"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

Would Jesus Carry a Gun with Him to Church?

Shooting at West Freeway Church of Christ, Dec. 29, 2019
That's the question I read on Twitter yesterday.

"Would Jesus carry a gun with Him to church services?"

It was posted by a person who thought it odd that churchgoers pulled out concealed weapons and shot and killed an armed assailant during church services yesterday near Forth Worth, Texas.

The gunman had already killed one person and was turning his weapon to kill or maim others when church attendees jumped up, pulled out their concealed weapons, and shot and killed the armed assailant.

Dozens could have died without the churchgoers intervening.

I found the question posed about Jesus carrying a gun to church sincere but stupid.

Jesus wouldn't need a gun. He could stop a bullet by fiat without Smith & Wesson's help.

But we're not Jesus.

That's why we have a volunteer armed security team composed of men and women with communication devices and concealed weapons stationed at every entrance and every worship service at Emmanuel Enid.

Jesus doesn't need to carry a gun with Him to church services.

But we do.

That's also why we have defibrillators on every floor and building of our church.

Jesus can raise the dead by declaration, but we need a defibrillator to assist us.

But guns? Why guns at church?

Because of what Jesus taught us:
"But whoever causes the downfall of one of these little ones who believe in Me--it would be better for him if a heavy millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea. " (Mark 9:42, Holman Christian Standard Bible)
I counted at least a dozen children in the photo above. I am going to update Mark 9:42 with a modern translation.
"But whoever walks into a church to take down one of these little ones who believe in Me - it would be better for him if a Smith & Wesson .45 took him down immediately than to harm one of My little ones." (Mark 9:42, Wade Burleson Translation)
Law-abiding citizens in Chicago and New York are scared of guns. People in Oklahoma and the south grew up with guns. We're not scared to carry them concealed. That's why criminals think twice about taking property, harming people, and committing various other felonious crimes in Oklahoma, more so than in Illinois or New York.

Never measure a person's Christianity by whether he or she carries a concealed weapon to protect others.

If a few teachers had guns at Sandy Hook Elementary, maybe things would have been different.

If church members at West Freeway Church of Christ had no weapons yesterday at church, things definitely would have been different.

So, would Jesus carry a gun with Him to church?


But thank God some of His followers do.


Anonymous said...

Wade said: "But guns? Why guns at church?".

Because there is no division between sacred and secular. :)


Anonymous said...


Thanks for your blog post. Believers are on all sides of this issue. Due to the type of church that I attend, I am the only one who supports and encourages healthy firearm ownership and use. I've gotten into 'strong' discussions with our elders about this. Thankfully, they agree to disagree with me -- even to the point of saying, "We are anti-gun, but if you conceal carry, we'd rather it be you than anyone else. We trust you. Just don't tell us what you're doing!"

Our church is focused on the poor, so many of our members were saved out of drugs, gangs, prostitution, etc. I respect the fact that our church leadership presents a vision of life and a community that is foreign to our congregation. It really is beautiful. However, all the more reason why I should conceal carry: not everyone who comes around has fully bought in yet.

Kelley Kimble said...

We have security too. They carry concealed, which is legal in my state (Arizona). This is another one of those things where you have to make a hard choice. When church shootings started becoming a thing, so did church security.

Anonymous said...

Anon said: "However, all the more reason why I should conceal carry: not everyone who comes around has fully bought in yet."

More and more people are waking up and seeing the similarities in these shootings since they seemingly started with the Littleton, CO shooting in the nineties (I know there was one in TX at a college in the 1960's). But many of these similarities (unstable individuals, voice to skull technology, psychotropic drug use, etc.) point to State/GOV assistance/sponsorship/coverup.

If you search via Google you will not find much info due to Google's censorship, but quite of few of retired/ex LEO's have connected the dots.


PS. Tell the elders "anti-gun" is just as silly as defining someone's position as "anti-spoon", or "anti-pencil" etc. ...all of which are simply tools which can be used for good or evil.


Rex Ray said...


