The Gun Shop Everyone Needs To Visit (Guns With History)

The Gun Shop Everyone Needs To Visit (Guns With History) March 19, 2015

Screenshot 2015-03-19 12.25.42

If you haven’t seen this yet, please take three minutes and check it out. Regardless of what garbage the NRA feeds you (in an effort to scare you so that you’ll buy more guns, so their friends in the gun lobby will make more money) guns don’t make you safer. In fact, the presence of a gun in your home decreases your safety.

It can be easy to go out and buy a gun- it was the first time I bought one when I was still practically a kid. How I wish that I had walked into this store when I did. Realizing that guns have history, and that I would one day come dangerously close to giving my gun a history, would have made me re-think everything.

Check it out and share- it’s worth the watch:

And then check out their website, Guns With History– it’s a digital version of the real thing.


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  • This is such a powerful video. These weapons are not for hunting. They are for taking another human’s life.

  • Terry Firma

    People are about 50 times more likely to die from accidental poisoning than they are from accidental gun deaths. They are about six times more likely to accidentally drown than they are to get accidentally shot and killed. Don’t even get me started on prescription medication.

    Thus, I look forward to your next post, in which you’ll come down hard on bath tubs, swimming pools, household chemicals, and pharmaceuticals.

  • Wolf

    And just like guns, bath tubs and swimming pools are specifically designed to kill things.

  • Terry Firma

    No. But they do kill in greater numbers. The CDC data are pretty clear.

  • aricclark

    Not every accidental death is equally preventable – and many of these things are regulated more than guns. You can’t get medication without a prescription for example.

  • JeffHochstetler

    You’re right about the numbers, and there are specific actions families can take to limit deaths in each case (ie. make sure a gate is around the pool, keep cleaning chemicals locked up and out of reach of kids, and keep guns unloaded and locked up).

    Still, the irony here is that people often buy a gun for self-defense. And they usually keep the gun loaded and accessible so they can “defend themselves at a moments notice.” But in reality, owning a gun is actually more dangerous to you and your family than not having one at all.

  • jjuulie

    While I’m sure these statistics are true, they still leave me with a lot of questions. What is the ratio of good done by bathtubs to deaths caused by bathtubs, compared to the ratio of good done by guns to accidental gun deaths ? What percentage of guns has been involvrd in a death compared to bathtubs?

    Of course the biggest concern is, why aren’t adults taking responsibility for preventing ALL these accidents?? Virtually ALL of them are avoudable, I suspect.

  • Noah

    A bit manipulative, and these things do tend do leave out stats (if verifiable) where guns did make things ‘safer’.

    (knowing where there are and are not guns, for instance)

  • randalpeterson

    Okay, I was ready to give you the benefit of the doubt on the story of the “Palestinians” and Jews, but now I see who you are. A progressive liberal who is willing to do anything, including lying to advance a narrative. Those were not “the” guns used in these tragedies, but a representative of the type of weapon. If these really were people “off the street”, where are the ones who came in and wanted to buy them anyway? What about those who wanted them for something other than “protection”? Hitler and Stalin both outlawed guns. Look where their societies went. That’s one of the first things oppressive regimes do. They outlaw guns.

  • Herm

    Thank you!

  • I really cannot understand how a voice for Jesus, can be such a liberal thinker. You do not believe hell is real, so you apparently pick and choose what part of the bible you believe. I just do not understand you and do not want to be a follower.

  • Yes, if that becomes necessary.

    Like the old saying, “I’d rather be tried by twelve than carried by six.”

  • Paul Julian Gould

    Considering that Ben’s had this blog for quite a while now, and makes no secret of his views anywhere, you’re just now coming to this earthshattering realization?

    And, you somehow found it necessary to comment on two threads, as though you had no idea of where you were and to whom you were addressing?


  • I teach enemy love- because that’s what Jesus lived and taught. If that makes me a “liberal thinker”, who cares? Jesus is my standard, not American conservatism.

    And as far as hell, I simply believe what the early Christians believed and what, as I have demonstrated time and time again, the Bible seems to teach.

  • Who said anything about banning guns?

    Oh- and love the touch of putting “palestinian” in quotation marks as if they don’t actually exist.

  • I just have to say, Mr. Simons- I’ve been a huge fan. #TeamMenno

  • MiddleWay

    They do kill in greater numbers but look at usage – how many times are bathtubs used every day/week/whatever vs how many guns are used every day/week/whatever. You need to compare the percentage of deaths or injuries in terms of per usage statistics. And for the record, I don’t know what that actual statistic is on guns and bathtubs – but if guns are safer it doesn’t mean that they’re unequivocally safe. That’s the major concern here

  • Terry Firma

    The purpose of a gun for anything but hunting is to not be used. Bath tubs are different that way.

  • randalpeterson

    You didn’t deny the video was a lie either.
    People exist in Palestine. They are people who were told to leave Israeli territory when the Arab countries attacked Israel. The Arabs said they could return when the Jews were destroyed, but, alas, the small Jewish country proved to be too much for the Arab countries. Israel has been there since 1948, even though their enemies vowed to drive them into the sea. God has proven to be much more powerful than allah. He has and always will protect His chosen people, the Jews.

  • randalpeterson

    Thanks for the affirmation. What’s amazing is how someone can put his own interpretation to the bible and expect people who read the bible to swallow it.

  • MiddleWay

    Exactly. And so my point is that since the majority of guns aren’t used daily (at least that’s the hope), they are more dangerous on a per usage scale. For instance, maybe one child every so often drowns in a bathtub but there are likely tens of thousands (or more) perfectly safe baths in between those events. However with guns that doesn’t seem to be the case. Again I have no idea what the actual statistics are but even then, guns are inherently dangerous and that’s the concern. Especially when it’s easy for anyone to carry a gun around without solid training (ie. military/PD level regularity and quality)

  • MiddleWay

    I’m honestly confused (probably shouldn’t be, but I am) as to how standing up for “gun rights” is linked to being a good Christian. I mean, what does the right to own a lethal weapon have to do with a faith founded upon the “coat hangers” of Love God and Love your neighbor? I’m not saying there aren’t purely practical reasons for gun rights, but as Christians, how can we be so ready to do violence and support it (even advocating for it) with our faith?

  • Paul Julian Gould

    Well, that particular leatherbound book, in English translation is, as well, an interpretation by the translators and based upon their own worldview, including the venerable KJV, which was interpreted from the standpoint of a thoroughgoing Anglican Protestant, the Douay-Rheims from a Roman Catholic stand. That doesn’t even count the commentaries included by whichever teacher it represents, from Scofield, to McArthur, to anyone else.

    And that of really a library of at least 66 separate books, at least 3 different languages, made up of a multitude of literary genres, in literary forms indigenous to the cultures in which the composers lived and spanning at least 3,000 years of compilation. As such, it’s never been as plain and unambiguous as those who are, in effect, Bibliolators think or rather wish it was..

    It’s not a “My Little Golden Book” nor a Dick and Jane primer. Those things that are the most contentious are so precisely because the original autographs, or at least the most ancient available, in the original languages are not cut and dry, and all encompassing and unambiguous… hence many interpretations.

    Apparently your expression of faith is of a very conservative Evangelical flavor. Fine… that’s you. But whenever your pastor “preaches the Word” from the pulpit, be aware that his commentary and even choice of proof-texts are interpretations. Unless he’s preaching the stuff in Hebrew, Chaldaic, Aramaic and Greek, there’s no other way. And if he’s giving it a conservative slant, that too is as much an interpretation as you seem to be accusing Ben.

  • Beats me! I make my living asking this same question.

  • *sigh*

    Hard to even argue with racist theology that believes God has one superior race he’s chosen and loves best, even though the NT debunks that kind of racism.

  • otrotierra

    Why is Jesus consistently missing in your comments? Explain to us how Jesus’ absence in your logic is even remotely acceptable.

  • Paul Julian Gould

    I really cannot understand why a person will read an article, written consistently from the viewpoint of the author, dislike it, and then find it necessary to type out a comment informing everyone of your displeasure and your intent to go away…

    But that’s just me…

  • randalpeterson

    Rather wordy. Little of any substance. If you believe any interpretation can be given to it, I guess you do not claim to be a Christian.

  • Paul Julian Gould

    You are correct. I do not claim to be what a modern-day Christian would consider as such, and have made no secret on this or any other blog.

    Wordy? Yeah, I am … but you missed any substance because you chose to miss it.

    Your Book has always been interpreted by any spiritual leader you follow. If your conscience draws you to a particular interpretation, then so be it.

    But again, big surprise, Jesus and I have been best buds since I was 3, but, you’re correct. I am not what the modern-day self-appointed prophets and pastors would consider a Christian, but y’know… that probably bothers you and they much more than it does me. I can live with it, and my rest and peace in the love of God has never been stronger… You probably consider that outrageous, but I don’t have to please you, either.

  • Terry Firma

    I’ve asked you this before and never got an answer, so I hope you don’t mind if I try again (third time’s a charm, right?).

    A deranged man or career criminal acutely threatens your family. (I’m no theologist, but I’m assuming prayer won’t help at this point…)

    Now, given the choice, with your life and that of your wife and daughter on the line, would you rather (a) have a gun and shoot in defense, or (b) farm out the responsibility, attempt to call the police, and hope that they’ll engage (and possibly shoot) him for you?

    Remember: When seconds count, the cops are only minutes away!

    If you’re lucky, and he is too, you won’t even have to shoot the perp, because he might well flee if he sees you have a firearm. (I’m guessing a Swiss Army knife isn’t going to, um, cut it!)

    Which do you choose?

  • Terry Firma

    Of course guns are deadlier on a per usage basis. Of course they are inherently dangerous. They were uniquely designed to be so. You see that as a flaw in my argument. I see it as the point of my argument. They are designed to be deadly and yet bath tubs and swimming pools are 50 times deadlier.

    The vast, vast majority of guns are never fired at anyone at all. They are like an insurance policy. You hope you’ll never need it.

  • LogicusPrime

    Since you’ve already gone there, a better question is, “Why does a blog post in the Progressive Christian Channel have not the slightest reference to Christianity?” Did I miss the announcement that being anti-gun is a progressive Christian value?

  • LogicusPrime

    Yet it’s OK to make broad, disparaging, statements about white guys with guns because, what, bias against whites is more acceptable than bias against Palestinians?

  • randalpeterson

    I am sure that you can live with it, but dying with it would have grave consequences for your immortal soul. Jesus does not become our best bud. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Him. He died to bear each of our sins on the cross so that we would not have to suffer eternal damnation. He rose again and is with the Father until it is time for His triumphant return.

  • LogicusPrime

    “Regardless of what garbage the NRA feeds you (in an effort to scare you so that you’ll buy more guns, so their friends in the gun lobby will make more money)…”

    I’m no fan of the NRA, but this is unsupported (and likely unsupportable) opinion masquerading as a statement of fact.

    “…guns don’t make you safer. In fact, the presence of a gun in your home decreases your safety.”

    Got an unbiased citation (anything from Kellermann, Hemenway, or the NEJM definitely doesn’t qualify) for that? Of course not.

    “It can be easy to go out and buy a gun”

    And it can also be very difficult to impossible, depending on where you live. Your point?

    “How I wish that I had walked into this store when I did.”

    Why? If you think that what other people have done using guns had anything to do with what you’d do with a gun then you have serious problems. And if you need to read the “history” of a type of gun to realize the harm that has been done when they’ve been misused then I’d question your connection to reality.

    “Realizing that guns have history”

    An extremely low percentage of individual guns have any kind of “history” of the type you’re talking about and those guns weren’t the cause of that history. This attempt to demonize inanimate objects because of the actions of a very small percentage of their owners is really sad. It’s kind of like blaming spoons for making people fat.

  • Paul Julian Gould

    So you say, and so you obviously unshakeably believe…

    But the thing is, I also have the conviction that there will be no condemnation for me, when I finally face my Creator… And, you know, that conviction is no doubt just as firm as yours are to you.

    A difference I perceive, though… Whereas I have come to my convictions through long study, prayer and guidance, I am always willing to consider that I might just have any or all of it dead wrong… My worldview is never shattered by being wrong about anything; rather, every “wrong” is an opportunity to know and get it “right” further on.

