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Christians and Guns

Sleeper

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Fr. Lawrence Farley posted an article titled "Christians and Guns." (http://myocn.net/christians-guns-2/)

In it he says:  "The consensus is clear: historic Orthodox Christianity considered shedding blood to be an evil—sometimes a necessary evil, but always an evil. It was never consistent with and expressive of the Christian Faith, and when it occurred it needed to be dealt with and healed by repentance and canonical abstinence from Holy Communion for a time as expressing this repentance."

He goes on to ask, "The dilemma and puzzle comes with a Christian America. The Christian Faith, as expressed by the Fathers, is committed to non-violence. How is such a commitment consistent with a culture that delights in guns and in the serene willingness to use them against others?"

I admit a perplexity and queasiness when I see Christians so cheerfully and nonchalantly be pro-gun. As a father and husband, I also understand the innate drive to protect one's family and home at any cost. I don't know what the answer is.
 

Punch

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Yes, but the Father's never seemed to complain when an Orthodox Emperor and his soldiers killed invaders and heretics.
 

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Punch said:
Yes, but the Father's never seemed to complain when an Orthodox Emperor and his soldiers killed invaders and heretics.
A fair point, but misapplication of a principle doesn't make the principle untrue, does it?
 

Porter ODoran

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A gun is not appropriate for a martyr. Just trying to start from a point of consensus.
 

Punch

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Sleeper said:
Punch said:
Yes, but the Father's never seemed to complain when an Orthodox Emperor and his soldiers killed invaders and heretics.
A fair point, but misapplication of a principle doesn't make the principle untrue, does it?
Considering that Christ told his followers to sell their cloak and buy a sword if they did not have one, I would say that the principle of defending yourself and those who are under you charge is divinely instituted. I am not interested in arguing with those that say Jesus was wrong.
 

Punch

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Porter ODoran said:
A gun is not appropriate for a martyr. Just trying to start from a point of consensus.
Very true. But it seems to me that Paul had something to say about those needlessly desiring martyrdom. I don't consider someone a martyr when someone kicks down their door in the middle of the night and due to their own negligence only have a prayer and 911. I don't know if I am holy enough for my prayers to stop them, and I have found the police to be worse than worthless. I have, however, averted being a victim four times because I purchased a firearm (sword) as mentioned in the Gospel. Thankfully, I have not had to pull the trigger.
 

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Why are priests in the military called "chaplains"?
 

Punch

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Porter ODoran said:
A gun is not appropriate for a martyr. Just trying to start from a point of consensus.
I could respect a true martyr if, when the bad guys come, he does not call 911 and confronts them with prayer and Bible passages.  If they spare him and his family, praise be to God!  I have actually heard of it happening.  If they don't, then he is a martyr.  However, if he calls 911, he is nothing but a worthless piece of dirt.  He does not value his own or his families life enough to take the responsibility to defend it, but he wants some other person with their own wife and family to put THEIR life on the line to save his worthless behind.  I can find the former case to be honorable and worthy of veneration.  The latter just disgusts me.  Does this make sense?
 

JamesR

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This question presupposes that the purpose of guns is for killing when for many folks, such as myself, it's a form of recreational activity.

That being said,

The Church is the biggest hypocrite in regards to pacifism. We like to be the martyrs all the while sponsoring Emperors, Tsars, and Catholic Crusaders to do the dirty work for us just so that we could keep some philosophical moral high ground.

If the Church really disagrees with violence, then not only should she abstain from it, but she should not make others do it for her.
 

Porter ODoran

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Punch said:
Sleeper said:
Punch said:
Yes, but the Father's never seemed to complain when an Orthodox Emperor and his soldiers killed invaders and heretics.
A fair point, but misapplication of a principle doesn't make the principle untrue, does it?
Considering that Christ told his followers to sell their cloak and buy a sword if they did not have one, I would say that the principle of defending yourself and those who are under you charge is divinely instituted. I am not interested in arguing with those that say Jesus was wrong.
Yes, this is a difficult passage in the context of the Gospels. It becomes more acutely difficult when we remember Christ was addressing apostle-martyrs and that in the event of his own arrest he would tolerate no resistance. My knowledge of the Fathers is shameful, but Christ himself offered a commentary when he introduced the passage:

[quote author=Luke 22:35f]And he said unto them, "When I sent you without purse and scrip and shoes, lacked ye anything?" -- And they said, "Nothing." -- Then said he unto them, "But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it and likewise his scrip, and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one."[/quote]

Thus he explicates an exception, going on to say that this change was due to his time having come (temporarily) to leave them.
 

