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I am a 1967 graduate of The Citadel (Distinguished Military Student, member of the Economic Honor Society, Dean's List), a 1975 graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (M.Div., magna cum laude, member of the Phi Alpha Chi academic honor society); I attended the Free University of Amsterdam and completed my History of Dogma there and then received a full scholarship from the Dutch government to transfer to the sister school in Kampen, Holland. In 1979 I graduated from the Theological Seminary of the Reformed Churches of Holland (Drs. with honors in Ethics). My New Testament minor was completed with Herman Ridderbos. I am also a 2001 Ph.D. graduate of Westminster Theological Seminary (Systematic Theology) in Philly with a dissertation on the "unio mystica" in the theology of Dr. Herman Bavinck (1854-1921). I am a former tank commander, and instructor in the US Army Armor School at Ft. Knox, KY. I have been happily married to my childhood sweetheart and best friend, Sally, for 43 years. We have 6 children, one of whom is with the Lord, and 14 wonderful grandchildren.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Should Christians Be Pro-Gun?

Pro-Life and Pro-Glock?

Rev. Lance Lewis, PCA pastor at Christ Liberation Fellowship in Philadelphia recently (9.15.2008) posted some comments on his blog site in the form of the above formulated question. In this installment, I want to take a few moments to respond to my colleague on the issue of Christians and guns. By way of clarification, I am in favor of the right described in the Second Amendment. I believe it extends to every United States citizen. It seems clear to me and others much more knowledgeable in constitutional law that the Second Amendment, like the others, describes an individual right. The Second Amendment does not require every U.S. citizen to have a gun, although it is important to point out that there was a time when certain states did require it and, in light of the current state of affairs in our country, it might be advisable for the citizens to arm themselves, even though it’s not required.

The language of the Second Amendment clearly states that we have the right to keep and bear arms and that this right shall not be infringed. As I respond to what Rev. Lewis wrote on his blog site, I will, as much as possible, use his own words. That is to say, I will allow him to state his case and then I will respond to what he asserts. There will be points of agreement between Rev. Lewis and me, but there will also be points where we differ and disagree.

His piece begins with a description of a fictitious Star Wars weapon United Federation of Planets Attack Phaser. I’m not certain what that is, but I’m pretty sure that Nancy Pelosi, Dianne Feinstein, Barbara Boxer, Bill and Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Ted Kennedy, and Barack Obama would want to put more controls on it. John Edwards probably wishes he had one to fend off the reporters at the bathroom door, especially since Rev. Lewis informs us that the UFPAP is equipped with a Variable Power Setting. Even in the language of Star Wars that sounds like a selector switch that gives the owner full auto capabilities. The worse thing that could happen is for one of these puppies to fall into the hands of decent, law-abiding citizens. Nope. Every UFPAP should be rounded up and given to the Klingons, of Star Trek fame, for safe keeping.

It should be clear by now that I am not a Star Wars fan (I know perhaps what might pass as the bare minimum about Star Wars, except that Darth Vader has asthma), so I will forego further discussion about it. Rev. Lewis seems well pleased with Star Wars, which, of course, is fine. I would just add that the UFPAP with VPS sounds like something I’d like to fire.

What becomes patently clear from Rev. Lewis’s position paper is that he is opposed to owning a gun for self-defense, which is his prerogative—to a certain degree and in a certain sense. There are some biblical qualifiers, however, that we need to take into account. I’m relatively sure that Rev. Lance knows what I’m about to say, but I believe it will be helpful as a review. First, we know from Exodus 22:2 that the Lord was not against self-defense. In fact, the text is clear that if there is an intruder in your home and you kill him, there is no harm; no foul. Self-defense is totally justified.

Second, the Westminster Larger Catechism (Q/A 135) makes it equally clear that one of the duties required of Christians in the sixth commandment is the following: “The duties required in the sixth commandment are, all careful studies, and lawful endeavors, to preserve the life of ourselves and others…” (Emphasis added.)

Third, the Heidelberg Catechism (Lord’s Day 40, Q/A 105), after giving a spiritual interpretation of the sixth commandment states, “Moreover, I am not to harm or recklessly endanger myself.”

It would have greatly enhanced Rev. Lewis’s thesis and position if he had made reference to these documents on his blog post. Surely, he had to apprehend that Christians who held a view opposite from his would cite these references. Therefore, he should have explained carefully why he thinks these documents are wrong. He did not and therefore his post suffers enormously.