That town of the shooting near Fort Worth is White Settlement which is near General Dynamics that manufactured the F-111 fighter plane. Its wings would be straight for take-off and landings, and rotate back to fly faster. (LBJ’s influence awarded the company a billion dollar. Attorney General, Robert Kennedy, had proof that LBJ received $100,000 kickback.

I just couldn’t resist.


The link above tells how White Settlement got its name and of the recent shooting.

I worked for General Dynamics 3 years and was NOT a member of the church where the shooting took place since it was Church of Christ.

There are several in our church who carry concealed guns.

I like Wade Burleson’s translation of Mark 9:42.

Jim Shaver said...

Wade, Finally something I can agree with you on! Good Article.

Victorious said...

About 25 yrs. ago, I became a fan of the Messianic Jewish singer, Marty Goetz. His music has, since that time, been nearly the only Christian music I listen to. If you're interested, you will be blessed as I have been. Here he sings "The Love of God" ....https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LiTEABWx-g

At that time I decided I'd like to attend a Jewish Synagogue to see first hand how they worship. I went to a small one located in shopping plaza in a storefront building. As I approached, I was shocked to see two security officers outside and they questioned me about my interest in attending. I don't remember much more about that incident, but I did attend and was indeed blessed by the service and it led to a bit more study about the faith.

Also, my sister and I often attend broadway shows where carry-on's are only allowed that meet strict regulations. Further...being an avid hockey fan, the local arena requires clear, see-thru bags, purse inspection if unaware of the rule, and each attendee must walk through a metal detector before entry to the arena.

Security is of paramount importance and I am grateful for the measures taken to ensure my safety.

Anonymous said...

Victorious said: "Security is of paramount importance and I am grateful for the measures taken to ensure my safety."

I catch your drift, but the problem is much more complicated than most are aware of. Fabrication and lies have ruled the USA Inc. for many many years. See here for one current international example (faked chemical attack) under the current administration. National fabrications abound.


that's only the tip of the iceburg. A lot of folks waking up and are starting to see voting as an immoral act. https://www.libertarianism.org/columns/voting-moral-wrong

I think perhaps I'm in agreement. No more voting for me. An evil system (look what it takes, ie,... $$$$, for a person to become president) advances evil people. The few good people left in the system hardly make a dent.

Of course, I'm in the minority, since patriotism blinds most.


Anonymous said...

Scripture taken out of context/distorted to support armed guards at church? Come on man.....
Funny all these churches (mine included) want to spout off about believing everything the bible says, we trust God, He's in control, if it's God's will, etc etc etc......i call b.s. If that was truly how people believed then they would apply that to church security as well....if you trust God, if He's in control, of you believe every circumstance can be attributed to God's will, then there is no need for guns at church. Especially not a paid staff position.....I'm a Jesus loving Christian but I'm very very jaded with the direction all these so called houses of worship are headed....we're supposed to STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD not blend in....it's sad that the Christian community is so quick to throw aside the beliefs they so loudly like to espouse. And we wonder why attendance is rapidly declining.....oh and this defibrillators are a LEGAL REQUIREMENT, not just something y'all did proactively without coercion...

Just my $.02

Dr. Mark A. Ellis said...

Well-written. Thank you.

Mike Young said...

We have a security team. They are not paid. They are brave volunteers. We have cameras inside and out and only one point of entry far from the auditorium so we can see and deal with a threat. Yes, I have to agree that the scripture is taken out of context. Jesus was speaking of anyone that would spread false teaching and lead would be believers astray. I carry everywhere I go, and yes, that means church. Do I want to kill someone? Absolutely not! Will I protect my family and others from the evil of this world? You better believe it! Jesus sat down and fashioned a whip, A WHIP, when there were money changers in the house of God. What do you think he would do to those threatening the assembly of His saints in worship to Him. Just saying. I worked for years as a paramedic, and although I believe that God has the power to heal, I also believe that God does not intervene with the biblical miracles as some may think. That truth is supported in scripture. I do believe if you are having a heart attack, you better dial 911 or you will die right there in your chair. I also believe that if you want to protect your life and liberty, you have to take up arms.

Christiane said...