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Sleeper said:
I admit a perplexity and queasiness when I see Christians so cheerfully and nonchalantly be pro-gun. As a father and husband, I also understand the innate drive to protect one's family and home at any cost. I don't know what the answer is.
Growing up in a traditional Appalachian background, I have a healthy respect for guns as a means of hunting/providing, as a hobby (i.e. shooting/repairing/reconstructing/collecting, NOT sport hunting), and as a means of self-defense (both familial and otherwise). My grandfather, back when he was alive and younger, was actively involved in local militia groups. All of those things are a definite part of my family heritage, going back at least several generations.

That said, guns were always approach with the utmost caution, and children were always well-informed and educated about them. "Don't ever point a gun at someone else, even if it's unloaded!" is one oft-repeated comment that still comes to mind even now when I see stupid city folks waving their new shiny gun (unloaded or not) around and pointing them at people. Likewise, guns were never to be used to just inflict pain, play vigilante, or otherwise used without just cause.
 

Punch

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Nephi said:
Sleeper said:
I admit a perplexity and queasiness when I see Christians so cheerfully and nonchalantly be pro-gun. As a father and husband, I also understand the innate drive to protect one's family and home at any cost. I don't know what the answer is.
Growing up in a traditional Appalachian background, I have a healthy respect for guns as a means of hunting/providing, as a hobby (i.e. shooting/repairing/reconstructing/collecting, NOT sport hunting), and as a means of self-defense (both familial and otherwise). My grandfather, back when he was alive and younger, was actively involved in local militia groups. All of those things are a definite part of my family heritage, going back at least several generations.

That said, guns were always approach with the utmost caution, and children were always well-informed and educated about them. "Don't ever point a gun at someone else, even if it's unloaded!" is one oft-repeated comment that still comes to mind even now when I see stupid city folks waving their new shiny gun (unloaded or not) around and pointing them at people. Likewise, guns were never to be used to just inflict pain, play vigilante, or otherwise used without just cause.
Amen
 

Apples

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Fr. Farley forgot to mention the fathers who saw those who die in defense of homeland and family to be martyrs, such as St. Philaret of Moscow, or the various martyrs who engaged in such killing themselves like St. Lazar.

And the prayers for the blessing of guns, which seem like they'd be relevant.
 

Porter ODoran

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William said:
Fr. Farley forgot to mention the fathers who saw those who die in defense of homeland and family to be martyrs, such as St. Philaret of Moscow ...
He's not quite your standard-issue father, is he? You might find one less controversial.

... or the various martyrs who engaged in such killing themselves like St. Lazar.
This does seem apropos, particularly as the Serbian Church denominates him a martyr for dying in battle.

And the prayers for the blessing of guns, which seem like they'd be relevant.
Not everyone is called to be holy in a special way, and true self-defense is as legitimate a part of man's nature as eating and drinking (in my opinion). However, I am thankful the Church has never disowned the Gospel teaching of non-resistance and recognizes the special witness of the non-resistant holy. The American Protestant tendency to anathematize non-resistance is (in my opinion) plainly untenable and unchristian.
 

Punch

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Porter ODoran said:
Not everyone is called to be holy in a special way, and true self-defense is as legitimate a part of man's nature as eating and drinking (in my opinion). However, I am thankful the Church has never disowned the Gospel teaching of non-resistance and recognizes the special witness of the non-resistant holy. The American Protestant tendency to anathematize non-resistance is (in my opinion) plainly untenable and unchristian.
I can agree.  But, keep in mind that the United States has a bit of a different beginning than most nations.  Orthodox countries have always been monarchies where people were little better than slaves, and the Church more often than not sided with the oppressors.  Americans learned early that those that beat their swords into plowshares plow for those that do not.  I find it remarkable that, even though we are so violent and "anathematize non-resistance", there sure were (and remain) a lot of Orthodox people who can't wait to get out of their third world cesspool of a country and come over here.
 

