In the wake of the recent school shooting, gun control has been a hot topic.  Some see firearms as a threat that needs to go away.  Others see them as an important means of protection that every citizen needs.  Whatever your views, an interesting side topic is the place of guns in church.

First let me point out that God intended church to be a loving atmosphere.  In this day and age where anyone can walk in off the street and start shooting at everyone in the congregation, that is a tough order to fill.  There is a real danger in the current climate that the same tragedy we have seen in other public arenas could also be played out in the church.  That being said, I don’t think we are putting out the right message if we decide to basically have armed guards in our churches.

Second, it was not the practice of Jesus to carry a weapon.  The disciples had one sword among them and Jesus sternly rebuked Peter for using it when the time came.  I know someone will say “Jesus also didn’t have a car or sound system but you do.”  That is true enough.  However, we are not talking abouttechnology but an attitude.  Jesus could have been armed but purposely chose not to do so.

Third, once the disciples matured after Pentecost, they also chose to go without weapons.  Peter, who had once wielded a sword laid it down and chose a different path.

Fourth, both Jesus and the disciples believed that the violence committed against them was a part of God’s plan.  There could be no salvation had Jesus not been crucified.  The disciples praised God they were beaten.  Paul and Silas got to witness to the Philippian jailer after a beating and a night in jail.  In more modern times there are many instances of the gospel moving forward powerfully after violence committed against one or more members of the church.

Finally there is the faith factor which is closely tied to the previous point.  Do I trust God enough to protect me?  If He chooses to let me suffer or even die, can I believe it is a part of His plan for my life?

Obviously many people will disagree with my post.  I am certainly not opposed to gun ownership.  But I don’t think that church is an appropriate place to carry a firearm.