Guns and the Church

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Twin Reverb, Feb 25, 2016.

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Guns In The Church?

This poll will close on Feb 25, 2017 at 6:08 PM.
  1. Yes

    9 vote(s)
    90.0%
  2. No

    1 vote(s)
    10.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Twin Reverb

    Twin Reverb
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    This is sort of a long post, but bottom line up front: in Florida (where it's legal), are you for or against guns in the church? (It is assumed that by guns in the church, I mean a responsible individual with a valid CWL who does a very good job concealing it. I'm also active duty military.)

    When I first joined a church here in Florida, I didn't own guns. A month in, there was a shooting where I live: a couple blocks away. Close enough that the gun shot woke me and the wife up.

    So a month later, I asked Pastor privately for permission to carry in the church (with a valid license, and responsibly). He said he doesn't care.

    A month later, somehow a deacon found out; a Vietnam vet who, due to his life story, is now scared of guns.

    A year and a half passes. Few people know, and no one ever suspects anything, as it should be. Nothing bad ever happens, though I carried at every church event, with a round in the chamber. I use high quality clothing and a holster designed for this. I even swam with the gun once.

    Then this deacon, who hadn't said really anything over time, makes it an issue. Another deacon who supports him says I should stop doing this, though FL law makes it legal. This church has no signs posted barring the practice.

    Their main reason centers around this deacon who's a Vietnam vet. So a year and a half goes by and not a peep out of him, but now they want to ban the practice. And somehow they get the Pastor on board.

    During discussion, a bunch of their reasons come out that aren't even logical. No, I'm not a gun nut that thinks the Illuminati are coming for my guns, so it's not that I constantly foam about guns like one guy in the church does. I usually don't become part of his discussions, if I can help it. I try to show them that their concerns are invalid point by point (and I can bring these out if y'all would like), but they refuse to listen to logic.

    (The background is that this vet deacon has been the reason several people have left this church, or so the other deacon once admitted to me when I asked what's up with him.)

    I obeyed them because I feel it's right, but their reasons are entirely wrong. I feel like I've been trying to get a slow church, one whose membership has gone down over the 1.5 years I've been here (no fault of mine: I've been encouraging them to do outreach, but they don't go door to door, almost no advertising, no fliers, etc. I passed out all the fliers they had for distribution but they haven't ordered any more and it's been a year.)

    The average age of the membership is 60 I believe, because me and my wife are only 1 of 3 couples in their 20s and/or 30s.

    I feel betrayed because I never harmed anyone. I think, based on scripture, that the Bible doesn't bar the practice, nor does it encourage it, and so I feel the church leadership is making an issue of something that shouldn't be an issue.

    Should I leave? Again, membership is either the same or lower than when I got here, and people have come and then left this church: no one joins and stays.

    (Keep in mind, I blame myself for a lot of this: if the law makes it legal, I should've simply said nothing.)
     
  2. TCassidy

    TCassidy
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    Follow the law in every point. If you are told you cannot carry on church property, leave immediately. If proper signage is posted turn around and leave.

    If your pastor is so weak he can be convinced by a couple of people who offer little to the church maybe it is time to seek out a different church home.

    I carry every time I leave our home, including to church and Sunday School. My pastor knows, and approves. Our deacon who heads up "lands and grounds" which also sees to security (we are a church of around 600-700 on Sunday morning) knows and approves.

    My life is worth defending. My wife's life is worth defending. Our daughter and son-in-law's lives are worth defending. Our 3 grandson's lives are worth defending. My brothers and sisters in Christ's lives are worth defending.

    Churches are known as "soft targets." Criminals see them as "easy pickings." Lots of cash after the offering is taken, and lots of cash, checks, credit cards, and jewelry in the pockets and purses of the people in the pews. It behooves us to make our churches the hardest targets possible.

    Jesus said: “But now, whoever has a purse, let him take it, and likewise a wallet. Whoever has none, let him sell his cloak, and buy a sword." Luke 22:36.

    But then, I live in Texas. Around here everybody carries. :)
     
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  3. SovereignGrace

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    Church and guns?

    Everyone needs to attend one and pack one. :) :D :eek:
     
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  4. Rolfe

    Rolfe
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    So you are active duty, and you are still not to be trusted with a firearm?
     
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  5. Salty

    Salty
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    Being active duty - how long before you PCS?


    I would like speak more on the issue of no evangelism
    Last year I was attending a church in the same boat -
    many in their senior years (including the pastor w/many medical issues)
    They are down to one service per week. and there are many more issues.

    I ended up not joining.