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Porter ODoran said:
Not everyone is called to be holy in a special way, and true self-defense is as legitimate a part of man's nature as eating and drinking (in my opinion). However, I am thankful the Church has never disowned the Gospel teaching of non-resistance and recognizes the special witness of the non-resistant holy. The American Protestant tendency to anathematize non-resistance is (in my opinion) plainly untenable and unchristian.
Those who resist conscription have been excommunicated by Orthodox bishops, and monks have been instructed against their will by their abbots to fight invaders. Do you find this untenable and unchristian?
 

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William said:
Porter ODoran said:
Not everyone is called to be holy in a special way, and true self-defense is as legitimate a part of man's nature as eating and drinking (in my opinion). However, I am thankful the Church has never disowned the Gospel teaching of non-resistance and recognizes the special witness of the non-resistant holy. The American Protestant tendency to anathematize non-resistance is (in my opinion) plainly untenable and unchristian.
Those who resist conscription have been excommunicated by Orthodox bishops, and monks have been instructed against their will by their abbots to fight invaders. Do you find this untenable and unchristian?
I know the Church can superintend its own sins without my comment.
 

Punch

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Porter ODoran said:
William said:
Porter ODoran said:
Not everyone is called to be holy in a special way, and true self-defense is as legitimate a part of man's nature as eating and drinking (in my opinion). However, I am thankful the Church has never disowned the Gospel teaching of non-resistance and recognizes the special witness of the non-resistant holy. The American Protestant tendency to anathematize non-resistance is (in my opinion) plainly untenable and unchristian.
Those who resist conscription have been excommunicated by Orthodox bishops, and monks have been instructed against their will by their abbots to fight invaders. Do you find this untenable and unchristian?
I know the Church can superintend its own sins without my comment.
There are some that think that if the Church does it, it cannot be sinful.  I mean, if we cannot trust the Church in matters like this, how can we trust them with anything?

Rhetorical question btw.
 

scamandrius

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Punch said:
Nephi said:
Sleeper said:
I admit a perplexity and queasiness when I see Christians so cheerfully and nonchalantly be pro-gun. As a father and husband, I also understand the innate drive to protect one's family and home at any cost. I don't know what the answer is.
Growing up in a traditional Appalachian background, I have a healthy respect for guns as a means of hunting/providing, as a hobby (i.e. shooting/repairing/reconstructing/collecting, NOT sport hunting), and as a means of self-defense (both familial and otherwise). My grandfather, back when he was alive and younger, was actively involved in local militia groups. All of those things are a definite part of my family heritage, going back at least several generations.

That said, guns were always approach with the utmost caution, and children were always well-informed and educated about them. "Don't ever point a gun at someone else, even if it's unloaded!" is one oft-repeated comment that still comes to mind even now when I see stupid city folks waving their new shiny gun (unloaded or not) around and pointing them at people. Likewise, guns were never to be used to just inflict pain, play vigilante, or otherwise used without just cause.
Amen
Seconded.
 

Ferd Berfel

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This has always been a very difficult subject for me. On one hand, it makes sense that one would have a moral obligation in certain circumstances to defend either oneself or the life of another person. On the other hand, who is ever justified in taking a human life? Who am I to make the decision to end the life of another person?

It’s one of those topics that people will go ‘round and ‘round on until the end of time.

Personally, I hold to a very strict pacifism. I don’t believe that I could ever claim the right to take another person’s life; if I did, I would be taking the responsibility of judging that person away from God, and putting it into my own hands. I don’t feel I have the right to do that. Violence is evil; sometimes, it can be the lesser of two evils, but it is still inherently evil. Any act of violence that I commit, I feel that I will be required to answer for. That’s terrifying enough to me that I’m not willing to take the risk.

All that being said, guns do have a purpose beyond killing and harming people. I run long distance and ride my street bike through heavily wooded areas. On more than one occasion, I have found myself staring down some really angry wild animal. For those occasions, I carry a .40 caliber pistol. Killing humans is one thing, but I think it’s perfectly justifiable to defend myself against a wild animal.
 

