What Would Jesus Pack?

Jan 31, 2011 by

To start, this blog’s headline does not refer to the clothes Jesus might take on a missionary trip to Galilee; nor whether he’d use a backpack or a rolling suitcase.

Rather it refers to a storytoday in my local newspaper, and the lede story on the front page no less. (yes, I know lede is spelled wrong, but that’s how journalists spell it. It’s a long story).

The headline: “Should guns be allowed in places of worship?”

I read the story and started thinking. And putting two and two together I got something around 11.74.

First, I didn’t even know this was an issue. Boy was I wrong, but more on that later.

Second, what would Jesus pack as his weapon of choice when he came to visit my church?   

According to the article, which you can read here, last week a federal judge dismissed a case brought by a church challenging a Georgia law prohibiting people from carrying guns into places of worship.

A group wanting to overturn the ban said it will appeal.

Now before we get any more into this, I realize – now at least – this is a pretty divisive issue. On one hand we have the “you can take my gun when you pry it from my cold dead fingers” group; on the other we have the “make love not war” faction.

They do not get along.

And just for background, I have guns. I’ve taught the Sons of Thunder how to shoot and they have quite a collection of pellet, BB and .22 guns. I also don’t have a problem with people carrying concealed weapons, within reason.

For example, the article says current law forbids people from carrying weapons in/at: government buildings, courthouses, prisons (really?), schools, school functions, colleges, nuclear power plants and mental health institutions. I don’t have a problem there. Oh, and then there’s that whole places of worship thing.

I did not know this, but apparently you can now carry a gun in a bar. That’s provided you have the owner’s permission, you have a legal license and you don’t drink.

I for one totally agree with the alcohol and guns don’t mix mantra. However, I really don’t understand the whole bar regulations deal. What is the point of going to a bar if not to drink?

Anyway, back to the church issue.

I can just imagine someone visiting a church for the first time and greeted by the proverbial deacons at the door.

“Hi, welcome to our church.  Been baptized yet? No?, well why don’t you come over to our baptismal pool” as they slowly push back their jackets to reveal the latest deacon-issued firearm.

And what about theological disagreements? Will those boil down to who has the fastest draw?

I just can’t envision a preacher packing heat during a sermon. Oh, I don’t know, maybe if the congregation gets a little uppity, or a warning shot is needed to quiet those darn kids.

All kidding aside, is there really a need or justification to carry weapons into church?

Apparently so. The article quotes one man who said Jesus’ words “require me to obtain, keep and carry a firearm wherever I happen to be.” He based that on where Jesus, at the Last Supper, told his disciples “to sell their cloaks to buy swords.”

I’m not going to go there. Scripture also says I can’t judge, so to each his own.

Now the group wanting to overturn the ban is pulling out, okay I can’t resist, the big guns – the First and Second amendments and all the freedom of religion and right to bear arms arguments.

I say we’re missing the point. We’re focusing on minutia and legal loopholes rather than the big picture.

What would Jesus pack? If we could just figure that out, wouldn’t everything else become moot?

If, that is, Jesus would actually carry a gun into your church.




1 Comment

  1. No matter where Jesus goes, He packs the ultimate weapon; His voice. With His voice He formed what is from what is not. How much more ultimate can anything created get?

    And one more element: Jesus never speaks without something happening. “My word will not return to me void, but will accomplish that for which it was sent”. Say that about any shooter. How many misses against how many hits. Yet God has never and will never miss.

    Perhaps the real question is, with such a great asset, would Jesus be caught by Airport Security?

    By His Grace.