Sanctuary . . . the idea of the Church being a place of peace and light and safety and protection from aggression, where a person, if they could reach the sanctuary of a Church, might claim its protection

a long-held Christian tradition which was enshrined in English common law in past centuries, but is now only held to by those who know of it . . . that someone could seek safety from persecution in the places that belong to God

I'm sorry to see this age-old thinking pass, because it had something in it that offered hope to troubled frightened people

and now our Churches are just like any other public school or ghetto street where violence is coming to be more the norm than not and it's a time of wanting to take steps to preserve the safety of our churches and synagogues and mosques from those who have been fed on hate and hate rallies which are on the increase all over the country

I can understand the need for protection in places of worship now. Absolutely.

I just wished that the old way of seeing the Church as a place of sanctuary still meant something among people but that time has gone by. God have mercy on all of us together. Especially the children and the old people who are most vulnerable. Christe eleison.

People are hurting who do these things, and some of our most vulnerable citizens are themselves the victims of hate speech that may drive them to violence . . . we need to rethink all the hatred that is being stirred up and take another look at those who are doing the fear-mongering and re-examine their motives and their effect on the fragile minds of some of our citizens who can be moved to violence. It is a matter for prayer and for the conscience of all Christian people.

Anonymous said...

A short expose on how voice to skull technology has been around for a long time. Anyone can be controlled by it.



Anonymous said...

More of an indepth ead with patents:


Anonymous said...

"Jesus could stop a bullet..." true, but he also had a crew to wrangle the crowd.
Those disciples were educated bodyguards!
Fishermen had to be buff to pull those nets!! ��

RB Kuter said...

Never really thought about it, until thinking about your post.

Should a true follower of Christ serve in law enforcement? In military combat situations? Should we live different outside the walls of the church than when we are inside? For followers of Jesus, is there any place not considered to be the hallowed grounds of God's sanctuary? Love Psalms 84:3 "The bird also has found a house, And the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, Even Thine altars, O LORD of hosts, My King and my God."

For me, it is a question of whether followers are to use any weapon to protect themselves or others including the enlistment of law enforcement officials or government troops. The "place" should be of no consequence.

Anonymous said...

“If it’s God’s will” does not mean you stand idly by. What you are suggesting is the damnable doctrine of John Calvin.

Joe Rivera said...

Sword employed for protection; Luke 22:35 And He said to them, “When I sent you out without money belt and bag and sandals, you did not lack anything, did you?” They said, “No, nothing.” 36 And He said to them, “But now, whoever has a money belt is to take it along, likewise also a bag, and whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one. 37 “For I tell you that this which is written must be fulfilled in Me, ‘AND HE WAS NUMBERED WITH TRANSGRESSORS’; for that which refers to Me has its fulfillment.” 38 They said, “Lord, look, here are two swords.” And He said to them, “It is enough.”

Christiane said...

some good news:

parents of Sandy Hook Elementary victims sued to get relief from persecution led by right-wing shock jock, Alex Jones, and they won, thank God

" Parents of Sandy Hook victims who have spoken publicly about their experiences have been targeted by trolls, both online, as well as in person."

sometimes it is also 'the evil speech' which wounds already wounded people, and I guess the courts figured that the Sandy Hook parents had suffered enough

Rex Ray said...


Our church has a small building that’s used for Sunday School and Wednesday night services. It’s locked at other times. Our large building has three doors. After the service starts, two doors are locked, and the main door from the parking lot stays open with a man watching it who has a concealed gun.

Anonymous said...

I like your translation of Mark 9:42. And I agree whole heartedly with all you said Wade!
I believe there should be security for every church these days. Stephanie Farquhar

LMPG said...

To the commenter who believes trusting God should not include security with guns. Many years ago my MIL used your same biblical criticism with me for keeping a shotgun under my bed when my husband was away and I needed the low easy to step into windows open to my bedroom to cool off the summer heat. I found myself quoting an Old Testament verse that I cannot remember right now but it says, "God has prepared my hands for war." I can quote other scriptures that balance with the ones that I know you are meaning too. So, just saying both can be God's protection.