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Ferd Berfel said:
This has always been a very difficult subject for me. On one hand, it makes sense that one would have a moral obligation in certain circumstances to defend either oneself or the life of another person. On the other hand, who is ever justified in taking a human life? Who am I to make the decision to end the life of another person?

It’s one of those topics that people will go ‘round and ‘round on until the end of time.

Personally, I hold to a very strict pacifism. I don’t believe that I could ever claim the right to take another person’s life; if I did, I would be taking the responsibility of judging that person away from God, and putting it into my own hands. I don’t feel I have the right to do that. Violence is evil; sometimes, it can be the lesser of two evils, but it is still inherently evil. Any act of violence that I commit, I feel that I will be required to answer for. That’s terrifying enough to me that I’m not willing to take the risk.

All that being said, guns do have a purpose beyond killing and harming people. I run long distance and ride my street bike through heavily wooded areas. On more than one occasion, I have found myself staring down some really angry wild animal. For those occasions, I carry a .40 caliber pistol. Killing humans is one thing, but I think it’s perfectly justifiable to defend myself against a wild animal.
And if a human is acting like a wild animal and wants to attack you and/or your family?
 

Hawkeye

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William said:
the various martyrs who engaged in such killing themselves like St. Lazar.
For a rather long time last summer, despite not being particularly sad or anything, I had this involuntary response where I could not help but weep whenever I would think of St. Lazar of Serbia and the battle of Kosovo. It was the oddest thing and would occur at the worst of times.

As to whether Christians should have guns and the like, I have to vote in favor, for a number of the reasons others have already brought up. Among others, hunting, recreation, and self-defense against humans or otherwise. On that latter point, it's my belief that a man should be willing to die if it is his own life on the line but if others are threatened, he should be quick to defend theirs. I'm not saying that my views represent the Christian ideal or anything but, alas, it's a sinful world out there.

One thing I know for sure however, the easiest way to stop a bear from raiding your chicken coop is to shoot him in the side.
 

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hecma925 said:
And if a human is acting like a wild animal and wants to attack you and/or your family?
That’s why this is such a difficult subject that really can’t be answered. No matter what, in this hypothetical (albeit unlikely) scenario, I’d be guilty of something. Either I allow my family to be killed and become responsible for their deaths by negligence, or I kill the attacker and become responsible for his death. It comes down to a question of obligations. Do I have an obligation to protect my family? How far does that obligation extend? Is allowing someone to die by neglecting to prevent their death equal to actively taking someone’s life through violence?

You will get different answers to this question. Personally, I feel that I would have an obligation to protect my family, but I also have an obligation to preserve life as much as possible. More often than not, there is no need to kill someone to protect others. There are options to effectively restrain someone without killing them.

However, if there was absolutely no other option; if it came down to a choice between the life of my family or the life of this attacker, I would kill the attacker. This does not mean that I’m justified in killing him; murder is still a sin, and I would have committed a murder. However unfortunate the situation is, this person’s actions put me in the place of having to decide on what was the “lesser evil”. I’ve still committed murder, but I’ve prevented the unnecessary deaths of more than one person. One life lost is objectively less than two lives lost; therefore, by killing the attacker I’ve prevented the deaths of two people.

On a more human level, my own biological instincts would drive me to always protect my family. Even if it was a question of one life versus another, I’d still likely kill the attacker because I am a human being.

No matter what I might say to justify it, I would still be guilty of a murder. I would have to answer to God and repent of it. I do not believe that murder is ever justifiable, but I’m realistic enough to realize that my humanity would overcome me in that situation and I wouldn’t allow myself to stand aside while my loved ones were slaughtered.

It is something I fervently pray will never happen.
 

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^Thanks for the response.  But why do you equate killing with murder?  If you knew someone was coming into your house, whether they were going to harm you or not, and you thought, "I'm going to kill this guy," I think that would count as murder.

I, too, would feel an obligation to defend my family, because if I didn't want the responsibility, I'd be by myself.
 

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hecma925 said:
^Thanks for the response.  But why do you equate killing with murder?  If you knew someone was coming into your house, whether they were going to harm you or not, and you thought, "I'm going to kill this guy," I think that would count as murder.