    You are preaching to a man who is very familiar with your particular mindset, having shared it for many years. But I have no fear that God will condemn me for anything I do from the best motives I can, as it’s the intent as much as the act, as stated by the Holy Carpenter Himself.

    That you believe that I’m hellbound really doesn’t have much resonance… I’ve been there, and I’ve got that, and even wore a bunch of the T-Shirts.

    My faith is my own, through long meditative prayer and study, as well as the inner Light and Comforter nudging me in the most beneficial directions.

    So at my death, should you find it out somehow, don’t grieve. It’s not my hell, it’s yours, and I have no intention of going there.

  • randalpeterson

    Do the quotation marks mean that’s not a real sigh? What makes it hard for you to argue is you don’t have the Holy Bible, God’s Word, to base your argument on. You believe it’s not written by Him. Your god isn’t powerful enough to supernaturally dictate his word to men so that his meaning comes through.

  • randalpeterson

    Everyone’s faith is their own. It’s where and in Whom that faith is placed that makes a difference. God is the one who gives you the choice of destinations not me. You can have the best of intentions and still be wrong. The road to hell can be paved with the best of intentions.

  • Kevin Thomas

    Trust God and lay down my life for my family without killing anyone. Jesus shows us a better way….

  • Kevin Thomas

    It always helps to use the “L” word…

  • Let me tell you why Paul: The bible clearly points out there is to be a final judgement; yet, Ben (believes like most atheists) who believe there is no hell. Now, he is acting like some blind liberal and saying we shouldn’t have guns for protection.

    It seems God’s judgment should be left up to God; since hell is clearly shown to be the place where people go, who have not accepted Jesus. God did not confer with me on hell, so I will not go against His Judgement, or lead others that way. No matter how much I would want to change hell a bit, Some of us “see through a glass darkly.”

  • Kevin Thomas

    That’s not true–Ben doesn’t believe in eternal conscious torment. Anihlationism is what most Christians believed pre Constantine.

  • Kevin Thomas

    There as many verses that point to the second death as there are for Hell. It’s not at all clear…

  • Paul Julian Gould

    Your preaching at me is really not having the effect you think. I’ve heard it all before, in many ways, and, as you don’t know me and know my heart, you have no idea of what points of agreement are there, as you insist on using a narrow, specific framework.

    Read the interchanges between Herm and myself, and Herm and anyone else, and you’ll see at least a glimpse of where and on Whom I give my love and trust… You just insist on framing it as for a 5 year old with only a taste for milk, whereas I understand and try to live by the meat, even though my labels, intentions, names and picture differ from you in some ways.

    Not everyone has any need for such narrow, tightly phrased interpretations as you put forth. You, oh finite man… have you the ability to comprehend That which is Infinite? If you dare to think you do, presumption is also a sin. Also is the presumption of anyone’s state of grace, me, Ben, or anyone else, a grave error not looked upon kindly by Hashem, the Melech ‘Olam, the Lord of All.

  • Paul Julian Gould

    OK… I’ll accept that’s what you truly and deeply believe. Great.

    My convictions are without a doubt just as strong, yet I’m not in any fear of getting any of it wrong and going to some place or state of being that has no meaning for me. As I said to another commenter, it’s not my hell, it’s yours, and I have no intention of going there. Wouldn’t it be a hoot should you predecease any of us, for you to realize God’s bigger than any of our interpretations, and Ben, Herm and the rest of us walk up to greet you. My picture of the Supreme Absolute is bigger than any fear-based dogma and, while I accept your words at face-value that they are truly what you think and believe, I still think and strongly believe it’s nothing more than bullcrap and moonshine. Your God’s too little, fellow finite creature.

  • randalpeterson

    Wow! Have no idea who that is. But it’s not the lord of all. My Lord is Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God. If you consider this Hashem to be your lord, so be it.

  • Paul Julian Gould

    Then allow me to educate you… Hashem means “The Lord” (literally, “The Name”) and is a very Jewish way of speaking of God without profaning His name. Melech ‘Olam is Hebrew for “King of the Universe.”

    So yeah, if you think using a name for God that Jesus himself likely used often, along with Abba is some sort of blasphemy, as you say, so be it.

  • Paul Julian Gould

    Baruch ha ba, b’Shem Adonoi, Melech ‘Olam…

    (the word Hashem means “The Lord” or “The God, with the modifier “Ha” meaning “The.)

    “Blessed are you oh Lord God, King of the Universe” begins the sabbath prayer given Friday evening without fail, going back thousands of years, and prayed by Y’shua himself. So your narrow views may suffice for you, but understand that the limits you insist on placing regarding interpretations of He who, by definition, is incapable of being described and interpreted, are only the limits you choose to place upon yourself. I’m not bound by your fears, your limits, your narrow small box you insist on shoehorning God into.

    I’m not bound by your words, and really, as it’s much that I’ve heard for at least 40 years, it really doesn’t have much effect.

    My convictions are as they are, as unshakeable as yours, and… go figure… I think I’m mostly correct and you’re mostly wrong, or rather, that your particular rockribbed conviction is a bit misguided, as I’m sure you think of me. No biggie, except to anyone that chooses to make it one.

  • Paul Julian Gould

    Here’s some more “blasphemous” appellations for Him who transcends our understanding:

    “Sh’ma Yisroel, Adonoi Elohaynu, Adonoi echod.
    Baruch Shem k’vod Malchut’ov, l’Olam va’ared.”

    “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One
    And you shall love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.”

    Rebbe Hillel, predeceasing Jesus by a few generations, added the additional, which I paraphrase, “And you shall love your neighbor as yourself. All else is commentary.”

  • Paul Julian Gould

    Quibble, of course… Hitler only banned firearm ownership for Jews and others on the ‘outside.”

    Stalin is a whole other case for many reasons all on his own, and really isn’t a valid example.

  • Mervyn J

    Regardless of your position on the matter, this is out right pathetic. I’m not so much disappointed at the lack of logic the anti gun people use to”protect” you, I’m disappointed how low they will stoop to show us “common sense”. These people are entitled to their own facts, which makes for a recipe of ultra biased, nonsensical “facts”. It’s quite silly how they treat guns like children, apparently my guns have learned to walk and will end up on the street. Instead of keeping people ignorant to the proper handling of firearms, why don’t we teach them how to defend themselves and all they hold dear? Ironically, anti gun people would be the most dangerous group of individuals to handle firearms. Their ignorance to the proper handling of firearms puts them and everybody around them in danger. I just love how all these progressives are claiming to be making progress by making us ignorant of a potentially life saving skill, it would make sense if they renamed themselves regressives . In my opinion, I think we should all be a little insulted that terminally ignorant people are telling us that we shouldn’t learn to use a firearm because we might get hurt; when those same terminally ignorant people have never even practiced with , let alone touched a firearm.

  • Paul Julian Gould

    You assume much, that many of those you call ‘anti-gun’ actually are that. Peruse this comment thread, and I think you’ll find many among us who are not ‘anti-gun’ but rather anti-stupid. There are some folks that need to be kept away from firearms, or anything more dangerous than a stick. There are others whose obvious motivation for strolling around in public with iron on the shoulder is nothing more than a “nyah, nyah… because I can and you can’t stop me.

    The national organizations for firearms have morphed into paranoid shills for the arms industry, and have gone from teaching safety and responsibility to political grandstanding more suited to Alex Jones.

    Ben has his equally valid reasons for being what you would consider “anti-gun,” and they are made all the more valid and poignant by his having trained and fought in war, with the presence of more high-powered weaponry than a civilian enthusiast could ever dream of.

    Again, most of us are not anti-firearms, we’re anti-stupid and anti the state of discourse on the issue as it’s deteriorated to a shouting match.

    FWIW, I’ve legally owned firearms in the past, and as I’ve said elsewhere, had a CCL, a nice little .25 Raven and a boot holster. Whether or not there was actually a need, it seemed prudent at the time to do so. Presently, I have no need of firearms, I’m under no threat, and I really have no desire to frequent places where a firearm might be a good accessory. But most of what you would term “anti-gun” is anything but… Most of us here do nuance quite well thanks.

  • Brandon Roberts

    look i think their should be more laws to keep guns out of the hands of the bad guys

  • Mervyn J

    I find it hard to believe that one who is, as you say,”anti stupid” is not anti gun. My reasoning for this is that through out the course of the national gun debate, we have been told that the supposedly common sense “solutions” presented to us by supposedly pro gun politicians will protect our 2A rights. In that course of time we have also figured out that people who are supposedly middle of the road, are by definition, anti gun. You assume to much as well, I am very aware that guns should be kept out of the hands of some people, and I am aware that many on this thread own or have owned a firearm. I highly disagree with your statement about firearm organizations being reduced to shills who are more concerned about political grand standing rather than teaching safety. With the influx of new members and gun enthusiasts, the NRA has licensed more RSOs to monitor range safety than it ever has in over a decade. Shouting match or not, the NRA has done an excellent job backing their constituents and other concerned Americans in the political battlefield(just look at what happened with the potential m855 ban). While many people like you are content and nuanced with the current political atmosphere, many others will not simply stand by and watch what they believe in be torn apart by psychos and out of control politicians. Ben certainly has the right to express his distaste for other Americans ability to own firearms, but to present information that has been proven false and misleading as fact is very telling of what these so called “anti stupid” people are trying to accomplish. Again, I am aware that others in this thread have owned or owns firearms; but to use the term “anti stupid” when everything you say is or is on the verge of anti gun, further vindicates my point that we must teach more people to learn how to properly use a firearm before that right is taken away. Also, the current laws we have in effect do prevent wackos from legally obtaining firearms, but said wacko could easily go to his felon friend and get some guns for cheap. No law can ever stop that from happening, it will only help criminals get an edge on those who actually care for the rule of law.

  • MiddleWay

    But regardless, people are hurt and die. The potential for easily prevented harm is there while bathtubs are used every day because they provide a very real, tangible benefit every day. The point of your argument, to me at least, seems to be that we should focus on bath tub safety (as a way of saying our concern about guns is misplaced). Because I point out the safety concerns about guns does not mean that I must then provide arguments against why bath tubs are safe. The burden of proof lies on you to explain why open access to lethal weapons makes us safer. Taking that a step further (into the realm of argument that Ben takes it), why should Christians, who are called to non-violence and radical enemy love, be ready (and desirous) to use lethal weapons?

  • Michael Newman

    Ben, I reposted this and got just a bit of flack from friends who do not agree with me but we were able to agree that in this instance we don’t see eye to eye and concentrate more on the vast similarities that make up our friendships.

    I am saddened by the many voices that attack you on this and other posts that you have. It is the progressive Christian approach that you have been talking about that has actually made my faith stronger and invigorated my zeal to be more Christ-like in my daily life and world views.

    Thanks for your posts and your talking out about being more like Christ in all areas of our life. Good on ya mate for keeping at it.

  • Matthew

    So don´t be a follower then. It´s absolutely your choice.

  • Matthew

    I get confused whenever this topic comes up. The pro gun people say that where the right to carry is in place crime actually decreases. The anti gun (or the more restrictions on guns) people are convinced that more guns lead to more crime and death. Both camps have their stats.

    It´s so insane. All this polarization on so many issues — guns, race relations, Israel, the size of government, politics, theology, etc., etc. Is this an American phenomenon or does it take place to this extent the world over? I have come to think over the years that polarization is exactly what Satan wants. It´s a trap … and we fall into it time and time again. A game of divide and conquer. It´s madness really.

    Jesus be the center. Lord have mercy.

  • Thanks Michael, appreciate the encouragement. It’s definitely been one of the more ugly weeks I’ve had.

  • I choose a 3rd way that would require more creativity. As you know, I’ve been in situations of violent aggression in the home before, and out of my love for all parties I had to find solutions other than violence.

  • If you think I don’t believe in a judgement, you either (a) haven’t actually read what I’ve said or (b) you’re lying.

    But yes, I am saying that people who follow Jesus put down their weapons and love their enemies- but that’s his teaching, not mine, that you’re having issue with.