Christiane said...

I hope this will be a better year in our country, for ALL of us, but most especially for the children and also for the old people. That they may have hope.


RB Kuter said...


Anonymous said...

Christiane said: "parents of Sandy Hook Elementary victims sued to get relief from persecution led by right-wing shock jock, Alex Jones, and they won, thank God"

Well, Wolfgan Halbig's lawsuit was dropped at the last minute by one of the Sandy Hook victim's parents.


Considering that Halbig's background is school safety more people ought to be aware that a guy who simply asks 16 questions and gets railroaded, intimidated, slandered, and destroyed financially by the media is probably worth listening to.

Fraudulent church leadership does this all the time, and the sheeple pay attention to no one else.

I have been a victim of this many times for asking questions. I no longer am part of a local body because of how my family has been ostracized and demonized, and my adult children are tremendously damaged from their experiences growing up.


Anonymous said...

Here are his unanswered questions:

1. Who directed the New Haven Federal Bureau of Investigation field office to classify the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting (SHES)?

2. Why and for what reason would the FBI classify the SHES shooting when they did not classify the Columbine shooting which also was an Active Shooter Mass Casualty Incidents (AS/MCI)?

3. Who was the Incident Commander as required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in directing the AS/MCI at SHES?

• Who at the Incident Command Center made the ordering of Port-A-Potties a high priority since they were delivered within three hours of the school shooting?

• Who ordered those Port-A-Potties from Southbury, Connecticut?

• When I called the Port-A-Pottie company, after searching for over a week as to who they were and when they were ordered, I was told this information was classified and they are not allowed to share that information with me.

• The next morning I received a phone call from the Southbury Police Department at my home telling me not to call that company again, since I was harassing them.

• High priority for toilets but not for Life Star Trauma helicopters or paramedics.

4. Who and why did they not request Life Star helicopters, knowing that children and school staff were seriously injured and clinging to life?

5. Who and why did they not allow the paramedics and the EMTs inside SHES?

6. Who declared all 18 children and six school staff members legally dead within the first eight minutes?

7. Who was the Certified Environmental Bio-Hazard Decontamination company contracted by Newtown Public Schools (NPS) to remove 45-65 gallons of blood, skull fragments, brain tissue, bodily fluids, blood-soaked carpets and any other decontaminated area inside SHES?

8. Why does an off-duty lieutenant from the Newtown Police Department (NPD) refuse to leave his off-duty work assignment at a construction site when hearing that shots have been fired at SHES?

9. Who at NPS notified all of the parents in writing, as required by Conn. law, who had children attending SHES, as well as every school staff member, for every school year, of all the potential life threatening chemical hazards? The school had high levels of lead paint throughout the entire school, asbestos in the ceiling and floor tiles, asbestos in the insulation, and most of the school had very high levels of PCBs.

10. Who provided the urgent medical care to the two children who were not transported to the Danbury Trauma Center until an hour after the school was deemed safe for that 15-mile drive?

11. Who treated those two children who had been shot multiple times, like 3 to 11 times, since they did not allow the paramedics and EMTs inside SHES?

12. Why did the parents of the two children who died at the Danbury hospital not allow their children to donate their organs to other children waiting for the gift of life?

13. What happened to the 500 children and 60 school staff members from SHES on 12/14/2012?

14. Who was the police officer calling into the NPD dispatcher stating, in his words, that he had multiple weapons, a rifle and a shotgun, and who has the rifle and the shotgun, as the chain of evidence should show, that was found in classroom eight (8)?

15. Why would a police officer by the name of Lt. Vangehle, at 9:45:21 a.m. on 12/14/2012, from the NPD, after finding a female kindergartener in the hallway, make her go into room eight (8) and leave her there? Room eight was supposedly the gruesome crime scene with dead children and school staff.

16. Why would two Conn. State Troopers enter room ten (10) at 9:55:31 a.m. on 12/14/2012, which was supposedly the gruesome crime scene with dead children and school staff, and tell a male kindergartener who they found in the bathroom, whose name is redacted, and tell them (so it must be more than one), to stay and they will both be back when it is safe?