But this isn’t the only great hole in his post—or holodeck from Star Trek. As we shall see, Rev. Lewis will have a bold type heading suggesting that he is going to deal with a particular issue (i.e., non-lethal personal defense weapons), but where he never mentions that form of personal self-defense at all. On balance, this was an ill-conceived and poorly thought-through and explained post as will become increasingly evident as we proceed. That being said, let’s begin.

The Reality of Non-Lethal Personal Defense Weapons

The third heading in Rev. Lewis’s article deals with non-lethal responses to assailants. For an article that purports to be an aid to us in non-lethal self-defense, it might have been helpful for Rev. Lewis actually to have listed what some of those non-lethal responses are. I mention this simply because this type of writing will increasingly typify and characterize his post. At times, his words are illogical, while at other times they are irrational. In other words, in his paragraph on non-lethal responses one would expect something along the lines of: You can choose pepper spray, a civilian taser, or a duck call. Something. Rev. Lewis doesn’t mention any however, which is a little odd.

Therefore, allow me to pick up the slack and mention some of the most common non-lethal responses. First, there is the civilian taser. These can be purchased for somewhere in the neighborhood of $1,000, depending upon the make and model. A well placed taser shot will knock a person down sending approximately 50,000 volts through his body for about ten seconds. If the person still gets up, you can repeat the procedure simply by pulling the trigger on the taser. The initial shot will not only incapacitate an assailant for about two minutes, providing most people with ample time to flee from the scene, unless you’re Michael Moore, who needs about two days.

In addition to the outlay of cash, a taser requires that you practice using it—preferably on someone you don’t like, such as a neighbor or Elder. You’ll also need to know how to carry the taser so that in the event that you’re accosted, you’ll be proficient in using it both quickly and effectively. This isn’t always the easiest part of being armed with a taser. A drawback of being armed with a taser is that it requires you to be in close proximity to your assailant. In most cases, however, that isn’t much of a problem, since if you’re cornered by someone with a knife or gun, you will be in close proximity. Therefore, you’ll have to be about twenty-one feet or less from your attacker when you fire the taser and—and—you must hit him with it. For those who are new to this, twenty-one feet does not give you much time to react and there is no room for error. If you miss, your assailant is on you and you’re dead meat, or at least in hand to hand combat, where most people do not want to be since they are not skilled in hand to hand.

Second, there is pepper spray. This is a reasonable and at times viable non-lethal response to an assault. Two key matters must be considered however. First, your attacker must be very close (six feet or less) for you to employ pepper spray. It is effective when used properly, however, and should provide you with an opportunity to escape—unless you’re Rosie O’Donnell.[1] Second, the wind can play an enormous role in when, where, and how you use pepper spray. For example, there have been instances when the victim aimed the pepper spray at his assailant only to have the wind blow the spray right back into their own eyes. Clearly, this is an undesirable side effect.

Third, experimentation is being done in excessively bright light that brings on nausea. There is also some ground-breaking work being done in the area of incapacitating noise. As far as I am aware, these are only in the hands of the military at the present due to their experimental nature. Possibly, some law enforcement agencies might have this as well.

Fourth, if you want your assailant to fall down laughing, you might want to try hitting the panic button on your cell phone. This particular procedure is very well documented as a sure means of bidding farewell to this life.

Finally, if you are somewhat proficient in hand to hand grappling (this is not for the faint of heart, most women, and Bill Maher, Chris Rock, or David Letterman), then you might want to attempt the “raw naked choke hold.” When properly applied to an assailant, this choke hold causes unconsciousness in ten seconds. Keeping it on your assailant for twenty seconds or more will cause permanent brain damage (except in the cases of Al Gore and Michael Moore—oh yeah, and in Anne Lamott) or death. So since we’re discussing non-lethal techniques, make certain you keep a close eye on your watch while you apply the hold.

Here’s the caveat for all encounters of the close kind: The adrenalin will flow in buckets, which means that your fine motor abilities will go into “shut down” mode. Therefore, prior to an assault you had better give some partially sanctified thought to what you’re going to do and how you’re going to do it. And be realistic! This is no time for Polly Anna-esque theories. You could very well end up in close combat to the death, so you need to decide beforehand what your tactics will be. If your United Federation of Planets Attack Phaser with Variable Power Setting hasn’t arrived from eBay, you’re going to need an alternative plan.