  • I could give a rats you-know-what over any “progressive Christian values”, I’m more interested in following Jesus regardless of what label that earns me in either direction.

  • Not true, but you’re striking me as someone more interested in just believing what they want instead of actually wrestling and learning with what scripture teaches, so there’s probably no point in any of this.

  • Of course it’s manipulative. It’s trying to convince people that guns do not make one safe. Guns maim and kill. Unfortunately, there are so few studies out because the NRA and Congress have put in legislation preventing such studies. Thankfully our current president issued an executive order, directing the CDC to start doing such research.

  • Godwin’s Law strikes again.

  • God’s Word is Jesus, not Scripture. Scripture is inspired, but not the Word of God. (See John 1.)

  • JeffHochstetler

    Community is an important part of our tradition. Let’s stick together. #TeamMenno

  • JeffHochstetler

    Why are you framing the question like there are only two options, Terry? Like Ben said, that’s part of the problem – thinking that we have to live by the script – kill or be killed when there is a home invasion.

    I don’t know any Christian who isn’t seriously concerned about protecting their family. Most people I know would do anything they could to protect them. But I also know that owning a gun doesn’t guarantee protection. Assuming one had a gun in their house during a home invasion, here are a couple scenarios that one should think about when trying to reach for a gun: 1) depending on where the gun is, it could be out of reach if the attacker is between you and the gun, 2) it might not be loaded, 3) you could fire the gun but miss shooting the attacker and he shoots you 4) he could use a loved one as a human shield in which case you a) decide to shoot anyway and try and hit the attacker b) bargain with him, c) put the gun down…. I think we could both creatively imagine a variety of scenarios, both good and bad, that could affect how we keep our loved ones safe during a home invasion.

    To use a gun effectively against an attacker in a home invasion, you need to limit the possibility that you will be caught off guard – something that is really hard in one’s own home. And to be honest, I don’t think it’s healthy to always be on guard. Doing so takes a physical and mental toll which can affect my family’s well being (to paraphrase the government in the days after 9-11, if we change our lifestyle out of fear, then the home invaders have won.)

    Without condemning those who feel the need to have a gun in their home to be “safe,” can we agree that those who choose to not own a gun to protect their family are neither spineless or weak? In fact to those who believe they need a gun for protection (and honestly think having a gun is a safety measure), shouldn’t they view those who choose not to carry a gun as either 1) more foolish or 2) braver or honorable than those who don’t? Most gun owners would probably agree that it would be harder to protect family if they didn’t have a gun. So why is it that your question above frames owning a gun as the obviously responsible response? To me, owning a gun for self defense doesn’t make sense, as I said above. I see your personal rationale and respect your thinking, but please don’t assume that people who hold a different view are automatically wrong, or weak, or choosing a more foolish approach. Every home invasion is unique and it’s always more ethically complex than the two options you’ve listed.

    Speaking for myself as a “new creation in Christ”, 1) I choose to live my life living into God’s abundant grace. This means that I refuse to live in fear. For me, owning a handgun with intent for self defense is morally wrong because its intent – even in self-defense – is malicious, or intentionally harmful. 2) for me, taking reasonable steps to protect my family means locking my windows and doors. These are rational and do not harm others. 3) I do believe that prayer can help. 4) police can be called after the event, because they will likely not get there in time, it might cause the attacker to run or stop, and police reports are effective in catching criminals and warning neighbors about threats in our community 5) I don’t claim to know my response to a home invasion, since there are so many different scenarios that could happen. And that’s okay. I don’t think that one needs to have one answer. Certainly I have a plan of action -I won’t be passive. I do know that in all times and situations my prayer for me and my family is like the prayer in Philippians 2:6-11, that our minds and hearts would be like that of Christ Jesus. I also know that I’m not perfect, and if I do a violent act in an effort to save my family or my attacker, that grace abounds. This perspective is unique only to those Christians who actually practice radical discipleship and seek to follow what Jesus taught and modeled in daily life. I don’t expect nonChristians to understand this choice, and certainly some Christians will disagree with it. However, I hope that Christians who disagree with this ethos would at least respect those Christians who do believe it.

  • otrotierra

    Absolutely, Jesus provides the model to follow. How terribly unpopular it is!

  • otrotierra

    Yes! Only Jesus is literally The Word. The bible is a collection of sentences typeset and printed on paper.

    Thank you for all your posts Timothy. Looking forward to more.

  • LogicusPrime

    Relax. I was just using your post as an example to make a comment about otrotierra’s rather selective judgmentalism.

  • Noah

    Ok, overly manipulative.

  • Noah

    Paul’s response is a pretty big proof that there are different versions, beliefs and translations of scripture. It’s why there are so many sects.

    Plus, whatever yours is likely didn’t exist 100 years ago. Things evolve…it’s why folks are still studying scripture and seeking to get to the originals.

  • Noah

    Sure protected them during the Holocaust!

  • Noah

    My favorite one. (I also just ‘learned’ it)

  • LogicusPrime

    Actually, no. According to Godwin himself (, “Although deliberately framed as if it were a law of nature or of mathematics, its purpose has always been rhetorical and pedagogical: I wanted folks who glibly compared someone else to Hitler or to Nazis to think a bit harder about the Holocaust.”

    The use of a factual reference to Hitler or Nazis doesn’t qualify. Randalpeterson isn’t calling anyone a Nazi or equating a person to Hitler. He’s referring to Hitler as the ruler of a oppressive regime (true) and stating that he banned guns (at least for certain undesirable groups who were later severely persecuted). I read his comment as a cautionary tale about the potential consequences of outlawing guns.

  • Herm

    You make a good point! Perhaps it really is a divide between egotism and altruism. The madness from an egotist point of view is how many don’t support me and mine. The madness from an altruistic point of view is how many don’t support all of us and all of ours. The madness from an atheists perspective is how many don’t take full responsibility for themselves so that the world would be better for them. The madness from a spiritualists perspective is how many don’t realize their limitations prohibiting survival when dependent only on individual or even collective responsibility without divine support.

    The trap we all fall into is when we don’t subscribe wholeheartedly to empathy and compassion for the whole of our species that we each are ultimately dependent upon to be free from the ugliness of intimidation, manipulation, confusion, envy, coveting and subjugation all to profit the individual at the cost of the rest of our species.

    Jesus saved us from that by giving us an alternative to die to the flesh of this world and be born into the spirit not of this world. The Holy Spirit in each of our hearts and minds is so anti-divisive that each heart and mind inside the influence of the Holy Spirit becomes one bonded by love with the entire Family of God as Jesus is one with the Father.

    As a little child of God all I am interested in is proclaiming the healthy all inclusive relationship available to all humans who can follow Luke 10:27, Matthew 7:12 and Matthew 5:44 relative to the entire species in the image of God. Based on what I know that is working from my heart and mind anything else is madness.

  • Herm

    In the Nazi regime it was not the gun restrictions that were the ultimate problem but the dehumanized, often proclaimed Christians, who enforced the restrictions with guns. Under both Hitler and Stalin if their enforcers refused to carry a gun (actually) and chose from their heart to carry a cross (even if just symbolically) because life just isn’t worth living if it means killing those I can empathize with and be compassionate to then neither egotist would have had the power to destroy so many of us.

    If the members of our armed forces become dehumanized to the point of those armed forces then no amount of home grown guns can protect us from the tanks, drones, napalm, poisoned water supplies, nuclear armament or the full power of our air force, army, navy and coast guard.

    We don’t have to be armed to protect ourselves from our government if all of us in each of our villages raised our children to be empathetic and compassionate for our entire species. It isn’t survival of the fittest to carry a gun that will determine whether mankind lives or dies. It is survival of human values bonding and strengthening each and every member in the body of Man by love that will eventually determine whether mankind lives or dies as a species. We as a species have the ability to project and reason enough to determine this is so.

    Jesus taught me this!

  • Thanks Matthew:

    I suppose “follower” is the operative word. I am a follower of Jesus, not Ben, as you seem to be. Thanks Matthew, for reminding me I could “opt-out,” for I thought I was deeply embedded.

    Having been a Christian for many years, I see no need spending my time having discussions with other Christians, who I suppose are saved. ( I am not the judge) This blog seems to be about Christians discussing things of little importance to living a Christian life, or being with God in heaven.

    I realized a long time ago that nobody has all the answers; yet, the fear of hell seems to be removed, by Ben’s beliefs. Some may scoff at that fear getting a person to seek God. I cannot imagine anyone in heaven poking fun at another for their motivation in seeking God.

    God has not asked my opinion as to the severity of His judgment; therefore, I personally will not endanger anyone’s eternity by saying, “Don’t sweat it for God wouldn’t do such a thing.”

    May God’s Wisdom and Love be in abundance,


  • randalpeterson

    All scripture is God-breathed. Christ is the living Word. Scripture is the written word. Jesus would never speak anything that goes against the scriptures. Anyone who says God has told him something that goes against scripture is a false prophet.

  • Of course Jesus spoke against Scripture. He added to it, augmented it, or even did away with portions of it. Best example: Mathew 5:38-39: “You have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. But I say to you that you must not oppose those who want to hurt you. If people slap you on your right cheek, you must turn the left cheek to them as well.”

    This is also the basis for my own personal view that owning guns for “self-protection” is not very Biblical.

  • randalpeterson

    Jesus said there will be no peace until he returns. “There will be wars and rumors of wars”. There is evil in the world and no amount of peaceful talk will change that

  • I guess that’s a matter of interpretation, as is often the case.

  • Herm

    Sorry Randal, you are wrong as you are only using an interpreted belief as argument which is not directly taught from the Word. Perhaps, you have not read in the Bible about the Spirit of Truth. I ask the Father to forgive you for what you do not know.

    Let’s just throw out the contrast between an eye for an eye relative to love your enemy by carrying a cross to die on for them. Both are in the Bible written second hand and are in disagreement with each other.

    This is the equivalent of all of Paul’s letters do you consider it God-breathed as it is?

    Love you!

  • Be encouraged. When people like you make statements like this, I know that I am not alone in my beliefs.

  • Herm

    Randal, Jesus returned and just after ascension the Holy Spirit is recorded to be active to all hearts and minds open to accept Him. I can live in this world empathetic and compassionate to all and still not be of this world exactly like Jesus my big Brother, my Teacher, the Word of God.

    You cannot know, by your response, the peace and joy I feel in the Family of God as a little child. Is this not at all good news that maybe what I am saying is true? Jesus is alive and participating as Lord, High Priest, Rabbi, and Brother to all who have become children of the Father through the Advocate of God. To this I testify with even greater validity than the New Testament because it domes directly from the breath of God today. I am proclaiming the Gospel to you!

    Love you!

  • Herm

    Most professing Jews, Muslims and Christians are totally blind to the Holy Spirit of our creator God actually living and sharing with them every moment in their hearts and minds. This is why so many disciples, prophets, apostles, and children of God have been tormented, beheaded, burned and crucified by the convinced will of teachers and enforcers of the law within each organization professing to be the anointed children of Abraham and Moses. The hell each relates to is here and now! In the Holy Spirit is peace and joy beginning today and extending throughout eternity. Love you Solar and pray that your hardened heart may see the Light!

  • Paul Julian Gould

    The most rigid among Evangelical Christian fundamentalists, in addition to an ingrained attitude, whether admitted or not, even to themselves, of “well, even if it isn’t true, it ought to be.” seem to follow that when historical, scientific, medical, spiritual or any other aspect reveals a previously unknown fact, which contradicts “Pastor’s” last Sunday sermon, always go with Pastor… “He may only have a 4-grade education, but he just luuuuuvs Jesus, and hey don’t the Word say ‘lean not to your own understanding’ anyways?”

    It’s as though the whole package, complete with Republican Party politics and the 2nd and 10th Amendments is as holy as an angel, and was actually handed down to Moshe along with the tablets, not to be changed or argued with under penalty of severe shunning at best.

    I don’t feel anger at those who are incapable for whatever reason at all of going beyond and above a pre-digested and predetermined package of dogma and doctrine, political, spiritual, or the more common conflation of the two. There are many reasons, to be sure. Some people are recovering substance abusers who traded one addiction for another, and cling to a hard core of stuff as strongly as they once did their previous addiction. Some were abused, have survived the abuse and cling to a concrete set of ideas as a security blanket. Others are developmentally challenged in some way and really can’t grasp complexity very well.

