Can you be pro-life and pro-gun?

Can you be pro-life and pro-gun? February 4, 2016

Evangelical pastor Rob Schenck criticizes his fellow conservative Christians for being knee-jerk 2nd Amendment supporters, arguing that it is impossible to be both pro-life and pro-gun.  A Lutheran police officer, Joseph Klotz, answers those arguments, concluding that the missing piece of the puzzle is vocation.

From Joseph Klotz, Pro-Life, Pro-Gun, and Pro-Vocation | Steadfast Lutherans:

I like guns.

It’s not a big secret. As a police officer I spend a lot of time around guns. I’m a life member of the National Rifle Association. I’m an advocate of concealed and open carry. In fact, I carry a firearm on my person every day, both on and off duty. I’m a student of history and have a modest collection of odd and historic firearms. I’m a constitutional conservative who recognizes that Americans have a constitutionally protected individual right to keep and bear arms.

Reading the paper a couple weeks ago, I came across an opinion piece by Rob Schenck chastising Christians who are pro-gun and pro-life, and it brought up an issue that I have struggled with for a long time – self-defense. To summarize the opinion piece, the author cites Christ’s injunction to, “bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.” Mr. Schenck maintains that the Bible strictly limits the use of deadly force. He reminds Christians that we have an obligation to love everyone, even those who mean us harm.

The Christian gospel should quell our fears and remind us of our Christ-like obligation to love all people, even those who intend us harm. This generous view of the world calls us to demonstrate God’s love toward others, regardless of who they are, where they come from or what religion they practice. Assuming a permanently defensive posture against others, especially when it includes a willingness to kill, is inimical to a life of faith (Schenck 2015).

I can’t say that I necessarily disagree with Mr. Schenck’s broader point. Christians are certainly called to love their neighbors as themselves. I believe that Mr. Schenck however, who states in the article that he is an Evangelical, jumps to a conclusion which cannot be reached, and on which the Biblical doctrine of vocation could possibly shed some light.

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