Ironically, in the section that ostensibly purports to tell us about non-lethal resistance, Rev. Lewis provides us with no insight or information about how we might defend ourselves in such a fashion. Instead, he states, “…I am convinced by Scripture that all humanity has a duty to protect and preserve life and that those who believe in Jesus Christ should take care to do all within their power to see that no harm comes to anyone.” (Emphasis added.) Let’s reflect upon that statement for a moment. It is clearly biblically true that Christians are to have a high regard for the sanctity of life. After all, Scripture teaches us that man is created in the image of God. As such, even if he doesn’t acknowledge it, he has intrinsic value. Simultaneously, Rev. Lewis’s assertion begs an ethical question: Does Scripture require us to have an absolute regard for life? Please keep in mind that I’m not asking whether the Word of God is absolutely true. It is. I unashamedly confess the infallibility and inerrancy of the Bible. This is a question of a different order. I’m asking if the absolutely true scriptures require an absolute regard for human life in any and all circumstances.

Dr. Jochem Douma reminds us that Scripture nowhere demands an absolute respect (eerbied) for life.[2] Rather, Scripture teaches us an absolute regard for the sovereign Lord God Almighty (cf. Deut. 32:39; 1 Sam. 2:6; Eph. 1:20; Col. 1:16; Gen. 1:29; 9:3, 6; Rom. 13:4). He concludes that these verses teach us that the Bible does not teach an absolute regard for life.[3] A couple of simple examples can suffice here. In the case of a loved one, who might be kept alive another few hours or days, the ethical decision can be made to remove unnecessary medications and/or other artificial means of keeping him alive and opt for giving water and nourishment until he passes into the next life. At the same time, if Scripture propounded an absolute value for all of human life, how would the lex talionis (the death penalty) ever be justly or justifiably applied? That is to say, given the numerous cases that required the death penalty in the Old and New Testaments it would be quite difficult to argue for an absolute value for everyone.

While it is true that we are called to live in a peaceable manner in the Kingdom of Christ, we also know the reality of total depravity or radical corruption. Not everyone, therefore, desires to live peaceably with his neighbor. The fact that our prisons are filled to overflowing is a clear manifestation of this truth. Should Christians have a high regard for all life? Yes, they should. Does this mean that we should do everything in our power to see that no harm comes to the life of a convicted murderer? No, we should not. God’s Word tells us that there is to be life for life. There is nothing biblically wrong about retributive justice (cf. Obadiah 15; Jer. 50:29; Hab. 2:8; Ex. 21:24; Gen. 9:6, Rev. 16:6; 18:6-7). One of the recurring themes in the wisdom literature of the book of Proverbs is that the wicked fall into the snares they set for the righteous (cf. Prov. 1:18-19, 31; 10:16; 11:8; 26:27; 28:10; 29:6. Comp. Ps. 35:8; 141:10).

Finally, it would have enhanced Rev. Lewis’s article if he had provided his readers with some scriptures to support his position. Unfortunately, even though we received two paragraphs of Star Wars, we are not the recipients of one shred of biblical text. In our next installment, we’ll listen and respond to Rev. Lewis as he gives us his (non) reasons that contribute to his passionate (his term) anti-gun stance and his question of how long evangelicals can be both pro-life and pro-Glock.



[1] In Ms. O’Donnell’s case, she’d simply have her armed body guard shoot you. You see, Ms. O’Donnell doesn’t want you or me to be armed, but it’s okay for her body guards to be armed to the bicuspids.

[2] Jochem Douma, Rondom de Dood, Vol. 10 in the series Ethische Bezinning, (Kampen: Uitgeverij van den Berg, 1984), p. 23.

[3] Ibid., 24.



Labels:

31 Comments:

Blogger sister said...

United Federation of Planets: Star Trek (Members of the UFP no longer work for monetary gain, but rather for the betterment of mankind)

Attack Phaser: Star Trek

Klingons: Star Trek (introduced as recurring antagonists in the original series, analogous of the Cold War Soviets, and as Bushido-type milatarisitic warriors in the later series)

Darth Vader: Star Wars

holodeck: Star Trek (also in testing for commercial production, presently)


Variable power setting means you can reduce the power of the phase output from "kill" to, say, "stun". Imagine switching from hollow point to rubber bullets with the twist of a dial.

The Star Wars Jedi Knights' weapon of choice was a "light saber". The clumsier characters carried "blasters". No stun settings available, and no quandaries about whether or not to use 'em.

5:12 PM  
Blogger IceDawg said...

:-)

6:40 PM  
Blogger Rattlesnake6 said...

What in the world is a Bushido-type milataristic [sic] warrior? Militaristic is the term. I have seen one Star Wars movie in my life. I think Darth Vader was once a Canadian Reformed pastor.