    But, I believe that the vast majority are really just terrified little souls, afraid of the unknown, and putting up that big gaudy billboard up in front hides the unknown. No nuance, no shade of meaning… just following a pre-set, pre-defined package that they don’t have to work very hard at, don’t have to think much about it, and only venture outside the shell to lash out at anyone that really doesn’t need to join them inside it.

  • Paul Julian Gould

    Wow… did I just do an essay or what? LOL

  • Herm

    What makes it hard for you to argue is you (apparently) don’t have the Holy Spirit through whom we can all become one in heart and mind with the only Word of God. Your god isn’t powerful enough to dictate his love and counsel to you directly as their little child as our God does. This is not intended to be one-ups-man-ship only as a pointer to Him who can alleviate your conflict. I am not defending God because God is bigger than I and can defend me infinitely better than I Them. Love you!

  • Noah

    I remember being surprised, quite happily, when my Systematic Theology professor at my conservative Seminary made a comment along the lines of:

    “Aren’t we happy we don’t have to believe in a literal 7 day creation?”

    As a newer Christian I had no idea that those at the top of academia generally seem to hold this position.

  • Herm

    You might just have had a bit of a release from pent up emotions. Do you feel better now or are you still coming down from the rush? You did good as a child of God! Love you! Thanks for a rush of truth!

  • Herm

    Relax Randal, you realized have no idea because it was just pointed out to you that you have no idea. The Holy Spirit converses in all languages and vernaculars from since the beginning of time, including in your precise dialect, and not only from published Christian speak.

    A rose by any name will still smell the same. No scroll of writing will ever smell like the rose. Savor the rose and not the scroll. You are loved!

  • Paul Julian Gould

    Hmmm… actually friend Herm, a conflation of things (love that word! LOL) online and offline began to try to ignite that little pilot light of misanthropy I can’t seem to get rid of, and recognized the need to cover it with mercy and more than a moment’s reaction… When I relate insights such as the above, there are various names and faces to go with each example, either from my own life, or from being a people-watcher on the WWW. More the former than the latter, actually.

    I’m not at the point of despairing of my fellow beings, nor turning my back, but I can’t help observing that, more than any time in my lifetime, the human race, especially the population of this nation we served in uniform, has lost its ever-lovin’ flippin’ mind… So much that is just pointless, self-centered, instantly gratified moonshine and crap… No one reads any more, whether as an ebook or a dead-tree form, especially anything that isn’t easily digestible confirmation of bias, or isn’t the latest celeb gossip. My 2nd wife and I got floored by one of our friends, saying “Oh, you guys are so smart. Where do you get all that from?” And it wasn’t quantum theory or multidimensional calculus… rather it was a, what was common knowledge before, reference to a scene out of Dickens.

    People have gone beyond the “happy talk” Word/Faith ideas of “my blessings,” “my health,” “my prosperity,” which in varying degrees infected many Evangelical groups, to really, functional solipsism… nothing exists but me, and everything is for my benefit.

    So, I get it out in the presence of mostly people of goodwill, such as yourself, and hope that anything I say may be useful in some way.

  • Herm

    That is some more good news we can share of our relationship with God. We might as well let it all out in sanctuaries divinely provided because They already know what”s in our hearts and minds. Those of our siblings of Man present will then strongly sense there might yet be an eternity of knowing yet to come. Might stimulate some more reading, experiencing and savoring.

    When born of water into the flesh we are all functionally helpless self with no ability to conceive of a support system for our survival. That is where we must begin even before we know we will die because we have no concept of mortal or immortal. Jesus opens up a whole new kingdom of possibility through the Spirit where we can all merge our spiritual selves into one awareness of choice occupying all space and no space simultaneously. That’s when we know for certain that even a single living mortal hurting affects with pain the entire mortal species and their creator who loves them. Oh, the unbearable anguish from real empathy and compassion on a divine level. Thank God I am but a little child not yet able to comprehend the heart and mind of our Brother and Father.

    Did this distract you from your pain a bit? Most who read this sincere muse will be ready to commit me to the nearest federally supported mental institution. Oh, I just got some more good news for me the nation abandoned those facilities long ago. In the worst of cases they simply use prisons and I’m not worth the court time. I rarely use smiley faces or lots of laughs because I find too much childish pleasure in leaving people wondering and having to research for themselves. Do I have you wondering now? I doubt it.

    Love you always!

  • Ben:

    Why would I comment on what you wrote, if I had not read it, or why would I lie about it? Maybe I mis-understood your meaning about hell, but do not think so.

    I have some friends I fell certain are “hell bound” and I hope to God it is not as bad, or as eternal as I’ve been taught. I know I have served a merciful, loving Father for lots of years, but I am not about to second guess Him, or question His judgement, on those who have not accepted His Son. I could not bare to see any of my children endure, what Our Savior endured to save us. Observing as a father must be worse, than the suffering Jesus took upon himself.

    We do not see things as God sees them and I do believe God, in His wisdom, will punish Satan. As I have noted before, I will not risk telling anyone that hell is not real, because I do not know. My bible says Jesus went to hell, so hell itself must be real. As to God’s judgement on unbelievers, I think it best to leave that to Him.

    Also, I do not judge you, I just disagree on the way you phrase some of your beliefs. On the matter of guns, our US Army made sure I am trained to handle and respect guns. By the same token, we know that evil is in this world and God gives us brains to prepare against evil doers.

    If my wife, family or friends have their lives threatened, I will neutralize that threat, with my martial arts training if possible. Yet, if that’s not feasible, I guarantee you, I’ll be prepared to do whatever it takes.

    In Christ’s Love,


  • Paul Julian Gould

    Thank you my friend… I get it.

    Ready to commit you? Hardly… although, as a person with diagnosed mental illness, I may not be the best personal reference… *grin*

  • Paul Julian Gould

    And yes, I used the *grin*… at times, I’m aware I’m a difficult read, going only by text, and I wish my correspondent to know the manner in which I’m stating things… Not always obvious in my case… I’m aware of that… It’s only when I resort to the eyepokes and “Nyuck, nyucks” that most people seem to get me…

  • Paul Julian Gould

    Oh, and love you, as well, my brother. On the same page here, or at least within the same vast library…

  • Herm:

    I’ve read and enjoyed your posts at other places. It seems you are deciding my heart is hardened just because I do not agree with everything written on this site. I do agree that hell is now for some people; yet, eternity is so much more important. If that means my heart is hardened, I hope it stays that way. My Father God, has blessed me so abundantly, to have a heart hardened would be totally absurd.

    If you, or Ben, do not believe hell exists, you do not believe the bible.
    Neither you nor I, know absolutely what judgement God has for those who do not accept the awesome sacrifice Jesus made for us.

    I ask you, if there is no punishment for those who reject Jesus, why did Jesus want us to assist people in accepting his Grace?

  • Herm

    Thank you very much, Solar, for the kind response. I happen to believe, after conferring with God, death is best related in Ecclesiastes 9:5 – “The living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing; they have no more reward, and even the memory of them is lost.”

    Jesus did not ask us to accept His grace but to acknowledge the grace by love from the Father. If we accept the rain to grow our flowers and food we already accept the freely given grace of the Father.

    Jesus did not ask us as His disciples anymore than to teach His commands by our example and make more students like us for Him. His commands could easily be understood according to Luke 10:27, Matthew 7:12 and Matthew 5:44 while not ignoring the Decalogue.

    If we are in the image of God, as an example, what loving parent do you know who would inflict eternal punishment on their creation in their image because that child rebelled against their will? As once an active parent, since successfully retired, punishment was only inflicted to change my children’s choices from destructive to constructive attitudes. Nearly 99.999% percent of punishment I judged appropriate for the health of my child and mankind was no more than timeouts (often with lectures) for them to reconsider their actions for the next similar time they get to choose and take responsibility. The threat of that kind of punishment is only to instill thinking and feeling before acting as the responsible cause of an effect.

    What a despicable parent the Father would be to make the threat and execution of an eternal torture a vindictive punishment for those who just didn’t get it until it was too late to repent. That would truly be egotistically manipulative and intimidating which are two traits I consider in my heart and mind today well below the awesome dignity of God. We are most often naturally punished by the effect from our ignorant choice of cause without any divine intervention. Jesus on Earth as the Father’s only begotten Son is divine intervention because God so loved the World enough to offer His Family in our behalf.

    Solar, I can go on for a very long time as to why I know there is no eternal hell of conscious torture but there is a most loving final eternal death knowing nothing, biblically noted as the second death following the judgment by Jesus.

    There are infinitely more things God knows the mechanics of that I have yet to learn but the effect (grace) from God’s love for us all, righteous and/or sinner, is not one of them. That is what makes the Gospel truly good news for all who love by empathy and compassion and love to be loved in kind.

    Any response from you, Solar, is welcome if you think I can help or need help!

    Love you!

  • LogicusPrime

    It’s a bit more complicated than that.

    In Matthew 5:17-18, Jesus also says, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.”

    “Eye for an eye” comes from Exodus 21 as part of the Law that God gave Moses. It’s also commanded by God in Leviticus 24 and in Deuteronomy 19 as punishment for a malicious witness.

    Jesus seems to be contradicting not only God’s given Law, but himself. And with the phrase, “You have heard that it was said,” it sounds like he’s dismissing the Law as given by God as authoritative. Clearly Jesus’ words are not to be taken literally as presented.

    Further, none of the examples Jesus uses in Matthew 5:39-42 result in any permanent physical injury. Does his admonition extend to those who would cause injury or death?

    Edit: One additional note. Looking at multiple translations on Bible Gateway, Matthew 5:38-42 falls under the heading of revenge or retaliation in a number of them, which is very different from self-defense.

  • Paul Julian Gould

    Well-said, Herm.

    As an aside, the word pictures you are very talented at drawing are both a blessing and very useful… It’s rather as I’ve said, we might choose different adjectives than each other in description, but we describe the exact same thing.

    Thanks again, my wise friend.

  • Herm:

    I truly hope every word you say is true, so help me a bit more: Before Jesus left He said, (St. Mark16:15)”Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.”
    16:” He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved but he that believeth not shall be damned.”

    I am by no means arguing but will you be kind enough to explain what those verses mean to you?

    Basically, from what I hear you saying: Let’s take two men, one who believes Jesus to be his Savior and the other never accepts Jesus at all. Are you saying their eternity will be exactly the same?

    If so, what’s the need in preaching the gospel?



  • Paul Julian Gould

    As we normally never know whom we’ve touched, it’s always humbling when I get notified of an upvote on a blog so long ago I forgot the original OP (I read a lot of blogs, being both disabled and unemployable in a tech field due to where I am, I’ve got a lot of time on my hands)

    I received notification that I received an upvote from a nick that I vaguely recognize, on a blog post on another blog from 7 months ago…

    Some have entertained angels unaware…

    It was regarding a comment I made that couldn’t be more timely presently… It was stating one of the best and most honest prayers I’ve ever heard, and have adopted it as one of my own personal creeds. A. W. Tozer, a minister in the Church of the Brethren, in his book “The Knowledge of the Holy” began each chapter with a short prayer… this one stands out in glaring hi-def clarity and says in one sentence what I’ve extended megabytes to say…

    “God, I worship Thee, not as I think Thou art, but as Thou knowest Thyself to be.”

    Say what y’like, them’s some deep thinkins…..

  • randalpeterson

    Wow. A real false prophet. Jesus warned us about those! So the Holy Spirit can change the written word if he wants to. Dialect is just regional pronunciation of language.

  • Herm

    Solar, excellent questions and I will try to answer as it is for me.

    I find several versions of the Bible more instructive than the KJV as an example this is from the NRSV in context:

    And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation. The one who believes and is baptized will be saved; but the one who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: by using my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes in their hands, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.” Mark 16:15-18

    Taking it from the King James Version “… shall be damned” has the following definition found in the Strong’s Concordance and may help

    Greek Strong’s Number: 2632

    Greek Word: κατακρίνω

    Transliteration: katakrinō

    Phonetic Pronunciation:kat-ak-ree’-no

    Root: from and

    Cross Reference: TDNT – 3:951,469

    Part of Speech: v

    Vine’s Words: Condemn, Condemnation

    English Words used in KJV:

    condemn 17

    damn 2

    [Total Count: 19]

    from (kata) and (krino); to judge against, i.e. sentence :- condemn, damn.