I, too, would feel an obligation to defend my family, because if I didn't want the responsibility, I'd be by myself.
Not all killing is murder; if a person falls asleep at the wheel and accidentally wraps their car around a tree resulting in the death of their passenger, that’s an accident. It’s an incredibly unfortunate circumstance, but it’s an accidental death. This is why the law differentiates between murder and manslaughter.

Killing someone with intent is murder. For the attacker scenario, if I’m killing them in that situation it’s almost certain that I meant to do it. I suppose the exception would be if there was some accident that occurred while trying to restrain them without killing them, but at this point we’re starting to wonder about angels dancing on pins.

It’s a very gray thing, and very hard to define. Essentially, if I intended to kill the person and then killed them, that would be murder. If the killing were accidental in some way, then it would not be murder, but an unfortunate accident. I suppose we could split hairs, but it would really come down to what happened during the fight and the intention of the offending party. For our purposes, let’s say that if I were to wrestle the person to the ground and they slipped, fell down some stairs and died, that would be an accident. If I drew a gun and shot them in center mass, that would be murder. It is about intent.

Maybe it’s not a very well defined view; I don’t really try to sit down and imagine every possible horrific situation where I might possibly be required to kill a man. I try to be more positive about life than that. :)
 

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I enjoy target shooting and engage in it frequently with my father-in-law. I do not own any guns and have no intention of owning any guns ever. I have no desire to inflict violence on any other person and do not want the temptation to do so, particularly with a tool that has such fatal consequences. In regards to someone attacking my family, I would do what I could to protect them, but protection does not necessarily have to mean attacking or killing the other person. Every such situation is very unique, so it is difficult to really propose what I would do in such circumstances.
 

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Ferd Berfel said:
hecma925 said:
^Thanks for the response.  But why do you equate killing with murder?  If you knew someone was coming into your house, whether they were going to harm you or not, and you thought, "I'm going to kill this guy," I think that would count as murder.

I, too, would feel an obligation to defend my family, because if I didn't want the responsibility, I'd be by myself.
Not all killing is murder; if a person falls asleep at the wheel and accidentally wraps their car around a tree resulting in the death of their passenger, that’s an accident. It’s an incredibly unfortunate circumstance, but it’s an accidental death. This is why the law differentiates between murder and manslaughter.

Killing someone with intent is murder. For the attacker scenario, if I’m killing them in that situation it’s almost certain that I meant to do it. I suppose the exception would be if there was some accident that occurred while trying to restrain them without killing them, but at this point we’re starting to wonder about angels dancing on pins.

It’s a very gray thing, and very hard to define. Essentially, if I intended to kill the person and then killed them, that would be murder. If the killing were accidental in some way, then it would not be murder, but an unfortunate accident. I suppose we could split hairs, but it would really come down to what happened during the fight and the intention of the offending party. For our purposes, let’s say that if I were to wrestle the person to the ground and they slipped, fell down some stairs and died, that would be an accident. If I drew a gun and shot them in center mass, that would be murder. It is about intent.

Maybe it’s not a very well defined view; I don’t really try to sit down and imagine every possible horrific situation where I might possibly be required to kill a man. I try to be more positive about life than that. :)
You may want to reconsider your views on defensive shooting.  No instructor will teach you to kill your opponent.  The idea is to STOP your opponent from killing you.  If you so much as hint that your intent was to kill your opponent, it could (justifiably) go very bad for you after the event.  The simple fact is that with modern medical attention, 80% of people shot with handguns survive.  Now, lets start from the beginning.  Seventy five (75) percent of armed encounters end as soon as the aggressor realizes that the victim is armed.  No shots are fired.  Of the 25% where shots are fired, only 11% of those actually hit someone.  Since 80% of those hit with a handgun survive the hit, your chances of "murdering" someone trying to attack you are very slim, unless you are intending to kill them.  The scenario with the person falling asleep is NOT an unfortunate accident.  It is criminal negligence in most jurisdictions.  You will be charged and most likely will be sued.  The plaintiff will almost surely win the suite since you have a responsibility to stay awake and be fit for duty when you are driving.  The fact that you fell asleep and hit a tree is evidence enough that you did not uphold your responsibility, and your negligence to do so got someone killed.  This is FAR different than shooting someone who is TRYING to kill you.  Legally (and in my opinion, morally) it is very well defined.  I am sorry that you do not understand that.
 