10:28 PM  
Blogger IceDawg said...

Are you Darth Vader? I'd like to know...

12:00 PM  
Blogger sister said...

I'll tell you what, snake: if you'll agree to forgive my atypical spelling errors, then I'll agree not to point out your ostensibly frequent ones. I will further agree not to proclaim your regular grammatical gaffes, your copious colloquial clumsiness, and your propensity for procluding pithy punctuation.

I still don't have a spell checker on my PDA :)

3:07 PM  
Blogger Rattlesnake6 said...

Sister,
You should tell my book editors your observations. Get a new PDF PDQ.

Icedawg,
You bet your holodeck.

5:17 PM  
Blogger Randy said...

Perhaps we should all carry a sawed off shotgun, a 9 mill, and a 308 rifle. That way we could be sure to shoot someone at all ranges in case we've alreeady paniced.

Perhaps my son should be allowed a gun at school in case a really big guy wants to beat up on him too.

Nevermind that Jesus was attacked by evil people and he chose to be hung on a cross rather than fight back?

What was up with that anyway? Why didn't Jesus just knock them over dead?

Or perhaps the ways of Jesus don't really matter here too much...

Yea, I suspect the second ammendment wins the day regardless of Jesus telling us to love our neighbors as ourselves...

11:21 PM  
Blogger Solameanie said...

Randy,

If someone was raping your wife or mother, or trying to kill your children, I assume that you'd do something to defend them. Or would you just cluck your tongue?

The way you distort the Scriptures is appalling.

6:02 AM  
Blogger sister said...

Sister,
You should tell my book editors your observations...


I think you meant to say that I should tell your editors about my observations, but I'm sure there's no need, sir. They already know. All they have to do is read the preceding post on your blog. A quick skim will produce several spelling errors. For example, 'adrenalin' without an 'e' at the end describes a manufactured drug (used in the preparation of epinephrine)... in which case, you're effectively advocating the use of firearms by drug abusers. Sounds picky, hunh? Yeah, one letter is the difference between "milataristic" and "militaristic". I'm clumsily typing on a two inch
"qwerty" keyboard. What's your excuse?

As for the other stuff? Too numerous to count. It goes back a couple of years though, I think.

Regardless, if you keep writing it, I'll keep reading it.

10:22 AM  
Blogger sister said...

Randy,

I really struggle with the questions about when it's appropriate to use violence, as well, but I'm pretty sure snake has got this one right.

Jesus wasn't always a diplomat. Further, I'm not convinced that he would have chosen to hang on the cross if, say, the fate of humanity wasn't at stake. I think it diminishes the immensity of his sacrifice when we suggest that he didn't have the ability to make that choice because it was his responsibility to just "do the right thing".

10:34 AM  
Blogger Randy said...

Between my father and I, we own a dozen guns including a powerful handgun, two hunting rifles, shotguns handed down through generations, and b.b. guns to help little ones learn about guns.

We don't need to be against guns; we DO need to be for control of guns. If we are really 'good' people, then why are we so afraid of some sort of gun control?

As for the 'what would you do' scenarios - that kind of stuff does nothing to the conversation.

We need to recognize that weapons of war are allowed to be had by all of us --- ugly people are killing our kids and our cops and most everyone else with weapons that no hunter would ever own.

Most real hunters are for gun control -- just thoughtful gun control.

6:53 AM  
Blogger Rattlesnake6 said...

Sister,
If you are talking about typos on blogs, they are legion. You need to get out more.

4:57 PM  
Blogger Rattlesnake6 said...

Randy,
As usual, it's difficult to know where to start.

"Perhaps we should all carry a sawed off shotgun, a 9 mill, and a 308 rifle. That way we could be sure to shoot someone at all ranges in case we've alreeady paniced." No, a good .40 or .45cal would suffice. Moreover, who ever said anything about shooting because we've panicked? (Sister, note that I spelled the word correctly. Are you certain you're not talking about Randy's typos?) Trying to shoot while panicked is undesirable.

"Perhaps my son should be allowed a gun at school in case a really big guy wants to beat up on him too." I am forced to say that this is just a downright stupid thing to say. No, Randy, since you're such an expert on guns, you know that children are not allowed to own or carry a gun. If the schoolyard bully attacks your son, it's your job to teach him how to defend himself. That was just a dumb thing to say.

"Nevermind that Jesus was attacked by evil people and he chose to be hung on a cross rather than fight back?" So now we're comparing the substitutionary atonement of our Lord to carrying a gun. Forgive me, but I fail to see the connection.