    BTW - I have no problem with CSL
     
  6. Revmitchell

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    There are several possible reasons for what is going on here, but I would not assume this is a personal issue with you.

    There appears to be, based on what you have posted here, a couple of power brokers in the church who use their victim status to control things. (i.e. vet who is scared of guns). The church is in serious decline and it is likely there is no real life left in it.

    Honestly, if I were you I would go find a church that is vibrant, and is engaged in outreach and the community. If you have children they need much more than what you will find there. Let them have their country club and go find an actual church. Your family is counting on you.
     
    #6 Revmitchell, Feb 26, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2016
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  7. Darrell C

    Darrell C
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    While I can't advise you in regards to whether you should leave or not, I will make a few comments for you to consider:

    1. The fellowship we belong to should be decided upon for two primary reasons: first, that this is a place where we can worship God, and secondly, that it is a place where the Word of God is being taught and we are growing in our relationship with the Lord.

    2. We should recognize the fact that any time there is more than one person present, there is inevitably going to be contention. Knowing this, we should keep in mind that fellowship is no different than marriage, it is not finding the right person, it is about being the right person.

    3. We should honor our elders, even when they are incredible pains in the rump. Particularly if they have served this country and suffered through those experiences. Combat affects people differently, but I can understand an aversion to guns coming out of Vietnam. Doesn't mean he is right, but, he has earned at least a modicum of consideration for his service, as do all who serve honorably in our Military.

    4. While the possibility of an armed assailant entering the Church fellowship is a possibility, there are other measures that can be taken. Our own fellowship locks the doors during the service, which is a probable time of entry, though if they enter at the beginning of the service that will do little good.

    5. If the Pastor is on board with these fellows, this makes it a situation where there is really no option left for you to continue to carry at church. We should give our leadership the respect they deserve when it is not a matter of Doctrinal Issue.

    6. If you feel the need to carry strongly enough, then it might be better to remove yourself from this congregation, making sure that the new congregation's leadership doesn't have a problem with you carrying, and it might be advisable to keep this between you and the leadership. If you decide not to mention it to them, I can't say I would have a problem with that, either. I see nothing wrong with it, and think there have been a number of occasions that someone with a weapon who is skilled in it's use would have prevented further tragedy, and if I am not mistaken there have been examples of this being true.

    However, for me personally, I have never felt the need to carry, and trust in God in regards to what happens. My work takes me into the worst neighborhoods in the city, and again, as mentioned before, this too is a matter of being the right person. They say that 90% of what people worry about never happens, and that which does happen people never see coming (or in other words they failed to worry over what did happen). That doesn't mean I dismiss your position, because as I said, I don't have a problem with it and would not in the least mind to find out members were carrying weapon (providing they were responsible adults, lol).

    Are you happy with this fellowship? Apart from this particular fellow you mention? Are you growing in Christ and making friends? If so, it may be that discretion will be the better part of valor here, and if this is where God would have you right now perhaps carrying should be reconsidered. But you have to weigh all the elements of the issue and decide for yourself, as I said, I wouldn't want to advise you on something that I see is really between you and the Lord. There is always going to be certain among the fellowships we attend that cause problems, so when we remove ourselves from one fellowship we are either going to run into the same thing elsewhere or get a new source of irritation. That is just par for the course when we interact with people.

    Lastly, thank you for your service. I am all for having as many Christians as we can get into the Military.


    God bless.
     
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  8. Salty

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    Here is another question - Is it necessary to even tell the leadership that you carry?
     
  9. Darrell C

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    I think if you asked most leadership they would say yes, but, carrying is a right of an individual, so perhaps we might see both a reasonableness to both views. Both views could be argued reasonably, I think.

    So the question would be for us, do we take a "don't ask, don't tell" mentality towards this, or does the leadership have a right to know? I think the conscience of the one carrying would probably dictate an individual response, because some might not even give it a thought that telling the leadership is something they should do. Carrying a gun would be for some, I think, no different than carrying a wallet, it's just something they do.

    Out of sight, out of mind, right?

    The OP obviously felt compelled to ask permission, and I think that was decent of him. But not everyone might think this necessary.


    God bless.
     
  10. TCassidy

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    It depends on the laws of the state you live and worship in. Some state laws make all churches "gun free zones" unless express permission is granted by the church leadership.

    Other states, such as Texas, allow private property owners to limit open or concealed carry of firearms only if the proper 30.07 or 30.06 sign (see below) is posted at every entrance.

