Beliefs Culture Ethics Institutions Jonathan Merritt: On Faith and Culture Opinion

Will Rick Warren lead a Christian movement for gun control?

Pastor Rick Warren told CNN's PIers Morgan that his son's suicide will affect how he engages the issue of gun control, but what he plans to do remains a mystery.
Pastor Rick Warren told CNN's PIers Morgan that his son's suicide will affect how he engages the issue of gun control, but what he plans to do remains a mystery.

Pastor Rick Warren told CNN’s PIers Morgan that his son’s suicide will affect how he engages the issue of gun control, but what he plans to do remains a mystery.

Bestselling author and mega-church pastor Rick Warren and his wife, Kay, have been pushing Christians on social issues for the last decade. They were among the first evangelical leaders to begin championing adoption, which helped turn it into an issue of top priority among the faithful. And through their P.E.A.C.E. plan, they’ve helped mobilize evangelicals to fight AIDS, a disease many Christians believed was God’s judgment on gays and lesbians only a generation ago.

“It may actually be shorter to list causes that [Rick and Kay Warren] have not dedicated time and energy to,” CNN’s Daniel Burke wrote on Tuesday.

But after the Warren’s interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan last night about their son’s suicide and other issues, many wonder whether the religious power couple might lead a Christian movement for gun control.

This past April, Rick and Kay’s son, Matthew, committed suicide with a gun he illegally obtained online. He had attempted to purchase a gun legally several times but was rebuffed because of a red flag on his background check for having been forcibly admitted to a mental institution.

“We’re grateful that the laws kept Matthew from getting the gun for as long as it did,” Rick Warren said in the interview.

At one point, Morgan brought up Washington Navy Yard shooting, noting it as part of a “constant tidal wave” of gun violence in America.

“Now that you’ve been so personally touched and you’re in such a position of authority, is it affecting what you’re going to be saying about this going forward?” Morgan asked the pastor.

“Well yeah,” Warren responded, “I mean it’s going to affect me in all three of those areas, not simply in gun control.”

He went on to add that when he heard news of the shooting, he fell to his knees and prayed for the victims.

What exactly Warren means when he says this will affect the way he engages the issue of gun control is unclear, but this isn’t the first time he’s expressed concern on the matter. Following the Sandy Hook shooting last year, Warren said on “Fox News Sunday”:

There’s a mental health angle that you have to deal with, I don’t think we’re taking care of those struggling with mental illness like we need to in America. There is the civil safety issue, which is gun control and these assault weapons — they don’t call them ‘assault weapons’ for nothing. There is the social issue … students, by the time they’re 18, they’ve maybe killed 10,000, 20,000 people on video games without any remorse for it. It creates a culture of violence.

If the Warrens decide to engage this issue, there are some indications that much of the Christian community is poised to join them. According to an August 2012 survey by Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), six-in-ten Catholics and religiously unaffiliated Americans (62% and 60%) favor stricter gun control laws. About 42% of mainline Protestants and 35% of white evangelicals said the same thing.

But the PRRI survey was conducted prior to the Sandy Hook tragedy that sparked a national debate on the issue. In January of this year, a non-scientific poll conducted by the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) found that 73% of church leaders agreed there needs to be stricter gun regulations.

“Evangelicals are pro-life and deeply grieve when any weapons are used to take innocent lives,” said Leith Anderson, President of the NAE. “The evangelical leaders who responded to the NAE survey support the Second Amendment right to bear arms but also want our laws to prevent the slaughter of children.”

It’s difficult to tell exactly how many American Christians favor gun control at this moment, but one thing is for certain: If Rick and Kay Warren decide to prioritize it, we can be sure that the number—whatever it is—will grow.

About the author

Jonathan Merritt

Jonathan Merritt is senior columnist for Religion News Service and a contributing writer for The Atlantic. He has published more than 2500 articles in outlets like USA Today, The Week, Buzzfeed and National Journal. Jonathan is author of "Jesus is Better Than You Imagined" and "A Faith of Our Own: Following Jesus Beyond the Culture Wars." He resides in Brooklyn, NY.