Christiane said...

My comment in support of the Sandy Hook parents was not meant to provoke more conspiracy activity, no. I am aware it continues among a certain group of people. I am so sorry for the parents who have suffered loss and then abuse from conspiracy theory buffs who tormented them.

But why?

What was to be gained by the far-right conspiracy theorists? Entertainment? Amusement?
That Sandy Hook was 'just' a plot to embarrass the NRA? I don't understand.
At some point, our schools need to be made safer. How this is done, is beside the point.
As a former teacher in both public and parochial settings, I do not advocate for teachers to have guns in the classroom . . . right now there is a crisis where teachers are being threatened, attacked, and verbally abused rather badly across this country and the presence of a weapon in the midst of that nightmare seems too dangerous for words. BTW, the stories about what is happening to teachers are true. . . the increase in violence aimed at teachers is, I understand, great and it is across the country as well as in all socio-economic school settings. People do need to be aware of this, as if the attacks from predatory mass killers wasn't bad enough to worry about. And people DO need to listen to their children about problems with bullies . . . that is really on the increase with lots of terrorizing and shake-downs for money, possessions, lunch, etc. Bad news? You bet.

Anonymous said...

Christiane said: "My comment in support of the Sandy Hook parents was not meant to provoke more conspiracy activity, no. I am aware it continues among a certain group of people. I am so sorry for the parents who have suffered loss and then abuse from conspiracy theory buffs who tormented them."

So anyone, including the guy (ex law enforcement) who designs school safety and teaches it nationally, who simply questions the official narrative and demands more information is a conspiracy theorist who torments the supposed victims by doing so?

Or the guy that surveys local newspaper articles and finds huge discrepancies in the supposed details of a shooting is a conspiracy theorist or wacko? https://centerforaninformedamerica.com/anatomy-of-a-school-shooting/

That's simply an irrational and dangerous way of thinking, imo.

Do you realize the USA, Inc. (both state and fed gov) has spent trillions of dollars over the years propagandizing it's own people (and those of other countries) because everyone needs to think how those in authority think they ought to think? Most people aren't aware, but should be. Do the research.

What are the implications of this? It means that **IF** the official narrative is a lie to some extent great or small, then everyone who believes and repeats their lies is participating in conspiracy. This exactly is what makes a nation unsafe.

Do you realize how many millions upon millions of dollars has been/continues to be donated to Sandy Hook? **IF** it was a secretly staged event, then a lot of people made a tremendous unrighteous gain.


Bob Cleveland said...

The old WWJD question was alaways the wrong question anyway .. including in this case. The issue is what He would want me to do. And I carry.

Christiane said...

Hello Bob Cleveland and to everyone:

May you always be safe.

Hope you all had a Merry Christmas and a good New Years Day with your families.

Here's some holiday nostalgia, a lovely calm song from the olden days:

Anonymous said...

70 + year old propaganda videos involving innocent young children.



Rex Ray said...


Enjoyed your link of beautiful Gospel singing.

It also had other stories.

One was 42 minutes about the eruption of Mount St. Helens. A rescue helicopter pilot told a couple and their 4-year-old daughter, “You can’t bring that bag!” He changed his mind when he heard, “But there’s a baby in it!”

Christiane said...


that link must have had more than one song on it . . . that was not intended, but I'm glad you enjoyed it

Happy New Year!

One Salient Oversight said...

When should Christians turn the other cheek?

Rex Ray said...


When the cheek is hit only by a verbal ‘insult’.


Yes, there was more good singing on your link.

Christiane said...

aren't you glad you finally got sound on your computer? :)

Gerry Milligan said...

Wade, I am very discouraged that there is even a question about weapons in church. Let us put the blame where it belongs NRA. If we had better, more enforceable firearm laws, this would not have been necessary at White Settlement. My suggestion, which many Amendment 2 supporters will find fault...have a metal detector at the ONLY entrance to a church. That would have prevented this tragedy where three people needlessly lost their lives.

Ken F said...

"My suggestion, which many Amendment 2 supporters will find fault...have a metal detector at the ONLY entrance to a church."

