As a Christian...I guess we've forgotten Matthew 5:38-41.
     
  16. Zaac

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    And hence my issue with Mr. Falwell's statements. It makes Christians look more and more like a certain political party and less and less like Christ.
    I am reminded of Luke 14:26 which says
    We are quick to say what we would do if someone came after our families. But the way of Christ seems to say that you must love HIM, CHRIST FIRST, so much, that you are willing to let your family go to do what HE says to do.

    We can come up with every excuse in the world, but I truly believe that Matthew 5:38-41 and Luke 14:26 and everything that Christ did on the Cross removed any right of His followers to respond in the same manner as the lost.

    How many times does He example His mercy and His grace in life and death situations?

    There are worldly authorities whose job it is to do what Mr. Falwell seems to want the faculty and students to also do. And when you've got so many people "responding" to a shooter, who is to say that the police don't shoot one of them when they arrive thinking they are involved?

    What will Mr. Falwell say when some parent has to come pick up their child's body because the police or another armed student thought their child was the perpetrator or involved with the perpetrator?

    There are definitely other ways to secure campuses. This is a bad idea and an especially bad look for Christians.

    If it were my family should not be used as an excuse when it comes to God's word. Sure there will be PLENTY who think I'm stupid. But I think it's much more important that I maintain a RIGHT Christian witness than me and my family , by the grace of GOD, to continue to have life.

    Either I trust Him or I don't. HE has not given me as an individual the right to execute final judgment of life and death upon ANYONE.
     
    #16 Zaac, Dec 28, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2015
  17. Don

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    For those that are throwing out the Beatitudes as an argument against defending others: John 15:13.

    The problem with using the Beatitudes is that they address individual response to individual offenses; i.e., someone slaps your cheek, you turn the other cheek.

    I tend to view owning a gun as a defense of others concept. I view it from the point of stewardship. Everything we have is given to us by God. Parents, siblings, cousins, friends, wives, husbands, especially children--all given to us by His divine plan. Just like the parable of the talents, we will have to give account of how we managed what He gave us the responsibility to care for.

    If a sheep is lost, are we not supposed to look for it? If a lion or bear attack the sheep, are we supposed to protect the flock, or let the predator have their way with them?

    The Beatitudes are biblical principles; but so are these. Each one of us must reconcile what may seem to be conflicting biblical principles according to our own conscience, knowing that we will give a full accounting one day.
     
  18. preachinjesus

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    Maybe I'm missing something prior to my ninth cup of coffee today, but I can't seem to remember where Jesus tells us to take up arms to ward off bears or wolves from the flock...
     
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  19. Revmitchell

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    You usually make solid arguments. I am surprised at this one. Jesus never addressed the issue on either side. Arguing from silence is not an argument.
     
  20. HankD

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    Knowing the "terror of the Lord" and how He deals with sinful nations, America may soon be put to the test concerning what obedience to Christ means and/or costs.

    Then we will see who "converts, dies or fights" rather than have their head removed. Or see who will simply stand by as the evil ones murder their family.

    Yes its quite idealistic to say one would "obey" Christ when the bloodthirsty enemy shows up the door and let oneself and family be slaughtered.

    There is scripture to the contrary.

    Romans 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
    2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
    3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
    4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.

    I fully intend to be that "minister of God to thee for good" and execute wrath "upon those who do evil" to my local community and/or America at large, if and when that day comes have I the ability and means (I'm getting up in years).

    While in the military, I was stationed on the Ballistic Early Warning System (BMEWS) line of defense going from New York to Greenland. We watched for Russians missile planes and subs which were armed with nuclear thermal devices, one of which - even then - would blow a hole of destruction 30 miles in diameter destroying (for instance) all 5 boroughs of NY city. If my commander had said to destroy the threatening aircraft or submarine - there would have been no hesitation on my part.

    Should we have spared a dozen lives so that they could have disintegrated 10 million?

    I would still do the same even on a smaller scale in defense of my nation, I still consider myself a defender of America (including my own family of course).

    1 Timothy 5:8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

    HankD
     

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