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  • While this would be a somewhat welcome development, I think the world may be growing tired of mega church pastors with bullhorns. Esp. since in between reading about these good causes, we are reading about their arguments with the IRS over extravagant housing allowances, (Warren, $70,000/yr.) and retweeted misinformation. (ie, “half of Americans pay no taxes.” -Mr. Warren, 2011..)

    I am very sorry for any parent who loses a child in this way, and understand the desire to help other parents, but I can’t help but think we have a hard time affecting a culture when we have such flawed spokespeople.

    Here’s an idea if Mr. Warren is taking suggestions: how about writing a book about mental illness, a subject woefully neglected in evangelical Christian circles, and donating the money to public mental health clinics. Part of the problem is a rigid sense of moral responsibility in the evangelical community which leaves people only able to talk about “good guys” and “evil guys.” If they understood the struggles of the mentally ill, perhaps they’d be more open to a variety of more enlightened policies. Including stricter gun controls, and the need for more public resources for mental health. And that, in the end, will require higher taxes.

  • While the loss of his son is tragic and the situation further inflamed by the means in which his son obtained the gun, that does not mean Pastor Warren possesses the knowledge to give a truly informed opinion. There are no more “assault weapons” than there are unicorns. It is a made up media word that conflates the issue. Guns are rifles, pistols or shotguns. They are either single action, semi automatic or automatic. There are magazines and there are clips. If you don’t know the difference then stop talking about it as if you do. Further, how does more gun control laws stop someone from getting a gun when they were already breaking existing laws to get one? People who are determined to do evil have demonstrated time and again, laws are not enough of a deterrent. Don’t think so? Check out the murder rate of Chicago. Aside from D.C., it has the strictest gun laws of any major city in the country and the highest rate of gun crime. The demographics of that crime indicate that the vast majority is young black men killing other young black men of which, the majority have criminal records. Please explain how more “gun control” is going to prevent this? Let’s stop the violence by changing their hearts, not by burying our heads in the sand to the evidence that “gun control” only creates a greater number of defenseless victims.

  • My comment is this- Es it all stems with mental illness not gun control. As for these “crusades” perhaps the poor children whom have been adopted, and rehomed to monsters could be the next crusade. There are so many who have been “called to adopt” and haven’t followed they only to “dump” these poor children, often times from other countries, in the hands of people who victimize them. So before we go on a tangent of “controlling others” ie gun control – we must look at reality and the reality is, your son would have tried to kill himself if a gun wasn’t available . The gun did not want suicide. I am sorry for your loss. If an addict can’t get drugs they will drink cut themselves eat themselves into oblivion. Just as a person determined to e d their own life will find the means

  • I wonder how he feels about guns and other forms of violence used against gay people in Uganda and elsewhere.

  • After the Navy Yard shooting, I wonder how people can assert that arming more law-abiding people is the answer. That place was one of the most heavily armed and secure facilities on the planet (not the most secure but a lot more secure than the grocery store where I shop, for example) and it didn’t stop the shooting. More weapons in the hands of more people just doesn’t make sense, because having all those armed military and security people there on Monday did nothing to save the lives of those victims.

  • You don’t know what you are talking about. Everything you just said and the ignorance in it is exactly why “mainstream christianity” is getting a bad name, from both sides of the aisle. Your point is based on assumption and television. The legislation passed by president Clinton in 96/97 completely disarmed all on base personnel besides MPs (military police) and they are a tiny fraction of on base personnel. All other guns are in restricted access areas, weapons lockers that are in restricted access areas and so on. A military base today past the gate is one of the biggest gun free zones in the country. Try checking your assumptions and argue with facts next time. And try not to be so absurd as to try making a point by comparing a military base to your grocery store. That is nothing more than a straw man argument. A domestic base should be one of the most secure places in the world but that hasn’t been the case since the mid 90’s.

  • So the presence of those armed MPs doesn’t make it more secure than my grocery store. The presence of security checkpoints doesn’t make it more secure than my grocery store. Hmm, I guess my grocery store is just as secure as the Navy Yard. Thanks for setting me straight, Nathan.

  • That’s not what I said at all but yeah *clap clap clap, BRILLIANT retort. Fact is in a state with higher gun ownership, you are likely to be safer at the grocery store because of the number of armed citizens potentially present plus the fact that it is usually not marked as a gun free zone and therefor a more likely target for armed criminals.