    “Evil brings death to the wicked, and those who hate the righteous will be condemned. The LORD redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.” Psalm 34:21-22

    “Either make the tree good, and its fruit good; or make the tree bad, and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers! How can you speak good things, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person brings good things out of a good treasure, and the evil person brings evil things out of an evil treasure. I tell you, on the day of judgment you will have to give an account for every careless word you utter; for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12:33-37

    “Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” John 3:18

    “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. “ John 3:16

    Solar, I didn’t make myself clear so I hope this clears the darken glass a little. I know by the grace and love of God the only two options are an eternal life of consciousness and an eternal death of knowing nothing and forgotten. Even the most strident atheist can and must accept the latter as possible. A student of Jesus can, but not must, accept both as possible.

    I will confide in you a dark secret I held nearly all of my responsible adult parenting life. My children owe me nothing because they did not choose to live. I and their mother owe our children everything because we chose to give them life. I am responsible to all that is in my name as that is the only real definition of ownership. All can be taken from me but as long as it is in my name I am responsible to it. I have a psychology major so before becoming a parent I was made aware of many different ways parenting could go, positive and negative. After becoming a parent and realizing we could have brought a psychotically destructive being into the world whom I was responsible to I had to responsibly consider my options. If the worst was true of my child and I could get them to a safe environment for all I would. If I could not and my child threatened others the last and final action I could responsibly take was to kill my child that others would live no matter how much I truly loved my own flesh and blood. My Father in Heaven is like that with one exception His responsibility lies with those in His kingdom who cannot die. It would be Hell eternal in Heaven for all if one human being slipped immortally through with an influential inability to love the Lord their God with all that is spiritually their responsibility (their unique and distinctive combination of heart, soul, strength, and mind) and love their merciful neighbor as themselves. If Jesus my Lord whom I trust with my life judges that I would be such a bad seed in Heaven then I welcome being condemned to the final anonymous eternal rest of knowing nothing free from all responsibility. If I am judged to be able to learn, work, play, savor and struggle constructively with all others in Heaven then I want so badly that eternity of sharing within the only restriction being the bond of love. Jesus gives me that hope as I am convinced He and the Father will do all in Their power to give me every chance, even to die for me.

    I get carried away trying to share the picture developing in my Heart and mind being painted by the Holy Spirit which He strokes as I am writing. I really do in all humility admire John’s ability to have shared his picture with the seven churches before Rome destroyed them. If he, James, Peter and Paul hadn’t done so well just maybe the proclamation of the Gospel of eternal hope would have died right there for all mankind. It’s our responsibility that the truth of the Gospel may live on through us just as inviting as they made it for the world then. A spiteful and vindictive God isn’t at all inviting to me but that is not the God I know nor do I want you to fear outside of awe our God.

    Hope this helps and I didn’t lose you to my offered cup over flowing with words. Ask God directly as They speak much more simply to what you need to know.

    Love you and pray for your joy and peace to be full in the Lord! Keep sharing the Gospel as it develops for you!

  • Herm

    Jesus was crucified as a false prophet by His own people lost in their scriptures, so much so as to not recognize Him as God. Yes, even in your dialect! You are loved even if you do not know.

  • Paul Julian Gould

    Indeed, so, dear friend.

    Randal, (and by extension, all others among the truly convinced that such as Herm, Ben, and myself are corrupt, deluded and deceived hellbound sinners) even from us, you are loved, though you choose to receive it not…

    Again, it’s not my hell, so I’m not going to be there, but love y’all anyway, in spite of your judgement… you know not what you do, nor to whom, and you really don’t know any better, for whatever personal reasons.

  • Nick

    ” Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” – Jesus

  • Paul Julian Gould

    Yeah, but that’s pansy leftist Jesus, not manly man macho man Randy Sav… errrmmm… Jesus…


  • Nick

    Mr. Diamond, I see an inconsistency between the above post and a previous comment you made: “May God’s Wisdom and Love be in abundance”. Makes me think of James 3. Thoughts?

  • Paul Julian Gould

    In many cases, it becomes joined to “let he who thinks he stands beware, lest he falls” And it also applies to what I’ve stated earlier, that one never knows who is reading one’s words, and one may never know… but for anyone with any wisdom at all, it should at least give a moment’s pause.

  • randalpeterson

    Ok. You win. Your great intellect is just too much for me. I will give in to the Great Prophet (false or not) and become a……uh…….what theology, religion, belief, or denomination are you? Oh well what the hell?!! Why use labels?!!

  • Nick:

    Just read James 3 and see no connection at all. If I’m missing something please enlighten me.


  • Paul Julian Gould

    When you can understand the truth of your final three words, you possibly might be approaching some wisdom, rather than the party line with which you’ve been filled, obviously without your knowledge nor recognition.

  • Paul Julian Gould

    That you chose to respond with such snark and sarcasm is an indication that even you might have had a twinge that Herm might just have something there, and you just don’t like the way that possible admission makes you feel.

  • Traveller

    So…I read this, watched the video, checked out the link, and found it all quite compelling. I don’t like the guns. And I posted the link somewhere else and got feedback that made me think of this from another perspective…and it’s fair, I think. Curious to know what you say.

    One point is: if it’s “gun history”–what about also some of the guns that did prevent someone innocent from getting hurt? Those have been in the news too, and they are part of the “history” of guns.

    The other point: the deception of this “shop.” It’s set up to look like a store, that sells guns, but the agenda is totally different. Would you like to be “hooked” in that way for anything? I’d run away from, and be disgusted, just from the method that is being used if, let’s say a church group, or some organization that wanted me to change my view on something did this. I much prefer a presentation that says, “are you willing to consider another view?” but lets you know from the start what they are doing, doesn’t come with a ‘hidden agenda.’

  • Nick

    You seemed to be saying God’s love should be in abundance and it is OK at times to shoot people. My brother in Jesus, this doesn’t seem right.

  • randalpeterson

    Sarcasm… do recognize it, do you not? Just grab your karma and run with it. Actually, I prefer caramel, but you can get messy if you run with it and fall. I think I’ll leave now. All you philosophers have me so confused I don’t know what I believe anymore. I hope you’re all happy. Wait… are all happy. You’ve discovered the secret of peace , love and happiness. I’ll just take a chance with the Bible, God’s Holy Word and let His Holy Spirit translate it’s meaning for me through my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. God loves you even if you don’t understand the Way to Him.

  • WeldonScott

    > Trust God and lay down my life

    Do you want to force everybody to do that?

    I can’t imagine Jesus lobbying Rome that everybody needs crucified.

  • Paul Julian Gould

    I understand sarcasm quite well, randal… I also recognize the tone of someone who’s had a nerve hit and really doesn’t like that fact, and will bluff it off with bluster, sarcasm and an appeal to a narrow interpretation of a narrow interpretation. You also assume that those of us who once subscribed to your form of rigidity just turned our backs on the Truth… whereas it is obvious to everyone else that it’s a small part of the truth as YOU know it, as your pastor’s taught you, and as that set of writings, whatever they be, that confirm your own biases, and think it to be the total of God’s expression to His creation..

    Those who need to respond with snark to those who’ve shown them nothing but patience and love, as, at least Herm has with you, know very well they’re on shaky ground… they just don’t like it and don’t know how to respond in any other way.

    I’m not angry, nor do I consider you an idiot… just someone that really hasn’t been challenged by much, and can’t understand how anyone can perceive reality to be more than absolute good/evil, black/white, yes/no. It’s not your fault; you’re only repeating back those interpretations you’ve been carefully taught. May you, at some point, come to realize that creation is more than that small vignette you’ve been coached about.

  • Kevin Thomas

    Jesus never forces anyone to follow Him. His way is foolishness to this Kingdom. #enemylove

  • WeldonScott

    You’d make a good apologist for the Mafia, who also coerce people using fear.

    Matthew 10:28 Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

    Luke 12:5 But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.

  • randalpeterson

    Sarcasm sure…..snark…not so much. Of course I’m not sure what that means, but, of course, I don’t have your intellect and spiritual insight. (God be praised) I know when I’m overmatched, so I’ll leave you guys to ponder the universe.

  • Paul Julian Gould

    Again, obviously something hit a nerve… when you can get beyond your reflexive reaction against anything outside of that narrow corridor you walk, you’ll understand a bit of what we’ve been saying, and further, you’ll understand why Herm among others has been so gentle with you. As was sung in South Pacific, bigotry must be carefully taught. My observation is that, when it’s effective, the taught don’t realize the poison contained in the sweet-tasting words they’ve been fed.

  • Paul Julian Gould

    Really, it’s more a matter of honesty. I’m honest… I’m not constitutionally capable of doing all that Jesus demands… few are, but I’m honest about my inablity…

    Someone else who’s nerve has been hit, wishes s/he could fulfill the directives, hates that h/she can’t, and makes excuses.

  • Kevin Thomas

    Mafia? really? How am I coercing folks by using fear? Perfect love casts out fear! Jesus taught is to love our enemies correct? Jesus led by example through giving up His own life when He could have killed those who crucified Him. He is about sacrifice, redemption, restoration, and reconciliation. Where is the fear in that? I fear no one (and neither should any of His children). This life is but a blink of an eye compared to eternity. Weldon–if your heart is telling you that killing is justified…then do so. I am compelled to love. I hold the simple belief that if you love someone you probably shouldn’t kill them… I guess we will find out when we me Jesus huh? Love to you to Mr. Scott–

  • Paul Julian Gould

    Again, please allow me to educate you… sarcasm is as it is and is not necessarily nasty. To me, snark is sarcasm with a nasty and angry overlay… in this case by someone who really doesn’t like the way someone else’s counsel makes them feel, and done as an angry reaction.

  • randalpeterson

    I’m convinced. Sign me up. You’ve broken through the snark.

  • Paul Julian Gould

    Can’t speak for anyone else, but I’m not so intellectual… or at least what I find edifying conversation and teaching wasn’t so rare not so long ago… but these days, if it ain’t on Facebook or Twitter, 140 characters or less, it’s just egghead crap.

  • WeldonScott

    >Perfect love casts out fear!

    Then cast out the fear-monger Jesus. But don’t bullshit me that he was all-loving.

  • Paul Julian Gould


    In English for who finds that challenging, “Thus it is demonstrated.”

  • Paul Julian Gould

    Now that was snark, and fully intended.

  • WeldonScott

    Since when did Jesus demand that Rome force all Jesus’ neighbors into being Anabaptist pacifists?

  • randalpeterson

    Okay, now your singing to me. I give up. You win. Sign me up,

  • Kevin Thomas

    Do you really believe He meant to literally hate one’s mother and father, etc…? I encourage you to look at the Greek and find out what the original language meant. The ancient Jewish people used hyperbole to make points. Most scholars (chrisitian and secular) agree that what Jesus was saying was not hate the way we think of it. One of the many meanings for the greek word misseo is to love less. I say this not to try and convince you as I respect where you are coming from. I wish you peace my friend —- k

  • Paul Julian Gould

    His words about many other things have some historical ambiguity about them, but his standards of how to treat others are as unambiguous as they come. We may choose to believe that we’re unable to meet those standards… hell, I can’t meet them even close to how I think I should… can you?. It’s a difference between being honest enough to say one falls short of a standard, or rationalizing that the standard doesn’t mean what it says. The former is the more honest reaction.

  • Herm

    Randal, I do love you. This is not a competition nor a debate. My call is to make students (disciples) for Christ. The rock Jesus builds His church upon is not me or any other disciple (past, present or future) but is built upon the Holy Spirit solely. Jesus church is not a religion, belief or denomination but is a relationship where the majority attending are like me, a little child learning at the feet of the Rabbi.

    Every country, religion, belief and denomination can be considered each a nation in this world unto itself that we are called by Jesus to teach Jesus commands by how we live and love and make students for Him directly through the Spirit of Truth binding hearts and minds to His in love.

