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From Law to Grace » Culture, Freedom of Religion, Government, Politics, Religion » Churches Should Give Away the Gospel, Not Guns!

Churches Should Give Away the Gospel, Not Guns!

“Our country was built with the King James Bible and a gun.” Pastor John Koletas, Grace Baptist Church, Troy, NY

Why does it always have to be a Baptist church? And, a “Grace” one at that. To say that Pastor Koletas does not have a firm grasp on reality in 2014 would be an understatement. Of course, that could explain why his church has scheduled a raffle to give away a modified AR-15 high-powered rifle at the end of a worship service on the Sunday, March 23 to one lucky providential winner. I wish I could make this stuff up, but Christianity in America continues to be destroyed from within.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I support the 2nd Amendment and the right of law-abiding citizens to own guns, although I am a bit perplexed as to why a legitimate hunter needs a rifle capable of shooting 800 rounds per minute. I have hunted in the past and have no objection to hunting now. I have many avid hunters and sportsmen (and women) in the congregation I serve in southern New Mexico. I have in the past and will continue to in the future encourage them in their passion for hunting. However, my encouragement will not extend to raffling off weapons of any sort, either at a worship service on the Lord’s Day or at any other event that we might have.

I will, all day and twice on Sunday, give away the most powerful weapon we have — God’s Word — and the glorious Gospel that the Bible so lovingly and magnificently presents to a lost and dying world. That is the mission of the church. When we conflate the call of the Biblical Gospel with the lure of the political gospel, we are headed in the wrong direction. And, make no mistake. When we resort to gun raffles for people in the pews and allow politicians in the pulpit, we have prostituted our churches on the altar of cultural Christianity!

That kind of anemic, unBiblical (even for KJV-only types) Christianity will not win the world to Christ. In fact, it will do the opposite. It will reinforce the worst kinds of stereotypes of Christians. We won’t need President Obama to point out the clingers. They are now on display — and even on the staff of some Baptist state conventions — for the lost culture to look at with bewilderment. One such denominational employee is Chuck McAlister, who has been hired by Kentucky Baptists to bring guns and the gospel to the hills and hollers of the Bluegrass State:

In an interview, McAlister says he’s just meeting people where they are. ”If simply offering them an opportunity to win a gun allows them to come into the doors of the church and to hear that the church has a message that’s relevant to their lives, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that,” he says.

If we want to meet people where they are, then the church can begin to offer all kinds of raffles to get folks into the buildings. Why stop at guns? After all, guns may not be everyone’s cup of tea. I can think of a few other legal enticements that can be raffled that would lure people — mostly men — to church on a Sunday morning. Facetious? Absolutely. Not too far from the truth? You betcha!

Churches throughout American, including in New York and Kentucky, have the right to do stupid things, even giving away guns at a worship service. I just wish these churches wouldn’t wrap their stupidity in the Gospel! That won’t be good for anybody’s sake and it won’t be good for the sake of the Gospel.

 

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4 Responses to "Churches Should Give Away the Gospel, Not Guns!"

  1. Tom Kelley says:

    I agree that this has no place in a church. But I’m sure you know that the 2nd amendment has nothing to do with hunting. It’s simply an extension of the inalienable right to life, the protection of which can require more firepower than is needed to hunt.

    1. Howell Scott says:

      Tom,

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. The 2nd Amendment, while much broader than hunting, has been used in support of the right to bear arms, specifically in the case that I wrote about, hunting. I would agree that, were one to use a weapon in support of their “inalienable right to life” might need a gun that would not be suitable for a hunter. However, as to the case at bar, the churches were appealing to hunters, not separationists. Were they raffling off high-powered weapons to those who had a desire to see the current government overthrown, I think we would have a quite different issue to address :-) Thanks again and God bless,

      Howell

  2. Tom Kelley says:

    Howell, thanks for your reply. Your post was a good one and I agree with the essence of it and don’t mean to be argumentative,

    As the article you referenced indicated, the pastor held the raffle “to support the right to bear arms as protected by the 2nd Amendment, gun owners and hunters.” I didn’t see hunters as the primary group that the church was seeking to appeal to; hunters were just given as one example. But even if hunters were that church’s primary target (pardon the pun) audience, what I was refering to was when you said “Now, don’t get me wrong, I support the 2nd Amendment and the right of law-abiding citizens to own guns, although I am a bit perplexed as to why a legitimate hunter needs a rifle capable of shooting 800 rounds per minute.” That sentence seems to imply a connection between the 2nd Amendment and hunting, as if to say that hunting were what the Founders had in mind in drafting the 2nd amendment.

    That may not have been the idea you meant to convey, but I have heard those opposed to 2nd Amendment rights make similar statements, trying to convince people that high capacity weapons should be banned because they aren’t “necessary for hunting” (as if hunting was the point of the 2nd Amendment). I know that with your law background you know that hunting wasn’t what the Founders were seeking to protect with the 2nd Amendment. Just thought I’d chime in to make that point.

    1. Howell Scott says:

      Tom,

      Thanks for the follow-up. I think we are in substantial agreement on this issue. Although the 2nd Amendment, as intended by the Founders, was not meant to protect hunters (it’s obviously much more expansive than that), I do think that hunters have become a primary focal point in today’s discussion as it relates to the rights protected by the 2nd Amendment. In my limited experience as a hunter, I never used high capacity weapons (i.e., 800 rounds per minute) when hunting. I don’t believe such weapons should be banned just because they aren’t necessary for hunting. Perhaps my assumption was incorrect as it related to the Baptist Church in Troy that their gun raffle was aimed at hunters or sportsmen. I think that would have been a fair assumption to make based on the article. I appreciate your point in not linking the 2nd Amendment with hunting and I agree with your sentiments. Thanks again for taking the time to read and comment. God bless,

      Howell

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