  • And Tim, I argued with facts. You responded with your interpretation of scripture, they aren’t the same thing. Try responding to my actual argument next time and addressing the plethora of source material I provided. That would be preferable instead of reasoning to support your theological position which by the way, reading for comprehension would show you, wasn’t my point.

  • First, my condolences to the Warrens for their loss. No parent should have to bury a child. I understand how major events in your life can change the way you have previously felt about a subject. It has happened to me on more than one occasion. It also happened to Dick Chaney who was once against homosexuality, but changed his mind once his daughter told him she was gay.
    One can only wonder what affect this same information would have had on the Warrens. To know that their son took his own life because he knew he was gay, but knew they would only view him as a sinner, or mentally ill because of it Would they now do a 180 and lead a rally for the acceptance of gays?

    On the subject of gun control. Although I read that 73% of church leaders want more gun control, I think they will have a very hard time selling that to the Christian flock.
    People like Nathan, who feel deeply about it, (nothing wrong with that) will draw the line as to how far they will allow that to go, and I don’t think it will be very far.
    I agree that gun control policies are not THE answer, but their are some that certainly make some sense, and in no way infringe upon ownership rights, like background checks.
    I realize in this case, the law was circumvented, so it obviously doesn’t solve every issue, every time. However, if it does deter one person from a mass or even single murder one time, it is a small price to pay.

  • Don’t hold your breath. If Rick Warren was serious about anything more than making money from religion, he’d have already been a leader against one of the greatest “sins” in our culture.

  • There is no sense to any argument about “some people with guns (stopping) bad guys.” Our problem is the proliferation of killer weapons that are outrageously, wrongfully destroying masses of our people. The senseless argument used to prolong that murderous destruction by people like Wayne Lapierre is the Second Amendment to our Constitution. The guns that are slaughtering our people violate that Amendment. They are not used by any “militia” and there is absolutely no regulation about them, much less a “well regulated militia.” Even background checks cannot get through our do-nothing, “tea party” Congress. The Framers of our Constitution never foresaw the weapons of modern warfare flooding our streets with such lack of regulation, causing such warlike slaughter in our public and private places.

  • As we can see so outrageously in our current, do-nothing Congress, caused by the selfish greed of the so-called “tea party” in the House of Representatives, under the pretense of leadership by a Speaker who prefers his position and title to being a genuine leader, this government–that is, all the people–cannot be what its hired representatives prevent it from being.

    Add that to the anti-democratic madness that allows filibustering and a “super majority” in the Senate, and you have a totally useless legislative branch. Nothing is done. Nothing can be done.

    The voters hire these do-nothing people on whom billions of dollars are wasted and added to the national debt. Who’s to blame, those who do nothing or those who continuously hire and rehire them to do absolutely nothing to protect us and to promote the general welfare?

    Study your history. Is democracy really possible? Concern and study are vital for any semblance of democracy, and, for all the bragging to the contrary, the United States has always been lacking as a democracy because of a lack of concern and study on the part of its governing citizenry. We hire politicians to do us harm just as we hire preachers who preach to become millionaires.

  • I’m a christian just like Rick Warren and I also lost a son. My son was murdered along with three other people in the house by a crazed gunman. The man who shot my son also shot his own brother that night. He owned 30 guns also and no drugs or alcohol was in his system nor any of the victims. There was no drugs or alcohol in the house. My son was 30 yrs. old at the time and I never once thought about outlawing guns even though my son was murdered by one. My first thought was I wished my son would have had a gun of his own to protect himself with. I still feel that way so I don’t understand why Warren feels the way he does. I think he should forget about pushing his book “A purpose driven life” and stick to the holy bible for guidance. Evidently Mr. mega church needs some guidance of his own, obviously his guidance didn’t work for his son.

  • He has already spoken out against that.
    As an American pastor,” Warren said in his statement, “it is not my role to interfere with the politics of other nations, but it is my role to speak out on moral issues.” He told the Ugandan pastors that the bill was “unjust, extreme and un-Christian toward homosexuals.” The bill’s requirement that Ugandans report any meeting with homosexuals to authorities, he said, would hinder the ministry of the church and force homosexuals who are HIV positive underground. He also defended the timing of his denunciation. “Because I didn’t rush to make a public statement,” he said, “some erroneously concluded that I supported this terrible bill, and some even claimed I was a sponsor of the bill. You in Uganda know that this is untrue.” He added, “I oppose the criminalization of homosexuality.”

