Jeff Knox On Armed Worship

BY Herschel Smith
3 years, 1 month ago

Jeff Knox writing at Liberty News Now has a good article on armed worship. well worth your time.  Anything Jeff Knox writes is well worth your time.  Jeff advocates going armed for self defense and defense of others, but then there is this.

There is also the issue of interfering with the worship of others. Right or wrong, justified or not, many people are simply uncomfortable around guns. If they become aware that someone in the worship service is armed, it could distract them from their worship. Not being sensitive to these folks’ feelings would be inconsiderate and could be a violation of scriptural guidance. The apostle Paul exhorts Christians to avoid things which might cause a brother to stumble, but of course, that can be a difficult proposition when dealing with people with irrational fears

Jeff’s closing paragraph is nice, but the one above bothers me.  Jeff is referring to 1 Corinthians 8:9, and this verse has been take to mean virtually anything.  Take for instance the consumption of alcohol.  If it causes you brother to stumble, the saying goes, you must give it up.

But what about that big house some folks have?  Is that a stumbling block for some?  Very well, sell it.  How about the lack of having a large home, since we are to work in order to have something to those who are in need (Ephesians 4:28), and those we entertain might even be angels (Hebrews 13:2)?  You see, what may be a stumbling block for someone may in fact be the opposite for someone else.

The point is that this isn’t logically sustainable.  Men aren’t required to give up what the Scriptures allow.  Putting a stumbling block in another man’s path might be something like inviting an alcoholic into your home and offering up corn liquor to him.

We needn’t interpret the passage the way Jeff seems to be doing here, and I won’t ever give up carrying a weapon to worship just because it makes somebody uncomfortable to know that I’m doing it.  As I’ve said far too many times to count, carry a gun to worship.  You might just save someone’s life.  In either case, you are obeying the Biblical command to be prepared to defend a life which is made in God’s image.


Comments

  1. On July 6, 2016 at 3:39 pm, Archer said:

    You see, what may be a stumbling block for someone may in fact be the opposite for someone else.

    Quite right. Several men in our congregation have a deep, abiding faith in circumstances in which I admit I sometimes struggle, and I sometimes envy them for it.

    Oops, their faith causes me to envy, which is a stumbling block in mine. Ergo, the right thing for them to do is to give up their faith. That’s logical, right?

    Nope. That which is good in God’s eyes is good; if it causes someone else discomfort, that’s an issue they should be resolving between themselves and the Lord.

  2. On July 6, 2016 at 8:35 pm, Haywood Jablome said:

    I know you said the rest of the article is good, but I can’t even bring myself to click on the link after reading that one paragraph….I almost feel dumber having been exposed to it.

  3. On July 6, 2016 at 10:26 pm, Richard Chiu said:

    What about the scriptural injunctions against shedding innocent blood? They make a lot of people in this country uncomfortable, so we should just give those up as well, I guess. Indeed, the entire idea that there is a need for obedience to any commandments at all, that heaven is not absolutely guaranteed for the sort of person apparently determined to turn it into hell for everyone else, that also makes a lot of people uncomfortable.

    How can someone be uncomfortable around guns, while contemplating the prospect of hell?

  4. On July 7, 2016 at 9:36 am, jack burton said:

    Yes, we MUST accommodate the “weaker brother” as per scripture. Ignoring their concerns is not a viable option. That is not an open question.

    The question IS, though, what exactly does that mean? My personal understanding is that any deliberate action or behavior that is done in an “in your face and you can’t stop me” style, which leads to a specific weakening of their faith in God, should not be done.

    Do you carry a firearm specifically in church because you believe it is what God would have you to do, or do you carry it because you “can” and that is good enough for you? Do you belittle another who doesn’t accept this by constantly questioning his faith in God or understanding of scripture, or do you or do you share with him that this is a conviction that God has given YOU and while he may be believing completely differently it is okay with you because you know that God convicts some people one way and others another?

    Those who say we cannot allow the weaker brother to make the rules are right… we end up with a church full of weak people. But we also cannot allow those who are strong in faith and conviction to ride roughshod over those weaker brothers.

    If those who are strong can support their position scripturally, and deal with the problems that others are having with that position scripturally, then Paul acknowledges their freedom in Christ to follow their understanding of what God requires and allows.

    Here’s an interesting article around the subject…

    “In necessariis unitas, in dubiis libertas, in omnibus caritas”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_necessariis_unitas,_in_dubiis_libertas,_in_omnibus_caritas

  5. On July 7, 2016 at 9:56 am, Herschel Smith said:

    My attitude in carrying a weapon in worship or anywhere else or anytime else isn’t the issue. It’s an interesting question, one I’ve evaluated many times here on these pages, but that’s not what’s being discussed here.

    What IS being discussed is whether a stricture not otherwise contained in the Scriptures can somehow become God’s command simply because someone thinks it should. Take as one example a church requiring that its elders or deacons abstain from alcohol in order to be an officer in the church.

    My claim is that this is unbiblical, and I’m correct in this assertion. Accommodating the weaker brethren would be akin to this example. Suppose that the Lord’s supper is given with wine and unleavened bread (the way I think it should be). Not grape juice, and not Lance crackers. Not Coca-Cola or coffee, because Jesus didn’t institute it with sodas or crackers or grape juice or coffee (how much ever I would have loved it with coffee). He did with wine and unleavened bread. So that’s the way we should take it.

    Now suppose that there is someone in the church who thinks it’s sinful to consume alcohol, and s/he cannot take the supper. We should accommodate that person by allowing them to observe the supper with grape juice.

    Accommodation DOESN’T mean changing my behavior because someone else thinks I should.

  6. On July 7, 2016 at 10:41 am, Fred said:

    This is a matter of church building policy. It requires pastoral leadership from a man who knows our shepherd’s voice. Nothing more.

    Now, if your pastor (or you) can’t distinguish our masters call from among the many voices that’s another matter.

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This article is filed under the category(s) Guns,Religion and was published July 5th, 2016 by Herschel Smith.

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