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People who do not live on farms seem to not understand.  Guns are practically necessary.

We have wild hogs here that can take down goats and cattle.  Vicious with huge tusks... Very sharp.  We also have packs of coyotes that roam and will kill goats, chickens, etc.

We shoot some kind of predator at least once a week, and other critters every other day.

Please remember, guns are NOT only for killing people, but are a very necessary tool for people with open acreage.

As far as people go, Jesus told us to "Love our enemies".  I have to leave it at that on this section of the forum.
 

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yeshuaisiam said:
...

As far as people go, Jesus told us to "Love our enemies". I have to leave it at that on this section of the forum.
Did he then address the whole world? Or "he that hath ears"?
 

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Porter ODoran said:
yeshuaisiam said:
...

As far as people go, Jesus told us to "Love our enemies". I have to leave it at that on this section of the forum.
Did he then address the whole world? Or "he that hath ears"?
Jesus "told us" except when we disagree with what he "told us".  Then it's someone else's fault.  Never my own. 
 

yeshuaisiam

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Mor Ephrem said:
Porter ODoran said:
yeshuaisiam said:
...

As far as people go, Jesus told us to "Love our enemies". I have to leave it at that on this section of the forum.
Did he then address the whole world? Or "he that hath ears"?
Jesus "told us" except when we disagree with what he "told us".  Then it's someone else's fault.  Never my own. 
Yes, and he told us also to bless those who curse us and to pray for those who persecute us.
It was against early Church canon and the writings of the earliest Christians to kill people.

I'm 100% pro gun, a needed tool for sure, but just throwing out the element here that not all guns are for shooting people.  I probably have shot well over a thousand animals (mostly predators, possums, etc.).  Even attacking hogs.

I won't even take the atv or golf cart on the property without at last a .22 rifle on the rack.

As Christians we really should think about these things a lot.  A human life is precious.  How much more unworthy is an assailant's life than your own - much less another soldier, just fighting for their country.

Jesus made one analogy using a man defending his home from a thief in the night. 

Does this mead "family in immediate danger - ok to shoot" or "just hit them with a back scratcher"?
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2669309/You-scratch-Ill-hit-yours.html
 

kelly

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yeshuaisiam said:
Mor Ephrem said:
Porter ODoran said:
yeshuaisiam said:
...

As far as people go, Jesus told us to "Love our enemies". I have to leave it at that on this section of the forum.
Did he then address the whole world? Or "he that hath ears"?
Jesus "told us" except when we disagree with what he "told us".  Then it's someone else's fault.  Never my own. 
Yes, and he told us also to bless those who curse us and to pray for those who persecute us.
It was against early Church canon and the writings of the earliest Christians to kill people.

I'm 100% pro gun, a needed tool for sure, but just throwing out the element here that not all guns are for shooting people.  I probably have shot well over a thousand animals (mostly predators, possums, etc.).  Even attacking hogs.

I won't even take the atv or golf cart on the property without at last a .22 rifle on the rack.

As Christians we really should think about these things a lot.  A human life is precious.  How much more unworthy is an assailant's life than your own - much less another soldier, just fighting for their country.

Jesus made one analogy using a man defending his home from a thief in the night. 

Does this mead "family in immediate danger - ok to shoot" or "just hit them with a back scratcher"?
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2669309/You-scratch-Ill-hit-yours.html
He also said, "Take, eat, this is my Body"
 

yeshuaisiam

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kelly said:
yeshuaisiam said:
Mor Ephrem said:
Porter ODoran said:
yeshuaisiam said:
...

As far as people go, Jesus told us to "Love our enemies". I have to leave it at that on this section of the forum.
Did he then address the whole world? Or "he that hath ears"?
Jesus "told us" except when we disagree with what he "told us".  Then it's someone else's fault.  Never my own. 
Yes, and he told us also to bless those who curse us and to pray for those who persecute us.
It was against early Church canon and the writings of the earliest Christians to kill people.