    How sad that you have to make this issue about you.

  • Warren takes no salary from the church and supports his family with 9 percent of the royalties from his books while giving away the other 91 percent.

  • What a tragedy… on so many levels. My heart is broken for this family… tears shed, prayers said. But, is anyone realizing that the whole line of discussion here concerning this tragic loss has moved to one on gun control, thus missing what happened? From the article:

    “Matthew, committed suicide with a gun he illegally obtained online. He had attempted to purchase a gun legally several times but was rebuffed because of a red flag on his background check for having been forcibly admitted to a mental institution.”

    Gun control did not help in this situation. It was illegal for the seller to sell the gun to him. If laws are broken to sell a gun, the issue is one of enforcement. Whether existing penalties for selling guns illegally are sufficient as a deterrent is yet another discussion. Making laws is only effective if they are obeyed/enforced and, when not, the penalty for breaking them is proportionately stout. Even so, criminals will still do that which is criminal.

    There are instances when guns are used for violent purposes and they are acquired legally–tragic, indeed, and an entirely different discussion. However, that is not the case here. The ire of all should rise at those who have no regard for laws that already exist. We can argue about gun control all we want, but criminalizing current legal means of acquiring guns would not have helped in this situation.

  • The person who by their own bio has been protected every day by those with guns should pipe down lest he further illustrate his own hippocracy in the matter.

  • Hey look, you posted another emotionally based argument without any evidence to support their claim… Since everyone seems to not have the time to do any Google searches, let me spell out the data found here.

    Since 93 the population has gone from 257.8 million to 311.6 million on 2011 (*most current total year for all given statistics from the FBI crime webpage). Conversely crime has dropped in that time as follows. (reported per 100,000)
    Murder/non negligent homicide:
    93 – 9.5 , 11 – 4.7
    Forcible rape:
    93 – 41.1 , 11 – 26.8
    Aggravated Assault
    93 – 440.5 , 11 – 241.1
    Violent Crime
    93 – 747.1 , 11 – 386.3
    93 – 263.7 , 11 – 113.7

    Factored by rate over the past 10yrs (02-11):
    violent crime -21.9%
    Murder/non negligent homicide – 16.8%
    Rape -19%
    Aggravated assault -22.1%
    Robbery 22.2%

    How about the national homicide rate simply by weapon.
    2007 totals v 2011 totals
    14,916 v 12,664
    Hand gun: 7,398 v 6,220
    Rifles: 453 v 323
    Shotguns: 457 v 356
    Other Guns (automatics): 116 v 97
    Knives/Cutting Instruments 1,817 v 1,694
    Blunt Objects: 647 v 496
    Hands/Feet (personal weapon): 869 v 728
    Other weapon: 1,005 v 853

    By any measurement there is no “proliferation of killer weapons destroying masses.” Not even close. Nor does the entire national homicide amount scratch the surface of what you equate in another post to a “war zone”. Further, the number of deaths by those weapons you only think belong in the hands of soldiers is LESS THAN 1% of the annual. Also given that hand guns account for roughly half of the national homicides and are also the most tightly regulated of the major categories aside from ones that are fully automatic, clear indication that the lack of regulation isn’t the problem. This is further evidenced that more than half of those crimes were committed with illegally obtained firearms. The is clearly no proliferation of killer weapons. No evidence of warlike slaughter. Far from it. Just because mass shootings can and do happen, it does not even come close to reaching the level of “war zone”.

    In regards bearing of arms referenced in 2A. You also suggested we should know some history. I and I have, enough to have some pieces of paper from a major university that say so. The fact your interpretation ignored the punctuation of the amendment, thus creating a separation clause, you easily miss the point. But in any event, try reading what Madison wrote in Federalist paper 46.

    “To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence.

    Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.”