    You won by returning a response rather than simply ignoring. Now if you truly want to give in do so to our Lord and Brother by opening full time your heart and mind to the Advocate. Then you will know the same peace and joy I now know truly as a very little child of God.

    Thank you for the response!!!

  • randalpeterson

    I have been a Christian for 40 some years. The fact that Christianity is a relationship with Jesus Christ, my Savior and Lord is well known to me. The church I attend is for fellowship with other Christians and to worship The Lord. Where I disagree with you is what the Holy Bible is. It is God’s word in print. It is unchangeable and written by those who were inspired by God. All true translations in other languages have the same meanings. Nothing anyone says who claims to hear God can go against His word. Nothing can be added to or subtracted from it. I am well aware that Christ is the living Word of God. When He returns, no one will have to be told about it. All will know as it happens. There is a heaven and a literal hell. Everyone will end up in one or the other. False prophets will definitely end up in hell for misleading others. I have joy in The Lord, although times are not always happy. He is always there for my family and me. May the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob lead you on the true path to His Kingdom.

  • Nick:
    God also gave me a brain and if my wife, or children had their life threatened, I would kill their attacker with my bare hands. God put a very strong sense of responsibility and love in me, for ones in my care. Any man, Christian or not, who would not fight and kill, for his own, isn’t much of a man.

    Why do Christians have to be viewed as “Henry Milk Toasts” who just stand for anything? I would only take his life, should they still be in danger after I maimed said attacker. If I just stood with my thumb “in my ear” while they were in danger I feel I would shame God, by not using the brain and talent He gave me. Sure I would be risking my life, which I would gladly do for people I love.

    Does God not inform you Nick, that Satan is still among us? Pray and ask Him what you should do. Be prepared, for thinking about your reaction during any conflict, is too late.

    My wife also knows when and how to use a weapon.

    Nick: Would you truly just stand still while a loved one was attacked, just because you are a Christian. Please understand me, I am not looking for trouble but it has come my way and Thank God, I knew what to do.

  • Matthew

    Thanks Jim. I too am a follower of Jesus and a reader of this blog. I would be in agreement that this blog´s content is normally more activist oriented than devotionally oriented, but that´s O.K. Benjamin has his ministry and others have theirs. Why can´t a person be drawn to more than one kind of Christian blog?

  • WeldonScott

    > his standards of how to treat others are as unambiguous as they come


  • WeldonScott

    Do you really not believe what he said? Here we go with the typical Christian pastime: excuse-making.

    P.S. I encourage you to look up the original Greek. Hate means hate. Really.

  • Kevin Thomas

    It’s like when we say ” I could just kill Jim” When we don’t mean literally kill him. Or that “music slayed me”, when we mean we loved the tune. Every language and culture uses hyperbole. It’s important from my view to study what’s going on culturally and grammatically. Best, k

  • Again, you’re demonstrating that you haven’t read what I believe about hell other than headlines. I believe exactly what the bible teaches: the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life. The justified are raised to life, and the unjust experience a second death that is irreversible.

  • Herm

    Randal, my credentials are not important but a sequence in my relationship with God could be to you. I was first baptized by choice into membership with the Christian Church 58 years ago. I intellectually debated Jesus, God and the Bible nearly as insistent as you are with me. I didn’t awaken to the actual hand of God working in our lives, all our lives, to maintain some semblance of balance until 53 years ago. I did seminary, college and am a Vietnam vet. I have worked strongly with Presbyterian, Roman Catholic and Seventh Day Adventists all reciprocally in love. I worked as a lay minister in Folsom Prison for three years. At about 30 years ago I thanked God and told Him “I got it now, you can use me anyway you want”. From then to about 20 years ago I slowly lost absolutely everything I thought I had. Having nothing I gave myself totally and 24/7 continually to the Holy Spirit to be with me constantly. Previous to that I was open when I thought I was being righteous and closed to God when I thought I was sinning. My heart and mind was my house and God was very often my invited Guest who came each time. I was gracious when I gave my heart and mind all to God by thanking Him for allowing me to feel the totality of pain in the grief I had for all I had lost, in Jesus name amen.

    For twenty years now all I have graced to me in my name of value are stored in Heaven. Oh, but since then I have been gifted a new family I love dearly (my wife’s birth name is Dorothy which I found out 3 years later means in Greek “gift of God”), gifted the perfect job necessary to retire modestly well and now attend as a member Jesus’ church founded on the Holy Spirit. For twenty years now I have not been the proficient, certificated, awarded and intellectually knowledgeable church worker of my past facade but have a relationship much more sustainable while now growing as a little student of Jesus.

    I am reaching out to you as you have reached out to me. We have both exchanged why we believe we have something to offer the other. Oh, that all of human kind could do the same!

    I have a question that can help me to share with you and vice versus. Are you a little son of God, brother of Jesus, protected and nurtured directly and only by the will of the Father?

    While you consider your answer I feel compelled to send this scripture:

    “You search the scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that testify on my behalf. Yet you refuse to come to me to have life. I do not accept glory from human beings. But I know that you do not have the love of God in you. I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; if another comes in his own name, you will accept him. How can you believe when you accept glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the one who alone is God? Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; your accuser is Moses, on whom you have set your hope. If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. But if you do not believe what he wrote, how will you believe what I say?” John 5:39-47 (NRSV)

    We can do lots of reciprocal Bible study together as a disciple study group. We first must be listening to the same Teacher in each of our hearts and minds to instruct us.

    I testify beyond a shadow of a doubt, as a long time student of the Bible now listening to the Advocate, that the Bible is not God’s word in print. It is not unchangeable and, yet, is written by those who were inspired by God. The only source for the Truth is the Spirit of Truth. The Bible is a very rough and painful consolidated expose of Man’s relationship with God. It will take much more time to show you how I know for certain this to be so. This we need to take one step at a time. Suffice it to say right now that all the answers you seek are available to your heart and mind directly from the Rabbi whose heart and mind can share as one bound in love to your heart and mind in the Spirit of God. There you will find, as I have, divine love, peace and joy. Makes it so worth getting up in the morning anxious for the next lesson. A fulfillment of wonder that need never end.

    Trust the reality of God in Heaven, the Creator you have so studiously sought, enough to ask for protection from false prophets and the evil one. Know then that you have it. Then you will understand what I am writing to you today is inspired exactly like what was inspired to be written then in the Bible. You will then understand and trust the Word speaking directly to you. Then you will understand there will be errors in the picture I relate to you, as there is in their efforts, but there is no error in the Holy Spirit’s picture being painted directly and specifically on the canvas of your heart and mind.

    I love you and I love the sincerity of your journey. Peace!

  • randalpeterson

    I must respectfully refuse your offer. I seek God through His one and only Son, Jesus Christ, through prayer, and with the direction of the Holy Spirit. God’s written word is also unchangeable. We are to test “prophets” by what they say they’ve heard and if it goes against His word, the Bible, then they are false prophets! We must agree to disagree because anything you try to tell me that God told you will be false. No need answering back unless you want to get in the last word, because I will just delete.

  • Ron McPherson

    Throw a bathtub at him.

  • Ron McPherson

    I seriously don’t think Jesus intends for us to hate our loved ones in any literal sense, for he even calls us to love our enemies. That’s why we have to read His whole message. Plus, one of the last things Jesus did on the cross was to ensure that his mother would be cared for. He used hyperbole on several occasions to drive home a point.

  • WeldonScott

    Read His whole message? I’ve done it. It’s pretty weird garbage, and I don’t buy it.

  • I do believe that should be Melech Ha‘Olam. Granted, it’s been a while, so my Hebrew’s rusty…

  • Kevin Thomas

    Jesus message was ascribing unsurpassable worth to all through self sacrificial love. Unfortunately His message has be hijacked and mixed with self interest, greed, politics, and power. The American church has been intimately involved in this. I don’t blame you for your thoughts and feelings regarding Christianity. I understand. Peace Weldon!

  • Paul Julian Gould

    You may be right, friend, and if so, thanks for the correction… Tends to roll off the tongue as “mlechuhlahm” anyway… *smile*

  • Ron McPherson

    If you consider his message to be ‘weird garbage,’ I’m curious as to what brought you to this site.

  • AmyHerrmann

    A man bent on murdering his wife will do so irregardless of the law, so why bother to write or enforce laws against it? Susie Q is going to embezzle funds from her employer anyway, why make it illegal? John Doe will disregard the laws against sexually molesting children. Joe Schmo will steal cars. Jane will rob a bank. Steve will drive after having a 6 pack of beer. Amy will drive 10 miles over the speed limit.

    Criminals break laws. That’s why they are ‘criminals.’ It’s a ridiculous argument. Why have laws at all?

  • AmyHerrmann

    I choose to have an alarm system, excellent locks on my doors and windows, and several dogs. I also choose not to be so paranoid that going to the grocery store necessitates a sidearm.

  • AmyHerrmann

    I honestly don’t think that God would require that sacrifice. It’s been generally accepted throughout the history of Christainity that killing in defense of self or others is acceptable. It should be avoided and as an absolute last resort. That’s one of the major problems with these stand your ground or castle doctrine laws, in my opinion. They equate defense of property with the defense of life.

  • AmyHerrmann

    I don’t remember seeing the word ‘gun’ in the Bible. I’m glad you feel so comfortable judging others. If Jesus were to appear today and preach much the same message, I’m fairly certain a large segment of society would call Him a ‘blind liberal.’

  • Kevin Thomas

    Hi Amy– Where does Jesus tell us killing is acceptable? He could have lashed out against His enemies but He didn’t. He also chastised Peter for using violence. I just don’t see Jesus advocating, condoning, or encouraging killing. He said we are to love our enemies…how can you love some someone and kill them?

  • Nick

    In your 1st paragraph you call my lord a savior not much of a man. It is hard to discuss in a manner that would change either of our minds when we begin so diametrically opposed to each other. I would ask you to read Matthew 5 taking Jesus’ words literally. Where should I turn to find Jesus advocating taking an enemies life to save my wife?

  • momsaid

    And this shows…what? There are no examples of guns used to save lives, which is the case in vastly more instances than accidents and murders. Guilting people into thinking that a gun’s ‘history’ somehow makes the deaths the gun’s fault is not only dishonest, but downright idiotic. How about a car lot that sells cars that ran over people? Yeah, who would ever buy a car that killed someone…

  • $15190794

    My thoughts… I would be annoyed if I went into this shop to buy a shotgun or rifle to manage the varmints around my place or a handgun to deal with rattlers when we hike, and was treated to this unwelcome moralizing. I would leave the shop and purchase my gun elsewhere. I would purchase a gun elsewhere. The sermon would not have changed my mind. I have no intention of being stupid with a gun, so I see no harm in owning one.

  • LogicusPrime

    Since people are sometimes violently assaulted and/or shot on the way to or from the grocery store it isn’t paranoia. It’s just a different assessment of and tolerance for risk than yours.

  • whoisstan

    What does jesus have to do with guns? he is a guy who lived a long time ago and is in a popular book. thats it. guns kill.

  • Herm

    I understand that is the only Jesus you know. I am truly sorry I cannot seem to be a better example so that you know the Jesus who lives as our Lord today, forgive me! We both know guns kill and I know Jesus saves those who die. Love you and hope you live to understand.

  • Yupforever


    blame the actions of a few crazies or a few idiots (idiots who do not practice gun safety basics) on the millions of good people who use guns to defend their lives successfully

    Also, their bit about suicide in the home going up if you have a gun- true if you dont have a gun you wont shoot yourself, you will hang yourself, or OD on drugs, etc.
    Similar effect to fencing off X bridge to stop people from jumping. IT WORKS- people jump off of bridge Y. If one simply states “fencing off bridges prevents suicides” it is both true and a lie…….exactly like what these propagandists are doing here.