So, did Jesus teach us to be pacifists or was he teaching us not to take vengeance? There is a difference between vengeance and self-defense isn't there?

Between my father and ME...What kinds of controls and who decides and why? Does Nancy Pelosi dictate to me how as a free man when, where, and how I am to defend myself? There are many more gun controls in place now and they don't do a thing to criminals. In case you hadn't noticed, criminals don't keep the law and register their guns. Thus, we penalize the law-abiding citizen with more and more excessive government-controlled, bureaucratic controls. You really do like socialism, don't you? Why don't you take the clan to a strong socialistic country and live there for, say, a decade and then come back and tell us how great it is.

"Most real hunters are for gun control -- just thoughtful gun control." This is just dead wrong. I don't know where you are getting your info, but it is bogus. If you're really interested, I'll begin by pointing you to the works of John Lott, Jr., Stephen Hollbrook, and Joyce Malcolm. Read and get some fact and come back when you're weary of spouting drivel. To date, that hasn't occurred, but, hey, I'm an optimist.

5:30 PM  
Blogger Randy said...

"Nevermind that Jesus was attacked by evil people and he chose to be hung on a cross rather than fight back?"

Ron: "So now we're comparing the substitutionary atonement of our Lord to carrying a gun. Forgive me, but I fail to see the connection."

~ Jesus hanging on the cross was not simply a matter of substitutionary atonement. The life, death, and resurrection of Jesus is an example of how human life is meant to be lived - totally self-sacrificing.

From Todd Hunter, "Christ on the cross is humanity as it is meant to be."

So, the ways of Jesus do have to do with life, death, war, gun control -- and our supposed desire for wisdom.

I find it ironic that someone who believes in total depravity doesn't believe we need controls over ourselves. Total depravity suggests that Ron or Randy is capable of all sin -- even murder.

It seems odd that we classify people as 'good' and 'bad' when a Calvinist shouldn't find this an option -- all of us fall short in following the ways of God.

So, why are either you or I not capable of murder? Either we are holders of our theology, or it's something that is secondary to our Constitutional rights to 'bear arms.'

What holds greater value in your world Ron?

5:51 AM  
Blogger sister said...

snake,

The funny part is that you started off the petty corrections by accentuating my single typo.

The 'not so funny' part is that you already forgot. You can read your first response to me above for a refresher.

6:07 AM  
Blogger sister said...

Randy,

Irrespective of Todd Hunter's musings, "Christ on the cross" is not "humanity how it is meant to be", but rather it is the reason why we don't have to be (on the cross, that is).

Hanging on the cross was not "the Way of Jesus"... it was the only way to ensure forgiveness for humanity's sin. I'm not so sure he would be pleased to see us offering to nail ourselves up there, when the sacrifice he made was, ultimately, to prevent us from having to be there at all.

6:18 AM  
Blogger sister said...

By the way, Darth Vader was taller than most of the other people on the screen, and he admitted that he was wrong at the end of the story.

6:19 AM  
Blogger Solameanie said...

So, Randy..

Do I assume now that you embrace the "example" theory of the atonement rather than the substitutionary atonement? Just asking for clarification.

You see, if I argue the way that you argue with wild leaps, I could infer your meaning to be that we are all to run out and get crucified as quickly as possible. I trust that is not your meaning. Be that as it may, to try and argue that Jesus is for statist gun control is a wild stretch by any sense of the imagination. I could imagine the Lord, when He asked His disciples to go out and buy a sword, to remind them to submit to background checks, profiling, blade locks and the like, PLUS being sure that whoever they stabbed in self defense died a certain number of feet over the threshold of their homes.

See, I can do it too.

10:49 AM  
Blogger Rattlesnake6 said...

Randy,
"It seems odd that we classify people as 'good' and 'bad' when a Calvinist shouldn't find this an option -- all of us fall short in following the ways of God."

Doesn't it strike you as instructive that God refers to "saints" and "the wicked"? Of course, Christians realize that anything they do that is "good" in God's eyes is only of grace and only because of Christ, but the notion of sanctification does include putting off the old man of sin and putting on the new man in Christ.

"So, the ways of Jesus do have to do with life, death, war, gun control -- and our supposed desire for wisdom."

Yeah. I seem to recall that Jesus said something about wars, life, death, and rock and sword control. I'm not certain exactly how Cain killed Abel, but let's say he hit him with a rock. God didn't start a campaign to take all rocks from sinners. In fact, he found them rather useful for stoning convicted murderers and those committing other crimes requiring the "lex talionis." Jesus taught nothing contrary to Ex. 22:2.

