Guns in Church?

The New York Times tells me a pastor in Louisville is inviting his congregation to carry firearms into the sanctuary ‘celebrate [their] rights as Americans’. My take’s conservative: I oppose this.

What’s holy is set apart for specifically the Lord’s worship (since everything’s for him, we need not talk about that). If possible, what’s dedicated to God in this way should not be given to any other uses. This means, if possible, Sunday school and movie nights and games and all other such things should be elsewhere, perhaps in the parish hall.

Taking arms into a house of God’s worship is bordering on sacrilege – and I ain’t a pacifist. I’d even prefer that we take off our shoes before entering the house of the Lord, not to speak of the sword.

A church for God’s worship is for declaring and renewing faith, i.e. trust and allegiance, to Christ the King, not to the American state. To this end I think even the American flag is too much, and that includes the Glorious Fourth of July.

So, no guns any farther in than the narthex (at the most!), with the buckets of umbrellas and the restrooms.


4 responses to “Guns in Church?

  1. During the Revolutionary War it wasn’t uncommon for a parson to take off his frock after a Sunday sermon, grab a gun and go off to fight the British. Protecting and promoting the 2nd amendment is tantamount to speaking out against abortion or gay marriage. The Louisville church members are exercising their rights and being salt and light. Democrat politicians think its o.k. to give self promoting political speeches in churches, don’t they? The church has been used for far worse things than having a little target practice fun after service.


    • I do agree the Second Amendment’s important to the foundation of America, though I see little use in it for the ministry of the Church herself.

      I have no problem of any kind with clergy having and using guns, but my concern’s with the use of what we often call the sanctuary of the church. I’m concerned for the purity of places set apart (i.e. made holy) specifically for the worship of God.

      It’s true that some politicians abuse the place of the Church by doing things improper for churches, but for determining what’s right and holy for the Church to do in the place of worship, I think that’s neither here nor there. What’s at stake is the Church’s view of God’s worship and thereby of God himself (cf. Malachi 1).


  2. With the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 70ce, there are no more holy places, only holy people. With the New Covenant, Jesus now lives in our hearts, not in our buildings.


    • Would Christ be concerned now if a church building were being used as a ‘den of robbers’ as the Temple was in John 2? I think he would.

      But if we’re to find the fullness of God’s presence, it’s where Christ’s Body is gathered, and it’s in his worship that he meets us in word and sacrament, giving us himself in them.

      If there are no holy places at all replacing the Temple (and yes, God is pleased no longer to dwell in Temples made by human hands, but he tabernacles among us, according to John 1.14), is there a holy word, and holy sacrament, and holy gathering? And if a gathering is holy with and through its elements of Scripture and biblically administered sacraments and its people indwelt by the Holy Spirit, can it be profaned on another day?


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