  • Yupforever

    a few guns from cops and soldiers would be nice

    the anti gun folk are not anti gun

    they are anti self defense and pro federal government “monopoly on violence”

    they dont mind on-duty non retired cops and soldiers having guns, they just dont want off duty, retired, or regular civilians from having self defense rights

  • Yupforever

    If you find it confusing bear in mind who controls the media you watch and the message they are trying to send you….

    there are no longer any restrictions on use of propaganda against the Us public for government agencies, they can tell you anything they want in the interest of national security

  • Matthew

    Thanks. I think my bigger point, though, is the polarization issue. Especially within the Christian community.

  • It’s basically the same tactics as a Crisis Pregnancy Center.

  • Darn! Well, please know that you are a huge encouragement to me in my walk with Christ. Like Timothy below, you help me know I am not alone. I don’t always agree with you, but I would never put you down for what you believe. You have a good heart and I thank the Lord you are here to speak truth.

  • You said it! Making yourself a difficult target is the best defense.

  • He’s simply stating what he would do. Where did he say everyone should be forced to do this? He’s simply walking in the steps of Jesus as he believes is right.

  • Voluntaryist

    “…I have heard many people say they would not own a gun or they did not believe in guns. On further inquiry everyone of these purveyors of pseudo-pacifism confirmed that if someone was breaking into their house they would call the police, who will come with guns. The truth is they do believe in guns, but they are either to lazy, to cheap, to cowardly, or just to irresponsible to own one.”

  • Dan Houser

    I suggest they should also carry a Savage .410 pump shotgun, since that’s the one I used to stop a home invasion in my house.

  • Jerry Holden

    Firearms are not hard to figure out. The 2nd amendment is not hard to understand.
    When this country was formed it was a given that most people would own a firearm.
    It was at that time viewed as a tool needed for survival. Not just a tool for hunting but also a means to protect your family and a counter balance to unjust governance. It is only in our more recent history that firearms have been deemed dangerous and undesirable, mainly by political elites who are guilty of abusing the power of governance. When I was in high school my father stopped an invasion of our home with a 12 gauge and several expletives. I think the shotgun had more influence on the would be thieves that the verbiage but you never know….they may have gotten their feelings hurt and run away crying.

  • John A. C. Kelley

    Some of us don’t think the police should own guns and someone who truly follows the teachings of Christ wouldn’t call the police anyway. When someone steals from us, we are to give more than what they want. When someone attacks us, we are to turn the other cheek.

  • Voluntaryist

    Good for you. I grew up around people that taught similar ideas, Amish & Mennonites. I still have family in both. They talk a good talk.

    I think you misinterpret Christ. He told his disciples to buy a sword, even sell something as vital as their cloak to get one.

    Giving a thief material goods is one thing, but surely you wouldn’t offer a rapist your wife plus your daughter?

    A slap on the cheek was a customary show of disdain, like being cussed at today, NOT life threatening. To answer with violence would have been ridiculously immature.

  • John A. C. Kelley

    I think you need to revisit where Jesus “told his disciples to buy a sword”.

    1. How would two swords be enough for 12 disciples + Jesus?

    2. Jesus says exactly what the swords were for and that was to fulfill the prophecy that he would be counted among the thieves.

    3. When the sword was used, Jesus condemned the disciple who used it.

    I never said offering a criminal your wife or child and my comment had nothing to do with such behaviors. However, you may be using that as an excuse to be violent, but my question is, “what would Jesus have done?” Would he attack the attacker, or would he stand between the attacker and offer himself as sacrifice or force the person to kill him first just as he did with the woman caught in adultery.

    No, if you research the scripture, it says:
    “38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.” (Matthew 5:38-39 NASB)

    What does this scripture say? It says, “You have heard it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.'” Where have they heard that said?

    Well, it was said three times in the Torah:
    “23 But if there is any further injury, then you shall appoint as a penalty life for life, 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, wound for wound, [x]bruise for bruise.” (Exodus 21:23-25 NASB)

    “21 Thus [v]you shall not show pity: life for life,eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.” (Deuteronomy 19:21 NASB)

    “17 ‘If a man [f]takes the life of any human being, he shall surely be put to death. 18 The one who [g]takes the life of an animal shall make it good, life for life. 19 If a man [h]injures his neighbor, just as he has done, so it shall be done to him: 20 fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth; just as he has [i]injured a man, so it shall be [j]inflicted on him.” (Leviticus 24:17-20 NASB)

    These scriptures all say, “eye for eye, tooth for tooth, life for life”. That means that Jesus was quoting a piece of scripture to draw people’s attention to that section. Anyone hearing Jesus would have known that “You have heard an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” would have added “life for life, hand for hand, foot for foot, etc.” to the end of it subconsciously. Jesus was saying that we are no longer to retaliate, but are to turn the other cheek. The whole “slap on the cheek was a show of disdain, not life threatening” thing is just a made-up excuse to not take Jesus seriously. Jesus was quite clearly quoting an “eye for eye, tooth for tooth” passage in his sermon and those are much more threatening things than a slap, especially when you add the gravity of the context of those scriptures.

    *EDIT: Added the citation for the quote from Leviticus 24.

  • Voluntaryist

    So Jesus commanded, “he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.” Just so they would have a or 2 sword that evening? Did he not know they already had two? Why give such a broad open ended directive for something only needed 1 night?

    Also he never told Peter to throw away his sword but only to “Put up thy sword into the sheath”.

    All your other quotes of the Law I ask but one question; Were both Christ & the Law sent from the same unchanging God?

    I commend your attempt to shun violence, I too do not support aggression. It is the reason I do not vote, don’t support government, don’t send my children to public schools, & don’t take government benefits. All are based in aggressive violence against my neighbor. I can participate in none of those acts & truly “Love my neighbor as myself”.

  • John A. C. Kelley

    You conveniently only quote part of the story. If you read on you would see Jesus explain that the buying of swords was “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 [h]fulfillment.” 38 They said, “Lord, look, here are two swords.” And He said to them, “It is enough.” (Luke 22:37-38).

    Jesus clearly states that they were to buy swords to fulfill the prophecy that He would be numbered with the transgressors and when they say they have two, Jesus says they are enough. Jesus does not continue to tell them to buy more, but tells them that two is plenty. Tell me, how are two swords enough for an attack by 13 men or to defend 13 men?

    I never said Jesus told Peter to throw away his sword. I said Jesus condemned Peter for using it. Jesus said those who live by violence shall die by it (violence begets violence).

    You tell me. Did the excessively idolatrous Israelites get everything about God correct, or did they attribute things to God that weren’t necessarily true. If Christ is the perfect revelation of God and Christ corrects scripture, then that means scripture is not always correct.

  • Voluntaryist

    Jesus clearly states to carry 3 essential items in the future, purse (money-bag), script (a sack, wallet for carrying provisions), & sword (protection). He puts added emphasis on the sword. He’s telling them that they don’t have to continually carry nothing with them as he had them do earlier when he sent them out.

    If we can trust the chronological order of this story it was evening or night-time. It’s not logical to think he was telling them to run out, sell their used cloak/tunic & buy swords at that hour. He was giving some last advice for their future because he seemed to know the mob was coming for him soon.

    I ask you again did Christ not already know they had 2 swords? Why tell them ALL to sell their garment to buy swords if 2 was all he wanted to just meet the requirements of some prophesy. What a useless waste of time & breath. Again I ask did Christ not already know they had 2 swords? They were in or had just left a rented room so it’s not like he was worried they’d left their swords at home by the night-stand. He was Christ, surely he knew they had 2 swords with them?

    If the followers of Christ were not to ever carry swords then immediately following the necessary ear-lopping, you’d think he would have told them to get rid of their swords. (Maybe something like, “Now that we’ve taken care of the prophecy you guys can keep your tunics, I was just joking about that selling them & buying swords. Swords are only for sinners & prophecy fulfillers. I only told you guys that because I had no clue we had 2 swords with us. Sorry, my bad.”)

    Again, Christ didn’t know they had 2 swords? Two were enough for right then, at that time of day, but it wasn’t the completion of his advice. That said, the Creator gives everyman free-will, Christ did the same. No man should be forced against their conscience to do anything, sell a garment, buy a sword, carry a bag, wallet, etc. Many/most of the Apostles are said to have died rather than defend their lives, many of the Anabaptists did the same. If thats how you choose to live, great. Christ would no more force you to carry a sword than he ever told anyone not to defend their lives or the lives of the innocent. Christ came to set men free.

    I hope you remember, in your honorable crusade against violence, that government is the biggest perpetrator of violence on earth. Every interaction & benefit we receive from government was taken by violence or the threat there of from our neighbor. In my experience most crusaders for “righteousness” always leave themselves loopholes for their favorite government programs. Making their arguments hypocritical at best. Just taking guns from police is no solution. Ending the violence of taxation & setting people free to choose what they will voluntarily support is the only path to ending violence by police & government.

    Christ never does away with the Law but advices people to follow it, telling someone who asked for advice to “keep the commandments”. Lev 19:18 says to, “love your neighbor as yourself”. Man twisted the Law into an instrument of violence, through misinterpretation & pride. The Law was an attempt to deal with the “weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith”.

  • Trilemma

    The prophecy Jesus quoted is from Isaiah 53:12: “…Because He poured out Himself to death, And was numbered with the transgressors;…” – NASB

    There is no mention of swords in this prophecy and it clearly says that in his death he would be numbered with transgressors. Mark makes this clear.

    Mark 15:27, 28: They crucified two robbers with Him, one on His right and one on His left. And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And He was numbered with transgressors.” – NASB

    The fulfillment of the prophecy was in his death amongst criminals not in his arrest while carrying a couple of legally purchased swords. Being in possession of a couple swords did not make him a criminal nor would a criminal be taken into custody so willingly.

  • Trilemma

    In Luke 22:36, Jesus tells each of his apostles to buy a sword because He was about to be executed to fulfill prophecy. But Jesus didn’t say what they would need the swords for. Since a period of persecution was coming, the apostles probably would not be able to rely on the generosity of strangers as much and would spend more time outside. The swords might be needed for hunting, for self-defense against wild animals or for constructing temporary shelter. It can’t be assumed that Jesus wanted them to have swords for self-defense against people.

    A problem with using Luke 22:36 to justify owning a gun for self-defense is that guns and swords are not the same thing. I’ve never heard of a young child accidentally killing someone with a sword. I’ve never heard of someone accidentally killing someone while cleaning their sword. Unlike a sword, a gun is only good for killing and is much more dangerous for the owner.

    In 1st Corinthians 6:12, Paul says, “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable.” -NASB. Even though it may be lawful for a Christian to own a gun, but as the video points out, it might not be a good idea.

  • John A. C. Kelley

    You’re just grabbing at straws. Did Jesus know they had two swords? No, otherwise he would not have asked them to buy swords and then told them not to after they said they had two. Jesus told them to go and buy A (ONE) sword. The disciples said they had two. Jesus told them it was enough; therefore, cancelling His previous instruction.

    Jesus gave the reason for buying the sword and that was to fulfill the prophecy. If you think the prophecy was actually fulfilled on the cross rather than when Jesus said, then I guess you can think Jesus was wrong. HINT: NOWHERE DOES JESUS SAY IT WAS FOR DEFENSE. It was only for the prophecy.

    I am a socialistic anarchist and do not support the government; especially not ours.

    What about unclean foods? Mixed fabrics? Loaning money for interest? I could go on. We don’t follow the laws. Why? Because Christ redeemed us from them and gave us a new covenant. The old covenant has been done away with. Paul calls the law (including the 10 commandments) a ministry of death. Paul also says we don’t have to be circumcised, which was the symbol of the law.

  • John A. C. Kelley

    Jesus gave the reason for buying the sword and that was to fulfill the prophecy. If you think the prophecy was actually fulfilled on the cross rather than when Jesus said, then I guess you can think Jesus was wrong. HINT: NOWHERE DOES JESUS SAY IT WAS FOR DEFENSE. It was only for the prophecy.

  • Voluntaryist

    If Jesus did not know, then he was not God.

    He was speaking to 11 men so, yes, each was to buy A (ONE) sword. The same as A (ONE) money-bag & A (ONE) sack. Again, he list these 3 items together, with emphases on the importance of buying a sword over the others.

    I don’t think Jesus was wrong but that doesn’t mean I think you are right.