I am a Christian first and an American citizen second. Does that help? The chasm between me and you is precisely theology and the fact that I am not a naive, wild-eyed liberal--theologically and politically--like you. The scriptures call us to act like men and not like wimps (cf. 1 Cor. 16:13).

2:11 PM  
Blogger Solameanie said...

One reason we have government is that we live in a fallen world. Romans 13 recognizes that. We cannot expect the unregenerate to act like the regenerate.

In the United States anyway, we the people are the ultimate government. We elect representatives to represent us when making local, state and national laws. We also recognize that there are certain, inherent, unalienable God-given rights. Those rights include the right to defend ourselves and our families.

Ultimately, it is people who believe like we do who will end up protecting people like Randy if this country eventually falls into ungovernable chaos.

5:00 PM  
Blogger Randy said...

Ron,

So, you admit that some people are good and others are bad in your theology? In this case, you don't hold to total depravity, and you can't claim to be a Calvinist.

Perhaps your love for God surpasses your love for country, but what about neighbor? So, who is your neighbor?

9:10 PM  
Blogger Randy said...

solameanie

I believe in substitutionary atonement. I also believe that Jesus is the example for us to follow.

God came to earth; he called people out, and he said, "Follow me."

He didn't mean to say a sinners prayer and life will be grand. He didn't mean that all people who follow him will be forever happy.

Many of his first disciples died while sharing the 'good news' of the kingdom of God.

Why are we not willing to live lives that might get us killed? Becuase we would rather be safe than become followers who do more than lip service to following Jesus Christ?

We care more that our government stays out of helping 'the least of these' and stays away from socialism than we care about people who don't have much of anything...

As followers of Jesus living in America, I think we've sucked at following Jesus Christ for too long.

9:47 PM  
Blogger Rattlesnake6 said...

Randy,
You are truly hopeless. Explain why God calls his people "saints" and the lost "wicked." You have no clue what the doctrine of total depravity is or what it means vis-a-vis those who are saved by grace: simul iustus et peccator.

You are one of the most rash and illogical people I have ever met. Your study of theology helped you precious little. I cannot believe that Calvin Sem let you walk or that someone in the CRC pass you through to be loosed on a congregration. Oh, wait, it is the CRC, isn't it? I forgot.

9:58 PM  
Blogger Randy said...

ron
For all of your age and wisdom, why are you so mean?

8:47 AM  
Blogger Randy said...

p.s.
So who is Your neighbor righteous one?

8:49 AM  
Blogger Kyle said...

Randy,

For all your supposed humility & education, and for all your supposed spiritual ancestry, why are you such a consistently snarky jerk? You constantly show your ignorance of Scripture & your ignorance of Calvinism.

You evidently care more about making inane responses on Ron's blog than you care about helping "the least of these." What's the deal, Randy?

Yes, many of Christ's disciples have died for His name's sake. But if you think that a non-violent response to an armed criminal entering your home & harming your wife & children is you suffering for the sake of Jesus, you've got another thing coming. The armed criminal doesn't care whether you're Christian, Hindu, Jewish, or Muslim, that's not what he's after. Letting yourself be killed or letting your family be killed over property is not an example of martyrdom. It is rather a violation of the 6th Commandment not to protect the lives of innocent blood (see Deut. 19!) by all lawful means.

10:00 AM  
Blogger Randy said...

Sweet. More mean people than I thought previously.

Love, kindness, goodness, gentleness... nevermind.

8:17 PM  
Blogger Kyle said...

Randy,

Need we go through your history of "kindness" in your comments on this blog? Or need we point out that Jesus Himself was "mean"? Need we mention that your support of a pro-abortion candidate is the furthest thing from loving the least among us?

You're a hypocrite of the first order; you deceive yourself into believing that you are following Jesus, when in reality you are following your own vain imagination.

10:49 PM  
Blogger Solameanie said...

Kyle,

It's hopeless. Don't even try. It will take a miracle of the first order to penetrate that fog, and only God is in the miracle-working business.

7:46 AM  
Blogger wordsmith said...

Besides, Kyle, if you persist like that, Randy will no doubt call you a jerk. Even though he preaches love, kindness, and tolerance, he has no compunction about calling those with whom he disagrees "mean" and "jerks." In other words, he's a bit two-faced.

It's so much easier to talk in hypothetical terms about loving one's (generic) neighbor than it is actually to practice it with those with whom he engages.

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2:21 AM  

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