    He clearly indicated here that the bearing of arms isn’t just to support a militia. This also addresses the fallacy of the modern weapon argument. The revolution was fought with “modern” weapons of the time. The soldiers had the same type of guns, cannons too for that matter as the British soldiers did. The armory of its citizens was by all accounts, modern despite your assertions. It wasn’t just to protect them from criminals, it was written so the government could not become an oppressor of the people without fearing the people. This point has been further upheld legally with the same challenge you just brought in every level of jurisdiction it has been tried.

    Lastly, to address your claim of a democracy (later post than the one I’ve hit reply to). We are not, we are a constitutional republic. Huge difference. So go back to reading, just try some better source material and a dictionary this time.

    Next time you want to try a debate, leave the weak and tired emotional response at the door and bring some facts please. That or stick to trolling the ignorant and the children.

  • Or if that was to much here is the shorter version. Crime has been dropping for almost 2 decades straight, gun ownership however has been growing. If your argument were true, we should see crime skyrocketing. We don’t. Tell Piers Morgan you need better info. Oh wait, he doesn’t have any either.

  • Nathan, you’re equating the security provided by trained law enforcement with the effectiveness of an armed citizenry? Everyone benefits form the security at my workplace, not just me. You make it sound like I have armed bodyguards following me around all the time. No, I just work in a secure building. Law enforcement secured.

  • Blame the mental health care system- which failed his son and the DC Naval Yard shooter as well as every other mass shooter in recent history. His efforts would be better spent fighting the stigmatizing of mentally ill (which Christians have historically fostered).

  • How can you say it is a good comment when it is factually incorrect? U.S. military bases do not allow military personnel other than the security personnel to carry loaded weapons. The police who responded were Washington DC police, not military security.

  • You said it was one of the most heavily armed and secure facilities on the planet. Do you have any facts to back that up? Perhaps you know the number of armed personnel and the number of loaded weapons they had at the facility? How does this compare to other facilities?

  • In this case, the system worked – the son was prevented from obtaining a gun legally. It is naïve to believe that “more gun control” will stop those who pursue obtaining a gun outside the law.

    But in this case, the topic of “gun control” is an agenda-driven red herring (as someone said, “never let a crisis go to waste”). According to all that I have read about this suicide, the son was long known to be mentally ill, and that is considered the primary reason that he committed suicide. And I will point out the obvious – if one is determined to commit suicide, one doesn’t have to have a gun to do so.

    It should be obvious that the enormous failure in dealing with the mentally ill is at the root of the mass killings in this country. One can name mass killing events committed by the mentally ill without any effort at all, such as – Newtown, Aurora, Giffords, Virginia Tech – and now, after each gun massacre I just wonder how long it will take before it is reported that another person known to be mentally ill has committed the crime.

  • Jonathan,

    Thanks for the insightful article. My wife and I have adopted three children and have, in addition, a granddaughter that we are also raising. Two of the children are from a Muslim country (where we served for many years). One, plus the granddaughter have developmental disabilities. They came to us with problems that we must deal with daily, and they are both sweet children who enrich our lives in so many ways.

    We have guns in the house and I carry daily (and legally). I carry so that I can protect my family, myself and others around me from those monsters who CHOOSE violence. The children with disabilities have no access to my firearms and likely never will. Neither show any interest. The daughter with no (apparent) problems is being trained to use a rifle (.22) in a deliberate and controlled manner, and will get her NRA marksmanship training when she gets to the 6th grade. Along with this, she will get shotgun and bow training, plus map and compass work through the NRA.

    I do not allow my children to play violent video games. The computers they are allowed to use remain in the living room, in plain sight of Mom and Dad. We monitor their TV (also in the living room and in the kitchen). We know their friends and their friends’ parents.

    Raising children (for us, two “sets” of them) is a high calling. I consider my current mission in life to Serve God and Raise Children for His Glory. Protecting them with any means available is part of that calling.

    Blessings to you and yours, and to those who read your news pages.

  • “having all those armed military and security people there on Monday did nothing to save the lives of those victims.” Doesn’t that fact support the pro-gun stance that people should be allowed to bear arms for self-defense? In addition to the security onsite, Washington must have the highest concentration of local and federal law enforcement in the world, yet this man was still able to murder 12 people before they could respond and stop the killing.