    I carry at church. There are no signs at any entrance. But I still did the leadership the courtesy to informing them that I carry at all times. Now they know that, in the event of an emergency, there is one more person present who can assist in protecting the people present in the services.

    30.06.jpg
     
  11. Martin Marprelate

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    Which church do you attend?
    I want to make a special point of keeping well away from it when I visit America next year. :eek:
     
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  12. Darrell C

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    You don't think it possible that he could assist in a situation where a nut comes in?

    And, not talking about your upcoming trip by the way...

    ;)


    God bless.
     
  13. TCassidy

    TCassidy
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    Please do. People who are not accustomed to liberty seldom enjoy coming here. "I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery." (Thomas Jefferson)
     
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  14. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate
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    Yes. Well I shall exercise my liberty in staying well away from gun-toting septuagenarians who describe their weapons as 'toys.'
     
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  15. Salty

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    "Toys" - Well in that case when you come to the United States, I recommend you stay off all roads and highways - as too many people consider their vehicle as toys.

    As far as hard Stats: The US has 3.8 homicides per 100,000. This is # 98 out of 218
    and I would recommend you stay away from Brazil.
     
  16. TCassidy

    TCassidy
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    Hoplophobia is a sad condition. I can only recommend you seek professional help to overcome your irrational fear.
     
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  17. TCassidy

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    Not to mention that his "peaceful" England has a violent crime rate almost 5 times higher than the US. That is what happens when a tyrannical government takes away the people's right to self defense. King George III tried to do that to us. The result is called "The American Revolution." :)
     
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  18. Darrell C

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    Wow, a great conversation run amuck just like that, lol.

    Well, if you stop by Virginia let me know, be glad to have you come visit my own fellowship, and I will treat you to lunch. My Pastor, by the way, is a huge Spurgeon fan, lol. Don't agree with everything he says but he's a good man and one of the few I have known I feel has been called of God to preach.

    As far as those who do treat firearms without the care demanded, not everyone in America is like that. While I am not a hunter and routinely use weapons, I do know a number of enthusiasts that are responsible with guns and treat it as the privilege it is to own a gun.

    But isn't that the way a lot of times? The actions of a few result in the loss of privilege for the many? Kind of like a city park: people trash it then complain that it is trashed.

    But back to the topic, again, I would actually have no problem with someone like the OP having a firearm on him during a service. I would not expect carelessness on his part, which is not a characteristic of any enthusiast I know. I can understand a desire to be prepared, particularly in light of the shooting he spoke about near his house. We can only speculate about what might happen, but, better to be prepared than to ruminate in hind sight.

    Lastly, there have been quite a few shootings here recently which have made the news. Some of them have taken place in churches, and our own fellowship has adopted a policy of locking the doors during the service on account of this. So as I said before, I think both sides can be reasonably defended, and the bottom line for the OP is that according to the Laws of his state he has a right to carry a gun to church if he desires to. I give him credit for having the courtesy not to be defiant in the matter, and to seek out the advice of brethren. Some of us don't feel compelled to do this, but, I think we should take into consideration the areas some people may live in. Just heard on the news the other day our state has already had twelve murders. Richmond was, years ago, the murder capital of the nation. So I wouldn't blame some people for wanting to be prepared if some nutcase did walk in and open up.


    God bless.
     
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  19. TCassidy

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    Yes, please do. I have never considered my living into my 7th decade a negative nor a reason for name-calling, but if it makes you feel better please feel free. Quite frankly, considering my background and life experiences, the fact that I am still alive in my 7th decade is a testimony to the grace of God in my life, of which I will never be ashamed.

    Also I refer to my sidearms as, well, sidearms, and my long guns as, uh, well, as long guns.

    And, to the best of my knowledge, I have never "toted" a firearm in my life. I am not even sure how to "tote" a firearm. Mine have always been carried in holsters. While still in the military, if I was also carrying a long gun, my side arm was in a drop-leg holster to prevent interference with the long gun sling. If not carrying a long gun it was either in a belt holster or a modified shoulder holster for ease of access while sitting in the cockpit of my aircraft.

    As a uniformed police officer I carried my sidearm in a level II retention holster.

    When not in uniform, but still working, I carried in an OWB level II retention holster.

    Now, being retired, I carry my sidearm in an IWB Alien Gear level II retention holster. (Not sure what to do about the little green man, but aliengear.com doesn't seem to have any such little guys in evidence.)

    I don't think any of those would qualify as "toting." But I'm sure you have much more experience and knowledge on the subject than I do. :)
     
  20. Rob_BW

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Hmm, I think I see a correlation...Roflmao
     
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