    Modern Christians claim their God is unchanging but then they say he made a new covenant. We don’t fully understand the OT so we mold The Eternal One to fit our thinking. We make a god in the image of our interpretation of scripture rather than seek the God who is the same yesterday, today, & forever. Wouldn’t it be wiser to mold our understanding to the Unchangeable God rather than the other way around.

    The covenant wasn’t “new” to God it was only “new” to the people who had left/lost the old covenant. There has only ever been, & only will ever be one covenant. This covenant’s mission can be summed up in, “Love your neighbor as yourself”. This instruction was found both in the OT & NT, it wasn’t new with Christ. It may have been a new concept to those Christ taught because the masses of religious had left the ways of God to follow the “commandments of men”.

    I ask you, when did this “new covenant” start? If you say at the death, resurrection, or later than we can safely say Christ died a sinner. He blatantly violated the Fathers command to stone (kill: as interpreted by most Christians) an adulteress. The Law was still in full effect (by Christian thinking). From this account we can either reject the belief in a spotless Christ or we must admit to not knowing the Law. If God gives advice, instruction, etc. it is eternal or its not from God.

    If any law was done away with it was the law of the Pharisees not God’s. For God’s Word will never pass away.

    You have my respect for your stance on anarchism, even socialist anarchism. I’m no socialist in the modern sense but putting the word anarchism before it (if truly held) would mean voluntary socialism, much like that of the Essenes.

  • Trilemma

    Jesus told them to start taking a money belt, a bag and a sword with them BECAUSE the prophecy was about to be fulfilled. He did not say these things were needed TO fulfill the prophecy. The prophecy does not mention these three items. It simply says the Christ would be numbered with criminals.

    How does legally buying swords make the apostles criminals?

    Why does Mark 15:28 say this prophecy was fulfilled when Jesus was crucified with criminals?

  • John A. C. Kelley

    Was Jesus not both fully man and fully God? Wouldn’t that mean that Jesus had limitations?

    Your logic is flawed. If each disciple was to buy a sword, then Jesus would not have said that two swords were enough.

    Your idea of molding our understanding to the unchangable God rather than the other way around is also flawed. We can’t mold our understanding to what we don’t understand. We can only do the best that we can with the knowledge that we have. No one believes lies on purpose, everyone believes the way they do because they honestly think it is correct. God meets us where we are because we can’t meet Him where He is. Furthermore, if we forsake the New Covenant that Christ has brought us, then we have to throw out much of Paul’s writings as well as many other NT writers. There were several covenants in the OT, the NT is just the most recent covenant.

    Also, do we not change? Does God not meet us where we are? Just because God doesn’t change doesn’t mean His expectations don’t change. As we grow His expectations change as well as His rules. It’s like a parent. Do you treat your child differently as (s)he grows?

    I also think much was attributed to God in the OT when God hadn’t done it. I think scripture is inspired, but also contains man’s shortcomings.

    All meats have been declared clean, we are no longer to be circumcised, etc. The law has passed away and is a ministry of death. Paul writes on this extensively.

    I’m not sure what you mean by modern socialism. Most people who detest socialism don’t know what it is. Also, the church of Acts operated off of a socialistic system.

  • John A. C. Kelley

    Jesus said, ““But now, [e]whoever has a money belt is to take it along, likewise also a bag, and [f]whoever has no sword is to sell his [g]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 [h]fulfillment.””

    To paraphrase this into modern English, “‘But now, whoever has a wallet is to take it along with a bag and if you don’t have a sword, sell your coat to buy one. Do this to fulfill the prophecy of me, ‘And He was numbered with transgressors’; because it refers to Me and must be completed.'”

    Buying swords didn’t make them criminals, it just made people view them as criminals. If a police officer was arresting someone and they had a weapon, would that not raise further suspicion and cause many to be wary of such a person? Jesus was being arrested for treason and the sword made Him look guilty. Notice it says He would be numbered with the transgressors, not that He was one.

    Mark and Luke are two different books by two different authors with two different story lines and two different perspectives. A basic New Testament course will reveal that they were writing to accomplish separate purposes. They tell the same story, but not in the same way. Luke obviously thought it was the swords that numbered Jesus with the transgressors and Mark thought otherwise.

  • Voluntaryist

    We can’t believe what we don’t understand. We can only say with our mouth we do. Many say, “Lord, Lord.” But is that in spirit & truth?

    I understand God is constant & therefore I believe in the constancy of God. Do I understand everything about God? Of course not. That doesn’t mean I understand nothing of him. As I go through life God continually reveals more of his being to me IF I search, seek, & strive to know him. This usually requires I cast off my preconceived notions & attempt to look at all things anew. Like Jesus said, “…unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”A child questions everything. No preconceived ideas. No sacred rituals. No doctrines. No taboos. As I grow in this understanding I also grow in my belief in him. The less I tell him I “know” the more he teaches me.

    If we are not constantly molding our understanding to the unchanging God than we are creating a god in the image of our understanding rather than seeking the true God.

    Men do willfully believe lies, you or I are proof of that. One of us is speaking the truth about Jesus & self-defense.

    The protection of life from evil aggression has always been commended as seeking justice. While standing-by & watching evil has consistently been condemned. You say you wouldn’t stand-by & I can’t judge one way or the other, only the fruit of your life will prove that claim. I only see your words. How are you actively trying to defend the weak?

    No one is forced to be armed but neither has defense of life ever been condemned by God. He is constant. If we seek him we will seek justice not vengeance. Vengeance is mine saith the Lord. This is the problem in most of the people today, they know not the difference between the two. Protecting life is the antithesis of man punishing man. The aggressive man seeking to harm others, harms himself.

    I agree modern man does not understand the OT.

    Either meat was always clean or it wasn’t ever God’s Law declaring it unclean. Same with Circumcision. Men’s laws live & die. God’s Laws are eternal like him. Constant.

    If you read that article you might understand the church of Acts.

  • Trilemma

    You said, “Buying swords didn’t make them criminals, it just made people view them as criminals.”

    You’re saying that in order to fulfill the prophecy that the Christ would be numbered with criminals that Jesus merely had to be numbered with people who were pretending to be criminals. What other prophecies did Jesus appear to fulfill with trickery? The prophecy says that the Christ would pour himself out to death and be numbered with criminals.

    In Luke, Jesus does not actually pour himself out to death at his arrest.
    In Mark, Jesus actually pours himself out to death on the cross.
    In Luke, Jesus is not actually numbered with criminals but with people pretending to be criminals.
    In Mark, Jesus is actually numbered with actual criminals.

    In Luke, you have pretend fulfillment.
    In Mark, there is actual fulfillment.

  • John A. C. Kelley

    Neither of us willfully believe a lie. One of us is wrong, but neither purposely wrong. Willful belief means that we don’t care what is true, we will hold to our belief no matter what. We both genuinely believe that we are right and are not intentionally (willfully) believing a lie.

    You can defend the innocent against aggressors without being violent and it works. Research Gandhi or Dr. King Jr. Studies have shown that nonviolent responses are exponentially more effective than violent ones. Jesus said violence begets violence.

    I don’t think much of the OT is actually from God. Israel had a bad track record with paganism and likely borrowed some things.

    The church of Acts would not allow it’s members to be a part of the military.

  • John A. C. Kelley

    Numbered among the criminals means you were assumed to be a criminal. If Jesus was going to be an actual criminal, then it would not have said “numbered”, but would have just said that he was a criminal.

    “Pretend”? Nice. They’re different books, written to different audiences to achieve different purposes.

    You don’t have to be a criminal to be numbered as one. If numbered meant you had to be a criminal, then Jesus would have had to break the law.

  • Trilemma

    I agree that Jesus did not have to be a criminal to be numbered with criminals. But the people he was with would have to be criminals. On the cross, Jesus was with actual criminals. At his arrest, Jesus was with the apostles. Were the apostles actual criminals?

  • Trilemma

    I agree that you can defend the innocent against aggressors without being violent and that it works. But I also think there are times when violence is necessary. Do you think the innocent could have been defended against Nazi aggression in WWII without violence?

  • Voluntaryist

    I have great respect for Gandhi, but even he didn’t rule out self-defense. He didn’t choose it for himself but knew it was important.

    “Independence begins at the bottom… It follows, therefore, that every village has to be self-sustained and capable of managing its own affairs… It will be trained and prepared to perish in the attempt to defend itself against any onslaught from without… This does not exclude dependence on and willing help from neighbors or from the world. It will be a free and voluntary play of mutual forces… In this structure composed of innumerable villages, there will be every-widening, never ascending circles. Life will not be a pyramid with the apex sustained by the bottom. But it will be an oceanic circle whose center will be the individual. Therefore, the outermost circumference will not wield power to crush the inner circle but will give strength to all within and derive its own strength from it.”
    — Mahatma Gandhi

    What you can’t seem to grasp is the distinctly different nature of self-defense & aggressive violence. Gandhi (& Christ) where against aggressively violent revolution, so am I. Attacking others is always wrong. Defending one’s self is always optional. Defending the weak & innocent is always duty. Some use this as justification to establish aggressively violent governments but these always prey on the weak, innocent, & populations, as a whole, to fund their existence. This first aggressively violent act, always negates any good acts they attempt to preform afterward. The forced giving of alms is NOT charity. So, of course, no true Christian should be in any government military because his/her paycheck would come from funds collected through violent aggression. Not to mention what God-forsakening evil things the governments might (usually) orders them to do.

  • Molly Jensen

    This looks like a really cool little gun shop. I’m just really interested in the history of things in general, and guns are no exception. It’s amazing to think about how far they date back and the wars they were used for. I mean, guns were used during the revolutionary war. That’s amazing!

  • Also gun shop.

  • Look under “body parts” and you will see that He gave us a brain!

  • Nick

    I cannot fathom that you believe that Jesus wasn’t much of a man. “Any man, Christian or not, who would not fight and kill, for his own, isn’t much of a man”.

    Pro-violence christians fail to use the bible to justify violence for new covenant believers. It is a lie that they have swallowed from the devil for it is true that he prowls among us.

  • Nick:

    From your response, it seems if your wife, or daughter was being raped, you would just stand there proclaiming how Christian you are, so you will not disturb the attacker’s “fun.”
    Please do not let your wife or daughter know, or they will not feel safe under your “watch.”

    Many years ago, I viewed Christians as mainly “sissy, walk-all-over-me cowards,” which I now realize is a lie from the devil. God instilled in me a very strong desire to protect my loved ones, from this evil filled environment. This is one reason I spent four extremely tough years becoming proficient in martial arts.

    I used my brain to reason my training may not be adequate against firearms. God has also given me much compassion for others and He knows I will not use any weapon, other than in self defense.

    My life is placed “on the line” should anyone inflict harm on someone I love and assumed every man felt the same.

    I picture Our Savior as the bravest man who ever lived. He voluntarily gave His Life to free us from Satan.

    Thank You Jesus.

  • Nick

    I love your thoughts on Jesus here. I wish you took his words about enemy love seriously. I will continue to ignore your rape scenario until you show me where Jesus advocates taking an enemies life to save my wife. Jesus followers are told to love their enemies. It is why he gave his life to free us from our sins while we were yet his enemies.

  • Nick:
    I would hate to share a foxhole with you in combat, for you’d be hugging the enemy while I was trying to survive.

    Many have heard the expression, “Too heavenly minded to be any Earthly good.” When you imply you would rather risk the life and/or safety of a loved one, due to your love for an enemy, I must place you in that category.

    I cannot picture Jesus being as passive as you. Believe me when I say I do not wish to take any person’s life; however, if harm comes to a loved one, at a time I could intervene, I would be totally ashamed that I did not eliminate their threat.

    Should I be wrong, I choose to live with that character flaw and ask God’s forgiveness. There is absolutely no way you can convince me not to be the protector for my loved ones.

    Nick, I do not intend to belittle you in any; however, you need to picture a situation of possible danger, prior to anything happening. In a time of peril, we all have a tendency to freeze up, unless we have mentally prepared ourselves.

    God Bless,

  • Nick

    Being non violent is not passive. It requires courage exemplified by Jesus on the cross seeking forgiveness for his enemies when he could have them slain. I have asked a number of times, but I will ask again. Where does Jesus condone the violence you say is acceptable?