  • Tim: what Nathan is saying is that there are just as many armed MP’s on base as there are police in the vicinity of your grocery store. I get the point you are trying to make but it is a poor analogy. Not sure if you served in the military or not. A conversation with some of us who have might be enlightening.

  • Thank you for presenting facts Nathan. As I have noticed elsewhere, once the factual data are presented, most of the discussion ends except for comments from those who ignore the facts. The emotional investment such people have in their views far outweighs any facts that could possibly be presented. Tim is opposed to guns and makes no apology of this, nor should he. I happen to view his interpretation of Scripture far differently.

    Exodus 22:2-3 clearly articulates that the use of lethal force is justifiable if someone is breaking into your home under the cover of darkness though during the daytime it is not. With the benefit of daylight, one can discern that this is simply a thief while at night the intentions cannot be so easily determined. Defending one’s family and self is biblically acceptable including the use of lethal force.

    In Nehemiah 4:13-14, the citizens were armed to defend themselves and those working to rebuild the city walls. In Esther 8:11-12 the king not only permitted the people to arm and defend themselves (pretty graphic description).

    But it is not simply the Old Testament where teaching on self-defense for the Christian comes from. Luke 22:35-39 which Tim cites in a recent post on his blog refers to this passage. Some, Tim included, interpret verse 38 to mean Jesus is rebuking the disciples for their talk of swords. The problem with Tim’s view is that, simply put, interpreting ἱκανός in this manner lacks linguistic support in the Greek. Since the other items mentions in these verses are literal, the appropriate interpretation is that the swords are literal as well. In fact, the swords play a crucial role in the events to unfold in the Garden of Gethsemane. The more likely intent here is for the disciples not to rely on the swords to accomplish what only Christ can.

    Jesus clarifies this in Matthew 26:51-56 where He reminds the disciples that those who take by the sword will die by the sword. He further reminds them of His power and that if He desired to do so He could summon more than 12 legions of angels to His command. Nothing unclear about the intent of this language, if it was self-defense He desired, He was perfectly capable of such. His path did not include self-defense but He certainly did not forbid it. Luke 22:49-53 and John 18:10-11 also provide clarity on this point.

    The Christian should rely on God and focus on becoming more like Christ to be sure. However, these verses and others clearly articulate that average, everyday people possessing and using weapons is permissible to defend himself or others from people who would do them harm.

    I have visited Tim’s blog and read his perspective on numerous issues. He is a good guy who happens to interpret Scripture more liberally. You rightly point out the factual data. I thought balancing this with another view from the biblical side of the equation would add something to the discussion.

  • The part about number of police is true, Christopher, thanks for the clarification. But my neighborhood doesn’t have an armed checkpoint for those desiring to enter. That aspect alone makes most military bases more secure than the majority of the world.


    P.S. I appreciate you raising this in such a constructive and irenic manner, too Christopher. Your comment actually advances the conversation rather than comes across as a smack down attempt.

  • That’s one way to look at it, Jerry. Another is to come up with ways to keep the weapons out of the hands of people like these mass shooters in the first place.

  • We don’t need gun control — we need train control. Many people with mental health issues jump in front of trains. We also need bridge control, knife control, prescription drug control — and all the other various ways people choose to end their struggle. These people are in extreme mental pain just to survive. The solution is to medically find the brain issues and heal them. Healing is the answer. If we take away “things,” we give up on trying to find the healing solution.

  • Tim, I make no appologies about my assertions. In all cases I have presented evidence to corraborate my admittedly strong feelings regarding the topics at hand. You however have spoken sans any facts to support your position. In truth, you have utilized inflamatory language, assumptive language ex..(That place was one of the most heavily armed and secure facilities on the planet) and sought to leverage your position of judicial authority as personal authority in the matter. You can call it a “smack down” if you like but you were the one who responded as if you were an authority and I an ignorant welp you were going to educate. I will always call out those who trade emotion for evidence, conviction for truth as you have done. You may firmly believe the sky is falling, but sincerity of belief does not equal an accurate or true one. There is not one shred of quantifiable, verifiable data that supports your claims here. I find that reprehensible. You and others like you are the same reason Hitler had the majority of the church along side him lock step as he first dissarmed the country before oppressing them. All the while asserting that it was fort the safety of the children. In case you think that is in error, I suggest you start by reading Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas for some historical education. With outcomes like that, I again make no appologies for opposing you in the strongest possible terms.