Great idea. That way the shooter does not even need to get inside the church to kill people. He can much more easily shoot the people standing in line for the metal detector. He might not even need to get out of his car.

Rex Ray said...

Ken F,



Yes, sound is wonderful!

Gerry Milligan said...

Ken F.

Who said that the people waiting to go through the scanner would be outside?

Gerry Milligan said...

Ken F.

What would prevent a deranged person from just parking in the parking lot and firing from his car?

Ken F said...

"Who said that the people waiting to go through the scanner would be outside?"

Hi Gerry,
You did: "have a metal detector at the ONLY entrance to a church." The entrance to any building is the boundary between inside and outside, by definition. If you had meant sanctuary you should have said so. But even if it were to be inside the church it does not solve the problem. Unarmed people waiting in line are sitting ducks for deranged people.

Ken F said...

"What would prevent a deranged person from just parking in the parking lot and firing from his car?"

Exactly. The real problem is deranged people.

Scott Shaver said...

What better way to "stand out" than to drop an indiscriminate murderer with a well-placed shot?

Gerry Milligan said...

Ken F.,
One of the churches with which I am familiar in OKC has an atrium that would comfortably house 1,000, inside before going into the sanctuary. You would be correct if the scanner were at an outer door to the facility. But that is not the case 100% of the time.

Ken F said...

Hi Gerry,
What kind of reactions did you get from people in your church when you recommended installing metal detectors?

One Salient Oversight said...


“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles."

So we don't have to interpret Matthew 5.38-41 literally, but only in response to insults?

One Salient Oversight said...

Obviously Jim Elliot needed to be armed.

Jeannette Altes said...

Just going to add this to the mix...

"And He said to them, “When I sent you without money bag, knapsack, and sandals, did you lack anything?” So they said, “Nothing.” Then He said to them, “But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one. For I say to you that this which is written must still be accomplished in Me: ‘And He was numbered with the transgressors.’ For the things concerning Me have an end.” So they said, “Lord, look, here are two swords.” And He said to them, “It is enough.”"
Luke 22:35‭-‬38 NKJV

Ken F said...

"Obviously Jim Elliot needed to be armed."

This example is irrelevent. His was a very different case because he was the intruder. Not that it was right that he got killed, but he was the one coning into a different culture to tell a gospel that they did not want to hear. This is a risk missionaries have faced for 2000 years.

Your reference to turning the other cheek is also irrelevent because a dead person cannot turn the other cheek. The bible is completely silent on how to respond to gun violence. In fact, the NT is pretty silent in general on how to respond to murder.

Gerry Milligan said...

Ken F.,
The first response to installing a scanner (which is the same response almost always heard in churches when an expense is involved) "We cannot afford it!" And the response to this "knee-jerk" comment would be, "What is the value of one life?"

One Salient Oversight said...


Look at what else Luke 22 says:

While he was still speaking, there came a crowd, and the man called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He drew near to Jesus to kiss him, but Jesus said to him, “Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?” And when those who were around him saw what would follow, they said, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear. But Jesus said, “No more of this!” And he touched his ear and healed him. (Luke 22.47-51)

So immediately after the passage about carrying swords, one of Jesus' disciples cuts off the ear of a servant, but Jesus stops them and heals the servant's ear. Why would Jesus have done this had he been teaching the need to defend themselves?

One Salient Oversight said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rex Ray said...

Thanks to everyone trying to convince One Salient Oversight why he’s wrong. I think he likes to argue. But to be like Jesus he seems to have forgotten John 2:15 where actions speak louder than words when Jesus made a whip.

Ken F said...

"Look at what else Luke 22 says:"

Once again you are using a passage that does not apply. That event in the garden involved religious and civil officials making an arrest of a person they considered a troublemaker. A lone person walking into a crowd to kill people is completely different. If you are going to proof-text you should at least make sure that the passage applies.

One Salient Oversight said...

The fact is that most American Christians seem very happy to argue that "an eye for an eye" is the right thing to do. And yet Jesus says the opposite.