I'm 100% pro gun, a needed tool for sure, but just throwing out the element here that not all guns are for shooting people.  I probably have shot well over a thousand animals (mostly predators, possums, etc.).  Even attacking hogs.

I won't even take the atv or golf cart on the property without at last a .22 rifle on the rack.

As Christians we really should think about these things a lot.  A human life is precious.  How much more unworthy is an assailant's life than your own - much less another soldier, just fighting for their country.

Jesus made one analogy using a man defending his home from a thief in the night. 

Does this mead "family in immediate danger - ok to shoot" or "just hit them with a back scratcher"?
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2669309/You-scratch-Ill-hit-yours.html
He also said, "Take, eat, this is my Body"
Yes, for me this is a gray area.  How does a man defend his home from a thief in the night, but yet be willing to sacrifice himself for his enemies?

Is there a "difference" in standard for a man with a wife and children then one without?  I can't imagine as parent and husband how on earth I would let somebody harm my family.  I do not know if this is what Jesus was getting at or not.  Does it mean "desperate immediate circumstances" (against a thief in the night) leaving all planned violence aside?

Would I be wrong in saying "it seems a gray area"?
 

Punch

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Porter ODoran said:
yeshuaisiam said:
...

As far as people go, Jesus told us to "Love our enemies". I have to leave it at that on this section of the forum.
Did he then address the whole world? Or "he that hath ears"?
What does "love" have to do with it? I love bears. I REALLY love bears. I cry when I go to the zoo and see them penned up. I dislike the small penis "trophy" hunters that kill them for sport.  But I would have no hesitation to shoot one that was trying to kill me. Likewise with my "enemies". I bear no ill toward any man. I support my tax money being used to attempt to cure the ills that can cause men to go bad. Shooting someone that is trying to kill me is not inconsistent with love. God IS love. But you will fry in Hell if you don't love Him. Kind of shoots your smug little argument to pieces, doesn't it? Some may say, "God does not send us to Hell, we do that to ourselves". Well, let me tell you, my door is locked for your protection, not mine.
 

Porter ODoran

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I'm starting to agree with the Father quoted in the OP to the extent that the Orthodox may need further education in this subject.
 

yeshuaisiam

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Punch said:
Porter ODoran said:
yeshuaisiam said:
...

As far as people go, Jesus told us to "Love our enemies". I have to leave it at that on this section of the forum.
Did he then address the whole world? Or "he that hath ears"?
What does "love" have to do with it? I love bears. I REALLY love bears. I cry when I go to the zoo and see them penned up. I dislike the small penis "trophy" hunters that kill them for sport.  But I would have no hesitation to shoot one that was trying to kill me. Likewise with my "enemies". I bear no ill toward any man. I support my tax money being used to attempt to cure the ills that can cause men to go bad. Shooting someone that is trying to kill me is not inconsistent with love. God IS love. But you will fry in Hell if you don't love Him. Kind of shoots your smug little argument to pieces, doesn't it? Some may say, "God does not send us to Hell, we do that to ourselves". Well, let me tell you, my door is locked for your protection, not mine.
I'm with your thoughts.  My issue on the matter is there may be a difference between just somebody wanting to hurt me, OR hurt my wife/family (including me).  Such as a home invasion.

The thing that stinks about this topic is typically we take the most tough hypothetical situation and dwell on it.  There are youtube videos where people are on the phone with 911 where they shoot home invaders.... The others where the woman starts getting raped on the phone with 911 until police arrive.

Rapist survives, woman raped.
or
Intruder dies, woman survives (ironically started praying immediately for forgiveness while on the phone with 911).

It's a really touchy subject.  Is the experience of rape worth not killing another.  Is the experience of death?  How about the death of your wife/children?

It's easier to talk about war, drive by shootings, and robbing banks.

I'm pretty sure we all agree that scripturally & in terms of the EO church, guns are fine for hunting.
 

Asteriktos

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Mor Ephrem said:
yeshuaisiam said:
I'm pretty sure we all agree that scripturally & in terms of the EO church, guns are fine for hunting.
Guns are in Scripture?
In case you haven't read this above, guns are a necessary tool for farming, shepherding, etc. How else do you think they kept predatory animals away in biblical times, if not with guns?
 
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