Violence in the Name of Religion

Violence in the Name of Religion

Maynard S. Clark wrote a very interesting observation about a major problem within Christianity:

“We’ve all been treated to public discussions of Violence in the name of religion, and we also know how many “gun toting pastors” are eager to teach their congregants that the “manly” art of self-protection is all in the hot sexy weapon.”

Way back in the 1950’s when I was a student at The University of Pittsburgh, I also owned a few guns. I was a member of the Air Force ROTC rifle team and a member of the Metropolitan Pittsburgh Police Pistol League, and shot in competitions and won a few awards.

However this was before Jesus entered my life and changed my perspective on loving God and the whole of His creation. So, I put the guns away, for I no longer was interested in using them, and I didn’t want anyone else to use them either.

When I became a pastor, I was convicted in my heart that even owning a weapon was a bad witness, for if we truly trust in the Lord, we don’t need any weapons, for as Paul says in Philippians 1:21…

21. For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
NASB

What Paul is saying is that if we love and trust in God, and continue to live here on earth, we do so in Christ, but even if we die we will gain the everlasting peace of heaven.

So, there is no need for any weapons.

Therefore, I went with the manager of a local foundry, and threw all my weapons into the furnace and melted them down as my way of hammering them into so-called plowshares, or things for peaceful uses, just as we are told in Micah 4:3.

3 And He will judge between many peoples
And render decisions for mighty, distant nations.
Then they will hammer their swords into plowshares
And their spears into pruning hooks;
Nation will not lift up sword against nation,
And never again will they train for war.
NASB

For us, this is all part of living in the heavenly will of God, where there is no violence or death.

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6 Responses to Violence in the Name of Religion

  1. avatar
    Elaine January 14, 2013 at 7:31 pm #

    So, the Christians we see being tortured and abused for their faith, is their witness the one we should follow? That’s a hard pill to swallow especially for an American.
    I hear Christ’s love in the testimonies of these victim’s of horrible abuse and even murder for their attackers, they don’t ‘fight back” and protect themselves. They are truly an example.

  2. avatar
    flhadmin January 14, 2013 at 8:30 pm #

    We believe that Jesus addressed the question about Christian persecution in Revelation 2:8-11 in His message to the Angel of the Church at Smyrna. And we believe that we are living according to his message, just as your example.

  3. avatar
    Asemahagne Abebe January 15, 2013 at 12:34 am #

    The problem we face in this world some of them come from religion disagreements and a division between who has and who has not every body want to interprets every thing depends on their point of view or depends on their interest that is the whole problem other wise what is so difficult to understand common sense having gun for protection and having gun to kill mass group of peoples it’s to different things, so i dont know why is all these brouhaha there is some group of peoples they are drunk with the word of freedom but the word of justice scares them you dont hear it that much from them and they hate the government because they dont like rule and regulation in other word they promoting anarchism law and order is their enemy they killed any body they want and claim self defence therefor we need gun control law

    • avatar
      flhadmin January 15, 2013 at 11:25 am #

      We agree that if people don’t live according the peaceful teachings of God, then we need laws to protect the population.

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