Can someone please inform me how we should obey Matthew 5.38-41? So far only one person has offered an answer, and that is that it is somehow in response to verbal insults. But Matthew 5 says more than this. It says that we shouldn't strike an evil man back. It says that we should let an evil man take our cloak. It says that we should walk 2 miles when someone forces us to walk one mile.

Moreover, Christians throughout the NT were martyred, and yet the response of the church was not to act in violence in return. No Christians were instructed in the NT to act violently against those who would persecute them.

How should we turn the other cheek?

Rex Ray said...


What? No response on Jesus using a whip? That may be over your head.

You mentioned Jesus replacing the severed ear of a man. Do you believe Jesus wanted him to be a ‘believer’?

Jesus doesn’t want us to turn the other cheek if the first one’s bloody.

Ken F said...

"Moreover, Christians throughout the NT were martyred, and yet the response of the church was not to act in violence in return."

You have an amazing knack for choosing bad examples to prove your point. The Matrys you refer to were generally executed by the state for their religious beliefs. This particular shooting was not by the government and it was not because the individuals refused to bow to Caesar, so the martyr comparison does not apply. The people killed on this church shooting did not have an opportunity to turn the other cheek, so that verse could not have applied.

Note that I have not made an argument for or against arming church members. Rather, I am pointing out that that NT is silent on gun control and has no examples where detained people were randomly executed by others. If you want to make a credible argument you need credible rationale and examples.

Victorious said...

Well, off the top of my head....:)

Scripture tells us that the government's purpose is the protection of citizens and punishment for those who break the law. (Romans 13; 1 Peter 2:13-14)

Florida has a "Stand Your Ground" law that allows those who fear their property or person is being threatened, to respond with deadly force. According to this site, nearly half of the U.S. states adhere to this standard.


In my opinion, it's the difference between intentionally wanting to inflict harm and doing so for the protection of others when it appears lethal force is the only way to ward off further harm.

Victorious said...

Another thought...

Imagine you and your family go to a parade. The streets are lined with spectators and the floats and bands are coming down the middle of the street. All of a sudden someone begins to shoot and people are eminent danger. Immediately upon hearing the shots and spotting the perpetrator, law enforcement responds with gunfire and thereby saves hundreds of lives.

Now applying that same scenario but in a church situation, why would we see it differently? The "church" after all is a building where the same type of violent aggression must be stopped in an effort to save lives.

The issue isn't how those in the building should respond, but rather how those who have been given the responsibility to assure the safety of those inside should respond. The obvious intent of the shooter was to kill; the obvious intent of the security personnel is to stop the shooter.

Our federal government will enforce the punishment for the crime of murder. It will not punish the one(s) who attempted to stop the crime.

Just my opinion....

Anonymous said...

Jesus carry a gun? No... but Peter and some of the other fishermen would! Jesus Himself and said to them, “But now, whoever has a money belt is to take it along, likewise also a bag, and whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one. Luke 22:36b.

One Salient Oversight said...

Rex Ray, you said

"Jesus doesn’t want us to turn the other cheek if the first one’s bloody."

What other words do you wish to add to the Bible?

One Salient Oversight said...

Ken F, you said

"The Matrys you refer to were generally executed by the state for their religious beliefs."

There certainly was state oppression, but there were also attacks on Christians by ordinary people. Acts 19 records a riot by people. In Acts 7 Stephen was stoned to death without a trial by Jewish religious leaders, not the ruling Romans.

And then there's 1 Corinthians 4.12-13

"When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we entreat. "

One Salient Oversight said...

Rex Ray,

The part of the Bible which shows Jesus using a whip is John 2.15. he used the whip to drive out the sheep and the oxen from the temple, as well as the money changers.

If I wanted to move a lot of farm animals from one location to another, I would use a whip.

One Salient Oversight said...

By the way, no one has said anything yet about what it means to turn the other cheek.

The Bible is the Word of God. We should obey it, not offer reasons why we shouldn't.

Rex Ray said...