    That aside, let me ask you, in court which side wins? The side who argues passionately or the side who presents the most compelling evidence (facts)? You offered NO evidence to support that statement. Further, as has been pointed out, it is factually innacurate. Then when you finally did respond, you argued theologically why YOU won’t carry a gun. Personally fine, as public policy for others – completely unacceptable. And in any event, this was not a theological debate which is exactly why I did not approach it that way. You also have not been honest in your responses to any of the challenges I have posed. You have made statements regarding my comments that are no where to be found in any of my comments. Yet I have quoted you and others directly. It is at best poor form to create more straw man arguments so as to easily discredit the position I hold. At worst it is purposfully intellectually dishonest. I never said this, “You make it sound like I have armed bodyguards following me around all the time. No, I just work in a secure building. Law enforcement secured.” The fact is that you are protected by people with guns. I never said you were there only one they were protecting. And I again assert that I find it hypocritical that you are fine having people with guns protecting you (even amongst others) if you are so opposed to them theologically. If someone tries to enter that facility and intends to commit harm to others would you not be protected by their response of potentially lethal force? Are you saying that you are okay with that protection as long as you aren’t the one to have to morally justify it? Is your position is that it’s lawful for those employed by the law to do so? Consider that you now in principle agree that guns are a useful tool for protection from those who would commit evil. You now simply dissagree who should have them. But in any event, conceed the point that sometimes, taking a life, using a gun is necessary. Perhaps you think because they are trained it is alright. You should consider who teaches the training classes for safety, marksmanship, concealed carry and so on. That quatifiably by the evidence, a significant majority of lawful gun owners take that position seriously. They take all sorts of training courses in addition to safety ones. This is a huge reason why compared to the number of lawful gun owners, there are relatively few accidental injuries or deaths. It is why in so many cases, time and again, that armed populace you so dissmissivly deride has stopped millions of crimes. According to a CDC study in 94, homeowners used firearms 498,000 times that year to halt a home invasion alone and in nearly all cases, not have to fire a single shot.

    So Tim, I’ll note it again, the next time you want to debate, discuss or engage in some “smack talk” bring facts, keep it limited to clearly asserting your OPINION, or keep quiet. If you speak out as an authority sans credible facts, I’ll continue to call it out. Not for your sake but so that others who might read are not swayed by your adoption of the false narrative of the liberal media and the left surrounding guns.

  • It is about the sin and death in the world and somehow about gun control. The guns are not allowed in Russia, for example, but murder rate is higher than in the US. People kill themselves without guns and kill each other using knives, axes, etc. With immense amount of guns in the US the murder rate is higher than in some European but lower than in most other countries. Americans are surprisingly responsible regarding guns with the rates of gun ownership.

    It is about this world being evil. Something can be done, but only return of Christ will stop all of that. Christians should waste not much energy on the gun control argument but saving that souls and helping that people with psychological issues which could prevent another massacre. Gun control could reduce, to the best, murder, suicide rates but would not eliminate them. All of that is very important but the most is that soul saved by Christ.

  • While I don’t share Warren’s views on gun control, I don’t judge them either. I don’t have to agree with a Christian leader I respect on every social issue. I’m sorry for the loss of his son, and yours.

    With regard to PDL though, I think you are being a bit tough on him. He has not promoted his book to the neglect of the Bible. The whole book is based on the Bible, primarily the great commission (go into all the world and make disciples, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit) and the great commandment (love the Lord with all your heart, mind, and strength, and your neighbor as yourself.) He makes liberal use of other scripture, but those two provide the foundation for giving people a BIBLICAL answer to the question, “What is God’s purpose for my life?”

    The book list 5 primary purposes for our lives. Three come from the great commission.
    1. Evangelism – go into all the world and preach the gospel
    2. Discipleship – make disciples, teaching them to obey…
    3. Fellowship – baptizing them (making them part of the church, the community)

    The other two (and I probably should have mentioned them first) come from the great commandment.
    4. Worship – Love the Lord
    5. Service/Minisry – Love your neighbor as yourself.

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