“During the annual Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013, two homemade pressure cooker bombs detonated 14 seconds and 210 yards (190 m) apart at 2:49 p.m., near the finish line of the race, killing 3 people and injuring several hundred others, including 16 who lost limbs.
Three days later, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) released images of two suspects, who were later identified as Chechen Kyrgyzstani-AMERICAN BROTHERS Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and Tamerlan Tsarnaev…They killed an MIT policeman, kidnapped a man in his car, and had a shootout with the police in nearby Watertown, during which two officers were severely injured, one of whom died a year later.
Dzhokhar said that he and his brother were MOTIVATED BY EXTRIVATED ISLAMIST BELIEFS and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, that they were self-radicalized and unconnected to any outside terrorist groups.”

A jury’s decision gave the surviving brother a death sentence.

Notice the brothers were Americans, that were born in Kyrgyzstani. I was with a group that spent a week there on a mission trip. Christians were hated so much, they called themselves “Believers”. Before we got there, a church of Believers had been surrounded by Moslems and everyone including children had been whipped.

“Obama explains why he won't say 'Islamic terrorism'.”

Rex Ray said...


What would you turn if you were hit on your nose?

Ken F said...

"And then there's 1 Corinthians 4.12-13"

You are still using examples that don't apply. That verse says nothing about how to respond to someone who murders you.

The Ephesians riot is not relevant because it was a crowd against Paul rather an isolated killer against a peaceful gathering of Christians.

And the example of Stephen is not relevent for the same reason that the Ephesian riot is not relevant.

Can you not find a relevant biblical example?

Ken F said...

"By the way, no one has said anything yet about what it means to turn the other cheek."

"The Bible is the Word of God. We should obey it, not offer reasons why we shouldn't."

What do you think turning the other cheek means with respect to unlawful gun violence? It sounds like you believe that your interpretation of the bible is the only correct one and that anyone who disagrees with you is disobeying God. In fact, there has not been universal agreement among Christians over what this statement (among MANY others) means. This article gives examples:

For any interpretation of that verse, it seems pretty clear that the victim has to be alive in order to make the choice to turn the other cheek. The people in Texas who were killed by the shooter did not have that choice.

One Salient Oversight said...

Rex Ray,

I'm talking about Christians here, not the responsibility of the state.

And Jesus tells Christians "not to resist an evil person". Stephen was killed by a mob in Acts and the church didn't respond in kind.

One Salient Oversight said...

Rex Ray

"What would you turn if you were hit on your nose?"

If it was an evil person attacking me for my faith, I would not respond with violence.

One Salient Oversight said...

Ken F,

The Bible's teaching on turning the other cheek is general in nature. It is a response to both the actions of evil men and the actions of government. It is a response to crowds and it is a response to individuals.

And remember that violence against one person can also be violence against others. An evil man beating a Christian to death for his faith does not require other Christians to avenge him through more violence, but to forgive the perpetrator.

How do you "turn the other cheek" Ken? At what point in the process of violence against you will you choose to respond with violence?

One Salient Oversight said...

By the way, I've begun a discussion thread over at /r/reformed on Reddit on this issue. There you'll see some of my thoughts in more detail:


Ken F said...

"The Bible's teaching on turning the other cheek is general in nature."

This is your interpretation, but it is not the only viable interpretation. And it certainly does not apply to murder because a murder victim has no opportunity to turn the other cheek. You seem to be avoiding this point. Also, a fatal gunshot is nowhere near equivalent with getting slapped on the cheek, so it is not at all clear that this verse applies in the way you say it does.

"An evil man beating a Christian to death for his faith does not require other Christians to avenge him through more violence, but to forgive the perpetrator."

You appear to be making an assumption that the Texas shooter was killed out of vengence. But that does not appear to be the case at all. It appears that he was killed as a means to stop him from commiting even more murder. You are making the case that everyone present should have humbly submitted to murder without taking any physical measures to protect themselves or others. Is that what you are saying?

I personally believe this a matter of personal conviction with no clear biblical guidance. The fact that you have so badly twisted scripture to prove your point is actually convincing me against your position.

Anonymous said...

A good analysis of the White Settlement, TX shooting for people interested in protecting the innocent.